World of Warcraft
|First release date||November 23, 2004|
|Warcraft: Orcs and Humans||1994|
|Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness||1995|
|Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal|
|Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos||2002|
|Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne|
|World of Warcraft||2004|
|The Burning Crusade|
|Wrath of the Lich King|
|Mists of Pandaria|
- Mod friendly
- Very active community
- Currently the largest MMORPG around
- Updated frequently
- Runs well on low end machines
- All expansions must be bought to play in active endgame areas and activities
- Game requires $15 per month subscription fee
- Official Blizzard community site
- WoW Insider - A news site dedicated to all World of Warcraft news.
- WoWWiki - A huge wiki for everything World of Warcraft related. Also handles anything Warcraft universe related.
- Thottbot - A old but expansive database on anything that can be found or used in-game.
- Wowhead - An expansive database on anything that can be found or used in-game. Has a clean interface.
|Battle.net (Starter Edition)||Free to play version of the base game. The maximum level for a character is 20.|
|Battle.net||Base game. Includes the Burning Crusade expansion.|
|Battle.net||Wrath of the Lich King expansion.|
|Battle.net||Mists of Pandaria expansion.|
- The playable characters from all expansions are available, even if the player has not bought any expansion packs.
 DirectX 11 Rendering
One of the new features in Cataclysm is WoW's ability to render using the DirectX 11 API. DirectX 11 can significantly boost performance in some scenarios (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3229374095) This API can be enabled on systems running a DirectX 10, 10.1, or 11-compliant graphics card and operating system. This includes all graphics cards from the nVidia GeForce 8000-series and up, and all ATI cards from the Radeon HD 2000-series and up; some Intel chips support this as well, but the differences are far more subtle and there is a higher risk for issues to crop up.
In addition to just having the right GPU, you must also have an OS that supports DirectX 10/11. For full DirectX 11 rendering, you need Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 or Windows 7 of any flavor. Windows Vista without Service Pack 2 will be able to run the API still, but it will only use shader model 4.0 (DX10).
This option can be enabled by going to Options, navigating to the Advanced tab and then changing the graphics API to DirectX 11.
 Texture Cache Size (DirectX 9 ONLY)
gxTextureCacheSize is a CVar that affects the D3D9 API; if you're already using DirectX 10/11 mode, this CVar will not have any affect. This variable decides how much memory - in megabytes - to use for caching textures. The default value is '0', meaning the game will dynamically adjust the cache. Some players have found better performance - particularly with rapid camera movements - by manually selecting a value for this. As a general rule of thumb, ~70-75% of your VRAM tends to be the best value. For example, if you have a 1.5 GB GTX 480, a good value to try would be 1152 MB. The syntax would look like this:
SET gxTextureCacheSize "1152"
For quick reference, these are 75% values. Feel free to use more or less as depending on specific configuration settings.
- 128 MB: 96
- 256 MB: 192
- 384 MB: 288
- 512 MB: 384
- 768 MB: 576
- 896 MB: 672
- 1 GB: 768
- 1.125 GB: 864
- 1.25 GB: 960
- 1.5 GB: 1152
- 2 GB: 1536
gxTextureCacheSize allows pretty much any whole number, but be sure not to set it too low or too high. If set too low, you will not properly utilize your video memory; if set too high, you'll start using system RAM instead, negatively impacting performance. Values below 32 MB and above 2047 MB always seem to yield terrible performance.
If World of Warcraft is installed on an SSD, this will drastically decrease the load times for zoning.
 Move SSD Cache
The World of Warcraft cache folder is required to hold uncompressed files and hotfix data. To save space on the SSD, it is possible to junction link the cache folder to a different drive. This should save approximately 7.5 GB of space on the SSD, although it may incur a minor performance hit.
mklink /j "C:\Games\World of Warcraft\Data\Cache" "D:\Games\Blizzard Stuff\World of Warcraft\Data\Cache\"
 Denser Foliage and Clutter
It is possible to increase the foliage/clutter density of the game further than the slider allows using this command:
/console groundEffectDensity 256
If performance is no longer at an acceptable level, this change can be reverted by adjusting the ground effect density slider in the graphics options.
