New World of Warcraft VR mod gives players a fresh look at Azeroth


Why it matters: World of Warcraft is undeniably one of the most popular MMORPG titles ever created. Since its release in 2004, players have dedicated thousands of hours to exploring the vast lands of Azeroth. However, after spending so much time in the game, keeping the experience fresh and exciting can become challenging. Fortunately, a popular VR modding group has developed a solution. Now, WoW fans with VR equipment can immerse themselves in the world of Azeroth like never before, experiencing and interacting with it in ways previously unimaginable.

The development and modding community Flat2VR recently announced the release of WoVR, a new World of Warcraft VR mod available via GitHub. The mod’s development spans more than 10 years by Flat2VR members Streetrat and Marulu, and it brings previously unavailable VR functionality to WoW players and VR enthusiasts alike.

According to Flat2VR, the mod supports immersive features such as directional audio, synced eye rendering, first- and third-person views, a floating user interface, motion controls, and compatibility with many existing addons.

The new World of Warcraft VR Mod differs from tools designed to work across a long list of games as it was specifically designed to immerse WoW players in a smoother, more engaging VR experience. One of the mod’s standout features is its support for six degrees of freedom (6 DoF), which allows VR users with 6 DoF-capable equipment to freely move around and explore Blizzard’s MMORPG world.

In contrast, 3 DoF headsets and supported games/simulations only track rotational motion, not translational motion. This limited support is suitable for experiences where users are primarily viewing content or simulating a ride.

In addition to advanced motion tracking, the mod also features frame-synchronized 3D, enabling a smoother VR experience by generating one VR frame for each in-engine frame.

While the new mod represents a breakthrough and potential breath of fresh air for WoW veterans and VR fans, it’s not the first attempt to experience Blizzard’s world through VR.

Tools like vorpX have been focused on bringing game titles into the VR space since 2013, providing users with the means to experience their favorite DirectX 9, 10, 11, 12, and pre-shader OpenGL titles and applications. This tool has allowed players and VR enthusiasts to experience WoW in virtual reality, though the overall experience has yielded mixed results.

While the prospect of navigating the bustling streets of Orgrimmar or Stormwind City in virtual reality may seem thrilling, there are some caveats and limitations to consider with the new mod.

According to the project’s notes, WoVR is only compatible with version 3.3.5a, which was the final patch of the game’s second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK). If this holds true, the mod will not be compatible with Blizzard’s classic and modern versions of WoW, but rather would necessitate a privately-hosted server running WotLK.


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