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Return of the PTR

General Discussion
14-05-2020 23:03:26

Hi folks,

We’re standing up the PTR again and asking for your help to test some big changes coming down the pipe.

Here’s the TLDR: we’re changing how graphics work in SCR. Please test on the PTR to make sure your video card doesn’t run into any problems.

If you want a deeper dive:

In November of last year, we tried to launch an update to the web browser that powers the Remastered front-end UI (CEF). For some people, it had performance and stability issues, so we reverted some key components of the update. However, for compliance reasons, we’re obliged to update it to a more recent version as soon as we can. We’ve been working on our implementation over the last few months, and we’d like to implement a staged rollout on PTR to get broader feedback from our community.

The first stage involves substantial changes to our rendering backends:

  • Mac: Metal backend added.
  • Windows: DirectX11 and DirectX12 backends added.

These new backends are likely to bring (in some cases significant) performance benefits as well as more reliable hardware compatibility as new video cards are released. Those users with older DX9 hardware will continue to be supported via our DX11 backend. This PTR version contains a “soft” deprecation of our dedicated DX9 backend and our OpenGL backend - both are unnecessary with the new backends in play. (Soft meaning that the backends technically still exist in the codebase, but we don’t anticipate anyone needing to run them anymore). In future, we’ll fully deprecate these superfluous backends.

Needless to say, the renderer is a very fundamental part of the game engine, therefore it’s critical that people try this PTR build to ensure their hardware is fully supported going forward . This change will be rolled out to our live pipeline in future, so this is the chance for us to investigate anything that needs addressing before that happens.


The PTR environment will be an “opt-in” experience from the Blizzard Launcher. You can opt in and out at any time.

To access the PTR environment from the Blizzard launcher, click the dropdown list of regions. Public Test Realm will show as a separate region.

A few caveats as always to bear in mind with the PTR environment:

  • There will be far fewer players online at any given time in the PTR environment - although we hope that most/all players will spend some time in the PTR helping our test efforts, outside of the testing most people will revert to the live environment. Therefore, expect issues such as longer queue times in matchmaking.
  • We have fewer proxy servers available in our PTR environment. It’s likely that you will experience greater lag on PTR.
  • Your settings, profiles, etc. are all separate on PTR - they will not transfer to or from PTR.

We’re excited to be moving our rendering pipeline forward to provide a better experience for our wonderful community. Thanks for your support, and let the PTR testing begin!


(Soon™). We’ll update this thread when we have a more accurate date.


Grant Davies
21-05-2020 23:29:47

This is live now. Have a great weekend!


Grant Davies
21-05-2020 23:47:51

The Blizzard Launcher will update after a time, but you can force it by closing and re-opening it.
Then there will be a dropdown above the Launch button. You can change that to Public Test Realm.


Grant Davies
03-06-2020 21:14:14

Thanks for the feedback folks. So far we’ve heard no feedback that should prevent us from moving forward with this in the near future. In fact there has been a lot of positive feedback around this, which is great to hear.

For those who haven’t tried it out yet, I would strongly encourage jumping onto the PTR and making sure it works well for you.


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