BlizzCon 07: Second WOW expansion officially unveiled

Blizzard takes the wraps off Wrath of the Lich King at its annual event in Anaheim; expansion will add continent of Northrend to MMORPG.

ANAHEIM, Calif.--Following two very public leaks in Germany and the US, Blizzard Entertainment surprised virtually no one today when it announced the second expansion to its wildly popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft. Titled the Wrath of the Lich King, the expansion will add a passel of new content to the game, which now boasts a staggering 9 million players worldwide.

The announcement was made by Blizzard's Frank Pierce this morning at BlizzCon, the Vivendi Games-owned publisher's annual fan event. First, he briefly talked about some content updates that introduce guild banks and integrated voice chat via live content updates. Then he discussed Zuluman, a new 10-person instance in the Ghost Lands featuring Forest Trolls battling against Blood Elves.

He looks like an understanding fellow...

Then, after coyly mentioning that Blizzard's "dev team has been working on bigger things," Pierce officially unveiled Wrath of the Lich King. The expansion will open up the continent of Northrend--first seen in Warcraft III--to WOW players for the first time.

The expansion's storyline will center on the lich king Arthas Menethil, who was prominently featured in the expansion Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Arthas has "merged with the spirit" of another lich king, Ner'zhul, the former orc shaman and Undead Scourge leader introduced in Warcraft II: The Tides of Darkness. Now, the joined ghostly monarchs have "set things in motion that could threaten all life in Azeroth," according to Pierce. Apparently, players will be introduced to the story as soon as they set foot into Northrend.

BlizzCon venue, the Anaheim Convention Center.

Wrath of the Lich King will raise the level cap in WOW to 80 and will add new abilities and talents to all classes. It will also introduce the Death Knight hero class and a new profession--inscription--that will let players permanently enhance spells and abilities. The expansion will also add new character-customization options, such as hairstyles and dances.

As for Northrend itself, the realm will feature several new zones to explore, with "hundreds of new quests, monsters, and items," according to Pierce. The expansion pack will also introduce numerous five-person dungeons, as well as 10- and 25-person raids.

The not-quite-undead scourge.

Pierce also said Blizzard developers have big player-versus-player plans for Wrath of the Lich King. The add-on will sport new areas and battlegrounds, and will add siege weapons for the first time. It will also introduce buildings that can be destroyed by siege weapons, adding another level to combat.

Pierce's presentation concluded with the first trailer for World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. The cinematic began with a voice-over of Arthas telling two humans in a burning forest that "I was once like you." After some shots of a massive forge, two other humans--a male and female--are shown being battered by a gigantic Yeti. The male runs off into a snowy forest, where he is surrounded by undead. The next shot shows the male human in black Death Knight armor, standing before a seated Arthas on a throne. "In the final hour, all must serve the one true king," proclaimed Arthas before the convention center lights came up.

Real-world access to Azeroth.

Blizzard did not announce a release date for Wrath of the Lich King. However, the first WOW expansion, The Burning Crusade, arrived approximately 15 months after being introduced at BlizzCon in October 2005.

[UPDATE] Shortly after the conclusion of the Lich King presentation, the official Web site for the game went online.

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Discussion

167 comments
hercufles
hercufles

well i quited wow long time ago cause i had diffecutlies finding a group or raiding guild i ratgher wish they balanced classes more i just wanna play my lvl 70 fury warrior.

ognen
ognen

I can't say you're not right, but WoW is something that many people feel different about. Sure, It's one of the most succesful MMO games of all time with it's loads of players but there's an other side of the opinions... Many people are aware to even start playing this game because it's a game that makes you play more and more. And everybody needs to face it: "There is no end"... I have many friends of mine, who now have ruined life thanx to WoW. I don't want to blame Blizzard for making a great franchise like this. I realy respect them, I've played this game and it's realy a "DEFINITION" for today's MMO's. But if u got in that freaking world, u can't get out. You give your life to you're second life character and you lose all your friends (and thats "DEFINITION" too). So chose: playing a realy realy cool game and explore a great world, or stay with the life you already have because you still have some people into it that are on it's "Friends List". PS: Don't try to click "N" to find out who they are :P

