8 Days Until Blizzcon

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I've always been interested to learn what motivates any one person to stick with the game for a long amount of time. It seems a large chunk buy into the gameplay rewards: better gear, more achievements, even cosmetic things like mounts and pets -- you know, the things that are designed to motivate the players. Some only care if they're having fun and nothing else, while others proscribe to my thesis that the game is a great way to connect with friends.

And then there are a rare few like my good friend Otylia who have a simple appreciation for the world's beauty. Of course, being a warrior, she also likes to hit things at the same time. It works out, somehow.

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And now let us continue our onward march towards Blizzcon! The next issue for my fellow machinimators to consider...

#8 Increasing system requirements

Plain and simple: your machinima project only looks as good as the resources you have to produce it. I've often commented that this shouldn't stop someone with a crappy computer from acting upon a good idea. One absolutely should. But now is a good time to remind ourselves that each WoW expansion brings with it a bit of technical bloat.

It's interesting to note, though, that the minimum requirements for the game haven't changed much over the years. Granted, the game now takes up 250% more hard drive space than it first did, but HDD space is cheap today. Processor requirements have hopped up a few hundred megahertz. The 512M of RAM is still the minimum for Cataclysm as it was for vanilla, and a video card with 32M of VRAM will still technically be able to run the game.

The big question here is: how fast and how well? Video capture all by itself tends to have a big impact on one's framerates, so the age-old fight between graphics quality versus framerate might come to the forefront if you want to make machinima on an aging computer. You may also want to consider how much of Cataclysm's new material you really want or need to make part of your movie.

Luckily, the WoW fan base has proven to be forgiving to bad audiovisual quality if the heart and soul of your film is in the right place. Otherwise, <slashdance> may have never gotten past its awkward roots.

Sedrin on October 14, 2010 4:10 AM
filed under: blizzcon