World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Classic Overview


World of Warcraft has just re-released The Wrath of the Lich King for its classic cinematic launch in 4K on September 26. Though the timeless World of Warcraft cinematic still holds up 12 years later, the remastered version is outstanding. 

Wrath of the Lich King is one of the most highly-anticipated and beloved expansions in World of Warcraft’s gaming history. Now that World of Warcraft Classic is revisiting Wrath of the Lich King, players everywhere can relive one of the most memorable chapters of the MMO’s lifespan.

The Cinematic Experience

The Lich King’s chilling display of power is the whole cinematic drama surrounding The Wrath of the Lich King. Narrated by Arthas’ slain father, King Terenas Menethil II, the Lich King brandishes Frostmourne to resurrect Sindragosa, consort of Malygos of the Blue Dragonflight. 

Furthermore, he steps out to command and dominate an endless legion of the risen dead, who wield the power of his icy magic. This haunting scene, rendered in 4K, is just as incredible as it was during its original launch.

World of Warcraft fans have had a lot of fantastic cinematics to feast on during the week leading up to Wrath of the Lich King Classic’s launch. Just a few days earlier, World of Warcraft showed off the official “Journey” trailer. 

Hurricane, a well-known artist known for creating custom cinematics for several raids in World of Warcraft’s history, created this cinematic experience. This wonderful cinematic, Journey, captures the perfect nostalgic essence of the classic Wrath of the Lich King and features several characters from across the World of Warcraft community.


As it turns out, avid fans of World of Warcraft were extremely delighted by the remastered trailer for Wrath of the Lich King. Apparently, it was so good that many fans said they could barely tell the difference, and confirmed that the cinematic still took their breath away. 

Many argued that the Wrath of the Lich King cinematic was not only the best World of Warcraft cinematic but one of the best in gaming history. Indeed, the impact of Wrath of the Lich King on pop culture happens to be so profound that even Game of Thrones referenced the World of Warcraft cinematic in its final season. 

After all, every dark lord who commands armies of undead soldiers in any medium will be compared to the Lich King of World of Warcraft fame from now on. Wrath of the Lich King represents World of Warcraft at its best, and its return to Classic gives many fans a second chance to experience the influential period in World of Warcraft history.

Classic Characters

When the game was launched, players with characters on existing TBC Classic realms automatically had their characters migrated into Wrath of the Lich King Classic. There has been no character clone service or any remaining “era” realms for players to stay exclusively in the old expansion, unlike the transition from Vanilla Classic to The Burning Crusade Classic.

In addition to TBC Classic characters, characters currently experiencing the Season of Mastery in Vanilla Classic will be given the option to migrate their characters to Wrath of the Lich King, if they choose to do so. This option will be available once the Season of Mastery concludes, which is set to be anywhere between October and December of 2022.

Character Service Changes

During the original Wrath of the Lich King, players could purchase appearance changes for their character that offered more options than the in-game barbershops had at the time. This service has been removed from the Wrath of the Lich King Classic. 

However, all of its additional options have been made available through the same barbershops instead. There has been the addition of a character boost service in Wrath of the Lich King Classic, allowing you to immediately set a character’s level to 70 (out of the level cap of 80). 

This allows you to jump right into the action of Northrend as you explore the numerous zones of this new continent. However, Death Knight characters cannot be boosted in this way as they will start out at Level 55. Other character services, such as Race and Faction Changes, are still included but will be made available until some point after the expansion’s launch. 

New Class: Death Knight

The Death Knight is one of the most memorable parts of the original release of Wrath of the Lich King. Additionally, it is the first new class added since Vanilla. This class is a “hero class”, meaning that freshly-created Death Knights start at Level 55 instead of Level 1, have a unique introduction to the game, and are given other small benefits such as having flight points already unlocked and a full set of level-appropriate gear.

Death Knights will be capable of specialising in three categories:

  • Blood — A tank specialization that uses shadow magic to reduce damage, heal themselves, and disable their opponents.
  • Frost — A melee DPS specialization that uses frost damage and powerful critical strikes to annihilate their opponents.
  • Unholy — A melee DPS specialization that focuses on shadow damage, diseases, and summoning minions.

It should also be noted that, unlike the original expansion, players do not need to already have a max-level character to create a Death Knight. New players can immediately make one if they choose to do so, though you may only have one Death Knight character per realm.

New Profession: Inscription

The inscription has been added as a new profession in Wrath of the Lich King that allows players to make pigments out of various herbs and use them to create combat-enhancing Glyphs, new trinkets, buff scrolls, and more. 

PvP Changes

PvP rating is not tied to Arena teams in the Wrath of the Lich King Classic. Instead, players can make use of the individual rating system, allowing them to more freely play with others as they climb the ranks. 

Players may be able to have characters from both factions on one PvP realm simultaneously in Wrath of the Lich King Classic. Finally, unlike in the original release of Wrath of the Lich King, there will be achievements and titles rewarded through the 2v2 Arena Bracket.

Dungeon Finder Removal

The Dungeon Finder system has not been included in Wrath of the Lich King Classic as it was a controversial topic where a number of players believed it harmed the social interaction of finding their own groups for content. Blizzard agreed with this conclusion, even though it was a feature originally added in Wrath of the Lich King.

Raid Lockout Adjustments

Lockouts will be shared between Heroic and Normal versions of a raid, but not between 10-player and 25-player versions of a raid. This change will only be relevant for the Trial of the Crusader raid, in addition to Icecrown Citadel when it is eventually released. 

In addition to this change combining Normal and Heroic instances into the same raid lockout, trinkets that have both a Normal and Heroic version of themselves will no longer be simultaneously equippable. Players familiar with the modern version of World of Warcraft will recognize this change as the “Unique-Equipped” tag found on most items.

Later Phase Loot Adjustments

Blizzard is a new feature added to the Wrath of the Lich King Classic, where players will adjust the loot tables of Heroic Dungeons and older raids to keep them compelling throughout the entirety of the expansion. 

What it essentially does is that when Phase 2, containing the Ulduar raid launches, 10-player versions of Phase 1 raids, Naxxramas, Eye of Eternity, and Obsidian Sanctum, will have the drops of their 25-player counterparts. 

As for the previous 10-player items, they will be moved into the loot tables of Heroic Dungeons, which will allow players to catch up in gear over time while also allowing the dungeons to stay relevant long-term. 

In addition to shifting old raid items into Heroic Dungeons, Blizzard is looking into adding further challenges to Heroic dungeons, with additional rewards being obtainable in the process. This will also include some form of bonus for players in the tank and healer roles that may provide access to a variety of mounts and pets.