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Ask a Beta Tester

Ask a Beta Tester Ask a Beta Tester
Though we don't have the persuasive powers required to convince Blizzard to give you all beta keys of your very own, we can answer your beta-related questions. Do you have a burning Wrath question that you just have to have answered? Leave it in the comments, and we'll be back here every day, same time, same place, to answer some of your questions.

Death Knights

Death Knight Death Knights at the Dawn
Okay, this is so massively spoiler ridden for Death Knights, their role in the lore, and how you will be experiencing their gameplay that I cannot in good conscience post it without first warning you, and more than once.

Death Knight starting cinematic unveiled
With Death Knights getting their own starting zone and their own heroic storyline, it was often wondered whether they'd share the same opening cinematic as their individual races. We have the answer now: They do get their own unique cinematic!

Death Knights get new starting zone, Runeforging skill
What's more interesting is that some of the first new quest text seems to imply that new Death Knights are still under the control of the Lich King, as the quest "The Eye of Acherus" sends you to a beacon on top of the hold to report to the Lich King himself.

Death Knight Gameplay Movies: Unholy and Blood trees
Two videos that showcase the leveling playstyle of Unholy and Blood trees. They're definitely worth a watch for anyone who's seriously thinking of playing a Death Knight in Wrath of the Lich King.

More Runeforging weapon enchantments unveiled
As expected, the Runeforging abilities for Death Knights should let you customize your weapon for whatever role you expect to play, and what type of enemy you expect to go up against.

Death Knight Gameplay Movies: Frost and more Blood leveling
We bought you Jadefury's Unholy and Blood Death Knight game play videos yesterday, and now he's released another batch. This time, his Death Knight is a bit higher level, and he puts two new talent builds through their paces.

Death Knight News: Rune swapping gone, Runeforging to be powerful
The introduction of runeforging to the Wrath Beta was a bit of surprise and slightly unexpected. Instead of rune swapping -- the idea of being able to change the nature and configuration of the runes on your runeblade -- Death Knights got a solid 2 Unholy, 2 Blood, and 2 Frost runes.

The Art of War(craft): Dreaming about Death Knight PvP
I know, I know. It's too early to actually figure out how Death Knights will work in PvP. Humor me for a bit. The new class, with its juicy talents and abilities, even if they will get changed before Wrath of the Lich King hits the shelves, have got me really excited.

Death Knight Gameplay Video: Unholy PvP
This time, Jadefury runs around in one of the Northrend starting zones and preys upon unsuspecting Alliance. It's a bit of a gank video, so fair warning if you're not into that. He uses this level 73 Unholy/Blood build.

Death Knights will use sigils
Exactly what weapons Death Knights will be able to wield has been the subject of some controversy. Originally, it was speculated by Blizzard that one- and two-handed swords and axes would be the extent of it.

Death Knight Frost tree changes in latest Wrath Beta build
Between Blood's lack of downtime and Unholy's AE abilities and Ghoul control, Frost is starting to feel a bit like the unwanted orphan of the Death Knight trees.

A look at the Death Knight's 'dungeon set' and other goodies
In Wrath of the Lich King, Death Knights won't be hoping for drops from bosses. They won't need to. If Wrath breaks as planned, Death Knights will be getting upgrades in every slot before they even reach Level 60 -- through quests.

New Death Knight starting screen and skeletal gryphon mount
Fresh from the new Beta build today: new Death Knight starting screens and our first look at the Death Knight flying mount – a skeletal gryphon!

Taking a look at Runeforging
Death Knights certainly feel like a Hero class in every sense of the word. Aside from their impressive abilities, they also have a brand new resource system called Runes and Runic Power. These coupled with the fact that they jumpstart to Level 55 ensure that Death Knights feel epic.

Lichborne: State of the Death Knight
It's Wrath of the Lich King Beta time, and finally time to meet the new Death Knight class. Unfortunately, we can't really guarantee you'll be meeting the same class that you'll see in the live game, per se. It's not that the class isn't shaping up well or isn't quite distinctive, it's more that there's just so much that's changing.

The Death Knight starting experience
Over 2 Gigabytes worth of installer and patches later, I found myself creating a Death Knight. It is a fair certainty that every player who upgrades to the Wrath of the Lich King will create one. In fact, after playing the class for just a short time, I have to say that every single player should.

Death Knight tanking undergoing tweaks
There's two major philosophies that Blizzard seems to following for Death Knights: First, any tree should be able to excel at tanking at least to the 5-man level, and Death Knight tanking should be at least somewhat interactive.


Lichborne: PvP, grinding, the Unholy tree, and you
With a new Beta Build on the test servers, Death Knights have received a massive amount of talent changes. Many of them have been hinted at on the test servers for eons, and I've covered much of them in last week's Lichborne.

Death Knights gain new rune set, new cosmetic changes
It's been said that Death Knights are supposed to be a specifically recognizable class, part of their heroic bearing coming in that distinctness. We've already seen some of it with the inclusion of glowing eyes, and now there's more implemented with these beta builds.

Lichborne: Gearing up in Outland and beyond
The Death Knight, as is expected, is still very much a class in flux. This sometimes makes it difficult to pontificate too much about certain aspects of the Death Knight class, because they may be completely different in the next Beta build.

Skill Mastery: Army of the Dead
Ever since we first heard about the spell, I have been without a doubt drooling over Army of the Dead. This level 80 Death Knight spell allows you to summon an army to your beck and call. In specific, it's a 6 second channel spell that summons several weak undead to taunt and fight your enemies.

Death Knight solos Onyxia
With how fascinated players are with using Onyxia as a benchmark, it was only a matter of time before our new legions of Death Knights tried their hand at it. Scarblade, a poster from the MMO-Champion forums, seems to hold the prize for world first solo Onyxia kill by a Death Knight. At least, as far as we know, and as of the latest beta patch. Will it count when Wrath goes retail? Who knows?

Lichborne: On Blood leveling and Beta
So here's yet another example of how mutable Death Knights are at the moment: This week, I decided to spec Blood all week and make a genuine effort to learn all the ins and outs I could so that I could bring you a good solid overview of Blood for this weekend's column.

Traces of the Wrath cinematic found ingame
Just in case, like me, you were wondering just what happened in the cinematic for Wrath of the Lich King yesterday (wait -- Arthas puts Frostmourne in the ground and a dragon comes out?), it looks like we're likely to get some answers. We didn't exactly see any familiar player characters or races in the trailer, but apparently the location of Arthas' little dragon summon can be seen in Northrend...

Lichborne: Death Knight glyphs
Inscription seems to be coming on to the beta server in bits and pieces, especially when it comes to the much looked for glyphs. One or two classes seem to trickle in each build, and in the latest build, it is the Death Knight's turn. Today, we'll take a quick look at the new Death Knight glyphs, and figure out how useful they'll be to the various playstyles and specs of the Death Knight.

Lichborne: Playing catch up
While the World of Warcraft's first Heroic class gets the advantage of jump-starting at Level 55, the reality is that a vast portion of the playing community will be trudging their way to Northrend while your Death Knight is just about to set foot in Hellfire Peninsula.

Death Knights receive unique voices
There's actually a sound filter over the voices, making them sound echoey and spooky. The females have been described as sounding like banshees, which is pretty accurate I think. If you're not a fan of the voice effects, you're allowed to turn them off in your Sound control panel so you won't have to hear it. Other people still will, unless they do the same.

Death Knight Ghouls' baby name book
If you spec your Death Knight as Unholy, 30 points into the talent tree you get the Master of Ghouls ability which lets you control your ghoul like a pet. On the PvE beta realms, your ghoul doesn't have a name yet; it comes up "RandomPetName," as pictured to the right. However, on the new Murmur PvP realm (US only), level 80 Death Knight premade characters are getting names for their pet-ghouls.
 

Click here to go to our separate Class Details page!

Beta Keys

Beta Keys What to do if you have issues with your Beta key
Vrakthris, a Blizzard blue poster over in the Customer Service forums, posted that any people having issues with their Wrath of the Lich King beta key should send them an email to the address contained in the beta email.

BlizzCon 2007 Beta codes will be used for Wrath
EU CM Wryxian has good news for everyone who attended BlizzCon last year: the codes given out last year will be used for the Wrath of the Lich King beta.

