Senior Surfacing Artist Wey Wong worked primarily on the cinematic videos for WoW: Battle for Azeroth. He gave the legendary WoW hero Anduin Wrynn a realistic...Read more
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
Having played for a few weeks in the beta of "Wrath of the Lich King" I became convinced that this time Blizzard didn't get everything right. However, nothing more misleading. "Wrath of the Lich King" tastes delicious and causes an endless avalanche of praise.
There are no drastic differences between the last versions of the beta and the final version of "WotLK". So why do I have a completely different opinion? Perhaps it's a matter of attitude. It's different to play when you know that the characters on the test server are going to die, and quite a different attitude when you start leveling up for real after the release. As most readers know, the level cap in "WotLK" has been raised to 80. To reach level 71 you need about one and a half million experience points, which is twice as much as it took to reach level 70 in "The Burning Crusade". (now this number has been reduced). However, the difference between subsequent levels is small (e.g. to level 77 you need 1.62 million points) and, to be honest, leveling up is surprisingly fast. Quests on the new continent are plentiful, most of them do not require high skills and always a few missions are located near the villages. Knowledge of the terrain and a few minutes are enough to collect up to 100,000 experience points.
In second place was the latest addition to the "WoW" - "Wrath of the Lich King"
The new continent, called Northrend, consists of nine lands. Two of them are starter lands - Howling Fjord and Borean Thundra - are used to get to know the rules of the new land and allow players from level 68 up to conquer the first few levels. There are so many quests that you can easily do three or four levels. Players get to know the new mechanics of some of the missions, they can also see a large variety of terrains, much more than in "TBC". Subsequent lands are not any worse. Probably only about Grizzly Hills can be said that it is underdeveloped land. Even the daily quests don't save Grizzly Hills. It's just boring there. Very gloomy, but interesting is Dragonblight, Zul'Drak or high level Icecrown and Storm Peaks. A land from another fairytale is certainly Sholazar Basin, where players will meet a good old friend Hemet Nesingwara, as well as tropical vistas with crocodiles, rhinos and giraffes. When it comes to climate and topography, Northrend undoubtedly trumps the previous continents.
As I've already written, the mechanics of the quests have changed. I thought that in this regard, Blizzard can do little, but there are at least three types of new quests. The first are missions performed in machines or, for example, on the backs of dragons. There are not many of them, but in almost every land you can do them and they provide a lot of fun. It's worth noting that the machines have a completely new, pleasant interface, which differs from the normal one. The second type of quests are story missions. There aren't too many of these either, but there are some chains of missions, where changes in the environment are used to emphasize the fact that individual quests take place in some time interval. It's quite impressive when the entire environment in a given area changes, including entire groups of NPCs. Such chains occasionally end with very nice and spectacular videos. The third type of quests are humorous. Catching wolves in Dragonblight, matchmaking sea lions in Howling Fjord or riding a crocodile in Sholazar Basin are fun not only the first time.
The itemization is certainly more reasonable as well. There isn't some horrific jump between the Outlands items and those from the initial lands in Northrend. Not to mention that the rewards for quests look like they can be used to put together a set that looks fairly normal, not like the "everything for 5 gold" store. Items scaled according to the level of the character and assigned to the account are also not a bad idea. So you can send them to your other characters. Reputation is also much easier to get. During the leveling up process, quests with factions, including daily ones, give about 500 reputation points each. Even if these daily quests are spread over three lands, you can gain 1500 reputation points in 20 minutes with a faction. Another interesting idea is gaining reputation in Sholazar Basin. There are two warring factions and in order to better "recognize" which faction suits the player better, Blizzard decided on a rather unconventional solution. The player first does some of the quests for the Frenzyheart Tribe, and then for the Oracles, and then there is a Quest where they choose which faction they will join. It's even easier once you reach level 80. Then the system of "championing" is available, which means that going to the dungeon the player puts on the tabard of the faction whose reputation he cares about and then receives points for that faction. Quick, easy and fun, and reputation rewards allow you to start a new life at level 80.
At one time I was a little afraid of the introduction of a new class. Death Knight, as the new class is called, scared me a bit in beta testing. It was too powerful, but in the final version, after many improvements, it no longer stands out from the other classes. So maybe the name "prestige class" is exaggerated? Certainly after understanding the mechanics of this class, which is a bit complicated at the beginning, the game is simply great. No matter what we put talents in, Death Knight deals high damage, if necessary, can also refuel in dungeons. I'm almost a hundred percent convinced that this class is for everyone. Players, depending on their own preferences, can create a Death Knight that fits their play style.
The mechanics of runes and runic power only seem complicated for the first few minutes of playing Death Knight. Six runes, two of each type (Blood, Frost, Unholy), are used to use basic abilities that deal damage and also generate runic power. Simply by developing a sequence of skills, you can juggle the runes to generate runic power, which in turn is needed for special strikes and spells. Blizzard should also be applauded for refining the setting of this class. For the first time, they thought about making the character stand out (glowing eyes regardless of race, skin color, etc.), created a compelling story for it, and also prepared a whole long questline, which in a closed area around their starting location (Ebon Hold) teaches the player how to "use" the Death Knight.
"WotLK" is also a lot of changes in PvP. Combat machines have appeared not only in some quests, but mainly in PvP. They are available both on the new Battleground, Strand of the Ancients, but also in the Wintergrasp. This is the first area entirely dedicated to the struggles between Covenant and Horde players. Every few hours, at set times, there is a battle for the fortress located there. Whoever conquers (or defends) it, has access to the quartermaster and the Vault of Archavon dungeon, which is located there. With the help of riding and flying machines, you can crush the walls of the fortress. All in all, it changes the image of the game dramatically, the machines are admittedly slow, but they introduce a whole new style of gameplay. With a large number of machines, Wintergrasp turns into a huge field of spectacular battles.
It's the same on Strand of the Ancients. There, one team defends an artifact hidden behind five seemingly safe walls. The attackers' task is to capture the artifact in less time than the opponent after switching sides. Frankly, the gameplay is so excellent that Strand of the Ancients beats all previous Battlegrounds. New features have also been applied to two new arenas: Dalaran Sewers and The Ring of Valor. Movable elements, such as platforms or walls of fire, appeared on them.
Despite the fears of some players, "Wrath of the Lich King" proves that "World of Warcraft" is the best MMORPG. The creators are still able to surprise us with something new, which makes the game not boring, even though it's four years old. After minor adjustments, such as a few classes, "WotLK" will entertain players for the next year, maybe two years. It's a really great addition, much better than "The Burning Crusade".