I love playing WoW, but with my aging computer getting a decent frame rate is dang near impossible. One of my guild mates suggested GameFire to squeeze out a few extra FPS and since I was bouncing between 14~20 FPS on the lowest graphics setting I thought I was considering it. Then a random dungeon instance that would have made Leeroy Jenkins proud sealed the deal.
GameFire has the Game Advisor that has some suggested system tweaks that will help fine tune your machine in gaming mode. When you want to play a game it allows you to easily switch into Gaming Mode that will apply all your selected tweaks and you are ready to go. Perhaps my results are not typical, but now I am averaging 50 FPS on with graphics on the Good setting where before the refresh rate was unbearable.
If you are looking for a bit of an edge, I would definitely suggest checking it out.
I am a casual gamer for those of you out there who may not know me. The other day I retweeted a list of games for Linux, my OS of choice, and in that list there were links to open-source Quake 3 Arena clones. I have played Quake for years and I played Doom before that. Between work and the family I do not have a lot of time to play games but sometimes, in between coding, it is therapeutic to go and blow some stuff up. The only problem with the open-sourced implementations of this is if you do not own the original game you will not have the WADs for the maps. While there are ways around this, I have gotten legit in my old age so this didn’t really appeal to me.
Then out of the blue, I remembered my friend Sean told me to check out Quake Live a while back. Some of you may be familiar with this but for those who are not, Quake Live is an implementation of Quake 3: Arena in a web browser. There is a plugin to install, but the game is free to play and is supported by ads. They offer a subscription where you can play ad free, but I don’t mind waiting to play.
As a web developer I tend to feel pretty spiffy when I do something cool with just a web browser, but Quake Live just nails it. Running in full-screen mode it is easy to forget the game is running in a web browser. It has all the options you would expect: key bindings, player models, network play. The first time you play it you will have to install the plugin and then wait a few minutes while it downloads the game data (presumably the map packs, etc). The one thing I did notice, and this might be a Linux thing, all the opponent character models appear to be the same for me when I am playing. However, when you are spamming rockets they all look the same.
This is definitely a blast from the past (no pun intended) and my new form of anger management. I still like to hop on WoW every now and then, but when you just need a few minutes of “relaxation” this is great.
Check it out: http://www.quakelive.com