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About the product
- An increase in the level cap to 70.
- Two new playable races: the Blood Elves and the Dramamine.
- New flying mounts in Outland.
- Entire new continent: Outland, reachable through the Dark Portal.
- Many new high-level dungeons to explore in Azeroth, Outland, and elsewhere.
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Blizzard Entertainment took online role playing by storm with their hit title, World of Warcraft. With mind-boggling improvements in graphics, gameplay networking, and interface -- really every category -- this game became the crown prince of the genre. World of Warcraft players will be excited by the approaching release of the new expansion pack: World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. This pack expands the already massive, award-winning multiplayer online role-playing game by tremendous bounds, adding new races, lands, battlegrounds, professions and items, and much, much more. Although no release date has been set, here is sample of what you can expect from The Burning Crusade.
The Burning Crusade is the highly anticipated, unreleased expansion pack for Blizzard's "World of Warcraft."
What lies in Medivh's tower? View larger.
Blood Elves emerge as a new race in The Burning Crusade. View larger.
The Blood Elves seek the golden destiny that has been promised to them. View larger.
Warcraft's newest continent: Outland. View larger.
Once a beautiful land, Outland has been ravaged by war. View larger.
Outland is a vital strategic location. View larger.
The expansion pack features an increase in the level cap to 70. There are two new playable races, including the magical Blood Elves that you can read more about below. The other race has not yet been released by Blizzard. There will be new starting zones in Quel'Thalas and beyond. Another eye-opening addition is the entirely new, unexplored continent of Outland that is reachable through the Dark Portal. Plus, you'll find many new high-level dungeons to explore in Azeroth, Outland, and elsewhere that will substantially boost gameplay. There are new flying mounts in Outland; tons of new and dangerous monsters (including epic world bosses); hundreds of new quests and items; and even a new profession: Jewelcrafting. Of course this isn't the end of the list -- this is just a glimpse of what Blizzard has planned for their unreleased expansion pack.
The New Story, the Rumors, and More
Several years have passed since the Burning Legion's defeat at Mount Hyjal and the races of Azeroth have continued to rebuild their once shattered lives. With renewed strength, the heroes of the Horde and Alliance have begun to explore new lands, and have broken through the Dark Portal to investigate the realms beyond the known world. In this expansion pack, The Burning Crusade refers to the Burning Legion's ongoing efforts to destroy life on Azeroth. To date, the Burning Legion's exploits have been documented in Warcraft III and in the War of the Ancients novel trilogy. As part of the expansion pack, players will now be able to travel through the Dark Portal to confront the Legion on otherworldly battlefields.
Although only one race has been revealed, Blizzard has announced plans to unveil details about possible additional races at a later date. On the other hand, many details have been released about the new continent, Outland. Players last visited Outland in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, alongside Illidan as he conquered the Pit Lord Magtheridon's domain. Players will also gain access to Quel'Thalas, the region to the northeast of the Forsaken lands, where the Blood Elves reside. Blizzard says that this expansion pack holds even more new areas that are ripe for player exploration -- additional details will be revealed in the months ahead.
Blizzard also has plans to add new dungeons and battlegrounds with the expansion, though the exact number has not yet been determined. One upcoming dungeon that has players excited is Karazhan, which is located within Medivh's tower. Because Medivh has played such a central role in Warcraft lore, Blizzard is convinced that longtime players will be especially interested in seeing what Karazhan contains. As for battlegrounds, Blizzard has released very little information. However, they have announced plans to make some of the battles from the past accessible through the Caverns of Time.
Blood Elves: The New Race
Thousands of years ago, the exiled Highborne landed on the shores of Lordaeron and founded the enchanted kingdom of Quel'Thas. These high elves, as they called themselves, created a fountain of vast, magical energies within the heart of their land -- the Sunwell. Over time, they grew dependant on the Sunwell's unstable energies, regardless of the bitter lessons they'd learned in ages past.
