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World of Warcraft’s next expansion is due this year, and it comes with a price hike

The fifth expansion pack for World of Warcraft, titled Warlords of Draenor, will be out “on or before” December 20, 2014, according to a new pre-order listing. This fits with Blizzard’s earlier hints that the next expansion would be released in 2014, but it also confirms that there will be a $10 increase over previous Blizzard expansions.

In November 2013, during the annual BlizzCon event, Blizzard confirmed that it was working on Warlords of Draenor. The assembled fans erupted in shouts and cheers as Blizzard went on to confirm that the new content would take players back to the setting of the original Warcraft games, reimagined with the help of better technology and the years spent fine-tuning the series. No release date was given though, and Blizzard has a reputation for releasing games whenever they are ready and not a day before – just look at StarCraft II’s decade long development and three year gap between the sequel and the first expansion for proof of that.

As for the expansion itself, Warlords of Draenor will include the re-imagined land of Draenor to explore, new quests, enhanced character art, a new level cap of 100, and the ability to instantly boost to level 90. “The expansion sends players to Draenor as it existed before it shattered into the realm World of Warcraft players know as Outland—and while some of the names of these places might be familiar, we’re building them all from scratch for the expansion,” Blizzard has announced.

The pre-order also lists the pricing options, which may come as something of a surprise to longtime fans. The Digital Standard Edition will retail for $49.99, a $10 increase over the previous expansions. That also puts it at $10 more than Blizzard’s other upcoming expansion, the Diablo III add-on, Reaper of Souls. A Deluxe Digital Edition of the WoW expansion will see a similar $10 increase, and run $69.99.