jakkaj
jakkaj

NO MMO has anything to do with RP. Thats like saying a butterknife is a weapon made for killing just because it shares an edge with, say, sword. Keeping that in mind, there is no other MMO that is anywhere close to its rate of success. Ppl are saying DAoC, EQ, UO, L2, and other titles, are better in this respect or another. But the truth is there IS 7 million accounts created. And no other game has made me feel so much acomplishment after getting through a rough spot due to my playing skills as a healer, dps, or tank. No other game emphasizes the different play styles so much, and how much they influence the game. You say its itemized. Every MMO is. Rotfl at that argument, almost every game is itemized. Even CS is. **** the first Tomb Raider had different weapons... But show me a game with such variation in stats and models. Doh? You are saying dumbed down. I can agree its not as complex as other games, but it is complex enough, and if u think its NOT, well, many RL RP (since u like bringing that up) players start from diecing every action then going to narreating every action, making a one odd throw per session. Simple is ussually better then overcomplicated wouldnt u say? Im not saying WoW is the best game. Never. It is based on grinding too much, it has weak balance, community is not very nice (in general, but then again it seems to me there are few MP communities that are worth getting to know), and (as in all MMO) expansions hardly add anything new. There are a few things i liked more in other games like the trading system from EvE, or the pets from SWG, but all in all, there isnt a MMO which doesnt share above flaws, all or some. So where is all the hate comming from? U lost or GF for playing, your mates decided to move on from the old stuff? If so, it s just a game, and as such it has done much, much better then most there s on the market. Nuff said. PS. I have played DAoC, EvE, SWG, L2, several f2p MMOs and heard bout UO. Spent a very long time with GW for teh PvP, and prolly will continue that way, cause im sick of ppl hardcore grinding and telling me they r RPing...

Crystall3d
Crystall3d

I respect any wow player still inside the game but excuse me! "wow" has very very little to do with "RP" term and the "Massive" is as massive as" Battlefield 2140" etc. which has 40/40 multiplayer capacity.. so what s left? Multi player game, MPG it is now only a MPGame... which is ridiculously based on items so Itemized Multiplayer Game that stands out s IMP and we all know which class have IMP pets .... anyway :p

diablobasher
diablobasher

STOP SAYING 'ADDICTING'!!! DAMMIT!!! IT'S AN ASSAULT ON THE QUEENS ENGLISH AND IT MAKES MY EYES HURT!!!! *seethes*

butler14
butler14

"Jason1414 Horrible, deplorable, boring, poorly made." The fact that you can't remember what you wrote in your (awful) review of WoW says it all :p

NeoNavarro
NeoNavarro

Well what can I say? I love WoW. But, I think nearly three solid years of playing I'm going to have to throw in the towel. I just find the game and expansion to be very repetitive and boring at times. Plus I'm running out of things to do. Maybe I'll go out side... maybe get a girlfriend... or go to school and who knows perhaps get a job? LOL

BringTheBlood
BringTheBlood

personally im ready for something new for wow, it needs to come sooner, im bored with everything else. and i agree they need to make it easier to lvl. other then that im pretty excited.

HummaKavula
HummaKavula

More of the same crap we've seen for the last 3 years will not make me get back to WoW.

dafokinman
dafokinman

i think Blizz should either start new characters on a higher lvl or make it easier to lvl my main a lvl 47 and im bored already this is when i make a new toon and have some fun with it

Jason1414
Jason1414

I just searched every one of my posts, and I never said WoW was "poorly made". I said it was a decent game, and I said it was a good game, but its certainly not the BEST game. As for DAoC, its not the best either, but its a very very good MMO, and back in its day, was one of the best. Its very well refined and polished, its deep level of customization trumps WoW's 10 times over, it has the best end game content in both PvE and PvP, and RvR has no competition out there.

butler14
butler14

DOAC has very respectible PvP elements, and **** all else, and you know it. EQII is a joke, period. No other MMO is as packed full of quality elements like WoW. Nothing really comes close, hence it's total western domination. "WoW is a good game, but certainly not the best game of all time." Changing your tune? And btw, i loved your review. Anyone that says WoW is 'poorly made' is either making a bad attempt at humour, or derranged.

Jason1414
Jason1414

Oh sorry, didn't get to answer that one question in there. "Name an MMO that successfully blends so many elements together in one package." Dark Age of Camelot, EQII

Jason1414
Jason1414

"Name a more polished, refined MMO." Dark Age of Camelot "Name a more in depth MMO in either PvP or PvE terms." Dark Age of Camelot for PvP no question, EverQuest for PvE "Name a more customisable MMO (everything from character to UI)" Oh this should be a blast. AC1, Ultima Online, EQ, DAoC, City of Heroes, EVE, Vanguard, SWG(pre NGE) Name an MMO that successfully blends so many elements together in one package. "Then look at some reviews of WoW, are the reviewers all Blizzard/Warcraft RTS fanboys? No, i thought not. WoW is at the top of it's game, and unquestionably so." Popularity does not make something GOOD. "This month, PC Gamer magazine just did a run down of the top 100 PC games of all time, guess what came in at number one. But yeah it's all marketing spin and fanboyism." If WoW was named best PC game of all time, then that magazine just lost ALL credibility. WoW is a good game, but certainly not the best game of all time. THAT is EXACTLY marketing spin and fanboyism. WoW has the most subscribers? Therefore more people know it, therefore putting it in at number one makes more people happy. I'm sure anyone here can name several dozen BETTER PC games than WoW. I don't think any MMO should hold "best PC game" title.

grendel61CMG
grendel61CMG

Garry's Mod is so infinitely cooler than World of Warcraft.

