Wrath of the Lich King turns 10 years old
Wrath of the Lich King released on November 13, 2008 in North America and Europe. That makes today the 10th anniversary of the release of that third expansion pack for World of Warcraft. It means it’s been longer (more than twice as long) since that expansion released as it took for it to come out. We’ve lived in a post-Arthas World of Warcraft longer than we lived waiting for him to show up — he’s been dead for real longer than he was dead, but still moving.
The folks over at Method pointed it out on Twitter, and that’s gotten me thinking about the game back then — I’d been very active in the beta, because it was the Titan’s Grip expansion. Seriously, when Titan’s Grip came out literally everyone told me about it — it was the Diablo Immortal trailer before that was even a thing. In a lot of ways Wrath of the Lich King was my best expansion ever. I tanked and DPS’d in every single dungeon and raid at the highest difficulty level possible, got several realm first kills and titles like Death’s Demise, the Astral Walker, Grand Crusader, and even the Mimiron’s Head mount. Even the few things I didn’t get done at the time I finished up later.
I remember a lot of things I didn’t like, of course — Wrath was the expansion that really showed us gear bloat in the end game in a way that Burning Crusade could only hint at, and having to run Trial of the Crusader four times a week got old fairly quickly. But Wrath was also the expansion where we got to raid Naxxramas again, got to see Ulduar and Malygos and yes, Icecrown Citadel itself — even with the year it took for new content after ICC dropped, the raid itself was an amazing thing. It was one of the best raids Blizzard has ever designed and it ended with the Arthas fight. Few raid fights have felt as important as that fight did, and even fewer managed to make us so emotional when we finally got it down.
Wrath was the first expansion to really give 10 man groups even the semblance of equality, putting out a 10 man raid size for every raid — it wasn’t flex scaling, but it pointed the way towards it if only by creating the 10/25 argument that flex was ultimately created to do away with. It had a robust — perhaps even too robust — badge system that let players gear up for the most current content by running heroic dungeons, a wide variety of hard modes and difficulties that ranged from ‘pull it and see what happens’ to complete separate raid difficulties. In many ways, Wrath was the crucible in which all modern systems — dungeon finder, Wintergrasp open PVP zones, variable raid sizes, multiple raid difficulties — were tested and first debuted. All that, and it was the expansion that finally brought us Death Knights and Arthas.
We’ve been playing in the WoW that Wrath made for a decade as of today. What’s your favorite story from the expansion that many still list as their favorite?
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