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9-year-old Guild Wars 2 getting DirectX11 support to "help the game continue to look beautiful"

Future fantasy.

Guild Wars 2 is getting DirectX11 support soon, developer ArenaNet has said.

In a post on the Guild Wars 2 website, senior engine programmer James Fulop said a beta for the DirectX11 support goes live on 21st September.

Guild Wars 2, which launched in 2012, currently supports DirectX9.

Fulop explained the jump to DirectX11, saying it would improve the fantasy MMO's framerate, and help lay the foundations for the game's graphics for years to come.

"Client performance is a priority for us, and we want everyone to be able to play with the highest possible framerate," Fulop explained.

"We pinpointed that sometimes the game could stall waiting for rendering work to complete. Guild Wars 2 has been live for nine years now and implementing some DirectX11-dependent features can help the game continue to look beautiful over time.

"DirectX11 also offers some modern technology options that aren't available in DirectX9. Upgrading to DirectX11 is the first step toward being able to do more shiny things."

Fulop's blog post goes into more detail in the game's frame-rate and the expected performance boost.

ArenaNet decided against supporting DirectX12 or Vulkan instead of DirectX11 because of how stable DirectX11 is, and how well-supported it is at this point.

"It allows us to provide support back to Windows Vista, while Vulkan support starts at Windows 7 and DirectX12 support starts at Windows 10," Fulop said.

"As far as graphics features are concerned, jumping from DirectX9 to DirectX11 gives us plenty of options for adding interesting features to the engine in years to come. Supporting more than one of these backends would balloon QA work for little tangible benefits."

It's exciting times for Guild Wars 2 - the End of Dragons expansion comes out February 2022, and former Guild Wars 2 game director Colin Johanson recently rejoined to co-lead ArenaNet.

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Wesley Yin-Poole


Wesley worked at Eurogamer from 2010 to 2023. He liked news, interviews, and more news. He also liked Street Fighter more than anyone could get him to shut up about it.