News Posts matching "World of Warcraft"

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DirectX 12 Makes Windows 7 Debut With Latest World of Warcraft Patch

In what is likely to create a good deal of controversy along with a few cheers, Blizzard will be adding DirectX 12 support to World of Warcraft on Windows 7 thanks to a bit of effort from Microsoft. You might be wondering how that is possible? Well after seeing massive performance gains in WoW when Blizzard released their DirectX 12 update for Windows 10 in late 2018, resulted in the company wanting to bring those performance improvements to gamers still holding out on Windows 7. To facilitate this, they began talking with Microsoft who after getting a great deal of feedback from Blizzard decided to act on it. To achieve this Microsoft decided to port the user mode D3D12 runtime to Windows 7, which will unblock developers, thereby allows them to take advantage of the latest improvements that the DirectX 12 API offers while still giving full support to customers on older operating systems.

For now, World of Warcraft is the first game to run in DirectX 12 on Windows 7 with the latest 8.1.5 patch. However, they will not be the last as more developers are working on porting DirectX 12 games to Windows 7 with more announcements to follow. Microsoft, of course, has taken it upon themselves to remind everyone that the best possible performance with DirectX 12 will still be had on Windows 10 due to numerous OS optimizations. How true this is remains to be seen, but for many curmudgeons still holding out on Windows 7, this will likely be seen as a form of vindication for sticking with the now venerable OS.

Activision Blizzard Doubling Down on Diablo, Warcraft IPs Amidst Changing Market

The times have been rough for the Activision Blizzard juggernaut, as changing market conditions and lack of differentiated IP launches have led the company into a sort of stagnant position in the market - in both launches and revenue sources. The recent split from Destiny developer Bungie took out a bite from one of the company's additional streams of revenue amidst dwindling World of Warcraft subscriptions (after the usual spike post launch for Battle of Azeroth) and the lack of any new sources of income in the close future. This saw the company's stock valuation coming down, and was bookended by the recent layoff of some 8% total of the company's workforce (around 800 out of its 9,600 employees). Reports peg these as being mostly outside of the game development workforce, though, which could give traction to the report that the company is doubling down on IP-related development, instead of shying away from it - a sensible move, if you'll ask me.

Activision Blizzard COO Coddy Johnson reiterated Blizzard's fantastic IP reserves, and wants the company to achieve a higher cadence in content releases that follow the type of high-quality launches they achieve in their World of Warcraft expansions - but on other, more differentiated revenue sources. Johnson also reiterated more resources being put to work on the Diablo franchise, saying that "Diablo's development headcount will grow substantially", with "The teams are working on several projects for the franchise as well as the global launch of Diablo Immortal."

Blizzard at Gamescom 2018: An Ode to Past and Present Successes

We visited Blizzard's floor space at Gamescom 2018, and what a space it was. Easily one of the more expansive areas, Blizzard outdid themselves with their multiple staging areas for the multitude of their developed - or in permanent development - games. Naturally, the crown jewel of Blizzard's space was World of Warcraft, but Overwatch stood just beside it, as if a wayward child trying to look over its ancestors' shoulder.

Activision Blizzard Announces Second-Quarter 2018 Financials - PC Business up by 28%

Activision Blizzard, Inc. today announced second-quarter 2018 results.

"This was another strong quarter for Activision Blizzard. Our portfolio of global franchises enabled us to deliver record first half revenues and earnings per share," said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. "This past weekend we held the Overwatch League TM Grand Finals. We had a very successful first season as we enhanced our leadership position in esports. And, today we announced two additional Overwatch League franchise sales at record prices, adding Atlanta, Georgia and Guangzhou, China to our league. We plan to announce additional franchises over the next few months."

World of Warcraft Engine Updated to Support DX12, Adds 21:9 Cinematic Rendering

The folks at Blizzard have taken it into their hands to update the eons-old, but still running strong, World of Warcraft. Some back-end improvements have been made, and were essentially lost within the latest patch notes - as in, not even mentioned - that included this update to the latest API. The game now supports DX11 and DX12, but there's a caveat - only AMD users should use the DX12 implementation. Players using an NVIDIA graphics card will see an immediate performance hit from going to the more modern renderer. For now, the change is virtual - there doesn't seem to have been any particular work for performance improvements.

