Will World of Warcraft's new character models change the game's system requirements?

We don't know, Blizzard says.

by

Blizzard is updating World of Warcraft character models for the game's upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion, but how will the significant rise in polygon counts and animation effects affect system requirements? "We don't know yet," World of Warcraft community manager "Bashiok" explained in a forum post this week.

"We tend not to have updated system requirements/recommendations until most content is in, most big changes and engineering are done, and we're looking like there isn't going to be anything else that would greatly affect performance," Bashiok said.

"So we won't really know absolutely until some point through the beta. 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."

Bashiok also pointed out that World of Warcraft still supports processors and graphics cards that were released over eight years ago.

"To put that in other terms, modern day systems are in some cases 50x more powerful than the lowest end systems the game still supports," he said. "Moving us forward graphically in such a dramatic way with the new models is going to require a lot of testing, tweaking, optimizing, and determination of what we can realistically support going forward, but we just don't know what that will look like yet."

You can check out World of Warcraft's minimum and recommended system requirements below.

Blizzard announced during BlizzCon in November that it plans to update all eight of the original World of Warcraft races, as well as Draenei and Blood Elves. Just yesterday, Blizzard showed off what the new Human Female model looks like.

To achieve the level of graphical fidelity Blizzard is aiming for, developers are increasing the polygon counts significantly (in some cases this means going from fewer than 1,000 to over 5,000), doubling texture resolution, increasing bone count, and retouching almost every animation.

"For animation alone, that’s roughly 180 animations per character, times 10 races in both male and female variants, equaling approximately 3,600 animations," Blizzard said. "We’re also incorporating the rigging technology we introduced with the Pandaren into every character to provide better posing, smoother animation, and the ability to pull off some fantastic facial expressions."

Discussion

53 comments
Aelfredus
Aelfredus

Why do game developers still reference ridiculously old hardware on their system requirements? GeForce 8800 GT? Intel Core 2 Duo? Really? Why not reference current CPUs and GPUs so a possible customer knows exactly what to buy in order to run their game instead of having to compare current CPUs and GPUs against old shit like that? God fucking dammit.

Assimilat0r
Assimilat0r

We PC glorious master race stopped to play WoW , no fun after decade  while all those MMO's with sexy graphics and action combat out there.. and who  cant console worms play.

Assimilat0r
Assimilat0r

We PC glorious master race stopped to play WoW , no fun after decade  while all those MMO's with sexy graphics and action combat out there.. and who  cant console worms play.

Talavaj
Talavaj

Can't afford an entry level gpu for 50$, can afford a monthly $15 for 9 years. - WoW gamers.

StickyJr1
StickyJr1

EverQuest side-stepped this issue when they added new character models and textures for the world when Luclin came out by allowing people to choose to use either the original models and textures or the new ones.


Blizzard could do the same if it's really a concern.

mattcake
mattcake

Well unless they've found the magical bumhole in graphics cards that lets them render more stuff at the same speed as less stuff, then yes, the minimum requirements will go up. Doi.

Mr_Mark_Legion
Mr_Mark_Legion

WoW subs drop 33% after casual players computers couldnt handle the character model changes

shreddyz
shreddyz

ppl don't play wow for the character models anyway. Armor is all anyone sees. This is all just ploys to get the Blizzard name in the news again. WoW is old and dying a very slow death. 

LomaxGnome
LomaxGnome

Given that they are just updating the old models to the same level as the characters they have been putting in the game since WotLK, it's unlikely to make a substantial difference. That said, the WoW system requirements aren't very realistic anyway, because of how they've built new feature on top of new feature over the years, it's pretty terribly optimized and runs rather erratically as it is. Still a surprisingly beautiful game for something so old though, always has been.

vadagar1
vadagar1

if u have a PC that cant run the game with the "new" graphix ... ohhhh


then u deserve a punch in the groin

DragonessAthena
DragonessAthena

Oh noes. The game was released when? 2004? If so, you then add in the "Blizzard Factor", which means they built the game using 4-5 year old computers, so any PC from 1999 onwards can run WoW.