Wrath Beta keys sent out to BlizzCon and WWI code holders
Attendees of last year's BlizzCon in Anaheim, California, and the Worldwide Invitational in Paris, France, received a card with a code for a "future Blizzard title" as part of their goody bags.

Blizzard confirms Beta invites to opt-ins on their way
Blizzard poster Belfaire has confirmed over at the forums that the first wave of Beta keys for subscribers who have opted in have been sent out. If you opted in, you might want to check your inbox for a Beta key as Blizzard has said that the invites are random.

Pick-up your beta key
Varanis of Silvermoon said in the Wrath forums that he's willing to pony up his beta key to the best WoW pick-up line. Here are some of our favourites.

More Beta invites to be sent out *after*August 1st
Besides his witty and crazy remarks, Belfaire also likes to drop all of us little bits of information here and there - like the fact that the next round of Beta invites will be sent out "around" August 1st "and on".

Where exactly are those Dell/BlizzCon/WWI keys again?
While everyone was spending the past few days worrying about tickets for this year's BlizzCon, a whole other set of folks were worrying about last year's BlizzCon. Specifically, the beta keys they received there.

PTR forums up, more beta invites going out
As a few of our readers have noted (thanks Nicholas!), the Public Test Realm Forum is back up and running, apparently in anticipation for the impending test cycle of patch 3.0.2, the pre-Wrath content patch set to release in the next few weeks or months.
 

Other Beta Details

Other Beta Details Wrath of the Lich King Beta FAQ
Blizzard has posted the official word that the Wrath of the Lich King beta invites are going out via email even as we speak. I'll be checking my mailbox compulsively.

WotLK Beta patch notes and other news
Take a look at the Wrath of the Lich King beta patch notes. With the activation of the beta downloader and beta site, it seems like there is quite a bit of activity at Blizzard tonight.

Playing with talent calculators
Now that the NDA has been lifted from the official Alpha testing, and Beta is beginning, there's some real information out there about what the various classes' talent trees might look like.

WotLK Alpha NDA lifted
Nethaera posted in the beta forums that the NDA for the Wrath of the Lich King Alpha has been lifted. In response to a question asking if people could share things from the Alpha, Neth says "Feel free to discuss at will."

Official Wrath talent calculators on EU site
At a glance, I didn't notice any differences between this and the calculators that have been up on Wowhead (and elsewhere) for a little while - i.e., they both reflect the current beta versions of everything.

Kaplan announces Outlands leveling to be shortened
Jeff Kaplan, the lead game designer, posted in the forums under his username Tigole that Blizzard will be speeding up leveling in the 60 to 70 bracket just as they sped up the 20 to 60 bracket.

Blizzard's Wrath talents updated
Blizzard's Wrath talent trees page has been updated with minor changes, such as new icons for Wrath talents, as well as major changes such as a long-clamored for polish to the Mage trees.

Beta class changes on the way
...a list of changes that are seemingly going to go live in the WotLK Beta with the next patch. The official talent calculators have also been updated to reflect the changes.

Barbershops live in Wrath Beta
The latest beta build has implemented the Barbershops many of us have been waiting so eagerly to see. They're fun for sure, but not complete at all. Regardless, we've put together a gallery for you to see a little bit about how the process works.

Changes in the WotLK Beta patch notes for Build #8681
The patch notes for tonight's new Beta build on the testing servers only have two changes from the other patch notes in them. However there are a ton of new glyphs which are going to be useable via inscriptions, and a lot of undocumented patch changes.

Mana and energy regeneration mechanics revamped on Beta
A change went in with the last Wrath Beta patch that's deceptively simple, but may have far reaching ramifications for many of the classes in game: Both energy and mana regenerate on a per second basis, rather than the previous ticks.

More Beta invites to be sent out *after*August 1st
Besides his witty and crazy remarks, Belfaire also likes to drop all of us little bits of information here and there - like the fact that the next round of Beta invites will be sent out "around" August 1st "and on".

Built-in threat meters implemented in Beta
Tipsters John and Hugimbory point out that the Beta now shows the percentage of threat on the target, updating as it changes relative to other attackers.

Beta patch notes for August 1st
This patch is mostly Mage and Shaman changes, but it also contained the beginnings of Blizzard's built-in threat meter.


Increased lung capacity in Wrath Beta
While there's no definite word from a blue on whether it's working as intended or not, there's an interesting buff on the Beta servers at the moment: Everyone seems to have a much longer breath timer when swimming underwater.

Utgarde Keep beta impressions
I've run Utgarde Keep a few times on the Wrath beta using a couple of different characters now, and it's... not bad. I like the atmosphere, the mobs, the visuals and the bosses had decent flavor, but it was hard to take it seriously. It was really, really easy.

Servants of Allistarj no longer good for weapon skilling on Beta
We all know the tale: You find a spiffy new weapon, you go out and use it, and find that your damage is abysmal. Then you realize it. Your skill with this weapon is 1!

Latest Beta build kills spell downranking
Blizzard appears to have killed downranking, the practice of using a lower rank spell (usually, but not always, a healing spell) to save mana, prevent overhealing, or apply an attached buff or effect.

Wrath beta patch introduces Jewelcrafting quests and rewards
The most recent Wrath beta push began adding the profession specific quests discussed in the latest Blizzcast. A number of Jewelcrafting daily quests were implemented, as well as the accompanying tokens and recipes.

Ten things I hate about Wrath Beta
Bah. Beta. Everything I read all over is Beta this, Beta that. There's so much praise going for Blizzard's upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion that it's about time we give it some rightful hate! That's right, I'm going to go through a nasty little list of all the things I hate about the Beta.

3.0.2 PTR imminent
We haven't seen much PTR action in a little while (although I guess the beta realms are really a PTR for Wrath). That may change soon, though: the European PTR forums were just wiped, and Tigole recently said "3.0 will be on the PTR's soon."

Blizzard announces Pre-Wrath content patch
Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen. In a sign that Wrath of the Lich King is quickly moving toward release, Eyonix officially announced today that we will see a new content patch "in the coming weeks."

Level 80 and other major new highlights from the Beta
Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan posted several new changes that are appearing in the Wrath of the Lich King Beta tonight. The highlights include: * Level cap raised to 80. * Less XP required for 70 to 80 * Storm Peaks zone available, Icecrown unavailable. Various dungeons available...

Beta patch possible today with changes to XP, Storm Peaks, and premade characters
According to Tigole, Blizzard will "try to patch" the Wrath of the Lich King beta today. Storm Peaks will open back up and should not crash the sever. No word yet if Naxx will be introduced in this patch. The servers should be up between 4:30 p.m. PDT and 6:30 p.m. PDT.

Blame beta crashes on Unholy Blight
The beta realms have been even less stable than normal this weekend, which is a bit inconvenient when everybody is trying to test Naxxramas. Apparently the cause of the crashes has been pinpointed, and it's the Death Knight spell Unholy Blight (specifically Rank 2). It seems that whenever that spell was used, it would bring down the world servers.

New options button in beta
In the LK beta build that just went live tonight, build number 8905, there's a new Options button on the login screen, just above Cinematics, Credits, and Terms of Use. What lies behind its blue mystery?

Training dummies updated in the Wrath beta
In the most recent beta push, patch 8885, training dummies were added to the sewers of Dalaran (and many other places in the world as well, apparently) by popular request. They were requested to replace what Dr. Boom did for everyone in The Burning Crusade: A way to benchmark DPS and crunch other numbers while outside of a raid, on a mob that didn't die long before you hit your limit.
 

Achievements

Achievements The Achievements UI: a guided tour
It's not secret that I'm very excited about Achievements. Over 500 little questlets to do and work on all the time, with snazzy tabards and pets as rewards? Sold.

More information on Achievements
So you've heard all about Achievements, the latest feature to be revealed from the Wrath of the Lich King. Blizzard's official Achievements page mentions over 500 different Achievements that players can pursue.

World Explorers to get some help with achievement
How does a World Explorer get all the world explored, especially the enemy faction capitals and cities?


Kaplan reveals a stinky achievement
Current Wrath beta testers may have been able to peruse the approximately 500 achievements in the current build, but Kaplan has indicated that by the final release there will be 600-700 achievements for players to attempt.


Blizzard confirms retroactive achievements, when possible
Ever since achievements were announced, the question I've heard the most from players has been about whether what they've already done will count. Today Tigole has basically confirmed what we'd already said: that where possible, Blizzard will award achievements retroactively.

