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'World of Warcraft: Shadowlands' release date, gameplay: Blizzard develops next expansion with ray tracing support

From the “World of Warcraft: Shadowlands” cinematic trailer | Photo credit: World of Warcraft channel/YouTube screenshot

After a few leaked information and images, Blizzard Entertainment has confirmed that “World of Warcraft: Shadowlands” is going to be the massively multiplayer online role-playing game’s next expansion. Developers have yet to reveal other specific details about its launch and gameplay, but it has been noted that it could support ray tracing once it goes live.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands’ to introduce ray tracing to the franchise

Ray tracing support has been one of the latest trends in the video game industry. In the simple sense, this visual and graphics tech works with lighting effects by mimicking how the light responds in real life. It imitates the light’s behavior and how it touches one surface and bounces off to another object providing highly realistic images. Ray tracing is now getting wider support on more affordable gaming rigs, so it is not surprising for Blizzard to consider building “World of Warcraft: Shadowlands” with this sophisticated lighting effects.

Blizzard developers confirmed in an interview through that they are now considering the addition of ray tracing support on “World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.” Blizzard reportedly believes that more gamers now have access to PCs that can handle ray tracing and other modern gaming techs. Blizzard has then revealed that the developers are exploring adding ray tracing and multi-threading support.

Gaming fans may recall that GPU maker Nvidia has been quite aggressive in updating the RTX drivers primarily for ray tracing support. Blizzard developers have also mentioned that these are the components they are currently working with to develop “World of Warcraft: Shadowlands” with ray tracing.

It might take a while before fans could see a ray tracing-supported teaser trailer of “World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.” But for references, Nvidia has several demo videos showing how a game with ray tracing compares to those that do not have it.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands’ release date, plot: What to expect

Blizzard has much more details to announce about “World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.” The expansion is confirmed to launch in 2020, but the specific timeline is still unknown.

The plot of the next expansion will once again heavily feature Sylvanas Windrunner. As suggested by the earlier leaks, the main villain of “World of Warcraft: Shadowlands” will be the reigning Lich King, Bolvar Fordragon.

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