Do you have a moment to talk about our master and annihilator the Lich King?
The king has returned, and long may he reign. Wrath of the Lich King has always been considered amongst the best of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft expansions. The story dates back to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos: the Frozen Throne that detailed the happenings of Arthas Menethil. During Warcraft: III, Azeroth knew Arthas as the esteemed Prince of Lordaeron with the world’s future at his fingertips.
Wrath of the Lich King brings players to the frozen span of Northrend where Prince Arthas Menethil is once more in the limelight, now known as the infamous Lich King. His fall from grace has intrigued many throughout the years long after World of Warcraft’s second expansion concluded. Now, with Wrath of the Lich King: Classic launching in September, players will once more face nefarious dragons, maddened old gods, and death itself in this remastered tale of World of Warcraft’s most infamous villain.
What is Wrath of the Lich King: Classic?
Blizzard released World of Warcraft: Classic in 2019, fifteen years after World of Warcraft’s initial launch. World of Warcraft: Classic allowed players to revisit an Azeroth of the past, unsullied by the Cataclysm. The Burning Crusade: Classic followed two years later, granting players a similar experience in Outland for the first-ever expansion to follow World of Warcraft.
Wrath of the Lich King came next as the MMORPG’s second-ever expansion, and now Wrath of the Lich King: Classic is set to fulfill the same role for Blizzard’s Classic lineup. Like its predecessors, Wrath of the Lich King: Classic will launch with the last live updated patch the retail version of the expansion instituted.
Dawn of the [Un] Dead
The Wrath of the Lich King: Classic pre-patch event began on August 30th with the Fresh start realms becoming available that same day. The key to the pre-patch’s beginning starts with the appearance of strange crates that bear signs of infection, the likes of which will be capable of spreading to both players and NPCs. The outbreak of the disease will mark the beginning of the Zombie Plague which will kick off on September 6th.
The following phase will see waves of zombies, consisting of players and NPCs, descending upon all of Azeroth’s cities. Unfortunately for the player characters, zombies won’t be the only source of this infectious mayhem. In addition to the plagued crates, roaches and infected citizens will appear at random.
Argent Crusade healers will be available to help cure the souls that haven’t turned and may still be saved. With their services, the undead will be manageable, for the time being, at least.
March of the Blightwalkers
The true invasion of Scourge will begin the following week on September 13th. In addition to fending off zombie attacks, players will be tasked with investigating major cities with recent Scourge activity. As the days go by, the number of the infected and zombified will continue to rise. However, the Argent Crusade’s number of healers will become fewer and fewer.
The zombie attacks plaguing cities will pale in comparison to the true might of the Scourge forces. When the Scourge begins to invade the globe, it will trigger an event on the map. Powerful undead that players must slay will be leading the invasions. When killed, the undead bosses will have the chance to drop rare and powerful loot that players may use as they face the increasing zombie threat.
Winter is Coming
After a great loss across the span of Azeroth, the pre-patch event will draw to a close with the zombie plague finally cured. The next phase of Wrath of the Lich King: Classic will be the game’s launch on September 26th.
Once the game goes live, players of both the Horde and Alliance will have the ability to travel to the great continent of Northrend to take the fight to the Lich King himself. Once players arrive they will have access to three of the raids immediately. These will include the legendary Naxxramas where players will once again face Kel’thuzad and his dangerous minions. The Eye of Eternity and Obsidian Sanctum will also be available as players must fight a maddened dragon aspect and stop the black dragonflights nefarious schemes.
Let Them Come
Fresh Start realms will be available on the pre-patch release date. This will give newer players a chance to experience Wrath of the Lich King: Classic without falling behind the more experienced players. Features such as boosting characters and character transfers will not be open to Fresh Start realms so that all players begin at the starting level without a loss of power.
The new Death Knight class will not be available for these realms until the player in question has reached level 55 with another character on the same realm. All other existing realms will offer the opportunity to create a Death Knight immediately with no additional requirements or restrictions.
With the level cap rising to level 70, Northrend will not be available to players until level 68. The grind to max level will, of course, be that -a grind. However, the Joyous Journey buff will be available to all players, gifting a 50% experience gain until the pre-patch ends.
Additional incentives to play the pre-patch include exclusive items, such as transmogs and selective pets, that drop during the invasions throughout Azeroth. Of course, they will not be available after the pre-patch, with the invasions ending on September 26th.
Keep ’em Coming
Other benefits coming with Wrath of the Lich King: Classic include lowering the level to purchase flying at level 60 with flight speeds increased to 150%. The cost will also be lowered to 250 gold, only half of the previous 500 gold the flying skill required. A new feature will include enhanced rewards for healers and tanks during dungeons. Including potential drops of rare and desired mounts such as Rivendare’s Deathcharger and the Reins of the Raven Lord!
To ensure that players enjoy an experience similar to their first adventure into the frozen dangers of Northrend, Blizzard has not included the quest helper or dungeon finder as present features. Blizzard hopes that by leaving these features out, Wrath of the Lich King: Classic will provide a sense of community that so many players loved when they first played. However some things will be changing in this classic release.
Are You Not Entertained?
Wintergrasp, the massive epic battleground situated in Northrend is returning though in a different form than before. The battleground will remain as a 120 vs 120, but will be no longer be open world. Instead the battleground will be treated as a cross server instance. Upon winning the battle ground, players will be rewarded with buff entitled the Essence of Wintergrasp. So long as this buff is active on any single online player, all players on that faction will have access to the vault of Archavon and its rewards.
Another battleground, Strand of the Ancients, which has been missing from retail since patch 8.0.1, is returning with the start of the expansion. This battleground is a 15 vs 15 objective based battleground that focuses on players breaking down four massive doors to reach their objective, while the opposing faction defends the doors. This is an exciting return for a missed battleground, one that focuses on team cooperation more than most. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, 2 vs 2 arena’s will now be eligible for gladiator mounts and rewards, a sign of Blizzard recognizing the large popularity of the arena bracket.
28 Days Later
An undead plague infecting the denizens of Azeroth is only the beginning of Arthas Menethil’s long-awaited return. With Wrath of the Lich King: Classic’s launch, players will have much more to look forward to as they march on the continent of Northrend. The frozen hellscape teems with dangers both seen and unseen. The power of death returns to bring destruction to the world, all at the hands of a once mighty hero.
Sharpen your blades and ready your spells heroes; our darkest hour is nigh.
Long Live the King
Fascinated by the horror of Arthas Menethil? Simply follow the link provided below to read my previous article on the life and death of the infamous villain. You can also follow the link to the novel featured below. This novel can be purchased at your nearest bookstore or through various sites online.
I’m a Wonder Woman fanatic -married to my Superman- with a mild addiction to tea and World of Warcraft. One day I hope to write a book that history recognizes as a classic; it will most likely involve dragons.