If, in 2014, you are still using a PC from 1999-2004, you have problems. A graphic card from 2010 should only be $50, and anyone still into WoW will be dropping $40+ on the expansion to a nearly 10 year old game, so money isn't an issue.

enoslives7
enoslives7

People outside of Korea still play WOW????

Deevoshun
Deevoshun

After all the fail MMOs I have re-subbed to WoW this week.  Even ESO looks like its going to fail.  Everyone complains that devs need to make something new when all I want is another WoW with added mechanics.  This game does raiding, grouping, questing, and PvP right.  The new expansion looks great!

DIGN
DIGN

No, it's just a reskin. Blizzard can't risk loosing the portion of its fanbase that still use PCs from 1998. aka 100%of its subscribers.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

I can't imagine those are going to increase the requirements by that much. Surely. I mean you can get Dragon Mounts with more detail than those things. And apart from knackering up the connection when everyone is flying around the trade district on them at the same time it is hardly an issue.

electrichobo99
electrichobo99

Well I don't play wow, I think it's kinda lame and the graphics as they are now, are relics from the ps2 era. Good for you, y'all WowGaymers!

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

Just bring it to console Blizzard or bring out a console version of World of StarCraft for console. I want a blizzard MMO on console yeesh...My PC crapped out and I am not buying a new rig when we have consoles potent enough to play it.

foxrock66
foxrock66

Eddie I challenge you to post one of these question headlines and when you click through to the actual article there's nothing but a simple "yes" or "no". Make me proud

ChunkyDrawers
ChunkyDrawers

Even if they updated this to at least TERA level sexiness it still needs to die already. Only people that are playing it are the ones who are addicted to it and don't even know it...

WereCatf
WereCatf

WoW is a pig for resources, though. With the low quality of textures, effects and all the models everywhere you'd think it'd run much better, but even on a modern gaming-PC it can still start to stutter. Mods make it even worse, but on the other hand, WoW without mods isn't a terribly enjoyable experience, what with lackluster UI, missing information and whatnot.

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

Stop being pathetic and make a new Warcraft or Starcraft game.

DinoBuster
DinoBuster

Updating my graphics card so I can see kung fu pandas and Dippy the gnome in full glory.

chippiez
chippiez

What;s the change?  Looks the same.

Kh1ndjal
Kh1ndjal

why would requirements change if the new models have roughly the same graphical fidelity as the pandas, which have been in the game for a while now?

HuSSaR83
HuSSaR83

If its old GPU customer know immediately he can run a game on optimal or even better settings. For example i know the game is gonna fly on my 760 gtx 4GB but if they put 560 gtx as recommended I wouldnt know that as it is closer generation instead of old shit like 8800 gt.

justinka777
justinka777

@Mr_Mark_Legion you would have to be using an antique to not be able to handle these relatively minor improvements.

StickyJr1
StickyJr1

@shreddyz Death is not the right word for this.  Ultima Online and EverQuest are both still alive and kicking.  They just aren't supporting the number of players they did at their respective high points.


I expect World of WarCraft will join the ranks of previous market-leading MMORPGs that will live on for quite a while, despite the reduced player base.

normanislost
normanislost

@LomaxGnome i would say it will think of it being in a capital city and only one race so far has a decent model (pandas) now think of the all those other players running round with new models at the same time its going to push them requirements up a bit

vault-boy
vault-boy

@DragonessAthena I'm sorry but if you really believe a computer from 1999 can run WoW you have absolutely no clue what you're talking about. Hell, the GeForce 6800 (aka the bare minimum required to run the game) didn't even come out until 2004, and one from 1999 (the 256) has only 1/4 the memory, 1/3 the core clock and 1/5 the memory clock. A computer from 2009 couldn't even run the WoW launcher, let alone the actual game.

M3o5nster
M3o5nster

@Deevoshun Blizzard will always be happy to take your money... As for me, I've gave up on the decade old MMO. 

EQ Next looks promising though.

