WoW in panorama format - multiple screen setup made easy

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Many years ago, a second or even third screen was the preserve of PC nerds and gamers, but today it's at least as common as gaming mice and keyboards. The advantages of this come into their own in pretty much every field of application - but especially when it comes to gaming. And it doesn't matter what kind of gamer you are. Whether you're a lone wolf, a social multiplayer, or a multitasker on the side. Being able to do other things on a separate screen away from WoW is quite beneficial. Besides the mindless questing, you can watch the latest Netflix series, see who's joining the Discord and what's being written there, or have the current boss guide open.

So far, none of this should be news to most WoW players. However, you can also use the second (or third) monitor for other purposes - namely directly for WoW! Instead of having the world of Azeroth only on one screen, with some ugly language programs or websites next to it, you can expand your view to Stormwind, Orgrimmar and co. Not only does this give you a better overview, but it also gives you more room to spread out your interface elements. Over the years, the sleek and simple design of the original interface has become a cluttered collection of add-ons, gauges, and other (more or less) useful things that you don't need in your field of vision, but still don't want to do without. From damage meters to healer cooldowns to raid notes.

Table of Contents

  1. 1Seconddisplay - why?
  2. 2Moreaddons, more overview
  3. 3Window modeor virtual desktop
  4. 4Panoramawith Nvidia Surround
  5. 5Help, I'm trapped in the slot!
  6. 6Move, hide, rebuild
  7. 7Ourhighlights for the Second Screen
  8. 8Don't hidedisadvantages
  9. 9Graphics powerand resolution
  10. 10Tabletor mobile instead of screen
  11. 11Conclusion
  1. Open

Second display - why?

WoW works great on one screen. Anything else would also be strange. Because on the one hand, of course, it was programmed and developed for that, and on the other hand, millions of players would have a problem otherwise. The same can be said about the original interface and the entire game client itself. Nevertheless, the vast majority of all players use various addons. Some of them make virtual life easier, others give you a better overview or provide you with additional information. No more and no less represents an extension of WoW to another screen. It doesn't make WoW a different game and it doesn't make you a better player. But it can make your life easier under certain circumstances. Spread across three screens, the field of view within the game increases dramatically. The whole thing resembles an ultrawide monitor. But these are very expensive and only available on a few desktops. Source: buffed There are basically two ways you can use the extra space. We'll explain later how to set up both options and what you'll need to spread WoW across multiple displays.

More addons, more overview

If you distribute WoW on several screens, then the visible area becomes larger - so far so clear. However, this also increases the so-called viewing area, which should be familiar to shooter players in particular. In practice, this means that as the image is drawn wider and wider, it gradually bends around your character. Much like you would normally arrange multiple screens on a desk - not straight in front of you, but around you. So you're better able to see what's going on around your character. Admittedly, in many cases this is irrelevant, but in boss fights or the arena the overview you gain can be useful.
You can also use the space for various addons. Source: buffed For most players, it will be much more relevant that you will have more space for addons without restricting your direct field of vision. Because many addons and displays, such as damage meters, raid frames, chat, healing cooldowns or even the (mini) map, most players want to see in their interface, but banish them as far as possible to the edge so that they do not interfere. How about moving all of that to the second monitor, where you can look at it when you need to, while the actual screen you're playing on only shows the most important information? Sound good? Then you should read on.

Windowed Mode or Virtual Desktop

The first step to getting WoW onto multiple screens can be done in two ways. Unfortunately, the WoW client as such does not offer a function to split the image and display it on two different devices. Therefore, you have to help yourself in another way. The easiest way is to send WoW into window mode. Because you can drag the window as you need it. If necessary, even across two or more screens.
The second way would be to use the settings of your graphics card (or an external program like DisplayFusion) to virtually turn your entire desktop into a single screen, which is then extended to all displays. Graphics cards such as the models from Nvidia have this function by default as a so-called surround configuration. However, this has a small disadvantage, because a Windows set up in this way then also affects all other programs. This might be acceptable for browser windows, but if you don't want to run other games on multiple screens, you'll have to switch back and forth. This takes only a few seconds, but all programs except Windows must be closed, which makes it a little more cumbersome than necessary. Cities like Boralus look much more impressive in panoramic format. Source: buffed



