MacInTouch Reader Reports

Mac Marginalization: Gaming

May. 6, 2009
May. 7, 2009
Jan. 12, 2010
Jun. 1, 2011
May. 6, 2009

item.91622

Matt P

Well it seems you can add Blizzard to the list of companies that think addressing the needs of Mac users is unimportant.

World of Warcraft has a Mimimap feature, a small map for navigating areas in game. It is one of the most used features of many players to see where they are.

Since the recent major patch 3.1 a month and a half ago for WoW, all interior areas in the game don't work on the Minimap for Mac users. The map is just blotched and pretty much unusable making game play extremely difficult in instance areas and in towns.

This issue was reported on the public test realms prior to the update being released. It's been reported on numerous occasions on their Mac forums. Blizzard just went ahead and released the patch knowing of the issue, and has released at least 4 mini-patches addressing bugs since then. But they seem to refuse to address this minimap issue. If it was happening on Windows machines, you can be sure they'd address it right away with an emergency fix. The best news Mac users can get from them is "it's coming soon, we promise!" but with every mini patch it fails to be addressed.

May. 7, 2009

item.91687

MacInTouch Reader

Matt P said:

This issue was reported on the public test realms prior to the update being released. It's been reported on numerous occasions on their Mac forums. Blizzard just went ahead and released the patch knowing of the issue, and has released at least 4 mini-patches addressing bugs since then. But they seem to refuse to address this minimap issue. If it was happening on Windows machines, you can be sure they'd address it right away with an emergency fix. The best news Mac users can get from them is "it's coming soon, we promise!" but with every mini patch it fails to be addressed.

Blizzard has been very clear about this bug, they are aware of it, and are addressing it in 3.1.2 (the same patch that is re-enabling G15 support for Windows machines - it was broke in the same patch that broke our minimap). In the interim, if you zoom your minimap in and then out again, it will temporarily resolve the problem.

Blizzard is very good at supporting the Mac, and with native binaries for both Intel and PPC based Macs. Their products offer feature parity between windows and Mac versions (for the most part, there are a few small things that are different). Having seen what has been fixed in the mini-patches, those were (with the possible exception of 3.1.1a) a much higher priority for gameplay then our distorted maps.

Jan. 12, 2010

item.107525

Greg Yorke

Long thread at Amazon re unlocking problems w/ the software that ships with (and is a necessary component of) Mattel's UCreate Animation toy / game.

Users can't register using the process built into the app, and that means they can't unlock most of the games and activities. Users get a mysterious error message, but several have identified parental controls as the root cause of the error (which is Mattel's fault for not testing a children's program w/ parental controls enabled, not a problem w/ parental controls).

Windows users don't seem to have the same issue.

Discussion is here.

Jun. 1, 2011

item.135881

Andrew Collier

Apparently one of the best PC games in the last few years was 'Assassins Creed II' by Ubisoft. For the last few months, this has also been available on the Mac through Steam or the Mac App Store. (Steam is currently cheaper, even more so when it's on special offer, as it was last week).

I had waited for a sale, because the game has bad reviews for poor performance (it's a TransGaming port, so all the API calls are DirectX translated at runtime into OpenGL, and apparently it only runs single-threaded). Unfortunately, it turns out there's an additional serious problem: if you are using a laptop, you can't use an external keyboard to control the game - only the laptop's built-in keyboard. This has been confirmed by Technical Support and no patch is planned. This is a serious flaw and makes the game broadly unusable for me. If I'd paid anything approaching full price for this I'd be extremely annoyed (especially as it's virtually impossible to get money back from steam, and you risk permanently losing access to all the games ever purchased from the same account). Instead I am merely disappointed that, by and large, they get away with such contemptuous behaviour. I know the market for Mac games is not huge, but after Valve showed the world how well native cross-platform releases can be done, it's distressing to see Ubisoft throw out such a careless port. Surely paying more attention to detail would be more profitable for them, long term, than getting a well deserved reputation for the worst Quality Assurance in the industry?


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