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World of Warcraft: 13 nostalgic memories of Wrath of the Lich King

WoW: 10 nostalgic memories of Wrath of the Lich King1

. 1) Wrath of the Lich King: The first hero class2. 2) Wrath of the Lich King: The Gate of Wrath3. 3) Wrath of the Lich King: Attention - earworm alert4. 4) Wrath of the Lich King: Phasing until the doctor comes5. 5) Wrath of the Lich King: Thousand Winter6. 6) Wrath of the Lich King: The Naxxramas revival7. 7) Wrath of the Lich King: When Dwarves Dig Too Deep - Ulduar8. 8) Wrath of the Lich King: The Argent Tournament9. 9) Wrath of the Lich King: Nothing going on in PvP10. 10) Wrath of the Lich King: The finale against Arthas.

Quite a few buffed readers think that Wrath of the Lich King is the best expansion for World of Warcraft (buy now €14.99 )

to date. While I don't see it that way, perhaps we can agree that WotLK was a damn good expansion for WoW. So good, in fact, that I'd like to take you on another nostalgia trip down memory lane.

After sharing ten memories of Classic WoW and ten memories of The Burning Crusade with you in the past, I'll now tell you what moments I associate with the trip to Northrend. Do you share these special memories with me or do you associate completely different moments with the second WoW add-on? Tell me in the comments.


Note: We first published this article in 2015 and updated and pulled it up to celebrate Wrath of the Lich King's 13th Anniversary.


1) Wrath of the Lich King: The first hero class.

It has taken almost four years for a new trio of playstyles to be added to World of Warcraft's class portfolio. That's quite a long time, and my anticipation for the new Death Knight was correspondingly high.

Memories of WotLK: The Death Knight is still the only hero class in WoW. Source: Blizzard The "I've got to play this class!" feeling intensified when it became clear that I didn't have to start at level 1 with the new class, but could start the race right away at level 55. I didn't want to put my main character, the rogue, in the corner for the death knight, but it went without saying that I would also bring the new hero class up to the new maximum level in the course of the add-on.

I have particularly fond memories of my first time in the dewy starting area of the Dark Knight, which I like immensely, especially in terms of atmosphere. At the same time, I remember the countless forum discussions in which there was only one topic: The Death Knight is too strong and needs to be weakened. Maybe it was also because there were more death knights than other classes in WotLK :-)

2) Wrath of the Lich King: The Gate of Wrath

A WotLK review without the Lich King is simply unimaginable. After all, it was him who forced me to set off for the cold Northrend. With me: A whole lot of anticipation. For me, Warcraft 3 and the Frozen Throne add-on are among the best titles in video game history - also because of the Arthas story.
Memories of WotLK: Horde and Alliance united in battle against the Lich King. Source: buffed The good Lich King did not miss the opportunity to appear in Northrend every now and then and threaten me with final damnation. The first epic highlight, however, came in the dragon wasteland at the Wrathgate: In a beautifully staged in-game sequence, I watched Lord Bolvar and Saurfang Junior take on the Scourge - the war cry "For the Horde" still gives me goosebumps every single time.

At least as unforgettable is the appearance of Arthas afterwards, the confrontation between Saurfang and Frostmourne on the stairs ... and of course the subsequent betrayal of the apothecary association. This sequence was awesome the first time I saw it, and it still is the twentieth time I watch it. Why don't you succeed with moments like this anymore, Blizzard?

3) Wrath of the Lich King: Attention - Earworm Alert

As good as I've found the music in every WoW expansion to be, Blizzard has outdone themselves with WotLK. Whether it's the main theme, the music from the Gate of Wrath sequence, or the background chatter from Naxxramas, I can still listen to all of the soundtrack without having to run WoW. Memories of WotLK: The journey to the Howling Fjord is worth it just for the music. Source: buffed How ingenious are especially the different pieces of the Northrend zones: The Scottish-tinged theme from the Howling Fjord, the chilled sounds in the Grizzly Hills, the menacing tone of the Borean Tundra. No other WoW expansion do I associate with its music as much as WotLK.

4) Wrath of the Lich King: Phasing until the doctor arrives

WotLK was the first WoW expansion in which phasing technology was really used. This already started in the starting area of the Death Knights, which changes the further you progress in the quest series. Phasing was also used extensively in the zones of Northrend, especially Icecrown.

For one thing, it made you feel like you were really influencing the world for the first time - because the areas really changed over the course of the missions. A very cool feeling, which I hardly knew in WoW until then. Memories of WotLK: In Icecrown, phasing was used especially often. Source: buffed On the other hand, the phasing also caused some frustration, namely whenever you wanted to play together with friends who were not as advanced as you - or vice versa. Nevertheless, phasing remains a technique that I wouldn't want to miss in modern MMORPGs, at least if it's implemented well.

5) Wrath of the Lich King: Thousand Winters

Even before WotLK, there were attempts to concentrate open PvP on certain areas of the world and to make participation in the battles palatable through rewards - just think of Halaa in Nargrand. However, this never really worked out that well. Accordingly, my hope was high that everything would be better with Thousand Winters, also because we were promised real siege battles.

