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Mac issues with World of Warcraft patch 8.3


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#1 nick68k

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 02:21 PM

WoW patch 8.3, the last major content patch of Battle for Azeroth has been causing some macgamers severe problems, namely intermittent freezing, beachballing and kernel panics in some cases. I have the freezing issue on my 10.14.6 iMac (using an Iris Pro 6200). The culprit seems to be Intel's GPU drivers, although these issues were not apparent in earlier versions of the game.

Blizzard have issued a temporary workaround, which disables particle effects in-game. The game no longer crashes, but without particles you're unable to see certain spell effects, loot sparkles, boss attacks & abilities and quest details. Which is obviously problematic. The company have also said that they've done all they can, and it's up to Intel/Apple to fix their drivers, issue a macOS update, and all will be well. Now obviously, if we truly are waiting for a fix from Intel/Apple this may take a very, very long time to arrive, if it ever does.

So I'd be interested to know if anyone out there is experiencing similar issues with a Radeon-based Mac and WoW 8.3. Speak up if so. Blizzard's forums aren't clear on this matter.
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#2 macdude22

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 04:38 PM

It has been a long time since I played wow but I would consider buying a month to test (iMac 4GB Radeon Pro 560). Do these issues generally just present themselves with general play? I assume a spell caster is the way to play for particle effects.

And do the issues effect WoW Classic? I would much rather play some wow classic if I am upping a month lol.

Speaking from experience it can be a loooooong time for Apple to fix $thing that affects a proportionally small population. But hey my keychain bug that broke in 10.14.4 fixed in 10.15.0 and broke again in 10.15.1 is fixed (again) in 10.15.4 beta.
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#3 nick68k

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 04:52 PM

The crashing issue is mostly present in 8.3 instanced content, scenarios or with grouped world quests (which will be new to you - they're essentially dailies, similar to those in Diablo III). It's possible to run around in pre-BFA content without experiencing it at all, certainly if you restrict yourself to Kalimdor/EK/Northrend/Pandaria questing.

AFAIK Classic is unaffected.

The aggravating thing is that the game was working fine until 8.3 dropped, and new particle effects were added. Rolling it back to however it interacted with the GPU in 8.2.5 is not possible for Blizzard, apparently.
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#4 macdude22

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 05:06 PM

Is there a way to quickly get into the affected BFA content?
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#5 nick68k

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 05:44 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 12 February 2020 - 05:06 PM, said:

Is there a way to quickly get into the affected BFA content?

That's a good point. No, not unless you a) get a free 120 character boost with a monthly sub (which you would if you pre-purchase the Shadowlands 9.0 expansion), and b) you still need to do a bunch of BFA pre-requisite questing to unlock 8.3 content (which is all soloable, but would likely take you a few days to work through).

That said, I was experiencing the issue on a solo Hellfire Citadel (Warlords of Draenor) runs, which are trivial to do with a base 120.
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#6 macdude22

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 11:29 AM

haha well I bought a time card so I will see what I can do without having the latest expansion.
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#7 devSin

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 03:20 PM

WoW is probably the only third-party app that can prompt driver fixes under macOS, so I don't actually expect you'll be waiting that long (either the next update or the one after).

No particle effects is lame, but if you only have to do it for a month or two, it at least lets you play the game in the meantime.

#8 nick68k

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 08:29 PM

The (lack of) particles isn't generally a huge deal for me as I rarely raid, and don't any M+ content. I do, however, have an alt who tanks occasionally, and then it can be issue (it's hard to avoid the fire if you can't see it).

I'm hoping you're right devSin, and that it is addressed soon. There's a lot of angry Mac users on the Blizzard fora.
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#9 Tibur

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 12:46 PM

Looks like I picked the right month to stop sniffing glu ... I mean, playing WoW. That is a serious bummer, though I imagine as devSin noted that WoW is one app that will drive some response from Intel (no idea what drives a response from Apple, but I doubt that game crashes are high on that list).

#10 nick68k

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 02:34 PM

View PostTibur, on 14 February 2020 - 12:46 PM, said:

Looks like I picked the right month to stop sniffing glu ... I mean, playing WoW. That is a serious bummer, though I imagine as devSin noted that WoW is one app that will drive some response from Intel (no idea what drives a response from Apple, but I doubt that game crashes are high on that list).

It was particularly amusing as the scenario required to unlock the majority of new content in 8.3 was impossible to complete because of the bug for many. Add the expected 'lol maclusers' responses on the usual fora for extra comedy value.
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#11 macdude22

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 03:27 PM

I apparently had a token that let me boost to 110. It hasn't crashed over a couple hours of play with the graphics turned up to 8. I have -idea how to play though. This is completely different than the last time I played around WOTLK.

Blizzard is one of the only companies that have TCC exceptions (go check out /System/Library/Sandbox/TCC_Compatibility.bundle/Contents/Resources/AllowApplicationsList.plist) so it's safe to say they are on good terms with the big A.
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#12 nick68k

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 04:07 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 14 February 2020 - 03:27 PM, said:

I apparently had a token that let me boost to 110. It hasn't crashed over a couple hours of play with the graphics turned up to 8. I have -idea how to play though. This is completely different than the last time I played around WOTLK.

Blizzard is one of the only companies that have TCC exceptions (go check out /System/Library/Sandbox/TCC_Compatibility.bundle/Contents/Resources/AllowApplicationsList.plist) so it's safe to say they are on good terms with the big A.

Woof. Yes, the game is vastly different from 3.x. (and will be even more vastly different when 9.0 drops. Hey, maybe it'll be fixed by then).
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#13 macdude22

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 09:03 PM

I have not been able to get it to crash/freeze but fire and smoke effects that appear to be on par with PS1 capabilities make the game melt down and flail from 60FPS to 10FPS
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#14 nick68k

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 08:43 AM

Yep, sounds about right.
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#15 macdude22

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 09:52 PM

So I can't figure the frak out of modern WoW other than fire makes it grind to a halt but I fired up WoW classic and damn is that good. That is the WoW I remember from college. And it makes sense taboot. mmmm Tauren Mill........ Damn this is bringing me back to the days when I had hair. GJ blizzard. Sorry nick68k about that crashing popsnizzle.
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#16 nick68k

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 10:30 AM

This thing about modern WoW is that's extremely solo- (and casual) friendly. I can log in for 20-30 minutes of an evening and get some form of character progression done.

I salute you for returning to Classic (although, like you, I regret being 15 years older). I pootled around in it for a couple of hours for the nostalgia bath, got beaten up by kobolds, and then returned to Kul Tiras.
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#17 Tibur

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 03:57 PM

Blue post from March 21 states that Intel is working on a fix that is expected to land in a future MacOS build. I guess I'll have to upgrade to Catalina in order to play with particle effects enabled. Le sigh.

https://us.forums.bl...pus/411134/2044

#18 nick68k

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 08:29 PM

View PostTibur, on 23 March 2020 - 03:57 PM, said:

Blue post from March 21 states that Intel is working on a fix that is expected to land in a future MacOS build. I guess I'll have to upgrade to Catalina in order to play with particle effects enabled. Le sigh.

https://us.forums.bl...pus/411134/2044

Blizz have pushed an update to the client which, boldly, removes the ability to disable particles and I have to say it's a lot better than it was, although I do still get the occasional 10-20s freeze while out and about. I haven't tried it in a raid environment yet.
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