World of Warcraft is the first game to support DirectX 12 on Windows 7. Update 8.1.5 brought DirectX 12 to Windows 7, in a surprising move driven with Microsoft’s support. World of Warcraft DirectX 12 support should increase framerate on Windows 7.
Microsoft and Blizzard announced the addition of DirectX 12 earlier today. Windows 7 World of Warcraft users can now enjoy many of the DirectX 12 performance boosts originally relegated to Windows 10 users. The DirectX 12 implementation on Windows 7 likely won’t run as well as on Windows 10, as the OS has a number of low-level improvements to make the graphics API run better.
Microsoft did say that it is working with several other game developers to bring DirectX 12 versions of their games to Windows 7. A similar back-port of DirectX occurred when a platform update for Windows 7 brought Direct3D 11.1 to that operating system. Not all features of Direct3D 11.1 were brought over, as several components of the API required OS-level features. DirectX 12 on Windows 7 has similar restrictions, but can still provide performance boosts if optimized properly.
DirectX 12 support came to World of Warcraft with a late 2018 patch. That patch improved performance substantially, with high-end systems gaining performance in the range of 20 percent or more. World of Warcraft DirectX 12 on Windows 7 won’t see as big of a performance impact, but it should be worth using regardless.
World of Warcraft update 8.1.5 also added a lot of new content to the game, including Kul Tiran humans and Zandalari trolls. Kul Tiran humans are a new Alliance race while Zandalari trolls are a new Horde race. To unlock these races, players must become Exalted with their respective factions with a level 120 character, then complete a quest chain to recruit the new Allied races.
A number of new quests were also added in the latest patch. Crucible of Storms is a new raid, and the third released during Battle for Azeroth. It releases on April 16, 2019. Blizzard added a number of quality-of-life changes and bug fixes as well. The full World of Warcraft update 8.1.5 patch notes can be found here.