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Wrath of the Lich King : What we know thus far.Follow

#1 Aug 03 2007 at 11:59 AM Rating: Excellent
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WRATH OF THE LICH KING RELEASE DATE : NOVEMBER 13, 2008

The beta has begun. You can still opt in for a chance to be included. In order to do so, go to account management on the O-Site and select the "beta opt-in" link.

These are the forums for those in the beta. You can only post if you're in the beta, but otherwise feel free to spectate the debate and live vicariously through those that are posting. You'll find the most recent patch notes posted in the general discussion form as the game continues to be updated, but please remember that this is only a beta, and that everything is subject (and is, in fact, likely) to change.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT

Quote:
Blizzard is proud to officially announce the next World of Warcraft expansion set, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King! With the opening of the Dark Portal, and the renewed war to stop the Burning Crusade's destruction of worlds, the heroes of Azeroth have given little thought to the frozen wastes of Northrend – and the terrible, ancient powers that wait there. Yet the brooding evils of the fallen Nerubian empire and their malevolent sovereign have not forgotten Azeroth...

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King™ will open the forbidding wasteland of Northrend to exploration by the hardiest adventurers. New levels of power, challenging new dungeons and encounters, an exciting new character profession, and the game's first hero class are just some of the new features awaiting players in Wrath of the Lich King.

For more information, make sure to read the official press release and then check out our new expansion site for screenshots, concept art, the new expansion's announcement trailer, and much, much more!


The official trailer can be found here. It's not a typical Blizzard CG epic, but was created using ingame footage that sets the tone for Northrend.

NEW CLASS: THE DEATH KNIGHT



In order to unlock the Death Knight, you must have leveled a character to 55 or above on whichever server you want the Death Knight. That's all. Death Knights will start at level 55, and do not consume your previous character or anything of that nature.

Death Knights have their own starting area: a floating necropolis above the Eastern Plaguelands, that will you then eventually leave for a new area within EPL itself. The quests during this time will revolve around your defection from evil-ness and your return and rehabilitation to your faction.

The Death Knight is a tank hybrid, similar to Paladin in that it is a tanking caster, but different in that it focuses on dark damaging spells whereas the Paladin is focused more on holy and healing aspects. The Death Knight utilizes a new "Rune" system, different from Rage, Mana, and Energy. "When you are out of combat, you can switch your active runes around a few types; you have 6 rune slots. Abilities will put certain rune types on cooldowns or may even use multiple runes. Thus, what runes you choose affect how your deathknight plays in combat." There are three rune types: Blood, frost, and unholy. Blood runes focus on "weapons, armor, and strikes", frost deals with "control, counters, and combos", and unholy includes "spells, summons, and diseases". As you use runes, the power you gain goes towards an energy source called "runic power", which works similar to rage in that it is consumed by abilities and will decrease on its own over time. You can find a description of how the Death Knight works in gameplay here.

Death Knights will not use shields, but can dual wield as well as use the standard two-handed weapons. They can wear plate armor.

It has been mentioned (I can't find the blue post, but trust me on this) that Death Knights will be capable of tanking 5-man instances. In end-game content, they will be most suited to tanking bosses that deal magic damage, due to an ability they have that reduces it.

Also, Death Knights ARE NOT superior to the classes already in place, despite being referred to as a "hero class". They are different, but not better.

All races will be able to be a Death Knight.

For the time being no new character slots are being added, so you may want to free up some room on your server if you want to play a Death Knight.

NEW CONTINENT: NORTHREND

A continent about 10 zones large, Northrend can be found roughly midway between and to the north of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. A cold and, until recently, desolate place, Northrend is the place where the Lich King Arthas holds dominion. However, it won't all be a snow-dominated wasteland, there will be zones with other themes. You will be able to access Northrend as early as level 68, similar to how Outland became available at 58.

The structure of the zones will look like this:

Entry points:
Howling Fjord (lvl 68-72)
Borean Tundra (lvl 68-72)

Both factions will be able to access both entry points.

