Ever since the first announcement of the original World of Warcraft Classic, hope has flared up in the hearts of Blizzard’s probably most renowned game series. Numerous leaks also hinted that WoW Classic would be followed by other expansions re-released. And a little later, the Burning Crusade was presented, dispelling all doubts: one day soon, they’re going to resurrect the legendary, desirable, and arguably the best expansion in the history of WoW.
And now, 14 years after the original introduction, Wrath of the Lich King is relaunching on the official Blizzard servers. Slightly updated, polished, and a little improved for players’ convenience, yet still an authentic, ingenious add-on that completes the story arc of one of the Warcraft Universe’s leading characters and provides tons of content for fans of both PvP and PvE.
This one is about what’s new in WOTLK. Oldschoolers are welcome to refresh their memories, while newcomers can learn a lot: updated gameplay and mechanics (new class, continent, professions, etc.) following TBC, and unexplored content to be revealed at the expansion’s Phase 1 (PvP, PvE, gearing, achievements, and all that).
WotLK Key Innovations
As well as WoW Classic and TBC Classic, WotLK comes out technically patched up to 3.3.5. Nevertheless, raids and seasonal content are phased and will open over time.
Here’s the list of the most significant changes in WotLK compared to previous expansions that will make players’ life better and easier.
New Realms bring justice and equality
Blizzard knows how the community adores WotLK. Therefore, they know how many players it will bring. So, Blizzard will spawn additional virgin realms for everyone to have equal rights and progression. Initiating with the pre-patch they do it because some servers have a very pronounced imbalance of factions, and adding new ones will allow all the players to start from scratch. At least in the beginning. Also, buying booster coins (to get level 70 instantly) on these realms is forbidden, and you can’t transfer characters in the first 90 days.
New Class: Death Knight
Death’s best servants are one of the most popular classes even now. Initially followers of the Lich King, after spurning the darkness from hearts, WoW WotLK Classic Death Knights are a melee class that can either tank (by controlling their own HP through AoE self-healing and plate armor) or deal damage in two ways: using either ice (Frost spec) or death (Unholy spec).
As the official WotLK Classic announcement said, “While Death Knights are limited to one per server and require a level 55 character on that server to create, in Wrath Classic, we will be bypassing that requirement for a player’s first Death Knight”. Death Knights begin the game in their own unique location, and while you complete all the quests there (in order to get out), you’ll get to level 60 and will be set completely free afterward.
New Continent: Northrend
The legendary island in the north of Azeroth destined to be Scourge’s birthplace opens its gates for both factions. Frankly, Alliance and Horde are forced to go to Northrend to save the world from Lich King’s threat. Starting at level 68, players can receive special quests in the faction capitals and travel on an expedition to the North to resist the forces of evil.
11 new zones, including the fearsome Icecrown Citadel, the rattling jungle of Sholazar Basin, undead-filled Zul-Drak, and more. You can start your adventure in either the eastern Howling Fjords or the western Borean Tundra (leveled from levels 68 to 72).
WotLK New Dungeons: No Attunements!
Northrend welcomes players with great dungeons where you can meet some epic characters from the original RTS game. Also, most of them can be completed in an hour on average or even faster.
Almost all instances are divided into two wings: one for entry levels, the other for level 80. Indeed, Heroic mode is available. Besides everything else, there are two additional raids, basically the renewed old ones Naxxramas and Onyxia’s Lair.
More precisely on instances and raids below.
New Professions: Inscription
The skill cap of all professions has been increased from 375 to 450, and in addition, there’s a completely new one: Inscription.
Inscription is the ability to create empowering scrolls (such as those that used to drop from mobs and bosses all around the game), as well as enhance weapons and spells, similar to Enchanting. To inscribe, you will need to get ink from the Milling sub-profession: parsing herbs from the Herbalism skill will allow you to craft pigments to Inscibe. Also, you can create Glyphs that can either enhance skills or just cosmetically change the item.
