While at PAX I got the pleasure to visit the Blizzard booth and talk with them about the latest expansion for World of Warcraft, Wrath of the Lich King. Indeed this is going to be one that will leave devoted players clamoring for more, but aside from the new worlds, quests, instances and monsters, what does this new expansion have to offer? Walk with me, talk with me my friends.
Set up at the Blizzard booth were the community managers Eyonix and Bornakk. I was expecting a larger presence by the good people at Blizzard, but from the look of it they were only here to help promote Lich King and had no plans for making any big announcements. But here is what Eyonix could tell me about this exciting new addition to the Warcraft family.
After the merger with Activision, there were fears of releases being pushed out before their due time. If that were to happen, then chances are good that many, many patches would follow due to the game not being tested enough before hand and all the kinks worked out. But according to Eyonix everything has gone smoothly since the merger and if you didn’t know about it at all, chances are that you wouldn’t notice it much either. Activision has pretty much stayed behind the scenes and did their part without crashing the party.
With the release of the expansion, there are going to be several changes, not only to the game play but to the user interface as well. Grouping is one of the many features that will be available in Lich King. The once chaotic and “obscure to noobs” interface will organize itself according to your stats. Any accomplishments you achieve in certain zones will automatically be grouped to that particular zone’s tab.
And then there is the “pre-Wrath” patch that is due to hit the streets very, very soon. This patch will introduce a good portion of the old world Wrath-related content and UI improvements.
One interesting thing is the Inscription profession. While Jewelcrafting was limited to those who were playing Burning Crusade, where profession trainers could only be found in expansion cities, Inscription seems to be a profession that will be available to all. One of the many rumors is that this will be a huge support to Enchanting and that we will soon be seeing expansion-only trainers showing up in original WoW cities. Which would be a greater move toward not only expanding the world, but making it look like a world being genuinely expanded rather than having an extra world that has only the common bond of a portal in Stormwind City.
Indeed, many new things are in store for us with Lich King, and we all look forward to the coming months as we draw nearer to its release. So keep your ear to the ground for more release news from Blizzard and Activision.