World Of Borecraft: Wrath Of The Lich King

Blizzard Entertainment has thrown the switch on servers that support Wrath of The Lich King, a World of Warcraft expansion pack in which players can traverse new territory filled with a host of never-before-seen enemies. Wake me when it's over.

Paul McDougall, Editor At Large, InformationWeek

November 13, 2008

2 Min Read

Blizzard Entertainment has thrown the switch on servers that support Wrath of The Lich King, a World of Warcraft expansion pack in which players can traverse new territory filled with a host of never-before-seen enemies. Wake me when it's over.The expansion pack officially hit stores Wednesday, with numerous outlets, including Best Buy, holding midnight sales events for the "hotly anticipated" software. My understanding is that Circuit City also wanted to hold a midnight launch but realized it doesn't have any employees left.

World of Warcraft, a so-called massively multiplayer online (MMO) game that's developed a cultish following, currently boasts more than 11 million players worldwide. Coincidently, that's about the same number of people that attend Star Trek conventions.

In the game, players assume online identities to seek adventure in a Tolkienesque virtual world populated by giant spiders, trolls, dragons, Sandra Bernhardt, and other scary monsters.

Wrath of the Lich King introduces players to the Lich King Arthas Menethil, a holdover from Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. From his enclave in Icecrown Glacier, the Lich King works "to bring all of Azeroth under his twisted dominion," according to Blizzard. You know, just like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

(Question: Does the Lich King wear the same cheap suit all the time?)

Here's my problem with WoW, which I've tried to get into numerous times. The game creates the illusion that there's lots of stuff happening. There are necromancers to be killed, zombies to evade, and legions of the undead to be burned. Exciting stuff, right?

Not really, because every time you "level up", there are new monsters that are just as hard to kill as when you were a newbie. As a result, the game takes on a kind of rinse-and-repeat feel after the first several hours and you never feel like you're getting anywhere.

Then there's the multiplayer aspect. By playing against actual human opponents, players are supposed to get the sense that foes will behave in ways that can't be duplicated by AI routines. That's the theory. In practice what I've found is that 99% of the players on WoW display about as much creativity as a wooden duck in a shooting gallery.

I may not be the only who feels this way. Blizzard today sent me an offer for 10 days of free play if I would give WoW another try. That tells me that the game must be experiencing a lot of dropouts.

Perhaps Wrath of The Lich King will change that. Or, maybe, the Lich King himself will just get bored and go home.

About the Author(s)

Paul McDougall

Editor At Large, InformationWeek

Paul McDougall is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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