I had a post I was planning on making today about tanking rotations and such for Bears. I even had some nice, pretty screenshots (and a real life picture!) to illustrate my points. Alas, all these images are on a flash drive that is still sticking out of the USB port of my home computer while I am sitting here in the office. Oops. Hopefully I'll get that one out tomorrow morning before I go on vacation.
Instead I want to talk about a post that showed up on WoW.com yesterday regarding the topic of character models in WoW. It's certainly not a new topic of discussion, but with a new expansion on the horizon it's one worth revisiting.
One of the biggest reasons given for not updating the character models in the game is that WoW has always been a game that you don't need an amazing machine or a blazing fast internet connection to run. And when you want to keep your 11M subscriber base, that's probably a reasonable design decision. It kinda punishes us that do have better systems, but that's life sometimes. QQ, right?
Here's the problem with that argument (based on my vast understanding of the underlying code that makes this game work </sarcasm>): all the models and animations are stored on your machine. It's all local. That's why this game takes up 6+ GB of space. Every character, every mob, every landscape, every weapon, and all the ways they can move or glow...you have all that sitting right on your HD. The only information you're getting from the servers is where a character/mob/creature is, what direction it's facing, what it's doing (animation), and what model data makes up its display.
So (other than the obvious issue of having to have two art/design/animation teams) why couldn't Blizz support a higher resolution game for those of us that can run it and still leave the lower res game in place for those who can't? Their servers can tell me that I have Origin of Nightmares equipped and that my guildie next to me is performing the /laugh animation, but it's my game files that tell my machine what the staff looks like, or how that other toon should be animated. It's just data interpretation. So let me interpret that data at a resolution that's much more appealing to me because I can.
On a similar note, I would really like a recording tool that just took all that incoming information and stored it in a data file that could be loaded and played back in a mock-client with standard camera and playback controls. Wouldn't it be cool to be able to record a raid in that way and then be able to play it back with a free-roaming camera? Rewinds, pauses, fastforwards. No more Fraps limitations. No more being constrained to the viewpoints of whoever happens to be recording. No more trying to balance getting compelling shots of the action and being able to actually...you know...do your job in the raid. This would be an amazing tool for raid leaders and machinimaists alike. I realize this would take some development resources for a feature that a relatively small portion of the playing population would actually use. But that didn't stop them with the gear manager...
The Mythic Roadblock
2 days ago