Engineer’s Workshop: Enabling Ray-Traced Shadows in Shadowlands

No, it really does. My laptop runs the game at 180 FPS without ray tracing and about 50-70 with ray tracing.

This is not at all unusual. Ray tracing is expensive and there are fairly few RT cores.

Blizzard also isn’t using DLSS, so at very high resolutions the GPU just gets murdered.

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cries in poor

To be fair, WoW’s new shadows don’t exactly require RTX. Other games have been doing this for a few years now, more like a decade, using deferred shading. And tbh, considering all the cool things deferred shading can do with dynamic lights, I really hope Blizzard some day patches it into the WoW engine.

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Funny thing is SC2 WoL has better lighting than WoW Shadowlands despite the presence of ray tracing.

It’s honestly amazing.

But WoW has some fantastical beautiful landscapes. If only the engine was up to the task.

Also, fun fact, WoW does use a deferred renderer.

The main thing that’s improved with the new ray-tracing feature is environmental and character shadows cast from the 1 global sun/moon light source. With the old implementation, the shadows from trees and flying mounts looks extremely unrealistic because they are very hard-edged. With the new ray-traced shadows, the shadows diffuse realistically depending on how far the object is from the surface the shadow is cast on.

Yeah, it’s not a massive improvement, but I think the old shadows looked really bad, so I’m very happy that they now look more realistic. But considering it’s basically only shadows that are ray-traced, and there are very few light sources in WoW that produce shadows, the frame-rate impact is very high at the moment. Let’s hope Blizzard can still optimize the performance.

Amazing! super excited about the future of real time Ray Tracing, please ignore the haters who’s life’s purpose is to criticize you even when there’s absolutely nothing to criticize.

Looking forwards to ray traced reflections & global illumination in the future, and maybe some fluid solvers and destructible terrain soon after that? :innocent:

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