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Reader Comments (11)

Posted: Jan 8th 2009 5:38PM (Unverified) said

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Out of curiosity, if you already own City of Heroes can you download the Mac client for free, or do you have to re-purchase it? I would hope the former, because making a player purchase the game twice when the bulk of your revenue is from subscriptions anyway would be foolish.

Although, admittedly, CoH players seem happy to throw money at NCSoft for the game. I'm no exception, somehow I've ended up buying every extra for CoH over the years except the wedding pack.

Posted: Jan 8th 2009 9:33PM saintnicster said

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You only need to have an active account. The Mac updater is located on their FTP server
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Posted: Jan 8th 2009 9:23PM starka1 said

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If it runs so well on a Mac with integrated graphics that makes me question why it runs so crappily on my PC. Athlon X2 4400, 2Gb DDR400, 512Mb 7950GTX, 640Gb Western Digital and Vista 32bit. I can get around 50-60fps but it is not consistent at all. It can easily dive as low as 14fps. This was even after a fresh install of OS and game. You would think a game as old as this would run 100fps with my hardware and never see the bottom end of 30. (e.g. this game started off running on a Geforce2 and the graphics upgrade from CoV launch was not THAT intensive.)

Posted: Jan 8th 2009 9:36PM Seraphina Brennan said

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You know, I have the same problem, and a friend who has an older computer that really couldn't handle the client after the City of Villains graphics update came out.

My PC is a powerhouse quad-core machine, and still I can get some iffy performance out of CoH every once in a while. Another reason why I was pretty impressed with this hands on... I thought it was going to crash and die the second I loaded it up.
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Posted: Jan 9th 2009 12:28AM (Unverified) said

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That's really surprising. It would be interesting if you took your character into one of the really laggy areas and see if you got similar performance for the Mac. Make a villain and run him over to Grandville right under Recluse's statue. I've seen some really high end machines bottom out there. Or better yet, do the Roman Taskforce (forget what it's called atm) and have your 8 person team walk that really laggy road to the big robot.

The CoH development team doesn't seem to do that great in optimizing certain areas within their game world or in large missions where lots of effects are running. I suspect that the Mac client would be just as susceptible to those laggy areas as PCs.

Posted: Jan 9th 2009 8:51AM Lateris said

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Some will argue this but I swear my mac outperforms my PC. When I was playing AoC in windows mode it outperformed my PC. I am really happy to see this game have a mac client. So how many units sold is gold?

Posted: Jan 9th 2009 8:23AM Tom in VA said

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This development, more than anything, may get me to finally check out CoH. Playability on a Mac has always been one of the very best things about WoW.

I still balk at paying a $15/month subscription, however.

I really do wish MMO makers would wise up and offered tiered subscription plans or alternative payment methods (e.g., MTs) for people who do not *live* in their MMOs.

I would probably return to WoW, for example, if they offered something like:

$5 = X hours of play
$10 = X + Y hours of play
$15/month = unlimited play

I may give the 14-day free trial a try, however. I presume it applies to Mac client users as well now, right?

Posted: Jan 9th 2009 9:47AM TheNetAvenger said

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Ok, 1024x768 on Intel 3100 Integrated graphics is not hard to do for CoX.

I am shocked that people are 'happy', surprised, amazed that it runs this well on OS X.

Ok, a bit of contrast, when CoX was released, I use to run it on a 1.6ghz 2001 Toshiba Laptop with a Geforce4 440 Go Video card, and it ran ok, even though some of the 'shader' features were not available to the video card. And yes at 1024x768.

In contrast if you have a laptop with a Geforce 5600 Go (which is technically still slower than the Intel 3100), you can run the game at 20-30fps at 1440x900 easily with most settings on High - especially if you are using Vista that gives the game more Video RAM to use for textures.


I don't doubt the port is well done and I don't doubt OS X if treated properly can run games pretty well.


However, all this talk of how it runs better on OS X than under Windows is a bit of a myth, and anyone with an active account and bootcamp with Vista or XP can confirm, it still runs faster on the Windows side. (Usually not enough that you will need to reboot into bootcamp and Windows to play it, but there is about a 10-20% fps difference.)

The CoV update and subsuquent updates added higher resolution textures and 'shiny' bump mapping if you turn it on. If you leave it off, it will still perform as well as it did when the game was released.

So if you are truly bothered by the FPS you are getting, turn the shader settings down in the game to what the game was when it launch with limited bump maps, and you will get the old pre CoV and pre Graphics update performance.

---

The reason I am taking time to write this, is I had a friend in our supergroup go out and buy a Mac because they listened to reviews like this and assumed the game was faster under OS X.

Sadly, he is booting into Vista to get the performance out of the game he is use to, and running Vista 99% of the time on his expensive Mac hardware sadly.

(Yes even Vista on a Mac Notebook will run the game faster than OS X will - there are both port and OS technical reasons for this, and this is not the place to detail the Apple Darwin kernel driver model and the inherent performance penalty the video model has compared to NT's XPDM or WDDM in Vista.)


CoX is great in that if you lower the settings, it will run on anything with a PS unit it, even Intel 950 graphics will run it ok, let alone dedicated NVidia or ATI solutions.


If you run OS X and play the game, get the Mac Client and play without doing bootcamp, it is great and works really well.

But don't screw over people ensuring them that it is faster under OS X, or mislead them to think the Windows version of the game has something wrong with it.

If the Windows users want the FPS of the Intel 3100, turn down the settings like the reviewer of this article did.

Also realize many of the features you are enjoying on your low end NVidia or ATI video card under Windows are features that can't even be enabled on the Intel 3100 on OS X or Windows due to a lack of features in the GPU. And if you prefer FPS over looks, turn them off.

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PS...
Windows Gamer Fans, when you can, get the Public Windows7 beta. (Don't grab the torrent version, it is not 'exactly' the same, trust me on this.)

CoX under Windows7 is significantly faster than it ever ran under XP or Vista, no matter what video hardware or RAM you have in your system.

(Some systems are showing 2x the FPS over XP and Vista.)

CoX is one of our test games in our lab.

Posted: Jan 9th 2009 12:54PM (Unverified) said

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It's not free for existing customers, but it's only $20 and includes a free month, making it only $5 more than a month's subscription.

On top of that, you get an item bonus pack with some extra costume bits and an extra bonus power. That will probably be $10 by itself when it's available for all users, but right now it's exclusive with the mac client. So if you planned on getting the bonus pack, you'll actually save yourself $5 by picking up the mac client.

Posted: Jan 9th 2009 1:53PM El Furioso said

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@Thunderkor

Not completely accurate. If you're an existing customer, you can download the Mac client for FREE from NCSoft.

For new OR existing customers, paying for the $20 download will get you 30 days of play, the Valkyrie costume set, and the Mission Teleporter power.

For existing PC players not interested in the Mac client, they'll be able to get the costume and power in a Booster pack in 60 days or so.
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Posted: Jan 9th 2009 2:16PM (Unverified) said

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Ah I suppose I didn't look closely enough. I missed the part about just getting the client for free without the bonus pack.

Looks like it's still a better bang for your buck if you are interested in the Bonus Pack at all.

I'm kind of on the fence, because I tend to want all the goodies but I'm prone to phases of burnout with this game and I often leave for months at a time.

Thanks for the clarification.
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