World of Warcraft

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World of Warcraft
WoW Box Art1.jpg
Developers
Release dates
Windows
November 23, 2004
OS X
November 23, 2004
 World of Warcraft at Wikipedia
Warcraft
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
Cataclysm
Mists of Pandaria

Key points

Advantage Mod friendly (Mods pertains to UI addons)
Advantage Very active community
Advantage Currently the largest MMORPG around
Advantage Updated frequently
Advantage Runs well on low end machines
Disadvantage All expansions must be bought to play in active endgame areas and activities
Information Game requires $15 per month subscription fee

General information

More information Official Blizzard community site
More information WoW Insider - A news site dedicated to all World of Warcraft news.
More information WoWWiki - A huge wiki for everything World of Warcraft related. Also handles anything Warcraft universe related.
More information Thottbot - A old but expansive database on anything that can be found or used in-game.
More information Wowhead - An expansive database on anything that can be found or used in-game. Has a clean interface.
More information Statista - A ranking on the distribution of characters across EU and U.S. realms. Other statistics on World of Warcraft accessible.

Contents

[edit] Availability

Source(s) Store unlock Notes
Battle.net (Starter Edition) BattleNet.png Free to play version of the base game. The maximum level for a character is 20.
Battle.net BattleNet.png Base game. Includes the Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm expantions.
Battle.net BattleNet.png Mists of Pandaria expansion.
Advantage The playable characters from all expansions are available, even if the player has not bought any expansion packs.

[edit] Game data

[edit] Configuration file(s) location

  Location 
Windows
OS X

[edit] Save game cloud syncing

Information Progress and stats are saved automatically by Battle.net
Information World of Warcraft config cloud sync guide is available on Shiny Hacks.

[edit] Video settings

In-game general graphics settings.
In-game advanced graphics settings.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution Native WSGF WS Gold.png
Multi-monitor Native WSGF MM Gold.png
Field of view (FOV) Native Zoom can be increased beyond the default. See Field of view (FOV).
Windowed Native
Borderless fullscreen windowed Native
Anisotropic filtering (AF) Native
Anti-aliasing (AA) Native
Vertical sync (Vsync) Native
High frame rate Unknown
Color blind mode Hackable See Color blind mode.

[edit] Field of view (FOV)

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

  • /console cameraDistanceMaxFactor 40

[edit] Color blind mode

Fix Enable color blind mode[1]Link

  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.

[edit] Input settings

Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping Native
Mouse acceleration Native
Mouse input in menus Native
Mouse Y-axis inversion Unknown
Controller
Controller support Unknown

[edit] Audio settings

In-game audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls Native Master, sound, music, ambience.
A selected number of optional sounds can also be fully disabled
Surround sound Native 5.1 and 7.1[2]
Subtitles Unknown
Closed captions Unknown
Mute on focus lost Unknown
EAX support Native 64-bit build is unsupported. XP compatiblity mode is also required from Vista onwards (besides DirectSound3D restoration).[3]

[edit] Issues fixed

[edit] Windowed mode (OS X)

Fix Mac - Windowed modeLink

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

[edit] FPS performance issues (OS X)

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

Information For more information on how to install a Windows partition on mac see this official guide.

[edit] Sound issue (OS X)

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.

[edit] Mature Filter Options Not Saving

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.

[edit] Other Information

[edit] Visual enhancements

  • To increase the various graphical settings further than the sliders allows, use these commands:
    • /console farclip 777
    • /console horizonfarclip 2112
    • /console groundeffectdensity 256
    • /console groundeffectdist 140
    • /console smallcull 0
    • /console skycloudlod 3
    • /console characterambient
Information A comparison of each setting is shown in this video.

[edit] DirectX 11 Rendering

Information DirectX 11 can significantly boost performance in some scenarios

Fix Enable DirectX 11[4]Link

Requirements:

  • A DirectX 10, 10.1, or 11-compliant graphics card
  • Windows Vista SP2 or Windows 7/8
Information 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 what is already there, be sure that there is a space between the hyphen and the end-quote and that there is a space.

It should look similar to this:

"C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft\Launcher.exe" -d3d11

[edit] gxTextureCacheSize

Fix gxTextureCacheSize [5]Link

Information This tweak seems to improve peformance for some. Only works when running d3d9ex.
Information 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.

Alternatively

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

[edit] SSD

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

[edit] 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\"

[edit] Addons

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.

[edit] Blizzard's AddOn policy

With the release of Patch 3.1, Blizzard Entertainment introduced a new UI AddOn development policy.[6] 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."[6]

[edit] Creating an AddOn

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.

[edit] Toc files

.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.

[edit] Bindings.xml

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.

[edit] Other keywords in the toc file

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

[edit] 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"

[edit] System requirements

Windows
Minimum
Operating system (OS) XP, Vista, 7
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1500+
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 25 GB
Video card (GPU) NVIDIA Geforce FX or ATI Radeon 9500 video card or better
OS X
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 10.5.8 or 10.6.4
Processor (CPU) Intel Processor
System memory (RAM) 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 25 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI or NVIDIA video card with 64 MB Video RAM or more

References

  1. Color Blind Mode - Battle.net Support
  2. 5.1 surround sound not working in 64-bit - World of Warcraft forums
  3. Creative EAX Help - World of Warcraft forums
  4. Reference
  5. http://www.wowwiki.com/CVar_gxTextureCacheSize
  6. 6.0 6.1 http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/policy/ui.html
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