“The Lich King Arthas has set in motion events that could lead to the extinction of all life on Azeroth. With the armies of the undead and the necromantic power of the plague threatening to sweep across the land, only the mightiest heroes can oppose the Lich King’s will and end his reign of terror for all time.”

So starts the announcement by Blizzard Entertainment that they are working on the second expansion pack for the ever-popular World of Warcraft massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Looks like Technologia will have to save the day yet again. Won’t these evil guys ever learn that they cannot defeat masses of fanatical gamers?

Among the features announced in the press release was that the maximum achievable player level will be raised by 10 to a total of 80, thus exposing the double-edged sword of MMORPGs: the game has no ending and the game never ends. Or as Joe Ely might say: The road goes on forever and the party never ends.

The Rise of the Lich King, as the expansion is titled, will open an entire new continent for players to explore and quest. It will also add siege weapons to the PVP mix, which has been promised in many previous games, but not delivered on fully. And a new class, the Death Knight, which will be the first hero class. We are not sure what a hero class will encompass, but we know we want it.

There is no definitive release date yet, but my best guesstimate is Feb 2008. I don’t think The Rise of the Lich King will be ready for Christmas shopping season, but soon after. I look for a bundle of the original World of Warcraft and the first expansion, The Burning Crusade, as the Blizzard stocking stuffer for 2007.