WoW: Grump of The Ghoul Regent – Dated

By Alec Meer on September 15th, 2008 at 12:36 pm.

the staring eyes of Prince Arthas

Edit: Blizzard confirm 13th November, full press release and collector’s edition details after the cut.

It’s been in beta for what feels like forever, but finally it seems we might have a release date for the next World of Warhammercraft expansion. 13th of November, apparently.

Which is rather interesting specifically because it’s relatively hot on the heels of WAR. Which means the world will very much have decided if Mythic’s rival is for them by that point. Will WoTLK have its thunder roundly stolen, or will dispossessed WAR early-adopters flee back to Blizzard’s familiar arms en masse? With WAR’s global headstart kicking off today, we’ll know very soon.

WORLD OF WARCRAFT®: WRATH OF THE LICH KING™

IN STORES STARTING NOVEMBER 13, 2008

Second expansion to Blizzard Entertainment®’s massively multiplayer online role-playing game will be available in standard and special collector’s editions

PARIS, France. – September 15, 2008 – Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced today that World of Warcraft®: Wrath of the Lich King™, the second expansion for its award-winning subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), will arrive in stores 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. Details regarding the launch of Wrath of the Lich King in mainland China will be announced at a later date.

“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.”

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King sends players to the cold, forbidding continent of Northrend, where the fearsome Lich King Arthas Menethil, last seen in Warcraft® III: The Frozen Throne®, works from his secluded citadel to bring all of Azeroth under his twisted dominion. Players will battle the Lich King’s undead army from the shores of Howling Fjord and Borean Tundra to the seat of his unholy power in Icecrown Glacier. 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.

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King will be available on DVD-ROM for Windows® XP/Windows Vista® and Macintosh® in two packages: a standard edition and a special Collector’s Edition (in select regions). The limited Collector’s Edition package will contain:

o The Art of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, a 208-page book featuring never-before-seen images from the game.
o An exclusive in-game pet: Frosty, the baby frost wyrm.
o 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.
o The official soundtrack CD, containing 21 epic tracks from the game, along with exclusive bonus tracks.
o A mouse pad featuring a map of the newly opened continent of Northrend.
o Two World of Warcraft Trading Card Game March of the Legion™ starter decks, along with two exclusive cards available only in the Collector’s Edition.

The Wrath of the Lich King expansion requires the original World of Warcraft game, along with World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade®. These two products are combined in the World of Warcraft Battle Chest®. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King has received a 12 + rating from PEGI.

Since launching in November 2004, World of Warcraft has become the world’s most popular MMORPG, with more than 10.9 million subscribers. The game’s first expansion, The Burning Crusade, broke PC-game sales records in North America and Europe by selling nearly 2.4 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability and approximately 3.5 million copies in its first month.

For more information on World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, visit the official website at www.wow-europe.com/wrath. With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available. Visit eu.blizzard.com/en/jobs/ for more information and to learn how to apply.

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36 Comments »

  1. The_B says:

    WAR comparisons? OH SH-

    *Hides from the Angry Internet Men*

  2. AbyssUK says:

    A crackpipe by any other name is still a crackpipe

  3. Ian says:

    @The_B: You know I saw one preview which said that WoW and WAR are both MMOs. I was sick, let me tell you.

  4. Seniath says:

    Obligatory link to ‘I Hope You Like Text’.

    On topic: I will be buying this but not WAR. Judge away.

  5. Ketch says:

    Down with WoW! It’s boring and old now, Wotlk does not have anything we havnt already done in the last 4 years so why bring out another mindlessly boring grindosaurus expansion pack?

    Don’t get me wrong, WoW will always have a place in my heart, but seriously, it’s time to move on.

    I registered my WAR headstart code this morning, see you on the battlefield!

  6. Kalain says:

    damn them. I was hoping for a January release so I could actually play the other games that were coming out that I will be forced into buying.

    Damn you Blizzard, damn you!!

    Having played the WAR beta I was looking forward to cancelling WoW and going to that, but then I managed to nab my friends WoW beta account. Sorry WAR, but you lose this time round. The additions to WoW that have been made, the extra effort that they’ve put into it, just makes WAR pale into comparison.

  7. Esha says:

    I’m with you, Ketch!

    Still, the real evolution of Warhammer? The writing. I won’t say too much more beyond that, but the quality of writing within Warhammer Online is echelons above its -ahem- closest predecessor.

    The lorebook thing in Warhammer is absolutely bloody fantastic, and one can tell simply from reading it that it was a labour of love by someone who was clearly no foreigner to the Land of Words. It made me smile, quite often.

  8. Orange says:

    I’ll be trying out WAR, if the bloody client will download without crashing. I’ll only go back to WoW as a last resort if WAR isn’t up to scratch and nothing else comes out. I’m sure Lich King will be the same old, just as burning crusade was the same as the original once you broke it down.

  9. Deuteronomy says:

    What’s up with the rendering glitches for RPS in Firefox?