The Art of War(craft): Battleground Achievements part I
In Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard will introduce Achievements, a system that measures a player's... well, achievements in the game. The question is, will these Achievements actually improve the Battlegrounds PvP experience or ruin it?


Oh, what fresh hell is this?
Teech from Cenarion Circle penned a brief note on the forums today about the utter agony of farming Timbermaw Hold reputation at level 70. It seems like a lot of people are revisiting this particular rep grind in the interest of obtaining "The Diplomat" title and Achievement in Wrath, for which you need to be Exalted with Sporereggar, the Timbermaw, and the Mag'har/Kurenai. I'm giving some thought to doing it myself because I've already gotten to exalted with Sporereggar and the Mag'har on my main, but Timbermaw is...something else entirely.

Realm first level 80 titles removed
It is with some pleasure that I report that the titles for the feats of strength for realm-first level 80 with each class, for first 80 on each realm, and for first to 450 in the various professions are being removed. The title for realm-first Northrend Vanguard (achieve exalted with various factions) is also getting removed.

Ten of our favorite Achievements
There are going to be over 500 of them (with more added later), and while there are a few standard things you might expect (getting Exalted with all the reputations, exploring the world, and maxing out your character), there are lots more that are meant to do what Achievements do best: extend gameplay.
 

Geography

Geography Wrath of the Lich King maps
Wrath of the Lich King information is really flooding in. For the latest bit, let's take a look at some of the new maps in the game. These were obtained through a variety of sources and are 100% real, all right from the beta.

Dalaran's now a hole in the ground
...a picture of Dalaran's old spot in Azeroth. It's now a gigantic hole with purple residue all over. The city has moved to Northrend, where it will be a pinnacle of Wrath of the Lich King.

The sights of Stormwind Harbor
As you may have noticed in the latest patch, workers in Stormwind are busy building Stormwind Harbor, a relatively large addition that will give us a convenient boat dock to get up to Northrend.

Wrath of the Lich King's magical city of Dalaran
Dalaran, which is more or less the Shattrath of Wrath, has been getting a lot of love in the last couple of beta patches. It seems development on that particular bit of Northrend is going at full steam.

Howling Fjord image gallery is live
The first zone I've put up an image gallery for is the Howling Fjord, my personal favorite zone so far. I really tried to capture some hotspots of the Fjord for this gallery, but I honestly gotta say you can't quite capture the magic in a picture.

WoW Insider previews Wrath of the Lich King's Dragonblight
The Dragonblight is home to Wyrmrest Temple, sacred temple of the Dragonflights, as well as many more fun and exciting locations.

WoW Insider's Utgarde Keep walkthrough
If you're dying to see the inside of some of Wrath's dungeons, you're in luck. We've put together a small walkthrough-in-pictures for Utgarde Keep for you to peruse. If you're in the Wrath beta and haven't run Utgarde yet, maybe you'll be able to put this to good use.

The strange task of entering Dalaran
As of the latest build, you can't just walk into Dalaran, or rather, you can't just use the teleportation crystal go up. Instead, you have to complete a quest to align yourself to Dalaran. But this quest is only available at level 74.

WoW Insider's Dalaran image gallery updated
Dalaran gets more shine and polish with ever beta patch, and the most recent is no exception. The Violet Citadel has had it's front doors opened, though it remains unpopulated. Many missing textures have been filled in, and a lot of the empty buildings have been put to use.

WoW Insider previews Wrath of the Lich King's Borean Tundra
The Borean Tundra is one of two starter zones in Wrath of the Lich King (the other being the Fjord) and is accessed via the Stormwind Harbor for the Alliance, and the Orgrimmar zeppelin tower for the Horde.

WotLKWiki offers interactive Northrend map
It's nothing too surprising (they basically just put all of the map screen maps from the beta together), but it is in a nifty Google maps interface, so you can drag, click, and zoom around the new landscape at will. And of course, the pictures don't mean too much at this point -- of course big landmarks like The Nexus and Ulduar stand out, but it's assured that actually seeing these places will be much more amazing than just seeing their flat representations on the map.

Icecrown Citadel confirmed in post-release content patch
As if we didn't really see this coming -- just like the Black Temple with Burning Crusade, Tigole confirmed for sure that the last instance of Wrath of the Lich King will be pushed off past release to a content patch (likely 3.1 or 3.2, if we had to guess), which means we won't face Arthas for a final showdown when the expansion releases.
 

Professions

Professions Passive buffs for gatherers
We've seen some interesting things come out of the Wrath beta already for some of the crafting professions, including Jewelcrafting, Alchemy, Enchanting, and the new Inscription. But what about us humble gatherers?

All about alchemy in the beta
Seeing as how Alchemy is not yet officially implemented in the Wrath beta, we don't know all of what's in store for the masters of elixirs, flasks, potions, and transmutation.

Enchanted in Northrend
Being the only non-gathering primary profession that has, thus far, been implemented in the Wrath beta, enchanters should feel special.

Inscription insights from the beta
We've known for a little while that the general gist of Inscription would be to add effects to spells you already have, like a knockback to your fireball - basically enchantments for your skills.

Gems in Wrath
The crafting professions may not yet be implemented in the Wrath of the Lich King beta, but we do get to see their mats.

Inscription to allow enchanters to sell on the AH
Blizzard has been saying for a while that they're working on letting Enchanters ply their trade via the Auction House. Apparently, the link between Enchanters and the AH is going to be Inscription.

Professional benefits in Wrath
Thanks to the information slowly leaking out from the Wrath of the Lich King Beta, we already learned that the professions trend started in The Burning Crusade will continue in the new expansion.

Tradeskill links coming in Wrath
Another fun little addition for tradeskills and crafters straight from the Beta realms is the ability to peruse the recipes that someone else knows. It works very simply, too.

Inscription details: Glyphs, runewords, and more
We found out a little bit about inscription, but we were still left wondering about what was originally promoted as the central purpose of the new profession: enhancing spells.

More JC info from the beta
Last time we met to talk about Jewelcrafting in Wrath, I only knew the names of the various uncommon and rare gems. Now I have the names of the epic gems too, as well as values for the cuts.

What's brewing in Northrend
Now we get the effects of the new potions, elixirs, and flasks that your friendly neighborhood alchemist will be cooking up in the frosty north.

Tinnitus: Leatherworking drums cause a debuff
With the new Tinnitus debuff, any targets affected by drums are immune to the effects of all other drums for two minutes. While this sounds like a nerf, it might actually have a balancing effect.

Azeroth's new plague, Potion Sickness
Bad (good?) news for Alchemists and the people that love (hate?) them. The latest Beta build has introduced something called Potion Sickness.

New Blacksmithing patterns from the Beta
We were able to snap a few screenshots of the new Blacksmithing patterns from the game last night. The items all require at least level 75 and are of superior quality.


Hands-on with Inscription in the Wrath Beta
The trade skill is most obviously only in the very first stages of implementation, but there's still enough to play around with to get an idea of how it will all work once things go live.

Mixology effect deemed not terrible
Recently in the Wrath of the Lich King beta, Alchemists were given a Passive ability called Alchemical Blood. More recently it was renamed to Mixology. Mixology's tooltip states, "You receive an increased effect when you drink any elixir or flask you are able to make."

New Jewelcrafting patterns in the latest Wrath beta push
The latest beta push introduced a lot of tradeskill recipes, including Jewelcrafting. Elizabeth took some time to check out what new gems we might be seeing in Wrath, pending they survive the horrors of beta testing.

The latest blacksmithing patterns from Wrath
Blacksmiths received a happy surprise in the latest beta build that launched tonight in the form of a bunch of new craftable gear, including the ability to add a socket slot to belts, bracers, and gloves and some nice new epic items.

This is a very fast rug
There were some interesting pieces of information given away in an image linked on the new BlizzCast transcript page that were not discussed in the podcast, in the way of new crafted items.

New tailoring recipes discovered in Wrath Beta files
Three interesting new tailoring patterns in the Wrath Beta files. Rather than things you can sell, however, these are soulbound cloak embroideries, and at least at first glance, they seem very nice indeed.

Engineering goodies in the latest beta build
Hot on the heels of flying carpets and spring-loaded cloak expanders comes word of a few more interesting crafted items in Wrath of the Lich King, especially some engineered ones, this time spotted by World of Raids in the latest beta build.

