World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (aka TBC)
The first expansion for World of Warcraft, was announced on October 28th, 2005 and released on January 16th, 2007. The main features include an increase of the level cap, the introduction of the blood elves and the draenei as playable races, and the addition of the world of Outland, along with many new zones, dungeons, items, quests, and monsters.
In preparation for The Burning Crusade, Blizzard released patch 2.0.1 in North America and Europe on December 5th, 2006. The patch introduced some of The Burning Crusade’s content prior to the expansion itself — including a revamp of the honor system, skirmish Arena matches, and a new Looking For Group interface.
The expansion was released in standard as well as Collector’s Edition packages. The Collector’s Edition of The Burning Crusade includes a bonus Behind-The-Scenes DVD, an in-game Netherwhelp pet and many other exclusive extras.
The quests in The Burning Crusade are generally set in continuity with original lore quests, meaning that timeline speaking, BC is basically the direct sequel to the original WoW. Some quests set in Outland, especially those that are related to Illidan, do speak of a five-year hiatus in the storyline, which suggests a one-year long interval between BC and the original. This is however unconfirmed, since there never was any real statement that TFT takes place one year after RoC. But generally agreed, there was a four year break between Warcraft III and WoW.
The expansion concretes around Outland, the former world of Draenor and the new continent in the game, and quests generally allow players to explore the world on their own. The main storyline points to Illidan the Betrayer and what happened to him during the last years. Players can also go on quests that suggest helping Illidan in his time-being or slaying him for a special reward.
Other than that, many links between the former world of Draenor and the current Outland are also made, such as the opening of the Dark Portal by Medivh, which is an instance quest located in Caverns of Time. Retelling of the old relationship between Orcish shamans and the Burning Legion is also told in quest-sequence storyline.
The Burning Crusade also centers on the two new playable races and their affiliation to the gameline. Many plotholes are filled with quests that set the blood elves in with the Horde and the draenei with the Alliance. Players still have to be part of the old world quests in order to obtain lore related to Outland.
The Burning Crusade contains two new playable races:
Blood elf — A faction of former Alliance members join the Horde in the expansion. They are led by Regent Lord Lor’themar Theron. The blood elf capital is Silvermoon City. Their racial mount is the bird-like hawkstrider and their Native language is Thalassian.
Draenei — A faction of uncorrupted eredar join the Alliance. They are led by their prophet, Velen. The draenei capital city is the Exodar. Their racial mount is the elephant-like elekk and their language is Draenei.
The expansion also allows previously faction-exclusive classes to be played on the opposing faction, with the inclusion of Horde blood elf paladins and Alliance draenei shaman.
Each new race received its own new mount:
Blood elf — A hawkstrider (originally called a cockatrice). These mounts can be found outside the entrance to Silvermoon City. Blood elf paladin mounts, are the same as Alliance though they are red instead of the Alliance blue.
Draenei — An elekk. These mounts can be found outside The Exodar.
New mounts are also available via drop from high-end instances such as Karazhan.
Flying mounts are only usable in Outland at level 60. The Horde and Alliance have the wyvern and gryphon, respectively, as standard mounts. The epic mounts are the armored wyvern and armored gryphon.
In addition there are rare mounts such as the netherdrake and the swift Nether Drake. An armored nether drake can be obtained by ranking in the top 0.5% at the end of an Arena season, and the unarmored netherdrake can be obtained through a series of quests. There are also Nether Rays.
Normal flying mount training costs 225g and the mount costs 50g . Training for flying mounts requires a skill of 150 (epic mount) and brings it up to 225. The epic version of the flying mount cost 5,000g for the training and 100g to buy. Training for epic flying mounts requires 225 riding skill and upgrades it to 300. Faction reputation discounts apply to the prices.
Druids receive Flight Form at level 60 that offers the ability to fly and has a speed equivalent to a normal flying mount. Druids may obtain a quest at level 70 to obtain an epic flight form or wait until level 71 to train it without doing the quest chain. Purchasing riding skill 300 is a requirement for the quest.
Character changes, New spells and Talents:
In the expansion, Blizzard added five to six new spells for the 60-70 level range to each class in order to round out the classes better. The talent trees were also greatly expanded and revised. All classes have additional talents leading up to a 41 talent point ability. Players gain new spells at every level from 60-70 instead of every two levels.
Since the Paladin and Shaman classes are no longer unique to either faction, Blizzard added new abilities to each class to make them what they truly feel they should be: Paladins received a long-awaited spell, Righteous Defense (a long-range, mass taunt-like ability, like the Death Knight’s Dark Command); and Shamans received the spell Bloodlust (a long-cooldown, powerful buff) to complement their DPS and utility roles.
See each class’s respective page for more specific information regarding new spells and talents.
Combat rating system:
With the release of The Burning Crusade, critical strike, defense, hit rate, spell critical, and dodge stats as well as a new stat, resilience, changed from being absolute percentages to ratings, with each player level requiring more rating points to achieve the same absolute percentage.
