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Blizzard Entertainment
Release Date
Early Development

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
October 18, 2007 | Michael Phillips

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Next on our scenic tour of Northrend, we have the Borean Tundra. Located at the southwest part of Northrend, the Borean Tundra will be another zone for level 68-72 players and is mainly settled by the Horde. Horde expansion into Northrend's Borean Tundra is lead by the daring Garrosh Hellscream, a young orc leader with a mind for diplomacy, as well as combat. Hellscream founded Warsong Hold and forged an alliance with the tuskaar, a nomadic race of fisherman akin to the walrus. Garrosh also made contact with the taunka, a race related to the tauren. The Alliance has a smaller presence in the area, a settlement known as Justice Keep. Both the Horde and the Alliance must contend with a deadly naga infestation.

The Borean Tundra will also feature the Nexus, home to the Blue Dragonflight. Nestled within the Valley of Coldarra, the Nexus is planned to be an instance with 3 separate wings, 2 of which will be for 5-adventurers, levels 70 and 80 respectively. The third wing will be a 25-adventurer raid at the end of which is an epic battle with Malygos, leader of the Blue Dragonflight.

We Can Be Heroes
Wrath of the Lich King will bring players the game's first Hero Class, the dreaded Death Knight. Players won't be starting a Death Knight from level 1, but rather, players will begin a series of quest starting at around level 57 on an existing character which will eventually unlock the ability to create a high level Death Knight. Blizzard has yet to announce at which level newly created Death Knights will begin. Looking back at previous Warcraft games, we recall Prince Arthas became a Death Knight after taking up Frostmourn, a foul greatsword etched with powerful runes and possessed by the soul of the previous Lich King.

That said, Death Knights in World of Warcraft will wear plate armor and be able to tank like Warriors and Paladins, however, they'll only have access to mighty 2-handed runed blades, leaving them unable to cower behind a shield. Not that Death Knights will have any need to cower, as they possess powerful offensive and and defensive rune-based magics. Rather than rage, energy or mana, a Death Knight's spells will be governed by runes. Blizzard is yet mum as to how runes will function, but they have stated that the Death Knight's role in group gameplay will be well-defined and unique to other tanking classes.

Odds and Bodkins
Wrath of the Lich King will feature a multitude of new enhancements, some we know, most we don't... yet. A new profession will be introduced known as Inscription. Inscribers will be able to add bonuses directly to spells. So, for example, a fireball spell could be Inscribed to deal bonus damage or effects such as stun on impact. Players will also be able to further customize their character's appearance with all new hairstyles and dances. That's right, folks, new dances! My personal hope is that players will be able to engage the Lich King in an honest to Christ "dance off." You got served, Arthas!

This is Only the Beginning
Honestly, this just our first look at Wrath of the Lich King and we've only just scratched its surface. In the coming days and weeks, I'll be dishing out plenty more on this very cool World of Warcraft expansion. So, stay tuned.

Now, I leave with what I feel is some fairly easy trivia. Somewhere in this preview I've alluded to Futurama. The first person to identify the allusion and the character to which the allusion is attached will win their very own episode of Make Love, Not Warcraft from iTunes. Just send all entries to: mike@insidemacgames.com

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment


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