LisaGansky
LisaGansky

I really don't know if I'll be able to survive getting to level 80.

butler14
butler14

Name a more polished, refined MMO. Name a more in depth MMO in either PvP or PvE terms. Name a more customisable MMO (everything from character to UI) Name an MMO that successfully blends so many elements together in one package. Then look at some reviews of WoW, are the reviewers all Blizzard/Warcraft RTS fanboys? No, i thought not. WoW is at the top of it's game, and unquestionably so. This month, PC Gamer magazine just did a run down of the top 100 PC games of all time, guess what came in at number one. But yeah it's all marketing spin and fanboyism.

Jason1414
Jason1414

Oh come on, you're playing the "the names are unique" card? So you're saying if I have two identical twins and name one Bob and one Tim they're both completely new and different? I'm not preaching anti WoW "bull", it's truth. Here is exactly why WoW was successful. Now, keep in mind, all MMOs are addicting, especially your first one. Blizzard is a very well respected company with its slew of RTS games. Blizzard announces a new game set in its popular World of Warcraft. All those RTS fans start looking at the game. The good marketing convinces them to try it. Blizzard makes a very basic, very simply, very easy MMO, and so the RTS people don't have much trouble adjusting to the new genre. Now since its an MMO, its inherently addictive, and they think its wonderful. It pulls in slews of other people that are called "MMO hoppers" because nothing else was coming out at the time. Now all these newly addicted RTS people start preaching that this game is God, because they've never played an MMO before and think WoW is the greatest thing ever conceived. This convinces other noobs to come to WoW, and they stay because its just so damn easy and addicting. That is WoW's success right there. Simplification, timing, and relying on noobs from their RTS fanbase. And now, the lore those RTS people joined for is being butchered...yeah, great game.

DryvBy2
DryvBy2

@Jason1414 Here's something new they did: Horde vs. Alliance. Haven't seen those names in other games before. Here's something else: Thrall is in the game. That's original. Barrens chat. That's original too. If you don't like WoW, then why did you feel the need to click on BlizzCon's WoW expansion?

butler14
butler14

Jason1414 preaching the usual anti-wow bull. WoW wasn't created to reinvent the wheel, only to refine and develop it - thats all you need have said. It DOES have original elments (albeit few of them,) but more over it has vast amounts of refined and polished elements from other titles. You reakon WoW's success is down to marketing and only marketing? I'm not even going to dignify that comment with a counter, it speaks for itself. And yes i've played multiple MMO's over the past 8 years, and have chosen WoW over every single one untill something better is released (AoC, WAR.)

Jason1414
Jason1414

In my time I've played Dark Age of Camelot, a little EQ and AC1, DDO, LotRO, SWG, Vanguard, some WoW, City of Heroes, EVE. Just about every single one of those I enjoyed more than WoW. WoW was a copy and pasted/watered down version of EQ and DAoC. Not a single original idea there, and so I sort of resent it. I also resent how most companies tried to copy WoW in light of its success by dumbing down on their games(ESPECIALLY LotRO and SWG) Its a decent game, with a brilliant marketing company behind it, released at the right time, but, its not for me. And I really resent it for all the bad that its caused.

JamaiK
JamaiK

:) ... we are already fighting ! man, I just stop playing this game a few months ago, because I get sick of it. But, I will not forget that I enjoy it very much at that time. About the graphics ... it's a great one in a special environment, and lie U wrote, is working on every PC, and that's great ... most of graphics are build from programing code ... not using 2 high video renderings, and this is a PLUS ... What other MMORPG did U played ? ... just curious ... and from all the aspects was better that wow.

