Blizzard announces Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne

After hinting around for the last several days, Blizzard Entertainment today came clean with details about its forthcoming expansion pack for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Entitled Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, the new expansion pack will, in the tradition of past Blizzard add-ons, augment both the single and multiplayer experience.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos is the latest installment in Blizzard's legendary real-time strategy game series. Launched last summer simultaneously for Windows and Mac OS, Warcraft III returns players to the mythical land of Azeroth, a place populated by mystical and dangerous creatures, as well as four different species that combat each other for dominance: Humans, Orcs, Night Elves and The Undead. Although Warcraft III retains many elements that made its predecessors popular, the game focuses on a story-driven plot with altercations between smaller forces lead by Heroes -- special characters with unique powers.

Since its release in July, Warcraft IIII has sold more than 2 million units around the world, and has proven to be a tremendous online success through Blizzard's own Battle.net free online gaming service.

A new chapter is added to the Warcraft III story with the addition of The Frozen Throne. Players return to Azeroth months after Archimonde and the Burning Legion saw their defeat at the Battle of Mount Hyjal, and a new threat is unleashed: Inside the Icecrown glacier lies the imprisoned soul of the evil Lich King Ner'zhul. The renegade Night Elf Illidan and the treacherous Death Knight Arthas both seek the powers within. It's up to you to find out what schemes drive these two beings on their quest.

Features of The Frozen Throne include one new Hero per race, with new spells and magical abilities; new units, with new abilities and spells; 3 new tilesets offering new lands to explore; player-built shops that are unique to each race; Neutral Heroes, which can be recruited by anyone, and an advanced world editor that enables you to create your own campaigns with your own cutscenes and voiceovers.

New multiplayer maps have been added, too -- along with new game types, clan and tournament support through Battle.net.

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne is anticipated for a summer 2003 release and will cost US$35. Blizzard expects the new expansion pack to get a Teen rating from the ESRB.

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