Afterwards:
The Dragonblight (level 71-75)
Zul'Drak (level 73-76)
Grizzly Hills (level 74-76)
Azjol-Nerub (level 74-78)
Sholazar Basin (lvl 75-78)
The Storm Peaks (lvl 77-80)
Icecrown Glacier (level 77-80)
Lake Wintergrasp (Outdoor PvP)

The zone layout, taken from the beta map, can be found here.

You can find descriptions and pictures of many of Northrend's new critters and abominations (mostly the latter) here.

Blizzard has released extensive information about two zones, which will both be to Northrend what Hellfire Peninsula was to Outland: the Borean Tundra and the Howling Fjord.

The capital city of Northrend will be the Kirin Tor's home: the wizard city of Dalaran. Apparently they can make entire cities teleport and float. Who knew? Regardless, it will act as Northrend's Shattrath, a sanctuary for players of both factions that includes portals to all of the capitols.

Lake Wintergrasp will act as a PvP area even on a PvE server. It will feature siege weapons and destructible buildings. It is entirely optional, so if you just don't want to participate in PvP you can just stay out of the area. However, there are some very nice incentives to taking part. By controlling Lake Wintergrasp, your faction will be able to obtain "Spirit Shards" from instance bosses. These spirit shards provide yet another way to purchase valuable gear for your character.

Also, expect your gear to be replaced fairly quickly. The progression will work similar to how Outland did, so your fancy new epics are likely going to find a spot in the bank before too long.



Tom Chilton wrote:
"The guiding principle is that it should never feel like you're grinding. You should never run out of quest content. We don't expect to be drastically different from what 60 to 70 was like." And despite complaints from the early days of Burning Crusade, even the most epically geared players should be getting new gear from almost at the start. "The hardcore resent that at first, but it's only a matter of time before they start getting into the endgame again."


Flying mounts will work in Northrend... eventually. At first you will not be able to use them, because the devs don't want you to be able to skip over the content by flying right on over. You won't be able to fly until level 77, at which point a trainer or quest will unlock the ability for you. Source here.

Instances:

Raiders rejoice / rebel! All raid-level instances will be accessible by both a 25-man and a 10-man raid group. This is being done to make raiding more accessible and appealing to those who are unable to even get together 24 friends, as if the reduction from 40 to 25 way back when was simply a "good start". By doing this, you will be able to move through the story of WotLK regardless of whether or not you are the member of a large raiding guild. However, the 10-man instances will reward gear that is roughly 1 "tier" below that of gear rewarded to the 25-man raids, though a sense of progression will still be maintained despite the less powerful gear. It has not been declared exactly where PvP gear will fit in with all of this, though one can assume that Blizzard will want to keep it on par with the higher-powered gear in order to maintain balance.

The Howling Fjord will contain Utgarde Keep, a winged instance with two wings thus far. One is an entry-level 70-72 instance, and the other, titled "Utgarde Pinnacle" is for level 80s.

The Borean Tundra will contain The Nexus, another winged instance. This instance is themed around the blue dragonflight, which has rebelled against the mages of Azeroth, blaming the various going-wrongs of the world on their misuse of magic. It will contain three wings, one level 70-72, another level 80, and a third meant for raiding. The raid will presumably feature Malygos, leader of the blue dragonflight, as its final boss.

There are apparently plans to re-release Naxxramas as a raid instance once again. It will be moved to Northrend, and will probably function as the entry-level raid. Naturally, it will be re-tooled to appeal to 25-man (and, presumably, 10-man) raid levels. Source here.

As before, all of the 5-man instances will have heroic versions that will provide additional challenges and gear to those prepared to take them on. However, there will no longer be a reputation requirement to enter them.

Speaking of reputation, the function of tabards has been re-done somewhat. You will now be able to purchase a tabard from its respective faction at a lower reputation level. At this point, you can wear the tabard into the faction's related instance in order to gain additional reputation.

