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World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

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World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
Developer(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher(s) Activision Blizzard
Release date(s) November 13, 2008
Version NA - 3.3.5a (29 June 2010)
EU - 3.3.5a (29 June 2010)
Platforms Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
Genre(s) MMORPG
"Wrath of the Lich King" redirects here. For the quests in the Halls of Reflection, see B [80D] Wrath of the Lich King.

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (colloquially known as WotLK, WLK or Wrath) is the second World of Warcraft expansion and was officially announced on August 3, 2007 at BlizzCon 2007. The majority of the expansion content takes place in Northrend and centers around the plans of the Lich King.

Content highlights include the increase of the level cap from 70 to 80, the introduction of the death knight Hero class, and new PvP/World PvP content. No additional playable races have been added, though many new NPC races were featured.[1]

Opt-ins for the public beta began on July 3, 2008; the beta began on July 17. On October 10, Blizzard announced that Wrath of the Lich King had gone gold and discs were being manufactured for sale;[2] the game itself was released to the public on November 13, 2008. For the first time, the normal version of the game (as opposed to the Collector's Edition) was installable through one single DVD disc. On September 13 2012, the expansion was integrated into the basic World of Warcraft package, granting all subscribers access to all of the content and features of the expansion at no additional cost.[3]

Lore

The official box of Wrath of the Lich King.

From the official site:

For years, the heroes of the Alliance and Horde have fought against the evils in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, against the demons of the Burning Legion in Outland, and against each other - all the while unaware that a threat more dangerous than any they had yet encountered was preparing to make its move in the icy continent of Northrend. Now the Lich King, Arthas Menethil, has emerged from Icecrown Citadel to claim the world as his own. Heroes of the Alliance and Horde gather in Northrend to make a stand against the malevolent being that dares to declare himself Azeroth's one true king...and seeks to scour all life from the world.[4]

Northrend

Main article: Northrend
Map of Northrend.
Layout map of initially planned zones in Northrend.
Classical map of Northrend. The differences are clearly visible.

The expansion introduced a new continent on Azeroth — the harsh, icy Northrend under the control of the Lich King, and is home to the majority of the expansion's new content.

Northrend is a croissant-shaped continent in northern Azeroth. The continent is roughly half the size of the Eastern Kingdoms, but exceeds Outland in length and width. Although Northrend is known for its snow and ice, parts of the continent are not frozen over, such as the springtime Howling Fjord and the jungle-like Sholazar Basin.

Flying mounts are also usable in Northrend; Players must level to 77 and obtain [Cold Weather Flying] to unlock this feature.[5] Blizzard said they want to "keep us grounded and guide us on foot for a while", so that players can enjoy all the hard work they put into the land and not just "fly over it."[6] There may be new flying mounts introduced with the expansion that will provide a very slight increase in speed. The expansion also introduced mounts that are able to carry more than just one passenger.

Prior to Patch 4.0.1 level 80 characters were able to purchase the heirloom  [Tome of Cold Weather Flight] for 1000g to allow another character on their account to fly in Northrend at level 68, making it unnecessary walk through Northend multiple times on multiple characters. In 4.0.1 shortly before the launch of Cataclysm the tome was removed entirely. Cold Weather Flying itself was made available at level 68 for 500g at all flight trainers and was affected by reputation discounts. In the same patch Master Riding was introduced priced at 5000g to bring flight speed to a maximum of 310%, a feat that originally was only possible through prestigious mounts obtained from raiding or the violet proto-drake rewarded to players for completing  What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been. While the 310% riding speed was removed from these, players who owned one prior to 4.0.1 were automatically given Master Riding free of charge. Blizzard later changed the  [Reins of the Violet Proto-Drake] to award Master Flying free of charge when first used, though Artisan Riding is required to ride it.

