WOW Lich King heads for beta

Second expansion to Blizzard Entertainment's massively popular MMORPG taking applicants for near-final testing phase.

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At least a few of the 10 million-plus World of Warcraft fans invariably shed a tear when it was revealed that Blizzard Entertainment's teaser campaign leading up to last weekend's Worldwide Invitational pertained to Diablo III, and not the Wrath of the Lich King. Said gamers can dry their eyes, given that Blizzard has officially initiated beta-testing sign-ups for the second expansion to its massively popular, massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

A face only a WOW fan could love.
A face only a WOW fan could love.

According to Blizzard's community site, the Wrath of the Lich King beta will differ from previous closed beta tests in that WOW players with an active account will be required to opt in to participate in the test. The developer also notes that opting in does not guarantee a slot in the closed testing period.

As detailed in GameSpot's recent preview of the game from this year's WWI event in Paris, Wrath of the Lich King will introduce a new class playable by all races: the Death Knight. Available to all players of level 55 and above, this unholy champion works its will through rune-powered spells and also has the ability to command an underling.

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King has not yet been dated. However, Blizzard parent company Vivendi said that it expected the expansion to ship during the second half of 2008. Retailers are under the assumption that the next expansion to one of the all-time best-selling games will arrive for the PC and Mac in November.

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