Second expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s massively multiplayer online role-playing game launches in multiple regions this week
IRVINE, Calif. November 13, 2008 – Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced today that World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, the second expansion for the world’s leading massively multiplayer online role-playing game, is now on sale in North America, Europe, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Russia. The expansion will be in stores beginning November 14 in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, and available on November 18 in Korea and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. Details regarding the launch of Wrath of the Lich King in mainland China will be announced at a later date.
“Wrath of the Lich King contains some of the best content we’ve created for World of Warcraft,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We appreciate the valuable feedback from our beta testers and the continued enthusiasm and dedication of players around the world, and we look forward to seeing them in Northrend.”
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King sends players to the cold, forbidding continent of Northrend, where the malevolent Lich King Arthas Menethil seeks to bring an end to life on Azeroth. Players will fight Arthas’ undead army and unravel the mysteries of Northrend as they quest through new zones and dungeons, acquire potent new skills and abilities, engage in epic open-world player-vs.-player warfare with siege vehicles and destructible buildings, wield the runic power of World of Warcraft’s first Hero class—the death knight—and much more.
First off, the official WoW Forums were recently set to read-only. When the in-game mail presented a bug during last Tuesday’s maintenance, everyone flooded the forums forcing the CPU to reach 100% usage, causing downtime. With the release of Wrath of the Lich King, the forums were placed into read-only mode to make sure fans in general could benefit from very important information concerning installation and support info.
However, we have a new update from Nethaera, provided to all fansites. You can now post on the official forums as normal, but that might change and revert to read-only if the traffic during the first days of the expansion forces forum servers to reach its CPU limit. If the official forums crash, Nethaera will use fansites as a media to provide important information on the fly. Make sure to visit us for updates. Please read:
Nethaera: “I wanted to provide an update on the Official Forums for you. We have opened them back up for traffic, but if we feel it
Blizzard is really demonstrating a lot of detail and change in Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Not only do we get inscription tradeskill, a new hero class, phasing quest system, achievements, calendars, and other bunch of features. Blizzard is also caring for the lore aspect, and wrapping up past unfinished models.
Alexstrasza got a new model to show the difference between the dragonflight and the Dragon Aspect. Which means Nozdormu and Ysera (which are in Northrend) are on queue for a model update. Varian Wrynn got a model update last patch, and this time it was Lady Sylvanas’ turn. She had been given a blood elf model with crazed red eyes a few patches ago. However, that was a placeholder. Now we are introduced the new Lady Sylvanas (Banshee Queen) with the true Dark Ranger model and texture.
The King of Stormwind Varian Wrynn got a second model and texture update in less than two weeks. This time Varian matches his World of Warcraft Comic book’s look. The new model even has the scar across his nose. The armor now has Lothar’s belt. The shoulders: one is in shape of an eagle, the other a lion. I am loving the new updates.
An image is worth a thousand words, and I am just … speechless, as many lore fans will. Shouts to the lore buffs over at ScrollsofLore. Watch the two short videos below.
I posted a walkthrough guide of the awesome quest chain from Avatar of Freya, daughter of the Titans who may be found near the Lost Land in Sholazar Basin. It is a lengthy quest series, but the blue loot reward might be worthwhile for tanks and retribution paladins. It is the most epic solo quest in World of Warcraft to be honest. You control a flipping Stonewatcher of Norgannon to siege the Undead Scourge at the Avalanche area on the northeast corner of Sholazar Basin. You need to kill 200 Scourge Minions and three elite bosses with interesting abilities.
Transcript and four videos coming. Two already up.
A few days ago, Richard A. Knaak had given me a heads up about a podcast interview he had with Jonathan Lonczak from WoWPodcast (BrokenEggsMedia.com). The podcast will be available today Sunday in the evening. Jonathan sent me a few highlights for you to get a feeling. Oh, a new novel … World of Warcraft: Stormrage.
What got Richard Knaak into Blizzard?
They approached him because of his Dragonlance books. Some of the heads of Blizzard had grown up on his Dragonlance works and asked him to write for both Warcraft and Diablo. This allowed Richard to write for both of the kinds of fantasy that he liked, Lord of the Rings type fantasy and dark fantasy.
How much did he play the Warcraft games?
Richard played Warcraft II Battlenet Edition quite a bit. Played World of Warcraft a little bit, but used a lot of background material and screen shots for inspiration. Blizzard has lore keepers who are able to provide him with facts. This also ensures that all of the information that is produced for the Warcraft franchise by writers is consistent.
Did he picture himself as Rhonin or Krasus?
Krasus and Rhonin are especially a part of Richard. He puts a lot of himself into all of his characters, but especially with them. It was difficult to orchestrate them into the story and to have them change parts of the history while maintaining the integrity of Blizzard’s original story.
How did he come up with the character traits of main characters?
Some of it came from the depth of the world itself, and the writing of the original story in game. Azshara’s vanity is a direct result of the way she is worshipped by her people, so it makes logical sense that this would bring about her downfall. Illidan’s lust for power acts in the same way leading to his downfall and internal conflict between good and evil. Many of the character traits in the major characters are able to be derived by their actions in previous circumstances.
How did he come up with all the war tactics that are used in the War of the Ancients Archives?
