World of Warcraft and FFXI 'Unplayable' on Vista?

Teething troubles with two of biggest PC MMOs

Posted by Staff
Fans of some of the biggest online PC titles are already reporting a number of teething troubles when attempting to launch and play World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XI when running on Microsoft’s new Vista operating system.

Firstly, it was reported earlier in January that a couple of PlayOnline Viewer bugs were affecting Final Fantasy XI, specifically that the:

• Install menu doesn't activate even when the install disk is in the drive. "Install Menu" for selecting program to install does not start. Instead, PlayOnline Viewer installation begins.
• PlayOnline Viewer doesn't start. After installing the PlayOnline Viewer, the application sometimes fails to launch and displays the message "PlayOnline Viewer cannot run under current operating system."

This effectively renders Final Fantasy XI unplayable. Microsoft’s support team is currently looking into the bug, so expect an official patch to the problem shortly. Or, should you be desperate to continue playing Final Fantasy XI on a new Vista-powered PC there are already a number of (rather time-consuming and technical) manual fixes cropping up across the net.

In some other rather alarming news, one keen World of Warcraft fan, Jason Burns, posts on his blog this week that upon returning to play World of Warcraft on a Vista-powered PC, after a short hiatus from the game that:

"I have to say that the performance results are pretty disappointing. The test machine is a 2.5Ghz Pentium 4, with 2GB of RAM and a 256MB Radeon 9600 video card. This same machine stayed regularly in the 40fps range with Windows XP installed. Now, sitting around in Orgrimmar, it’s struggling to stay above 20fps, regularly dipping into the teens. The scary part is that even standing idle, my CPU usage is pegged at 100% and 60% of my RAM is used.

"I flew over to Brill and they framerates rose to the 40s while there were no other players or enemies on the screen. CPU Utilization also fell down into the 70s, but we all know that’s not how you play the game. The settings for World of Warcraft are the default for my system. 1024×768, 24bit color, 50% Terrain Distance, 50% Environement Detail, Low Anisotropic Filtering, low Terrain Texture, High Texture Detail, High Spell Detail Level, 60% Weather Intensity, Level of Detail is checked, All Shader Effects Enabled except Smooth Shading, Trilinear Filtering enabled, Vertical Sync enabled and Hardware Cursor enabled.

"I will note that I am playing in Windowed Mode, I use two monitors so playing in full screen is a pain, but the performance is still pretty bad. If you consider the recommended system for this game, an 800Mhz P3, 512MB of RAM and a 32MB Video Card, it’s pretty hard to swallow these numbers. Obviously Windows Vista is the culprit."

SPOnG has contacted Microsoft today for further clarification on this. This could, of course, be merely a one-off problem. If it's not, and there are issues with Vista-powered PCs running World of Warcraft then, rest assured, SPOnG will be telling you all about it in the very near future!


sneakyduck 30 Jan 2007 12:18
That wow fault sounds a little suspect - especially seeing as how the guy is trying to play the game on a dual monitor system. Has he tried it with just one - 2000 + XP were f**kin awful whatever you tried.

Is this isolated or is wow really just crap in Vista?
ben 30 Jan 2007 13:39
It really surprises me when people complain about the latest OS's because they don't perform the same as there previous choice. People should learn that it might be 'super cool awesome' to have the latest version of windows to brag about - yet they should be prepared for reduced hardware compatibility, glitches, and software being incompatible. Sure its nice having a new OS - but i always wait a year before upgrading so the software and hardware markets have time to react and fix/upgrade there software to run better on the platform.

Vista is very different to XP so its to be expected. The same problems happened when XP came out, again with 2000, 98 and of course 95 where most software just didn't run anymore.
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me 14 May 2007 11:30
i recently got pc with 250gig harddrive, 2gig ram 256meg geforce graphics card, a sure step up from my laptop i'd previously been using to play WoW. but the pc has vista and isn't letting me download patch 2.01 (697megs) i can only assume it's the built in virus protection, but there's a popup saying that it might help to uninstall WoW then reinstall it. i don't know how that coulld help though. i know that i may need to download something from the vista site, is there anyone who knows what i need to download/disable/hit with a sledgehammer?

CJ 31 May 2007 06:31
I just wish I could install WoW on Vista. I have done the "Run as Administrator", Turned off the firewalls, It's driving me insane. Vista isn't able to read the .MPQ file in the installer. It's a Common file......pardon me while I go bang my head on the wall.
james allen 23 Jun 2008 18:21
ive just downloaded the 10 day free trial using vista but i cant launch wow, it simply finishes the download and thats it, ive searched through programs etc but cannot find the launcher. my bro installed his on xp with no probs...
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