World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is getting some nifty options to help maintain a smooth frame-rate, and they could (rather handily) come alongside the purported addition of ray tracing to the MMO which we previously reported on.
The new graphics options for Shadowlands (introduced in the alpha of the eighth expansion for WoW) were highlighted by a mod on the Icy Veins forums, and they consist of a Target FPS setting, and another setting for Spell Density.
The Target FPS option allows you to specify just that: a target frame-rate which if your performance drops below, the game will intelligently lower the visual quality to get it back above that number (or at least try to).
This happens dynamically, on-the-fly, and when there’s less action on the screen, and things are running smoother, the WoW engine will automatically up the graphics quality back to where it should be.
Smoothness and clarity
This is coupled with the Spell Density setting that can adjust the amount of spells displayed on-screen – which can be problematic in, say, a massive raid where loads of spell effects are flying all around – to combat any performance slowdown.
Spell Density will have a raft of options, including a dynamic setting which will get rid of any ‘non-essential’ spell effects intelligently based on the frame-rate, much like Target FPS. The full range of options with Spell Density are:
- Essential: Only shows essential spells. Your own spells are always shown
- Some: Reduces non-essential spells shown by around 75%
- Half: Reduces non-essential spells by around 50%
- Most: Reduces non-essential spells by around 25%
- Dynamic: Reduces non-essential spells shown based on frame-rate. If you are above your desired frame-rate, everything will be shown
- Everything: Always show all spells
As mentioned, this could be a big help in huge brawls and raids, not just for a smoother frame-rate, but in terms of removing all that visual clutter, and being able to see what’s going on with more clarity.
Another fresh introduction is a revamped and improved character selection screen, which doesn’t hurt either. Fresh references to gamepad controls have also been spotted via data mining – not for the first time, mind – but this is again another hint that maybe Blizzard’s MMO could be coming to consoles at some point, perhaps even the Xbox Series X or PS5.