During the Third War, the villainous Prince Arthas invaded Quel'Thalas and reduced the once-mighty realm to rubble and ashes. His undead army decimated nearly all of the high elven population. In addition, he used the Sunwell's energies to resurrect a powerful undead Lich, Kel'thuzad, thereby fouling the Sunwell's mystical waters. The few elven survivors, realizing that they had been cut off from the source of their arcane power, grew increasingly volatile and desperate.
In the midst of the elves' darkest hour came Kael'thas Sunstrider, the last of Quel'Thalas' royal bloodline. Kael, as he was commonly known, knew that the remnant of his people would not long survive without the nourishing magic that once empowered them. Renaming his people "blood elves" in honor of their fallen countrymen, Kael taught the survivors how to tap into ambient mystical energies -- even demonic energies -- in order to sate their terrible thirst for magic. In search of a new destiny for his people, Kael'thas ventured to the remote world of Outland where he encountered the fallen night elf, Illidan. Under Illidan's watchful eye, Kael and his blood elves regained much of their former power.
Unfortunately, the blood elves practice of embracing demonic energies caused their former comrades in the Alliance to shun them. Thus, the remaining blood elves on Azeroth look desperately to the Horde to help them reach Outland where they can reunite with Kael'thas and achieve the golden destiny he has promised them.
Outland: The New Continent
Once the beautiful homeworld of the orcs, all that remains of Draenor is the scattered wastes of Outland. Following the Second War, the Alliance invaded Draenor by crossing through the Dark Portal. To their horror, they discovered that Ner'zhul -- the dark warlord of Horde -- had constructed a series of new gateways that could lead the beaten Horde to newer, unspoiled worlds. As the Alliance forces closed in around him, Ner'zhul opened his gateways as a means of escape. However, his plan backfired and the gateway's clashing energies resulted in a massive catastrophic explosion that ultimately ripped the world of Draenor to pieces.
Nearly thirteen years later -- towards the end of the Third War -- the fallen night elf, Illidan, discovered that huge chunks of Draenor still existed, floating upon the astral winds of the Twisting Nether. After his defeat at the hands of the evil Prince Arthas, Illidan fled to the remnants of Draenor and dubbed them "Outland." He quickly seized control of the chaotic region and sealed the last of Ner'zhul's gateways.
Though he is the undisputed ruler of the ravaged land, Illidan lives in fear that he will be discovered by his powerful enemies -- most notably Arthas, the new Lich King, and the remaining Lords of the Burning Legion. For now, Outland is home to a number of scattered draenei tribes, primitive orcs, and powerful, arcane creatures of the Nether itself. Agents of the Burning Legion have also targeted the region as a vital strategic location in their unending Burning Crusade to scour all life from the universe.
What else can expected? Blizzard has tantalized Warcraft players with the brief glimpse into The Burning Crusade's storyline. Will these heroes find friends or foes? What dangers and rewards lie in wait beyond the Dark Portal? And what will they do when they discover that the demons they thought were vanquished have returned to renew their terrible Burning Crusade? These and other questions will remain unanswered until the gameplay can be explored by role-playing Warcrafters.
|Operating System||PC: Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Vista (with latest Service Packs) |
Mac: Mac OS X 10.4.11 or newer
|CPU||PC: Intel Pentium 4 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlong XP 1500+ |
Mac: PowerPC G5 1.6 GHz or Intel Core Duo processor
|PC: Dual-core processor, such as Intel Pentium D or AmD Athlong 64 X2 |
Mac: Intel 1.8 GHz processor or better
|Graphics Hardware||PC: 3D graphics processor with Hardware Transfor and Lighting with 32 MB VRAM, such as an ATI Radeon 7200 or NVIDIA GeForce2 class card or better |
Mac: 3D graphics processor with Hardware Transform and Lighting with 64 MB VRAM, such as ATI Radeon 9600 or NVIDIA GeForce Ti 4600 class card or better
|PC: 3D Graphics processor with Vertex and Pixel Shader capabilities with 128 MB VRAM, such as an ATI Radeon X1600 or NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT class card or better |
Mac: 3D graphics processor with Vertex and Pixel Shader capability with 128 MB VRAM, such as ATI Radeon X1600 or NVIDIA 7600 class card or better.
