Two new races, the Draenei and the Blood Elves, topped the list of new elements, followed closely by a new continent, Outland, that is accessible only by high-level characters who can reach The Dark Portal in the southern Blasted Lands. Both new races have close ties to Outland, as explained in History Repeats Itself, Warcraft-Style, making them natural choices to expand the number of races to ten, according to Dabiri.
The Draenei and Blood Elves bring with them new low-level starting areas, along with their own capital cities, Exodar and Silvermoon City. Dozens of quests tied to their roles in the overall World of Warcraft storyline will keep players occupied for months as they work their way up to higher levels, while those who stick with the original races will find new dungeons and quests, filled with hundreds of new monsters and items, awaiting them. Everyone will need those new adventures, since they can now attain level 70.
All characters in The Burning Crusade also have access to the new spells and talents available for each class. A new profession, jewelcrafting, allows you to create jewelry and trinkets, or cut gems that you can fit in the sockets on armor, weapons, and other objects. Those gems offer customized bonuses that you can tweak to suit your characters race or class.
Dabiri notes that many changes were also made to the gameplay as a result of the things we learn about our game every day through talking with the community and playing it ourselves. The player-versus-player and honor systems were revamped, giving players honor points and tokens toward the purchase of epic items, rather than granting access to rare treasures only to characters who ranked high enough, which required a large investment of time. In addition, the number of people required for many raids was reduced, making it easier for guilds to field enough characters for those adventures.
Much to Look Forward To
Level 70 characters have much to look forward to, such as participation in the Arena system, Dabiri says. By facing off against other players in the Arena system, you can work your way up to a higher ranking, which provides access to better gear for your character.
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With The Burning Crusade, we wanted to create content that appealed to every play style.- lead producer Shane Dabiri, Blizzard Entertainment
He notes that many of the new dungeons can be played in Heroic mode by 70th-level characters, upping the difficulty while providing better treasure. In addition, the new flying mounts are only available to characters who reach that level.
The most notable new dungeon is the Caverns of Time, where you can relive some of the most dramatic moments from Azeroths history. A mysterious force is trying to change the outcome of those events, and you must stop that from happening, or else time itself could come undone. In one quest, you must defend Magna Medivh, a Human sorcerer who became corrupted by the Burning Legion and opened the original Dark Portal that brought the Orcs to Azeroth.
Theres so much potential for new stories to be told within the Warcraft universe that we could continue adding new content to the game for many years to come.- Shane Dabiri
Another Caverns of Time quest features the Orc leader Thralls escape from Durnholde Keep, while the third serves up The Battle of Mount Hyjal, the clash that ended Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. If youve played Warcraft III, this event will offer a new perspective on a familiar, extremely important battle, Dabiri promises.
Blizzard has continuously updated World of Warcraft since its original release, and plans to do so after The Burning Crusade is published. Dabiri promises: Theres so much back story that can be fleshed out and so much potential for new stories to be told within the Warcraft universe that we feel we could continue adding new content to the game for many years to come.