  10. Aldran says:

    Eh, everyone and their dog will play WoTLK anyway, at least for the first month or so. That’s pretty much a given at this point.
    My issue with WoW at this stage is that it’s gotten more of the same, as some of the previous posters said. I suspect it might be massive burnout on my part, though. Three years of playing will do that to you, I guess. I didn’t even follow the news regarding WoTLK development as I did with Burning Crusade.
    I will say this though, the world and dungeon design of Blizzard are top-notch, and some of their quests are great fun. For this reason alone, I’ll level a character to 80 and play it as a single player RPG, at least to experience the new zones.
    Until then, it’s WAR for me.

  11. brog says:

    When I saw “Dated?” I thought you meant the graphics.

  12. Stuart W says:

    I’m not too sure what is meant by the “more of the same” comments. I doubt that Blizzard, or anyone in their right mind, would gamble 10 million subscribers on totally changing the whole game or moving in a brand new direction. Indeed the whole success of WoW and Blizzard is based on doing the same thing but a lot better than everyone else. So its really a non-point to say it’s more of the same and probably its success will be based on being just that.

  13. Rob says:

    @Stuart W

    But they don’t do “the same thing but a lot better than everyone else” – in several areas (e.g. crafting, player buildings) they are miles behind some of their competitors – rather I’d say that cumulatively the game presents a much better gaming experience. The “more of the same” objections stem from the fact that Blizzard are very much resting on their laurels.

  14. Seniath says:

    As a happy aside; it happens that I’ve booked that day (along with a few around it) off work so I can attend BAF: Game. Looks like that is going to be a gamerific long weekend. Yes. I made that word up. I don’t even know what it means. Why are you looking at me like that?

  15. Stuart W says:

    @ Rob,
    I meant Warcraft in general is an RTS but much better than the ones at the time, Starcraft too as well as Diablo and indeed WoW – do something which isn’t original yet better than everyone else. I take the point that in the specific case of WoW it is more they do it cumulatively better but i don’t think the criticism of “more of the same” is any more valid than saying Warcraft 3 was simply more of the same as warcraft 2 which was more of the same as 1. Each in turn is a refinement and a progression along the same lines but nothing really ground-breakingly new for the genre. I expect exactly the same, for better or for worse depending on your viewpoint, from Wotlk.

  16. cyrenic says:

    Ha, I knew they’d announce the release date this week to coincide with WAR’s release. Worried much, are we?

    The vast majority of WoW players will stick with WoW, I think; but even 10% of their subscription base is big enough to worry about I guess.

  17. Michael says:

    Sweetness!!! Can’t wait for it to come out!

  18. Ketch says:

    Granted, I complain about WoW being boring now, but I’m still drawn to this expansion pack. And as much as I want to love WAR and wish to switch to it, if its bad I’m going to buy WOTLK.

  19. Dan says:

    As a Beta tester on WotLK, I can quite confidently say that Blizzard are definitely not “resting on their laurels.” Everything about Wrath is slick, polished and truly progressive in terms of MMO gaming. If you doubt it, try out the new Death Knight starting area on release. It was the most amazing 3 hours of WoW I’d ever played, and having now played through lots of the Northrend content, can assure you that it’s just the tip of the Iceberg of Excellence.

    Don’t write off WoW as getting old until you’ve tried it. Sure, TBC has gotten rather stale now, but I can see Northrend lasting much longer. Blizzard are now very, very good at making Warcraft.

  20. The Hammer says:

    Wahey!

    Looking forward to just about everything in this expansion, bar the inevitable swarm of Death Knights. Man, I can’t wait to run around Northrend getting into all sorts of trouble.

    Hopefully I can get the collector’s edition this time. That box looks wicked! :D

  21. Ian says:

    I think I’ll resist the temptation of playing Death Knight for a bit. After all, with everybody off playing Death Knights in the starting zone Northrend might be a BIT less hectic at first.

  22. The Hammer says:

    I hope so, Ian! I’d like to make my heroic entrance to Northrend without the perils of lag to contend with. :(

  23. Seniath says:

    @The Hammer, Ian: I seem to recall reading that the first few levels of DK content are instanced (I’m tempted to say up until 58, when you can move to Outland), so that’ll lighten the load a little.

  24. The Hammer says:

    @Seniath, it’s until level 57, actually, unless you wanna grind your way to 58! It encourages you to finish off by levelling in the Plaguelands, you see. :)

    Er, and no way I’m rolling a Death Knight! The class isn’t as appealing to me as my current classes, and I really wanna get Mirror Image as soon as possible. FOUR MAGES.

  25. Ketch says:

    If your pc was a bit more, as they say, good, maybe you’d get to play death night and miss the lag both at once eh GRANT?

    (My apologies Mr. Hammer, I could not resist!)
    [insert distatsteful joke about his mother here]

  26. Seniath says:

    @The Hammer: Likewise, I’ll be levelling my Warlock first, but since I don’t plan to return to raiding this time (well, at least not 25 mans) I’ll probably start a Death Knight a month or so down the line. Should’ve quietened down a bit by then.

  27. Mark Stephenson says:

    The Deathknight section is a phased instance.

    Basically that means the instance environment changes as you progress along the way.

