The rumor from last week… more than a rumor really… turned out to be true and Wrath of the Lich King Classic will launch on September 26th as the gypsy woman foretold.
I am starting to suspect that Blizzard is engineering these “leaks” just to stir up more attention for the actual announcement. They certainly got an extra blog post about it out of me, and I am sure that made all the difference in the world.
There is, of course, a full page announcement about the upcoming launch, including a retrospective section about what the expansion brought to Azeroth in its turn.
- 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.
There is also a brief trailer in case you forgot what the Lich King looked like.
I am sure we will get a more comprehensive trailer when we get closer to the launch date.
As I said last week, it might be time to start making a plan for Northrend. Added into the mix, Blizzard has implemented a 50% XP boost so that those who ended up adrift in Outland can power through and be ready for the Lich King.
There will also be fresh start realms, for those who want to go all the way from 1 to 80 with the WotLK rules and talents, and there will be the usual boost to level 70 option for those who want to skip by the previous content and go straight into Northrend. There will also be more open transfer options for classic servers.
The next question is likely when we will see the first fresh start realm. According to past communications there was a list of things Blizzard had to do:
- PvE to PvP transfer restrictions removed
- Wrath Classic closed beta test
- Classic Era clone service retired
- Existing realms consolidated
- New Fresh Start Realms with Wrath Classic pre-patch
- Wrath of the Lich King launch
Beta testing seems to be under way, but I am not sure where we stand with the rest of the list.