Other changes include ditching Exclusive Fullscreen (now only windowed and borderless windowed modes are available), improving the cinematic renderer for 21:9 ratio support, and changing graphical options. The performance presets of low, medium and high have been swapped with 1-10 sliders (a change prior to this patch), which allow for more granular control of graphics options - and improved performance, since more rendering variables are now affected. The game really does run extremely well nowadays, however; it seems a little counter intuitive to devote the resources to add DX12 support for barely any real improvement, so this could be the herald of future changes.

On the New Subscription Age, EA Acquires Game Streaming Service Gamefly

Seems like almost every industry is looking towards transitioning to a subscription model for its goods and services. Netflix may be the most iconic one such company, having acquired millions of subscribers that allow it to have a relatively stable, monthly influx of liquidity (yes, we can also count World of Warcraft on such a scenario). However, many other industries have taken to the same approach (think lootcrates, all kinds of crates, subscription services for online features, etc).

That said, few industries can take the same amount of data from their subscribers such as these media-consumption based ones, where an Internet connection is required, and user data - be it views or, the most interesting metric, engagement rates - are king in determining exactly what the user base expects and craves more of. Netflix's algorithms and view history have been responsible for the selection of its future investments. The base idea for the movie Bright, for example, was developed based on a mash-up of genres Netflix's algorithms indicated as the more captivating to the user base - and Netflix's sci-fi portfolio, for instance, has recently grown towards becoming the single biggest investment from the company, as users seem to gobble-up such content (I'm dully guilty as charged for that one sin as well, I have to admit).

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Launching This Summer - August 14th

Blizzard has announced the summer release date for its latest World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth. It's coming to users' gaming PC of choice by August 14th, just in time for those summer vacations (if most WoW players still enjoy summer vacations, that is... I know I don't).

The new WoW expansion doubles down on faction importance, as players will see never-before-deployed systems that take into account what faction they chose to align with. New areas will be available for both Horde (Zandalar) and the Alliance (Kul TIras) factions; a level-cap augment up to level 120; a 20-player co-op mode, new resources, and a slew of new loot. The game has been available for pre-order for a while now, in both Standard and Digital Deluxe editions. Better save up those vacation days for this one, folks.

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Goes Up for Pre-Purchase

A new great war between the Alliance and the Horde will erupt this summer and starting today, World of Warcraft players around the globe can seek out new champions to fight for their faction's cause. Blizzard Entertainment today announced that Battle for Azeroth, the next expansion to the world's most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game, is now available for pre-purchase at www.worldofwarcraft.com.

Players who pre-purchase Battle for Azeroth today can begin their journey to recruit four of the expansion's new Allied Races, each representing comrades they've fought alongside on the Broken Isles and Argus in the game's most recent expansion, Legion. Upon winning the respect of an Allied Race by completing quests and earning reputation, players will unlock the ability to create characters of that race and set out on a new adventure across Azeroth.† Alliance players can add the shadow-touched Void elves and valiant Lightforged draenei to their ranks, while members of the Horde will be able to bring the ancient Nightborne and noble Highmountain tauren into their faction's fold-with additional Allied Races to come in the future.

Blizzard Black Friday Sale: Overwatch at Half Price & 35% off Destiny 2

The holiday season is almost here-get ready to spread some epic cheer! From now through November 27, 2017, we're offering some big savings around Black Friday on the following digital purchases for World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, and Destiny 2-plus some Blizzard Gear Store goodies. Snag a little something for yourself, or send a gift to a friend.

Overwatch
Whether you're a soldier, scientist, adventurer, or oddity, you can jump into the fight for the future with savings of 50% on the digital versions of Overwatch and Overwatch: Game of the Year Edition for Windows PC.
  • Overwatch includes 26 heroes, 21 different maps, and endless fun for just $19.99 (reg. $39.99).
  • Overwatch: Game of the Year Edition includes all the excitement of Overwatch along with 10 Loot Boxes, five special hero skins, plus in-game goodies for Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and StarCraft II for $29.99 (reg. $59.99).

