News Posts matching #Warcraft

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World of Warcraft Set to Receive Ray Tracing Support with Shadowlands Alpha

Blizzard Entertainment is set to bring a significant upgrade to World of Warcraft's graphics just in time for the next expansion. A new Ray Traced Shadow option was discovered by Jaydaa over at the Wowhead forums on the Shadowlands Alpha, the ray tracing settings can be viewed on the alpha but can't be enabled yet. When Blizzard enables Ray Tracing support, players with NVIDIA RTX graphics cards will be able to take advantage of more realistic shadows and lighting within the game. The screenshots show the option for three levels of ray tracing fidelity from fair to good and up to high which will each offer higher resolution and more detailed lighting.

Activision Blizzard Pulls Out of NVIDIA GeForce Now Game Streaming Service

NVIDIA recently launched its GeForce Now game streaming service, where you could stream any game from your digital library on some capable hardware. However, it seems that the service is not receiving good acceptance from some game makers, specifically Activision Blizzard. In a surprising turn of events, Activision Blizzard has pulled out its entire game library from the GeForce Now game streaming service. Being a provider of many popular titles like Call of Duty series, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, etc. this makes a big blow to the GeForce Now service.

Underlying reasons for this move are unknown. Activision Blizzard has been a part of the GeForce Now Beta program, with its games being readily available. What made them pull out now, when the streaming service began operating just a few days ago, is the possibility that Activision Blizzard seeks more profits. Some speculations indicate that they are switching the streaming platforms or making their own. The sheer size of players utilizing Activision Blizzard games is astonishing, and if they decide to make their service, it could turn out to be very profitable.

Warcraft III: Reforged is the World's Worst User-Reviewed Videogame

Blizzard Entertainment recently released Warcraft III: Reforged, their remastered version of the original Warcraft III. The new game saw the inclusion of the original Reign of Chaos campaign and its expansion, the Frozen Throne. This delivered a game with some 60 campaign missions, all with reworked graphics, four hours of updated in-game cutscenes and re-recorded voice-overs, alongside rebalanced online play and the addition of social and matchmaking capabilities. But paint the feature list as one can, the game's Metacritic score definitely isn't what Blizzard drawed it up to be.

The game sits with an aggregate review score of 63/100, which is already on the... very low side for such a game, I'd say. However, that score pales in comparison with the aggregate user review score, which places the game in an almost unfathomable 0.5/10... With close to 22,000 users reviewing the game already. Now, we all know that people are most critical of the things they love the most (and thus expect the most of). Bugs and a feeling of betrayal regarding the games' graphical and cutscene presentation seem to be high on the list of qualms users have with the remastered version, but I think a 0.5 score really is undeserved... I'd say most games with user scores lesser than 8/10 are actually worse experiences than this game, but who am I to judge. There's a comparison video after the break for you to check with critical eyes.

Blizzard Releases Warcraft III: Reforged System Requirements

Blizzard today released the system requirements for their remastered version of Warcraft III, Warcraft III: Reforged. The new game sees the inclusion of the original Reign of Chaos campaign and its expansion, the Frozen Throne, amounting to 60 campaign missions. Reworked graphics, four-hours of updated in-game cutscenes and re-recorded voice-overs are paired with rebalanced online play and the addition of social and matchmaking capabilities.

Requirements-wise, it's a light game on its minimum settings for sure: Blizzard says gamers will need an Intel Core i3-530 or AMD Athlon Phenom II X4 910. A mere 4 GB of system RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 or AMD Radeon HD 5750 will be required to power the games' visuals. If you aren't looking for the minimum specs but how good of an experience you'll have, the Recommended specs up the ante: an Intel Core i5-6400 or AMD Ryzen 7 1700X or better are being called for, paired with 8 GB of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon R9 280X.

DirectX 12 Makes Windows 7 Debut With Latest World of Warcraft Patch

In what is likely to create a good deal of controversy along with a few cheers, Blizzard will be adding DirectX 12 support to World of Warcraft on Windows 7 thanks to a bit of effort from Microsoft. You might be wondering how that is possible? Well after seeing massive performance gains in WoW when Blizzard released their DirectX 12 update for Windows 10 in late 2018, resulted in the company wanting to bring those performance improvements to gamers still holding out on Windows 7. To facilitate this, they began talking with Microsoft who after getting a great deal of feedback from Blizzard decided to act on it. To achieve this Microsoft decided to port the user mode D3D12 runtime to Windows 7, which will unblock developers, thereby allows them to take advantage of the latest improvements that the DirectX 12 API offers while still giving full support to customers on older operating systems.

For now, World of Warcraft is the first game to run in DirectX 12 on Windows 7 with the latest 8.1.5 patch. However, they will not be the last as more developers are working on porting DirectX 12 games to Windows 7 with more announcements to follow. Microsoft, of course, has taken it upon themselves to remind everyone that the best possible performance with DirectX 12 will still be had on Windows 10 due to numerous OS optimizations. How true this is remains to be seen, but for many curmudgeons still holding out on Windows 7, this will likely be seen as a form of vindication for sticking with the now venerable OS.

Activision Blizzard Doubling Down on Diablo, Warcraft IPs Amidst Changing Market

The times have been rough for the Activision Blizzard juggernaut, as changing market conditions and lack of differentiated IP launches have led the company into a sort of stagnant position in the market - in both launches and revenue sources. The recent split from Destiny developer Bungie took out a bite from one of the company's additional streams of revenue amidst dwindling World of Warcraft subscriptions (after the usual spike post launch for Battle of Azeroth) and the lack of any new sources of income in the close future. This saw the company's stock valuation coming down, and was bookended by the recent layoff of some 8% total of the company's workforce (around 800 out of its 9,600 employees). Reports peg these as being mostly outside of the game development workforce, though, which could give traction to the report that the company is doubling down on IP-related development, instead of shying away from it - a sensible move, if you'll ask me.

Activision Blizzard COO Coddy Johnson reiterated Blizzard's fantastic IP reserves, and wants the company to achieve a higher cadence in content releases that follow the type of high-quality launches they achieve in their World of Warcraft expansions - but on other, more differentiated revenue sources. Johnson also reiterated more resources being put to work on the Diablo franchise, saying that "Diablo's development headcount will grow substantially", with "The teams are working on several projects for the franchise as well as the global launch of Diablo Immortal."
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