|Memory||PC: 512 MB (1 GB for Vista) |
Mac: 1 GB
|PC: 1 GB (2 GB for Vista) |
Mac: 2 GB
|Hard Drive Space||15 GB of free space|
|All Platform Requirements||Keyboard and mouse, required for controls. Other input devices not supported. Active broadband Internet connection required to play.|
Top customer reviews
As far as Collector's Editions go, Blizzard has always done very well, and this is pretty much no exception. Packaged exactly like the WoW CE, this one fits nicely on the shelf next to it, and has the same (cheap but cool) felt on the inside holding everything in place. The extras in this edition are pretty standard for Blizzard.
*DVD - The DVD's are getting pretty lame. The more they release for each of their three universes, the less you have to put on each one. This one doesn't have very many features on it, but it is good, nonetheless.
*Game on DVD and 4 CD's plus a couple of codes for 30-day trials to give to friends. (My advice: Wait until they do another offer for a free month of game play when you get someone else signed up).
*Mousepad map - Definately more useful than some fabric map print that will never be used.
*In game pet - Netherwhelp hatchling - Too cute, not cool enough. I like the original CE where we got to choose form three pets, give us back some options.
*Trading Card game - Two starter sets, and a couple of extra hero cards - I don't know anything about the TCG, haven't played this one before, but it's nice to get the cards because God knows the last thing I need is one more hobby to collect, and when they do things like give me these cards for free, I am no doubt going to fork over some money to buy more.
*Book: Art of BC - Nice, but only half the book has new stuff, the other half is stuff on all the old additions to WoW and is freely available on any fan website. Still anice coffee table book though for fans of the game.
To the reviewer below who hasn't gotten their copy yet, I am sorry, but Amazon does get a lot of pre-orders for this, and they have no idea how many copies they will actually get to send out, which is why they cut off pre-orders early, but I hope you get your copy soon. The launch has been smoother than I ever thought possible, so getting on and playing is pretty quick once you get it installed.
This expansion introduced many substantial changes in the mechanics of WoW, so if you quit the game before BC (Burning Crusade) was released and are looking to return, quite a bit will be different. Many of these changes were for the better; for example, the introduction of competitive pvp arenas has revitalized and greatly increased the quality of pvp (there are even some WoW pvp tournaments for money now). Like any MMO, the very end-game content is still often bugged, unbalanced, or improperly tuned, but these problems are really only experienced by less than 1% of the player base. What makes WoW and BC so great is the sheer variety of polished content there is to experience. The properly tested content is lots of fun, and many people will tell you that this game, like many MMOs, is very addictive. Whether that's good or bad I'll leave for you to decide.
So why only four stars, instead of five? For me, the greatest drawback of this game is the dramatic shift in the style of this game when you reach the maximum level (currently, level 70). Up until level 70, it's possible to enjoy all the content by yourself, or casually in pick up groups of five. But at level 70, content becomes very group-oriented, which can come as a surprise to many people, and finding a regular group of reasonably skilled and dedicated players becomes more important. If you want to experience the end-game raid content (for groups of 10 or 25 players), then this becomes absolutely essential. Unfortunately, Blizzard does not offer great guild support, either in-game or on its websites, which can make experiencing end-game raid content difficult and possibly even frustrating for many people. As a result, the depth of gameplay which you can only experience in organized, large groups, can be unnecessarily difficult for many players to see first-hand.
Nevertheless, there's still plenty to do and enjoy in this game. If you're new to WoW, odds are it will take you anywhere from 300 - 700 hours of gameplay to reach the maximum level, so it's probably still worth the money to buy WoW/BC if you're new. World of Warcraft will keep you plenty busy, and it'll give you the chance to spend lots of quality time with your friends, or give you the chance to meet many new friends online.