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World of Warcraft's graphics engine to be upgraded incrementally

Samuel Axon

In the wake of a series of comments by Blizzard reps hinting at an eventual overhaul of World of Warcraft's graphics engine, contacted Lead Producer J. Allen Brack for clarification. Brack responded by describing specific changes to the engine that will be in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, and then by making a pretty major revelation about the nature of the overhaul.

According to Brack, Blizzard will be making the changes bit-by-bit rather than all at once. "We're taking an iterative, organic approach to graphics upgrades," he said, "going feature by feature as opposed to thinking in terms of an overall new graphics engine."

As for the WotLK changes: those will include a new shadow engine, some new shaders for "even better looking terrain, as well as cool ice effects," and an increased view distance to make those expansive Northrend wastelands look, well ... expansive. He also noted that new water effects will be coming in "a future content update or expansion."

[Via WoW Insider]

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