Panorama with Nvidia Surround

If you have an Nvidia graphics card installed in your PC, you have access to the Nvidia Surround mode. This turns your different screens into a single desktop in no time. This way, all games or applications are automatically displayed on all monitors. You can also switch back and forth between the different settings relatively easily. However, you'll have to close all programs each time. And by all, we really mean all. Even software running in the background for gaming mice or an inactive Skype have to be closed. We'll give you a quick guide on where to find surround mode and how it works:

  • First, you need to go to the Nvidia Control Panel. The easiest way to find it is to right-click on the desktop. Or you can go there via the Nvidia icon in the notification area of your taskbar.
  • Under 3D Settings you will find the sub-item Surround, Configure PhysX.
  • Now you have to activate the mode by checking "Distribute with Surround over displays".
  • Then tap on Configure.
  • All active screens will now be displayed. With the checkboxes further down you can set which screens should be combined into one desktop. You can also choose in which form this should be done - landscape or portrait format.
  • Above all, make sure that the monitors are arranged correctly.
  • Once you've set everything up, all you have to do is activate Surround mode.
  • Don't worry if this takes a while. Depending on your graphics card, it may take a few seconds before you see anything on your screens again.
  • If you want to undo the whole thing, simply uncheck the "Distribute with surround over displays" option. Attention: This also takes a few seconds and all programs have to be closed.

In some cases it can happen that Windows does not reactivate the additional monitors. In this case you can reactivate it under Settings > Display. Select the appropriate monitor and change the tab at the bottom from "Disconnect this display" to "Extend desktop to this display".

Source: buffed Source: buffed

Help, I'm trapped in the slot!

However, if you now drag the window wider, by whatever means, a problem occurs. The WoW client always keeps your character exactly in the middle. Unfortunately, this means the middle of the client and not the middle of the screen. If you want to use WoW on two screens, your night elf suddenly hides behind the bar between the two monitors. So playing is of course rather suboptimal. And now a small addon comes into play, which you should install in any case, if you split your WoW client on multiple screens: Sunn - Viewport Art.

Move, hide, rebuild

The addon Sunn - Viewport Art has two important functions. It can show panels of various colors and types on all sides of the WoW window. More importantly, it can manually move and resize the visible area as desired. This allows you to manually move the center of your "visible area" to the center of the screen you want to play on. Whether you want to continue to see gameplay on the outer screens, or cover them with the integrated panels, is up to you and can be quickly changed to suit your tastes.
Once you have everything in place, which can be a bit tricky, you will have your character right in the middle of the main screen, while one or both of the side screens will show more WoW or the set panels.

Source: buffed Source: buffed

All you have to do now is move all the elements you don't want directly in your field of view while playing there. If you're using full interface addons like ElvUi, this will work. If you don't want to use such complete interfaces, you can use the tiny addon MoveAnything to literally move all elements of the interface. What you move where is up to you, of course. For example, we decided to move things like the map, raidframe, skada, heal cooldowns, or DBM timers that are still in the distant future to the other screens, in addition to the chat. The possibilities are almost endless though.

Sunn - Viewport Art is therefore also suitable for all users of ultrawide monitors, who prefer to reduce the visible area a bit and occupy the outer edges with addons.

