World of Warcraft for Fedora
I play World of Warcraft (WoW) on Fedora (and now Ubuntu) Linux using Wine and Cedega Windows emulation. If you would like to do the same, perhaps what I did can be some help:
I use the following type of system:
- Compaq presario low-end Sempron desktop purchased at MicroCenter
- 512MB RAM
- BFG Tech 256MB NVidia 7600-based graphics card (the $150 model, not the $90 one)
- Fedora Core 5 (now I use FC6, which is much better for WoW) with latest updates and livna+extras
- NVidia binary graphics driver (re-install this every time you update the system)
Cedega vs. Wine
This article is about the use of Wine. Cedega is a commercial version of Wine which has better support for individual games (you buy a subscription, and they issue updates when, for example, a patch release breaks the emulation). I like Cedega, and use it often. However, I also use Wine, and if you don't want to or can't afford to buy a subscription to Cedega, Wine is a fine substitute.
- Started with this HOWTO for gentoo (though you should also check out WoWWiki's Linux/Wine page).
- Installed the stock FC5 (extras) wine.
- It used to be necessary to patch Wine, but modern versions under Ubuntu and Fedora include all relevant fixes.
- Installed Mozilla and the ActiveX extensions as described in the HOWTO.
- Installed WoW from CD under wine as described.
- Copied patch files from a Windows system, just to save download time, but that's optional.
- Ran WoW, and allowed it to patch.
- Tweaked sound settings as described.
- still a problem Sound pops from time to time when CPU is under load, especially if some other app competes for CPU against WoW. This problem comes and goes with version updates to Wine and WoW, and is probably the most irritating aspect of running WoW on Linux.
- resolved Some key-combinations are not relinquished by the window manager even in non-windowed mode, and thus any WM-specific keys or mouse actions are not sent to the game. You can re-map what key is used by Gnome (if you use KDE, you can probably do this there too), using the "System -> Preferences -> Windows" option from the desktop menus. I selected "Super" (the "Windows" key) instead of the default "Alt" which frees up Alt-mouse combinations in-game.
- resolved Some graphics glitches, mostly involving flashes in water that extends to the edge of the clip plane. This is mentioned in the HOWTO, I think, but there's no known fix for it that I'm aware of. Not a biggie for me. Recently this has returned in Cedega under Direct3D mode... I'm not sure if OpenGL mode or wine suffer this issue any longer.
On the other hand the benifits are huge:
- It's faster under Linux than it was under Windows, but not by much.
- Switching from WoW to a desktop app is amazingly fast and painless. Major difference from Windows.
- Applications that contend for memory and/or CPU while I'm playing don't appear to harm application performance nearly as much as under Windows, which given that this is both my game system and work-from-home-at-night system, is a major win.
Overall, I love WoW under Linux. It's a joy compared to some made-for-linux games I've tried to run, and wine really seems to have come along.
About the current talk about people being banned for using Linux: as far as I can tell, this doesn't happen in general, but who knows. If you are really concerned, read the official forums, and see what the WoW folks have to say. All I know is that I use Linux, and everything is working fine for me.
Right now, on the Test Realm, it appears as if the 2.3 patch cannot be applied by cedega. Barring a patch, you must use a stock wine install to apply the patch.
The 2.3 patch is downloading in the background right now (prior to patch day) and both cedega and wine are failing me. Cedega reports that the torrent file is corrupt. Wine simply fails to start the downloader. In order to get the downloader to work this is what I had to do from the command-line (in the wow directory):
This may crash while downloading, so you may have to try multiple times.
The 2.1 version of World of Warcraft, released on May 22, 2007, had several problems, which have now been resolved.
- hangs when you try to exit, preventing settings from being saved
- FPS is drastically reduced on older graphics cards
- sudden reduction in responsiveness (lag) at random intervals
For the hang on exit, Cedega now has a new version (6.0.1) which addresses the problem. Wine has issued a patch for the problem as well.
The FPS issues were addressed in a subsequent World of Warcraft patch.
The FPS and lag issues don't appear to be just Linux, though the hit is so significant under Wine and Cedega that I have to imagine that Windows is doing at least somewhat better.
Other sources of info: