Wednesday, July 18th 2018

World of Warcraft Engine Updated to Support DX12, Adds 21:9 Cinematic Rendering

The folks at Blizzard have taken it into their hands to update the eons-old, but still running strong, World of Warcraft. Some back-end improvements have been made, and were essentially lost within the latest patch notes - as in, not even mentioned - that included this update to the latest API. The game now supports DX11 and DX12, but there's a caveat - only AMD users should use the DX12 implementation. Players using an NVIDIA graphics card will see an immediate performance hit from going to the more modern renderer. For now, the change is virtual - there doesn't seem to have been any particular work for performance improvements.

Other changes include ditching Exclusive Fullscreen (now only windowed and borderless windowed modes are available), improving the cinematic renderer for 21:9 ratio support, and changing graphical options. The performance presets of low, medium and high have been swapped with 1-10 sliders (a change prior to this patch), which allow for more granular control of graphics options - and improved performance, since more rendering variables are now affected. The game really does run extremely well nowadays, however; it seems a little counter intuitive to devote the resources to add DX12 support for barely any real improvement, so this could be the herald of future changes.
Sources: WoW Patch Notes, via Reddit
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64 Comments on World of Warcraft Engine Updated to Support DX12, Adds 21:9 Cinematic Rendering

#1
Gasaraki
"Other changes include ditching Exclusive Fullscreen (now only windowed and borderless windowed modes are available) "

Why? That's counter intuative for performance.
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#2
dj-electric
Have you tried some content off the new pre-patch? Do you think its time ill dust off my brave warrior?
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#3
dirtyferret
dj-electric
Have you tried some content off the new pre-patch? Do you think its time ill dust off my brave warrior?
The game flows a low better now in terms of narrative with much better stories. Zones, mobs, and loot all scale to your level allowing you to complete everything in a zone without out leveling while skipping entire zone and expansions if you want. It's still a carrot on a stick game but Blizzard does a great job hiding that aspect, obviously if that type of game does not appeal to you at all then the game itself won't appeal to you.

On a side note; WoW has had a 1-10 scale system for some time, it's not new.
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#4
Vya Domus
The game engine is an absolute relic , wasted effort.
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#5
Vinska
Raevenlord
but there's a caveat - only AMD users should use the DX12 implementation. Players using an NVIDIA graphics card will see an immediate performance hit
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#6
lynx29
I have been considering getting back in to WoW again. This seems like a pretty good deal really, especially since I didn't buy the last two expansions.
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#7
Xuper
any Bench is done?
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#8
bug
Vya Domus
The game engine is an absolute relic , wasted effort.
Of perfect grounds for getting your first cup of DX12 ;)
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#9
INSTG8R
Vanguard Beta Tester
bug
Of perfect grounds for getting your first cup of DX12 ;)
If you’re on Red Team ;)
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#10
PerfectWave
strange cos i always thought nvidia is capable of DX12 Kappa
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#11
Vinska
Too bad the game went straight downhill after WotLK / since Cata
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#12
Octopuss
LOL, what? The game has so crappy graphics even a fast phone could render it without problems. Adding Dx12 support seems like wasted effort.
Maybe if they increased the polygon count per scene to 200 instead, it would look a little better.
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#13
Gasaraki
Octopuss
LOL, what? The game has so crappy graphics even a fast phone could render it without problems. Adding Dx12 support seems like wasted effort.
Maybe if they increased the polygon count per scene to 200 instead, it would look a little better.
Obviously you meant the original WoW graphics. The engine has been updated a few times to support high polygons, so it's still pretty taxing on weak cards.
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#15
Franzen4Real
Gasaraki
Obviously you meant the original WoW graphics. The engine has been updated a few times to support high polygons, so it's still pretty taxing on weak cards.
There are zones in the current expansion that my GTX1080 can't hit 60FPS, and GPUTweak is showing 5.5GB of Vram being used, so even high end cards can get hit pretty hard. I think it's due to the art style of the game that makes some look at it and assume it has low requirements.
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#16
lynx29
Gasaraki
Obviously you meant the original WoW graphics. The engine has been updated a few times to support high polygons, so it's still pretty taxing on weak cards.
This is true, I ran WoW last year with a 1080 Ti, maxed out settings, MSAA I changed to CSAA or w.e its called, its the most demanding option WoW offers in settings, and I was only getting around 90 frames, which really wasn't enough to enjoy the game, as I prefer that game at around 120-144 fps / hz. so I lowered it down to MSAA x4 and was happy.