Blizzard Announces Upcoming 'Battle for Azeroth' Expansion for World of Warcraft

The battle against the Legion has left the world broken-but the shattered trust between the Alliance and the Horde could prove the hardest wound to mend. Blizzard Entertainment today unveiled plans for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, a new expansion to the company's acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game that will test players' resolve as they champion their faction's cause in a devastating new war.

In Battle for Azeroth, the fall of the Burning Legion has set off a series of disastrous incidents that reignites the furious rivalry between the noble Alliance and the mighty Horde. As a new age of warfare begins, Azeroth's heroes must set out on a harrowing journey in search of new allies, race to claim the world's mightiest resources to turn the tides of war, and fight on several fronts to determine which side will lead Azeroth into its uncertain future.

Roccat Announces the Khan Pro Gaming Headset

ROCCAT unveils their newest stereo gaming headset, the Khan Pro, during ChinaJoy Expo 2017 in Shanghai. The Khan Pro delivers unheard of sound clarity, the first gaming headset in the world granted the "Hi-Res-Audio" certificate, given only to the very best audio products on the market. Thanks to the new ROCCAT Khan Pro, the player can hear and locate any opponent long before they ever come in sight. With a broad frequency range between 20Hz and 40kHz, the Khan Pro boasts deep bass, rich mids and clear highs, enabling gamers to pinpoint sound and location with ease in the heat of play. The Khan Pro makes every gamer a winner.

ROCCAT's Khan Pro also features a "Real-Voice-Mic", offering the most natural voice transmission deliverable in a gaming headset. The microphone of the Khan Pro can pick up lower frequencies than other competitors in its class, ranging from just 100Hz to 10kHz. This expanded spectrum makes the human voice sound as natural as possible on a gaming headset, optimizing team communication like never before, ensuring commands and callouts are crystal clear.

Blizzard to Discontinue Support for Windows XP, Vista

Blizzard, best known for their Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo series (who are also responsible for that phenomenon World of Warcraft), has recently announced they are going to cut back support for older Windows-based operating systems. Resource allocation is a real problem; the opportunity cost of having engineers working on ensuring that their most recent updates and recent remasters aren't breaking support for older operating systems always comes at the cost of work on newer OSes.

As such, in a blog post on their forums, Blizzard has announced that starting in October of this year, "we will begin the process of ending support for Windows XP and Windows Vista in World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm." They went on to explain this decision, in that "Microsoft ceased mainstream support for these versions of Windows in 2009 and 2012, respectively, but since a decent portion of our audience was still using them at the time, we continued supporting them. However, there have been three major Windows releases since Vista, and at this point, the vast majority of our audience has upgraded to one of the newer versions." And if you're thinking that this isn't true end of life for these systems when it comes to Blizzard game support, think again: "The games will not run on these older operating systems once they are no longer supported, so we encourage any players who are still using one of the older OSes to upgrade to a newer version. We'll be rolling out this change on a staggered schedule, and will post further notices as we get closer to making the change for each game."

Blizzard Ends Windows XP and Vista Support for Popular Titles

Blizzard announced that support for several of its popular titles in Windows XP and Vista will be ending later this year. These titles include World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm.

Dropping support for these platforms makes sense from an economic standpoint. As a platform ages, it becomes increasingly hard to make software work with it without making it difficult to support modern technology and features. Windows XP in particular doesn't support above DirectX 9, severely limiting the abilities of a developer wishing to take advantage of modern graphics and effects. Vista, on the other hand, supports up to DirectX 11, but has such limited market share as to make it statistically irrelevant (XP market share hovers at slightly less than 10%, while Vista market share doesn't even register, according to netmarketshare.com).

Source: HardOCP

LG To Introduce World's First 21:9 Gaming Monitor With AMD FreeSync At CES 2015

LG Electronics (LG) today announced plans to introduce the world's first 21:9 "UltraWide" gaming monitor compatible with AMD FreeSync technology for fluid motion during fast gameplay.