Interactive Map

Zones

To alleviate some of the problems experienced at the launch of the Burning Crusade expansion, players are able to choose where to enter the continent more freely. Both Howling Fjord to the east and the Borean Tundra to the west feature level 68+ content, and it is possible to level all the way to 72 without visiting both. The continent is designed to allow players to level from level 68 to 80. Both zones feature a Hellfire Citadel-style instance hub with dungeon wings for level 70 and level 80 characters.[7] Horde players access Howling Fjord via zeppelin from Undercity to Vengeance Landing; Alliance players can get there by boat to Valgarde from Menethil Harbor. Borean Tundra is accessed via zeppelin to Warsong Hold from Orgrimmar for Horde, and by boat to Valiance Keep from Stormwind City for Alliance.

Zones and their levels:

Areas in Azeroth

Acherus: The Ebon Hold and the Scarlet Enclave
A new area in the easternmost parts of the Eastern Plaguelands, near Tyr's Hand, which acts as the starting area for death knights.
Stormwind Harbor
Western Stormwind City has had a new harbor added which provides naval transport to Northrend and to Darkshore, Kalimdor.
Dalaran Crater
An enormous crater where Dalaran once stood, encased with a violet-colored magical shield orb.
Shaper's Terrace
A new titan-related area in Un'Goro Crater, accessible by waygate from Sholazar Basin.
Old Stratholme
A level 80 wing of the Caverns of Time that takes players back to Arthas's Culling of Stratholme in Warcraft III.

Factions and organizations

Various organizations, factions and new races are highlighted in the expansion.

Reputation grinding

A new faction tabard system was implemented called "Championing" where wearing a tabard of a certain faction gives you rep with that faction for kills in level 80 instances in lieu of existing faction rep (which would only be the Alliance Vanguard or Horde Expedition meta-factions). This is to combat the feeling that gaining rep with factions is a long grind and that there is no flexibility for players to choose which factions they gain rep with.

Nexus War

When Malygos regained his senses, he quickly realized what had happened during his absence. The mortal races had manipulated magic and used it for their own personal gain. As a result, the Burning Legion had nearly been summoned again by the reckless Kael'thas Sunstrider and his felblood elves. Confident that there is no other solution, Malygos has declared war on every spell-caster and wishes to annihilate their kind and drain all of Azeroth's magic. However, there are groups that oppose him and fight for their own survival or for that of others.

Kirin Tor
The Kirin Tor - a group of powerful wizards - have moved their capital Dalaran to Northrend to fight off the blue dragonflight, along with the Undead Scourge. Being fanatic magic-users, they are directly influenced by the war Malygos has begun. Not only does he slowly drain all Azeroth's magic, but he also intends to slay all casters. The Kirin Tor oppose him directly in his assault and fight for the fate of their world.
Blue Dragonflight
The Aspect of Magic and the leader of the blue dragonflight - Malygos - has started a war with the mortal races for their reckless use of magic. Using his flight, Malygos now seeks to divert Azeroth's ley lines to his own home, the Nexus, by the use of giant constructs known as Surge needles, and send the energies out in the Twisting Nether, so no one will be able to use it anymore. He has not only ordered his fellow Blue dragons to slay the mortal spellcasters but also to take down all that would help these "criminals".
Wyrmrest Accord
As the overseers of Life on Azeroth, the red dragonflight closely watches all wars and observes all conflicts. While they usually do not interfere they now deem it necessary to enter the front lines themselves. Malygos's plan, to remove all magic from Azeroth, would have disastrous consequences for the entire world. Such catastrophes would cost countless lives, much more than all those that have fallen during the Nexus War. Thus Alexstrasza - the leader of the Red Dragonflight - has called upon the Wyrmrest Accord, a union between all Dragonflights to find a way to end Malygos's insanity and stop his reckless crusade.

Horde Expedition

Horde Expedition is the combined force of the Horde in Northrend, spearheaded by the Warsong Offensive.