 Higher Maximum Graphic Settings
It is possible to increase the various graphical settings of the game further than the slider allows using these commands:
/console farclip 777
/console horizonfarclip 2112
/console groundeffectdensity 256
/console groundeffectdist 140
/console smallcull 0
/console skycloudlod 3
A comparison of each setting is shown in this video.
World of Warcraft's UI is developed via LUA scripting, and XML data.
AddOns are generally self-contained User Interface (UI) modification components. However, some AddOns can be dependent on other AddOns to work, and some AddOns are actually collections of other AddOns. There is no size restriction on AddOns, some can grow to be quite massive.
In plain English, an AddOn is just some files you can put in your game folder that can (theoretically) improve your interaction with the World of Warcraft game (i.e. make it easier to play, or give you more information about what's going on in the game).
Often the name modification (or "mod" for short) is used interchangeably with AddOn. More specifically, a mod is a third-party AddOn that alters or enhances some aspect of World of Warcraft's interface. Mods can perform a wide variety of tasks, including adding new buttons to the screen, altering the built-in player and party frames. In extreme cases, mods completely supplant the standard WoW interface, usually offering more advanced functionality.
Some mods are standalone, able to run without any additional software. Others are built on libraries such as Sea or Ace. Still others are compilations of many individually-developed mods.
 Blizzard's AddOn policy
With the release of Patch 3.1, Blizzard Entertainment introduced a new UI AddOn development policy. Here is a summary below:
- AddOns must be free of charge.
- AddOn code must be completely visible.
- AddOns must not negatively impact World of Warcraft realms or other players.
- AddOns may not include advertisements.
- AddOns may not solicit donations.
- AddOns must not contain offensive or objectionable material.
- AddOns must abide by World of Warcraft ToU and EULA.
- Blizzard Entertainment has the right to disable AddOn functionality as it sees fit.
It isn't exactly clear how Blizzard plans to enforce this policy, but developers should follow the policy or risk some sort of exclusion of their AddOns from the game. The following sentence ends the introductory paragraph of the policy: "failure to abide by them may result in measures up to and including taking formal legal action."
 Creating an AddOn
First of all, you need to create a new directory in Interface\AddOns. The name of this directory is kind of important, as it is what other AddOns use to refer to your AddOn (in dependencies). Therefore, using version numbers in your AddOn directory name can be a bad idea; you will run the risk of having other AddOns "break" when you change the version. This will probably lead to people either not depending on your AddOn or, worse, that they'll keep using an old version.
Major version numbers as part of AddOn directory names might work, though.
 Toc files
.toc is short for "table of contents".
A functioning AddOn will need a file named
<YourAddOnDirectoryName>.toc in "
This file needs to have two things - an interface keyword with a correct interface number, and the name(s) of one or more files to load. However, Blizzard asks that you include at least these five client recognized tag lines:
## Interface: Template:API LatestInterface ## Title: My Add On ## Version: 1.0.0 ## Notes: A short description of my AddOn ## Author: Your name or memorable descriptor (e.g. LuckyLuke)
- Tip: Make sure you do not have any extra spaces at the end of the line with the filename specified. If you do, the extra space is taken as part of the filename and will cause your AddOn to silently fail to load.
- Tip: The .toc file is not reloaded when you reload the user interface; if you make changes to it, you will need to quit all the way to the desktop before they take effect.
To get the latest interface number, see Getting the current interface number. The number in the .toc file must match the current build or the add on will not be loaded/active, unless the user has explicitly told WoW to load out-of-date Addons. If the .toc file declares an interface number prior to 2.0.0 (i.e. pre-The Burning Crusade), the AddOn can not be loaded, regardless of the load out of date AddOns setting.
- Template:API LatestInterface is the current interface number.
If you include a Bindings.xml file, it does not have to be included in your .toc list of files to load - WoW loads this file automatically. This file is used to set key bindings specific to the AddOn.
