WoW Cataclysm: How to Activate the DirectX-11-Mode

The WoW-Addon Cataclysm offers an additional DirectX-11-rendering path. PC Games Hardware shows you, how to activate the DX-11-mode and which changes it is going to provide.
WoW Cataclysm: Activate Direct X 11 for more fps
WoW Cataclysm: Activate Direct X 11 for more fps [Source: view picture gallery]
As far as you have a DirectX-11-capable gaming system, you can activate the experimental DX-11-mode in World of Warcraft - which of course includes Cataclysm. You might need to know that this procedure won't make WoW look any prettier, but on slower systems the game speeds up a little after undergoing this procedure, compared to the DX9-version of the default game.

Cataclysm DX11: Extending the WoW Launcher.exe
Cataclysm DX11: Extending the WoW Launcher.exe [Source: view picture gallery]
When you look at today's World of Warcraft, you'll be confronted with graphics much more beautiful than they used to be, a few weeks ago - no matter if rendered in DirectX 9 or 11. Not only does the update of the engine add enhanced pixel shading to portray new water- and lava-effects but it also offers so called sun shafts that visibly enhance lighting. The new modifications apply to all of Azeroth which means Cataclysm-areas and the "classic" ones as well. Water at its highest level of detail now has a lucency effect, environment reflections and swell as soon as characters pass through. Eventually, this looks more frugal than the multi-texture-water we've had 'til then, but now it looks more realistic and dynamic.

Good News: To see all this, you won't need a DirectX-11-PC. Blizzard implemented all those effects in the DirectX 9 rendering path. But at least for testing purposes, DX11 is worth a try. The performance boost is - depending on the graphics card - indeed measurable. You can gain up to 40 per cent by modifying your settings as described in the following section.

DirectX 11 in WoW (Cataclysm): How it works
- Option 1: You can activate the DirectX 11 rendering path by editing the target of your WoW desktop shortcut (which should look something like "C:\...\World of Warcraft\Launcher.exe"). Simply add the parameter "-d3d11" (no quotation marks).

- Option 2: You can also edit the "" in "\World of Warcraft\WTF" and add the line SET gxApi "d3d11" (with quotation marks, as in the picture). If you want to undo your changes due to trouble, simply delete the entry you just added.

Picture gallery  (enlarge to view source)

Author: Vötter, Sauter (Dec 13, 2010)

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