Our highlights for the Second Screen

We have of course played around with the possibilities that such a setup offers. Even though we focused more on the functionality and less on the polished look, as you can easily see in the pictures. In the process, we noticed a few things whose use on the second screen we particularly liked.
The first is the map. Instead of just the minimap, having the entire map open and still being able to play completely uninterrupted feels great. Especially when you're in the open world, of course. Finally, there's no need to constantly flip up and down the map to see where the next quests are and which way is up.
Secondly, the healing cooldowns in the raid have been particularly useful. Normally you don't have to keep an eye on them all the time. It's enough to check if there's still an Iron Borrow or an Auror Mastery ready to go. Offloaded to another screen, you can always get an overview if you want. Since it also gives you less space issues, you can also display a lot more different cooldowns than you would otherwise. In widescreen, there is plenty of space for various add-ons on the sides. Source: buffed But our real highlight we found outside the raid in the Mythic-Plus-Dungeons of Shadowlands. If you're there often and at a higher level, you're probably familiar with the Mythic Dungeon Tools addon. In it you can see every enemy of a dungeon, their abilities and percent for the necessary trash count. This allows you to create routes before you start, which you can then use to fight your way through the dungeon. But if you're not on the road every day, or have a bad memory like the author of these lines, you'll have to check every now and then during the run which way to go, which group is next, and which enemies might be bypassed and left standing. Also, since created routes can be shared and imported, you'll often be dealing with routes that might not be your usual path. This is where having the open dungeon tools on a second screen is incredibly handy. Otherwise, you'll have to keep opening it if you want to look something up. And even if you make the window really small, it still covers a good quarter of your screen and interface, which is a significant limitation.

Don't hide the disadvantages

With all the advantages, the whole system also has disadvantages that should not be concealed. For example, you'll have to adjust the positioning of all interface elements for the new format in which your WoW window will be located. And by that we really mean all elements. From action bars that need to be moved to the map that hangs between the screens. There are also some elements that are difficult to move. These include the profession windows, which are automatically docked to the left side of your WoW window and then always pop up on the left monitor. There are solutions to all of these problems, such as the Move Anything add-on, but it's going to take some work to get your interface to work properly. Stupidly, you'll also have to do all this work if you want to switch back at some point. Because, if you suddenly reduce the window again, the elements slide wildly through the area - just not where you want them to be. So activating a second monitor just for some content in the game isn't a particularly sensible idea. WoW in panorama format Source: buffed If you're running the WoW client in windowed mode, you'll always have the Windows taskbar at the bottom in view, which isn't exactly visually appealing. There are solutions for this as well, but they are also inconvenient. For example, the WoW window can be set with small programs like DeskPins so that it is always in the foreground, which then covers the taskbar. What remains in any case, however, is the white bar at the top of the window.

Graphics power and resolution

If you play WoW in a larger window across several screens, the workload for your graphics card will naturally increase. However, since World of Warcraft (buy now 14,99 € ) doesn't demand much from your GPU anyway, but rather from your processor, this shouldn't be a big deal for most PCs. The workload on your CPU won't change as a result of the change.
Another important point is that the whole thing will only work properly if your monitors have the same resolution and, if possible, the same size. If, on the other hand, you have a 4k screen in the middle and a standard 1080p monitor next to it, you will have problems because the window will be displayed in different sizes. This is because the WoW client is limited to one resolution for the entire window. If you have a monitor with the same resolution but a different size, you will have a similar problem.
You can solve the problem by simply resizing the WoW window so that it completely covers both screens and then positioning both the visible area and the interface elements only where you can see them - however, this is not exactly the most elegant solution.
In Nvidia Surround, on the other hand, black and unused areas may remain if the monitors have different resolutions. In the worst case, the only solution is to artificially turn down the better monitor, which isn't exactly what the inventor had in mind.


Tablet or mobile phone instead of monitor

If you don't have a second monitor, or perhaps you play on a laptop, you can theoretically extend your screen to any other device that has a screen. Programs like Duet Display make it easy to create a second monitor from Android or iOS devices. All you have to do is install the program and connect your mobile device to your PC. From that moment on, the tablet or smartphone acts exactly like a monitor. In this way, individual elements can be swapped out - the Pip-Boy for WoW players, so to speak.

Conclusion

Spreading WoW across multiple monitors offers a handful of advantages that can hardly be dismissed out of hand. It doesn't matter if you spread out the whole game or only use the additional monitors for addons and other displays. The installation of such a setup is also surprisingly easy. Of course, you don't need all this to enjoy WoW and can dismiss it as a gimmick with a clear conscience. Nevertheless, we can only recommend anyone who has several monitors connected to their PC to try it out for themselves. It's up to you whether you want to go to the trouble of setting up your entire interface for it, or whether you want to switch back to the classic version after playing around a bit.

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