World of Warcraft May Require Updated Hardware

The upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, may need players to update their hardware to support the increased pixels on the new character models.  When updated character models were first announced at Blizzcon 2013, thousands of fans roared with excitement.  My athletic Blood elf will now have real abs instead of the horrible polygons? Count me in!

But there may be a small catch – outdated hardware may not be supported with the demanding graphics.

World of Warcraft Character Model Updates

Warlords of Draenor: Performance Issues?

A forum post earlier this week by Bashiok mentioned possible performance issues for less than average computers.  However, he further pointed out that the current World of Warcraft still runs adequately on eight year old hardware, though how well the game performs is largely questionable.  As a dedicated raider, I cringe when my FPS drops below 50, often scrambling to troubleshoot the issue.  Less than stellar graphics can prove detrimental to raiders and PvPers.  I once had a raider with a horrifically dated GPU that was nearly half his age, and result in 3 FPS during a raid boss.  Eventually he ended up having to put his character on “follow” to another player to ensure he avoided tornadoes during Alysrazor.

Unfortunately, players won’t know how to best update their hardware to support World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor until beta.  Bashiok’s reply on the forums stated:

“We’re keenly aware of the system requirements the new character models may require, and how that could impact client performance. No further details yet on how they’ll be supported on lower end systems, if at all.”

World of Warcraft Finally Gets a Face Lift

When Star Wars: The Old Republic was first released December 2011, players coming from the World of Warcraft community were blown away with the graphics – and for rightful reasons.  BioWare invested between $150 to $200 million in development, and didn’t skimp on the graphics.  But it came with a price – stricter computer system requirements than WoW, resulting in players having to update their machines if they truly wanted to play a Jedi or Sith.

Considering Blizzard developers have confirmed they plan to dramatically increase pixel count, ranging from minimal differences to five times the current count,  it’s likely we’ll see a need to update hardware.  Animations will be retouched, bone structures will be defined, and fluidity will be enhanced in movements.

For more information about the recent character artwork, visit us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/12426480/artcraft-a-first-look-1-23-2014.  

World of Warcraft Character Model Updates

World of Warcraft Character Model Updates


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