However, non-instantiated PvP had its pitfalls. On my server, every Thousand Winter Battle was so busy that all nearby zones had to deal with performance problems during that time. Dalaran jerks like the worst earthquake? Then the Thousand Winters battle is going on right now! In Naxxramas no one can get the plus/minus change at Thaddius right? The PvP players are to blame! Memories of WotLK: In the beginning of Thousand Winters, there was so much going on that you couldn't raid Naxxramas properly. Source: buffed

In the beginning, there were also various problems in Thousand Winters itself, such as the imbalance of the factions or the seconds-long freeze frames when approaching the fortress center. So the developers rowed back a bit and only allowed a limited number of players into the zone during the battle.

Despite the teething problems, Blizzard also did some things right with the zone. As a farm spot with integrated open PvP skirmishes, Thousand Winters was great. I also liked the idea of rewarding the winner with access to a raid boss - so there was always something going on in the zone until the end of the expansion.

6) Wrath of the Lich King: The Naxxramas Revival

If you've read my Classic review, you know that I was in Naxxramas at the time, but by the time TBC was released, I was nowhere near being able to kill every boss. So it didn't bother me that the recycled necropolis would be the first raid instance in WotLK.
Memories of WotLK: Recycling once made sense here: Everyone should have played Naxxramas once. Source: buffed On the contrary: The great design of the instance, the 15 different bosses, the well-balanced difficulty level - it was exactly the right decision by Blizzard to let Naxxramas fly into the Dragon's Waste and open it for a second time for all players. After all, everyone should have tried their hand at the "Heigan Dance", fought the Four Horsemen and faced Kel'Thuzad.

7) Wrath of the Lich King: When Dwarves Dig Too Deep - Ulduar

Across the board, WotLK was a cracking expansion for fans of epic raid challenges. After Naxxramas (and Malygos as well as Sartharion), Ulduar was the next big one, throwing 14 bosses into the ring.

The special feature this time: Ten of the 14 enemies had an integrated hard mode that we could activate in battle if we wanted to - who doesn't remember the red "Please don't press" button on Mimiron?
Memories of WotLK: Ulduar is one of the best raid instances in WoW for many players. Source: buffed The hard modes were already nice and crisp, but it got really intense in the final battle against Algalon, which could only be tackled for one hour per week. Which Blizzard developer came up with this stupid idea? Nevertheless, Ulduar remains a great raid challenge that demanded everything from my guild over weeks and months.

8) Wrath of the Lich King: The Argent Tournament

Somewhat mockingly, I could now say that the Argent Tournament was the WotLK equivalent of the Isle of Quel'danas, only in barren. Why? Well, for one thing, because the "us, the server, versus evil" feeling that hung motivationally over everything on the island in TBC was not present in Icecrown.

On the other hand, there were only a few daily repeatable tasks and the new lance fights, which I didn't enjoy anymore after a few rounds. "Dailies" also existed on TBC Island, but daily PvP skirmishes provided some variety there. And thirdly, there were hardly any interesting rewards for me as an old collector, which is why I quickly gave up my career as a knight.
Memories of WotLK: The Crusaders' Coliseum was a great quickie and a lousy partner for eternity. Source: buffed Closely related to the Argent Tournament is, of course, the Crusaders' Coliseum, the first raid instance to come along with selectable Normal and Heroic modes. As a little quickie for in between, the arena fights were great: Nice boss mechanics (I just say: PvP challenge against fighters of the other faction!), no trash, the bottomless surprise at the end ... However, it was stupid that the quickie was inflated to a date lasting four months, where you always ask the same partners to the dance.

9) Wrath of the Lich King: Nothing going on in PvP

While in TBC the masses of players stormed the battlegrounds to get high-level starting gear without much effort, the exact opposite was the case in WotLK: Those who wanted epic gear visited Naxxramas and the Thousand Winter bosses, only the hardcore PvP players strayed into the battlegrounds and arenas.
Memories of WotLK: The Beach of the Ancients struggled with various teething problems at the beginning. Source: buffed Okay, I can't back that up with hard numbers. However, the low number of open battlegrounds (which was visible at the time), the endlessly long waiting times, and the lack of motivation among my in-game friends showed me that comparatively few heroes played PvP regularly in WotLK. Perhaps the unwillingness came from the fact that you had to bring a personal score even for less powerful PvP parts. Or maybe it was because the new battlegrounds, Strand of the Ancients and Isle of Conquest, weren't too well received.

10) Wrath of the Lich King: The finale against Arthas

Arthas was already a topic in my second recollection, but how can I write about WotLK and then not mention Icecrown Citadel and the great add-on finale? Twelve bosses awaited my raid here, including special ones like Valithria Dreamwalker, where we had to doctor the dragon instead of sending it into nirvana.

Of course, the raid remains unforgettable thanks to the Lich King: The final fight was already pretty tough on "normal", but never unfair. After each wipe, we knew exactly what mistake we had made and how to fix it. The heroic mode then demanded everything from us.
Memories of WotLK: A moment you won't soon forget: the first victory over the Lich King. Source: buffed All the efforts were rewarded with a final ending sequence that had goosebump potential - and the endings of many other expansions can take a lot from it - yes, WoD, we're looking at you!!! For me, Arthas is clearly the absolute favorite final boss of all WoW expansions. Hopefully Blizzard leaves it at that, no one really needs a recycled Lich King.


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