The buzz and hype that surrounds every new World of Warcraft expansion are as much about pre-patch activities as the actual release. Wrath of the Lich King is going to be a popular expansion, again, and this time around Blizzard has the gift of hindsight to make the experience even more engaging.
With the official announcements made and the schedule already set for the next few weeks, players are scrambling to prepare their gold, gear, and guilds for the events that lead up to the expansion. Whether it’s a new character that needs to level or an endgame ‘toon that needs the gear and upgrades, here’s what every player needs to know about the WotLK pre-patch.
6 Registration, The New Profession
Players are already hoarding any available materials for the incoming new Profession, Registration. Enchants are about to get a lot more portable, and it’s time for the awesome power of Darkmoon Cards to fade, as Incriptionists will have the power to craft them both as bind-on-equip items.
Herbalists are about to dominate the Auction House and get rich yet again, as the most important regent for Inscription is Herbs. This is a crafting profession as opposed to a gathering one, and the ink is crafted using herbs while paper and other basic materials can be purchased from vendors. Alchemists need Herbs, and those who practice professions like Tailoring or Enchanting that don’t require a gathering counterpart can use their second slot for Herbalism and get ahead of the trend.
5 Death Knights Arrives Early
Back in 2008, when the expansion originally was released, players couldn’t roll the new class until the expansion officially opened. This time, players don’t have to wait for the expansion to drop to create their first Death Knight. The class will be available as part of the pre-patch events, with the intent being that players can level one in time to enjoy Northrend to the fullest.
The change in the storyline for Death Knights doesn’t have any effect on the lore or necessitate any retcons. The second awakening of the Death Knights when Arthas left them behind still works, it just happens a few weeks earlier.
4 The Fresh Start Realms
It was difficult to watch some of the old servers go dark and disappear forever, but part of the reason was to make room for others. The Fresh Start realms are a concept that would only work in Classic, and it’s a creative idea for those who want a more authentic experience.
Unlike other servers, the Fresh Start realms won’t allow certain perks such as character transfers or level boosts, at least for the first few months in which they’re active. Players won’t be able to roll the advanced Death Knights until they already have at least one ‘toon of level 55 on the same server. The rules are fairly strict and it will be interesting to see the player response to this feature.
3 Joyous Journeys
For those who complain there’s nothing new, and for those who don’t want any changes, here’s a pre-patch event that everyone can support. Joyous Journeys is an experience buff for players that wanted a new character for the expansion but want to stay on their own servers, and it’s been active on every Classic: WoW realm since June 21st.
The experience boost is convenient, but it’s not mandatory, and those who want a more authentic experience don’t have to use it. The option is available to speak to any innkeeper and turn it off or on again so everyone can customize their own grind.
2 Zombie Plague
This event has an interesting history that goes back to the Corrupted Blood Incident of 2005. The difference is that this Zombie Plague is a manufactured event planned by the developers, while the original was a mistake that players accidentally exploited. Pets that caught Hakkar’s plague brought the deadly germs back to Azeroth with them from the raid and it spread throughout the general population.
Fans of Warcraft III will remember the historic events that finished that game, and the Zombie Plague event is a continuation of the same narrative. The Scourge rises again to attack Azeroth, and this time the Horde and Alliance will unite and pursue the Lich King all the way back to Northrend.
1 The Scourge Invasion
As if a Zombie Plague in the cities wasn’t enough, the floating citadels also return with their malevolent crystals, and players have to team up to defeat them. Depending on what kind of server it is, however, these can turn into spirited PvP events or some funny cross-faction role-playing.
That’s what happens when Horde and Alliance have to work together and it’s all part of the challenge of the Scourge Invasion event. It’s worth it to take on a Necropolis and reap the rewards, which consist of gear and other decent trinkets, another way to prepare a character for the journey to Northrend.
Wrath of the Lich King Classic will launch on September 26, 2022 for PC and macOS.
MORE: Classic WoW: The Lore Of The Lich King: Historic Events That Led Arthas To Northrend