Shadowlands Will Upgrade the Quality of Shadows in World of Warcraft
A Reddit user known as LemonKing recently shared new information on the eighth expansion for World of Warcraft, Shadowlands. The expansion will apparently include raytraced shadows for people with strong enough gaming rigs and variable rate shading will be added to the MMO as well. Blizzard has been evolving the visuals in World of Warcraft for years, with the original engine just being an evolution of the Warcraft III engine. World of Warcraft: Shadowlands releases later this year, with an alpha build available to select subscribers now.
LemonKing released screencaps of a chat log full of technical information from the alpha build of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands. The chat log included information on different qualities of raytraced shadows and various rates of variable rate shading depending on the quality of gaming rig a subscriber has access to. The game has various help commands that can be used to access otherwise hidden information and LemonKing clearly knows his way around the menu options but there’s no word from Blizzard if both features will be in the retail version of Shadowlands or not.
Variable rate shading and ray tracing are staples of Microsoft’s DirectX 12 Ultimate and it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see Blizzard evolve their engine more to include these features. The studio was among the first in the industry to offer DirectX 11, HBAO+ and DirectX 12 and they’ve continued to innovate over the years. Minecraft is another title that will be getting ray tracing support in some form, although it seems like people can’t agree which of two options is the better one.
Are you looking forward to a World of Warcraft with ray tracing and variable rate shading? Let us know in the comments below!