World of Warcraft is just big, 11 million monthly paid subscribers big. So you can guess that when Blizzard announced the second expansion pack for its popular MMORPG over a year ago everybody was paying attention. And now the day has finally come after three months of the opt-in beta, WoW: Wrath of the Lich King
is here and more than likely those hardcore WoW players are already browsing through the fantasy world's new areas and building up their new 'Death Knight' characters rather than reading these lines.
The new expansion set costs $40 for the standard edition, while the collector's edition price has been set to a staggering $70. Many WoW fans have expressed their discontent about the expansion pack's cost, which will also extend your subscription by an additional 30 days. Nonetheless nobody seems to be complaining about the many additional features included in Wrath of the Lich King, among some of the most important: Characters level cap raised to 80, a new playable class called Death Knight, a new continent to explore (Northrend), an epic battle with the Lich King at the Frozen Throne, new Inscription profession, a slightly improved graphics engine, and of course new items, quests, dungeons, creatures, weapons, and the list goes on.
With some 60-plus percent of the MMOG market dominated by Blizzard and an estimated revenue of $120 million per month coming from subscriptions, World of Warcraft seems to be holding a long life still and should remain for some time the PC platform's most popular game, despite of being originally released four years ago.
Take a look at the intro trailer of Wrath of the Lich King and some gameplay footage using the new Death Knight class, after the jump.