Warsong Offensive
Garrosh Hellscream commands the Horde's main expeditionary forces as they make their way into Northrend to face Arthas and the armies of the Scourge.
The Hand of Vengeance
The Forsaken tasked by Sylvanas Windrunner with enacting Undercity's vengeance against Arthas by delivering the latest strain of their deadly Plague of Undeath.
The Taunka
These hardy people are cousins of the tauren and have become valuable scouts for the armies of the Horde as they march northward.
The Sunreavers
Traditionally barred from Dalaran, the Horde has been accepted into the city through the efforts of Archmage Aethas Sunreaver. His blood elf followers have taken up his name and watch over the ward known as Sunreaver's Sanctuary.

Alliance Vanguard

Provoked by the attack on Stormwind, the Alliance has gathered its forces to march upon Icecrown Citadel and put an end to the Lich King's reign.

Valiance Expedition
The main armies of the Alliance have arrived upon the shores of Borean Tundra, where they reinforced Valiance Keep with their sheer numbers.
Explorers' League
Eager to find out more about their past, the Explorers' League was quick to travel to Northrend. They're especially interested in the titan city of Ulduar which is said to hold much information about the ancestors of the dwarves, gnomes, and humans alike. In addition, they've opened up several dig-sites in an attempt to reveal what's hidden in the earth.
Frostborn
The Frostborn are a faction of a newly discovered dwarf, the frost dwarves. This mysterious race of dwarves makes its home in the Storm Peaks. They've recently befriended members of the Explorers' League and welcome Alliance members within their settlements. Their leader Yorg Stormheart seems to suffer from a strange amnesia; it is rumored that he used to be an important member within the Alliance.
Silver Covenant
Disgusted and outraged by the founding of the blood elven race, the remaining high elves have united under the banner of Vereesa Windrunner as the Silver Covenant. The Covenant consists primarily of a militant core that has joined forces with the Alliance in Northrend.

Undead Scourge

Dragonflayer Clan
The Dragonflayer Clan is one clan of vrykul, a race of half-giant warriors native to the Howling Fjord. They have recently allied themselves with the Scourge and wish to join its ranks. These formidable warriors have begun attacking Horde and Alliance settlements, and many of the vrykul are pouring out of the fortress of Utgarde Keep.

Opposition of the Scourge

Argent Crusade
The Knights of the Silver Hand and the soldiers of the Argent Dawn have merged into this new organization, headed by the re-inspired Highlord Tirion Fordring. They seem to be capable of something neither the Alliance nor the Horde could fulfill; they're fighting at the front lines of Icecrown.
Knights of the Ebon Blade
A counter to the Knights of the Silver Hand, the Knights of the Ebon Blade are an order of renegade death knights who have broken away from the Scourge. They are led by Highlord Darion Mograine, the son of Alexandros Mograine.
The Nerubians
A race of spider-humanoids that once controlled all of Northrend before the coming of the Lich King. Now, they live mainly in the lower reaches of their destroyed kingdom Azjol-Nerub and other scattered conclaves. It is speculated that they serve the Old God, Yogg-Saron, within their city. However, conversations with Kilix the Unraveler and Archmage Lan'dalock seem to imply they are at odds with him and his servants, the Faceless Ones.

Natural inhabitants

Kalu'ak
The Kalu'ak are tuskarr, a humanoid walrus people that lives in Northrend. Although seen throughout Northrend, they make their homes primarily in the Borean Tundra. Their capital city is Kaskala and it is a fishing area. They also have Kamagua, a settlement in the Howling Fjord. Moa'ki Harbor is situated in the Dragonblight.
Sons of Hodir
The Sons of Hodir are a faction of frost giants located in Storm Peaks. They are a war-like race that makes its home in Dun Niffelem.

Dungeons and End-game Content

The Azeroth world map with Northrend added.

The expansion added group content in a similar fashion to The Burning Crusade, and the "heroic dungeon" format was preserved. Many new 5-man, 10-man, and 25-man dungeons are located in Northrend. The expansion has as many 5-man instances as the previous expansion and all 25-man raids can also be completed as a 10-man group due to the popularity of Karazhan.[8] Despite speculation, solo dungeons have not been implemented.[9] There are no lengthy attunements for any dungeon.

