World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

We thought we quit World of Warcraft. We thought that grinding for XP, farming reputation and raiding in our underpants till our eyes bled were things of the past. But every time we think we cut ties with our old avatars, Blizzard somehow manages to reel us back in. They got us with The Burning Crusade. They did it again with Zul’Aman in patch 2.3. And after scoring some hands-on time with the latest build of Wrath of the Lich King, it looks like they’ll get us again.

Above: We love ‘phat loot’ as much as the next guy, but the opportunity to create a Death Knight and explore Northrend is what interests us the most

The most exciting bit of news to emerge was more specific details on the new Death Knight class. Here’s the scoop straight from Blizzard:

- Death Knights will be available to all players with level 55 characters
- Players can create one Death Knight per realm, per account
- Death Knights can be any of the races
- Once created, Death Knights can undertake a series of quests to introduce the player to the new class and its associated lore
- Death Knights utilize a rune system as their resource mechanic
- Death Knights utilize a rune system as their resource mechanic
- Three different rune types are available: Unholy, Frost, and Blood
- These runes allow death knights to cast spells and abilities; spells can cost any combination of these runes
- Spent runes automatically refresh after a set period of time, similar to a Rogue’s energy bar
- The Death Knight will have the ability to customize which array of six runes is currently available
- As rune abilities are used, the Death Knight also generates another resource called Runic Power
- The Death Knight will have several abilities that cost all available Runic Power, with varying levels of effectiveness based on total Runic Power spent
- Runic Power decays over time if it’s not spent, similar to a warrior’s rage bar
- The Death Knight has three different presences to use: Blood, Frost, and Unholy; each presence grants the death knight a unique buff that will allow him or her to fulfill different roles in combat
- The Death Knight can serve either as a tank or as a melee-based damage-dealing class
- Death Knights are designed to be highly viable tanking, magic-using characters
- Death Knights will have the ability to summon undead guardians to fight by their side
- Death Knights will have the ability to summon a Deathcharger mount

Below: Check out this whirlwind tour to see Northrend's varied landscape and some gameplay footage of vehicle combat


  • addie02 - November 3, 2008 8:08 a.m.

    That's a whole lot on the Death Knight. There's also alot on the DK class at
  • xboxkid90 - September 2, 2008 7:32 p.m.

    This was a great preview. I hope the Death Knight is as great as you make it out to be. I have a soft spot for WoW and don't see it ever going away. I also hope Lich King doesn't get pushed back at all.

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