WoW Rookie has already answered the first question asked by so many new players when they realize "You know, I think I'd like to have my own characters and my own account -- but will my computer run WoW?" This week, we'll burrow into the next level: "We've been engaged for months now. I'm in love, I'm committed, I'm of legal age (level 80, baby!) and I'm ready to drop some cash. What should I be looking for in a computer system to settle down in?"
If you're not into PvP, you may have missed PvP specialist Zach Yonzon's excellent series this summer on gearing up for PvP. But wait -- this is no in-game gear guide. Surprise! It's a look at the best hardware for running World of Warcraft. Whether you enjoy PvP or PvE content, here's a look at the gear that'll deliver the eye-popping, mind-blowing, mouse-clicking madness you crave for endgame WoW performance.
|A computer you'll love playing WoW on
World of Warcraft is an extremely demanding game that goes well beyond the recommended requirements if you want flawless gameplay. It should come as no surprise that so-called gaming PCs tout the best processors, oodles of memory and the fastest graphics cards. If you can afford it, play on a machine that is several notches above the recommended requirements.
More than your keyboard, your mouse is your most important gaming peripheral. For laptop users, who will more often than not use the default keyboard built-in to their machine, dedicated gaming keyboards are a luxury rather than a necessity. Furthermore, PvP enthusiasts necessarily learn to move with a mouse, which makes it a worthy investment.
|Gaming surfaces and keyboards
Some gaming surfaces cater to specific types of play styles, such as rougher surfaces for more control or smoother surfaces for speed. Some are bigger for low sensitivity gamers who make long, sweeping motions, while others are smaller for portability and a gracious footprint. Find something that suits your play style.
Just as with mice, World of Warcraft isn't incredibly demanding on keyboards. The game is robust enough to register a wide array of commands and macros using a conventional keyboard. This means that any ordinary keyboard can be tailored for complex gameplay using either the built-in key bindings and macros feature or with the help of add-ons like Bartender. Does this mean specialized keyboards are a waste of money? Not necessarily.
|Sound systems and headsets
For general gaming purposes, your computer's default sound system should really do fine. On the other hand, if you're serious about your gaming, you might want to invest in a good headset. If you normally play at home and have the luxury of playing indiscreetly, a great sound system is an awesome thing to have.
What works best for you?
The beauty of the internet is that little blank box below: the comments, where we can share our collective experience. We can pass on tips about gear we've actually kissed in delight versus gear we'd like to crush with a sledge hammer.
One disclaimer, though, before we start swapping recommendations: comments on posts about hardware notoriously degenerate into scuffles over whose rigs and IT credentials are the hottest. Opinions and insights are warmly welcome and appreciated -- but no e-peen contests, please. Let's help new WoW players compile a variety of resources and ideas for upgrading and targetting a WoW machine they'll fall in love with.
WoW Rookie walks you through all sort of new-player concerns, from game lingo for the beginner to joining your first guild as a mid-level player and on to what to do when you finally hit level 80. Visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.