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Blizzard Games to Utilize Metal API in OS X


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#1 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 11:39 AM

Blizzard has revealed via a forum post that they will utilize Metal for several of their games on OS X. World of Warcraft will be the first game to get the Metal treatment with a planned release before the end of 2015. Starcraft 2 and Heroes of the Storm are scheduled to follow in the next 6 months.

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#2 Gotrek

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 10:51 AM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 15 October 2015 - 11:39 AM, said:

Blizzard has revealed via a forum post that they will utilize Metal for several of their games on OS X. World of Warcraft will be the first game to get the Metal treatment with a planned release before the end of 2015. Starcraft 2 and Heroes of the Storm are scheduled to follow in the next 6 months.

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Actually they announced they would be adding Metal support to their games at WWDC 2015.

#3 Janichsan

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 11:01 AM

View PostGotrek, on 16 October 2015 - 10:51 AM, said:



Actually they announced they would be adding Metal support to their games at WWDC 2015.
They did, but now they gave a time frame for these updates.

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#4 Frost

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 05:48 PM

Sweeet!

Blizzard's been doing a really great job optimizing for Mac. Heroes of the Storm ran like crap on my MacBook Pro when it was released unless I kept the settings low. Only three months later and even running in native res with textures kicked way up it, ah, scrolls like butter. And this is in Mavericks.
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#5 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 09:50 PM

I like Blizzard a lot. I am looking forward to playing the updated WoW when it releases. I've been on a break but I'm probably going to level some low level alts to 20 in the starter areas for free sometime soon.
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#6 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 01:37 AM

I wonder if they are really going to maintain both OpenGL and Metal at the same time, or simple just kill off all pre-2012 machines for their games, since they can't run Metal. I don't think so, since Blizzard are usually good at maintaining compatibility, but it is still a bit scary.
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#7 macdude22

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 09:23 AM

They said in the forum post they are maintaining open gl but wow 7.0 will require 10.9+
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#8 Whaleman

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 08:39 AM

View Postmacdude22, on 17 October 2015 - 09:23 AM, said:

They said in the forum post they are maintaining open gl but wow 7.0 will require 10.9+

Many new games on steam already require 10.10.3, so that's actually more generous than the rest. Really hoping this will mean a nice performance boost for my blizzard games on the mac, because I could not afford an upgraded GPU when I bought my iMac a couple of years back :(
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#9 LadyZarjah

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 01:58 AM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 16 October 2015 - 09:50 PM, said:

I like Blizzard a lot. I am looking forward to playing the updated WoW when it releases. I've been on a break but I'm probably going to level some low level alts to 20 in the starter areas for free sometime soon.

Let us know if you want some company :) We're also on a break but will play some low lvl alts.
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#10 ukimalefu

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 07:08 AM

\m/

#11 Cougar

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 09:02 AM

So it looks like Overwatch isn't getting Metal because...it isn't coming to the Mac. What?

http://us.battle.net...pic/19612291043

Couldn't care less about the game but I don't want this to be a sign of things to come.

#12 Janichsan

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 10:38 AM

View PostCougar, on 28 October 2015 - 09:02 AM, said:

So it looks like Overwatch isn't getting Metal because...it isn't coming to the Mac. What?

http://us.battle.net...pic/19612291043

Couldn't care less about the game but I don't want this to be a sign of things to come.
Wut?

I so far had assumed that the just closed beta was Windows only, but that doesn't sound good.

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#13 MichalM.Mac

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 12:23 PM

Blizzard did what??? Full panic mode... :o

#14 devSin

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 03:24 PM

Wow, that's foreboding.

Perhaps the F2P model just doesn't work in the Mac market (maybe they're not getting anything from HotS and Hearthstone)?

I guess we'll find out come the next retail Blizzard game (still years and years away at this point).

#15 mattw

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 03:40 PM

It does seem against the general tread of both OS X and Linux/SteamOS getting more mainstream game ports and is especially odd given Blizzard's Mac history to date...

The videos so far do look interesting but on the other hand it's not the end of the world if we later get a polished final version plus the FAQ says the exact sales model is to be decided and a subscription (like WOW) for example would put me off.
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#16 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 03:41 PM

That's very dissapointing. I was looking forward to the game on Mac. I don't understand why the hell they put in on the Mac Blizzard Launcher app if they have no intention of offering it to Mac users presently. Why advertise an upcoming Windows title to Mac users.

Please don't answer that. I already know but it still irks me.

Maybe they will change thier mind if enough interest is expressed on their forums. Unfortunately, for now you must be in the beta for Windows to be able to post anything to them about the game. So, I opted in. Maybe I will be among the chosen so I can immediately get on them about a Mac version if selected.

I do see this as a somewhat ominous development which probably is all about Activision's bean counters/management as well as the numbers they see internally on total Mac users for various games. Probably, World of Warcraft and StarCraft in particular fare well enough to justify Mac versions. Everything else may be questionable so far as return on investment goes.

