Players last visited Northrend in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, when Arthas Menethil fused with the spirit of Ner’zhul to become the Lich King, one of the most powerful beings in the Warcraft universe. He now broods atop the Frozen Throne deep in Icecrown Citadel, clutching the rune blade Frostmourne and marshaling the undead armies of the Scourge. In Wrath of the Lich King, the forces of the Alliance and the Horde will venture into battle against the Scourge amid Northrend’s howling winds and fields of jagged ice.
With the opening of the Dark Portal, and the renewed war to stop the Burning Crusade’s destruction of worlds, the heroes of Azeroth have given little thought to the frozen wastes of Northrend - and the terrible, ancient powers that wait there. Yet the brooding evils of the fallen Nerubian empire and their malevolent sovereign have not forgotten Azeroth…
The former death knight and now Lich King Arthas has set in motion events that could lead to the extinction of all life in Azeroth, as his undead armies and the necromantic power of the plague threaten to sweep across the land. Only the mightiest heroes can survive the frozen northlands with any hope of disrupting the plans of Arthas - and perhaps even challenge the Lich King himself and end his reign of terror for all time.
"We're looking forward to launching Wrath of the Lich King and finally giving World of Warcraft players a chance to take on Arthas and his minions," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "Until then, we'll continue to refine and playtest the expansion content to make sure it provides a highly polished and entertaining experience."
In addition, players will be able to advance characters to level 80 and gain powerful new abilities while exploring several new zones and dungeons. The expansion also introduces a number of exciting new features, including an achievement system, expanded player-vs.-player combat options such as siege weapons and destructible buildings, and the game's first Hero class -- the necromantic death knight.
New features include:
- Death Knight Hero Class: Create a high-level Death Knight character - the game’s first hero class - once certain challenges have been met.
- Increased Level Cap: Advance to level 80 and gain potent new talents and abilities along the way.
- Northrend: Explore the harsh new continent of Northrend, packed with new zones, quests, dungeons, monsters, and items - and do battle with the undead armies of the Lich King.
- “Inscription” Profession: Learn this exciting new profession and gain unique ways to permanently enhance spells and abilities in the game.
- Siege Weapons and Destructible Buildings: Take the battle to another level with new player-vs.-player game mechanics and new battlefields to wage war on.
- New Character Customization: Change how characters look and express themselves, with different hairstyles and dance animations.
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King will be available on DVD-ROM for Win XP/Vista and Macintosh in two packages: a standard edition, which will sell for a suggested retail price of $39.99, and a special Collector's Edition (in select regions) priced at $69.99.
The limited Collector's Edition package will contain:
- The Art of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, a 208-page book featuring never-before-seen images from the game.
- An exclusive in-game pet: Frosty, the baby frost wyrm.
- A behind-the-scenes DVD containing over an hour of developer interviews, the Wrath of the Lich King intro cinematic with director's commentary, and more.
- The official soundtrack CD, containing 21 epic tracks from the game, along with exclusive bonus tracks.
- A mouse pad featuring a map of the newly opened continent of Northrend.
- Two World of Warcraft Trading Card Game March of the Legion(TM) starter decks, along with two exclusive cards available only in the Collector's Edition.
The Wrath of the Lich King expansion, rated T for Teen, requires the original World of Warcraft game, available now for a suggested retail price of $19.99, along with World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, which sells for $29.99. These two products are combined in the World of Warcraft Battle Chest, available for $39.99.
Wrath of the Lich King will be available on November 13 in North America, Europe, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Russia, and November 14 in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. The expansion will be available in Korea and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau on November 18.