Profession News: Potion Sickness gone, Herbalists get new ability
It was perhaps one of the most unexpected and controversial changes to hit Wrath Beta: Potion Sickness, the debuff that spelled the end of chain-chugging by allowing only one potion to be quaffed per combat and no more.

First look at Tailoring in Wrath
Leatherworking wasn't the only profession to start seeing some love in the latest beta patch. Among the others starting to be implemented is Tailoring. When I say 'starting to be implemented' I really mean just that. It's a start.

First look at Leatherworking in Wrath
The latest beta patch included the base upon which Leatherworking will be built. There's only a small pool of recipes so far, leveling recipes starting at 350 skill and building up to a few at 375, so it's a start and not much more.


The Wrath of Engineering
Despite a glaring lack of raid or communal functionality, Engineering has always been the "fun" profession. With stuff like Explosive Sheep (which totally needs an updated version, by the way) and World Enlargers, it was the game's craziest -- if somewhat unprofitable -- profession.

Cooking recipes in Beta build 8885
The latest beta patch brought a fantastic assortment of Cooking recipes, finally getting started on implementing that profession in full. Throughout The Burning Crusade, they really stepped up Cooking as something you want to learn.

Engineering fun builds up in Beta
New schematics are finally in for Engineers in the Wrath Beta, with the exception of the eagerly anticipated and widely speculated upon motorcycle. Despite the glaring absence of The Hog, there are a bunch of neat stuff for Engineers from the basic -- such as the space-saving Hammer Picks and Bladed Pickaxes -- to the cool and complex, such as MOLL-E, a portable mailbox.

New Jewelcrafting recipes in Wrath beta build 8820
Tonight's Wrath of the Lich King beta patch brought us a small batch of new Jewelcrafting recipes. This push included a few trinkets, a new gem cut, and some jewelry that is quite incomplete. Incomplete as in they have no stats, even after crafting them.

Cutting a more perfect gem
There will be a quest available to jewelcrafters that gives them a chance to craft a "perfect" version of an uncommon-quality gem when cutting it. For the first time, it's possible to have a critical success from crafting in WoW. It looks like the perfect versions of gems are positioned precisely between the uncommon and rare versions of a cut, in terms of stats.

Leatherworking recipes in 8885
Some exciting new abilities for leatherworkers have appeared in Beta build 8885. Namely, the ability to enchant our own gear, and not through the use of kits.

Daily Cooking quests from the Wrath beta
We've added the Cooking quests from a recent Wrath of the Lich King beta patch to our Wrath Cooking gallery, and I have to say that I've really enjoyed them so far. The quests are more involved and entertaining than the ones from The Burning Crusade, I think. They require more than running to your guild bank, withdrawing 4 Warp Burgers, then depositing whatever random meat you get out of your crate.

Cooking love from Wrath Beta patch 8905
Shockingly, the one profession that most people seem to be excited about in Wrath of the Lich King is Cooking. Inscription? Pfffft. Cooking! Luckily, Cooking seems to be one of the professions getting a lot of focus in the beta right now. The last couple of beta patches have brought us a ton of new recipes and quests.
 

Items

Items Wrath storage solutions
When reading through the current list of Achievements, one begins to wonder where all of their tabards, battleground tokens, badges, holiday items, epics, trinkets, and the like are going to go.

Wrath Collector's Ed pet: Frosty the Frost Wyrm whelp
While we've actually heard of rumors of the Wrath of the Lich King Collector's Edition, with pictures of the box supposedly making their way out of the printers, this Achievement more or less confirms that there will be a Collector's Edition and that the Frost Wyrm whelp model leaked in Alpha is actually the Collector's Edition pet.

A look at Wrath of the Lich King's Green quest rewards
When Blizzard half-seriously apologized for the brutally ugly Season 4 Brutal Gladiator gear by saying that their artists were hard at work on the expansion, they weren't kidding.

Wrath Money Sink Found: Dalaran teleport rings for 8000 gold
Here's a brand new find fresh from the Kirin Tor capital of Dalaran on the Wrath Beta servers. We've been wondering for a while what type of money sinks Blizzard might implement in wrath, and we've found one, to the tune of 8000 gold coins...

Certain old keys, pets, and tabards to be retrievable in Wrath
If you're lamenting the loss of your Miniwing, or if you're having second thoughts about deleting that Battle Tabard of the Defilers, take heart. Tigole's announced that Wrath of the Lich King will include a way to recover deleted unique tabards, keys, and vanity pets.


Replaceable backpacks might be in store
16 slots made some sense back when that was also the biggest size bag that wasn't crazy expensive, back in classic WoW. But now that we're moving forward into Wrath with the basic tailored bag being 20 slots, the backpack's 16 is starting to look a bit puny by comparison.

New Darkmoon Faire cards in 8885
Two new Darkmoon Faire cards have cropped up in the latest Beta build, 8885.
 

Mounts

Mounts The roads of Azeroth: Now with biker gangs
I don't have a concrete source on the fact that these motorcycles are made by Engineers, but I'm pretty confident that's the case. Is there anything else they could be?


Mounts and small pets will take no bag space in Wrath
Many players love to collect vanity pets and mounts, and in Wrath there will even be Achievements for collecting certain numbers of them. Which raises the problem of bank space – after all, we only have so many slots...


Vehicle controls in Wrath
WoW Insider tipster Dinnerbone sent in some interesting findings about the siege vehicles in Beta while spelunking through the LUA files. He notes that these are all viewable -- if you get those lines of code, at least -- in the current Wrath build.


How to fly through the cold winds of Northrend
Blizzard has stated that they'll be disallowing the use of flying mounts in Northrend for the first few levels in order for players to appreciate the geography and not miss anything in the latest expansion.


New mounts discovered in Wrath Beta
If you don't manage to get your own Amani War Bear before the expansion hits the shelves, it looks like you'll get another shot at an ursine transport in Northrend.


Preview of the Motorbike vehicle in Grizzly Hills
Did you doubt that engineers would be the coolest players in the expansion? This little demo of the motorbike coming (supposedly) to engineers in Wrath of the Lich King is, as our own Dan O'Halloran said when he saw it, the first movie of WoW where the death metal actually belongs.

WoW Moviewatch: A glimpse of Wintergrasp
Devlin checks out some of the vehicles and takes them for a spin. Whether you're into the catapult-like features of the Demolisher, or the circular saw-wielding robotic features of the Shredder, one thing is for certain -- there's something for everyone.


WotLK bestiary update: The wendigo
Rumored to be related to the wendigo living in Dun Morogh, the wendigo of Northrend seem to lurk close to their caves. And, like other family-minded spawns of Northrend, these wendigo are fiercely protective of their relatives. The Bestiary warns of "the sound of their savage bellows," so I definitely hope to see some kind of sonic-based attack from the cool looking monster.

Riding Crop in flux
The Riding Crop. If you're level 70 (and not a druid) you probably have one, and if not, why not? Jeez, just buy it from your friendly neighborhood leatherworker already; they have few enough ways to make money without you cheaping out. However, everyone's favorite mount-speed-increasing item is going to be changing a little bit in LK.
 

Lore

Lore Ask a Lore Nerd: Now now, there's enough Light for everybody
My question is (which may seem obvious to some), who is the goblin statue at Booty Bay? Why does he deserve a statue?

Know Your Lore: Malygos the Spellweaver
Malygos the Spellweaver, Lord of Magic, was empowered by the Titan Norgannon, charged with guarding all magic and arcane knowledge. He calls the Nexus in Northrend, his home.


The whereabouts of Varian Wrynn
In the World of Warcraft comic book, an amnesiac has washed up on the shores of Durotar. Since then, he's moved from mysterious gladiator to escapee from Thunder Bluff to helping cleanse an ancient idol of fel energies and is now revealed to be the one, the only Varian Wrynn himself.

Ask a Lore Nerd: Orc plus demon blood equals hero
On the WotLK website, the designers talk about the "Scarlet Onslaught." Who are they and where did they come from? ... Do we know anything on good ol' Deathwing?

Ask a Lore Nerd: Babies babies babies
We know what happens when a human and orc cross-breed, but what about elf/human intermingling? Is it possible for the other races on Azeroth to breed and are there any such results of that union?

