The Wrath of the Lich King release date has been announced! 13 November will see the opening of Northrend and the unleashing of death knights across the Plaguelands. This really narrows down some other dates too, as the 3.0.2 patch will launch sometime between now and then, with a best guess of early to mid October.
This is exciting of course and I'm really looking forward to it. Of course there's lots of new cool features to anticipate. But more than anything I'm just excited to see the new zones of Northrend.
The Outland zones of Burning Crusade were a mixed bag for me. I wasn't a huge fan of the milieu — the fragmenting planet, crashed spaceships, and crystalline aliens that fill Outlands. I never enjoyed the aesthetics of Hellfire Peninsula, Shadowmoon Valley, Blades Edge, or Netherstorm. They are too... much. Too much sparking, too much shattered bare rock, too much ambient sound of pulsating energies.
And yet it's astounding how much better the gameplay experience was in Burning Crusade. Individual quests were better designed, and the quests string together so much more nicely. It's telling that a leveling guide like Jame's is so crucial in old Azeroth, but almost redundant in Outlands. And other design qualities are miles ahead too. Even though I don't like the aesthetics, the art is beautiful and extremely well executed. Storylines are nicely worked into the questing, and it's easier to feel a part of the world than it ever was in Azeroth.
With another two years of experience and technical advances — and revenue — Blizzard will do an even better job at these details in WotLK. I'm really excited to see how it looks and feels, how it works. But they've also returned to a setting that really appeals to me. Any environment with a better 'real-world' feel would be great, but a snowy, mountainous Nordic scene is just great for me. I really expect to have a very entertaining time in Northrend.
With all that excitement coming, it feels like the current gameplay is a bit of a waiting game. It's a time for looking forward rather than focusing on the events at hand, and my play has been a bit unfocused as a result. I spent some time last week thinking about my goals for the remaining time of Burning Crusade. Now that the date has been announced, I know how much time I'll have for accomplishing them.
I accomplished a big goal last night by getting Sali her epic flyer. I've also reached some rep goals by getting Alamein to Exalted with the Sha'tar and Revered with the Consortium. What's left on the plate?
- Exalted with Cenarion Expedition
- Revered with Keepers of Time
- Get 100 BoJ (currently at 87) and get my [Crystalwind Leggings]
- Get enough Honor points to get a PvP helm (and maybe shoulders) for Feral/tanking
- Exalted with Shattered Sun Offensive
- Revered with the Consortium
- Get to at least level 60
- Level Enchanting to 375
- Sell off most of stock of unneeded materials
- Clean up bag and bank space
- Delete one or two unneeded toons
- Get an action bar addon configured
Beyond that, I don't know. I might spend some time on leveling my new hunter, some PvP with Sali, and maybe some other stuff too. I'm still having fun, so why not enjoy the end times... of Burning Crusade?