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Delicate Graphic Settings in Update 8.0

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New physics and graphics are the two major changes, which names Update 8.0 as the most fundamental and biggest update since the release of World of Tanks. The physics theme was already covered by other articles and videos on our portal so it’s time to give a closer look to graphics.

The new renders are more up-to-date and there’s a more productive mechanism when working with graphics now. Thanks to this, developers now have the possibility to add a large amount of graphical elements, which the old system could not support at all or have limited capabilities to.  A large number of these new features will enter the game along with other changes in 8.0, but this is just the beginning of more changes to come and they will be implemented in 2 batches simultaneously: addition of new graphical features and optimization of the old ones, which have been added already.

The new renders rationally distribute workload among the CPU and video adapter. Due to this, the majority of players will have an opportunity to play the game with improved graphics. For the players with low-end PC’s or laptops, which are a common case among WoT players, there is an option to enable the old renders. Overall, it was optimized to make gameplay on such PCs even more comfortable. All users can choose between old and new renders in the game settings. However, it should be kept in mind that the standard and improved versions of graphics are being realized by different mechanisms, which work in the game simultaneously. That’s why some settings will be unavailable to players who choose to pick standard graphics.

The new graphics have specifics, which should be kept in mind by all players who have chosen to use them. The automatic settings adjustment, which works well with the old renders, may possibly work inaccurately with some sets of hardware. So if the user faces a productivity drop, we recommend him dedicating a little of his time to a more detailed tuning of the game settings. It’s better to change settings based on principle from general to details. First of all, if a not so powerful video adapter is being used in the PC, it’s preferable to decrease the screen resolution. This change should be sufficient enough to increase the FPS. If the change in resolution has not produced a significant result, it’s recommended to proceed according to the list below. Each point of this instruction will also tell you about which parameter of your PC influences game productivity with specific options enabled.

  1. Lights quality - In the new renders, lighting is calculated with more details. Player receives more precise and picturesque graphics, which allows deeper exploration into the map atmosphere. There are transitions between light and dark parts so it’s imitated how the vision adapts between them. Game productivity with parameter settings depends on video adapter. Owners of low-end video adapters are strongly advised to keep this parameter at the minimum quality or turn it off entirely. This setting is available only with improved renders.

  2. Shadows quality - In the new version of graphics, shadows are totally reworked. Their display now corresponds to the real scale of the object and its position to the source of light. Shadows are fully dynamic: if a tree shakes, shadows repeat this action; if a pole falls, its shadow will ‘fall’ after it. All above mentioned should be calculated, thus shadow quality depends a lot from overall system productivity, which is influenced both by CPU and video adapter. Do not set shadows quality on high if there are concerns about computer resources. For standard renders, this option is unavailable.

  3. Water quality - In comparison with previous versions, the water display was improved and new effects were added – ripples on the water from shots, a more sophisticated ‘mirroring’ and splashes. All these should also be calculated and this process of optimization for water is still being worked on. That is why this option should also receive attention as it depends on the video adapter. Lowering the quality will increase productivity. This option is only available with new renders.

  4. Decals quality - This option is responsible for quality of details.  Mud tracks, fallen leaves, knocked out sideway piles – these details are regulated by decals setting. The smaller the details the player wants to see displayed in the game, the more powerful the computer is required. This option does not depend a lot on the video adapter, but relies instead on video memory size. For low-end PCs, it’s recommended to set this option on low or disable it. For standard graphics, this option is not available.

  5. Texture quality – This option is not dependent on adapter productivity, but rather on video memory. It’s recommended not to set this option on ‘High’ on old computers. Option is available to both old and new renders. 

  6. Trees quality - On maps that were reworked in 8.0, trees were re-set and optimized. On other maps, it’s still in process and will be done in upcoming updates. Game productivity with this option depends on the video adapter and size of video memory. Max level of quality is available only with improved renders. 

  7. Vegetation quality – This option is responsible for grass and low bushes which are too small for vehicles to hide in. It depends both on the video adapter and memory size. This option is unavailable with standard graphics, because vegetation action is calculated with use of new mechanics. We bring your attention to the fact that optimization of this option is still in process.

  8. Additional effects - This regulates display of smoke, dust, sparks, flames, explosions etc. All these object displays depend not only on the video adapter, but also on the CPU. This is why we recommend setting this option to the lowest level possible on less powerful PCs. This option is available for both improved and standard graphic renders. 

  9. Additional effects in sniper mode - This option repeats everything from the previous point, but affects only the sniper aiming mode. We want to stress that developers are aware about the problem of productivity drop in this aiming mode. Currently, only a temporary solution which solves the issue partly was found. Works on developing a fix have a high priority and Wargaming specialists are doing their best to remove this defect.

  10. Post processing - It includes different graphic effects – fog, bloom etc. It’s still on optimization stage but can be used already. This option mainly depends on the video adapter and partly on video memory size. On lower end PCs, it’s recommended to set this parameter on minimum or turn it off. This option is only available for new graphic renders.

  11. Display distance - This option determines how far the battlefield is displayed. It is dependent on overall system productivity, thus it’s strongly recommended to set this parameter to ‘Medium’ or ‘Low’ on less powerful PCs. This option is available for both standard and improved renders.

  12. Object details - This option determines the amount of details in the environment. It depends on the video adapter and also on the size of video memory. On old PCs, it’s strongly recommended to set this parameter to ‘Medium’ or ‘Low’. Option is available with both graphic renders.

Detailed settings of the above mentioned points normally increase FPS rates by at least in 1.5 times. Another known problem is the issue with anti-aliasing. Currently, only a temporary solution has been implemented. Developers are doing their best to find a fix to this problem.

For all players who were not able to receive a decent FPS rate after detailed tuning of in-game settings, we recommend to use standard variant of graphics engine. It will always be present in the game but we do not plan to add additional graphic features to it. Overall optimization and improvement of landscape displays on all maps will be performed gradually from update to update for both graphic renders. Improved graphics introduced to the game along with Update 8.0 is just a first step. It will be constantly optimized and improved to ensure that all players have the possibility to enjoy the graphics while playing World of Tanks.

The only thing left to mention is that for the release of 8.0, developers managed to fix a majority of bugs and problems in new renders. We want to thank all players, who had helped us in providing feedback from the public test.

See you on battlefields! Roll out!

For the full release notes for Update 8.0, please refer here.