I have been suffering a really dodgy connection from my ISP lately, my download is all of 130Kb, which is about 15% of my normal speed. But it has made me appreciate how bad your connection can be ansd how tolerant WoW actually is of this.
Anyways, this got me thinking, about how efficient WoW is at delivering us the gameplay and I must say that overall its a big thumbs up. Wow claims to need an ADSL Internet connection to play that clearly is not true because I played without issue in 5 mans and normal questing. Its not until you hit 10 player that you actually feel a difference and even then its only a minor inconvenience on some of the trickier encounters, but the real end game play of 25 man raiding and PVP really does stress it too much.
That said I still believe that the faster (in terms of latency) and the bigger the throughput (in terms of megabytes) your connection is the better your overall experience is and I also believe that it enables you to push out bigger numbers compared to someone in similar gear.
There are ways of improving things if you play on a slow connection or one with small throughput. In no particular order the ones I use are:
You can limit the data being sent to your combat log or disable it completely if you never look it. To do this right click on Combat Log chat tab, select Settings,
then select Self and uncheck all the boxes you don’t need and repeat for Everything, What Happened to Me and Kills;
When you have finished select the Okay button and you’re done. Your addons such as Recount and Skada will still work and you can still run /combatlog to record raid info to post to World of Logs, WWS etc.
Once in the Video settings screen select Effects and you then get a screen full of sliders. I find that my set up works well at providing a good looking game envirnment, I have good draw distance which means stuff doesn’t suddenly appear on my screen (particularly useful with mobs so you don’t aggro them before you can see them) and I still see all the nasty stuff on the floor when raiding so I am not standing in the fire without knowing it.
I love my Add-Ons in total I have 114 but I never have all active at one time (many are class or role specific and I have 1 of each class at 80). Some are really small and add snippets of information to my screen (Chocoalte Bar, Tiny Caster Stats, Tiny Melee Stats, Digits etc) others are major UI changes (Bartender 4, Grid, XPerl), others are pure luxury for inducing laziness (QuestHelper, Armory, Advanced Trade Skill Window) and others are essential raiding tools (Deadly Boss Mods, oRA2 Power Auras, Clique).
I control my addons with, you guessed it an addon, Addon Control Panel, which allows you to enable or disable an addon without the need to log out of game. You can and should therefore disable all un-needed addons when you are doing anything above 5 man content.
Fortunately, Addon Control Panel lets you save sets of addons. I have sets for each class when not raiding and a non-class specific Raiding Addon set. My class specific sets use around 100Mb each when playing, my raid set uses about 25Mb.
I’m not going to say that you need the best new graphics card or the maximum amount of high performance memory your PC can handle (although they WILL help) but make sure your PC is in the best shape possible.
Defragment your hard drive;
Install, keep upto date an Anti-Virus program and scan your PC daily;
Install, keep upto date a Malware program and scan it daily;
Another thing to check is your network settings. This can be a bit scary but isn’t that hard.
1. Right click My Computer and select Properties;
2. On the Hardware tab select Device Manager;
3. Under Network Adapters right click your adapter and select Properties;
4. On the Advanced tab find the option for Flow Control and enable it;
5. On the same Advanced tab find the option for Speed and Duplex and set it to match that of your modem/router (time to consult the manual folks).
This setting is NOT your broadband speed but the speed the router uses to connect to PCs connected to it. The most common setting is 100 Mbs Full Duplex but it does depend on what modem and connection you have. In theory you should be able to leave it on auto negotiate but some don’t work correctly and it helps to set either Full or Half duplex depending on what you have available to you.
Leatrix Latency Fix
I discovered this fix accidentally one day searching for another addon. I was dubious about its claims and was put off for a while, then I saw it mentioned on Tankspot and it got rave reviews there so I decided to give it a try. After running it my latency dropped from 250-400ms to a much more acceptable 70-120 ms
This is not an addon but a registry fix, the file comes with a reversal tool but I would still strongly recommend backing up your registry (instructions from Microsoft here) BEFORE applying it.
The file can be downloaded from Leatrix Latency Fix : WoWInterface Downloads : WoW Tools & Utilities