Haven’t I been here before?

My friends, let me share with you a story of how things used to be…..

*waves hands like they do in Wayne’s World* Dooooooodeldoooodeldooo! Dooooooodeldoooodeldooo!

Back in 2004, I got a gift. A wonderful gift of a laptop from my parents for Christmas. A shiny new 12″ Mac iBook G4 that I could surf the net on, or get some design programs and do graphic design work for fun or other people. At this time I didn’t play WoW. A few months later, I ended up caving to some friends who did play and off I went! I didn’t raid for the longest time because my work hours were NOT helping me. You try working til 1 a.m. and then coming home and trying to find someone to raid with (and even if I did, would I want to start raiding at that time in the morning? Hell no!). Eventually, a few years later, I started raiding. I made it work, even playing for a long time without a mouse, and solely on my trackpad. Once, a guildie boggled at that and I was like “What?” I didn’t know any better, my friends. Poor me.

I knew I didn’t have the bestest computer for playing WoW, but I made it work. Sure, there were issues here and there, but nothing that made the game unplayable. Eventually, the WotLK expansion came out and it was then I really felt the hurt. Imagine if you will….I’m out in Howling Fjord, and I get a quest to shoot some buildings with these harpoon launchers in one of those Vyrkul settlements. Ok! I get in what I’m pretty sure is the right harpoon aaaaaaaaaand, nothing. I mean, I can see nothing. In the distance is grey, I can’t make out any details and though I’ve noticed I can’t see far in the distance before, it’s never been an issue. At first I thought I was in the wrong area, did some looking on thottbot and yep, I’m in the right spot. So I figure I can tweak my visual settings, right? Oh ho ho! No. I jacked up my ‘see far in the distance’ setting and was CRIPPLED. I think somehow I managed to get the quest done, but I rather can’t remember. I think it involved pain. Later on, I got increasingly annoyed at how I was reduced to viewing a slideshow of Dalaran. Moving or trying to hold a conversation in Dal was nigh on impossible.

Around this time I was also leaving the game by degrees, as drama had reared it’s ugly head and I wasn’t spending much time in the world…of warcraft. One of the things that (I’m almost ashamed to say) kept me from leaving entirely was my desire to eventually get a new computer that was faster, more awesome and totally suited to my needs (and still stay a Mac, of course). So last August, I procured myself a Mac Mini and a monitor twice the size of my old one and 4 more gigs of RAM to shove in the widdle bitty box.

IT WAS BEAUUUUUUUUUUUTIFUL!

Being able to run around Dalaran with not so much as a problem was…well, I could have cried. I had some vague notion of keeping my laptop updated with WoW so I could play in my bedroom or on the go if I so desired, but to heck with that!!! I was able to crank my visual settings up and I loved it. I went back to the place in Howling Fjord I had had so much trouble with and cackled with glee at being able to see the crisp details in the distance (I refrained from utilizing the Ultra settings…the slightly less than Ultra was just fine by me). I haven’t looked back since.

I tell you all this because I was recently brought back to those dark days. Patch 4.0 has not been kind to me. I’m not shocked, just….really, really annoyed. I’ve had lag issues plague me since Tuesday and tried various things to fix it. At first, I thought it was because the patch hadn’t finished downloading when I thought it had. I ran the repair thingie. Twice! I tweaked many of my visual settings to Low. And still, lag problems persisted. Dal was reduced to what it once was for me, 1fps, even 0 at times. Even traipsing about Elwynn Forest yesterday, on an alt, was a painful (and ultimately unplayable) experience. Bewilderingly, in the Lions Pride Inn was fine, but as soon as I stepped outside, BAM! 2fps. I’m also having the issue of repeatedly getting booted from the game, logging back in, getting booted, rinse, repeat. It seems that it’s mostly when I’m in Icecrown, or Dalaran. Deactivating all my addons does nothing to stop the issue (except make me want to tear my hair out because nothing looks like it used to).

A quick trip to the Mac Technical Support forums tell me I’m not the only one having problems, and many describe the symptoms I’m seeing. FPS tanked, the Graphics Level bar (where you can drag it from Low to Ultra settings) is red and I can’t move it at all, I can only tweak settings individually. Have seen a few mentions of folks unable to stay online at times. I’m still looking into it, but one piece of advice that I think helped me with the fps issue is to entirely disable the Sunshafts effect. And possibly even water effects. Or at least set them at Low or Fair. I disabled Sunshafts and hopped on my wee alt in Elwynn and even with folks wandering about for the Hollow’s End stuff, my FPS was actually higher than I can rememeber it being for awhile (23-25fps). I’m still not sure if it’s ALL better, but it’s a start. I’ll troll around the Mac forums some more, and see what the blues are saying, but they are aware there are issues. And it’s not JUST Mac people, but there are a fair bit of Mac users that are having problems.

On the plus side, I got Grid to work again. Yay?

EDIT: Finding some helpful tips in the forums. A blue appearantly said “We added a bunch of new effects and improved a few in 4.0.1 so ultra settings doesn’t equal ultra settings in 3.3.5, far from it.

Ultra settings from 3.3.5 in 4.0.1 means
Shadows = Fair
Liquid = Low
Sunshaft = Disabled
View distance = High
Ground Clutter = Fair”

• Adding the following line to config.wtf found in the WTF folder seems to help: SET gxApi “OpenGL”, according to one poster (well, several actually) in the massive thread in the Mac forums. I don’t pretend to understand all the technical speak, but I’m pretty sure I’ve done something with the config.wtf before.

• If you’re crashing on log in to enter the world, your cache may be corrupted, and I’ve seen a few suggestions to delete your ‘cache’ folder. A quote, “Delete the “Data/Cache” folder in your WoW folder. There are two Cache folders so make sure you delete the right one.” Padim, a blue in the Mac Tech forums clarifies:

  • World of Warcraft/Cache
  • World of Warcraft/Data/Cache
  • You need to delete the World of Warcraft/Data/Cache folder.

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    About Endyme

    I'm a 30-something graphic designer who enjoys traveling, reading and playing WoW in my spare time. I have no life. That is all.
    This entry was posted in Rants, WoW. Bookmark the permalink.

    3 Responses to Haven’t I been here before?

    1. I took the patch as an opportunity to delete my cache and basically start over – adding only the updated addons I needed. Mild annoyance since most of my addons had to be disabled as is.

      Sorry your computer is giving you so much damage!

    2. Endyme says:

      I intend on deleting the cache as soon as I get home and crossing my fingers. I’m going to curse.com and manually (as always) downloading the most recent versions of the addons I use when I find them…my logic is that the initial versions that came out may have had issues and the newer, the better. If the cache thing doesn’t work, I’ll also add in that line in my config.wtf folder (unless it’s already there. I know I did something with that awhile back). Hopefully the fps issue is better for good. I noticed improvement this morning for the less than 10 minutes I was on this morning.

      • Endyme says:

        Well, I ended up deleting the cache, adding that extra line in my config.wtf AND tweaking my settings (including disabling sunshafts, which made, to me, the biggest difference). My lag problem seems much better now. I still crash though, or lock up and have to force quit. I only crashed once, though. Progress? On that note, I believe there’s an issue with the Headless Horseman when you mouse over him it locks you up. So….yeah.

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