 Other keywords in the toc file
Please check out The TOC Format for a more detailed list.
 Troubleshooting an AddOn
As of Patch 2.3, if you get a message "Interface action failed because of an AddOn", this means that an AddOn interfered with the Blizzard UI in some way. To diagnose this, enter the following into chat "/console taintLog 1" and restart the game and try to reproduce it. If you reproduce it, you can quit the game and search through the file Logs\taint.log for the word "blocked" and mail the log to the author of the AddOn listed there. Once you have done this you can turn off logging by entering the following into chat "/console taintLog 0"
 Game data
 Game files location
|Mac||/Applications/World of Warcraft|
- Progress and stats are saved automatically by Battle.net
 Video settings
|Field of view (FOV)||The camera zoom can be increased beyond the default. See Field of view (FOV).|
|Borderless fullscreen windowed|
|Anisotropic filtering (AF)|
|Vertical sync (Vsync)|
 Field of view (FOV)
The maximum distance you can zoom the camera away from the character can be increased using this command:
/console cameraDistanceMaxFactor 40
 Input settings
 Issues resolved
 Windowed mode on Mac
For a long time there was a bug where the player was unable to drag the screen after having gone into windowed mode which meant that the player couldn't decide on the screen size except for the defaults. In later patches this was fixed but in some rare cases the issue still persists. Follow these steps if you're still having the problem:
- Open World of Warcraft
- Disable all add-ons at the character screen
- Enter the game
- Enter windowed mode (command+m or command+enter)
- Force quit the game
- Relaunch it as normal
This should fix it, if not just temporarily.
 FPS performance issues (Mac)
A lot of people experience that World of Warcraft runs sluggishly on their older model macs (despite having the required specs). However, there is a way to improve this. Installing a windows partition using bootcamp will greatly increase the fps of the game, despite being the same computer. Personal experience as well as roaming the forums confirms this, here is a quote from a forum MVP answering the question Does running WoW in Bootcamp help (fps):
It's better in like 99% cases, even if it runs good in os x it runs better in windows just do to better drivers and direct 3d that's up to date vs GL that's 4 years old. but if performance is good in OS X no real reason to do it. although it's not gonna make crappy hardware less crappy. don't reboot and expect double fps (unless there was a genuine driver bug in os x). expect a somewhat higher fps though, and no stutter bug.
For more information on how to install a windows partition on your mac see this official apple guide.
 Sound issue (Mac)
This is a known issue that only seems to occur on older Macbooks (PowerBook series, early MacBook series). The problem is that the computer isn't powerful enough to run the game with sound on (my hypothesis anyway) which causes it to distort the sound and make it unbearable to listen too. This happens when the computer gets too hot (macs have a tendency to do that) from running the game because it takes a lot of the computers power to run it. The sound distortion then causes the in-game fps to fall dramatically causing unplayable lag. The only real solution to this problem, that works (experience) is shutting off the sound. Not just the speakers but going into the settings and removing Master volume. This will enable you to play the game without the excessive lag, on an old, although hot, macbook.
 System requirements
|Operating system (OS)||Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7||Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7|
|Processor (CPU)||Intel Pentium 4 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1500+||Intel Pentium 4 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1500+|
|System memory (RAM)||1 GB||1 GB|
|Video card (GPU)||NVIDIA Geforce FX or ATI Radeon 9500 video card or better||NVIDIA Geforce FX or ATI Radeon 9500 video card or better|
|Hard disk drive (HDD)||25 GB free||25 GB free|
|Operating system (OS)||10.5.8 or 10.6.4||10.5.8 or 10.6.4|
|Processor (CPU)||Intel Processor||Intel Processor|
|System memory (RAM)||2 GB||2 GB|
|Video card (GPU)||ATI or NVIDIA video card with 64 MB Video RAM or more||ATI or NVIDIA video card with 64 MB Video RAM or more|
|Hard disk drive (HDD)||25 GB free||25 GB free|