I have a pretty modest setup by today’s standards with an Nvidia GTX 970, Intel Core i5-4690K 3Ghz and 16GB of DDR3 RAM. I’ve been a long time player of World of Warcraft and I believe I’ve found the sweet spot in terms of visual quality and FPS performance heading into the new expansion – Battle for Azeroth.
Obviously these settings are my own as are my opinion on what looks / feels right for me. Graphical performance in a game is a very subjective thing but this setup gives a nice flat 60FPS locked with Vsync on in pretty much every area I’ve been to and it looks great.
Nvidia Control Panel
The first and most important setting for me is to ensure that you’re letting the game do the work and not forcing any setting on it from the Nvidia control panel. This is a huge point of contention for people, but in my experience – allowing the game to manage it’s own settings seems to net the best results with World of Warcraft.
To allow the game to control it’s own settings, tick the Let the 3D application decide option.
In World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth, there are two main option screens to adjust graphics settings – System > Advanced and System > Graphics.
To begin with, I have found the following settings to work well on the System > Advanced screen.
A few noteworthy settings here:
Max Foreground / Background FPS locks
By locking the FPS down there appears to be a number of benefits including background stability (game not crashing when you Alt & Tab out etc) and then foreground FPS locking to 60hz (assuming that’s your monitor refresh) along with Vsync in the next options screen – gives a very smooth and responsive experience.
MSAA (Anti Aliasing)
Whilst you can improve visual quality further by setting higher, there is generally a significant performance hit. I’ve found that 2x works well and provides a good compromise.
Direct X Version
Whilst I’ve not actually seen any specific uplift moving to DX12 from DX11 I’ve read it’s the best of the two and of course more current.
The final screen is where there is the most customisation. It may not be immediately obvious, but there are two sections to this screen (Display & Graphics Quality).
The settings in the Display section are set individually where as everything in the Graphics Quality section can be set individually, the Graphics Quality Slider will adjust all of them in one go to a set point.
The highlights of the Display section are Anti Aliasing and Vertical Sync. I set to MSAA 2x (which will match the Advanced screen mentioned earlier) and the Vertical Sync to on. This is very subjective but I’ve always preferred Vertical Sync on.
To complete the settings, I move the graphics slider to 8.
You could fine tune the specifics further if needed but for me, just setting to 8 gives great results.
These settings have provided me with great performance and visual quality for World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth and hopefully they will help. As I mentioned earlier in the post, these type of settings and their results are very subjective but thankfully – we’re all about discussion so if you’ve got anything to add, please use the comments. Thanks for reading.