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1-05-2009 @ 11:49AM
We haven't "beaten" Arthas yet, as far as I can tell. Arthas seems to be very much into letting his lieutenants fend for themselves and scheme to gain more power, as long as they remember their place as his servants. And given his penchant for creating undead, he can swell his ranks with the bodies and souls of the soldiers fighting him.(Spoilers for several quest plotlines below.)There's a quest out in Howling Fjord where you encounter the Lich King in kind of a "dreamtime" phasing thing, and he pretty much kills you outright AFTER he boasts to one of his val'kyr about considering letting you become powerful enough to serve him. An interesting insight into why he doesn't just swoop down on Valgarde Keep or Vengeance Landing and annihilate them -- even the toughest soldiers of the Alliance and Horde can eventually be worn down and turned into the Scourge.The questline with the death knight Thassarian in Borean Tundra only serves to remove a useful servant; Arthas doesn't even stick around to watch the fight. There's supposed to be a Scourge agent trying to recruit members of the Forsaken to come back into the fold, but I haven't done any of the Horde quests in Northrend.The Drakuru questline in Grizzly Hills actually has you HELPING the Lich King by empowering Drakuru to take over the remains of the Empire of Zul'Drak (if I understand the outcome of that correctly). Although you deal Arthas a blow by killing Drakuru later, he just sees it as refining your potential as a future servant, and he still has the army that Drakuru was creating.I was surprised to see the Lich King apparently being affected Putress' plague in the battle of the Wrathgate, but that also serves to destroy the fragile truce between the Alliance and the Horde as Varian blames Thrall for not dealing with the Forsaken. (And also because Varian is a pompous jerk, but I digress.) So minor blow to Arthas, but major blow to the good guys. Some of my friends and I think that a certain victim of Arthas at the Wrathgate might be coming back as a boss in Icecrown...The "Tirion's Gambit" quest in Icecrown is probably the closest we come story-wise to destroying Arthas, but he survives that -- and presumably eliminates one of his few remaining vulnerabilities in the process.I seem to remember a blue post saying that Blizzard wasn't 100% sure they wanted players to be able to kill The Lich King in Icecrown Citadel. But then again, it might be possible to do so if you sneak two dozen high-level players wielding Titan-forged weapons and armor (the Tier 8 we're starting to see in previews of Ulduar) into Icecrown...
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