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WoWJan 28, 2020 2:00 pm CT

Mac WoW players experience constant crashes in patch 8.3 with no real fix in sight — but there is a workaround

In the patch 8.3 known issues post, there’s a section that sounds like a simple performance problem, but it’s a bigger bug than that. And despite how often we joke about problems that make the game “unplayable,” this one really does make WoW pretty unplayable — at least for a certain subset of Mac players with Intel graphics cards.

Originally Posted by Vrakthris (Official Post)

Performance issues on Macs
We are seeing reports, from users on various Mac systems, of various performance issues including freezing/stuttering or locking up while playing. Our Technical Support team has been collecting details for the development team in our Mac Technical Support forums: Crashing, freezing, and stuttering after 8.3

That simple description doesn’t do the problem justice. Since patch 8.3 rolled out a number of Mac users have experienced freezes, client crashes, and computer crashes, including kernel panics. These crashes occur frequently, no matter what you’re doing in game. Sometimes you’ll get 20 seconds of gameplay in and sometimes you’ll get 20 minutes of gameplay in, but the end result is the same: your client crashes and you log back on to find your character is now a corpse.

Many players (myself included) are almost entirely locked out of group content, which really doesn’t work in a massively multiplayer game. Since patch 8.3 launched, I haven’t been able to successfully run a dungeon or a raid, and I haven’t completed a single Horrific Vision. And based on reports in the forum thread on the issue, I’ve been lucky to even get solo questing done.

And two weeks after patch 8.3 rolled out, there’s still no fix on the horizon.

Originally Posted by Drakuloth (Official Post)

When we got the initial report of this bug, we had our Quality Assurance folks look into it, and they helped us find some scenarios where the crashes happened. That was what we tried to fix with the hotfix we mentioned above. Unfortunately, the problem was deeper than what we initially had identified. On behalf of all of us at Blizzard I wanted to apologize that we set kind of a bad expectation earlier in the thread. We thought we fixed the problem, we were wrong, and so we went back to the drawing board.

Without going into the complete technical details, we’ve spent more time reproducing things with Quality Assurance, found more problems, and tried more code tweaks to fix the things we’ve found since the initial hotfix attempts. None of our tweaks, however, have been successful enough (as indicated by the thread) which is why we aren’t out here telling you to re test things right now. If we had more good news to share, we would, but the best we can really tell you is that we have people actively trying to unravel this complicated thread.

It’s good to know that Blizzard hasn’t forgotten this problem — and it’s nice to get an apology for the poor communication surrounding this bug — but it would be better to know Blizzard was going to fix the problem. Instead, they’ve offered one workaround, which is what you’ll hear from GMs if you submit a ticket: install Windows on your Mac using Boot Camp.

This isn’t quite as intimidating as it sounds. Boot Camp is built into MacOS and it handles all the work of setting up a dual boot partition and making sure Windows understands your Mac hardware. You can download Windows 10 Home edition for free from Microsoft, so there’s no cost to the project — but you do need a fair chunk of free hard drive space to make it work. Running in Windows seems to work just fine, as long as you have the time, technical know-how, and hardware to set it up.

But “Mac users should install Windows” is a lousy bug fix. It’s such a lousy bug fix that it sounds like it was written by an internet troll, telling Mac users that if they wanted to be “real” gamers they would have a Windows PC.

We’re not hearing this from internet trolls. Instead, we’re being hearing it from a multi-billion dollar corporation which sold us a game that officially supports MacOS. It’s a hard sell to long-time Mac users — I’ve been playing WoW on Mac for a good 15 years — who have been cut off from the game since patch 8.3 landed.

So what’s a Mac owner to do? As I said, you can install Windows if you have the time (and hard drive space). But just as importantly, you can report the problems you’re having to Blizzard. This bug seems like a particularly tough one to track down, and more reports with specific details about what you were doing when your client crashed could help the devs pinpoint the problem. If you’re a Mac player with an Intel graphics card experiencing crashes, go to this forum thread and report the problem with as much detail as possible. It probably won’t get us an immediate fix, but it can’t hurt.

What you shouldn’t do is abuse the Blizzard staff over this problem. They want this fixed as much as you do, and yelling at them won’t get it done any faster.

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