There were three raid dungeons and twelve 5-man dungeons (eight for leveling up and four max-level, each with heroic versions) at release. Heroic access also no longer requires any faction reputation and are available simply by reaching level 80. All 5-man dungeons were said to have been designed to last around an hour, but this seems to be incorrect as some instances (especially The Violet Hold) can easily be completed in nearly half the time.

New and original

Utgarde Keep (two 5-player wings, levels 70-72 and 80)
An instance hub in the Howling Fjord filled with the vrykul, a Viking-like race devoted to serving the Lich King. It was the first dungeon introduced at BlizzCon; the dungeon consists of two wings.
The Nexus (two 5-player wings, levels 71-73 and 80, and a 10/25-player raid wing)
Located in Coldarra, it features the blue dragonflight as the enemy. The red dragonflight is aiding the players.
  • Nexus, a level 71-73 five-player instance.
  • Oculus, a level 80 five-player instance, that lets you fight on magical rings that float above the ground.
  • Eye of Eternity, a 10/25-player raid, similar to Onyxia. A rift in the sky where you battle Malygos.
Drak'Tharon Keep (5-player, level 74-76)
A former stronghold of the Drakkari now overrun by the Scourge, located on the border between Grizzly Hills and Zul'Drak. Drak'Tharon Keep contains one instance for level 74-76 players.
Gundrak (5-player level 76-78)
The capital of the Ice Trolls where players face off against the High Prophets of the Drakkari's loa, located in the northeastern corner of Zul'Drak.
The Violet Hold (5-player level 75-77)
The prison of Dalaran.
Chamber of the Aspects (10/25-player raids)
Designed to have various encounters with all five Dragonflights, only two have been implemented so far.
Vault of Archavon (10/25-player raid)
A raid dungeon found in Wintergrasp Keep. Players may only enter the dungeon while their faction controls Wintergrasp. Four giants reside here - Archavon, Emalon, Koralon and Toravon.
Ulduar (two 5-player wings, levels 77-79 and 80, and a 10/25-player raid wing)
Located in The Storm Peaks. A titan-related dungeon where secrets of Azeroth's history are revealed.
Azjol-Nerub (two wings level 72-74, level 73-75)
The ancient subterranean kingdom of the nerubian race.
Crusaders' Coliseum (5-man dungeon, 10/25-man normal and heroic raids)
Introduced in Patch 3.2.0. Adventurers will test their mettle inside the Coliseum before their final battle against the Lich King.
Icecrown Citadel (three 5-player wings, level 80, and a 10/25-player raid wing)
Introduced in Patch 3.3.0.Culminating the expansion with a direct confrontation with the Lich King himself.
  • The Frozen Halls, the complex which wings are being unlocked after beating the previous one.
  • Icecrown Citadel, a 10/25 raid, Tier 10 content. It does have Normal and Heroic modes for both 10 and 25 player versions, and it is the very last raid instance of the expansion pack.

Returning, but in another form

Naxxramas (level 80, 10 and 25-player raid)
The instance has been returned to level 80 and included as a 10/25-player dungeon at an entry-level difficulty with no attunement.
Onyxia's Lair (level 80, 10 and 25-player raid)
The instance has been returned in honor of World of Warcraft's 5th anniversary in Patch 3.2.2.

Additions to Azeroth

Caverns of Time: Culling of Stratholme (level 80, 5-player instance)
A new wing of the Caverns of Time where players fight alongside Arthas, during the break of his sanity, against Mal'Ganis to purge the city of Stratholme of its citizens, who are infected by the Plague of Undeath. The infinite dragonflight storyline continues here.

