A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wrath of the Lich King is an expansion to World of Warcraft, a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG); and that players must own both the original World of Warcraft game and the Burning Crusade expansion to play. Parents need to know that Wrath of the Lich King has dark themes. Players can choose to play the Death Knight, a character raised from the dead into the service of the evil lich king Arthas. Some Death Knight quests require the murder of unarmed innocent civilians. Parents should also be aware that since Wrath of the Lich King is an online game, social interactions can be unpredictable and players should be wary of giving out personal information to anyone they meet online. Wrath of the Lich King does not cost any additional online fees beyond World of Warcraft's standard monthly fee of $14.99.
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What's it about?
WORLD OF WARCRAFT: WRATH OF THE LICH KING, an expansion pack to the hugely popular World of Warcraft massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORG), chronicles the return of Arthas, the evil undead king responsible for destruction and mayhem across the world of Azeroth. Arthas has begun assembling a vast army determined to lay waste to Azeroth and its denizens; players can join Arthas' crusade against the living by stepping into the role of a Death Knight. The Wrath of the Lich King expansion also includes access to a new continent, Northrend, which is full of new content aimed at experienced players.
World of Warcraft and its expansions allow players to design a character and develop its abilities over time by engaging in combat and completing quests. The universe of World of Warcraft spans several continents and is full of entertaining quests for individuals and groups to play. Wrath of the Lich King adds more of the same high-quality content, with additional features such as destructible buildings and siege vehicles for use in player-versus-player (PvP) combat.
Is it any good?
Although Wrath of the Lich King is feature-rich, most of it is aimed at high-level characters. The Death Knight character class, for example, is only available to players with characters at level 55 or above. The new content on Northrend is aimed at level 68 and higher, and the overall level cap has been raised from 70 to 80. This makes Wrath of the Lich King a must-have for long-time World of Warcraft players, but is non-essential for those just starting their journeys in Azeroth.
Those with the appropriate level of experience, however, are in for more of the same great gameplay that has made World of Warcraft such a huge success. The new Death Knight class is well-conceived and fun to play, and the villainous spin on the Death Knight character will likely appeal to older players who've tired of the standard do-gooder heroic mentality. The new playable areas are exciting to explore and terrific-looking. Other features, such as a system for tracking player achievements and a new Inscription profession, only enhance an already value-packed expansion.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can discuss online safety with their teenage children. Is it ever safe to give out personal information online? Families can also take this opportunity to discuss online etiquette with their teenage children. How does online behavior differ from "real-world" behavior, and why? Families can use World of Warcraft and its expansions to introduce their teenage children to the heroic epic genre in literature and films. What are the similarities between World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings, and Beowulf?
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