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Technical Issues

Page history last edited by Peggy Sheehy 10 years, 7 months ago

This page will serve as a place to share thoughts, ideas, and experiences related to the technical side of implementation.




(12/2/2010) (Gillispie) - With the Cataclysm updates, Blizzard changed their system for pushing out updates.  Now, you can play with most functionality, while continuing to download game updates.  It does negatively affect performance.


(12/11/09) (Gillispie) - For those of you who are unaware, Blizzard periodically rolls out updates to the game, sometimes to add new content, other times to fix issues that have arisen in the game.  Typically these patches go "live" on Tuesdays which is Blizzard's typical server downtime day.  When updates are available, each computer used must be "patched" or updated to run the newest version.  Recently, patch 3.3 went live and it was a significant content update to the game (~600 MB).  Typically, Blizzard will begin to push out this new data prior to an update going live via their Background Downloader.  


The background downloader uses a peer-to-peer model for downloading data to a users' machine.  With my district's firewall and student user permissions, updating this way isn't an option.  Fortunately, there are numerous sites where these updates can be downloaded as a single file.  My procedure for handling this is to simply download the single file and using a "thumb" drive or an external hard drive, apply it to each of the student machines.  So far, this has been successful.



Networks, Ports, and Such


(11/18/09) (Gillispie) - Just wanted to take a moment to share what I know about networks, firewalls, and ports as they relate to the game.  First off, we had to make sure that the following IP addresses were open to traffic at the school:

Also, Blizzard has some recommendations regarding which ports must be opened in your firewall to enable the game client and the play servers to communicate.  That information can be found here:  http://us.blizzard.com/support/article.xml?locale=en_US&articleId=21015.


VoIP (Voice Over IP) - Ventrilo


(11/3/09) (Gillispie) - Our students will be using a gaming-standard for VoIP communication called Ventrilo.  We did some early tests on its impact on network and bandwidth.  Outbound and inbound traffic seems to cap at around 80K, interestingly enough, way more than that used by WoW itself.  My guess is that will be the cap, period for two reasons:  the program (or network? - will ask) was visibly leveling off bandwidth at 80K and in most instances, you won't have multiple people talking at once in the same channel.  As to the impact of full duplex in multiple channels, simultaneously on the network, that remains to be seen.  Our WAN administrator has set a policy for all traffic to the school site for this project and has imposed a generous overall cap on bandwidth usage that I imagine we'll never reach.


Free Trial Month of Play for Newly Activated Accounts


(11/6/09) - When creating accounts don't forget your free month of play!  "(11/6/09) (Sheehy) Lucas- Be sure to use the 30 day free trial BEFORE activating the game-card.  (ugh-only did it once but still was a "duh" moment).  (Gillispie) - Thanks!  One of my former students and fellow guildmates actually mentioned that to me (of course it was a student!)"


Current System Requirements can be viewed at: https://eu.battle.net/support/en/article/minimum-system-requirements-for-world-of-warcraft



PC System Requirements

OS: Windows XP / Windows Vista (with latest Service Packs)


Minimum: Intel Pentium 4 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1500+

Recommended: Dual-core processor, such as the Intel Pentium D or AMD Athlon 64 X2



Minimum: 512 MB RAM (1GB for Vista users)

Recommended: 1 GB RAM (2 GB for Vista users)


Minimum: 3D graphics processor with Hardware Transform and Lighting with 32 MB VRAM Such as an ATI Radeon 7200 or NVIDIA GeForce 2 class card or better

Recommended: 3D graphics processor with Vertex and Pixel Shader capability with 128 MB VRAM Such as an ATI Radeon X1600 or NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT class card or better


Sound: DirectX-compatible sound card or motherboard sound capability


Mac System Requirements

OS: Mac OS X 10.4.11 or newer


Minimum: PowerPC G5 1.6 GHz or Intel Core Duo processor

Recommended: Intel 1.8GHz processor or better



Minimum: 1 GB RAM

Recommended: 2 GB RAM



Minimum: 3D graphics processor with Hardware Transform and Lighting with 64 MB VRAM Such as an ATI Radeon 9600 or NVIDIA GeForce Ti 4600 class card or better

Recommended: 3D graphics processor with Vertex and Pixel Shader capability with 128 MB VRAM Such as an ATI Radeon X1600 or NVIDIA 7600 class card or better


All Platforms

Controls: A keyboard and mouse are required. Input devices other than a mouse and keyboard are not supported.