Dual Talent Specialization
One of the game-changing innovations. Now, players are allowed to get a second specialization to change it whenever they want. Just learn it for 1000 gold from your trainer. After all, people got tired of running around and re-assigning talents repeatedly in TBC, right?
So, with the help of two buttons, your talent build is automatically transferred to a pre-set one. Don’t forget to change your gear!
In the original WOTLK, Blizzard first introduced an automatic group finder. It allowed players to search for instance-mates with no sweat. Well, the community did not like it, since it destroyed one of World of Warcraft’s fundamental components: communication.
The new LFG system will be similar to the one already available in The Burning Crusade, where you can post an ad looking for a group of partners and leave a small comment. You will have to assemble parties on your own. Isn’t it the point of an MMORPG, is it?
Minor yet important adjustments
Also, you can see some more novelties, that make your gameplay better:
- Mounts are no longer placed in your inventory and now have a separated tab;
- Flying mounts are available at level 77, yet one can purchase Tome of Cold Weather Flight at level 80 to give to their low-leveled characters so they can fly starting at level 68;
- Barbers added so you can change your hairstyle whenever you want;
- New NPC races;
- Legacy items to transfer between one’s characters;
- Finally, Shamans and Druids in their shapeshifter forms are now able to use items.
WotLK Classic Phases And Content
After WoW WotLK Classic was confirmed, it became clear that players will witness its glorious content renewed. And while there are no exact phase release dates, here’s the line-up. So, five phases:
- The original game has Naxxramas, The Eye of Eternity, and The Obsidian Sanctum;
- The first huge patch is called “Secrets of Ulduar”, and it introduces The Ulduar raid;
- “Call of the Crusade” presents Trial of the Crusader and Onyxia’s Lair, together with new PvP Battlegrounds and Arena Seasons;
- “Fall of the Lich King” phase opens Icecrown Citadel raid wings;
- The Ruby Sanctum is added later, alongside the new Arena Seasons.
WotLK Phase One PvP Content
Let’s start with the most fun: WotLK PvP content.
3.3.5 introduces a new grading system for PvP items. People can still assemble top-tier sets by farming Honor at the BattleGrounds or just fighting in the open world, but the best gear is obtained only by dominating the Arena: now Gladiator sets are available only for participating in Arena Seasons. Thus, the developers seem to be hinting that the Arena is the most important PvP element of the game.
There will be four PvP seasons in WotLK Classic 2022. Accordingly, they all have WotLK PvP Titles:
- Deadly Season – Deadly Gladiator title
- Furious Season – Furious Gladiator title
- Relentless Season – Relentless Gladiator title
- Wrathful season – Wrathful Gladiator title
WotLK also brings new PvP locations: the new BG is Strand of the Ancients; two new arenas are the Orgrimmar Arena and the Dalaran Arena; and there’s Lake Wintergrasp, an open-world site where you can get various rewards for PvP.
Wintergrasp’s Revolutionary Approach To PvP
Lake Wintergrasp is Blizzard’s PvP gamechanger. A brand new idea that brings the usual battleground siege PvP to the Open World zone. Moreover, the faction to control the zone gets access to a unique raid to complete (Vault of Archavon). Players are allowed to participate in the battle starting at level 75 by either getting to the site through battlemasters in capital cities or just on foot. Also, this action involves 120 players from each faction.
The siege starts every two and a half hours. The defending side holds the fortress (30 minutes pre-set time), and the attacking side builds siege vehicles and equipment and tries to capture the territory.
In total, LW has eight main points of combat: four workshops that produce siege vehicles (by the way, the higher your PvP rank is, the better vehicles you can drive), three Attacker’s Towers (if Defenders destroy them all, Attackers receive a 10-minute time penalty), and the Wintergrasp Fortress itself. Divide and conquer!
Lake Wintegrasp was vastly popular during WOTLK, and even in 8.1.5 patch of Battle For Azeroth expansion, the developers brought back the legendary battle to surprise the fans. LW has a dozen of quests to complete, and you can also acquire Wintergrasp’s Mark of Honor and Stone Keeper’s Shards.
