World of CPU Utilization
Now that World of Warcraft is something like F2P, I thought why not, give it a try. So I grabbed the ~30 MB installer exe (WoW-4.0.0-WOW-enGB-Installer.exe) and let it start installing the client. The initial program is almost immediately replaced by this bigger launcher client, which seems to do the rest, until the game becomes playable. My PC (or its CPU) runs idle for the most part (I like that), so I was surprised that the fan suddenly became audible. A quick look in the task manager revealed, that the Blizzard launcher was utilizing almost an entire core – as if I was encoding a video or doing some other stressful task. Since similar clients like µtorrent rarely use up over 2% of a core (at least not constantly), I was quite annoyed. Restarting or minimizing didn’t do anything. But the guilty part was easy to find nonetheless. The “Midsummer Fire Festival” part of the window was a flash video… One, that was running in an infinite loop. Yay! Good job Blizz! Since there was no option to disable the video in any other way and downloading 10,4 GB with this heightened energy consumption was out of the question, I took the easiest action available: uninstalling the install_flash_player_ax.exe. I know right, what program still uses the Internet Explorer to render its content?!? I’ve seen nothing of the kind, since Steam switched to Webkit. After that little tweak the CPU utilization was down to 1-5% (still much for a simple downloader, but bearable)… Good thing the Blizzard software won’t/can’t find the flash version for Firefox. :)
PS: BackgroundDownloader.exe does the exact same thing without the bloat.