NEW PROFESSION: INSCRIPTION


Inscription is being billed as being to spells what enchanting is to weapons and armor. You can add effects such as knockback, haste rating increase, increased spell range, reduced reagent cost, and others. You will use Herbalism as the primary gathering skill for Inscription. (Hehe, funny plants increasing "magical abilities".) The enhancements come in the form of glyphs that can be bought and sold over the auction house. These glyphs are added to a new page in your spellbook that has a limited number of slots. There are different "tiers" of glyph that determine how they impact your spells. For instance, a glyph in the Major tier might add a significant amount of damage or reduce the cast time of a spell, while a glyph in the Minor tier might make a cosmetic change, i.e. Polymorph: Penguin.

OTHER STUFF NOT WORTHY OF AN ENTIRE SECTION

  • The level cap will be raised to level 80.

  • The skill cap will be raised to 450.

  • Talent trees will be expanded with the levels, and the Death Knight will have three unique trees of its own.

  • An achievement system will be added, which works pretty similarly to those found on the XBox Live and Steam services. You complete miscellaneous tasks, some useful and impressive (downing raid bosses), some not (giving out hugs), for points that eventually result in rewards that will be purely cosmetic. Many of these achievements would have only been possible in older WoW, and thus will be rewarded retroactively. Collectors eat your heart out. Or commit suicide. There's over 400 of these things and growing, it's going to take you awhile. You can find a detailed description of achievements here.

  • New hairstyles, dances, and skin tones will become available. Hairstyles will be made changeable, likely via a "stylist" NPC. The rest, not so likely to be as easily changed. There's no plastic surgery, people.

  • "Siege weapons" and "destructible" buildings will be introduced. At least one zone (Lake Wintergrasp) will feature these.

  • A new battleground that functions similarly Lake Wintergrasp will be added.

  • Background information and the story of the Lich King and why his wrath is so... wrathful can be found here. You can also piece together most of the story of Arthas and the Lich King from the old background lore from WC3 on the official site, found here.

  • Some "changes" will be made to speed up leveling to 70, and new 1-60 content will be added. The required amount of experience from levels 20-60 will be reduced, and quests will reward around 30% more experience. Source here. Note: This has been implemented as of Patch 2.3

  • New Caverns of Time instances will be opened. One of which will be Stratholme, based on the Warcraft 3 mission where Arthas (when he used to be "good") travels through the whole city and "cleanses" the scourge-infected citizens. The Stratholme CoT instance will require level 80, and will be meant for 5 players.

  • More hero classes will be added at some point. None will be released alongside alongside the Death Knight. They will be added later on, via content patches or later expansions. Some likely candidates for hero classes include Demon Hunter, Arch Mage, and Blademaster.

  • Edited, Aug 4th 2007 3:55pm by Azuarc

    Edited, Sep 17th 2008 10:04am by DodoBird

    Edited, Oct 9th 2008 3:26pm by DodoBird

    Edited, Nov 28th 2008 5:59pm by Darqflame
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    #3 Aug 03 2007 at 12:10 PM Rating: Decent
    Plays better than you
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    Beat me by 11 minutes :(
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    #4 Aug 03 2007 at 12:10 PM Rating: Good
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    2,824 posts
    How long until we get this post?

    Quote:
    There aren't enough zones for level 70's! The zones are packed! Why did they put in so many level 60-70 zones, only losers are in those level brackets!.


    What are some other crazy things people are going to complain about?
    #5 Aug 03 2007 at 12:12 PM Rating: Good
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    505 posts
    I really want them to open all those unaccesible lands in Azeroth as either zones for high levels or even more ares to level at. I think that would be awesome. There's so much still on Azeroth and a bit still in Outland that hasn't even been touched yet.
    #6 Aug 03 2007 at 12:17 PM Rating: Good
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    Bumping this thread to try to keep it as the "one" thread to rule them all and in the forums bind them.
    #7 Aug 03 2007 at 12:23 PM Rating: Good
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    Grandmother baelnic wrote:
    How long until we get this post?

    Quote:
    There aren't enough zones for level 70's! The zones are packed! Why did they put in so many level 60-70 zones, only losers are in those level brackets!.


    What are some other crazy things people are going to complain about?




    10 more levels to get through...


