Another roll of Word of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King previews from various large sites. GamesRadar.
We thought we quit World of Warcraft. We thought that grinding for XP, farming reputation and raiding in our underpants till our eyes bled were things of the past. But every time we think we cut ties with our old avatars, Blizzard somehow manages to reel us back in. They got us with The Burning Crusade. They did it again with Zul'Aman in patch 2.3. And after scoring some hands-on time with the latest build of Wrath of the Lich King, it looks like they'll get us again.
The mysterious Death Knight will be a gimme for anyone who has a character at level 55 or higher. If you have a 55 or higher character on any server, you'll get the option to create a Death Knight with any race. Obviously, there are some caveats: Players will only be able to create one Death Knight per realm per account. Once created, your undead rebel will be level 55, be able to summon a regular mount, and have a set series of quests designed to fill you in on how to use their unique abilities, as well as bring you up to speed on their backstories.
While we weren't able to play as the new class, we were treated to a brief demo showcasing the knight's finer aspects. The standout element of the knight is its rune-powered spell system. A series of six rune slots will rest beneath a Death Knight's life bar and hold any combination of the three rune types needed to cast spells or power their unique abilities: unholy, frost, and blood. The exact configuration of runes is customizable by players, although doing so will require you to go to a specific locale. We reckon this will work something like talents, in that you'll have to visit a trainer of some kind to let you respec your rune setup. It also seems like a player's rune configuration will vary based on the spell and ability types he or she favors.
SEAN: OK, before I even click one of these exclamation-point guys and go harvest some Crypt Walker legs, let's just get the big, life-changing news out of the way first: All of Lich King's raids will have both 10- and 25-person versions. Every damn one of them. The 25-person versions will have better loot, and the specific mechanics will have to be adjusted accordingly -- Jeff Kaplan has a bunch to say about that on our Legendary Thread podcast this week -- but as someone who loved 10-person Karazhan and Zul'Aman but was utterly, completely demoralized when we hit 25-person Serpentshrine, this news is huge. It seems obvious now, but I'm shocked that no one thought of it sooner. Or at least not in the forums where I usually lurk.Spotted on Blue's News.
JEFF: Yeah, this is huge, and great, news. I'm sure a subset of the snobbier, "l33ter" players are going to feel that Blizzard has lessened the experience by letting the lower-class rabble in, but screw those people. The more players who get to experience the content, the better. Blizzard, of course, feels this way because it's their content, and they've spent a lot of time making it, and we know that it has frustrated them over the years that sometimes their best stuff only ends up getting seen by a minority of players. That's why they're bringing back Naxxramas as a 10- and 25-person raid. I'm sure that I'm not even remotely alone in being a longtime player who never got to experience it the first time around. Hooray for smaller raids!