World of Warcraft

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World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft cover
Blizzard Entertainment
Release dates
Windows November 23, 2004
OS X November 23, 2004
Warcraft: Orcs & Humans 1994
Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness 1995
Warcraft II: Edition 2000
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos 2002
World of Warcraft 2004

Key points

Mod friendly (Mods pertains to UI addons)
Very active community
One of the largest MMORPGs around
Updated frequently
Runs well on low end machines
Expansions must be bought to play in active endgame areas and activities
Game requires $15 per month subscription fee

General information

Official Blizzard community site for US
Official Blizzard community site for EU
Blizzard Watch "WoW" Category - A news site dedicated to all Blizzard Entertainment news.
Wowpedia - 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. Same database as Wowhead currently.
Wowhead - An expansive database on anything that can be found or used in-game. Has a clean interface.
Statista - A ranking on the distribution of characters across EU and U.S. realms. Other statistics on World of Warcraft accessible.
Curse and WoWInterface are both great addon sources.


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Official website First 20 levels are free to play. Base game purchase includes the Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria expansions.
The playable characters from all expansions are available, even if the player has not bought any expansion packs.

Downloadable content (DLC) and expansions

Name Notes
The Burning Crusade Available for free. Included with all full versions of the game.
Wrath of the Lich King Available for free. Included with all full versions of the game.
Cataclysm Available for free. Included with all full versions of the game.
Mists of Pandaria Available for free. Included with all full versions of the game.
Warlords of Draenor Can be bought from the store.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\WTF\
OS X <path-to-game>\WTF\

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

Progress and stats are saved automatically by

Video settings[edit]

In-game general graphics settings.
In-game general graphics settings.
In-game advanced graphics settings.
In-game advanced graphics settings.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Zoom can be increased beyond the default. See Field of view (FOV).
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Frame rate is capped at 200 FPS.[1]
Color blind mode
Set in Accessibility settings.[2] See Color blind mode for further options.

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

The maximum distance you can zoom out the camera can be increased using this command:

  • /console cameraDistanceMaxFactor 40

Color blind mode[edit]

Enable color blind mode[3]
  1. Go to Menu, then Interface.
  2. Choose Help, then enable color blind mode.
  3. Set the mode with the chat command /console colorblindshader X where X is one of these numbers:
  4. The game's colors will now be adjusted to suit that type of color blindness. Repeat the above to change modes.

Input settings[edit]

Audio settings[edit]

In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
Master, sound, music, ambience, dialog.
A selected number of optional sounds can also be fully disabled
Surround sound
5.1 and 7.1[4]
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
EAX 3. XP compatiblity mode is also required from Vista onwards (besides DirectSound3D restoration).[5]
64-bit build is unsupported.


Language UI Audio CC Notes
Brazilian Portuguese
Both Spanish and Latin American.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
Online play

Connection types


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP (outbound) 3724, 1119, 1120, 4000, 6112, 6113, 6114, 80, 6881-6999
UDP (outbound) 3724, 1119, 1120, 4000, 6112, 6113, 6114, 80, 6881-6999
UPNP support status is unknown.

Issues fixed[edit]

Windowed mode (OS X)[edit]

OS X - Windowed mode

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:

  1. Open World of Warcraft
  2. Disable all add-ons at the character screen
  3. Enter the game
  4. Enter windowed mode (command+m or command+enter)
  5. Force quit the game
  6. Relaunch it as normal

FPS performance issues (OS X)[edit]

World of Warcraft might run sluggishly on older-model Macs (despite having the required specs). A workaround is installing a Windows partition using Boot Camp.

Sound issue (OS X)[edit]

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.

Mature Filter Options Not Saving[edit]

Known issue with mature filter options not saving properly once set in the game menu. In order to force a save to the server side, open the options menu, change the setting (whether on or off), then use Alt+F4 to forcibly close the game. Re-open the game and new setting should be saved properly.

Other Information[edit]

Visual enhancements[edit]

  • To increase the various graphical settings further than the sliders allows, use these commands:
    • /console farclip 1300
    • /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.

DirectX 11 Rendering[edit]

DirectX 11 can significantly boost performance in some scenarios
Enable DirectX 11[6]


  • A DirectX 10, 10.1, or 11-compliant graphics card
  • Windows Vista SP2 or Windows 7/8
Windows Vista without Service Pack 2 will be able to run the API, but it will only use shader model 4.0.
  1. Right-click on the shortcut you use to start WoW and select "Properties".
  2. You should see a target line in the new window that is already highlighted.
  3. Add -d3d11 to the end of the Target.


gxTextureCacheSize [7]
This tweak seems to improve peformance for some. Only works when running d3d9ex.
The default value of '0' lets the game handle the cache size. ~70-75% of your VRAM tends to be the best value
  1. Ingame type /console gxTextureCacheSize <VALUE in MB>
  2. Restart the game for change to take affect.


  1. Edit World of Warcraft\WTF\
  2. Add SET gxTextureCacheSize <VALUE in MB>


If World of Warcraft is installed on an SSD, this will drastically decrease the load times for zoning.


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 the installation 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[edit]

With the release of Patch 3.1, Blizzard Entertainment introduced a new UI AddOn development policy.[8] Here is a summary below:

  1. AddOns must be free of charge.
  2. AddOn code must be completely visible.
  3. AddOns must not negatively impact World of Warcraft realms or other players.
  4. AddOns may not include advertisements.
  5. AddOns may not solicit donations.
  6. AddOns must not contain offensive or objectionable material.
  7. AddOns must abide by World of Warcraft ToU and EULA.
  8. 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."[8]

Creating an AddOn[edit]

First of all, you need to create a new folder in Interface\AddOns. The name of this folder 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 folder 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 folder names might work, though.

Toc files[edit]

.toc is short for "table of contents".

A functioning AddOn will need a file named <YourAddOnDirectoryName>.toc in "Interface\AddOns\YourAddOnDirectoryName\".

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: <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.

  • <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[edit]

Please check out The TOC Format for a more detailed list.

Troubleshooting an AddOn[edit]

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"

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) Windows XP / Windows Vista with the latest service pack 7 / 8 / 10 64-bit with latest service pack
Processor (CPU) Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
AMD Phenom X3 8750
Intel Core i5 2400
AMD FX 4100
System memory (RAM) 1 GB (XP)
2 GB (Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10)
4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 35 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
ATI Radeon HD 4850
Intel HD Graphics 3000
512 MB of VRAM
Nvidia GeForce GTX 470
ATI Radeon HD 5870
1 GB of VRAM
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 10.8.x 10.9
Processor (CPU) Intel Core 2 Duo Intel Core i5
System memory (RAM) 2 GB 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 35 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT
ATI Radeon HD 4850
Nvidia GeForce GT 750M
AMD Radeon HD 6750M


  2. New Colorblind Support in Patch 6.1 - World of Warcraft
  3. Color Blind Mode - Support
  4. 5.1 surround sound not working in 64-bit - World of Warcraft forums
  5. Creative EAX Help - World of Warcraft forums
  6. Reference
  8. 8.0 8.1