How do you deal with a rapidly declining player count across all of your games, not to mention lawsuits and other sorts of bad press? Reviving another fan-favorite classic to stir up nostalgia, of course.
Blizzard announced World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Classic today, a faithful recreation of the original expansion from November 2008 that centers around one of the franchise’s most iconic characters, Arthas Menethil, and his transformation into the eponymous villain following corruption by the cursed blade Frostmourne.
This is also the same expansion that introduced players to the Death Knight, a class that comprises warriors raised from the dead by the Lich King that could use an enemy’s blood against them, among other traits. The opening for World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King remains one of the finest CG sequences and soundtracks in Blizzard’s history.
RETURN TO THE ICY REALM OF NORTHREND IN WORLD OF WARCRAFT: WRATH OF THE LICH KING CLASSIC (Blizzard)
Later this year, you will again get to explore bone-chilling lands, storm Icecrown Citadel, and halt the Lich King’s baleful efforts. Only the most stalwart can challenge the Lich King and end his reign of terror in this rerelease of the 2008 expansion.
Just like it shook up WoW during its original release, Wrath of the Lich King Classic will thrill both veterans and newcomers with a host of improved features and content to explore:
The Grim Frozen North – Heroes will begin their journey in one of two zones in Northrend—Borean Tundra or Howling Fjord—and adventure through some of the most epic vistas and beloved storylines in all of Warcraft before breaching the seat of the Lich King’s power in Icecrown.
The Rise of Death Knights – Available to both factions and starting at level 55, Death Knights—World of Warcraft’s first hero class—harness the powers of darkness to help combat the evil that threatens Azeroth. While Death Knights are limited to one per server and require a level 55 character on that server to create, in Wrath Classic, we will be bypassing that requirement for a player’s first Death Knight.
New Profession—Inscription – This new profession allows players to scribe mystical glyphs that modify the properties of spells and abilities (cooldowns, damage, etc.), and craft powerful trinkets and off-hand items.
Achievements Unlocked – Achievements are coming to WoW Classic, giving players new rewards for their exploits and accomplishments.
Dungeons & Raids – Relive seminal 5-player dungeons like Azjol-Nerub and the Culling of Stratholme, and lay siege to Naxxramas as a 25- or 10-player raid—an update of its original iteration as a 40-player raid in pre-expansion World of Warcraft.
Included With Existing World of Warcraft Subscriptions – As with previous WoW Classic releases, anyone who subscribes to World of Warcraft can also play Wrath of the Lich King Classic at no additional cost.
Additionally, we want to provide a better experience for our new and existing Classic players with the following changes:
Level 70 Boost – The level cap will be increased to 80, and we’re introducing a Level 70 Boost so those who didn’t play Burning Crusade Classic but wish to play Wrath with their friends or explore Northrend can do so right away. This boost will be available one per account and can be used on any class except Death Knights.
No Dungeon Finder – Players rediscovering Wrath of the Lich King Classic won’t find the Looking for Dungeon feature originally added in Patch 3.3.5. We’ve heard from our Classic community that the importance of social bonds is a big part of what makes Classic their game of choice, and we agree.
Personal Arena Rating– Throughout Burning Crusade Classic, our PvP community has made it clear that they’d prefer the flexibility of rating being personal rather than tied to a fixed team, so we will be removing Arena Teams in Wrath Classic.
Barber Shop Improvements – In the years since the Barber Shop was first added in Wrath, World of Warcraft has added additional customization options, including some that originally were only available as paid services. We’re going to incorporate all of those improvements in Wrath Classic rather than reverting to the authentic 2008 behavior.