Swords, magic and monsters?—only in a video game

Blizzard Entertainment released its third installment to the “World of Warcraft” video game series with the expansion, “Wrath of the Lich King,” Nov. 13, 2008. The highly anticipated Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, or MMORPG, is based on traveling to the new land of Northrend to defeat the evil Lich King.

Cover Art of the box.

A Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game like “World of Warcraft” is more of a community than a game. Based on teamwork in an open area where all players can interact socially, it is its own little world.

The “World of Warcraft” series has been seen as the highlight of this genre for many years due to its constantly changing world and additions that keep players entertained.

Even though the last expansion to the game, “The Burning Crusade,” was seen as a let-down to veteran players because the new content made the game too easy, Blizzard managed to boost the player base from eight million to 12 million in its two-year span by attracting new players.

The expansion hosts an assortment of new features that Blizzard hopes will attract even more people than the last and still please some of the returning players.

To start, the “Death Knight” class will now be available. A new class has not been added to the game in four years, so this is a big deal to a lot of gamers.

“A new class added to the game brings a whole new fresh experience,” said Chris Viglone, a Suffolk University student and veteran “World of Warcraft” player.

Also added was the continent of Northrend. This area provides new content for players to engage in, including new dungeons and monsters to fight through.

The main highlight of this area, though, is Ice Crown, where the Lich King sits and waits for any who dare to challenge.

“I can’t wait to explore Northrend from end to end,” said Andrew Keiernan, a relatively new player to the game and Suffolk University student.

One focus of the game is leveling your character: the higher your level the stronger you are in the game. The original level cap was 60, but then extended to 70 in “The Burning Crusade.”

Players in the “World of Warcraft” will now be able to reach a maximum level of 80, opening new spells and abilities for the player to use.

In the game, characters are able to learn professions that allow you to craft useful items for you or other players to use.

A new profession called inscription has been added, allowing you to enhance your own and other player’s spells and abilities. You are also able to create scrolls that will give your character certain bonuses for a duration of time.

Finally, new siege weapons have been added to the player vs. player aspect of the game. These include catapults, giant crossbows, and aerial vehicles.

“The new content to the player vs. player battle grounds will definitely help to stir things up a bit,” says Mitchel Belanger, who has been playing the game since it was released.

According to the Blizzard web site, “‘Wrath of the Lich King’ contains some of the best content we’ve created for ‘World of Warcraft,'” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment.

With new content around every corner, only time will be able to show the expansion’s success. Blizzard might gain another four million players or even more. If the trek to level 80 is too much then this game might not be for you, but if you are ready to face off against the Lich King then I’ll see you in the “World of Warcraft.

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