Know Your Lore: The Ashbringer
There are very few things through all of Warcraft, in-game and out, that almost every WoW player would recognize upon hearing its name. Even if you don't know its story or origins, the name holds some weight. This is one of those things. The Ashbringer...

Ask a Lore Nerd: Skeletons, slavery, and the shadows
Be warned, ladies and gentlemen: There are a couple of minor spoilers for Wrath of the Lich King in this week's Ask a Lore Nerd. I don't think they're very substantial ones personally, but the choice is yours whether you want to continue reading or not.

Know Your Lore: High Overlord Saurfang
Did you know that Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms were actually separated by a stray swing of High Overlord Saurfang's axe? Did you know giraffes are just zhevras that were on the receiving end of a Saurfang Uppercut? Did you know that Saurfang doesn't have a face beneath his mask, just another axe? Overlord Saurfang is only afraid of one thing... Mrs. Saurfang.

Nesingwary's extinction plan (hasn't worked)
Players have been doing the math on the notorious Hemet Nesingwary (murderer of animals everywhere), and on the forums, Stubblez has figured out that if you follow all of Nesingwary's beast-killing instructions to the letter, you're responsible for murdering 278 of Azeroth and Outland's fauna.

Phasing is the new instancing
As I raved about in my post about the Death Knight starting experience, I effused about how the entire experience was instanced, creating a feel of progression through the world. It turns out I was wrong. The Death Knight starting experience isn't instanced at all. It uses what Blizzard calls "phasing technology".

Ask a Lore Nerd: Books, boats and Blood Knights
Along the coastline in the Swamp of Sorrows there are skeletons of giant turtles with structures built onto the back of their shells. Is this a nod to the Gnome submarines used in Warcraft II? If I remember correctly, they were turtles as well.

Sylvanas finally gets her makeover
It has finally happened, ladies and gentlemen. Sylvanas has finally received her true High Elf model in the latest beta push. It's about time! The lighting of Undercity does her a bit of an injustice when she doesn't have a Night Elf's skin, but things are as they should be now. Don't worry, this isn't another fake or 'fan interpretation' or anything like that. It's the real deal, seen in Undercity with my own two eyes.

Ask a Lore Nerd: Things that aren't Deathwing
Warcraft used to be based much more heavily on Christian concepts. There was a Heaven and there was a Hell, there was God and Angels and all that jazz. It's much more vague and nebulous now. It seems that the Twisting Nether is the current concept of Hell, but that might just mean it's a really bad place and not somewhere that sinful dead people automatically go. I have no idea if there is still a Heaven...

Know Your Lore: Tirion Fordring
Despite how cool Tirion Fordring is, this was is actually one of the more challenging topics for Know Your Lore. It's difficult to write about Tirion without just giving a summary of the book about him, becase there's not much more to him until Wrath of the Lich King.
 

Release Date

Release Date Blizzard: Wrath will be out in Q4 2008
In an uncharacteristic display of candor, Blizzard CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime confirmed during a conference call that the much-anticipated Wrath of the Lich King expansion will be released between October to December of this year.


Neth hints at getting ready for Wrath
Given that we're expecting a November release, that would put a big 3.0 patch in October, and we already know Brewfest is going to have some changes then, so 3.0 could come in conjunction with those changes or around them. We'll have to wait and see.

Blizzard planning Wrath launch in China "as soon as possible" after US
In the past, there's been a signficant delay between releases in the US and Eastern companies (not that it's hurt the popularity there). And Blizzard says they want to close that delay, but it's up to the government over there to approve the content.


The9 scores again in Q2 '08
The9, which is the company in China that runs Blizzard's World of Warcraft game there, has released their second quarter financial numbers, and they're rocking yet again -- they pulled in record income and revenue, nabbing about US$66.3 million, a full $60.7 million of which came directly from WoW.

What we're expecting from BlizzCon
To pass the time while we try to grab our BlizzCon tickets, we did a bit of speculation about what we might see in Anaheim on October 10th and 11th.

Online retailers point towards a November 4 release for Wrath
We'll begin this post with the usual: this is Blizzard we're talking about, and Blizzard doesn't release games or the dates they'll start selling those games until they're good and ready. So any speculation about Blizzard's release dates, is, by its nature, pretty useless -- if Blizzard wants to announce at BlizzCon that Wrath isn't coming out until January, they will.

7-Eleven to have Wrath midnight release
Man, who would have thought a 24-hour convenience store would attract a lot of young gamers? My mind is boggled. As of this season, 7-Eleven has begun offering pre-orders of select major upcoming releases (such as Wrath of the Lich King) at their locations.
 

General Overview

General Overview Wrath of the Lich King login screen
While we've had some fake Wrath of the Lich King login screens before, this one is the real deal. It's being reported on by numerous sites, and several people have confirmed its authenticity.

All the World's a Stage: Dear Wrath
...before we get serious about this new expansion of our relationship, Wrath, there's something you should understand about me: I may be a hunter, druid, rogue, warlock, warrior, shaman, and even a mage, but above and beyond all these things I'm also a roleplayer.

Deleting toons to make room for Wrath
In a way, I'm streamlining my character inventory the way Blizzard's cleaning up the game in the expansion. I guess conditioning my mind for a Death Knight has allowed me to remorselessly excise my alts.

The joy of grinding
I've found that I tend to invest myself more in my character while actually leveling up, strangely enough, and it seems to me that endgame is the much more boring part of the equation.

Wrath boss names revealed in Achievements
Each Achievement lists its requirements for completion, so what does that mean? We now know the names of all the dungeon bosses (as well as a little from the raids)! (Warning: Spoilers!)

Token system discovered
An enterprising and clever beta participant by the name of Xabora has discovered what form the new storage system will take for tokens (such as Badges of Justice and Battleground marks), by typing /tokens and hitting return.

New hairstyles in Wrath of the Lich King revealed
Yes, you can have a Night Elf mohawk. That's the biggest thing you should take away from the new files uncovered by Andrige, a WoW fan artist.

Lake Wintergrasp to probably last about 45 minutes, testing coming soon
Zarhym has broken out some interesting news for big team battleground players -- while Blizzard is generally happy with the way AV is working now, they are looking forward to focusing on tuning Lake Wintergrasp, the new PvP zone in Wrath of the Lich King.

Crushing blows (mostly) removed in Wrath as raiding changes
We've known for a while that the developers have wanted to remove crushing blows, but now it looks like they're starting the process for good.


The Eye of Sauron makes an appearance in Wrath of the Lich King
The Eye of Sauron makes an appearance in Wrath of the Lich King in the Death Knight starting zone. It goes under the name of the Eye of Acherus.


Mana and energy regeneration mechanics revamped on Beta
A change went in with the last Wrath Beta patch that's deceptively simple, but may have far reaching ramifications for many of the classes in game: Both energy and mana regenerate on a per second basis, rather than the previous ticks.

A(nother) return to Azeroth, and all that grinding
I don't know whether it's a result of all the Wrath beta news coming out lately, but it seems to me that we're already experiencing a resurgence of players around the expansion.

Breaking News: In game calendar system revealed
We managed to get onto the latest beta build of Wrath of the Lich King tonight and snap us a few screenshots of the new calendar system.

Wrath news for Discipline and tanks
One of the problems inherent in the tree for a tank healer is that their shield based abilities, Reflective Shield and Divine Aegis, deprive tanks of rage and/or mana that they'd need for being healed.

Itemization and the plight of the bear tank in Wrath of the Lich King
One of the biggest concepts coming with Wrath of the Lich King is gear consolidation. Stat are being folded into each other and classes are being changed even on very basic levels so that fewer gear types can work for more classes and specs.


Hybrid Theory: Spell Power hands on
Obviously Spell Power will not drastically change Feral, Enhancement or Retribution, but it actually does add to those last two as well to some extent. Primarily it changes the Healing and Caster specs of the Hybrid classes, obviously. It brings back a lot hybridiness to classes that... really haven't felt that way in quite awhile.


The end of Naxxramas
We had rumored this a while ago, but now it's been confirmed by the CMs: Old school Naxxramas is going to disappear forever when the dungeon moves up north to become a raid in Wrath of the Lich King.

The bloat
Koraa says that bloat is another term for "I can't have everything I want" and that Blizzard actually intends to make every class tree feel a little "bloated", forcing players to make tough yet interesting decisions regarding the talents they take and, ultimately, the talents they sacrifice.