New Zones and New Starting areas:
The blood elves have two new starting areas located in the Eastern Kingdom:
Eversong Woods — Level 1-10
Ghostlands — Level 10-20
Similarly, the draenei have two starting zones off the west coast of Kalimdor:
Azuremyst Isle — Level 1-10
Bloodmyst Isle — Level 10-20
The expansion heralds the addition of Outland, an entirely new continent/world, reachable through the Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands and portals in several major cities. Interactive maps and otherwise detailed maps are available for use.
Outland contains the following zones:
Hellfire Peninsula — Level 58-63
Zangarmarsh — Level 60-64
Terokkar Forest — Level 62-65
Nagrand — Level 64-67
Blade’s Edge Mountains — Level 65-68
Netherstorm — Level 67-70
Shadowmoon Valley — Level 67-70
New high-level dungeons:
The expansion has added several dungeons, most with separate wings to make runs faster, including some in both in Outland and Azeroth. The dungeons contain a plethora of new equipment including Tier 4 , Tier 5 and Tier 6 armor pieces.
Karazhan in Deadwind Pass
Caverns of Time in Tanaris
Zul’Aman in Ghostlands (added in patch 2.3)
Isle of Quel’Danas in Quel’Thalas (added in patch 2.4)
Hellfire Citadel, located on the Hellfire Peninsula
Coilfang Reservoir in the Zangarmarsh
Auchindoun in the Terokkar Forest
Tempest Keep outside Netherstorm
Gruul’s Lair in the Blade’s Edge Mountains
Black Temple in the Shadowmoon Valley
Raid and Instance Changes:
All future raids will now have caps not exceeding 25 players (older raids will remain at a 40 player cap, at least for now). This was done to allow a greater number of players to participate in epic raids, and to allow more flexibility in the design of encounters.
In addition, high level instances have a feature allowing players to have the option to run the instances at two different difficulty levels: Normal and Heroic. This would turn normal level 60-70 instances into much harder level 70 instances with better loot. The final boss of every hard mode instance will drop epic items, and every boss in hard mode instances will drop tokens to get special gear available in Shattrath. These instances will be marked with a purple portal.
Jewelcrafting and socketed items.
Jewelcrafting allows the crafting of rings, trinkets, necklaces and special jewels that can be used in specific items, called Socketed Items.
New Specializations and Profession Abilities:
For professions, the expansion adds a new level past Artisan (300) called Master (375). This can be maxed to 390 for gnomish engineers, draenei jewelcrafters, tauren herbalists, and blood elf enchanters.
Characters are also be able to take advantage of new specializations within each profession as well as many new recipes, enchantments, patterns and schematics.
New PvP features:
Eye of the Storm
A new battleground called Eye of the Storm is based in Outland. The battleground features a mix of holding territory and capture the flag styles of gameplay.
Each team has 15 members ranging from levels 61-69, 70-79 and 80 in it’s own bracket.
Arena PvP System:
Following the introduction of Arena PvP, level 70 players are able to win prizes in these matches. The rewards for the arena is on par with even the most powerful PvE rewards. There are currently three Arenas: The Ring of Trials in Nagrand, the Circle of Blood in Blade’s Edge Mountains, and the Ruins of Lordaeron, above Undercity.
Contrary to the popular belief that Blizzard brought back none of the original voice actors, actually almost half of them were brought back.
In Battle for Mount Hyjal the voice actors of Thrall and Tyrande were the original voice actors; Azgalor and Rage Winterchill didn’t have speech in Warcraft III, so it can be told that their voice actors weren’t changed; Archimonde voice actor was the same although he sounds different, it’s probable that Blizzard used different modulations for the voice. Anetheron voice actor was changed but probably because of his minor role in Warcraft III (with just three quotes) Blizzard wasn’t able to find him.
Illidan’s original voice actor, Matthew Yang King, was changed due to guild union reasons. But his lieutenants Kael’thas and Lady Vashj were kept with the original voice actors. Akama’s voice actor was changed probably for his minor role in Warcraft III (with just the gag quotes and two cinematic speeches). And Maiev’s original voice actor was brought back.
Kil’jaeden’s and Magtheridon’s voice actors weren’t brought back, probably for their minor roles in Warcraft III (with Magtheridon just having two quotes and Kil’jaeden appearing only in two interludes).
The Alliance Expedition heros’s voice actors weren’t changed either, they were given the default human/dwarven voices, however Khadgar’s voice actor was indeed changed in News From Outland: Crisis at Da Portal! official video. The Horde of Draenor hero’s voice actors were changed, Kargath’s voice actor used to be Bill Roper but he left Blizzard years before the release of The Burning Crusade, while Teron’s voice actor was changed for unknown reasons.
Rexxar’s and Nazgrel’s voices are also the default voice of the orcs (ironically the default voice of the orcs and Rexxar’s voice actor in Warcraft III are both made by Chris Metzen). Zul’jin’s voice actor wasn’t really changed because in Warcraft II he used the default troll voice and in The Burning Crusade he was given a unique voice.
Medivh’s voice actor was changed from Michael Bell to Cam Clarke for unknown reasons. Sylvanas’s original voice actress didn’t sing Lament of the Highborne but probably because Piera Coppola isn’t a singer.