Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Warcraft III The Frozen Throne on Ubuntu

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne on Wine

If there's one thing good about Ubuntu 11.10, it's that we're using Gallium 3D for Radeon GPUs. Simply put, hardware acceleration got a big boost compared to previous open source drivers.

In previous releases, Compiz and 3D games just don't mix. If you want desktop effects, you couldn't play 3D games. You'll just get a black screen. Ubuntu 11.10 seems to no longer have this disability.

Hardware

So here's the essentials on my hardware:

CPU: Athlon II X4 620 2.6GHz
Memory: 2.5GB PC2-5300 DDR2
GPU: HD3200 on 780G chipset

Nothing particularly high end here but it's more than enough for an old game like Warcraft 3.

Here's the relevant terminal output from glxinfo:

OpenGL vendor string: X.Org
OpenGL renderer string: Gallium 0.4 on AMD RS780
OpenGL version string: 2.1 Mesa 7.11

Installing Warcraft 3 & The Frozen Throne expansion pack

Things couldn't get any simpler. Just pop in the CD, and run the installation with Wine. I'm on wine-1.3.28 that came from the Ubuntu repositories.

~$ wine '/media/Warcraft III/install.exe'
~$ wine '/media/TheFrozenThrone/install.exe'

You'll probably want to download the latest patch which includes a No-CD fix.

~$ wine '/home/<user>/Downloads/War3TFT_125b_English.exe'

Replace <user> with your user name.

Here, I'm installing patch 1.25 although there's already a 1.26 patch. For some reason the 1.26 patch download is slow as molasses and the mirror I chose wasn't up-to-date yet. Installation should still proceed the same though.

Blizzard's patches typically automatically start up the game after successful installation. Regardless, it should run just fine on Unity although any open apps on other workspaces will probably get shoved all to the current workspace.

Known Issues

Unity's global menu appears in-game which blocks Warcraft's own menus. I haven't tested if Gnome Shell has the same issue, though.