He figured out what needed to be moved about in each battle. That determined how to bring characters to their next phase. He has a love for history and does a lot of reading about the civil war and major military conflicts. He then uses what he learned from military history and military war games into the Warcraft universe.
If he had to play any class in the game what would it be?
He likes Mages, Paladins, and Warlocks. His favorite races are Human, Tauren, and Night Elves.
He has written the first story in the first Starcraft anthology. It is a moral story and is a bit longer than some of his other works. This will be released in August.
Working on “Dragons of Outlands” which will go into more detail about the outlands, but not allowed to say much more.
Working on “Night of the Dragon” this is the sequel to “Day of the Dragon” and will have returning and new characters . The book will also contain some Draenei and will be the hardest thing that Krasus has had to go through yet.
He will be working on a new Diablo novel which he can say nothing else about.
He will also be working on another new Warcraft novel “Stormrage”. Which he can also tell us nothing more about.
There are many more interesting questions and answers during the interview, to hear more please visit http://www.wowpodcast.com and listen to our streaming feed, or download the content to listen to on your portable player.
Rob Pardo presented a keynote today at the Paris Game Developers Conference. The full Pardo conversation at GDC Paris is now available on Gamasutra, including the Blizzard exec thoughts on a whole host of major issues, from user-generated content through the Activision/Vivendi merger and beyond.
He elaborated: “If you make it subscription here, and free to play in Korea, that doesn’t work, because it’s a global community, and the other regions wouldn’t like it, because everyone knows what everyone’s doing. And the game design might not support it.”
Interestingly, Pardo commented on this subject: “When were first going to make World of Warcraft, we wanted to make it free and advertising supported.”
However, the Blizzard exec noted: “We didn’t want to charge a subscription, but as we researched market conditions, we realized that wouldn’t support us.”
A couple of nights ago, the Frostmourne Replica Auction run by Weapon Masters was closed, and you won’t believe how high the bids went. Holy macaroonie!
Highest Bid: $20700.00
Registered Users: 1012
The winner of the auction was Xeophonix from Italy.
A strong message to those who didn’t think this sword replica would be appealing to hardcore World of Warcraft fans, indeed. Well, at least hardcore players who have a 6-digit salary. After all there are Hollywood celebrities and professionals who play this game and have the strong cash to spend on their favorite fantasy setting.
Among known celebrities playing World of Warcraft are Felicia Day (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, TheGuild Webisode), Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Dave Chapelle (Comedy Central), and many others.
Keep an eye on Blizzplanet’s interview with EPIC Weapons in upcoming days.
Below is the list of the 99-bidders that clashed to be the royal owner of the Frostmourne Replica # 1. All the 99 participants automatically became members of the Arthas’s Army of Disciples Club. Below is a list of the auction winners. The image to the right will take you to the Frostmourne gallery.
If you haven’t put your paws on the World of Warcraft Comic Book published by DC Comics and Wildstorm you have been missing a lot. No pun intended. Remember the Missing Diplomat questline? It revealed that the missing diplomat was really the King of Stormwind Varian Wrynn. After patch 1.9 the King was removed from Alcaz Island. And Patch 2.3 introduced new Missing Diplomat quests where a special cargo had been lost during a Defias Shipwreck at the coasts of Dustwallow Marsh. The special cargo was a human. The name of the human was never told, but … ta-da! … World of Warcraft the comic book issue# 1 was launched a week or two after the patch 2.3 introduced these new quests, and the comic book showed an amnesic human unconscious at the shores of Durotar, apparently surviving a shipwreck.
For months fans have speculated … nay … been certain this was the King of Stormwind Varian Wrynn. Today it is OFFICIAL! Issue# 8 starts the second story arc of this comic book series.
With this revelation, speculations may start abound on what Blizzard Entertainment’s plans are for Varian Wrynn in the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King expansion and the Warcraft Film by Legendary Pictures. Is the mysterious Human (Anti-Thrall) Hero of the Warcraft Film … Varian Wrynn? Will the Varian Wrynn NPC be relocated to Stormwind? What will happen to Lady Prestor and all those quests? Will Fordragon be moved to Northrend as a leading hero of the Northrend incursion against the Lich King? Will there be new quests in Wrath of the Lich King as a follow up to the Missing Diplomat quests? Will the Comic Book finally reveal the fate and whereabouts of Varian’s wife? You gotta have to hook up and keep track of the comic book’s upcoming issues as Varian continues his journey through Wetlands toward Stormwind in search of the family he saw in his memory flashback.
If anything the story of World of Warcraft the comic book is going to become very interesting post issue# 8 as he makes his way slowly toward Stormwind.
“The Return” begins a new story arc set in the WORLD OF WARCRAFT. Upon learning he is in fact the missing king of Stormwind, Lo’Gosh returns to reclaim his throne with his comrades-in-arms Valeera, and Broll. But all is not as it seems in the eastern kingdom, especially if one informed dwarf has anything to say about it. Enter Thargas Anvilmar!
Written by Walter Simonson; Art by Jon Landry and Jerome K. Moore; Covers by Samwise Didier and Ludo Lullabi
Wildstorm | 32pg. | Color | $2.99 US
On Sale June 18, 2008
Check out our World of Warcraft Comic Book section here
If you have missed the first story arc’s back issues, don’t sweat. DC Comics is releasing the World of Warcraft Vol. 1 compiling all 7-issues of the first story arc. Pre-order it here.