A WoW burnout's guide to Wrath of the Lich King, part 2

Ten more levels in Northrend

The phrase, "Ten more levels." certainly isn't new to the ears of long-time WoW players. The difference between the first time we all heard it and this go around is the content within these ten levels. Northrend and Outland share very little in terms of flavor and locale. Since these new zones are a part of Azeroth -- as opposed to a dimensional space-placed outcropping -- there shouldn't be the same disconnect that many players felt with The Burning Crusade zones. And players worried about creative similarities with other zones shouldn't be concerned, these new locales have plenty of Blizzard love and attention.

You also shouldn't expect frozen wastelands for hours on end as you play through the new continent. We've been shown plenty of variety from the continent of Northrend. Everything from rocky plains to swamp-like springs and of course ice-laden wastelands are represented in lush, wonderful detail. In fact, because of the slight graphical tweaks and updates, the new zones are some of the biggest and best looking yet. We've specifically noticed a lot of tall structures both natural and otherwise. When running through Northrend, expect some "whoa" moments where you're looking up.

Let's also not forget that for players who've been involved in the story since Warcraft 3, this expansion has a major payoff -- finally finishing the Arthas storyline. Anyone who's lapsed previously but was interested in the game's story should take note, because this is the expansion that they'll want to play through to the end.

Smaller raids, bigger fun

The word "smaller" may very well be a misnomer, but it's the best way we can think to describe the new raid philosophy in Wrath of the Lich King. Blizzard's working to bring some of its very best content to tons more players by making 25-man and 10-man models for every raid in the game. Raids may be smaller, but there's still plenty of epic moments to experience. Each style will have its own progression path and tuning, so expect the same level of quality from both experiences. On top of this, Blizzard is bringing back 5-mans and their epic versions too. This goes back to those wanting to finish off the storyline -- now you can. There are so many guilds between sizes 10-20 out there that it's mind boggling. We're sure many lapsed players probably know people in-game still that coudl easily hook them up with a nice guild. In this way everyone can experience the story in WotLK.

Flying mount combat

One of the oft-requested features in just about every MMO is mounted combat. While Wrath isn't adding regular mounted combat, it does feature flying mount combat -- an arguably much cooler proposition. We should also mention that Blizzard is adding mounts with passenger seats, which should add a new layer of quest content featuring daring escapes and other interesting experiences.


Tired of staring at the same hairdo for the last four years or so? If you're anything like us, you were probably tired of seeing it after a few months. Calling us fickle wouldn't be much of an overstatement. With Wrath comes the ability to finally change your hairstyle for a price equivalent to your character level. Unfortunately, it seems like Blizzard has forgone adding any new hairstyles and has instead opted to allow certain races access to other races hairstyles. For instance, Humans will be able to get some Blood Elf cuts if they like. Although it looks like there are some signs pointing to more -- hopefully new -- customization options in the near future.

With all the changes and additions coming in WotLK there seems to be a good chance that many burnout players will come back for at least a month or two. They certainly have plenty of reasons to be interested, the biggest of which include a new class and much friendlier end-game content. And even if some players don't come back as soon as the expansion launches, they're bound to hear their friends talking about it and get that itch sooner or later. We can't say if WoW burnouts will want to hang around for any amount of months after Wrath hits, but they'll certainly have plenty of reasons to come back.

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