    Ugh I haven't even gotten through the first batch of new levels dammit!
    ____________________________
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    #9 Aug 03 2007 at 12:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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    3,210 posts
    CaptainOmelette wrote:

    10 more levels to get through...


    Ugh I haven't even gotten through the first batch of new levels dammit!



    Quit posting and start playing. :P
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    #10 Aug 03 2007 at 12:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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    Imios the Brilliant wrote:
    CaptainOmelette wrote:

    10 more levels to get through...


    Ugh I haven't even gotten through the first batch of new levels dammit!



    Quit posting and start playing. :P



    Oh sure like suggesting something rational is going to help me.
    ____________________________
    Ikiad- 75 Warrior Twisting Nether
    Daiki- 75 Druid Twisting Nether
    Daikii-80 Shaman Twisting Nether
    Roarrak- 61 Mage Twisting Nether





    #11 Aug 03 2007 at 12:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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    3,210 posts
    CaptainOmelette wrote:
    Imios the Brilliant wrote:
    CaptainOmelette wrote:

    10 more levels to get through...


    Ugh I haven't even gotten through the first batch of new levels dammit!



    Quit posting and start playing. :P



    Oh sure like suggesting something rational is going to help me.


    Well it either that or hire a power leveler, but then I would never post to you again.
    ____________________________
    "Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but STUPID lasts forever"
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    #12jortho, Posted: Aug 03 2007 at 12:36 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Oh for sure, definite headline material... Once you've digest the plethora of info that is "it was announced" though, feel free to check out actual info on the expansion... http://wow.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=21;mid=1186172068152696610;num=4;page=1
    #13 Aug 03 2007 at 12:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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    jortho wrote:
    Quote:
    re-bumped this thread, it's Headline material...


    Oh for sure, definite headline material... Once you've digest the plethora of info that is "it was announced" though, feel free to check out actual info on the expansion... http://wow.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=21;mid=1186172068152696610;num=4;page=1


    what a baby.
    #14 Aug 03 2007 at 12:40 PM Rating: Good
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    Imios the Brilliant wrote:
    CaptainOmelette wrote:
    Imios the Brilliant wrote:
    CaptainOmelette wrote:

    10 more levels to get through...


    Ugh I haven't even gotten through the first batch of new levels dammit!



    Quit posting and start playing. :P



    Oh sure like suggesting something rational is going to help me.


    Well it either that or hire a power leveler, but then I would never post to you again.



    What if it was an accident? And the powerleveler meant nothing to me?
    ____________________________
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    Daiki- 75 Druid Twisting Nether
    Daikii-80 Shaman Twisting Nether
    Roarrak- 61 Mage Twisting Nether





    #15 Aug 03 2007 at 12:41 PM Rating: Good
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    Woot! Gotta love it! *rushes off to read headline in detail*
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    #16jortho, Posted: Aug 03 2007 at 12:41 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Thanks would have been more appropriate, but since that's probably what you meant... you're welcome.
    #17 Aug 03 2007 at 12:41 PM Rating: Excellent
    Well, I'm stoked for it. Let the power creep continue!

    And here's to hoping that one of the content patches between now and then has Grim Batol in it. Smiley: boozing
    #18 Aug 03 2007 at 12:42 PM Rating: Good
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    3,210 posts
    CaptainOmelette wrote:
    Imios the Brilliant wrote:
    CaptainOmelette wrote:
    Imios the Brilliant wrote:
    CaptainOmelette wrote:

    10 more levels to get through...


    Ugh I haven't even gotten through the first batch of new levels dammit!



    Quit posting and start playing. :P



    Oh sure like suggesting something rational is going to help me.


    Well it either that or hire a power leveler, but then I would never post to you again.



    What if it was an accident? And the powerleveler meant nothing to me?


    If that was the case then I might be able to post to you now and then until the akwardness fades, then I should be able to post like normal.
    ____________________________
    "Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but STUPID lasts forever"
    Astrid Rayne
    22 CNJ
    27 WVR
    21 BOT
    #19 Aug 03 2007 at 12:47 PM Rating: Excellent
    The trailer is pretty cool. The scenery is gorgeous. And I really hope that we get to use our flying mounts out there.

