World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King is the second expansion set for the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft, following The Burning Crusade. The game added a substantial amount of new content into the game world, including the new continent of Northrend, home of the eponymous Lich King and his undead minions. In order to advance through Northrend, players are required to reach at least level 68 and the level cap for the expansion is 80. The first hero class was introduced, the Death Knight, that starts at level 55.
On October 15, 2008, Patch 3.0.2, titled 'Wrath of the Lich King', was released to pave the way for the upcoming expansion, bringing many of the expansion's updated systems to the game pre-release. Several new features were added including an all new class called the Death Knight. Classes received new spells and abilities. A harbor was added to Stormwind and new Zeppelin towers outside Orgrimmar and Tirisfal Glades. Wrath of the Lich King was released on November 13, 2008.
The set sold 2.8 million copies within the first 24 hours of availability. This had made it the fastest selling computer game of all time, beating the record set by the previous World of Warcraft expansion The Burning Crusade, which had sold 2.4 million within its first 24 hours. It later lost its rank as number one after Blizzard released Diablo III, which sold over 3.5 million copies within its first 24 hours on the market.
In the wake of the Sunwell's purification, a period of suspicious silence swept over the world. As if on cue, the undead Scourge launched a massive assault against the cities and towns of Azeroth, this time extending its reach far beyond the Eastern Kingdoms. Under pressure to respond with a full army, Warchief Thrall deployed an expedition force to Northrend led by Overlord Garrosh Hellscream. Meanwhile, the missing human king Varian Wrynn at last returned to Stormwind City and reclaimed his crown. He sent an equally powerful Alliance army, commanded by Bolvar Fordragon, to defeat the Lich King — and any Horde forces who would stand in their way.
Secrets of Ulduar
The march of Horde and Alliance armies through Northrend led to a number of victories, but these successes paled before a discovery made by the explorer Brann Bronzebeard within the ancient titan complex of Ulduar. This mysterious fortress had long served as the prison of the Old God Yogg-Saron, a being of unfathomable evil whose influence had spread into the continent of Northrend itself. With Brann's assistance, small bands of Alliance and Horde champions infiltrated Ulduar to confront Yogg-Saron, who blasted the invaders with cryptic visions: the millennia-old creation of an artifact known as the Dragon Soul, the assassination of Stormwind's King Llane, and a glimpse of the Lich King's future.
Call of the Crusade
In preparation for the final offensive against the Lich King, the Argent Crusade (a union of holy warriors from the Order of the Silver Hand and the Argent Dawn) assembled a base near Icecrown Citadel to gather resources and identify the champions who would serve at the vanguard of their army. Highlord Tirion Fordring organized a tournament to test potential heroes of the Horde and the Alliance, but agents of the Scourge quickly emerged to sabotage the event. The undead attack culminated with the appearance of the monstrous crypt lord Anub'arak, who attempted to exterminate Tirion's elite force before it could be assembled.
Fall of the Lich King
As the final battle against the Lich King approached, the human sorceress Jaina Proudmoore and the Banshee Queen Sylvanas Windrunner journeyed to the icy heart of Northrend. Both had come for different reasons: Jaina hoped to discover whether a part of her former friend and lover, Arthas Menethil, still lived; Sylvanas longed to take revenge on her old enemy. With the aid of these two heroes, Azeroth's champions stormed Icecrown Citadel and vanquished the Lich King's minions. Their confrontation with the Lich King involved thousands of souls consumed by Arthas' blade, Frostmourne. Ultimately, Arthas was slain with the aid of Tirion Fordring, and the heroes who triumphed over him learned a chilling truth about the existence of the undead Scourge.
The first expansion pack, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, raised the maximum level from 60 to 70 and the Wrath of the Lich King raised it from 70 to 80. This was followed later by World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, raising the maximum level from 80 to 85, and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria raised it from 85 to 90. Warlords of Draenor goes back to the earlier pattern, following the expansion theme, by raising the maximum level from 90 to 100. Legion raises the maximum level from 100 to 110.
Northrend is a crescent-shaped continent in northern Azeroth. The continent is roughly half the size of the Eastern Kingdoms, but matches Outland in length and width. Although Northrend is known for its snow and ice, only parts of the continent are frozen over. Northrend features eight zones with content designed for players beginning at level 68, although players may travel to Northrend at any level. Players arrive by boat (Alliance) or zeppelin (Horde) either at the Howling Fjord or the Borean Tundra zones, each located at opposite ends of the continent. Howling Fjord is home to evil half-giants called the Vrykul, who reside in Utgarde Keep, the first dungeon in the expansion. The Dragonblight and Grizzly Hills zones are located in the southcentral and southeast parts of the continent respectively. The Ursine Furbolgs reside in the forested Grizzly Hills. Dragonblight features the gravesites of dragons who came to the region to die. Wintergrasp is the first zone in World of Warcraft designed specifically for Player versus Player (PVP) activities, even on Player versus Environment (PvE) servers.