Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Those Are Some Huge... Pixels?

I don't have a screenshot, so this didn't happen. I apologize. But on the off chance I didn't just imagine it, I wanted to make a public service announcement about a little bug I came across.

First off, this has nothing to do with the Beta. Also, I'm not sure it's a bug, exactly. It may have just been a problem with my system. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Here's what happened. I logged into WoW on Friday with the intent to raid. Yes, raid! I'm back to raiding. I found a "second" crew that's going to be doing DS stuff on Friday nights. I've decided to tag along. It's pretty loose and with some good people I know.

Anyway, I log in and I see, well, giant pixels. Where the water used to be pretty, it now has big, ugly boxes on its surface. My framerate suffered whenever there was water in my screen, and it looks awful. I was flying around Stormwind, stuttering, artifacts popping up all over.

I tried tweaking things. I reset my AMD Radeon 6800 Series GPU to factory settings via the Catalyst SW Suite. It was one of the first things Google told me to do. I also fiddled with the in-game settings. I had to crank things down from "Ultra" to "Fair." A huge downgrade.

Raiding only made things worse, but I could hardly hold everyone up for a few annoying artifacts. Besides, I can still perform pretty well in low FPS situations. Affliction Warlockery is all automatic to me. All I need is a DoT timer. Besides, we were just doing LFR (we were short last night as details are still being worked out for a couple raiders).

After we'd downed Deathwing (yeah, that's as much of a side note as I make it sound. Had a good group, and I didn't disgrace myself despite pretty much a two month hiatus), I went back to consulting Google. Apparently, what I had was not a common issue. Still, I'm guessing there may be others out there experiencing the texture error.

What ended up working for me was closing WoW and launching it in DirectX11 mode. I believe I'd been using the default Dx9, which maybe didn't play so well with my GPU. I don't know why now, this patch, instead of patches previous, but maybe they altered the deal. I pray that they do not alter it further, because launching in Dx11 worked. All was well in Azeroth upon my return. I cranked everything back up to "ultra" and went to redeem my loot drops. (Two upgrades! Sometimes it pays to be behind everyone else. Mind you, I did not just get carried, there were plenty of DPS below me). 

So if you happen to log in one day to find some crazy huge pixels, try appending the Dx11 string to the desktop shortcut. You can do this by simply pasting the following immediately after the path in the "target" box: -d3d11. Put a space between them. Do not include the period from the sentence.

I think the DirectX11 mode is still "experimental" or something, but it works well for me. Got me back on the "ultra" path. Anyone else have this problem?

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