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Starcraft II is overheating some users GPUs, but Blizzard has released a temporary fix.  (Source: Doupe)
Starcraft II fans beware, your graphics card may get Zerg rushed

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, the first game in Blizzard's highly anticipated real-time strategy sequel trilogy launched on Tuesday.  Unfortunately, the blockbuster PC title -- which is expected to sell 10 million copies or more -- had some bumps during its launch.

There were a number of minor bugs, but nothing show stopping at first.  Then the reports of melting GPUs hit.

Among those affected was Adam Biessener of Game Informer whose card melted while he was live blogging about his game experience.  He bemoaned, "Three hours of cursing later, I'm posting this from my wife's laptop because both my graphics card and my work laptop appear to be fried."

The problem appears to be located in the main menu, where an uncapped frame rate maxes out the GPU, in some cases pushing it to overheating and potentially permanent failure.

Blizzard has issued a response on its support site, acknowledging that it was aware of the issue, and offering a quick fix.  The company writes:

Certain screens make your hardware work pretty hard

Screens that are light on detail may make your system overheat if cooling is overall insufficient. This is because the game has nothing to do so it is primarily just working on drawing the screen very quickly. A temporary workaround is to go to your Documents\StarCraft II Beta\variables.txt file and add these lines:

frameratecapglue=30

frameratecap=60

You may replace these numbers if you want to.

For eager customers who already lost a graphics card, though, that fix may prove too late.  Blizzard has not announced any plans to replace the lost hardware of victims who experienced the bug.

Many customers are outraged at this.  Writes one victim Lorsaire:

Why was this not addressed already before release, and why were there no breaking news warnings or updates to fix this before people started having damage done to their hardware?  My Nvidia GeForce cost me more than $300 to get a good card that was great for gaming...  Blizzard are you doing anything or have plans to compensate people for the damage you've created?

Of course some of the cards may be covered by manufacturer warranties.  And while it does appear a bug (uncapped framerates) is partially to blame for killing off the cards, a card pushed to the max would generally not die instantly were it not for poorly engineered and/or defective cooling.  It appears that the cards ultimately were done in by the double blow of both a software bug (in SC II) and hardware issues.

The game features intensely addictive multiplayer gaming between three diverse races -- the Zerg, the Protoss, and the Terrans.  It also features a single player campaign in which you play a Terran rebel.  Future titles -- Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void will included Protoss and Zerg campaigns, and possibly deliver new multiplayer features as well.  Just beware the uncapped framerates.


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RE: So who's fault is this?
By Reclaimer77 on 8/1/2010 7:30:56 PM , Rating: 0
quote:
There were a heck of a lot of people in the Starcraft 2 Beta that had their video cards overheat and get fried.


People who left the game running sitting at the main menu for hours on end while they slept?? Who beta tests a game while sitting at the menu doing nothing? Either way, how is this Blizzards fault? Their systems clearly weren't up to the task. Just because Starcraft "looks" old doesn't mean you can have inadequate hardware and system cooling and take it for granted.

quote:
and they should have fixed this issue sooner.


What issue? Can you show me that, for a fact, no other games have uncapped FPS menus? I doubt it's a rarity among PC games.

Beta testing is so you can deliver feedback about the game experience to the developer. How exactly do you expect them to go about addressing unsubstantiated claims of "dude, your game killed my graphix!!!"?? Think about it.

quote:
Clearly they are not the Blizzard of old.


Right because..ummm, the Blizzard of old took care of your video card?? Do you know retarded your argument sounds to those who are tech savvy?

quote:
This game was rushed out


Bull! They went overboard with extensive testing. I haven't experienced a single crash, bug, or issue yet. And I'm in the middle of my second run through the campaign. You're a hater making crap up, nothing more.


RE: So who's fault is this?
By CptTripps on 8/2/10, Rating: 0
RE: So who's fault is this?
By CptTripps on 8/2/2010 8:30:32 PM , Rating: 2
Forgot my last bit. Blizz has no liability here, hit up your card manufacturer for replacement. I still think it's crap that they left it in when reported in the beta but... still not their problem in the long run.


"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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