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The Queue: Roasting a pig on a MacBook Pro

Allison Robert

Welcome to The Queue,'s daily Q&A column where the team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Allison Robert is your hostess today.

Random article picture is random. Today, we field questions on account transfers, how to keep a Mac cool, why the blood elves are in the Horde, and whether What A Long, Strange Trip will be BoA!

Endless asks...

Regarding the namechange... what about transferring your char from one account to other? Does that remove you from friendlists?

Yep. Moving a character between accounts will remove you from other players' friends lists, and it'll also unguild you. One of our guildies switched his main between his two accounts this past week and we wound up having to reguild him.

Zerzuhl asks...

Do you have any tips for running WoW on Mac? Specifically how to keep a Macbook Pro the coolest without sacrificing too much of the graphic quality?

Mac laptops do tend to get pretty hot while running WoW, and by "pretty hot," I mean "Could host your annual pig roast on top of a MacBook Pro." I play on a late-2006 model MacBook Pro myself, so all I can say is -- you have my sympathy. For some time now, I have lived in fear that my already-gasping graphics card was going to boil itself to death, and the fact that it is soldered to my motherboard and (probably) can't be replaced is even better. Longtime readers of Shifting Perspectives already know that I've been out of the raiding game almost entirely since patch 3.1 hit, and this is one of the larger reasons as to why.

Anyway, there are several things you can do apart from lowering your ingame graphics settings:

  • Download and use smcFanControl: While you can (and should) use widgets to monitor your core temperature and performance, smcFanControl allows you to control your fans directly if need be. Crank 'em as high they'll go during your playtime if your laptop runs hotter than you'd like, but make sure to cancel the higher settings afterwards.
  • External fan: Not always great, but every little bit helps. Tip: do not use the integrated mic with a fan trained on the computer unless you want everyone on vent to lose their eardrums and hate you.
  • Cooling pad: These come in several different varieties. Try to get one that's designed for a Mac so that the fans on it are located where it'll make the biggest difference. The one that I see recommended most frequently for the MacBook Pro is the Targus Chill Mat, but it's expensive. Readers with other recommendations here are most welcome.
  • Keep vents and fans clean: You'd be amazed how much gunk can build up on a laptop, and dust bunnies trap heat like it's their job. Compressed air should be used to get your vents free of accumulated muck, and you can get it at any office or computer supply store. If you're comfortable opening your MBP's case to clean the fans, there are guides on how to do it online; if you're not comfortable, take it to an Apple Store and have the techs there do it. As Adam Holisky observed in backchannel discussion here, putting a Mac laptop back together after doing this is not for the faint of heart, and if you have any amount of doubt or reservation over your ability to do it, just take it to someone who does it professionally.
  • Cap your framerates: you will notice a huge difference (or at least I did) by deliberately capping your framerates at 30 using the ingame command /console maxfps 30. I also noticed a difference dropping framerates as low as 25. Beyond that is when your eye will really start to notice a negative (or at least annoying) gameplay difference.
  • If all else fails: Have someone look at, and possibly replace, your thermal paste. You didn't mention your MBP's year of manufacture, but some of the 2006 and 2007 models are common targets for complaints about absolutely insane heat generation, and the misapplication of thermal paste was traced to a number of them.
  • If all else really fails: If you, like me, have done all of the above but can't get through a 5-man without your core temperature exploding past 180 F/82 C, feel free to join me this weekend getting a new one.
Disclaimer for all rabid Mac fans out there: Yes, Macs are lovely, ta rah rah, assorted enthusiastic noises here, but the heat issues related to this MBP model are really freaking annoying.

Disclaimer for all rabid PC fans out there, if such a creature exists
: I love you too. My other laptop is a Dell. Yay PC's!

Disclaimer to self from self: With our ability to wriggle out of potential negative comments, perhaps it is time to apply to law school or the local mob.

Merus asks...

What's keeping Silvermoon in the Horde?

Apart from game mechanics, an overweening hatred for the humans and thousands of years of bitterness and antipathy toward the night elves. Lore-wise, the blood elves have no especial hatred for the dwarves or gnomes, and they're actually in the draenei's debt after the events of the Sunwell, but they despise the Night Elves. Despise them. Nor have they forgotten their treatment at the hands of human commanders (namely Garithos) during the events of The Frozen Throne, which was well into the realm of homicidal negligence. While the sin'dorei have no particular love for the races of the Horde, that's their sole option in the age of a two-faction Azeroth.

Blizzard had another reason for adding the blood elves to the Horde, and that was to balance faction population somewhat. To this day, humans are still the most popular race option (we think), with blood elves and night elves at a rough tie for second place. While the Alliance still has a population advantage (again, we think), Cataclysm is likely to shake this up somewhat. How adding werewolves worgen to the Alliance and wtf green gnomes goblins to the Horde is going to completely destroy faction balance because, seriously? Werewolves going to the faction that already has a population advantage? The hell? affect this, we can only wait and see.

Colten asks...

Question: With Cataclysm seemingly aimed to encourage players to re-rolling a main, are there any current plans to make the "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been" meta-achievement's reward something like a BoA?

Not that we've heard of. While I think it would be pretty cool, and I'd especially love for my Horde alts to proceed directly to a proto-drake without messing about on a fugly wyvern, all 310% mounts require a lot of effort to get, and Blizzard seems to prefer it that way. They're not necessities the way that even a basic flying mount pretty much is, and they want you to work toward an ultra-fast mount if you so happen to want it on additional characters.

Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column! Leave your questions in the comments and we'll do our best to answer 'em!

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