Will Pandaria support OpenAL?

Mac Technical Support
I really hope so! :)
Don't know, but I'll run it by the team.
Don't really see to what benefit this would be. I'd be more concerned with opengl 3.2 profile.
I thought Mountain Lion will support OpenGL 4.2. OpenAL is for surround audio. Thanks! :)
I'm not sure how hard this is to implement, but this would be very nice! :)
As a big audiophile myself, I too think this would be nice, but as Omegal indicated, this would be low on my list as well.

Top priorities for me are OpenGL 3.2+ support, major performance revisions so MoP runs better on my 2010 Macbook Pro with the GT330 than the beta has been, and the inclusion of the video recording.
I think this is it: http://connect.creativelabs.com/developer/Gaming/SoundBlasterFMOD.pdf
08/04/2012 03:40 AMPosted by Owleye
I think this is it: http://connect.creativelabs.com/developer/Gaming/SoundBlasterFMOD.pdf

C++ is such an ugly language XD
08/04/2012 11:26 AMPosted by Phine
I think this is it: http://connect.creativelabs.com/developer/Gaming/SoundBlasterFMOD.pdf

C++ is such an ugly language XD

But pro'lly sounds beautiful. ;)

Really though, there are two main factors we experience when playing a game. Visuals and, uh, what was that other one?! :P
Except the Mac Pro is the only Mac on the market that can use hardware acceleration for sound. All the iMacs and Macbooks use software rendering.

The eye is a lot more sensitive to light frequencies than the ear is to sound. And the in-game reverb and sound channels work up to 64 channels even on software. So you'd need a ridiculously good speaker set-up and sound card to hear the difference.

Dedicated hardware for sound hasn't been needed for the average consumer for a long time.
Maybe I posted this in the wrong forum. OpenAL can be utilised by both macs and Windows PC's for spatial surround sound and hardware acceleration. Asus and Creative, among some others, have drivers to make this happen. These companies even use EAX, now 5.0 HD, to provide even further audio advancement. While it is true that for macbooks, etc., that it will not be true hardware acceleration, this is emulated by software (I have a USB soundcard). Audio is quite underrated until people can actually hear the improvement and are then often astonished. I, like many others would like to see the OpenGL improvements, as 4.2 is entirely backward compatible, but how many of the average consumers think they care about this, until they see the improvement; I wouldn't classify WoW players or gamers in general the average consumer.
We have no plan to use OpenAL.
08/08/2012 03:37 PMPosted by S4d1k
We have no plan to use OpenAL.
How about OpenCL?
08/12/2012 12:20 AMPosted by Elurain
We have no plan to use OpenAL.
How about OpenCL?

that'd be nice. i know wow uses a LOT of cpu, and not very effiently either. opencl or even nvidia cuda could certainly go a HUGE way in MAJORLY boosting fps in raid situations or other areas that tank performance cause of cpu work going on. depending, of course, on whether any or all of that is even offloadable to gpu calculations. I know opencl would have a more limited card set then most, especially ATI cards, fortunately macbooks use mostly nvidias with exception of a small anti nvidia moment they had do to some bad recalls. desktops use mostly ati, although they can get some powerful opencl cards that aren't exactly approved running with ease on 10.8 ;)
Truly, I can't understand why any and all modern technologies aren't taken advantage of. Blizzard is in a position where they could actually push forward the envelope for all computer users across the board. As far as surround sound goes, they even offered a branded Creative/WoW headset that touts hardware acceleration though only works with the now antiquated DirectX and only on Windows XP. In computer chronology this is ancient and really doesn't make sense.
Owleye, FMOD and OpenAL are exactly the same age - around 12 years old at this point.

I wonder from reading your posts what advantages you expect OpenAL will bring to the table that FMOD isn't capable of providing? FMOD is a very popular audio library for game development, as far as I can tell. I do not develop games professionally, and have never worked with OpenAL or FMOD, but this is the feeling that I get looking around.

Also aside, C++ does not sound beautiful. That ancient language is a memory management nightmare (among other things) compared to more modern languages. The only beautiful thing about it is the performance that you can squeeze out of it while still being able to abstract pieces of code into objects. The parts of WoW that are cross-platform are written in C++. Both OpenAL and FMOD have C/C++ interfaces so that they can be used in games like WoW.
Surround sound. This may not be the best explanation, but along with my previous reference, gets the job done. OpenAL can be added to existing FMOD sound.
FMOD supports surround sound. See:


Whether or not WoW does, I don't know. If it doesn't, I would not be surprised--the very vast majority of players are using the sound that comes out of their box (myself included) or a simple 2-speaker and maybe subwoofer setup. I would even guess that half the people playing the game play with their sound very low or muted entirely. Honestly there are probably more people playing on Macs than with a surround sound setup. Makes it a low priority for the developers.

(I do admit that most of my post is speculation, and also sweet jesus the program in that video is fugly)
Generally speaking, Apple commands the capabilities of the box as far as image and sound, and they rule with an iron fist. You generally do not see stand-alone drivers for the Mac - at least not the way you see them in Windows world. Unless you are really good at poking at the guts of a Mac, most of us are totally reliant on Apple to provide the core technology in support of these new shinies.

If Apple hasn't provided the functionality, no third party developer can offer it. So even if Blizzard would offer Open*L, if Apple didn't implement it, there is nothing the Mac User can do except hack the box (maybe) and risk blowing up their computer if they don't really kow what they're doing. Perfect example is water rendering. On the PC side, the water looks spectacular at higher settings. On the Mac, those same settings render the water like it had been contaminated by a shipment of gelatin. This is due to Apple not keeping up with OpenGL (and OpenGL simply not being a gaming video protocol - not like DirectX is on the PC side. Game manufacturers are basically trying to make a Clydesdale (OpenGL) run as quickly as a Thoroughbred (DirectX)). Apple uses a much older version of OpenGL, one that can't handle the calculations fast enough (this is a gross oversimplification, btw) and so can't render the water the way DirectX does (which it does (again, gross oversimplification) by using a "shorthand" to calculate what is immediately important, as opposed to OpenGL which feels it needs to calculate ALL the things).

So my suggestion to my fellow Mac Users - if you want to see the Mac be more responsive and robust - head on over to Apple's community forums and go to town. Because until Apple bakes that kind of support in the OS, there is little Blizzard would be able to do.

tl;dnr whatever video and audio enhancements you are looking for requires Apple to build the core functionality in and that Apple is woefully behind in support of gaming-level audio-visual needs, so go poke Apple with a stick. ;)

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