We've known for quite some time that World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will get ray tracing support due to leaked settings early in May 2020. Now, the latest NVIDIA driver has officially added ray tracing support for the Shadowlands beta.
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands ray tracing
The ultra-realistic visual effects from ray tracing is going to give World of Warcraft: Shadowlands a big facelift in terms of its shadows. For now, however, the Shadowlands beta has not been updated but you can expect an update soon since NVIDIA released the latest driver.
In the latest NVIDIA driver (452.06) patch notes, ray tracing for the Shadowlands beta is specifically mentioned: "Blizzard’s readying a test of their newest World of Warcraft expansion.
"Opt-in here, and if you’re accepted be sure to download and install our latest Game Ready Driver to experience the introduction of ray-traced visual effects to the world’s most successful MMORPG."
Ray Tracing settings in WoW: Shadowlands alpha (Picture: WoWHead)
At the time of writing, Blizzard has not released an update for the Shadowlands beta to support ray tracing. However, if you would like to know which settings will be available once the update goes live, you can check them out below thanks to multiple global strings found in the expansion's alpha test.
- RT_SHADOW_QUALITY - ray traced Shadows
- VIDEO_OPTIONS_RT_SHADOW_QUALITY_FAIR - ray traced Shadows from directional light sources at reduced resolution.
- OPTION_TOOLTIP_RT_SHADOW_QUALITY - Improves shadow quality with ray tracing, which produces shadows with more natural softness, greatly increased precision, and from additional light sources.
- VIDEO_OPTIONS_RT_SHADOW_QUALITY_HIGH - ray traced Shadows from directional and local light sources at full resolution.
- VIDEO_OPTIONS_RT_SHADOW_QUALITY_MEDIUM - ray traced Shadows from directional and local light sources at reduced resolution.
From the leaks so far, it seems only shadows in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will get ray tracing enhancements.
However, this might change as we will have to wait and see what Blizzard has in store for players with GeForce RTX cards once the update goes live.
For now, all you can do is prepare your gaming PC by downloading the latest NVIDIA drivers.