Jason1414
Jason1414

Hate to break it to you, but that adds up to 7 mil.. :/ And for WoW, I will not say its great. I really didn't like the game. Sure, some people did, many of them have never tried any of the other games out there though. The only thing that WoW did different was make it so that any 2 year old with half a brain could get to the level cap with relative ease, and make the graphics so bad it could run on any computer. The reason WoW is a runaway success is because due to the RTS Blizzard fanbase playing the WoW MMO as their first MMO(and the easiest MMO out there) they got hooked, told all their friends who had never played an MMO, and it just snowballed from there. WoW did nothing new, nothing interesting, nothing original. It was pure marketing genius that made it a success, not the game itself.

JamaiK
JamaiK

Jason - U really hate Blizz or Wow or what ? ... I've played Everquest and Line Age a little bit ... and U can't say 4 sure ...that they don't have new things in WoW ! "Although its initial release was hampered by overpopulated servers,[6] the game became a financial success[7][8] and the world's largest MMORPG in terms of monthly subscribers.[9][10][11] On July 24, 2007, Blizzard announced that the user base for World of Warcraft had reached a new milestone, with 9 million players worldwide.[12] There are more than 2 million players in North America, 1.5 million players in Europe, and 3.5 million players in China as of January, 2007.[13] The game has won numerous awards and recognitions, including GameSpot's Game of the Year Award for 2004." here it is, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_of_warcraft ... read the article ... says 9 mil players ... And even if ...there are a lot of things in the warcraft games which come up in wow ... this is a mmorpg ... U have 2 admit WoW was great ...and it is ... for the new players ...which just start with lvl 1, 4 the 1st time, if U got bored of it ... welcome, me 2 ... but don't say that U didn't enjoyed playing 4 it, at his launch . com'on , be honest !

Jason1414
Jason1414

Jamaik- "Then WoW came up ... it really came up with new things and I really enjoy it with some friends..." I'd just like to say, Blizzard did absolutely NOTHING new in WoW. Every last detail of WoW had already been done in another game. I hate this misconception, MMOs existed before WoW, and it is not anywhere close to the best one out there. As for Blizzard releasing updates... there's ways to release updates without just being lazy and increasing the level cap. Dark Age of Camelot has been around 7 whole years and the levle cap has ALWAYS been 50. As for 9 mil palyers, how come whenever I hear about WoW, the subscription jumps another MIL? BS on that, BS. There's only about 2.5 mil players in the US. 1 mil in Europe, all the rest in Asia.

JamaiK
JamaiK

What is Blizzard ? I belive it's the most awesome pc games company in the world. who didn't played starcraft or diablo or warcraft or even WoW . Magnifik universe, the Blizz universe ... and special the warcraft universe. I never been disappointed by Blizzz, they have their own style to satisfy the player. I've been a stacraft player ... then the warcraft 3 ROC + TFT ... just love them. Been playing War 3 TFT on Bnet about 2 years ... then a lot of my friends stat playing that stupid dota ... I simply quite playing Blizz games .for a while ... LAN only some times with my friends, for fun, no school like old school, isn't ? Then WoW came up ... it really came up with new things and I really enjoy it with some friends... started together and we all reached 60 almost in the same days ... it was magnifik ... The TBC ... I can say it was bad .... but neither great . 4 the 1st time I was a little bit sad ... blizz ..in not blizzz anymore ?... is it looking 4 the money now? But I WAS WRONG ... it's not all about money ... WoW become an UNIVERSE ... a WORLD .... and a World need to be updated, U can't leave 9 mil players ... with no more updates. Can't stop WoW for the god of the players that are playing 4 it. But 4 god's sake Blizzz wake up ... keep making addons 4 wow, u can't end wow, np ... but start developing new games .... we need STARCRAFT 2 (started already :) ), WARCRAFT 4 and DIABLO 3. And why not that STARCRAFT GHOST (for this U should sub -contract a FPS graphik engine like the Crytek one ... maybe the one will be used in Crysis ... but keep your story line , in the Blizz way ). Thank's for all the games the Games that Blizz developed ... But Blizzard WAKE UP , WAKE UP, WAKE UP ... ( and now I hope for a Blizz reply :)) .... like the druid in war3 used to say ... I'm awake, I'm awake ...

Diernes
Diernes

Deathknight. Nice, finally a class that isnt a boring generic fantasy staple. part of the reason I have never liked WOW is the limited class selection

lordmasterrof
lordmasterrof

I play wow myself and i must say i'm very dissapointed in the fact that u can lvl 80 now! I mean, THANKS LIKE IT WASENT BORING ENOUGH TO GO 70! -_- i mean, make new dungeons, and not some where u have to be able to complete Black Temple before u even have a chance in there, i mean make a new land, make new dungeons (where people that are capable of lets say , completing karazhan, gruul's lair, magtherdion and ssc, might also have a chance! Its sooo boring to always here about those sweedish nihilum guys clearing everything in a day... its a freaking waste of time (and that i admit) to game wow if the only thing they can develop is a game where u as Jason1414 says, only have to do "kill tasks" to go 80 (which will take me like 2 - 3 weeks, BORING!) and then what(?) go to yet another dungeon, and when u completed that an a few others they announce a lvl 90 expansion, seriously Blizzard get new ideas, not use the same all the freaking time...

