Ray tracing tested on Shadowlands Beta

Thoughts? I see 0 Difference is it really worth it? You lose almost -80 FPS btw with 2080ti being tested.


Guess like some have said, it’s more proof of concept than actual intended use

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As others have pointed out in the comments section, WoW’s ancient game engine isn’t the best place to showcase bleeding edge Ray Tracing capabilities.

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I might be mistaken in this… but doesn’t the SL beta, at least currently, only use DXR (I’m hoping it’s not specifically RTX) for shadows?

Shadow maps and/or projected shadows are already pretty decent. Not great, but decent. And in scenes like that with fairly static shadows and no areas for them to project through objects, it’s really not surprising it doesn’t look all that different. Especially when you add YouTube’s woeful compression on top.

I can’t imagine in places with heavy more complex shadows (like multiple player models) what the performance hit would be.


Imagine if you will, a raid. A 25 man raid with full ray tracing turned on and an rtx 2080 struggling to run it at 1080p. Not saying Radeon would fair any better, but we need DLSS and DLSS equivalents to make it worth while.

don’t need to imagine, i played this game on an FX chip once


RTX is in beta the 3000 series are supposedly 4 times as fast. A 3060-3070 will smoke a 2080ti…

Would not surprise me. Looking forward to what Nvidia has been working on.

Higher poly models and revamped high detail zones >>>>>>>> Raytracing. Absolutely useless feature, you would get much more bang for your buck as far as eye candy is concerned if you started using more than 20 polygons on your models.

they need to go through and update the old stuff. That’s half the game that is low rez now.

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And there-in lay the reason why they opt for something to go over the top, rather than revamping the old. It’s a huge amount of effort to go back and rework every scene, every model, every little detail to the point where they all fit (otherwise you KNOW someone, quite possibly already in this thread, will whine about it). It isn’t simply a case of adding extra geometry to existing models since that doesn’t actually add extra detail unless they manipulate it somehow.

It’s part of why I’m surprised they never looked into displacement mapping in the early DX11 days. Adding that could be mostly automated with some manual tweaking after the fact.

This, by contrast, just requires finding objects that should be giving off light and making them give off light. A small back-end change which can proliferate through the entire game without any further thought. Assign an intensity and strength, leave the hardware to the rest. Boom - done, and with minimal impact on systems that won’t use the extra data.

Well-executed shadows will do far more for the visuals of the game than updating the models anyway. You can hide a surprising amount of flaws with good lighting, while said lighting can also be manipulated to “add” detail as well.

The other advantage this has is a reduced footprint. WoW still has to run on “toasters” and “potatoes” with acceptable performance. If you go back and increase the geometry and texture detail by an order of magnitude, now you have to store everything twice for those older systems or risk having to perform potentially expensive (read: slow) calculations to try and scrape back some of that performance.