Lich King Doubtless Now Even More Wrathful

By Alec Meer on May 21st, 2008 at 9:00 pm.

Want to know what’s going to be in WoW: Wratch of the Lich King? As in, exactly what’s in it? Well, you can. Even though you shouldn’t.

The closed WOTLK Friends & Family Alpha/Beta/Oh Let’s Be Honest Blizzard Probably Finished It Ages Ago And This Is Just Clever PR is very much a private affair. Traditionally, details of Non-Disclosure Agreement-bound MMOs have stayed impressively under wraps, but it’s fairly inevitable some info-crumbs will fall off the privileged table for us norms to scavenge. In the case of WoW, clearly the world’s gigantic Want for it makes that all the more probable. But the sheer amount of leakage that’s just turned up is nevertheless startling – especially given how tight Blizzard has been with WOTLK screenshots and hard’n'fast details until now. This useless guff is all the official site has in terms of screenies, for instance.

Look away now if you don’t want to know the scores.

It was actually Kieron who stumbled across this one, over on one of the gaming forums he spends 25 hours a day on, but by his own admission most of it was so much gibberish to his relatively unWoWed eyes. He passed it on to me, and I duly pretended not to care (18 months clean!). I suspect he didn’t believe me. I didn’t believe me either. Here it all is, anyway. I had two reactions upon reading it:

#1 – Thank Jeebus I’m not playing WoW anymore.
#2 – WHY THE HELL AREN’T I IN THE BETA?

And back and forth and back and forth. I’m remarkably fortunate that level 71+ Rogue skills apparently aren’t in the beta yet, which means my slumbering l70 Gnome Rogue is of bugger all use for now and thus my hankering is relatively manageable.

There’s a hell of a lot of minute detail on supposed new skills and talents in there, which will doubtless prove the most thrilling element of this enormo-leak for dedicated WoWians, but those of us who care about more than the numbers can enjoy all the screenshots of new monsters and armours and the like. How Arthas, fallen prince of Azeroth and current Lich King (and WOTLK’s Biggest Bad) appears is in there, as are cutey-wutey clockwork gnomes, a possible demon form for Warlocks and Tauren canoes. We even get to see what Gnome Death Knight looks like. My main character was a Gnome. I could be a Gnome Death Knight NO STOP IT NO NO NO.

Death Knights do sound remarkably fun, however. They can summon ghouls, make corpses explode, protect themselves with a floating bone shield and assault enemies with a cloud of disease-bearing insects. I pity the existing classes.

Of course, there isn’t any guarantee that the ability etc information is entirely accurate, or at least that it will be come the final release. Things like the Warrior’s Titan Grip, which lets ‘em wield two-handed weapons in just one hand (once rumoured to be in The Burning Crusade) seem a little too-good-to-be-true – but then again, it’s what people want, so why not?

It’s a truly exhaustive leak, though. Even the loading screens are in there. Cripes. Video clips and music samples also await, which rather make me think the hosting site won’t be around for that much longer.

(Sorry – not going to post any pictures directly, as I’m already afraid I’ll be murdered in my sleep by men in Murloc suits.)

, , , .

31 Comments »

  1. John says:

    Wow=snore

  2. Pod says:

    “which means my slumbering l70 Gnome Rogue is of bugger all use for now and thus my hankering is relatively manageable.”

    Isn’t a top level character the opposite of useless, or have I gotten “how WOW works” wrong?

  3. mandrill says:

    Yeah, what John said.

    WoW is big, too big. There are some quirky ideas for MMO’s out there that would have had a chance at some modicum of success if it weren’t for WoW sucking up all the players like some geek absorbing sponge. It will fall, and when it does the echoes will be heard throughout eternity.

  4. Chuper says:

    I don’t think that wow i too big, an MMO cant be too big, hence the first M. I am not playing it anymore, but i sure dont think that its “sucking up” all of the competition. I think, however, that wow has and will draw alot of new players to the MMO scene. On the account of other MMOs i must say that wow is the best mmo there is (maybe beaten by Eve, but i did get into that). You can argue all you want with this, but it is the most polished and worked through MMO. With this i am not saying that an MMO needs to be “polished and perfect” to be fun, i play Neocron for a long time, and it was one of the most buggy and terrible MMOS there ever was. What Neocron had was a moment of brilliance, i got in just before its peak and (like Jedi Knight 2) the developers had managed (most likely by mistake) to create a combat system that was solely based on skill. In Neocron you didnt need to be max lvl – you didnt need to have the absolute best items (it did help), but it all came down to your premeditation (build and setup) and your aim and tactics.

