Warcraft III is Universal!

I can now officially start moving over to the Intel Macs fully — with the 1.21 patch, Warcraft III is finally a Universal binary. On a dual core Mac mini, I see frame rates in the mid 50s. I plan to test on a the older PowerPC mini as well, just to see what kind of improvement.

But, the bigger improvement is that it’s finally playable on GMA 950 Macs — under Rosetta, you couldn’t play the game (IMO). But, as a native app, it’s fully playable. Way to go Blizzard!

Edit: I went and tested on the PowerPC mini that had been my primary WC3 machine for the past year — it gets framerates in the mid 20s. In the exact same map, the PPC version gets mid 50s on the Intel mini. The native version pushes that up to the mid 60s. Settings wise, they are both running with full effects at 1024×768@32. My monitor is actually 1600×1200 — I was able to push the Intel run closer to native resolution, but still couldn’t run at 1600×1200 without seeing jerkiness in the mouse movement. I haven’t tested the PPC version recently, but when I purchased the monitor, I found that I had to move it down to 1024×768 to stay playable.

As for gameplay, this was the first time that I have played with no lag when getting into the big fights — scrolling was smooth, I could maintain control over my units. Much better experience. And, my team won 5 out of 7 games tonight — coincidence? 🙂

Once again, I have to say “Thank You Blizzard!” — you’ve taken a game that’s now been out for how many years now, one that doesn’t bring in the monthly earnings like WoW, and update it for the newest Macs. How many other companies would’ve done that, when the easier thing would’ve been to walk away and put effort into the next thing? Obviously, Blizzard gets that keeping your fans happy is worth sacrificing a little time/effort from the next big thing.

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