WotLK Phase One PvE Content
Now to the PvE content and BiS items. The first phase of WotLK Classic 2022 is considered very simple among the community, much easier than the similar one in TBC: you won’t spend too much nerves and time on Heroics, and overall the pre-raid gear is not that difficult to assemble. Moreover, in this expansion, there is no instance attuning, as we noted above, so just look at what kind of gear a specific class needs and kill some mobs in dungeons
WotLK Phase One Raids are Naxxramas, The Eye of Eternity, and The Obsidian Sanctum. By the way, the developers decided to raise the max HP and damage stats of Naxxramas’ mobs and bosses: the old Naxx happened to be pretty simple and players didn’t have to put too much effort to complete it. With this update, the developers hope to entertain the community more.
A minor yet important PvE change is that, compared to five types from the original game, WotLK Classic has only two types of emblems: Valor and Heroic. Players can obtain Heroic Emblems by completing dungeons and old raids, while Valor Emblems drop after the newest 10/25 raids. Emblems can be traded for special equipment equivalent to dungeons/raids.
WotLK Factions & Reputation
A significant change compared to the previous expansion is that now players don’t have to choose one specific faction to grind reputation. Blizzard did it for the players. Since there are no attunements, just put on a particular tabard and farm mobs at level 80. This way, the reputation grind turned into a calm and quiet activity for players’ own pleasure. Rep will reward you with cool features and achievements.
In total, WotLK has several minor factions to encounter during the exploration of Northrend. Barring the obvious Alliance Vanguard and Horde Expedition, the rest represent the Nexus dragons, Skourge’s opposition, and the local tribes.
- Horde Expedition & Alliance Vanguard are dedicated to your faction;
- Nexus War: Kirin Tor, Blue Dragonflight, Wyrmrest Accord;
- Undead Scourge: Dragonflayer Clan;
- Opposition to the Scourge: Argent Crusade, Knights of the Ebon Blade, The Nerubians;
- Northrend Locals: tuskarrs of Kalu’ak and the giants of Sons of Hodir.
Often, by farming reputation, players can assemble pretty fine armor for any class, as well as vital trinkets and nice weapons. Surely, these are not equal to raid drops, nevertheless, most of them are included in the BiS pre-raid set lists.
However, in addition to this, it is worth highlighting the following available items:
- Alliance Vanguard Exalted: Mekgineer’s Chopper;
- Horde Expedition Exalted: Mechano-Hog;
- Kalu’ak Exalted: Mastercraft Kalu’ak Fishing Pole (skill boost +13 & underwater breath);
- Sons of Hodir Revered and Exalted: Reins of Grand Ice Mammoth;
- Wyrmrest Accord Exalted: Reins of the Red Drake.
Acquiring an Exalted rep will take a lot of time, but it’s rewarding, isn’t it?
Everything a real Warcrafter wants is Achievements, right? Something the fans of Classic WoWs have been waiting for so long.
With the introduction of the third expansion, Blizzard has pleased players with the achievement system, which will not only motivate players to complete content but also add fun and variety to the gameplay.
Players get Achievements for completely different actions: dozens of killed mobs, finishing instances, PvP content, leveling, professions, collecting mounts and pets, exploring the world, completing quests, grinding reputation, and so on. The entire list of possible achievements is available on a particular tab (Y button by default).
Indeed, players won’t get anything for fulfilling most achievements, but the most challenging ones (often complex and require a lot of time and effort) are rewarded with titles, pets, and even fast-paced mounts.
WotLK Total Achievements: only 749!
The main questions yet to be answered: when is WotLK Classic going to happen? Blizzard promised to release the game a couple of months before WoW Dragonflight which most likely will come out in late 2022. Assumingly, WotLK Classic appears really soon, in late August or September. But the official WotLK Classic release date is still unknown.
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King offers its followers a lot of content, and there is something to play and watch. Overgear will try to cover as many WotLK guides as possible, including tips for beginners, lists of BiS-items, manuals for dungeons and raids, support with fast leveling, advice for Arena players, and much more.
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