With both the new physics mechanic and a host of changes to the graphics, we can without a doubt, call the 8.0 update the most dynamic release in World of Tanks history. You’ve seen the physics videos and articles on our portal already, but now it’s time dive into an explanation of all the improvements that we’ve added to our graphics and their settings.
The new rendering system has given our developers the opportunity to add an exceptional amount of graphical elements that were not previously possible. If we’d tried to add some of these elements with the old rendering system it would have bogged down even the most impressive gaming rigs.
If you’re interested in tweaking your system for optimization we've compiled some information for you. We’ll take you through each setting so you know how each one may be taxing a portion of your PC’s resources.
You'll find all of these on the graphics tab in your Settings menu:
- Graphics Quality: Think of this as a general template selector. If you change it to High or Low, it will change all the other settings to match the given selection.
- Graphics: Here you can toggle between using the new graphics rendering and the old or ‘standard’ graphics.
- Texture Quality: This process is not dependent on your video card, but rather on the video memory (RAM). If you have a lot of video memory, then you can probably handle the higher settings, otherwise, try the medium or low settings.
- Decals Quality: This option manages some of the tinier details in the game like mud tracks, fallen leaves, knocked down fences, etc…If you don’t have very much video memory then you may want to disable or lower the decals quality. This option is not available for the standard graphics option.
- Shadow Quality: With the 8.0 update the shadows have been totally reworked; they now correspond to the scale of the object and the position of the source of light. The shadows are fully dynamic: if a tree shakes, the shadow illustrates this, if a pole falls, it’s shadow will fall after it. The shadows are taxing for both your CPU and video card. If you have top notch system specs feel free to run it high, the less power you have, scale it lower and lower. This option isn’t available for the standard rendering option.
- Terrain Quality: This changes the way the surface of the ground and rocks are displayed. It can be a bit of a resource hog, so lower it if you’re experiencing fps drops on specific or all maps.
- Water Quality: The water has been massively improved. It’s almost entirely dependent on your video card, so if you’re using an older model then consider scaling back this effect. This option does not exist for the standard rendering option.
- Lighting Quality: You can only adjust this setting with the improved graphics setting enabled. It’s what controls all the lighting effects that contribute to the atmosphere of the map. The transition between open light and shaded areas and how your vision changes as you transition through them are probably where you’ll notice this effect most. It’s entirely up to your graphics card to do the heavy lifting. Decrease this setting if you have an older card to get better performance.
- Foliage Quality: For the maps that have received a redo for 8.0, the trees have been reconfigured and basically look more tree-like and awesome. This feature taxes your video card and your video memory (RAM). If you have an abundance of both, feel free to crank it up, but scale it down if you’re running older hardware. This option isn’t applicable to the standard graphics.
- Flora Quality: This option affects the display quality for grass and bushes. It’ll hit your video card and RAM when you scale it up. This is one area we’re still adjusting, so you may need to tinker with it to find the best setting for your machine. The older or more limited your resources, the lower you want to set it.
- Extra Effects Quality: This setting regulates the display for things like smoke, dust, sparks, flames, explosions, etc…These effects require a large amount of video card power and drain your CPU resources. You can adjust this with both the improved and standard graphics options enabled.
- Post Processing: This manages things like fog, bloom effect (fuzzy lighting), etc…It’s still being optimized, so you’ll see continual improvements. This will hit both your video card and RAM. Scale it down if you’re still running a bit slow and you feel like you’ve adjusted everything else. Lower end PCs should probably disable this feature.
- Draw Distance: This option determines how far out from your point of view things will begin to appear on your screen. It taps just about every resource your PC has, so lower end systems should consider adjusting this feature right away.
- Object LOD: This setting governs the amount of details present in the environment. It taxes both your video card and RAM, so if you’re lacking in either department consider scaling it down. You can adjust this with either Graphics setting.
- Extra Effects in Sniper Mode: This effect manages the same thing as the extra effects quality, but only while in sniper mode. We’re still ironing out some kinks with this feature, so if you’re noticing performance drops while in sniper mode, scale it down.
If you take the time to adjust each of the settings to calibrate your computer, you should be able to dramatically improve your FPS and overall performance .
We’re working along two tracks simultaneously. We want to improve the number of graphical features and further optimize those that have already been added. That means, we want the game to constantly look better and better, but never sacrifice computer performance for shiny new visuals.
The rendering update better distributes the workload among the CPU and video card. That means players with lower-end PC’s or laptops can still run the game with some, if not all, of the improved effects. If their gaming systems are still not up to the task, the developers have included an option to choose between the new and the old rendering systems in the graphics settings. Everyone should be able to find that perfect level with all of the options we’ve included.
Something to keep in mind is that the use of the Auto-Detect feature works better with the old rendering system. If you’re using the new rendering and experiencing some performance issues after using the auto-detect, then it may be worth the extra effort to go through the options and manually customize the settings for your PC. Every system has that sweet spot where the graphics and effects max out, but none of the performance suffers.
If you just can’t seem to find that sweet spot for the settings, it’s recommended that you switch back to the Standard Graphics until further optimization takes place. Our developers are striving to bring further progress on this avenue so that all of our players can experience the improvements we’ve made for all the maps and game systems.
All of these improvements were made possible because of the tremendously helpful feedback we got from our players on the Test Server. Thank you!
We’re always pouring over the forums for constructive criticism and reports of anomalies, so make your experiences known to us.