    So wow might be “snore” or big, but the more players that get into the MMO/games market, the better then chance for us to get some truely Unique games, because at some point a nieche might be enough to fond a game.

    /Chuper

  5. Lunaran says:

    @Pod: No, see, the point of a blizzard RPG is not to play the game and enjoy the mechanic, it’s to level up and get new stuff. Like Diablo2: nobody actually liked playing it, they all just wanted more Stones of Jordan. A level 70 character can’t be leveled any more, and in that case, what’s the point of playing?

  6. alphaxion says:

    in the stuff that has been marked as real and in the many, many fakes out there I do notice one big trend…

    Lots of diablo 2 spells making their way into WoW.
    I have to say tho, the warlock spells listed (I’ve read these all elsewhere) are utter tripe.

    eternal flame/everlasting affliction are game breaking abilities.. (yes, I’m aware that we don’t know what else is in there, but come on.. chance based refreshing spells when no-one else has them? and I thought the anti-lock whine was bad now) and atrocity? that’s just the delivery of amp damage… please, fakers, get some originality and believability first.

  7. mandrill says:

    I’m not saying WoW is a bad game, far from it. It is the pinnacle of its type (The fantasy grinding MMO) but that is its problem. Its the MMO that everyone has heard of and its noise is so loud that it drowns out and stifles the voices of less popular MMO’s. Games that try to do things differently will very rarely be touched by publishers because they want to copy a winning formula, that of WoW. WoW does not promote unique and innovative MMO developement, quite the opposite. The only game I’ve seen so far that does not use the same core mechanic as WoW (level to a cap and then grind for gear) is EVE. All the others do it the same way as WoW if you strip away the window dressing. The sooner WoW falls the better, then you’ll see some really innovative developments as developers try to find the ‘next big thing’ in MMO gameplay. Until of course they find it and the cycle starts again.

    I predict that once WoW falls we’ll have about five years of devs and publishers trying new things and then one will come along that does something that has been tried in the preceding five years very well (as WoW does) and then that game will dominate the market for the next few years and the majority of titles will be clones of it as publishers jump on the bandwagon.

  8. sana says:

    Kinda lame to spoil the, uh, surprises Blizzard planned, isn’t it?

  9. eyemessiah says:

    I am so looking forward to WoW dying.

    JUST IMAGINE THE LOOT!

  10. igoboo says:

    Would be less misleading for the link to the official WotLK stuff to drop the screenshots.xml part of the link. Much more than the screenies, though the leaked stuff still makes it pale in comparison.

  11. Zell says:

    WoW’s successor in terms of numbers will not appeal to your refined senses either. People want a world to hang out in, not a quirky toy.

  12. sana says:

    Silently swapped the order of the “reactions”, eh, Mr. Meer? The game will get you and you know it!

  13. Anthony Damiani says:

    Kinda lame surprises, aren’t they, too?

  14. sana says:

    If I developed a game and had it’s secrets spoiled and leaked by some meanies I entrusted with alpha testing.. that wouldn’t feel very nice!

    And it’s called “Friends and Family”! The bastards!

  15. ScubaV says:

    The two things that might bring down WoW would be WoW 2 and/or WoS (World of Starcraft).

  16. devlocke says:

    I haven’t played WoW so I have no opinion on its basic nature, but I really don’t think it’s stealing players from other MMOs. I suspect that in the long-run it will end up having made the world of MMOs a more diverse place.

    Why? All of my ‘gamer’ (whatever that means) friends played WoW and then quit – they hit something they didn’t like, or felt they’d mastered it, or just didn’t care enough to keep spending the money. Everyone I know that continues to play WoW religiously is a person that didn’t play ANY PC games until someone talked them into trying WoW.

    I think WoW is greatly increasing the market for MMOs. Given the nature of MMOs the people it captures are going to be mighty satisfied for a mighty long time, but eventually, they’ll want more, or want different, and they’ll be the users that make a diverse and vibrant MMO scene possible. Before WoW, there were a tiny handful of MMOs that got by just barely and all did the same thing in slightly different ways. Thanks to WoW, there a gajillion (scientific term) new people who enjoy MMOs.

