Guild Wars 2 is adding DirectX 11 support in an effort to make the game look better, increase framerate, and continue running smoothly on most systems while allowing for continued improvements.
"As far as graphics features are concerned, jumping from DirectX 9 to DirectX 11 gives us plenty of options for adding interesting features to the engine in years to come," Senior Engine Programmer James Fulop says in the announcement post.
The decision to go for DirectX 11 rather than DirectX 12 is that a performance boost still happens, but support extends all the way back to Windows Vista and Windows 8, where support for 12 starts with Windows 10. This could wind up leaving some people behind since having an audience built up over nine years means they'll be playing across different systems and not everyone will be able to have newer tech.
Breaking down some of the details of the new DirectX 11 support, he offers a demonstration of how the new renderer affects performance. It’s pretty technical, but you can still see what goes into rendering the sample and get an idea how the DX11 change will affect the rest of this older game and help it to keep modernized.
DirectX 11 support begins with a beta test on September 21st, alongside the next End of Dragons beta. You can choose to opt into the DX11 beta in the graphics menu, then restart and you'll be running DX11 as you play through the game.
To join both the End of Dragons second beta for elite specializations, as well as the new graphics beta, you can update on September 21st and start on both. Both the development team and the graphics and programming side will need player feedback in order to fine tune the experiences. Both beta tests will rely on player feedback to work out any issues. You can leave your feedback for the DX11 beta and how it works on your system over in the Guild Wars 2 forum.