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Wednesday, June 2, 2004

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Updated World of Warcraft Mac Beta Specs
8:16 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Blizzard's Mac guru Rob Barris recently made a post to the World of Warcraft forums discussing the Mac requirements for the next version of this massively multiplayer online RPG's beta. In it, he notes the company has decided to move to OS X 10.3.4 as a minimum operating system, which will unfortunately require Jaguar 10.2.8 users to make an upgrade.

By requiring 10.3.4, Blizzard can now take advantage of new fixes and features, particularly "vertex buffer objects" (VBO). As IMG reported last week on a blog post by Aspyr's Brad Oliver, VBO is an OpenGL standard which should greatly help streamline upkeep of Mac and PC code-bases (or in Oliver's case, of porting code from the PC to the Mac).

After the next round of testing begins, we'll hopefully have more information on how the changes affect the game's performance on OS X. In addition, Barris noted in the forums the game will also need QuickTime 6.5.1 and they have updated the hardware requirements for optimal play:

-> QuickTime 6.5.1 - free update to QuickTime. This is needed for critical bug fixes that were done in the area of sound support.

The hardware requirements are not as strongly enforced, it is possible to run the game with less than these minimums though some machines will do better than others. The feedback we get from users with sub-minimum machines is likely to affect the final published min specs.

-> 512MB RAM or better
-> 64MB-VRAM GPU or better
-> 1GHz G4 or G5 processor or better

Lastly, in a separate thread, Barris also comments on adding more resolution options, with the possibility of supporting native widescreen resolutions down the road:
We expect to have a little more flexibility with display resolutions in an upcoming version. What was previously a hard coded list of resolutions has been upgraded to sense what the display and card can actually support. As you can imagine there has been no shortage of feedback on this topic.

Proper wide-screen support (16:9, 16:10 aspect ratios) is also something being considered for a future release.

Stay tuned to IMG for the latest as World of Warcraft moves through beta and towards release.

WoW Forum: Mac WoW system requirements (HW&SW)
WoW Forum: Mac Resolution Issues
IMG News: Mac OS X 10.3.4 Update to Help Games
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