The new monitor headlines LG's expanded lineup being unveiled next week at the 2015 International CES and further solidifies the company's leadership in the growing 21:9 segment, which caters to the digital imaging, business professional and gaming markets. Based on IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Monitor Tracker, LG is the world sales leader in this monitor segment over the last seven fiscal quarters (as of the third quarter of 2014) with a market share of 77.3 percent of the world's 21:9 monitors.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 344.75 WHQL Game Ready Driver

In what's been a month of driver releases on a near-weekly basis, NVIDIA released its latest "Game Ready" driver, GeForce 344.75 WHQL. In addition to game optimizations for some of the latest game releases of the week, this driver introduces multi-frame sampled anti-aliasing (MFAA), which can be enabled across GeForce GTX 600, GTX 700, and GTX 900 series graphics cards. Game optimizations with this release include FarCry 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Crew, and World of Warcraft: Warlords of Dreanor.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 344.75 WHQL for Windows 8/7/Vista 64-bit, Windows 8/7/Vista 32-bit, Windows XP 32-bit, and Windows XP 64-bit

SteelSeries Introduces the Siberia Elite World of Warcraft Edition Headset

SteelSeries,the global leader in premium gaming peripherals, in collaboration with Blizzard Entertainment, today announced the upcoming release of the Siberia Elite World of Warcraft Edition Headset. Gamers will soon be able to experience epic quests, intense raids, and endless adventure across Azeroth and Draenor while wielding a premium headset with jet-black ear cushions, illuminated runes, and a lightweight over-the-head suspension style designed for hours of comfortable gameplay.

"Our partnership with Blizzard Entertainment to create unique gear for the World of Warcraft community has culminated in this bold new version of our premium and award-winning headset-a perfect complement to Blizzard's upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion," said Tino Soelberg, SteelSeries CTO. "Players deserve the best quality audio to experience the music and sounds of Draenor; this exclusive edition of the Siberia Elite headset delivers epic audio quality in a beautiful World of Warcraft-themed design."

AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta V2 Drivers Released

AMD released the second edition of Catalyst 13.8 Beta driver suite, marked by "V2." The drivers bring with them a bucket-list of game specific performance improvements, beginning with up to 25 percent on Saints Row 4 at 1920 x 1080 and Ultra settings enabled; up to 9 percent on Splinter Cell: Blacklist at 2560 x 1600 and Ultra settings; improvements on single-GPU and CrossFireX performance with Final Fantasy XIV; improves single-GPU performance on RIPD; CrossFire performance on Minimum and Castlevania Lords of Shadow.

Catalyst 13.8 Beta V2 also fixes image quality issues with Van Helsing, display corruption when enabling anti-aliasing through Catalyst Control Center, for Far Cry 3 and FC3: Blood Dragon; random corruption issues on Doom 3 BFG Edition, and CrossFire frame-pacing issues with World of Warcraft, Sniper Elite, Watch Dogs, and Tomb Raider.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta V2

Club 3D Announces its Own Set of Game Bundles for GeForce and Radeon

Club 3D offers a wide range of graphic cards. But which one will you choose ? Perhaps the games which you will get when purchasing your graphic card will help you decide. This page summarizes the games that are available with Club 3D's graphic card line. The page is divided into three sections. The first section,"The games", will lead you through the available games, and will point to the graphic cards that have this game included in the bundle. The second section, "the graphic cards and the bundles", starts with the graphic cards and will point out which game or even multiple games that are included, and the third section identifies the software that is included with which graphic cards.

ASUS Intros GeForce GTX 650 DirectCU Pandaren Monk Pet Bundle

ASUS GeForce GTX DirectCU, DirectCU OC, and DirectCU TOP graphics cards now arrive in a special World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria edition. Customers get a bonus Pandaren Monk Pet downloadable character, coinciding with the release of the latest expansion to the globally-popular MMORPG. The TOP version uses a hand-picked GPU operating 157MHz faster than reference, and all cards make sure adventuring stays cool and quiet with DirectCU thermal innovation. Exclusive ASUS DIGI+ VRM and Super Alloy Power contribute greater stability, overclocking, and product longevity, plus GPU Tweak returns to give gamers easy access to diverse card tuning capabilities.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 306.97 WHQL Drivers

In wake of GeForce GTX 650 Ti launch, NVIDIA posted the latest WHQL-signed version of its GeForce software suite, version 306.97 WHQL. Recommended for Windows 8, the driver adds support for the newly-launched GPU, and is said to go well with Borderlands 2, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. New performance and stability improvements are said to cover a variety of games. 3D Vision profiles were added or improved for a large number of games.

DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 306.97 WHQL (International) for Windows 8/7/Vista 64-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 32-bit

AMD Delivers the Catalyst 12.9 CAP 1

CrossFire users can now get their hands on a new pack of Catalyst Application Profiles, courtesy of AMD of course. This fresh release is called 12.9 CAP 1 and brings the following updates:

- World of Warcraft - Mist of Pandaria (DX11, DX9): Fixes texture flickering observed when enabling high graphics settings with CrossFire enabled
- World of Warcraft - Mist of Pandaria (DX9): Resolve corruption when enabling Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center (Anti-Aliasing should be enabled through the applications settings)
- World of Warcraft - (DX9): Resolves performance issues observed with the 64-bit variant of the client
- Tribes Ascend: Improves CrossFire performanceen running in CrossFire mode
- F1 2012: Improves CrossFire performance, resolves texture flickering in reflections

The 12.9 CAP 1 can be downloaded from this page.

SteelSeries Unveils the World of Warcraft Wireless Mouse

SteelSeries, the leading global manufacturer of professional gaming peripherals, today announced the SteelSeries World of Warcraft Wireless Mouse, co-designed with Blizzard Entertainment. Evoking some of the most iconic images from Blizzard's massively multiplayer online role-playing game, the new Wireless Mouse brings players an ergonomic, 11-button layout, with illumination and pulsation options that help immerse players in the game. The SteelSeries Engine software guides players through an easy, in-game integration set-up with drag and drop functionality of World of Warcraft commands, full button remapping, macro creation and the ability to save an unlimited number of game profiles.

"We brought to market the first MMO gaming mouse more than three years ago with Blizzard, and since that product launch, we've been working to improve and perfect what the MMO community has wanted and asked for - from the size and button shape to the hardware and wireless functionality. The World of Warcraft Wireless Mouse not only answers players requests, but we're confident that it will impress players by arming them with state of the art hardware features and an exceptional user experience," said Bruce Hawver, SteelSeries CEO.

Diablo 3 Declared 'Fastest Selling PC Game' Ever

From the launch day server meltdown to the way everyone you know seems to be playing, it's pretty clear that Diablo III is quite popular. But just how popular? Blizzard announced today that it sold 3.5 million copies within the first 24 hours, which supposedly makes it the fastest-selling PC game of all time. On top of those 3.5 million copies were another 1.2 million doled out free to World of Warcraft Annual Pass subscribers. After a week, Blizzard says, Diablo III was up to 6.3 million players--not including South Korean game rooms, where it's estimated to have a 39% share. "We're definitely thrilled that so many people around the world were excited to pick up their copy of Diablo III and jump in the moment it went live," CEO Mike Morhaime said in the announcement.

"We also regret that our preparations were not enough to ensure everyone had a seamless experience when they did so. I want to reaffirm our commitment to make sure the millions of Diablo III players out there have a great experience with the game moving forward, and I also want to thank them for their ongoing support." As well as rolling out sneaky little balance updates, Blizzard is investigating reports of nasty hacks, and preparing to launch the real-money auction house on May 29.

Activision Blizzard Being Sued for Virtual World Infringement

ShackNews is reporting Activision Blizzard is being sued by Worlds Inc., for violating a patent on virtual worlds. The firm claims that games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft violate its patent, and are requesting "fair compensation." The patent covers a "system and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space," reports Games Industry International. That may sound broad, but the company did manage to get an undisclosed settlement out of NCSoft for City of Heroes in 2010. "Technologies created by Worlds have helped the businesses of virtual worlds gaming and the sale of virtual goods to grow into a multi-billion dollar industry," said Worlds CEO Thom Kidrin. "While we are pleased to see that the gaming industry and its rapidly growing customer base have enthusiastically embraced our patented technologies, we deserve fair compensation for their use." No response yet from Activision Blizzard.

Blizzard Entertainment Lays Off 600 Staff

Blizzard Entertainment has reportedly laid off about 600 employees, about 10 percent of which are positions related to game development. It's reported that the people working on World of Warcraft are not affected. The company says that the decision came after a review of business needs. The company's game development and publishing schedules as a result of these job cuts, are not affected, the company says. It's still looking to hire game developers in some positions.
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