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Monday, February 8, 2010

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The Rise And Fall Of The Lich King
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has published an Insider interview with World of Warcraft Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer and Lead Systems Designer Greg Street. The developers discussed the Fall of the Lich King content update released with version 3.3 of World of Warcraft.

Can you give us any teasers about the final Lich King encounter from a gameplay standpoint? How difficult will he be? Any insight into how his skills and powers from Warcraft III will carry over into the final Lich King raid event?
Scott Mercer: We're going to keep those cards close to the vest, as players will be toe-to-toe with the Lich King soon enough, but I can say that he will pose the greatest challenge yet found in World of Warcraft. Beyond that, I can only share a few additional details. The battle against the Lich King takes place at the top of Icecrown Citadel where the Frozen Throne protrudes from the citadel's tallest tower. Throughout the fight, players will have an epic view of Icecrown Glacier, and falling off the tower will be a real danger, especially as the fight progresses. Also, I'll just say that Frostmourne serves as more than just a weapon wielded by the Lich King during the encounter; it will actually provide a core mechanic of the fight itself, a mechanic which we hope will resonate strongly with all players -- especially the lore buffs.
The rest, you'll have to see for yourself.

Let's talk loot: what kinds of rewards await players strong enough to bring down the Lich King?
Greg Street: Well, with great challenge comes great reward. So, in addition to the usual stuff, the Lich King is also going to drop some epic weapons that have a higher item level than any other item in Icecrown Citadel. We're hoping to have something for every character class in this bag, but note that this is just our current goal, not a promise. The main idea is that the Lich King has an inventory of weapons that he has stolen and corrupted throughout his reign. These weapons originally belonged to characters like King Terenas, Antonidas, Sylvanas, and Muradin Bronzebeard. In addition to the corrupted weapons, we're also planning to have Arthas's undead mount, Invincible, drop each time the Lich King is defeated in 25-player Heroic mode. Also, once the Lich King is finally defeated, there will be an in-game cut scene, similar in size and scope to the Wrath Gate cut scene.

The title "Fall of the Lich King" suggests the end of an era. Can you give us any teasers for what next awaits the denizens of Azeroth?
Scott Mercer:: Players have been gearing up to fight the Lich King for a long time and it's definitely the end of an era, but it's by no means the end of World of Warcraft. We've already begun to hint at an in-game event surround the upcoming Cataclysm expansion that will be at least as big as the zombie invasion that kicked off the Wrath of the Lich King. Players already know that the Barrens are getting cut in half by a volcanic chasm, so we'll have to show you how that happens. The Cataclysm in-game event will probably hit in a patch before the actual expansion goes live. We're still figuring out the details, but whatever happens, it will be felt throughout the entire world, and it'll be just the beginning of the reign of Deathwing.
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WoW: Fall Of The Lich King Q&A
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