I said some things on Twitter tonight which might have been taken out of context. I’m sorry about that.
I play World of Warcraft on two computers: a MacBook from 2008 and a Mac Mini Server from 2011. The Mini is now my main computer; it’s the one in my standing desk, in front of my treadmill, and it’s a great computer. I’m really happy with it. It runs WoW fine.
My MacBook, though, is where I actually spend most of my time playing with other people. It’s the one that I’ll have with me during raid time, during evening pvp time, during times I want to relax and chill out. I started playing WoW on it, and it’s never run WoW very well - it has an integrated video card, the GMA X3100, which isn’t all that great - but it has run it. I was able to run the Beta on it, though when Diablo III came out and wouldn’t even install on it I knew it was nearing the end of life for a video game machine.
Because I could run the Beta on the MacBook, I didn’t expect what I saw when I launched the 5.0.4 client tonight - massive flickering. Some character screens were … mostly there, others (gnomes, looking at you) were mostly not. Logging into the game is a disorienting experience - one instant the frame will be mostly normal, then the floor will drop out, or rise up, or be partly there. It’s an unpleasant experience. You can see the in-game experience above.
I gave it a try, though, figuring that I could at least use it as a chat client. But then I noticed that my MacBook was hot. REALLY hot. So I downloaded a temperature meter and watched my CPUs go from 50 degrees C to 80-90, spiking up to 98.
That’s no good. That’s going to fry the inside of an otherwise serviceable machine.
So I closed WoW and uninstalled it from my laptop.
My playtime just got dramatically cut. I log in occasionally during the day to fiddle about while on the treadmill or on a boring call, but I don’t go and run dungeons and BGs (except on lunch breaks.) I normally am on my laptop at night, because I’m trying to find a balance between being around my family and playing a video game, and now it’s either I go back into my office (where I’ve been all day) or I don’t play at all.
Either I’ll get a lot more writing done this way, or I’ll get more treadmill time in, or I’ll just find something else to do. I’m not going to spend $2k on a new laptop just after buying a server. I’m just … not. Sorry.
I didn’t mean to alarm folks with some of the things I said on Twitter tonight. Everything I said was true, but without context it came off poorly. My laptop won’t run a game I really enjoy and comprises a big part of my online identity. I’m not cut off completely, but I am restricted, so my plans have to change. If you lose 15-20 hours of playtime a week, you have to adapt and be realistic about what you can and can’t accomplish.
This is life, it happens. I’m not angry about it. I am surprised and unprepared, which I don’t like and don’t appreciate - but just because it looks bad now, doesn’t mean it will turn out bad.
Life has a way of disguising gift horses.