Jason1414
Jason1414

And I thought WoW was crap before this. This has to be the worst expansion idea ever. Just slap 10 more levels on and make everything you've been raiding for totally useless! Brilliant! They have the NERVE to say "quest" to level 80? Those aren'ts quests anymore, they're just kill tasks. God, this has to be the WORST MMO to come out in years, and I still don't understand why it has 3 mil American subscribers.

okassar
okassar

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

mopeyking
mopeyking

Lister2x This expansion comes from their game world of warcraft 3 .......... wich came out before LOTRO, they did not come up with the idea they just looked at there past game that inspired world of warcraft and said hey lets make an expansion where we left off in the frozen throne

Hadram
Hadram

lister2x! That is so not true! At the end of Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne Arthas joins with the lich king, and Liche King's are in all the Warcraft games. They are soo not copying!!! And the expansion is gonna be awesome

lister2x
lister2x

Am I the only one that sees the disturbing simularity to the LOTRO in this expansion? At first glance I thought it was an expansion for LOTR because the promo graphic even looks like the WITCH King of Angmar, same helmet style and everything. Add that to the name LICH king....is WoW so desperate for fresh ideas?

spikepigeo
spikepigeo

Diablo 3 would be awesome, but id rather have this. I dont play WoW much, but when i have free time that i dont know what to do with, I will. I have a level 70 and i would love to get to 80. This X-pac looks like more of the great content BC brought. I just hope it doesnt come out for a while though. They need to give more time for people to get to 70 and for 70's to get better. Death Knight looks sweet though. Long Live WoW!

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

Agreed. Give me Diablo 3 please. I've had more than enough of WoW and its expansions.

portujoel5
portujoel5

More Diablo 3 please, and hurry up. I'm tired of your WOWing... more real RPGs pls. Come on, Blizzard, you made all the games I've enjoyed the most, so keep it up.

hack001
hack001

ZOMG I wonder if Frostmourne will be a drop

Abq
Abq

Deathknight sounds like an unholy paladin with a warrior's melee skill. Expect nerfing on high scales. All in all I guess I gotta pick up the old warrior once more, and make Arthas bleed in an epic battle that shall be remembered forever realmwide.

xbillsx
xbillsx

Svits, the hero class is not a free way for lazy people to gain a new high lvl toon. If you pay attention more you would have read that you have to hit 80 and do a questline to attain the ability to play as the death knight.

KyanMehwulfe
KyanMehwulfe

Northrend looks superb. Not sure I like how Heroes are basically rerolls, though.

Lone_Warrior_66
Lone_Warrior_66

great... this announcement comes on the day i froze my account. I've played WoW for 2,5 years but planned to stop cause the high end content just takes up to much time. Seeing this again however makes me jump in my seat but i guess i'll have to wait and see wether this is worth reactivating my account over again xD.

FooMaster
FooMaster

I played WoW for 2 to 3 years and had 5 different classes at lvl 60. No desire to raid so I had nothing but Tier 0 dungeon sets on all of em. Then they finally released an expansion and it was the same at 70. I quit before I even got lvl 70 mainly due the picky community on my server. I hope blizzard can make this worth playing without the raids. Maybe even add in some so called "casual" content. Or maybe more players will take the game less seriously so I can have fun just playing every now and then. We shall see sometime within the next 2 years.

fjgamer
fjgamer

To saifullahbegg: There should be some improved effects in the new areas. From the trailers I saw they have some new fire animations and some atmospheric effects. I think that's it though.

Svits
Svits

Hold on, a "hero class" witch starts in high lvl? That just sounds like a class that people who don't got any lvl 70, starts playing on. And then they got a class that is played by over 50%.... I think it sounds like Blizz is scared of getting old, and are just making more and more crappy updates.

bongo_man47
bongo_man47

Awsome. ill be picking this up when it comes out.

therealcoolin
therealcoolin

I dont mean to be a downer, but this sucks. I've been playing WoW longer then i care to admit, and i dont have any 60s even. Now i get to play to level 80. at this rate, ill never be max level. if im not 60 at least before this comes out, im quitting wow. However, if i were a level 70 this would be sweet.