Before an audience of over 8,000 gamers at the company’s BlizzCon game festival, Blizzard Entertainment announced that the next expansion pack for its wildly popular World of Warcraft MMORPG will the The Wrath of The Lich King, opening up a new continent to intrepid players, adding new features to the game, and bringing well-known characters from the company’s Warcraft game franchise to the online world.
“This expansion will add some of the most infamous characters and settings from the Warcraft universe to World of Warcraft,” said Mike Morhaime, Blizzard president and cofounder, in a statement. “In addition to new story content, Wrath of the Lich King will introduce a number of features specifically requested by players over the past couple of years. We’re looking forward to sharing further details with everyone as development progresses.”
The expansion pack builds on events of the The Burning Crusade expansion pack, and will open up the wasteland of Northrend, enabling players to venture into new adventures, embark on new quests, and explore new dungeons, as well as seek new artifacts and powers. Northrend was last seen in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne with the creation of the Lich King from the fusion of the characters Artas Menethil and the spirit of shaman Ner’shul. Now, the Lich King has raised an army of undead called the Scourge, which threatens to wipe humanity from the face of the world of Azeroth. But the Lich King’s has been separated from his powerful blade Frostmourn: perhaps a couragous champion could use the blade to defeat the evil lord…assuming, of course, that’s really the right thing to do.
Among many new game features, Wrath of The Lich King will raise the World of Warcraft level cap to 80 (from 70 in The Burning Crusade and 60 in the original game), introduce siege weaponry and destructible buildings, and enable new player customizations like new hairstyles and animations. The expansion pack will also introduce a new Inscription profession, through which players can permanently enhance spells and abilities, and will introduce a new Death Knight hero class, which will be available to players as an end-game resource once particular challenges have been met.
Blizzard was offering live, in-game demonstrations of The Wrath of The Lich King at BlizzCon, but has not announced a release date or pricing for the expansion pack. Blizzard expects to announce availability details over the next few months, as well as announce whether they plan any sort of public beta testing.
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