The gaming world is being filled with big release after big release as 2020 comes to a close. We have new consoles about to drop, AMD in a two-front war against Nvidia’s GPUs and Intel’s CPUs, and the next big expansion for World of Warcraft, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.
But while AMD is battling Nvidia and Intel, it seems they decided to make allies out of Blizzard. Recently, the two combined to release a peek into the Shadowlands expansion and what it would look like with AMD’s new features.
AMD recently released their newest generation of processors, the incredibly powerful 5k series, and are heading towards a launch on November 15th for their new RX 6000 series graphics cards as well. On the partnership, AMD had the following to say:
“In partnership with AMD, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands features RDNA optimized graphical improvements, such as DirectX® Raytraced Shadows and FidelityFX™ Ambient Occlusion, for increased quality of environments and surroundings as you travel Azeroth, the Shadowlands, and beyond.”
Considering that the two individual companies have some of the most hyped releases of the quarter, it makes sense that they’d join forces to show what they can do together. Given that there are plenty of World of Warcraft players looking to upgrade, showing what they have to gain was a strong move.
World of #Warcraft had teamed up with @AMD to show off DirectX® Raytraced Shadows and FidelityFX™ Ambient Occlusion, which promise to increase graphical fidelity and performance in #Shadowlands.https://t.co/TmvBR1r53C pic.twitter.com/IbAold4NLY
— Wowhead (@Wowhead) November 11, 2020
One of the main things being added is the FidelityFX Ambient Occlusion, which simulates indirect shading and lighting. This new graphic feature adds a level of realism to scenery to stunning effect, creating softer shadows for a more realistic appearance.
Another is the inclusion of what AMD is calling CACAO, which stands for Combined Adaptive Compute Ambient Occlusion. This feature is described by Wowhead as “a highly optimized implementation of ambient occlusion, which can be run at multiple different quality settings.”
This in particular is a wonderful addition, as it supports several different quality settings rather than being set specifically for high graphical quality. This allows players on a range of systems, from budget to future-proof, to use the feature.
Of course, ray-tracing has been the main graphical talking point recently, and AMD isn’t going to be coming to the table without it. Ray-tracing provides a more realistic appearance for lighting especially, adding another level of realism.
Overall, there’s a great amount to see, and plenty of players are going to be vying to grab one of the new cards when AMD drops them on the upcoming 15th. With any luck, AMD’s stock will be allowing plenty of players to step into the Shadowlands in style.