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After Blizzard's very successful launch of Classic World of Warcraft and The Burning Crusade Classic, Blizzard continued this path of releases and announced a classic relaunch of their second and most successful expansion, Wrath of the Lich King (colloquially known as "WotLK" or "Wrath").
Its been nearly fourteen years since the release of the original Wrath of the Lich King, an expansion that introduced us to the next chapter of the iconic Warcraft 3 saga. Alongside this, WotLK has delivered first hero class Death Knight, some of the most astonishing raids in WoW history, a total of sixteen dungeons, many quality of life changes, and versatility in class design.
Many of us started playing in TBC or Vanilla but got invested in the game with WotLK. Why? Well, let's break up this expansion into sections and try to explain why it is worth the hype.
It's not the year 2007 anymore. Players are much more committed to games than back in the day. This type of behavior led us to many dramas and uncomfortable situations in Classic WoW and TBC Classic. In those expansions, the difference in power between classes was big, so many guilds decided to recruit the strongest ones. The result was many people missing to get a spot in the guild or to raid at all.
In WotLK, this changes. For the first time, Blizzard decided to rework talent trees. As a result, we got rid of one-button rotations (Shadowbolt warlocks, elemental shamans. fire mages). Instead, those classes got a very engaging and fun rotation to top the meters. Retribution paladin also falls in this group, from meme spec to a spec that can easily crush the DPS meters.
Classes in WotLK are very close together in terms of power, at least in dungeons and raids. In Battlegrounds and Arenas, we will still have a gap between classes, the top three being Destruction Warlock, Frost mage, and Sub Rogue.
- First on the list would be Dual specialization. This is that one QoL that I wish we had in both Classic and TBC. The shortage of healers and tanks in previous Classic releases was a big issue and the introduction of Dual Specialization lessers this issue a little.-
- Dungeon Finder: Original WotLK had an automated queue system that would find other players and teleport you to the dungeon. Unofrutenatly, this won't exist in Classic WotLK, but we are still getting an improved group-making tool that will at least replace the usual trade chat search for other players.
- Collectors Tab is also being added to WotLK Classic. Not as advanced as the one we have in Shadowlands, but not having to keep mounts and currencies in the bags is a very well welcomed feature.
- Leveling alts becomes much easier in WotLK, and the reason for that is that from now on, Apprentice Riding skill (60% ground mount speed) is trainable at level 20, while Journeyman Riding (100% ground mount speed) will be available at level 40. Expert riding (150% Flying mount speed) will require level 60. The price for learning riding skills is also drastically reduced. Alongside this, the experience required to level from 60-70 is lowered down from 490k to 290k.
WotLK is an expansion with some of the most iconic raids in WoW history, but what about general raiding changes? All the raids in WotLK are available in both 10 and 25-man setting, with both settings dropping different items and having different lockouts.
Also, for the first time, Blizzard decided to add a Heroic raid difficulty into the game, the feature that will later prove to be one of the most important additions to the PvE part of the game.
Starting from Tier 9 (Trial of the Crusader), all raids will be available on both Normal and Heroic difficulty. Since this was Blizzard's first implementation of Heroic difficulty, they made a mistake. The mistake was, with 10 man and 25 man having different lockouts, and now also adding heroic difficulty to those, we are having a total of four lockouts per week for only one raid, which proved to be too much. It did not take long for Blizzard to change this, so as soon as we proceed to the next raid tier (ICC), we will have two lockouts again, but this time with the Heroic option.
How does this work? As before, two separate lockouts for 10 and 25 man, with an additional option to swap on Heroic (or Normal) difficulty at each boss, allowing us to kill each boss once per lockout on either Normal or Heroic difficulty. (If you kill a boss on Heroic difficulty, you won't be able to kill it on Normal and vice versa, but you could kill the second boss on Normal difficulty within the same lockout)
Ulduar (Tier 8) is for many people considered one of the best raids ever made in WoW and here is why. Apart from its stunning graphical design and visuals, Ulduar is the first raid that had a series of bosses with a hard mode option, with all this leading to a secret boss (Algalon the Observer). Algalon is considered a "hard mode only" boss by Blizzard because he despawns an hour after entering the instance. This means you only get a one-hour period every lockout where you can even attempt to fight him.
Vault of Archavon is another specific raid that exists in WotLK. This is considered a "PvP Raid" because, to enter it, your faction would need to control Wintergrasp, an open-world PvP battleground that happens every few hours. Also, bosses in this raid drop Arena PvP items. Every tier another boss is added into the raid who will be dropping the most current PvP items and Tier sets.
WotLK Classic is free to play with an active subscription to the retail version of WoW Shadowlands. No matter if you are a new player or an original WotLK player trying to relive the journey, we highly suggest you give it a try.
Alongside all the new amazing gameplay features, the story of WotLK includes Arthas, Anub'Arak, Dragon aspects, Tirion Fordring, Jaina, Saurfang, and many others is very well worthy of reliving. The official release date is 26th September, Frostmourne hungers!