[World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade] As lufia22 posted earlier, Blizzard has announced the name of the upcoming WoW expansion. The Burning Crusade refers to The Burning Legion from Warcraft 3. Basically they are the “phantom menace” of the Warcraft universe. They are responsible for the fall of the High elves (pre-Warcraft games), the corruption of the Orcs (Warcraft 1 & 2), and the rise of the Undead Scourge (Warcraft 3).
Details are still limited at this time. The link above to the official expansion site has a great FAQ with more details. There is also a trailer. If you want to know everything I suggest you go ahead and check it out. Rumors online about the expansion have been around since WoW was still in beta. While some were wild speculations, a lot of the rumors seem to be true. I believe even the name Burning Crusade had been leaked online. Some of the stuff you could have predicted even without the rumors. Everyone pretty much knew the new expansion would have new items, quests, world bosses, dungeons, a new continent, and new areas. In fact, some of the new zones are already in the current game. They are off limits to players although some intrepid players have managed to explore them at the risk of getting their accounts banned. The entrances to the new areas of Outland and Quel’Thalas are alread in the game. To find out more about these new features check out the official site.
Besides the new features that everyone knew was going to be in the game, a few surprises were also announced. Well maybe they aren’t huge surprises, but everyone was busy guessing what new items, zones, races, and classes were coming; not too many people talked about these other gameplay changes. Socketed items will be introduced so items like those in Diablo 2 will now be available. A new profession called jewel crafting has been announced. I wonder how many people will be dropping their current professions for this one. Also in the future are flying mounts (I don’t even have my epic yet!) and an increase in the level cap to level 70. I bet all those people that kept doing quests at level 60 to increase their reputation are going to love that.
Early speculation online was on new races. Blood elves, ogres, or the naga were widely suggested for Horde. Pandarens and furbolg were rumored for Alliance. Well the initial announcement has confirmed blood elves for Horde. This ties in to the logic of a lot of people who felt that Blizzard would give the Horde a more visually appealing race to draw more players to the undermanned Horde faction. I’m not sure naked elves will look right danceing on the roof of the Ogrimarr bank, but I can’t fault their logic. As much as they would never admit it, a lot of MMO players love to show off and care about the way they look. I personally know a guy that player Alliance just because Horde characters “are ugly”. It’s a little lazy to just re-color the night elves and call them a new race. I was really hoping to be an ogre or a dranei. The Pandaren and furbolg rumors were part of the logic that Alliance needed a larger character model to make up for taurens, male orcs, and the really tall trolls, since the alliance has 2 smaller races (dwarf and gnome). I like this idea since clicking on those little gnomes can be hard during PvP. I would prefer not to see pandarens since according to Warcraft lore they are a reclusive race who’s main goal is to get good beer. Well Alliance players will have to wait a little longer since the new Alliance race has yet to be announced. Surprisingly there is no mention of whether any new classes will be introduced although all existing classes will get new talents.
Perhaps the most interesting (to me, a guy that never does raid instances) announcement was that the new battlegrounds area would be the Caverns of Time. A lot of people thought this would be the site of a new dungeon (the entrance is already in the current game). Apparently, you will be able to travel back in time and play battlegrounds in some of the most famous battles of Warcraft lore. This means you can relive the battle of Mount Hyjal from Warcraft 3 as your WoW character. They also mention some other battle they are planning to recreate. That alone probably mean Blizzard will soon be getting more of my hard earned money.