World of Warcraft: Shadowlands now available with ray-traced shadows, ambient occlusion, and multi-threaded performance improvements

World of Warcraft Shadowlands now available as promised launch date November 23 (Source: World of Warcraft)
World of Warcraft Shadowlands now available (Source: World of Warcraft)
Although it missed the October 27 global launch date, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands arrived less than a day ago, as rescheduled. This major update for Blizzard's iconic product includes new items and adventures, as well as technological advancements such as DirectX ray-traced shadows, ambient occlusion, and improved multi-threaded performance.

After spending a rather long time in development, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is finally available. The previous expansion, namely Battle for Azeroth, arrived two years after its predecessor. Shadowlands needed three additional months for everything to be ready, and now there is a lot of content waiting to be discovered and experienced by the players.

In World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, players get to explore 8 new dungeons — 4 leveling dungeons and 4 max-level ones, forge new legendary gear, quest through four new zones ruled by ancient, powerful Covenants, and much more. This new expansion also includes "hundreds of new additions with thousands of new combinations" in the character customization department, an all-new starting experience available for both newbies and seasoned players, as well as the first raid experience — Castle Nathria, scheduled to go live December 8.

In addition to the above, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands takes the visual experience to a whole new level, thanks to ray-traced shadows and ambient occlusion support, while some system configurations should benefit from a solid performance boost thanks to the optimized multi-threading.

Lastly, but not least, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands comes with the first "level squish" in this title's long history. Level 120 characters now go all the way down to level 50, and the new cap is set at 60. Some might love this, some might hate it, others will probably just enjoy the game as-it-is. If you have any thoughts regarding Shadowlands, feel free to hit the comments section.


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Codrut Nistor, 2020-11-24 (Update: 2020-11-24)
Codrut Nistor
Codrut Nistor - News Editor
Although I have been writing about new software and hardware for almost a decade, I consider myself to be old school. I always enjoy listening to music on CD or tape instead of digital files and I will not even get into the touchscreen vs physical keys debate. However, I also enjoy new technology, as I now have the chance to take a look at the future every day. I joined the Notebookcheck crew back in 2013 and I have no plans to leave the ship anytime soon.