wisepowder: World of Warcraft: how one of the oldest games uses the newest lighting tech

World of Warcraft: how one of the oldest games uses the newest lighting tech

9 Jan 2021 at 00:41

World of Warcraft is a sixteen-year-old game, but that doesn’t mean it’s stuck with decades-old graphics. WoW’s engineers have updated the game’s tech with every expansion, and the new Shadowlands pack this fall brought in a subtle, but important, new addition to the scenery: ray tracing.To get more news about buy wow classic gold, you can visit lootwowgold official website.

We say subtle because Warcraft’s lighting is already an enormous part of the game; a single map can have thousands of light sources, and that doesn’t include weather effects (which include ambient and natural lighting) and other sources of illumination. So if you’re hoping ray tracing will give you a BAM, now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t impact, you may be disappointed. But like a gentle soundtrack score, ray tracing can increase your immersion in the senior MMORPG, and if you know where to look, you’ll see the difference.
Ray tracing turns light into streams of pixels, allowing the movement of those streams to be calculated and displayed in real time. When a stream of ray traced light hits an object, the pixels bounce off, reflecting and refracting, creating realistic effects and especially lifelike shadows, which move as the object does. The rays that are absorbed, reflected or refracted can in turn hit other objects, transforming again.

The tech has been used for a while in pre-rendered materials (animated movies, pre-rendered game cinematics) but didn’t see much use in gaming until the best graphics cards recently started including the tech to accelerate the process to acceptable speeds for games. While cards supporting ray tracing hit the market in 2018, most PC games featuring the tech didn’t appear on the market or in updates until late last year. And now you’ll also see ray tracing in console games for the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 (assuming you can lay your hands on one.)

NVIDIA built native ray tracing support into its Turing and Ampere graphics cards, but some support for basic ray tracing was also patched into older models from 1060s on up. For AMD cards, your choices are more limited: the 6800, our pick of the 6800 XT, and the 6900 XT all support ray tracing, but are incredibly hard to find.


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