Night Job and Mac Gaming

So, I am getting to the tail end of my university career, and I decided to switch to working graveyard during the weekend at a motel.

The previous semester I thought that as an English major it would give me street cred to purchase a MacBook Pro, so of course I did this, but I’ve run into a problem that I thought was just myth: the ghost town that is Macintosh gaming.

As a PC gamer, I have been spoiled by being able to play any games that I purchase with little to no issues. But the Mac is infuriating, to say the least. Upon initial purchase, I was a rabid League of Legends player, and when I went to download the game, I was shocked that there was NO Mac client (actually, the Mac client was scrapped in 2011, but it seems like Riot took their heads out of their asses). Like I said, being a PC guy left me completely ignorant of the issues that plagued the Mac gaming space. After some research, I found this site and managed to have an unofficial Mac client for LoL. Now, almost 4 months after getting my MBP, Riot has put the beta Mac client for LoL out for testing–about a month too late, seeing as I don’t really play the game anymore. The re-release of the LoL Mac client is a step in the right direction, but there are other issues with Mac gaming.

Another big title for 2012 was Borderlands 2. One downside of Borderlands 2 is that it is too expansive, and it has sidequests that are laborious and unoriginal. I figured that I could spend my downtime at work doing some of the less inspired quests, so that I could eventually finish the game. Initially, the game was not supported on the Mac, so that idea fell through. I eventually got bored of the game and stopped playing. A few weeks ago, I decided to jump back into the quirky world of Pandora since Borderlands 2 was available on the Mac. After a few hours of downloading and installing, I was ready. But of course, the game wasn’t going to work through Steam directly, no, that would be too easy. Instead the game runs on Stream through a service known as Aspyr. I was fine with this, initially, but when I went to jump into my game I realized something: the Mac and PC versions of Borderlands 2 do NOT sync. Fucking hell… It was the first time since Dead Space that the thought of a game made me sick. I admit it, I’m a late adopter, and most longtime Mac users must be thinking “fuck this guy, I was gaming on Mac when there was nothing available.” Well, I’m part of your struggle now, accept me or not, I don’t really care. All is not doom and gloom, however, this cloud has a silver lining.

Despite the sparse selection of games–sparse of course being in terms of the total games available on Steam–on the Mac, paired with the a lot of the other shit the plagues the platform, there are some games that stand out as being just as good on the Mac. The first game that comes to mind is World of Warcraft. Everything about WoW on the Mac is just as good as on the PC, except that I don’t have any mods on the Mac. The framerate is consistent, no screen tearing, no texture pop, and no muddy textures. It is an absolute treat on the Mac. Blizzard games in general are just pleasing on whatever platform I’ve played them on. Diablo 3 is gorgeous as well, and Blizzard’s games support the 2880 x 1800 resolution that my MBP with Retina is capable of.

Wow, so maybe I was being a bit too generous when I said that there was a silver lining… I admit, I don’t play many games at work because of only having my MBP on hand, but I guess I’m there to work, not to game. But I still think that in 2013 the Mac should be just as viable as the PC when it comes to gaming. It would be understandable if a handful of games weren’t supported on Mac, but it’s literally half of the 300+ games I own on Steam that aren’t compatible on Mac.

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