World of Warcraft Cataclysm Graphics Guide Part 2: DirectX11 and Console Settings UPDATED

Posted: November 12, 2010 by ryanlecocq in Features

UPDATE 9/4/11

DirectX 11 has been available from the game options menu for 2 patches now and most of the other variables can be tweaked in game to the highest allowed levels.  The only one I’m aware of that will go higher than the Ultra setting is groundEffectDensity which will go to 256 above the stock 128.  Doesn’t really look better as it just looks cluttered.  Everything else (max draw distance, object draw distance etc.) will not go above the Ultra setting.  If I find new information, I’ll update, but for now the game looks as good as possible with Ultra setting.



NEW EDIT 11/12

A new version of TweakWoW has been released that is 4.0.1 compatible.  It offers a slight increase in draw distance and object distance, DX11 from the menu, 4-6 core support by default under any DirectX version (drop down selection bar, requires restart).  Also many other useful graphics, UI and gameplay options.  The best part is it looks just like a Blizzard menu and can be easily accessed through Main Menu>Interface>Addons.  This makes all previous console and config tweaking obsolete as now you can change these settings in game with user friendly menus.  The multicore optimization for DX9 will give the framerate increases to everyone.  Also has screenshot quality settings as well as any other common setting used through console or  Enjoy and be sure to give props at to the TweakWoW team.

Get it at

Unfortunately for anyone who’s having trouble, GUI improvements have apparently been disabled on the live servers in 4.01.  They were still allowed in the Beta client until recently and I didn’t check close enough to see that most of them weren’t working in my live version.  So sadly there is no more tweaking of draw distance or most other popular tweaks.  So disregard anything in my previous posts.  It is now officially impossible to improve your graphics much over in game settings.

  1. Adrani says:

    I cannot get the draw distance to go farther out than the ultra setting of 1255, used to before 4.01 i set it manually to 1600 now it no longer works, even with the tweaks here. i have a 5850 with catalyst 10.10 and ive posted my on the forums were i found this blog, your post in wow forums i think. any help would be great cause it sucks not being able to see as far as i did pre patch.

  2. Navitron says:

    Nice guides I just wanted to point out some deprecated cvars you listed in your guide. I only know these for Wow up to version (I’m not in the Cataclysm beta but I doubt they removed and then re added cvars from 4.0.1 -> 4.0.3)

    overridefarclip (deprecated)
    farclip “2000” (with the override gone the limit is 1250, same as ultra in the video options cant be raised higher with cvars)
    horizonfarclip (deprecated, the old effect is build into farclip)
    smallcull (deprecated)
    characterAmbient (deprecated)
    SpellEffectLevel (deprecated)
    groundEffectFade “1277” (I’ve tested this is combination with groundEffectDist and the max for this value is only around 110 setting it higher gives no results that I can see)

    Also there is another graphics cvar and two that improve screenshot quality.

    objectFade “0” (instead of slowly fading in distant doodads it instantly draws them when your within range, example This doesn’t save in the so it has to be reentered every time you restart wow)
    screenshotFormat “tga” (makes your wow screenshots lossless tga format with RLE compression)
    screenshotQuality “10” (makes normal jpg wow screenshots higher quality, no effect if you change to tga format)

    • ryanlecocq says:

      Thanks, I edited to reflect these. Actually most CVARS were still working until 4.03 hit Beta. On Beta 4.01 the farclip could still be overridden. I just failed to notice when I started up live that everything wasn’t working. When I got your message I started up live and the 4.03 Beta client and sure enough, you were right. Huge disappointment since I’ve been above the values allowed in the menu for years.

  3. Adrani says:

    Yeah, no kidding. Wish there was some way to mod the game to make force the client to accept farclip override again. Not seeing ICC from Dal anymore is ridiculous to me.

  4. lagunawsu2 says:

    Oh my god, the water has ripples!

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