PvP additions

Battlegrounds

Strand of the Ancients is a new siege warfare-style battleground south of Dragonblight featuring siege weapons. 15 people are on each team, and games can last a maximum of 20 minutes if neither side captures the Titan Relic. Players can mount up in Siege Engines, a four-passenger vehicle with spots for the driver, gunner and two passengers with all passengers protected from incoming fire. Players on foot can also take part in the siege by using Seaforium Charges to attack the walls and turrets to defend the walls.

Isle of Conquest, a battleground introduced in patch 3.2.0, Call of the Crusade, pitches teams of up to 40 players against each other in a massive battle over this small island off Northrend's northern coast. To win, your team will need to make use of the island's unique strategic locations including an oil derrick, a siege workshop, and a fully equipped airship hangar. You will deploy devastating siege weaponry on the field; Light have mercy on anyone caught between you and your ultimate target, the general holed up in the enemy keep.

Arenas

Two new Arenas are also introduced in the expansion. One in the Orgrimmar Arena and the other in a new Dalaran Arena in Dalaran's sewers. These arenas introduce moving objects such as pillars and waterfalls, and damaging objects such as spikes in arenas and other such mechanics to create dynamics with line of sight and gameplay.

World PvP

PvP mechanics are extended in WotLK, with the addition of a dedicated PvP zone (even on PvE servers) in central Northrend called Wintergrasp. There is no requirement to visit the zone, but the benefit is that all bosses in instances drop a token, similar to Spirit Shards in Auchindoun, when your faction holds the keep everyone is fighting for. Players are able to use these tokens to purchase gear.

Siege weapons are the predominant method of attack and defense as there are no Seaforium Charges to be found. Players start off with the Catapult, an anti-personnel weapon that does minimal siege damage to buildings. Upgrades include the Demolisher, a vehicle with a ram attack and turret controlled by a single player, and the siege engines from Strand of the Ancients.

Previews of the zone also included aerial vehicles, the flying machine and gnomish bomber, as well as the anti-aircraft goblin Shredder, but these have yet to be implemented due to balance issues. Wintergrasp itself is a no-fly zone and will dismount aerial players wishing to fly through it.

Additionally, control of Wintergrasp confers access to the Vault of Archavon, a quick onyxia-style encounter capable of dropping Tier 7 loot or equivalent PvP gear. An additional boss was added in Patch 3.1.0 who drops Tier 8 or equivalent loot. Koralon the Flame Watcher being added in Patch 3.2.0 with Tier 9, and Toravon the Ice Watcher in Patch 3.3.0 with Tier 10.

Hero classes

Main article: Hero class

The expansion introduced the long-awaited concept of Hero classes to World of Warcraft. Hero classes will generally consist of classes from Warcraft III that were too strong or did not make sense as a level 1. Wrath of the Lich King's Hero class is the death knight.

Death knight

An early version of a death knight, seen in the WotLK trailer.
Main article: Death knight

World of Warcraft's first hero class, the death knight is accessible to players after having a character reach level 55. Once unlocked, the death knight, starting at level 55, will then complete a series of quests in Acherus: The Ebon Hold and the Scarlet Enclave that will explain their defection and background. Originally, death knights were only allowed to be created on a realm with a preexsisting level 55 character for that account, but now, as long as there is a level 55 present on the account, a death knight can be constructed on any realm. A single death knight is allowed per realm.

The death knight is a plate-wearing DPS/tank class (albeit one that is unable to use a shield) that uses a brand new resource system based primarily on cooldowns. Rather than the existing mana/rage/energy mechanics, the death knight uses six runes, two runes each of three types, frost, blood, and unholy, which are refreshed on a ten second timer. Death knights also have access to runic power, which is generated much in the same way as rage.

Professions and skills

Professions can be leveled to 450 skill points from the Burning Crusade's 375 skill cap, while leveling professions from 300-375 has been made easier.

Continuing in the tradition of The Burning Crusade of introducing a new profession with an expansion, Wrath of the Lich King's new profession is inscription.

