Death and Destruction in 3D

A couple of weeks ago I wrote on Nvidia’s 3D Vision product, indicated the 22-inch screen I was using was simply not big enough, and ranted on about Warcraft in the low levels. Well, I’ve since picked up a 60-inch, 3D-compliant Mitsubishi DLP TV, taken my character to 36, and what a difference size and level makes.

Let’s chat about World of Warcraft in 3D on a 60-inch set.

60 Inches: The Size to Play Video Games

These 60-inch DLP Mitsubishi sets have dropped a lot in price. I picked mine up from Amazon for around $1,250, and it included free shipping (the WD-60735 I bought just dropped to $1,198 on Amazon, and shipping is still free). That’s a hell of a deal for 60-inch, and man is the HD picture nice. I hooked it up to my PS3, popped in a Blu-Ray disc, and the result was stunning. I ran the 3D movie demos as well, and they made me wish that there were some HD movies shipping that would use this format. Unfortunately, there aren’t yet. But, if that changes, the result will be truly impressive.

However, watching movies wasn’t why I got this set, it was to play games. So I fired up Warcraft, popped on the 3D glasses, and suddenly it was as if back had come off of the TV and I was looking into a new world. At 60 inches, the 3D effect is vastly more immersive and engaging.

This is the way to game: with a massive screen that takes up your field of view and puts you in the excitement. While I’d had some issues with the 22-inch monitor after I wrote the last piece where the glasses would lose sync, that wasn’t the case once I moved to 60 inches, and I could remain immersed in the 3D experience for hours.

Getting the game image to fully fill the screen and not overscan was an issue. I wish the set had a button you could push, or height and width adjustments for the image, that would address this. It was more difficult than it needed to be, and I was left with a full-height image that didn’t go to the side edges, but it still was a massive improvement over 22 inches.

Pump the sound into an amplifier, or put on the headphones, and it’s almost like being there. Things that jump out at you are truly frightening, and all you need is a smoke machine and dim lights to complete the ambiance for what can be a very engaging experience.
I was surprisingly impressed with the result. While I don’t expect most to buy a 60-inch TV to play games, those that do will likely find their money well spent, particularly now given how inexpensive some of these new TVs currently are.

Warcraft Update

The first 29 levels of Warcraft are a bit tedious, because the environment is very large, and you have to walk most places. Spending time hiking is not my idea of a good time, especially since I came to Warcraft from City of Heroes, where you get a travel power (super speed, super jump, teleportation, or my favorite, flying at level 14). I find it really tedious to have to walk through areas populated with high level monsters, waiting to pounce on you from right next to the road.

I spent a lot of wasted time taking two steps, dying, hiking back to the body, reviving, and then taking two more steps until I die again, or make it out of range of the beast. At level 30, you get a travel power, in my case a horse, and run through most (though not all) trouble areas. The one I got has flaming hooves and eyes, and looks really cool, though it could run a bit faster (you get a faster steed at level 60 I understand).

I can see why power-leveling services are so popular (though you can power level yourself and it isn’t too bad if you follow directions), and will write about them in the future. Be aware that using one of these services may get you suspended, or banned, and that can get kind of expensive. I am still noticing that it is far more common for folks to join up on a quest, and then abandon it long before they are done, leaving you stuck, often dead, in a really bad place. So far it is actually more common, even at 36, to be abandoned in a group task than complete it, and the practice remains incredibly annoying.

Wrapping Up

I’ll continue to level and report back on my progress in World of Warcraft (and my hope that I can find some folks to team with that don’t quit early in a quest) in the future. I will say that gaming in 60 inches is a lot of fun, and it’s great that TVs are coming to market that actually work well in high resolution, and are fast enough to make gaming on a PC, or gaming system, more immersive.

Given that, in the current economy, traveling to some exotic vacation spot probably isn’t in the budget so it’s nice to know you can go to a virtual world and have a little fun. And, unlike the vacation, you can go back and revisit this virtual world with a friend, spouse, or neighbor any time you like, and kill something. It’s that kind of a year.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

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