5 Reasons Wrath of the Lich King Was Special
Since we are approaching the release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, and the 2-year Anniversary of the release of Wrath of the Lich King, I’ve taken a few minutes to think about the things that made Wrath special.
Some of these reasons may be more personal for me and less so for you, so feel free to add your opinions and thoughts on the topic in the comments section.
1. Accessibility of end game content
The Wrath of the Lich King expansion marked the first time I was able to see all of the content an expansion had to offer. Going back to Classic WoW and Burning Crusade, I never saw the end game raiding content and I’m still fairly disappointed that I missed out on those experiences.
Granted, part of the reason that I didn’t raid was due to not being in the right guilds and not knowing the right people. But, a large part of why Wrath was more accessible, is due to Blizzard making a point to ensure that raiding was no longer exclusive for the top 5% of players.
Being able to experience the end-game content also gives you a sense of closure as one chapter of the story comes to an end and a new chapter opens in the next expansion. Taking raid sizes from 40 players down to as low as 10, they gave those who enjoy being in small guilds an opportunity to see content that previously only larger raiding guilds saw.
2. The Lich King was Everywhere
For this expansion to be called Wrath of the Lich King, it was only fitting that we started feeling his wrath right away in Northrend. The quest The Slumbering King in Howling Fjord introduced us right away to The Lich King as we tried to stop the ritual to awaken King Ymiron.
From there he continues to show himself throughout the expansion and making his presence continuously known. Once you finally reach Icecrown you experience a wonderful quest where you discover the Frozen Heart of Arthas and play as Arthas Menethil in his fight against Illidan Stormrage.
3. Wrathgate Quest and Cinematic
I have done the Wrathgate quest chain 6 times as member of the Horde and it gives me chills every time that cinematic plays.
Dragonblight is one of my favorite areas to quest in all of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. I felt immersed in a lot of the story and it culminated at the Wrathgate in front of Icecrown Citadel. No word can describe it as well as one: Epic.
With the introduction of phasing in Wrath of the Lich King, questing became an incredibly dynamic experience. Questing in Classic WoW seemed disjointed at times and more like you were running errands rather than having an impact on the world through the actions of your questing. Questing in Burning Crusade was more cohesive and overall a better experience, but still did not give us the dynamic interaction with the world that phasing in Wrath gave us.
Seeing the environment and the world around change as a result of an action from a quest you were a part of turned questing into a more rich and dynamic experience.
5. The Achievement System
Whether you are an achievement junkie or not, the achievement system brought a whole new aspect to World of Warcraft. Achievements become a fun way to encourage players to experience things in the game that they might have otherwise passed on. By added titles and rewards such as flying mounts for certain achievements, it made the achievement system gave us a reason to take on more difficult challenges.
Just think about the Glory of the Hero achievements and the Red Proto-Drake. Without the achievement system and the reward of a drake, players never would have challenged themselves to do some of the crazy things those heroic achievements called for. But do you know what? Killing all those zombies and getting the Zombiefest achievement was a lot of fun.
So there you have it. My five reasons that Wrath of the Lich King was a special expansion. Comment below and give me your thoughts and memories of Wrath, and here’s to looking forward to Catalcysm.