Connectivity: You must have an active broadband Internet connection to play.

Mouse: Multi-button mouse with scroll wheel recommended.

Hard Drive Space: 15 GB free hard drive space

For a complete list of supported 3D cards, visit www.worldofwarcraft.com/supportedvideo

Note that due to the evolving nature of the game, the minimum system requirements for World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King may change over time.

For what platforms is the game available?

The game is available for PCs and Macs.

Does the game require a 3D accelerator?

Yes, the game requires a 3D graphics card. We support a wide range of 3D cards that conform to the system requirement outlined above. Specific 3D card support information can be found here.

Is the game playable over a dial-up connection?

Yes, a 56.6k modem or higher is required.

What is the camera perspective of the game?

The game supports third-person and first-person camera perspectives. Players can utilize the mouse wheel to adjust the camera angle as the situation dictates and switch between cameras on the fly.

Experiences With District Hardware


(4/1/09) (Gillispie) I tried http://www.systemrequirementslab.com and it seems to indicate that a Dell Optiplex 330 (with integrated Intel Graphics card) will run it (though the graphics processing is just above minimum).


(10/30/09 (Gillispie) Our district typically uses Dell desktop PC's.  Here are my initial results and the basic computer specs.   "Getting 14-30 FPS and 84 latency.  At Cape Fear MS, the machines (PC's) we are using have the following specs:  Dell 360.  E2200 @ 2.2 Ghz.  2.19 Ghz.  3 GB Ram.  Intel G33/G31 Integrated Graphics."



Network Bandwidth Usage


(4/3/09):  Initial tests on a Dell 330 went extremely well.  Despite the fact the system has an integrated Intel graphics processor, the game ran smoothly.  One of our district technicians and I tested the impact on the network and bandwidth.  The game has surprisingly little impact.  Below is a chart:


WoW Network Bandwidth Test


To test the traffic caused by the program, I closed down all other network using applications (IM, etc.).  I created a new character on a high population server (a dwarf), and ran him from the starting area to Ironforge (the dwarven capitol city).  The part of the chart indicated by 1 represents login and character creation.  The area denoted by the 2 is the initial upswing in data as I entered the capitol city.  The area indicated by the 3 is log out.  In other words, this chart shows only network usage by the workstation I used to test.  I presume that the spike when entering the capitol city was due to the crowd of other players there (the system has to download data about what armor they're wearing, character models, etc.).  After that initial load, it's primarily handling new folks who enter the city and chat.  For comparative purposes, opening GMail and sending a short message spiked at 45 k, well above the maximum experienced here.  Thus, even with a classroom with 15-17 players logged in at once, the impact on bandwidth would be minimal.


(11/3/09) Follow-up tests on the bandwidth continue to show very little usage.  We will do additional monitoring early in the project to see the impact of 15+ accounts actively playing from one lab.


(12/2/10) We have experienced some connectivity issues when our 15 students are hitting one of our Aerohive access while another class is using the mobile laptop cart.  When it's just our students accessing, we don't experience those issues.  Otherwise the Aerohive network is working perfectly.

Dealing with DeepFreeze (or similar software)



One of the technical issues that we'll face if and when we implement this program is due to DeepFreeze.  DeepFreeze creates a locked-down state for the machine preserving its current image.  Any changes made to C:/ drive are reversed if the computer is powered off and back on.  Maintenance due to patches or addon updates will require some work! Basically, on patch days, we'll have to "thaw" the machines, update the software, and then refreeze them.  Otherwise, we may need to install to a permanently "thawed" partition, but then run the risk of students in other classes tampering with the files.  (I'll also post these thoughts in Technical Issues).


(11/9/09) - (Gillispie) - Our district recently migrated to MS Active Directory and we are no longer actively using Deep Freeze on lab computers.  Therefore, following patch days (typically, Tuesdays) we're likely to be manually installing patches machine-by-machine.


Comments (1)

Kobus said

at 3:18 am on Jan 20, 2010

i just want to know from you guys if its possible to run WOW WOTLK on a intel e5300 2.5ghz CPU on a Gigabyte G31 Mobo with 1Gb drr2 800mhz ram on its onboard graphics card because I want to setup my friend on wow and baught him a pc like that and were planning to get a graphics card later on. your help will be much appreciated.

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