Blizzard Entertainment has announced a new expansion pack for the World of Warcraft at its annual BlizzCon gaming festival.

The second expansion to World of Warcraft will be called the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King and will open the forbidding wasteland of Northrend to exploration by the hardiest adventurers.

Blizzard say that the expansion will offer “New levels of power, challenging new dungeons and encounters, an exciting new character profession, and the game’s first hero class are just some of the new features awaiting players in Wrath of the Lich King”.

In addition to new story content, Wrath of the Lich King will introduce a number of features specifically requested by players over the past couple of years.

For those that need a recap, players last visited Northrend in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, when Arthas Menethil fused with the spirit of Ner’zhul to become the Lich King, one of the most powerful beings in the Warcraft universe. He now broods atop the Frozen Throne deep in Icecrown Citadel, clutching the rune blade Frostmourne and marshaling the undead armies of the Scourge. In Wrath of the Lich King, the forces of the Alliance and the Horde will venture into battle against the Scourge amid Northrend’s howling winds and fields of jagged ice.

New features coming with the game’s second expansion include:

- Death Knight Hero Class: Create a high-level Death Knight character - the game’s first hero class - once certain challenges have been met.

- Increased Level Cap: Advance to level 80 and gain potent new talents and abilities along the way.

- Northrend: Explore the harsh new continent of Northrend, packed with new zones, quests, dungeons, monsters, and items - and do battle with the undead armies of the Lich King.

- “Inscription” Profession: Learn this exciting new profession and gain unique ways to permanently enhance spells and abilities in the game.

- Siege Weapons and Destructible Buildings: Take the battle to another level with new player-vs.-player game mechanics and new battlefields to wage war on.

- New Character Customisation: Change how characters look and express themselves, with different hairstyles and dance animations.