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WoW Vs. Guild Wars in Slackware 12.2

Posted 07-27-2009 at 03:38 PM by linuxpokernut

I had been waiting for a hardware upgrade, and finally got one. Upgraded from a single core Sempron 3600+ to a dual core 4000 something. And a 400gb hard drive for some media and games. I had been running Kubuntu 9.04 64 bit, and it was really nice, KDE 4.0 is awesome.

So I downloaded slackware 12.2 and installed it. Did a full install with no remorse for hdd space. Got to the desktop and the first thing I did was grab wine 1.21. They are up to 1.26 already but .22 and .23 were giving me trouble with GW in Ubuntu and .21 runs smooth. I unpacked the tarball and configured, then compiled. Ran winecfg and then downloaded the GW client. Had to use a shell to enter the command, clicking the exe is a no go.

The installer is an online installer which I prefer to use for GW, the disk installation process has at least 6 cd's and sometimes you can't install directly from the cd (which later turned out to be the case with WoW). I had decided to install over the weekend as I have to work sporatically throughout the day(s) and so this was perfect, I left for work and came home to an installed GW.

It of course didn't work, I had not installed the video drivers yet. I have an nvidia 8600gt, and so the drivers package is spot on. In slackware its easy to install the driver, just exit KDE and run the .bin file from the terminal. Once thats done just open a terminal with root access and issue the command nvidia-settings. The software really is up there with windows, IMHO the linux GUI is nicer.

There is one more step that I always do when I install wine. There is a slick little script called winetricks out there. It installs a lot of the "missing pieces" so to speak of wine. I always install directX via this little gem. It makes things run so much smoother.

So by this time I had to go back to work, perfect. I loaded up GW into its default settings and set it to "observe mode". This loads a random PvP match for one to observe and disect the metagame. It also allows a fresh install to randomly download maps. The way the GW online installer works is it installs the core game and then background downloads as you play. When I came home from work later on a good chunk of the game was playable so I loaded it up and configured my graphics. The framerate and the graphics were as good as windows. Better than Vista and as good as XP, to be precise. I was quite pleased.

No sooner had I gone to my guild hall than my guild was asking me to "hop on vent, dude". I had Just wanted to relax at this point, but I was motivated to get as much stuff done as possible. I downloaded ventrilo and installed it, then applied the fix for wine. It took me too long to configure the sound on vent but it worked.

So today my guild needed a healer, I loaded up my monk very apprehensively. In Ubuntu there had been a slight bit of lag, and reaction time in this game is critical. I was amazed at how much more overhead I had available, there was no lag, and my fps was well above my accepted standard of 30fps. A lot of people like to flaunt their epeen and 100's of fps, but the human eye cant see beyond 30 (solid).

Anyway, the matches went well and I had to return to work. I theorized that the added available overhead in slackware was coming from less "bloatware", mainly the fact that I was using KDE 4.0 in Kubuntu with compbiz turned to "full". KDE 3.5 is much less resource intensive. Either way I was exited to be running GW in slackware (stable).

When I returned home it was time to install WoW. WoW turned out to be a lot more complicated then GW to install. Luckilly the wiki was very comprehensive, and I was able to work around the issues I had. The installer would not work from the mounted dvd, I had to remount it showing the hidden files. This still did not produce results, so I copied the files into a folder on one of my hard drives and used that to install.

Let me just say installing retail wow sucks on any OS. Its a 16gb game that has to download half of itself from the internet even if you have a new disk. Either way, the installation was smooth, no problems other than time consupmtion. I busted out 2 loads of dishes and cooked a cheeseburger while waiting. The WoW installer is rather nice as it uses torrents to DL the patches.

I was soon sitting at the login screen. The first time that I ran it I had to add the -opengl tag to the wine command, theres no .config file prior to the first run. Basically I just close out the launcher and run the WoW.exe file. After the first run I closed it out and opened the wtf.cofig and edited it to support opengl with "SET gxAPI "OpenGL"". I then imported all my addons and then ran the game.

It ran perfectly, to the same standard as GW, faster than Vista and about the same as XP. I tweaked the nvidia-settings again as I had some room for improvement on the video quality and viola, it was running smooth and pretty. Co-incidentally, once you do get the windows programs installed, the desktop icons work fine. I can now click the icon and the game will load.

I am going to give WoW a 10 out of 10. Everything works, there is no lag, it runs flawlessly. GW is close to windows-like, but sometimes textures don't load. It runs faster than Kubuntu but not perfectly, I rate it at about a 9.3 out of 10. It Is 100% playable however. All in all I would have to say my slackware gaming experience is very good.
Posted in Slackware 12.2
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