Everything we know about World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Classic

by John Stapel

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WoW: Wrath of the Lich King Classic
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Now Blizzard has confirmed that Wrath of the Lich King Classic is arriving this year, it's time to get excited all over again for one of World of Warcraft's most beloved expansions. The original WotLK launched at the end of 2008, essentially bringing Arthas Menethil, as the Lich King, front and centre for the first time since Warcraft 3.

Like Burning Crusade Classic before it, WotLK Classic won't be exactly the same as it was 14 years ago. The changes aren't big though, and I'll go over everything below. Here's what we know about World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Classic. 

When you can expect to play Wrath of the Lich King Classic 

Blizzard hasn't confirmed a specific release date yet, though it is expected to arrive sometime in 2022. The beta is expected in July or August.

With the new Dragonflight expansion most likely arriving on retail WoW in early 2023, we're probably going to see Wrath of the Lich King Classic arrive several months before that. So we might be looking at a September to November release.

How much will it cost? 

Wrath of the Lich King Classic will be part of the monthly World of Warcraft subscription ($15/£10/€13) and includes access to WoW Classic/TBC Classic/WoW Shadowlands. 

It's unclear whether you'll need to pay to clone your character (if you also want to continue playing the other Classic versions), but I'll update this guide as soon as there's more. Otherwise, you will only need to pay extra if you decide to use a level boost or transfer your existing character to another server.

WoW: Wrath of the Lich King Classic

(Image credit: Blizzard)

What to expect from Wrath of the Lich King Classic 

The second World of Warcraft expansion is one of the most popular. Arthas Menethil's journey started back in Warcraft 3, and this expansion takes us to Northrend to essentially conclude his story and face him as the Lich King in Icecrown Citadel. This is also the expansion that introduced the popular Ulduar raid as well as the Death Knight class.

Here's a summary of what the expansion includes:

  • Level cap increased to 80
  • Death Knight class (starts at level 55)
  • Northrend continent opens up with 11 new zones
  • Several new raids including Ulduar and Icecrown Citadel
  • Dual talent specialisation
  • Achievements
  • Inscription profession added

WoW: Wrath of the Lich King Classic

(Image credit: Blizzard)

So, what will be different? 

Blizzard has stated that a number of quality of life changes will be added to Wrath of the Lich King Classic, that weren't originally there in the original. 

Level 70 boosts will be available to buy so you can step into Azeroth and begin your journey to Northrend from launch, rather than having to grind through the previous 70 levels before you're able to hit the new stuff. Level boosts were offered for Burning Crusade Classic, too.

One of the more surprising changes is the removal of the dungeon finder tool, which was originally added in the original WotLK expansion. Many of the complaints about modern WoW is that it's lost its sense of community, and this is largely blamed on the introduction of automated group finders where there's little need to communicate with one another to get into group content.

The Barber Shop will see many improvements over the original and might even include many of the options that are available in modern WoW. And thanks to player feedback during TBC Classic, Personal Arena Rating will replace Arena Teams in WotLK. 

WoW: Wrath of the Lich King Classic

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Wrath of the Lich King Classic phases 

We don't know what the planned schedule for the WotLK phases is, but we do know what content you can expect for each one. Here's the list (via Wowhead ): 

  • Phase 1: Naxxramas, The Eye of Eternity, The Obsidian Sanctum
  • Phase 2: Ulduar
  • Phase 3: Trial of the Crusader, Onyxia's Lair
  • Phase 4: Icecrown Citadel
  • Phase 5: The Ruby Sanctum

You'll be able to make a Death Knight during the WotLK pre-patch, too, which will give you the chance to try out the "new" hero class before arriving in Northrend for the first time. 

Sarah's earliest gaming memories involve playing Jet Set Willy on the ZX Spectrum at a friend's house. These days, and when not writing guides, most of her spare time goes into MMOs—though she's quite partial to JRPGs too. She has spent much of the last decade playing the likes of Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, Final Fantasy 14, and World of Warcraft. Sarah has been writing about games for several years and, before joining PC Gamer, freelanced for the likes of TechRadar, GamingBible, and Rock Paper Shotgun. One of her fondest hopes is to one day play through the ending of Final Fantasy X without breaking down into a sobbing heap. She probably has more wolves in Valheim than you.