It's a tough pill to swallow and people don't like to hear it including me but given the total installed base of Macs that are suitable for gaming and then the subset of that installed base which actually has people who are seriously into playing games, by this I mean spending often for AAA, etc., big companies like Activision, Bethesda, EA, Ubisoft, etc. just don't see enough money to feel it is worth the expense otherwise we would see them offering Mac titles and frequently but they don't and it is all about the money of course. That is not to point a finger at them, consider them greedy or some such silliness but rather just to acknowledge the reality of the situation which is in no small part  Apple's doing with their focus on a world of iOS-like casual pursuits that will run on phones and televisions coming up. It is even hard to blame Apple actually because their chosen focus is working very nicely for them with huge sales and profits on all these time wasters in the App Stores.

I saw a video of an old internal meeting where Steve Jobs was addressing how at that time when he returned to the company he found them to be all over the place wiith far too many products in the pipeline and a real lack of focus. I think to this day, his thinking about that, choosing areas of focus and sticking to them, prevails at Apple and will going forward. That's why we do not see them even attempt to get into what is for them the relative small potatoes of offering hardware for gaming enthusiasts of the Steam crowd variety.

I really think Apple just sees themselves and maybe they are right too, as having bigger fish to fry. They are not interested in being all things to all people and that is not necessarily a bad move on their part even though unfortunately that does not play out well for those of use who love AAA quality gaming and wish we could just have our cake and eat it too on the Mac platform.

It seems to me to be better than it has ever been but on the other hand we may have already reached as good as it's going to get. I just hope it does not recede from here.

Personally, I do not see Metal as being all that relevent for serious Mac gamers anytime soon if ever as a closed standard which really is intented to be in step with homogenizing the hardware ecosystem - not making AAA great on Macs. That was never the plan at all, not one bit. It's all about iPhones, iPads, AppleTV and the Mac comes along for the ride a minority in all this hardware sales-wise and profit-wise by far.
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#17 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 04:05 PM

Just to add to all the above, this is yet another reason why I see myself in the future enjoying what Apple does best with a Mac Mini and other stuff from the ecosystem that all works so nicely together while moving to either a Windows PC or a console for the majority of gaming because that is where the games are and run best. In fact, I personally think there is quite a lot to be said for console gaming over PC in most cases of AAA that is ported to PC after the fact. A great deal of the time the experience is better with the original than the port as we've all seen in the Windows world - Rockstar anyone? That's just one glaring example. I find for a very long-time PC gamer that the biggest adjustment as I have mentioned before elsewhere is simply adapting to the controller which again has its virtues once you get used to one. Having a limited set of controls and typically visual prompts to remind you of them as needed within games is a beautiful thing.

It's a lot better than it used to be but remember when for PC gaming we actually needed keyboard templates for some stuff? We still need to memorize a lot of keys for a lot of games despite graphical user interfaces. While there is a trade-off involved, consoles do a lovely job of greatly reducing that complexity which can tend to get in the way of the fun I find anyway. Remember the old flight sims with a bazillion keys for example? No wonder we never see them anymore. That stuff was awesome when it was all we knew but now most of us I think know better than to make a career out of any one game as a rule. It's cool for armchair pilots I guess but I don't want to be a pilot. I just want to fly around arcade-style pretending to be one and mostly being concerned with shooting whatever is not me.
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#18 Cougar

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 04:05 PM

I don't think it's necessarily an ominous sign. It could be something as simple as a resources issue, and it'll get ported eventually. They have and maintain more Mac games than ever, and talented mac developers who know their way around Apple's OpenGL bugs aren't exactly common.

#19 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 04:21 PM

View PostCougar, on 28 October 2015 - 04:05 PM, said:

I don't think it's necessarily an ominous sign. It could be something as simple as a resources issue, and it'll get ported eventually. They have and maintain more Mac games than ever, and talented mac developers who know their way around Apple's OpenGL bugs aren't exactly common.

I have a difficult time believing that resources are any problem for Activision/Blizzard myself. I really do think it is simply the result of management evaluating cost/benefit here and nothing more. I think that is almost always the reason behind various games not making their way to Mac. I feel certain this is why Bethesda could not be bothered. It simply is not worth the trouble for the amount of money involved. After two tries (half-baked both times admittedly) CD Projekt Red didn't bother with Mac for the Witcher 3 and I doubt they ever will. It is not worth it. For a company thier size it just is not worth it.

The proof is in what we see. If it was worth it to them they would do it. They would not state they have no plans to do it. From the horse's mouth we have: "We're developing Overwatch for Windows-based PCs only." That's pretty clear if you ask me.
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#20 Cougar

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 05:36 PM

Witcher 3 is coming to Linux...which is arguably a worse proposition than a Mac version. So I wouldn't write a Mac version off just yet. But Apple's graphics cards do it no favors.