KelpsterD
KelpsterD

@DIGN

Hey, looks like you get your facts from the same place I take a shit..

The shitter. LOL, see what I did there? 

Spartan-1657
Spartan-1657

@Kinguard73 That will never happen. There is no way they could make it work on the limited number of options on a controller.

Spartan-1657
Spartan-1657

@ChunkyDrawers Not true at all. Just because you don't enjoy something doesn't mean millions of others don't. I still play this, but only casually, and mostly with friends.

Saying this game "needs to die" is just ignorant and sheepish. Why does it need to die? Because you don't play it? Wow, imagine if that happened to all games you don't play, just imagine how the gaming industry would be!

Why hate on this? Why want it to go away? You know how rare it is for a game to still be this relevant after almost being out for a decade? Why not just be happy that games are still capable of this? This is a win for the gaming industry, and good on Blizzard for continuing to keep it alive.

Even when I stopped playing this game for a couple years, I never denied how great the game was/is. 

veryDERPY
veryDERPY

@WereCatfmaybe a modern work pc you bought for $280. not a proper gaming machine

Bladestop
Bladestop

@Kh1ndjalThe requirements might change because of the number of new models. The pandas have a higher poly count and have better textures on them. Take those add about 6.5 million more players and an unknown amount of NPCs, I could see the requirements going up. If only a little bit.

Aelfredus
Aelfredus

@HuSSaR83Some current budget cards are slower than a 8800 GT. You don't know anything about GPUs.

StickyJr1
StickyJr1

@justinka777@Mr_Mark_Legion HEY!  I expect the laptop I bought in 2000, that could barely run WoW when it released in 2004, to continue to run it!  Heck, all three of the other people in the same boat with me expect the same!

Deevoshun
Deevoshun

@M3o5nster @Deevoshun That it does, my first MMO was EQ and after a disappointing sequel I am excited to get back to Norrath.  Question is, when?

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

@Spartan-1657@Kinguard73 Why is it against Sony's Policy to ever use keyboards?Mouse? They know what it would take to run it. Their choice to allow it. Simple as that.

northArrow
northArrow

@Spartan-1657 The problem I have, and I think he's referencing, is that WoW has all but monopolized the MMO genre. There's no room for other games to develop. Anyone that tries something different fails immediately and only those that seem to copy/paste the same formula drag on with limited success. While it's overboard to claim it's bad for gaming as a whole, WoW has suffocated and stagnated the genre it's in.

Don't get me wrong, I used to adore this game, played continuously and enjoyed it from vanilla through Wrath, and then played off and on during Cata and Mists. The amazing game that this used to be however, no longer exists. The present day Warcraft is hands down the lowest quality MMO currently on the market, everything about it - graphics, gameplay, story line, and their painfully slow release window for new content has all been surpassed by even F2P games - and yet this game continues to get +/-7 million people to drop $15/month? 

Sadly the gaming industry, like most other industries is a race to the bottom. Everyone's looking to make the most amount of money for the least amount of effort, and in that regard Blizzard hit a home run. It's good news for them, not so much for those of us looking for options

UFOLoche
UFOLoche

@northArrow @Spartan-1657 Ha ha, are you joking?  Warframe is doing great, Vindictus is doing decent, Mabinogi has been around for YEARS, same with Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine and SDGO, numerous other MMOs are doing pretty good too.


I've played a LOT of MMOs, if they don't last, more often than not, it's because they're crap.  The only good MMO I've seen die out is Dungeon Fighter Online, and that was under dubious circumstances(Not to mention Nexon kind of sucks and DFO wasn't trying to rip its players off every month).  Hell, even bad ones like Runescape and below average ones like Raiderz are doing fine.


And let's not try to shoehorn in that freakin' "VIDEO GAMING IS DOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEED" thing, it makes you look silly(Especially when there clearly are dozens of other MMOs that are doing great, proving a large portion of your post wrong).  Worst comes to worst, MMOs die out in North America, people go play on private servers for a bit, MMOs come back up.  But even THAT will never happen just because of WoW.