WoW Week: Wrath of the Lich King, day 5

First off, the Lich King’s release date is still firmly under wraps, but a public beta running for several months up to the official release is a dead cert. Not only did the The Burning Crusade get one, but Christmas gifts sent out by Blizzard to its most devoted fans came adorned with a beta code for an unnamed product - which suggests it can’t be far off. We’re putting our money on a beta come mid-summer, and a release before autumn gets under way. The third part of our somewhat hazy guesswork is that StarCraft II is aimed at a Christmas release. We could have it completely wrong though - Blizzard are notorious for having complete information embargos on important issues like release dates. As for content, however, due to the sheer amount of lore available through the peripheral books and the trading card game, and WarCraft III, there’s a fair bit that we can speculate about with a hefty degree of accuracy...

PvP bundling
Lake Wintergrasp should try to bring PvP to the casual players. While there will be a large scale to the combat, it will be easier to drop in and out and gain honour at a casual rate. Hardcore PvP-ers will be supported on a huge scale, adding destructible buildings and siege weapons to the zone and giving big honour to those who spend a great deal of time there. It’s also likely that the new season of Arena gear will be reliant on success in Wintergrasp - or in the other new, unnamed, PvP map. We can probably expect special daily quests, and even droppable gear based on the zone.

The main city of Wrath of the Lich King is actually a huge floating mass, central to the map. Fact-fans will recognise the name as the one destroyed in WarCraft III and now covered by a huge Ribena-coloured shield and kept in the distance in the Alterac Mountains in WoW. The city is one and the same and it’s due to be, though no-one yet knows how, floated by the magical denizens of the Kirin Tor above Northrend in their attempt to take on both the Blue Dragonflight and the Lich King.

Dalaran is going to be the Shattrath City of Wrath of the Lich King, offering a faction-neutral place to prepare and rest. Now, Blizzard haven’t said whether or not they’re going to be forcing you to use flying mounts to get there, but we'd wager that there’ll be another way - be it a quest, a flight path, or some other teleportation method. We severely doubt players will be forced to fly up there, though it could certainly be an option. Due to their history with them, The Kirin Tor will also have a series of quests guaranteed to lead to confrontations with the Blue Dragonflight, who have made their home in the nearby Dragonblight.


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