Inscription

Main article: Inscription

The inscriber creates scrolls, vellum, glyphs and other paper paraphernalia. Scrolls are direct analogues of the various common scrolls dropped from mobs (like [Scroll of Intellect]). Vellum are used as a target for an enchanter's spells ([Armor Vellum]/[Weapon Vellum]) such that the vellum themselves (now also called scrolls) can be used to enchant items and are sold on the Auction House.

Glyphs come in two varieties, major and minor. Major glyphs are used to augment a player's combat spells and abilities, such as increasing the damage multiplier on [Ice Lance] ([Glyph of Ice Lance]) or clearing polymorphed targets of damage over time effects ([Glyph of Polymorph]). Minor glyphs are used for cosmetic effect ([Glyph of the Penguin]), to reduce the mana cost of buffs ([Glyph of Arcane Intellect]) or remove reagent requirements ([Glyph of Slow Fall]).

Bestiary

New monsters announced in the official The Wrath of the Lich King Bestiary:

Characters

Levels, spells, and talents

The expansion allows characters to level to 80, adding 10 additional talent points to their disposal and extending the talent trees further to allow for 51-point talents. Leveling from 70 to 80 takes approximately the same amount of time as leveling 60 to 70. You can now switch between two pre-set talent specializations freely after visiting your class trainer and paying a one-time fee of 1000g for Dual Talent Specialization. Respeccing within either of those specs will still cost the normal respec fee.

Extended character customization

Players are also able to change hairstyles of existing characters using barber shops. However, players are not allowed to change their characters' body shape or size. As of December 10, 2008, you are able to re-customize your characters' facial attributes and gender for $15 here.

Voice emotes

Death knight voices are modulated for each race so that they sound deeper and have an echo.

Items

  • Blizzard has introduced Heirloom Items (sometimes referred to as Legacy Items) with the expansion. Essentially, these items are bound to the player's account, with the ability to ship the items between characters on the realm the item was discovered.
    • The color for heirloom items is gold, very similar as seen to the one in Diablo II: Legacy. Heirloom items are still not the same as artifact items, even if they (for now) use the same coloring for names.
  • PvP armor is different from the PvE armor entirely in looks and colors.
  • 25-man raids drop more loot than 10-man versions and are separated with a full tier of item stats.
  • The token system remains for PvE. Stone Keeper's Shards are be awarded from all instances to players in the faction that controls Wintergrasp. They are used to purchase heirlooms, Jewelcrafting designs, gems, shoulder enchants and mounts.
  • Blizzard made a design shift to reduce the number of items they must design and to prevent unwanted drops being wasted. The end result was that more classes use the same items. This was accomplished by reducing the amount of varied stats different classes and specs need so that 3 classes can share the same items.
  • Players are able to “learn” a mount or non-combat pet much like learning a spell, recipe, or new ability, and these creatures then show up on a new Pet tab within the Character Info section of the interface. Players are able to access and preview their learned mounts and vanity pets through this tab. Once learned, the pet icon or mount icon no longer appears in bag spaces or bank spaces. This inventory space is made available once again for other adventuring needs. Pets can still be set to hotkeys by dragging them to the hotkey bar, much like any other spell or ability.

Mounts

In the expansion, mounts no longer take up space in your bag; they can be retrieved from the pet tab. Lost mounts and pets can be restored from a stable master.

Here is a listing of the new mounts:

Technical information

The expansion enhanced the World of Warcraft's graphical engine; for example, a new shading system was used in ice caves, while flame animations are noticeably more detailed. In addition, the art for the expansion looked more like "classic Warcraft" (gothic fantasy), and less like Outland art (high fantasy).[10]

Please note that to install the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King expansion, you must have the original World of Warcraft and the World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade expansion.

