Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Mac Gaming: Better Than Expected

I loaded up my first Mac only game experience this weekend. This means I never played the game on the PC, I only played it on the iBook. That would be World of Warcraft (WoW), Blizzards upcoming MMORPG. I got into the Stress Test Beta for a days from a friend at work. First off, the minimum CPU for the game is a 1 GHz G4, this iBook has a 933 MHz, so the game tells me things may not work. My first thought is, I didn't buy the iBook for gaming, so let's just give this a try. WoW launches and just like everything on the Mac, the attention to detail stands out. I am talking about the transition from Desktop to Game and Game to Desktop. On Windows, this transition is almost always seen with crazy painting problems. Explorer slowly repaints the desktop, the disk grinds for a while as apps come back into memory and repaint themselves. In a word: ugly. Not so on the Mac, transitions are nicely faded or without repaint problems. Moving out of Full Screen to Windowed mode is also seamless. In Blizzard games anyway (I don't have any others to test) the command is Apple-M. WoW itself ran pretty good once I turned down the graphical detail. The only thing that was absolutely necessary was a 2 or more button mouse. I have been using my Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical with the iBook pretty much since I got the iBook, it worked nicely in WoW. Since all the PC propoganga goes out of it's way to suggest there are no games for the Mac and that they suck anyway, I was pleasently surprised by my experience. Blizzard rocks.