Ask WoW Insider: An early disappointment?
Lots of players are very excited (including yours truly), but Charles S isn't so much. He actually stopped playing the game in March of this past year (before that, he raided as a Warlock), and he is using today's Ask WoW Insider column to ask you, our readers, if anyone else isn't so hot on what they've seen so far.

WoW Insider finds familiar faces in Wrath of the Lich King
While Northrend is a distant and strange land, there are a few friendly and familiar faces in Wrath to ease our pain. These range from joke appearances to lighten the mood, or more serious storylines being continued from WoW Classic and the Burning Crusade.

Spell pushback mechanics changed on Beta
Pushback has always been the bane of spellcasters and Hunters everywhere, be it in PvP or PvE. However, as of the latest Beta build, the eternal cast time may be a thing of the past thanks to some new spell pushback rules.

Experience needed per level for 71-80 soars in Wrath Beta
One of the more unwelcome changes in the latest Wrath Beta build is pretty simply explained: It now takes nearly twice as much experience (80% appears to be the exact number) to level. This has hit a few us on the WoW Insider Beta team by surprise.

Hybrid Theory: State of PvP in the Wrath beta
I decided to try out incredibly, insanely buggy Lake Wintergrasp when the beta realms went up yesterday, and later on I gave the new Battleground a whirl, too. Through all of this, there was one constant: Holy crap Ret Paladins are OP. No, really. I know, it blew my mind, too. Retribution Paladins. Overpowered. Hell has frozen over.

Ghostcrawler on tanking in Wrath
Tanking has been getting a good, long look from the developers for Wrath of the Lich King. And about time, too – I'd say the number one issue right now in the group PvE game is a lack of tanks.

Blizzard will likely offer free respecs before Wrath
Having been to the strangely buggy future, I can tell you one thing so far. Blizzard will do something they haven't done for almost two years now: every character will very likely get their talent points back around the Wrath of the Lich King release.

Hybrid Theory: Healers, gear, and entering Northrend
Leveling will get you enough for the bare necessities. If you're the type that wants to start leveling professions and gearing up immediately upon hitting the level cap though, think about going into Wrath with at least a couple thousand in your pocket, which really isn't that hard of a task.


Rare mobs in classic, BC, and Wrath
Rare mobs are one of my favorite unexpected pleasures in WoW. It's such a thrill to be questing or grinding along and see that silver dragon; it adds a lot of flavor to what could otherwise be some boring runs through out-of-the-way zones.


EA: You don't need $1 billion to compete with WoW
You just need $100 million to beat it. No, we're kidding -- after Activizzard founder Bobby Kotick's presumptuous statement a few months ago that any game company would need at least half a billion dollars to challenge World of Warcraft, EA/Mythic's Mark Jacobs has responded in kind on the eve of their big Warhammer Online release, explaining that the number is closer to around $100 million. And that they spent less than that on their big MMO.

Raid buffs overhauled for 3.0.2
Blizzard has been promising changes to raid buffs and raid stacking for a little while. Last night, they laid all their cards on the table in a giant blue post. Here's a run-down; all of this will be going live in 3.0.2, the pre-Wrath of the Lich King patch.

Wrath PvP gear hints at Arena Season 5
I was somewhat puzzled when the first pieces of PvP gear started showing up in the Wrath of the Lich King Beta. The traditional 5-piece set of helm, shoulders, chest, legs, and gloves (as well as the weapons) were of blue or rare quality while the non-set pieces normally obtained through Honor -- bracers, belt, and boots -- were purples or epic.

Bambi terrorizes Northrend
One of Blizzard's hallmarks in the World of Warcraft has long been the subtle digs and nods to pop culture. While I know some folks feel the little references ruin their immersion, I kind of like them. This new one, lurking mildly in Northrend, made me giggle a bit in delight, though. One might even say, I muttered a faint "Squee!"

Arena points reset in Wrath for Season 5
If there was a question about how Blizzard planned to deal with Arena points in Wrath of the Lich King -- which seems so palpably close -- Wryxian explained their resolution to the problem of carrying over points from Level 70 to 80. The answer? They won't. Players who hit Level 71 will have all their Arena points reset to 0 and be removed from all Level 70 bracket Arena teams.

The potential of Arena points for Wintergrasp
A new spell popped up in the latest Beta build called Wintergrasp Rewards, which indicate that there might finally be another way to earn Arena points other than to participate in Arenas. Granting Arena points through Lake Wintergrasp also indicates an interesting direction for World of Warcraft PvP.

Hybrid Theory: Yet another spell power discussion
Alright, so the question is this: If you have a choice between taking Damage gear or Healing gear in the current game right now, which would be a better choice for taking with you into Wrath of the Lich King leveling?

GC on raid stacking
Raid composition is going to change in Wrath of the Lich King. A certain part of this is obvious and inevitable: they're adding a new class. But there is another major factor that's changing. Currently, buffs and synergy are a large part of the reason you might choose to bring one class over another. How is this going to change in Wrath?

Wrath sound files point to world event
Spoiler Alert! The guys over at the WotLK Information Wiki have uncovered what appears to be sound files related to the world event that will open up Northrend. There are three separate monologues that have Arthas talking in villanous tones and creepy background music. Spoiler-heavy details follow!

Base mana for dummies
In Wrath of the Lich King, all spells are being reworked so that their cost, rather than being a static mana value, is a percentage of your base mana pool (this is largely to prevent downranking). But what is base mana?

Players respond to the cinematic
While fans of Arthas definitely got their fill (and it was interesting to hear Terenas' voice echoing from the past, which hearkens back to perhaps the best cutscene Blizzard's ever done), other players were disappointed to see that this cinematic doesn't follow the standard "various classes and races battle it out" formula. And that only shows that this expansion will be very much more about the guy in the Lich King suit than anything else.

Wrath cinematic trailer unveiled
Is there anything left to be said? The Wrath of the Lich King cinematic was unveiled to the public earlier today on Blizzard's sites... and it's freaking awesome. The trailer features Arthas, the Lich King, trudging the icy plains of Northrend with the echoing narration of the late King Terenas Menethil, his father. Haunting music, a chilling narrative, and imagery that shows the frightening power of the Lich King is all packed into the short trailer.


Make your pet shine!
So I headed on over to the pet store in Dalaran and found a lot of players fiddling around with the new toy, a Pet Grooming Kit that you can use on your pet to -- make it shine, just like it says on the tooltip.

New racial abilities for Wrath
It looks like Blizzard isn't done tinkering with everything for Wrath of the Lich King. This time, they've turned their attention to racial abilities, which many have pointed out to be imbalanced. Kalgan dropped by the forums to answer a good question regarding the Orc racial Hardiness, which grants a passive 15% resistance to stuns. It's been nerfed a long way from its original 25% resistance, but the poster made a good point about the game's direction towards reduced durations instead of resistances.

Ready Check: In Limbo
Some of those with bosses yet to kill in the game are becoming despondent at ever seeing the end of the tunnel, and people with everything on farm are finding excuses not to raid once they have their desired gear under their belts.

Penguin noncombat pets appear in the beta
Well, folks, it looks like we're definitely getting our wish. After incessant begging, peevish requests, heart-rending pleas, and no small amount of outright nagging on the part of...actually, I think everyone in the game has asked for this at one point or another, but never mind. People in the beta have started getting penguin pets!

Naxx-10 loot discovered
The class sets aren't quite finished yet – their names are things like "Naxxramas 10 Rogue Set," and there aren't any set bonuses – but it's still interesting to see what sort of stats Blizz is planning on giving us.

Macros saved to server instead of computer in Wrath
Wrath Beta tester Tiwo came across a welcome change when logging into her account on a different computer from normal. The macros she wrote and saved on the original machine were now available on the second machine. She posted to the EU Beta forums in thanks, and Wryxian confirmed the change was real.

Karazhan three manned on the Wrath beta
Three players, two Death Knights and a Priest, have recently trio'd almost the entirety of Karazhan, minus only Nightbane due to not having completed the quest needed to summon him. Admittedly both Death Knights were using a deep Unholy build which is tuned a little high now, but they're not wearing any high end gear, either.

Faction Champion in 8885
From the 2008 Worldwide Invitational, we learned of a new way that we'll all be grinding faction reputation come the expansion. Namely, you will be able to become a faction's Champion.