System requirements

From the official site:[11][12]

Minimum requirements:

Windows XP (Service Pack 3), Windows Vista (Service Pack 1)

  • Intel Pentium 4 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1500+
  • 512 MB RAM (1GB for Vista users)
  • 3D graphics processor with Hardware Transform and Lighting with 32 MB VRAM such as an ATI Radeon 7200 or NVIDIA GeForce 2 class card or better
  • DirectX-compatible sound card or motherboard sound capability
  • 15 GB free hard drive space
  • A keyboard and mouse are required. Input devices other than a mouse and keyboard are not supported.
  • You must have an active broadband Internet connection to play

Mac OS X 10.4.11 or newer

  • PowerPC G5 1.6 GHz or Intel Core Duo processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 3D graphics processor with Hardware Transform and Lighting with 64 MB VRAM such as an ATI Radeon 9600 or NVIDIA GeForce Ti 4600 class card or better
  • 15 GB free hard drive space
  • A keyboard and mouse are required. Input devices other than a mouse and keyboard are not supported.
  • You must have an active broadband Internet connection to play.
Note: Due to potential programming changes, the Minimum System Requirements for this game may change over time.

Recommended Specifications

Windows XP (Service Pack 3), Windows Vista (Service Pack 1)

  • Dual-core processor, such as the Intel Pentium D or AMD Athlon 64 X2
  • 1 GB RAM (2 GB for Vista users)
  • 3D graphics processor with Vertex and Pixel Shader capability with 128 MB VRAM such as an ATI Radeon X1600 or NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT class card or better
  • DirectX-compatible sound card or motherboard sound capability
  • Broadband Internet connection.
  • Multi-button mouse with scroll wheel recommended.

Mac OS X 10.4.11 or newer

  • Intel 1.8 GHz processor or better
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 3D graphics processor with Vertex and Pixel Shader capability with 128 MB VRAM such as an ATI Radeon X1600 or NVIDIA 7600 class card or better
  • Multi-button mouse with scroll wheel recommended.

Gameplay features

Spectators

The ability to spectate arenas is still on the Blizzard to-do list, but they are being careful about it. Blizzard would also like to add this ability to raids too. In both cases it would be an opt-in feature only.

These are directly from the WotLK site.

Paradigm Shift: Dungeons and Raids

Heroic dungeons were one of the most popular innovations of the previous expansion, so it’s no surprise Heroic mode will return in Wrath of the Lich King. Just as in The Burning Crusade, every five-person dungeon will have a Heroic variant that will present players with an added challenge and improved rewards.

One exciting new feature in Wrath of the Lich King is that all raid content will be available as either a 10- or 25-person dungeon with completely independent progression paths. Both the 10- and 25-person versions will be the same dungeon; the look, layout, and design of the dungeon will remain the same. However, each will be adjusted, tuned, and balanced for its respective player size.

In Wrath of the Lich King, players can expect both 10- and 25-person raid progression paths to get increasingly difficult as they adventure to their final battle with Arthas. This new gameplay mechanic will allow more players to enjoy the raid content of Wrath of the Lich King in their preferred play style. Because it takes more effort to get 25 people together than it does for 10, players who participate in the 25-person raid progression path will receive higher quality and more loot than those who play the 10-person versions.

In addition, players will never be required to attune in a 10-person raid to progress to a 25-person raid in the progression path. Raid lockouts are same-size as well, so joining a 25-person raid for a dungeon will not lock a player out from the 10-person version of the same dungeon. This freedom of choice between raid-progression paths will let personal preference play a much bigger role in how players experience the raid content of Wrath of the Lich King

NPCs can also ride upon the shoulders of larger NPCs, such as Excelsior on Hidalgo the Master Falconer, or Grand Necrolord Antiok on Thiassi the Lightning Bringer.

Achievements

The Achievement system is a system that will keep track of certain goals that characters have reached, such as complete zone exploration, pet and mount collecting, and PvP kills.

Materials

New Metals gathered in Northrend

New Herbs gathered in Northrend

New Cloth gathered in Northrend

Gallery

Screenshots

Below are a variety of screenshots from the expansion. Many more can be found on relevant articles.

Concept art

People

Places

Other

Videos

See also

References

External links

Official Site
Forum Posts
Unofficial Sites
Videos