Wrath of the Lich King launches in the UK less than three hours from now, and we’ve compiled a detailed list for you of the four things you’ll want to be most interested in checking out once you make landfall on the frosty shores of Northrend later tonight.
Lets start from the beginning…
Wrath of the Lich King brings with it an entirely new continent for players to explore; the frosty norths of Northrend. Catering players exploration all the way to level 80, all the regions combined pack close to 50% more quests into them than The Burning Crusade expansion had.
The Zones of Northrend
- Howling Fjord (68-72)
- Borean Tundra (68-72)
- The Dragonblight (71-75)
- Zul’Drak (73-76)
- Grizzly Hills (74-76)
- Sholazar Basin (75-78)
- Crystalsong Forest (77-80)
- The Storm Peaks (77-80)
- Icecrown Glacier (77-80)
- Lake Wintergrasp (77-80
You won’t be getting bored of Northrend soon, that much is certain.
Player vs Players mechanics will be extended in the expansion with the addition of a completely dedicated PvP zone in Northrend called Wintergrasp. The zone will allow players to battle each other, collect tokens, and defeat unique bosses when your faction holds the keep. Players will be able to use these tokens to purchase high level PvP gear not available anywhere else.
A new battleground will be introduced called Strand of the Ancients, and will have siege vehicles, 10 or 15 players in each team, with games expected to last 30 to 40 minutes.
This battleground consists of 3 walls which have to be destroyed to continue, with capture points and a graveyard after each wall. The overall goal of the battleground is to be the first side to to break through through the final wal wall.
Two new Arenas will be introduced in the expansion. The Ring of Valour from the Valley of Honour in Ogrimmar will be one of the new areans, along with the Dalaran Arena located in Dalaran’s sewers. These arenas introduce moving objects such as pillars and waterfalls along damage-inducing hazards such as spikes seen in arenas.
The expansion will introduce siege weapons and destructible buildings to the Player vs Player focused zone Lake Wintergrasp, and in the new Northrend Battleground. The emphasis will be on claiming the siege weapons and destroying the buildings to gain the advantage.
Wrath of the Lich King will introduced many new instances for entry level and top level players to explore. Check out the full list below.
Utgarde Keep (two 5-mans, lvl 70-72 and 80)
An instance hub in the Howling Fjord inhabited by the vrykul, a Viking-like half-giant race devoted to serving the whims Lich King.
The Nexus (two 5-mans, lvl 71-73 and 80, and a 10/25-man raid)
An instance hub located in the Borean Tundra, it will center around the Blue Dragonflight as the primary enemy, with the Red Dragonflight directly aiding the players.
Drak’Tharon Keep (5-man, level 74-76)
The legendary fort where Arthas found his famous runeblade Frostmourne, located on the border between Grizzly Hills and Zul’Drak.
Gundrak (5-man level 76-78)
Located in the northeastern corner of Zul’Drak, Gundrak is the capital of the Ice Trolls,, and where mid level players will face off against the Ice Troll King,
The Violet Hold (5-man level 75-77)
A prison housed in the neutral sanctuary of Dalaran, The Violet Hold is similar to the prison instances found inside the cities of Stormwind and Ogrimmar.
Chamber of the Aspects (10/25-man raid)
A single encounter raid instance where players will face-off against a dragon of a specific aspects. This location is expected to be expanded on with other aspects in time.
Ulduar (two 5-mans, lvl 77-79 and 80, and a 10/25-man raid)
Located in far reaches of The Storm Peaks, it is a Titan-related instance where many secrets of Azeroth’s past will be revealed.
Azjol-Nerub (two 5-mans level 72-74, level 73-75)
The subterranean kingdom of the spider-like nerubian race.
Naxxramas (10/25-man raid)
Originally a level 60 instance in Azeroth, Naxxramas will be retuned to level 80 as an entry-level raid for Wrath of the Lich King
Caverns of Time: Culling of Stratholme (level 80 5-man)
A new wing in the Cavern of Time. Players will fight alongside the paladin Arthas as he loses his sanity against Mal’Ganis, culling the people of Stratholmewho are infected by the undead plague in an attempt to stop it from spreading.
Undoubtedly the biggest addition to the new expansion is the Death Knight class, the first new class introduced to the game since its inception almost four years ago.
The Death Knight will be accessible to any player with a character of level 55 or higher, and will allow them to create one new character of the Death Knight class.
The Death Knight talent tree is split into 3 seperate categories, each of which is capable of supporting a tanking or DPS role:
- Blood: This tree amplifies the Death Knight’s melee spells, weapons, and abilities; and is heavy on health-regeneration abilities.
- Frost: The Frost tree has a high focus on control elements, and abilities that allow for strong critical-strikes and bonus-damag, as well as talents for improving physical-damage mitigation.
- Unholy: This tree is focus on disease and similar related abilities, as well as improving the strenght of the Death Knights summoned minions. Also has a lesser focus on AoE, spell damage shielding, and mobility-improvement.
How well this class will integrate amongst the other existing classes, and just how well it will hold its own in PvP and PvE are factors that will really only become clear after the game has been out for a while.
More importantly is how much players will take to the Death Knight. Will it become the new Hunter (popular but filled with inexperienced players), or will it go the way of the Shaman (unpopular but under-appreciated)?
The expansion will likely be on theshelves… or even in your hard-drive… by the time you read this. I guess it’s time to find out.