Blizzard reveals new Battle.net features
Battle.net is Blizzard's oldest online service -- it predates WoW by a few years and was notably used to play Warcraft 3, Diablo 2 and Starcraft online. It's making a return with a revamp for the release of Starcraft II, with some changes that'll impact on WoW as well.

New titles for Wrath
One title that sounds pretty cool is 'The Hallowed', which is obtained by completing all 18 Hallow's End Achievements, the hardest of which might just be obtaining the rare Sinister Squashling. Then there's 'The Diplomat', which many players will already receive at the launch of Beta -- it simply requires getting to Exalted with Timbermaw Hold, Sporeggar, and the Kurenai or Mag'har.

Premades now available in Wrath beta
The option was just opened up to create premade level 80 characters on the LK beta realms. Up till now in the beta premades had not been available, and we don't know exactly what kind of gear they'll have, but my guess would be blues.

Then let them eat cake
While it isn't the most exciting, mind-blowing, game-changing addition to Dalaran thus far, I thought the addition of a cupcake vendor was pretty cool, especially now that they've itemized it. The vendor has some mundane found that are still pretty fun like Dalaran Brownies and Carrot Cupcakes, which are charming but not entirely what grabbed my attention.

WoW, Casually: To Beta or not to Beta
On one hand, you've got a brand new class to play with. On the other hand, you don't get to keep him. So is the Beta wasted time? Let's look at the Pros and Cons after the break.

Wrath splash screen appears on the Launcher
Eagle-eyed readers noticed that Blizzard is prepping a new version of the launcher for the Wrath of the Lich King launch -- a quick update showed up just this afternoon in the launcher software, and afterwards, when starting up, the program flashes the blank screen above, with the Lich King logo, before it then covers it up again with the current iTunes promotion splash screen.

Some Gnomes glitched in Wrath beta
Gnomes can't handle their weapons. At least not in the Wrath beta. In a strange graphics glitch, gnomes of certain classes look as if their swords are glued to the backs of their hands instead of being grasped. The glitch occurs whether fighting or not. It doesn't happen with Warlocks, who hold their weapons correctly, but I was able to replicate it with a Rogue and there are Warrior screenshots elsewhere on the web. Some players are even reporting that their offhand weapon is floating away and seeming to fight by itself.

Premade beta toons available again -- for real
After the false alarm a few days ago, premade characters are available for copy to the US Wrath beta PvP realm Murmur. (Apparently, the realm was called "Murmer" up until a few hours ago. I guess Blizzard decided on a last minute spell check.) I have firsthand knowledge that the character copy now works because I copied three toons this morning and less than two hours later they are now playable.

Making the Racial traits more individual
Hot on the heels of word about all the new changes to racial abilities in Wrath, reader Mike sent us a suggestion he thought up to give a little twist to racial abilities in game: Blizzard could unlock some of them from a few races, and instead give players the ability to choose a few on a peronal basis -- they could pick and choose certain abilities for their characters to have from the beginning.

Insurmountable random resists gone for Wrath
If you haven't heard yet, that 1% chance to miss with spells that has always been in place that you couldn't overcome with Hit on your gear, no matter how much you had? Kalgan confirms that it is gone. Gone like the wind! As of Wrath, at least. Are you excited? I'm excited.
 

Videos

Videos Death Knight starting cinematic unveiled
With Death Knights getting their own starting zone and their own heroic storyline, it was often wondered whether they'd share the same opening cinematic as their individual races. We have the answer now: They do get their own unique cinematic!

Death Knight Gameplay Movies: Unholy and Blood trees
Two videos that showcase the leveling playstyle of Unholy and Blood trees. They're definitely worth a watch for anyone who's seriously thinking of playing a Death Knight in Wrath of the Lich King.

My shadow is following me
Yes, apparently in Wrath you will see your shadow do things like change depending on where you are in relation to light sources and look more like you and less like a circle on the ground. It may not seem like a big change, but it's certainly an interesting one...

WoW Radio runs Utgarde Keep
Our good friends at WoW Radio have somehow boonswaggled their way into the beta, and they're letting you all reap the rewards: Totalbiscuit and his buddies all ran Utgarde Keep, the first instance of Northrend, and you can see the results here.

Death Knight Gameplay Video: Unholy PvP
This time, Jadefury runs around in one of the Northrend starting zones and preys upon unsuspecting Alliance. It's a bit of a gank video, so fair warning if you're not into that. He uses this level 73 Unholy/Blood build.

WoW Radio runs The Nexus
Here's the second Northrend instance run from the guys at WoW Radio - this time running us through The Nexus, a level 72ish instance on the Borean Tundra. Warning - it's a little spoileriffic!

WoW Moviewatch: A look at Dalaran
Recently, the city was moved from Azeroth to Northrend. Since the move, it hasn't been easy to get there, but you'll find a gorgeous city when you do. With trainers beginning to populate the area and portals that take you to a variety of areas, Dalaran is shaping up to be a must visit destination!

Moviewatch Smackdown: Tales of a Death Knight
Nobunaga has created three movies so far in his Tales of a Death Knight series, which takes a deeper look at the Death Knight class. He uses commentary to describe what is going on, which isn't always clear in some of the other videos out there. (Warning: Spoilers!)

Preview of the Motorbike vehicle in Grizzly Hills
Did you doubt that engineers would be the coolest players in the expansion? This little demo of the motorbike coming (supposedly) to engineers in Wrath of the Lich King is, as our own Dan O'Halloran said when he saw it, the first movie of WoW where the death metal actually belongs.

WoW Moviewatch: Vaalin Chronicles
Count Vrenna created this teaser video to experiment with Adobe After Effects. However, Vaalin Chronicles looks a bit intriguing, especially if the movie ties in to the roleplaying he does on Shadow Council.

Wrath's Fetch Ball lets you play with your pets
This is hardly going to be one of the most amazing items in Wrath to those who clamor for epics and full dungeon sets, but for those of us who like the flavor that those cute little noncombat pets add, the Fetch Ball is a dream come true.

WoW Moviewatch: The Cold Dream, a WotLK exploration video
Inspired by his heroes, Razzik created this Wrath of the Lich King exploration video. Similar to Snoman's recent effort, WotLK White Dreamscape, as well as Wrath of the Lich King - WTF!?, it follows a dream world where a woman is floating along.

WoW Moviewatch: Muffins WotLK Exploration Part 70-77
(Warning: Spoilers!) Muffins did a great job with her most recent exploration video. If you're looking for another artistic take on the new locations available in WotLK, this is the movie for you.

Warlock talent plus Tier 5 set bonus equals 536 million DPS
Um, nerf Warlocks? With all of the talking we've been doing about Wrath of the Lich King lately, we haven't really mentioned the one thing players are supposed to be doing on the beta servers: finding bugs. Fortunately, Sneakthief found a very nice one...

New bear animations for eating and fishing discovered
Everyone knows that bears are actually pretty good fishermen, but for some reason Ferals have to shift back out of form and use a pole like everyone else. That may be changing, however.

BigRedKitty: Devilsaur
Have you seen a devilsaur up close and personal? Well, except when they stomped and chomped you silly in Un'goro? /shudder Here ya go, then! We tamed one and let it loose in Shattrath City and Nagrand, using all its abilities and letting it rip stuff up.

BigRedKitty: Uvuros
So you're wondering just how much of a tank the new Tenacity hunter-pets are going to deliver. Well, we're gonna try a few things and let you know. We obtained a level 70 Warp Stalker and trained it up nicely. Welcome to Tanking Pet City, population, Us.

Wrath of the Lich King login screen video
There is a new addition to the login screen for Wrath of the Lich King tonight. A large dragon, which was previously just a white mesh, swipes down from the sky and roars at you as you log in. It is a very cool addition to the otherwise bland login screen.

BigRedKitty: Moths
Ferocity Pets! These are the face-rippers, the squishie-killers, the pets that make us proud to be a Beastmaster hunter! Cats, Devilsaurs, Raptors, Wolves! Yeeha! Moths? That's what we're being told, yes.

77 Hunter solos Onyxia
Chalk up another piece of evidence for just how trivial the old world stuff will be when Wrath releases -- here's a video of a Hunter at level 77 (on the beta servers, obviously) soloing the original raid boss herself, Onyxia.