    In the short term, you’ll see a lot of MMOs that copy the WoW formula, and fail to attract as large a player-base, ending up dead after a relatively short run. That’s where we’re at now. But I think that in the long-term, you’ll end up seeing a bunch of different types of MMO that actually have some tangible differences in terms of the experience they offer, peacefully co-existing. And I think that will happen thanks to the watershed that was World of Warcraft. (hah! I spelled it out, that time!)

    It’s inevitable, anyways, but by my reckoning WoW was the inevitable catalyst that needed to appear to spark the creation of an MMO scene that’s diverse and healthy.

    I’m a bit tipsy, and everything I know about WoW comes from hearsay and blogs, so try not to be too scathing when you tell me I’m completely and utterly stupid.

  17. sigma83 says:

    Why all the WoW hate anywho?

  18. Narvi says:

    The Frost Wyrm pet is adorable.

  19. Ben Abraham says:

    Why all the WoW hate anywho?

    That’s what we do? This *is* the Something Awful forums, right? *looks around desperately*

  20. Optimaximal says:

    MMO failure is nothing to do with innovation these days. The shareholders of the rival products just call an end to them when WoW boasts perpetual monthly gains of a million players whilst they’ve only got 24 subscriptions up-front to show for their investment.
    WoW didn’t get where it got to instantly, but the suits behind its rivals do seem to think they can.

    Also, does anyone else think that Lich King looks like Arthus? (Or did I miss a trick by never completing Frozen Throne?)

  21. Dean says:

    WoW hasn’t grown the MMO player-base much at all. It’s grown the WoW player-base. Should WoW ‘fall’ in a months time the vast majority of it’s players would just as likely go play Mass Effect or GTA4 than they are start another MMO.

  22. Jaxtrasi says:

    Dean:

    Is that a bad thing?

  23. Meat Circus says:

    Why all the WoW hate anywho?

    Because we’ve played it?

    I wasted a year of my life on that insufferable level grind of death. If I never play another MMO with classes and levels and other such outmoded concepts it will be too soon.

    Which means, yes, I’ll be playing EVE for the next century. Well, until CCP release a World of Darkness MMO.

  24. Raptornas says:

    Awesome, the Death Knight trainer is called Siouxsie The Banshee.

    I love all those little things in WoW like that, shame about the game. Only MMO i’d ever re-sub would be Eve, I still hanker for my ishtar.

  25. Derek K. says:

    ““which means my slumbering l70 Gnome Rogue is of bugger all use for now and thus my hankering is relatively manageable.”

    Isn’t a top level character the opposite of useless, or have I gotten “how WOW works” wrong?”

    Useless, in that were he to access the beta, there would be nothing new for his character, as rogue talents aren’t in.

    Hating WoW is cool. It’s bashing the popular kids, because they’re popular.

  26. Chris Keegan says:

    People criticize Wow due to the fact that they in the back of there minds are saying why isnt there a Cops n robbers mmo, a Cowboys and Indians mmo or any kind of sport related mmo the possibilities are endless for them yet we only have a handfull of them out to play.
    I think people underestimate how hard it is to create a good mmo. Medieval role playing games are a niche genre yet Wow is one of the most popular out at the mo, this doesnt make sense.

    I still love playing Wow even tho i dont enjoy fighting gnomes 100%. i play it cos its the been the best mmo or only mmo for the last few years.
    A GTA MMO would be amazing!
    Maybe developers dont want to switch for console to Desktop.
    I dont think there are many dev’s out there that want to jump all out in to the mmo market just yet. Which is sad.

    If we drew up a list of all the best games that could make brilliant mmo’s it would be a long list.

    RPS should try it?

  27. Dean says:

    Jax – yes it is, didn’t mean to suggest otherwise. I could have finished 50 other games in the time I’ve spent on WoW the last 3 years, and I sort of wish I had. I have no intention of starting another MMO.
    As I say, to me, WoW’s ‘competition’ is whether I let my sub lapse for a month while I play through Mass Effect, it’s not WAR or Conan.

  28. Nick says:

    I wouldn’t say it’s the best fantasy MMO.

    I’d say it’s the easiest fantasy MMO.

  29. Blackhat says:

    Don’t you need an alpha account for this anyway?