    For example when you first start the valley below you is full of humans and houses are intact. After you finish the fifth or so quest you return to the valley and the houses are destroyed and the humans are “running to the hills” and this keeps happening every 3 or 4 missions until the whole area is devoid of like.

    A level 70 who visits the area sees nothing but a wasteland as to them it all happened a long time ago.

    Technically however everyone is still runing around like a mad bastard, you just can’t see them.

    It’s an interesting model that clearly can’t be used everywhere but it’s slick and makes for a very different experience.

  28. Jayof9s says:

    Eh, I just got done with a 2 month return tour of wow (hadn’t been on since right before BC after having spent around 2 years playing + time in beta a small gap before that). I don’t see myself returning for Wrath, BC did nothing new in terms of quests/instances/pvp. I felt like I was doing the same things I had done to death at 60 and leveling. Also, the player base seems to have collapsed, which says a lot; the players were pretty awful 2-3 years ago and they manage to be worse now, even with all the hand outs. Its not a game that even requires any skill to play, yet people continue to prove how hard they can fail at simple tasks. (edit: Not to say there are no good players but they’re even fewer and further in between then in the past.)
    Wrath will probably be about the same, but with a new class that will be flooding the servers. Its going to be like a TF2 class update but last more then a few weeks and be on servers with thousands of people. No thanks.
    And I’m sure War is great but I’m better off not finding an MMO to play. So while I’m free and clear of WoW once again, I think I’ll avoid trying it in the off chance I do really like it. That and with MMOs it seems there’s not a ton of ‘end game’ content for several months to a year down the road. And I *hate* leveling. So that would leave me very little if I started playing at release.

  29. Gorgeras says:

    Press release is poopy. WoW release in Europe in jan/feb 2005. Open beta was in december 2004.

    Anyways, nothing can tempt be back to that game now. Mythic have at least bothered to deliver on their promises of Order VS Destruction. Blizzard were advertising WoW as an Alliance VS Horde PvP-fest from 2003 to 2005 and never delivered and had no intention of doing. They still don’t.

    It’s a game that completely defeats the point of the ‘massively’ component of an MMO.

  30. Konky Dong 21: Ralph Nader Approves This Message says:

    It’s going to be interesting to see how the public takes in WotLK. Unlike Burning Crusade, WotLK really is just more of the same. I hit 77 in the beta awhile back and haven’t played it since, I don’t even know if I’m going to buy it at this point. I think Blizzard has really reached the limit of what they can accomplish with WoW’s engine and WoW’s raid/dungeon PvE style of play. I’m really looking forward to their next MMO, I think they’ve learned a lot with WoW and will make something truly fantastic.

  31. Rob says:

    @Stuart W

    Ah, now I understand what you were getting at better, I do in fact agree entirely. :)

  32. Erlam says:

    “It’s an interesting model that clearly can’t be used everywhere but it’s slick and makes for a very different experience.”

    So it’s like the first few levels of the Lord of the Rings game?

    Personally, I’ll wait awhile before I decide on getting the expansion or not. I’m looking more forward to Warhammer. I’m just tired of being told I should be raiding by Blizzard. Fuck off, I don’t raid, stop pretending any sort of majority does.

  33. Marcelo says:

    Lets hear it for the justification of our pre-orders / purchase of a game by razzing the already established successful compeition with pointless and baseless reasons [Opinions for the sensitive]. Hip hip hooray..

  34. Gorgeras says:

    Erlam nails it. When Jeff Kaplan spoke about the raiding issues he said “Our statistics show Karazhan is our most popular instance” when of course this doesn’t include PvP instances like Arena or Alterac Valley which people grind all day. He’s comparing PvE raid instances with PvE non-raid instances and definately leaving out open-world activity.

    I think most people are cottoning on to the distortion and are angry at the very coercive nature of WoW where it’s ‘raid or grind or die’. Raiding was always a means to an end: gear for PvP. It had limited value in itself except for the likes of Kaplan, who hates any kind of real competitive play.

  35. malkav11 says:

    It’s not even a question for me. Quite aside from the fact that WAR has made a lot of improvements on the WoW PvE formula as I last experienced it (which was years ago, so for all I know it’s done many of those things, and will do more with Wrath), Blizzard lost me as a customer with their poor customer service handling.

    I never stopped loving WoW. I just can’t justify going back.

  36. Dan Milburn says:

    Raiding was always a means to an end: gear for PvP

    This was never meant to be the case in WoW. It happened for a while before the expansion, when raid loot was getting better and better while the PvP gear didn’t, but that was a mistake, which the designers rectified. Last time I checked, which was a few months ago when I stopped playing, the gear which was good for PvP was acquired through PvP, and the gear which was good for raiding was acquired through raiding. Which is the way it should be.

    I simply don’t understand why people continue to moan about the designer’s vision of the game differing from their own, when it’s been like this literally since the game launched several years ago. They have the most profitable computer game ever. They’re not going to change their philosophy now unless there’s a massive reduction in subscribers, and even then I can guarantee it won’t be towards more PvP. PvP focused MMOs just don’t have the same mass appeal.

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