Overall, I like the appearance of the new maps. The current maps do look dated, especially at higher resolutions. The new maps make World of Tanks look like a more modern game.
I saw the ship on the Himmelsdorf map and I wonder if its the Tirpitz, Scharnhorst or another German ship? If you think you know what class of ship it is, comment below with information about why you think its a certain German ship class.
Wargaming says they are trying to keep performance on same level with the new HD maps. The video says they are using Tessellation, Virtual Texture Technology, and they state that textures are composed from smaller ones instead of big textures. In addition to that, they will use Nvidia's global illumination technology. Nvidia GPUs have historically performed better when tessellation is used, especially higher levels of tessellation. This makes me wonder if graphics cards with Nvidia GPUs will perform much better than graphics cards with AMD GPUs in World of Tanks after the HD map updates.
Hopefully this keep the required graphics memory down. In the current form, World of Tanks on the highest graphics settings requires less than 2 GB of graphics memory for 1920x1080 resolution and less than 3.3 GB for 4K resolution. There are still many graphics cards in popular use that have 2 GB of video memory or less based on the Steam Hardware Survey.
If you looks at the Steam Hardware Survey, All of these graphics cards at the top of the popularity list came in configurations with 2 GB of video memory or less:
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 730
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 630
- AMD Radeon R7 Graphics
- NVIDIA GeForce 940M
- AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series
- AMD Radeon R5 Graphics
- AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series
Wargaming will have to be efficient in use of graphics memory to keep those popular graphics cards at the same performance level they currently have in World of Tanks.
GamersNexus explains Tessellation here:
What is Tessellation
Tessellation is an older technology. There is an old EVGA YouTube video form 2010 showing the difference with and without tessellation.
None of the technologies in the World of Tanks HD maps updates mentioned by Wargaming are new. Other games have been using the same technologies for at least several years. World of Tanks updated from DirectX 9 to DirectX 11 in 2016 with the game update 9.15. There has been no mention of updating World of Tanks to DirectX 12.
Here are the release dates of DirectX versions:
DirectX 10 November 30, 2006
DirectX 11 February 16, 2011
DirectX 12 July 29, 2015
As you can see, World of Tanks updated to 2011 graphics technology in 2016. Maybe we will see World of Tanks updated to DirectX 12 in 2020?
With many World of Tanks players being on a lower budget, one feature of DirectX 12 could help their game performance. DirectX 12 supports Explicit Multi-GPU. The benefit of Explicit Multi-GPU is that you can run two graphics cards of different makes and models at the same time to increase performance. Both SLI and Crossfire require two graphics cards with the same GPU. Not only does Explicit Multi-GPU allow you to use graphics cards different GPUs you can use GPUs from different manufacturers. So, a World of Tanks player on a lower budget that has a GTX 750 ti can add in a RX 460 or GTX 1030 later on to increase their game performance instead of spending $150-$200 for a faster graphics card and having an old graphics card they have to sell to recoup some of their graphics card costs.
It would have been nice to see Wargaming update World of Tanks to DirectX 12 last year instead of "updating" to a 5 year old technology. GPUs from Nvidia as far back as the GT/GTX 400 series(released in 2010) support DirectX 12 along with AMD HD 7000 series(released in 2012) and newer GPUs.
Overall, I think the HD map updates will be good for the game and it may even draw in some new players who were disappointed in the game's current and previous graphics. Now if we could get Wargaming to adopt technology newer than 2011, imagine how the game could look!