WoW Moviewatch: A glimpse of Wintergrasp
Devlin checks out some of the vehicles and takes them for a spin. Whether you're into the catapult-like features of the Demolisher, or the circular saw-wielding robotic features of the Shredder, one thing is for certain -- there's something for everyone.

The music of Wrath of the Lich King
Even though World of Warcraft allows players to access iTunes from within the game -- and I know a lot of players turn up their own music when playing -- I highly recommend playing Wrath with the music on and turned up when it finally hits retail.

Skill Mastery: Army of the Dead
Ever since we first heard about the spell, I have been without a doubt drooling over Army of the Dead. This level 80 Death Knight spell allows you to summon an army to your beck and call. In specific, it's a 6 second channel spell that summons several weak undead to taunt and fight your enemies.

Death Knight solos Onyxia
With how fascinated players are with using Onyxia as a benchmark, it was only a matter of time before our new legions of Death Knights tried their hand at it. Scarblade, a poster from the MMO-Champion forums, seems to hold the prize for world first solo Onyxia kill by a Death Knight. At least, as far as we know, and as of the latest beta patch. Will it count when Wrath goes retail? Who knows?

BigRedKitty: Worms
But really, worms? Hunter pets? Tenacity pets? Worm-Tanks, that's the concept Blizzard wants to sell us. Are you buying? How about you watch our little movie and then make up your mind.

Video preview of the new Calendar system
Originally set to go live with Wrath of the Lich King, the calendar system is one of the biggest UI changes coming, and we now know that it's going to happen in the big pre-LK content patch (which will probably be numbered 3.0 or so). This nice video will take you on a tour through the interface.

Tom Chilton and J. Allen Brack talk Wrath at Leipzig
Here's a nice tidbit from the Games convention at Leipzig, Germany in the form a bundle of Wrath news. Tom Chilton and J. Allen Brack gave a few interviews. In the interview embedded here, they discuss the future of the lore and raids, most notably Icecrown Glacier, the home of Arthas.

Chilton: We want "to outdo ourselves in every respect"
Tom Chilton's main point is that Wrath is bigger and better than before -- more, better, cooler content. Intercut with lots of cool video from the beta (though some of it was seen as far back as BlizzCon last year), he lays down what's up with the next expansion.

Death Knights receive unique voices
There's actually a sound filter over the voices, making them sound echoey and spooky. The females have been described as sounding like banshees, which is pretty accurate I think. If you're not a fan of the voice effects, you're allowed to turn them off in your Sound control panel so you won't have to hear it. Other people still will, unless they do the same.
 

Podcasts

Podcasts WoW Insider Show Episode 48: We just can't wait for Lich King
Beware: if you listen to this episode, you just may hear not only Turpster's famous singing voice, but those of Mike Schramm and John Patricelli as well - don't say we didn't warn you!

WoW Insider Show Episode 49: Death Knights picking Peacebloom
Daniel "BigRedKitty" Howell, Duncor the Dependable and Mike Schramm all break down the Wrath beta at length, talking about what we're most excited about (and what you're most excited about, too).

Blizzcast Episode 4 reveals Warcraft information and insights
Blizzcast episode 4 is now live and available for listening, and with it, of course, has come a wealth of new World of Warcraft Information. Some of it is stuff we've gotten wind for before, but there's some interesting insights into the whole game.

WoW Insider Show: The 50th episode
It was our 50th show this past week on the WoW Insider Show, so you'll have to forgive us for doing a little more backpatting than usual -- we promise that next week we'll be back to form for sure. But in the second half of the show, we did get down to talking WoW business, and the results are now posted online for your listening pleasure.

WoW Insider Show Episode 51: Downranking no more
If you listen to this week's WoW Insider Show, now available on WoW Radio's website and over in iTunes, not only do you get the dulcet tones of Mike Schramm's voice, Turpster's accented vocalizations, and the stylings of WoW Insider's Amanda Dean, but you also get to hear a little bit of Thom Yorke's band as well.

WoW Insider Show Episode 53: A dragon the size of your house
Just as it does every Saturday, our weekly podcast went live over the weekend, and the recording of the show is now up on the WoW Radio website for listening. Michael Gray joined us for the first time on the show, and Turpster was aboard for the ride as usual.


WoW Insider Show Episode 54: Not-so of the Shattered Sun
This past week, as we do every Saturday, we sat down on WoW Radio to record the one and only WoW Insider Show (recently chosen by our friend Patrick, we'll remind you, as one of eight podcasts geek gamers shouldn't live without), and results of that session are now on WoW Radio (and in iTunes, where you can and should subscribe to recieve it in the brand new iTunes 8 for free every week).
 

Galleries
General / Geography / Professions / Gear / UI

Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King

Draenei Warrior and Tauren ShamanBeef versus beastDeath Knight and Shaman face-offPlague Spitter vs. Death KnightAn orc warrior in the Nexxus

General Galleries

General Gallery: Around Azeroth


General Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King: The Eye of Acherus

Eye of Acherus vs Eye of SauronDeath Comes From On HighDeath Comes From On High, IIController OrbBig Eye, Small Eye

General Gallery: Tamable Devilsaurs in the Wrath Beta

Say hello to my little friendBestial Wrath killsTaking a bite out of evilMonstrous buffMy what big... everything you have!

General Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King: Barbershop

Dalaran BarbershopUndercity BarbershopStormwind BarbershopDalaran InteriorThe Interior

General Gallery: Exotic Pets in the Wrath Beta

Say hello to my little friendBestial Wrath killsTaking a bite out of evilMonstrous buffMy what big... everything you have!

General Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King: Nostalgia

High Overlord SaurfangGarrosh HellscreamKel'thuzadRoyal Apothecary SocietyCommander Eligor Dawnbringer

Gallery: Ten great Achievements

The KeymasterBlade's Edge BombermanThe MasqueradeThey Love Me In that TunnelNaxxramas: Kel'Thuzad Hardcore

Gallery: The Darkmoon Faire

Elwynn ForestMulgoreTerokkar ForestWelcome to the Darkmoon Faire!The Proprietor

Geography Galleries

Geography Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King Maps

Stormwind HarborNorthrendHowling FjordBorean TundraThe Dragonblight

Geography Gallery: Stormwind Harbor


Geography Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King: Dalaran


Geography Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King: The Howling Fjord

The Howling FjordVengeance Landing FlightpathValgarde FlightpathWestguard Keep FlightpathApothecary Camp Flightpath

Geography Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King: The Dragonblight

The DragonblightMoa'ki Harbor FlightpathWintergarde Keep FlightpathVenomspite FlightpathAgmar's Hammer Flightpath

Geography Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King: Borean Tundra

The Borean TundraWarsong Hold FlightpathTaunka'le Village FlightpathFizzcrank Airstrip FlightpathBor'gorok Outpost Flightpath

Geography Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King: Utgarde Keep Walkthrough

Utgarde KeepDragonflayer IronhelmsFirst HallDragonflayer WeaponsmithsDragonflayer Metalworkers

Gear Galleries

Gear Gallery: The Beautiful Greens of Northrend

Northrend quest reward staves

Gear Gallery: Death Knight Blue Rewards

Death Knight armorDeath Knight weaponsDeath Knight cloaksDeath Knight trinkets, rings, etc.

Gallery: A smattering of tanking gear changes

Stoicism, but with more strength.Destroyer, now with more actual destruction.Shields with bite.Good threat bracers get better.Yet more destruction for Destroyer.

Profession Galleries

Profession Gallery: New Blacksmithing Patterns


Profession Gallery: Death Knight: Runeforging

Ebon HoldThe Rune ForgeCinderglacier RuneCinderglacier RuneFrostfever Rune

Profession Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King: Jewelcrafting


Profession Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King: Blacksmithing


Profession Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King: Tailoring


Profession Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King: Leatherworking

Dalaran Leatherworking TrainerBorean EmbraceMiscellaneous RecipesVerdant Tundra

Profession Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King: Jewelcrafting


Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King: Cooking


Gallery: Engineering Schematics in Wrath

Stuff needed to make other stuffStuff that just blow other stuff upBoP gunsEngineering Money making? With Engineering?!?

UI Galleries

UI Gallery: Wrath of the Lich King in game calendar


UI Gallery: Achievements UI

Mini-menu buttonMain screenGeneral achievementsLevel 70 detailSafe Deposit

UI Gallery: New Death Knight skins


Gallery: New Options frame

As always, you can check out the site for the very latest coverage of Wrath of the Lich King.

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