so meh
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#17
Vya Domus
Franzen4Real
There are zones in the current expansion that my GTX1080 can't hit 60FPS, and GPUTweak is showing 5.5GB of Vram being used, so even high end cards can get hit pretty hard. I think it's due to the art style of the game that makes some look at it and assume it has low requirements.
It's not the art work , it's the age of the engine. People have to realize there's code in there written more than a decade ago , there is no chance this game will ever properly take advantage of modern hardware. And who knows what clusterfuck lies in the back end of the game which is just as old.
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#18
Zubasa
Vya Domus
The game engine is an absolute relic , wasted effort.
Actually MMOs like WoW can really benefit from DX12, each individual character might not be the most graphical intensive,
but the sheer amount of draw calls that can happen in game absolutely hammers the main render thread.
This interns make the game quite CPU intensive. Worse this game had poor multi-core support, and DX12 allows for more draw calls and better multi-threading.

The main purpose of DX12 was never better graphics than DX11, but more efficient use of the hardware.
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#19
Vya Domus
Zubasa
Worse this game had poor multi-core support
And it's unlikely DX12 will change that , the main logic of the game can still be a huge bottleneck and given it's age it definitely is. I bet there is stuff written in there by people than left long ago and no one got a clue how to properly fix it or would dare to do so.

DX12 is not a magic sauce that fixes problems. The way I see this will be a straight port to DX12 with no additional features or major improvements , probably a test bed for a future engine.
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#20
lynx29
Vya Domus
And it's unlikely DX12 will change that , the main logic of the game can still be a huge bottleneck and given it's age it definitely is. I bet there is stuff written in there by people than left long ago and no one got a clue how to properly fix it or would dare to do so.

DX12 is not a magic sauce that fixes problems. The way I see this will be a straight port to DX12 with no additional features or major improvements , probably a test bed for a future engine.
No need to debate it, while I agree with you Vya, Zubasa may also be right, there is one easy way to test this. Load up WoW demo. Turn on DX12 off and on, and compare FPS. Ez pz, but let's face it we are all too lazy, and actually don't care about this argument at all, we are just bored and want to socialize because we are social creatures.
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#21
Vayra86
Octopuss
LOL, what? The game has so crappy graphics even a fast phone could render it without problems. Adding Dx12 support seems like wasted effort.
Maybe if they increased the polygon count per scene to 200 instead, it would look a little better.
Have you even played Legion with supersampling on and all sliders maxed? It looks pretty neat. + bonus points for 65-120 FPS in an MMO raiding with 25 people.

Even so, better threading will help the game in many ways, most notably player hubs and crowded raid fights where FPS can still go to sub 30s if people go wild and stack up.



lynx29
No need to debate it, while I agree with you Vya, Zubasa may also be right, there is one easy way to test this. Load up WoW demo. Turn on DX12 off and on, and compare FPS. Ez pz, but let's face it we are all too lazy, and actually don't care about this argument at all, we are just bored and want to socialize because we are social creatures.
:laugh:
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#22
Tartaros
Vayra86
Have you even played Legion with supersampling on and all sliders maxed? It looks pretty neat. + bonus points for 65-120 FPS in an MMO raiding with 25 people.
Not in Antorus 7.3. Bl pull in that patch should have displaced Crysis in the "but can it run (insert a taxing game)" meme. It was ludicrous.
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#23
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
Vayra86
Have you even played Legion with supersampling on and all sliders maxed? It looks pretty neat. + bonus points for 65-120 FPS in an MMO raiding with 25 people.
Didn't play Legion, but some settings really kills performance. Ambient occlusion, iirc, is super heavy on the GPU. Personally I've never found the more advanced eye candy to be worth it really.
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#24
Sp33d Junki3
Doubt performance hit using DX12 with nvidia cards.
My GTX1060 2560x1440 and few friends GTX1050 to GTX1080 neither of them have any issue.
Something else is causing whoever problems.
With BFA CPU usage change, game is so much smoother.
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#25
Devastator0
Gasaraki
"Other changes include ditching Exclusive Fullscreen (now only windowed and borderless windowed modes are available) "

Why? That's counter intuative for performance.
Yeah, I'd want to know why they've made this move. I've always been under the impression that running a game at exclusive full screen = better performance. I don't know why exactly, but that's what I've always worked off.
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