World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Preview

1UP is next in line with a preview of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King based on their time in the expansion’s ongoing beta test.

One of your first quests is to win five duels with Death Knight initiates. You can pick on the NPC initiates milling around and beat up on them pretty easily, but you also get credit for winning duels against fellow players.

Another of the earliest quests involves stealing a horse from a nearby stable, and this was my first, brief taste of Blizzard’s new ‘vehicle’ system. Once you hop on the horse, a new action bar replaces your usual bar and offers you a speed burst ability. The follow up to this quest warps you into some kind of alternate dark reality (similar to when you die and are in ghost form), and you need to challenge and kill a mounted dark rider. When you do, you take his horse, and bingo, that’s your new mount. The Deathcharger looks similar to a warlock’s Dreadsteed, but the hooves glow bluish white, and when you mount up your horse elicits sort of a Mr. Ed-from-Hell whinny-scream. Quite a few of the quests offer blue-quality armor as rewards as well as talent points (I’m 25% of the way through level 56 and rolling with mostly blue gear and 20 talent points).

And another particularly memorable quest, and also a reminder that this is indeed a beta, involved hiding in a mining cart and infiltrating a cannon ship. I had to take control of a cannon and kill 200 Scarlet Crusaders, who were conveniently in formation right there on the shore. Problem was, once I opened fire, so did they, along with their beach-based cannons. I must have died about six times before I managed to massacre 200 of those bastards. And yeah, maybe I missed something key and was doing it wrong, but I prefer to think that someone at Blizzard screwed up big time and should probably be fired. No, but really, the quest looks like it’ll be fun once it’s working right.

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