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The new WoW Insider and the launch of Wrath of the Lich King

Mike Schramm

Finally, the day has come. Our designers here at WoW Insider have been working on a long-awaited new design for the site, and finally, you get to see the fruits of their work. Welcome to the brand new WoW Insider, just in time for the launch of the game's second expansion.

And that's not all -- from now (actually, we kicked off this morning already) until Wrath's launch, we're going into overdrive. We'll have multiple contests every day until November 13th -- we're giving away some of the coolest stuff inside and outside of the World of Warcraft, and all you have to do to win it is keep an eye right here on the site (yes, even you too, EU folks). As we announced a few days ago, we're hosting multiple reader meetups all across the country, too, so if you're in the area, you can come with us to get your copy of Wrath at the midnight launch, and maybe win some stuff there as well.

And of course, we'll have what we always have: unprecedented coverage of this game and its players. Stay tuned for all the Wrath previews we can post -- we'll have looks at all the new zones in Wrath of the Lich King, your guides to which quests to look for while leveling, walkthroughs of all the new instances, where and when to get your new addons, and we'll let you know exactly where to spend your next ten talent points and what to do with your new talents and abilities. If you need to know something about Wrath of the Lich King, it'll be on this site just in time for launch.

After the break, find out what's new around WoW Insider's redesign.

As you can see, we've updated our graphics and tweaked the layout to make it a little cleaner and simpler to read. Our posts themselves have been given a more prominent space in the middle of the page, and we've provided new links and headers across the top of the page in order to let you find the information you want to read about quickly. On the left side of the page, we've added boxes for Breaking News and Featured Stories, so that you can get our most important posts right in front of your eyes as soon as possible, even if they fall lower down on the front page or off of it completely.

Our Moviewatch and Around Azeroth posts have been given their own space on the front page -- they'll still appear as posts on time (noon and 10am, respectively), but now even if you happen to come by later in the day, you'll be able to quickly find our daily content. And we've completely revamped our categories browser, and highlighted a few of our most popular weekly columns on the sidebar, so that you can click right through to whatever you're looking for right away. Finally, we've also included titles in our Featured Galleries section -- a thumbnail looks good, but now with one glance you'll be able to see what new galleries have been posted and what they're all about.

And we've also decided to end all of the class columns completely and instead, replace them with "role" columns... oh wait, what? Oh -- I guess we've decided not to do that. Never mind.

We think the design looks terrific, and stay tuned -- not only do we have lots of in-depth content planned for Wrath of the Lich King, but we've got things cooking in the pot even after that. WoW Insider is bigger than ever thanks to your support, and the future will bring even more growth. Keep checking back for everything you need to know about the World of Warcraft and then some.

Update: And yes, if you were tuning in on Twitter or Ustream, this was what the zombie silliness was all about. Unfortunately, we didn't record the Ustream (which, fortunately, means that my yelling and zombie impersonation are gone forever), but you can see all of our updates on Twitter. Massively (along with a bunch of other folks, actually) was kind enough to play along.

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