Wrath of the lich king classic is expected to drop at the end of 2022 or start at 23 and for many players it will be the version of the game that you have played when it was during a live expansion, after all it was the definitive peak the most popular wow has ever been and whether you already had several years on azeroth under the belt or it was your first trip into this online world there will have been memories made during that time.
Though we can experience a fresh start for the expansion with another frantic launch period with a new set of players racing for the world first a lot is going to be different, some things ranging all the way from the expected release date on the final patch to how we as players
have a tendency to approach games very differently in 2022 as opposed to 2008, let's talk about wrath of the lich king!
Rise of the Humans for PVP
Coming up to the time of wrath the lich king the horde had the perceived advantage in pvp and had done for quite some time with very powerful racials such as hardiness, will of the forsaken and the recently added arcane torrent, even in tbc today the eu2's bracket is made up of nearly one third undead players, it's not a coincidence.
So blizzard decided to give the alliance a little something to even the balance; what they came up with was every man for himself, a two-minute cooldown built in pvp trinket as a racial.
Now for the first time ever people playing the human race had the ability to equip two trinkets to aid their throughput this was to put it mildly giga op in pvp every single advantage matters and the second trinket be it a battle masters or an on use for more damage was a huge difference maker that only one race could get to top it off in patch 3.3 will of the forsaken was changed to where it now shared a 45 second cooldown with similar effects which was another indirect buff to humans as the bis pvp race for the expansion despite every man for himself being added right at the start of wrath the lich king.
Though it wasn't adapted into the pvp meta for some time with clips from arena tournament or mlg from 2009 you can see everybody's still rocking horde it took a while for the new racial to be adapted because will of the forsaken hadn't been nerfed yet and many of the big impactful trinkets wouldn't start appearing in the game until much later on specifically in trial of the grand crusader and beyond.
By the 2010 finals however the whole arena floor was awash with alliance with 3.3.5 changes from launch i'd expect a strong move towards humans for the avid pvp, you can bet the staging ground of dalaran sewer is going to look like your local golf club there's going to be that many bald male humans there.
Buffed Racials Horde
But hold on not down and out and wrath for the lich king far from it in fact because whilst horde racials took a hit in pvp they actually got buffed in pve every single world first during retail wrath was claimed by a horde guild, those mainly being insidious and paragon though there were plenty of competitive alliance guilds at the same time and there wasn't nearly as much of a split as there is in retail between top end players nearly entirely choosing one faction most notably trolls racial berserking started being completely bonkers in wrath of the lich king it's a three-minute 20 haste with no downside and you can just throw it into your cooldowns like your own mini bloodlust.
Now whilst having these racials aren't going to turn you into a hundred passing god gamer when you add up a raid comp of 25 people these little bonuses start to become rather large and make a difference.
Some alliance racials do get buffs as well but nothing quite as impactful as this when it comes to pve. I think we're going to see a lot of performance oriented players leaning towards making horde characters for the move to wrath.
Updated Druid Forms
Look at them that's one nice kitty right there, after four years of the catenberg form from classic and tbc someone at blizzard decided you know what let's give them a bit of an update not for boomkin though want to know when boomkin gets a new model well you only have to play until classic legion.
No really i can't believe it was that long either also tree form remains the same which you should probably be happy about because the alternative version they came up with cataclysm was this monstrosity but bears and cats get a makeover and are modernized a little gift i suppose for not being able to see your armor normally, nice i kinda like them.
Ring of Valor
One day somebody at blizzard thought hey what if we had an arena with no line of sight and a massive amount of rng and through that creative process they came up with the ring of valor, it was temporarily removed at the start of cataclysm and then permanently removed in the mists of pandaria after blizzard could never get it in a) a bug-free state or b) balanced state.
Nevertheless it's gonna be back with wrath, i expect along with dalaran sewers of course it's not exactly the arena with the cleanest history let me put it like that the ring of valor was
particularly notorious during wrath of the lich king as it heavily favored certain types of comps by default.
You may not be the biggest fan of pillars but they're there for a reason caster heavy teams would be a menace to lock down and there were already comps which are very difficult to peel such as tsg which was holy paladin, arms warrior and unholy dk and this just made it even harder.
There were also flame wars which would light up during the course of a match and of course they broke cc sort of like the tornadoes in nagaran arena but a little bit more predictable, i can almost see the comments a few years from now complaining about getting cc'd as the gate opens walking into a pillar as it's raising and being disconnected or you're going behind a pillar to be safe and it decides to instantly go down and you die, there's a reason blizzard threw this arena in the bin eventually and you're gonna find out why real soon.
Bonus: Did you remember that npc in stormwind or orgrimmar where you can turn xp on or off so you don't accidentally level up twinks or anything like that? Those were added in wrath in patch 3.2 it cost 10 gold to turn off xp and 10 gold to turn it on again, they were appropriately dressed in twink attire and were also level 19 themselves, this change came alongside the ability to actually gain xp from participation in battlegrounds but not honorable kills.
