Blizzard adds Ray Traced Shadow options to WoW Shadowlands alpha

More graphic options incoming.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard has been slowly unveiling new features for its upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Shadowlands, during the game’s closed alpha testing. And yesterday, the developer made perhaps one of its biggest moves toward high-quality graphics by adding a Ray Traced Shadow option to the game.

While it’s still in alpha, the new setting isn’t usable yet. But it’s displayed in the closed alpha as an option.

Traditionally, the massively multiplayer online nature of WoW has made it so that some graphic features aren’t given as much attention to detail. With some players playing the game on computers that can’t necessarily handle higher-end graphics while running an open world at the same time, Blizzard hasn’t always felt the need for features like this.

But with the addition of Shadowlands, it seems like the company is looking to push the envelope. Once this feature is finally available in alpha, players will theoretically be able to see more realistic shadows in-game—but only if they have the right equipment.

Details in the game’s options settings suggest that only higher-end graphics cards, like ones with RTX technology, will be able to use the feature.

Along with being able to enable the Ray Traced Shadows, players will be able to adjust the quality of those shadows as well. In the closed alpha right now, players can see options for “fair,” “medium,” and “high” quality.

The fair option will let players see shadows from directional light without high resolution, and as you might expect, the “high” setting will be set to give players full resolution shadows based on directional and local lighting in the game.