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World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King hands on E-mail
Monday, 06 August 2007
IGN had the chance to try a little bit the Alpha version of the announced WOW second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. Their coverage is distributed in four different articles: an hands on , a profession and items article, one for classes and another one for PvP .


A few tidbits from the articles. About PvP:


Queue improvements are in line as well as a few overall queue refinements to help alleviate the often time consuming wait to the battlegrounds. The panelists stressed that it's important to have critical mass before proper matchmaking can occur. To that end, to help out wait times, one idea being batted around is the ability to pick the size of the battleground you'd like to play in. Rather than picking an instance, you'll potentially be able to choose whether you'd like to be in a 20 on 20 or 5 on 5 match, helping to keep things moving quickly. This example isn't guaranteed, but it would certainly be a fine addition to instanced PvP matches. 

On the new istance:

Coming with the new Zul'Aman instance is a substantial slew of new drops which should please the fans. A brand new enchant is on its way called "Executioner," which is an armor penetration enchant, able to be crafted by only the most experienced enchanters. Another drop will be "The Dagger of Bad Mojo," a giant, ivory looking weapon which is said to sport a damage rating of 142-213, it will increase your attack power by 40, and your attacks will ignore 154 of your opponent's armor. A two-handed sword dubbed "Jin'rohk, The Great Apocalypse," which will have a 360-570 damage and will improve your haste rating by 45. New legendary weapons are in the queue, and the first piece officially announced is a new ranged weapon which is primed to show hunters some love. Beyond ranged weapons, casters and healers will see a few legendary weapons, but it's sounding like that will be a ways down the road, but it is interesting news nonetheless.

On the new hero Class:

One idea was to use forking classes or multiple talent trees, allowing players to select a hero class once they reach a certain level. That means when you level up a warrior to become a hero class such as a blademaster or a demon hunter, which would make more of a specialized character. The downside of that method is that it would mean a sudden increase of various classes, tripling or quadrupling the amount of classes in the game, which is something that the game isn't ready to handle.

The multi class hero was considered, allowing a character to reach level 80, then forking off to a level 1 hero class (a level 80 warrior, level 1 blademaster), which didnt sound too bad, but it was scrapped anyways. Another idea discussed was the class morphing model, which had players hit level 80 and unlocking a quest line to morph your character into a death knight. The problem with this is that you'd be losing your original character, so it would be a huge hit against the player, so it was scrapped in favor of the current system. As the speakers mentioned that balance was a concern with class creation, they brought up the issue of the balance of the death knight. They felt this particular hero class would fit rather well into the grand scheme of things because there was room for another tanking class, and since it's also a dps class, players could potentially have a lot of fun with it.

With the death knight comes a lot of implications to all of the classes, as they will all see new abilities while progressing from levels 71 to 80. The new abilities will be comparable to what was found in The Burning Crusade, giving players new tools to tackle the various challenges in their paths. The talent trees will be extended to accommodate the higher level cap, with the addition of a 51 point talent at the end of a given tree, with the death knight seeing three new talent trees. All of the core classes are planned to remain viable throughout the game's lifespan, so though new classes may be introduced down the road, it wont hurt the roles of the currently existing classes.


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