Warcraft III expansion revealed

Blizzard's upcoming expansion to last year's best-selling real-time strategy game will be called "The Frozen Throne."

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Blizzard has officially announced Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Some fans may be surprised to hear that the expansion may be released release as soon as this summer.

The expansion is set a few months after Warcraft III's final battle, and it focuses on events that take place on the arctic continent of Northrend, which was seen in a few missions at the end of Warcraft III's human campaign. The lich king Ner'zhul is imprisoned deep within the Icecrown glacier, and while this powerful undead foe is attempting to escape his prison, both the night elf renegade Ilidan and the traitorous former prince Arthus are trying to discover the powers that lie within the glacier.

As expected, much of The Frozen Throne's new content will come in the form of many new units and one new hero per race. A unique part of Warcraft III's multiplayer gameplay were the neutral buildings where units could be recruited and hero items could be purchased, and there'll also be plenty that's new here. The expansion will not only have additional neutral buildings to provide new upgrades, items, and abilities, but it will also have neutral heroes who can be recruited by players to supplement their forces with unique spells and abilities.

The Frozen Throne's single-player missions will take place in new environments, so it's natural that the multiplayer maps will also feature three new tilesets, which will come complete with new creeps and critters. Many new multiplayer maps are promised for the expansion, as are multiple new game types. The accompanying upgrade to Blizzard's Battle.net service will include clan and tournament support.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos has sold 2 million units worldwide since its release last summer, and it was named GameSpot's Best PC Game of 2002. For more details, check out our previous coverage of the game.

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