In just a few short days since the release of Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, Blizzard Entertainment is already acknowledging what a killer game the sequel to one of the benchmark real-time strategy games is… literally.
A small portion of the “approximately 1,000,000 people on Battle.net” who bought and are playing Starcraft II are noticing one heck of a bug: The game is working their graphic cards to death. Thankfully, the problem is not in the online game play where you control one of three unique races within the Starcraft II storyline: The resourceful humans, the parasitic Zerg, or the technologically advanced Protoss. Players build up their bases and military units until strong enough to wipe out other players across the map. While all of that is a graphical barrage of units, weapon effects, and background, players can set limits to how much detail is rendered during the core part of the game.
No, the bug takes place during the interactive menu screens that pop up between missions of the single player campaign. The limitations set during the core game play are not in effect, which means those menu screens have no cap in framerate. According to some computers, that means it can push itself to its limit. Prolonged play with computers operating beyond its capacity combined with insufficient ventilation can result in melted graphic cards. Judging from the hundreds of dollars spent on gaming rigs, gamers do not want that. Even those working at gaming magazines like GameInformerwith what I imagine to be top of the line gaming computers intended to give the best gaming experience are also affected by this bug. And if they have an issue with it, it is hard to imagine how the average gamer will handle it with their own computer.
Blizzard will patching up fixes for this bug-and possibly a few other bugs that may pop up in the meantime. But for now, a manual bit of programming will do in a pinch. Open the DocumentsStarCraft IIvariables.txt document and add the following lines:
This bit of code will limit the framerate at a consistent 60FPS instead of up to 200FPS that the bug was causing computers to do.
Though I suppose Blizzard and many other gamers are lucky that only a few Starcraft II players are having this issue. Nevertheless, this little precaution will help assure limited interruption in sending or defending against the next Zerg rush.