I am starting a new mini series of post geared towards helping people that are searching for the reason that they are told that they suck. Hopefully some of the people that don’t suck still read this and are maybe a little more patient with the people that are not topping the charts.
One of the things that made WoW ultra-popular was that even if you had an older computer you could still play. The graphics engine was very forgiving and let you turn the settings way down without taxing older hardware.
I know a lot of people complain about the shitty graphics that WoW has, old models, etc. The reality is that it being behind on the graphics allowed for a lot of people to play the game. You did not need a gaming machine to run WoW… that is until Cata came out.
One of the many things that hurt our guild quite a bit when Cata hit was that a lot of people were playing on older computers. I have been a gamer for a long time, so even though my computer was not the latest, I had the ram and video card that WoW could run fine if I played with the settings turned down a bit.
If you have never seen WoW run on a high end machine, you probably are playing a different game than most. The spell effects and water effects are not on par with other games that have amazing graphics, but they are not all that horrible either. That said, it will also affect your DPS or your healing if your machine is a little older. Not to mention that you probably stand in a lot more fires.
While the easy answer is, go get a better computer if you want to play end game. There are ways to fix the issue.
The first one is to make sure you maximize your memory both physical and virtual. Do a search for your operating system and how to increase your virtual memory. The more the computer can keep in memory, the better WoW will run for you.
Second is to make sure your computer is up to date or at least optimized when it comes to drivers for your graphics card. You can search for your graphics card model and world of warcraft and get informed on what the best set of drivers is. You will be surprised at how specific sometimes things get. You might find a post about your card that says, hey WoW works best with this set of drivers. (sometimes it is not the latest drivers available.)
Third is to make sure you are using the correct Direct X. While WoW supports that latest and greatest your computer might work better with the older version.
Fourth is to play with your graphic setting inside of WoW. There are a couple ways to approach this. If you want the best graphics possible with your set up, you can turn everything up and start turning things down gradually. Make sure you read the tooltips of each one of the settings. The one I recommend is to turn everything down and then slowly turn things up.
Fifth and last is do you run a lot of addons? Some addons can really bring WoW to a crawl, specially in raids. I stopped using Recount and switched to Skada for tracking numbers… but I used to advocate turning all addons off during raids. I think if your computer is older, there is really no reason for you to run a damage meter during a raid. You can have someone else whisper you the numbers if you are really that curious.
The first step towards better DPS is to play in the best version of WoW you can. You might be trying to ride a bike with flat tires… no wonder you cannot get up the hill.