Wintergrasp was a new idea for wrath of the lich king, an open world battleground where the battle would take place every two and a half hours, one faction defends the other attacks simple, but wintergrasp underwent many changes throughout wrath of the lich king so chances are it won't be quite how you remember it initially, it was very much a free for all on each faction get in the zone and just start pvping and the side that could bring the most numbers pretty much always won.
In patch 3.2 a queue was put in from battle masters as well as a 120 player per side cap which will no doubt be a benefit for classic where we already have loads of servers with essentially one faction on them and players could bring their own consumables into the battleground to speed up the assault the reservation 2009 were all players paratroop in and blow up the main gate straight open using engineer made items saronite bombs and global therma sapper charges they won the battle in little over one minute.
Looking over the patch notes i don't believe this was something which was ever patched out so i think we can full-on expect some degenerate tactics if nothing has changed.
You know that best trinket you dream of the one you can't wait to be at the top of the priority list for, what if you could get two of them, when patch 3.2 dropped you could it was the only raid to see this interaction because blizzard didn't like it and made it no longer possible in icc and beyond but in trial of the crusade and trial of grand crusader trinket stacking was a bis
combination for many classes for a very long time.
This was the first tier to have the newly introduced heroic mode as such there was normal mode loot and heroic mode loot which had upgraded stats whilst the trinkets themselves were unique the normal and heroic mode versions were not, this led to many best lists containing the exact two same trinkets one from normal one from heroic and the stacking effects compounded just how good this combo could be.
The stacking of trinkets became very noticeable in pvp too especially in tournaments where there were no restrictions on what gear you could use and of course people who played humans could take the biggest advantage of this as their race had a built-in trinket perhaps this is why i ended up seeing the nerf bat.
Spell Power Rework
For the third time wrath of the lich king saw the third change to spell power for the third expansion in a row and it wouldn't be the last time either in classic you either have dps or healing gear in tbc you have dps or healing gear but the healing gear also had one third of its stats as dps, in wrath of the lich king it's now just spell power healing and damage gear as the concept is gone both just get benefits from spell power gailing on spells and gear was changed to make up for this with blizzard aiming to keep both healers and damage dealers on a similar level to how they already were.
This was great for dual speccing as it allowed much easier changing between heal and dps as of where it was needed though it did increase competition among casters for the best items.
Death Knights Toned Down
The launch of wrath the lich king saw blizzard's first ever goer to new class and it went um well i guess release death knight to this day is easily the most overpowered class that has ever been in wow and it's just not even close, i wish i recorded some of the stuff you could pull off on launch dk, it was like playing your own one-man army with every tool you could possibly want.
They had stun immunities, magic communities, fear immunities, chains, vice versa, roots, they did absolutely insane damage and moreover every single spec they had could dps and every single spec could tank for real it was wild assuming which i feel we can a 3.3.5 launch blizzard have reigned in the new class considerably taking them back from the most overpowered state of a class ever to certainly very powerful but not nearly as broken as they were on launch
I want to dedicate a full video to this, a before and after for the dk in wrath.
Wrath of the Lich King saw another riding revamp, 60 speed mounts are now trainable at level 20, epics at 40, flying at 60 and epic flying at 70.
They also squish the cost of training your mounts massively along with these series of changes after the lich king was the era of accessibility after all and this was one more reason to go ahead and try an alt.
To top this off, the time for you to randomly wiggle your hands about an amount that just somehow appears was changed from 3 seconds down to 1.5 and all ground mounts now took some swimming lessons, not flying mounts though no swimming lessons for them.
It feels like a bit of a cop-out answer but i had to do it, you know what's going to be the biggest change the main reason things won't be the way they were anymore? the players, there are going to be a lot of people chasing the feelings or experiences that they didn't quite fulfill or they missed out on the first time around in wrath.
Imagine the amount of people hopping layers for the time lost proto-drakes or the spirit beast tames you're going to be hearing that algalon speech so often in dalaran as he's defeated time and again content which was considered incredibly hard cleared on day one and people sweating out the meta arena comps at 1500.
If there's one thing that i can guarantee will be different it's who you are and who you're playing alongside, i still think the game is going to be a lot of fun though and it has so much to offer perhaps just put the mental checklist down for a bit to the side enjoy it when it happens and make some new memories from it.
Let me know your thoughts then if anything stood out to you in particular and hopefully you learned something, new wrath contained a colossal volume of content so there will be plenty more from me in the future on the expansion and if you like the content and want to see more of it's kind drop a subscribe and a like on the channel people on youtube sail a lot but
they do it for a reason. It does really help, as always guys. Thank you all so much for watching and listening in and I shall see you all on the next one very soon!