Nov 012012

Mac lovers cheer, ironically
Mac lovers cheer! Wait, do Mac users actually cheer? Is there such a thing as an ironic cheer?

While researching something or another*, I came across an interesting piece of not-really-DDO-but-possibly-related news: Turbine is releasing a native Mac OS client for Lord of the Rings Online.

* Stop snickering. Yes, I do actual research, sometimes, except when it is easier to just make stuff up.

While the release of the Mac client is news (it is happening this week), the existence of the client is not; further research (yes research) quickly finds mentions of the Mac client as far back as August.

Ah, Macintosh, once my preferred platform of choice but sadly left in my past when it was the 90’s and no one would pay me to work on it. My first reaction to this news was “wow I hope they are working on a Mac DDO too!”. But then the questions started popping into my brain:

  • Does this mean it will work on Linux too?
  • What about older Macs, pre-Intel chip days?
  • I wonder how much code differs between the Mac and Windows versions?
  • At least the graphics stuff has to be different, yes?
  • There is no DirectX for Mac is there?
  • How often will code changes have to be applied to both code bases, differently?
  • Doesn’t this mean that testing now and forevermore will have to take place on (at least) two platforms?
  • Won’t that slow down the release of new content and bugfixes, forever?

And finally,

  • How much better is a native client versus Bootcamp emulation?


I don’t get it. What is the strategic advantage to enjoining this much effort? For a game with a seven-year-old engine? I am all for making these games inclusive, it is part of why I recently argued for better PvP. But this does not include anyone new, it is already possible to play LotRO, and for that matter DDO, on a Mac.

Unless this is an incremental step towards porting Turbine games to run on iOS, I just don’t get it.

McKayla Is Not Impressed

Maybe (probably?) there is some aspect to this that I am missing, one that will cause it all to make perfect, glorious sense. But right now this just seems like something Turbine did because they could, and I hope it is not something they are planning on bringing to DDO.

I sound all Grinch-y don’t I? Shaking my blog fist at all the whippersnapper operating systems cavorting about on my lawn. Macintosh! Get off my lawn!

But still. At the risk of sounding like just another grumpy forum user, I vote Yes on new ways to play, Yes on new content, and Yes on less bugs. I vote No on more operating systems.

πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  2 Responses to “LotRO Gets a Native Mac Client: Isn’t That Special.”

Comments (2)
  1. This move was probably spearheaded by some WB VP of marketing in their entertainment division. The whole idea reeks of marketroid involvement. I’m quite certain whoever pushed this through is convinced it will run on an i/Pad/Phone despite being informed to the contrary on numerous occasions.

  2. A bit clueless aren’t you ?

    1- Bootcamp is not emulation. It simply allows dual or multi booting on macs.

    2- Believe it or not but mac users know in the first place that there are very few games on their platform, it’s a choice you make when you buy a mac. That means you’re not desperate for games and you’re obviously not willing to reboot all the freaking time under a crappy OS only to play a game. Duh.

    3- Besides bootcamp, there is actual emulation on mac OS, in the form of Wine clients and the likes. Unfortunately the emulation layer implies bugs (memory leaks, crashes, slight delays, slowdowns…) and feels kind of cheap. Windows-ish. Yuck !

    4- I must admit i was really surprised too when i heard about that native client for such an old game as DDO, but it may not be as a bad idea as it seems : there are so few games, and even fewer non-emulated MMOs (guildwars 2 is emulated, i didn’t even bother trying it), plus the fact that DDO is excellent and unique in its genre… in the end Turbine probably came to the conclusion that it would profitable to make a “clean” adaptation for mac OS to show a clear signal to mac users, which is also a good strategy in the long run.

    Sure macs only represent about 10% of pcs, but mac users are well off (well that’s what the haters say anyway πŸ™‚ and they’ll most probably be happy to subscribe without hesitation to good MMOs that run perfectly on their machines. And it’s not my fault if PC users aren’t good enough for developers, so get over it already ! ^^

    Ok, that’s it. No use to thank me, i’m glad i could help you even if your post wasn’t very recent πŸ™‚

What do you think?

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