Some of the features announced at BlizzCon 2007 include:
- Level cap raised to 80
- Battle with the Lich King at the Frozen Throne
- One new playable class: Death Knight
- A new continent: Northrend
- The creation of a new profession: Inscription
- Profession level cap raised to 450
- New items, quests, dungeons, creatures, spells and weapons
- Siege weapons and destructible buildings (for PvP)
- New character-customization options, including new hairstyles and dances
- A non-instanced Battleground
- Improved Graphics Engine (applied to shaders, flame effects, water appearance and detailed shadows)
- New factions including the Speartusk and the Taunka, a racial cousin to the Tauren
Subsequent features announced or confirmed by Blizzard include:
- Achievements for both the expansion and existing content
- New non-inventory storage for Mounts, Vanity Pets, and battleground, arena, and raiding tokens.
- Built-in threat meter
- New Calendar feature
- Ability to link professions via chat
Several new instances will be included in the expansion pack. Another instance will appear in the Caverns of Time, set during the human campaign of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, in which Prince Arthas massacred the townspeople of Stratholme because they were infected by the plague. Many new 5-man, 10-man, and 25-man dungeons will be located in Northrend, including:
- Utgarde Keep - An instance in the Howling Fjord filled with the Vrykul, a Viking-like race devoted to serving the Lich King. It has two wings - Utgarde Keep, and Utgarde Pinnacle.
- Azjol-Nerub - The contested capital of the Nerubian race of spider-people.
- Icecrown Citadel - Players will battle Arthas the Lich King, the ruler of the Undead Scourge.
- Naxxramas - An updated version of the original Naxxramas, redesigned to cater for 10 and 25 man content.
Blizzard has also confirmed a new instance hub called the Nexus, home of the Blue Dragonflight, which will contain at least three instances. The first, a low 70s instance set in Ice Caverns, the second a high level instance seeing the player and their group face enemies on floating rings, and a final raid instance against the Blue Dragon Aspect Malygos, which takes place in a rift in the sky. It has also been confirmed that all raid instances included with the expansion will be both 10-man and 25-man versions. It has been stated that the quality of loot in 10 and 25 man versions will differ (i.e. 10 man version will be Tier 7, 25 man would be Tier 8)
At BlizzCon 2007, Blizzard also announced the debut of Hero classes, a long awaited feature to World of Warcraft. Hero classes will consist of classes from Warcraft III that were too strong to play from level one or could not fit a primary class role. Currently, Blizzard has confirmed only one Hero class: the Death Knight. In an interview with one developer, he said that for the time being there is only one hero class, though more will be introduced in future expansions.
The Death Knight is the first announced Hero class for World of Warcraft. Death Knights, according to Blizzard developers, will be able to fulfill the tank and DPS roles sufficiently. Death Knights can use plate armor and new rune weapons like Runeswords and Runeaxes, but they cannot use shields. According to an interview, a Death Knight's summoned pets will be more similar to a Priest's Shadowfiend, a Mage's Water Elemental, or a Druid's Treants in that they are pets with a set duration. In the current beta stage death knights that have put a specific number of talent points into the Unholy Tree are granted full control over their ghoul like a hunter's or a warlock's pet (the ghoul is still set duration). The Death Knight will also be gaining the use of a new item called Sigil's which will be similar to a Shamans Totem slot, paladin's libram or a druids Idol.
Players who purchase Wrath of the Lich King will not be able to create a first-level Death Knight. Instead, players will be able to create one level 55 Death Knight on each realm if they have a character on any realm whose level is 55 or greater. Players who already meet this requirement will be able to create Death Knights at launch; others will be able to create one as they level to 55 on their other characters. Newly created Death Knights will begin with a full arsenal of spells and abilities. Both the Alliance and Horde factions will have access to the class, and may be of any race.
Instead of relying on rage, energy, or mana, the Death Knight will use a new resource system: runes, which will be displayed under the player portrait. The Death Knight has two of each rune available for use and after they are used they enter a ten second "cooldown" period before they can be used again. Currently each tree has talents that help speed up the cooldown on a certain set (blood, frost, unholy) of runes. With specific talents the Death Knight can also turn their runes into Death Runes which can be used as any of the three separate runes.
The Death Knight will also require an additional resource called Runic Power to cast some of their more powerful spells. Runic Power works similar to a warriors Rage in that it slowly builds up during combat (unlike warriors the Death Knight must cast spells requiring runes to gain runic power) and will decay over time when out of combat.
The profession of Inscription is similar to the profession of Enchanting. However, Inscription permanently enhances the attributes of players' spells and abilities. For example, an "Inscriber" could take the Fireball spell, and give it the ability to knockback or daze an enemy. Inscribers will accomplish this by creating Glyphs that other players can put into their glyph spots (reached by opening up the talent tree and clicking on Glyphs. Glyphs can range from increasing the duration of Sap, reducing the cool down for Sprint, increasing the critical strike chance of Eviscerate etc. (all examples are for the rogue class)
Blizzard has announced that they will be revamping World of Warcraft's graphics engine to some degree with the release of the new expansion. For example, the developers are experimenting with a new shader to use in areas containing ice, also the fire effects and shadows in the game will be improved to seem more realistic.
Release of content patch
On August 25, 2008, Blizzard Poster Eyonix announced a release of a content patch which includes many of the new features in the expansion. This is similar to the way patch 2.0 was applied before The Burning Crusade.
That was all copied from wikipedia.com.
With the release of Wrath of the Lich King approaching, we wanted to provide you with some important information. In preparation for the expansion, we will be issuing a new content patch in the coming weeks. Much like the patch made available shortly before The Burning Crusade's release, this content patch is designed to bridge current game content with that of the expansion and will contain some exciting changes and additions. We have outlined some of the larger features scheduled to release with the patch below:
As mentioned above, this is not a comprehensive list, just some of the major highlights. We’ll post the full patch notes as soon as they’re available. Regarding Inscription, please note that all Burning Crusade players will be able to select Inscription as one of their two professions and level up to a skill level of 375 with it. Upon the release of Wrath of the Lich King, players who purchase and install the expansion will be able to continue leveling in Inscription and the other professions beyond 375.
- New class spells and talents
- Stormwind Harbor
- Barbershops in capital cities
- Zeppelin towers outside of Orgrimmar and Tirisfal Glades
- Two brand-new Arenas featuring challenging new layouts, terrain hazards, and moving obstacles
- Guild calendar
- Hunter pet skill revamp
- New profession: Inscription