    I hope though that Inscription isn't like enchanting. The name isn't terribly encouraging though. Perhaps the ability to create scrolls and other consumables in an alchemy-style profession.

    #20 Aug 03 2007 at 12:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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    8,832 posts
    Imios the Brilliant wrote:
    CaptainOmelette wrote:
    Imios the Brilliant wrote:
    CaptainOmelette wrote:
    Imios the Brilliant wrote:
    CaptainOmelette wrote:

    10 more levels to get through...


    Ugh I haven't even gotten through the first batch of new levels dammit!



    Quit posting and start playing. :P



    Oh sure like suggesting something rational is going to help me.


    Well it either that or hire a power leveler, but then I would never post to you again.



    What if it was an accident? And the powerleveler meant nothing to me?


    If that was the case then I might be able to post to you now and then until the akwardness fades, then I should be able to post like normal.



    It can be like it was baby! I promise!
    ____________________________
    Ikiad- 75 Warrior Twisting Nether
    Daiki- 75 Druid Twisting Nether
    Daikii-80 Shaman Twisting Nether
    Roarrak- 61 Mage Twisting Nether





    #21 Aug 03 2007 at 1:04 PM Rating: Good
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    Prince Riggy wrote:
    The trailer is pretty cool. The scenery is gorgeous. And I really hope that we get to use our flying mounts out there.

    I hope though that Inscription isn't like enchanting. The name isn't terribly encouraging though. Perhaps the ability to create scrolls and other consumables in an alchemy-style profession.




    The Inscription profession will allow players to permanently enhance their own spells and abilities and those of other players. You can think of it as enchanting for your spells and abilities



    /meep!
    #22 Aug 03 2007 at 1:05 PM Rating: Good
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    I'm just hoping that it doesn't require enchanting, because it sounds perfect for my Priest but I can't drop tailoring or my gear can't be used.
    #23 Aug 03 2007 at 1:18 PM Rating: Good
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    Quote:
    I'm just hoping that it doesn't require enchanting, because it sounds perfect for my Priest but I can't drop tailoring or my gear can't be used.


    If expansion #2 follows suit, then your gear will be crap after the first set of level 71 quests anyway.

    Hopefully, Blizz will be a little more incremental this time and not de-value OL stuff they way they did with Azeroth stuff with TBC.

    The expansion looks pretty exciting though.

    Edited, Aug 3rd 2007 3:18pm by azwing
    #24 Aug 03 2007 at 1:26 PM Rating: Good
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    710 posts
    [sarcasm]Aww, no monk or bard class?[/sarcasm]

    I agree, I hope the curve on gear isn't as steep, they should try to level it off a little bit, otherwise in a couple more expansions players players are going to have stats that reach over 10K each and seven figure hit point levels.

    I'm kind of surprised by inscription as a profession - from the description of it, it kinda makes me think back to EQ2 where you could improve a spell through scrolls/books. I'll have to see how that pans out.

    If the video is any indication - Death Knight is very nice looking - looks like it has the ability to summon skeletons to fight for it. In looking at the video, the player appeared to have started as a paladin, I wonder if the player will actually change class over to Death Knight...too soon to tell.

    <sigh> I just hit level 70 not to long ago...well at least I'll be ready for the expansion. Perhaps I should save some quests in OL for when the expansion comes out for easier leveling.
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    #25 Aug 03 2007 at 1:56 PM Rating: Default
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    Surprised the pally didn't just bubble hearth. waddanoob

    And isn't the Lich King holding the Sword of a Thousand Truths?!?! That would make him impossible to killz!!
    #26 Aug 03 2007 at 2:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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    I think it's unlikely you change over to a Death Knight. That could severely hurt non-plate classes making the switch, among other things.

    azwing wrote:
    If expansion #2 follows suit, then your gear will be crap after the first set of level 71 quests anyway.


    Actually, the tailoring sets are comparable to tier 6-ish gear, so they'll last until level 74 Smiley: grin

    Edited, Aug 3rd 2007 6:06pm by tworow

    Edited, Aug 3rd 2007 6:06pm by tworow
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