Expansion Notes

Expansion I: The Burning Crusade Order Standard Edition at EBGames.Com

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade 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 broken through the Dark Portal to investigate the realms beyond the known world. 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 vanquished have returned to renew their terrible Burning Crusade?  - Blizzard

This collects information which has been released by Blizzard via interviews, forum posts, and trade shows. All information is subject to change up to (and after) release.

Contents

Overview

The expansion is called "The Burning Crusade", referring to the continuing mission of the Burning Legion to conquer the multiverse. It is the first of what may be annual content expansions for the World of Warcraft universe. The expansion will be rolled out on existing servers, so players who don't buy the expansion will still share a world with those who do. Some of the changes will affect all users, others will be limited to players with the expansion. System requirements are similar to the main game (1G RAM, 64M video card, 1.0GHz or faster processor); note, however, that as this includes substantial additional content, the overall disk space requirement increased dramatically (~8G total). The content is rated "Teen" by the ESRB. The expansion was released on 16 January 2007 to North America and Europe. Followed shortly by New Zealand, Australia, Korea, and Singapore, with mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau shortly thereafter. The suggested retail price is US$39.99. A Collector's Edition was also announced, suggested retail price US$69.99, but this edition sold out at preorder vendors.

Editions

Burning Crusade Standard Edition iconicon The standard package includes the game on CD media. The Collector's Edition includes the game (on CD and DVD media), the soundtrack CD, a Behind-the-Scenes DVD, The Art of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade hardcover book, two WoW Trading Card Game starter packs with exclusive cards, a mouse pad with a map of Outland, and (possibly most important) a special in-game pet (the Netherwhelp, a baby Nether Drake).


Game Mechanics

Selectable Dungeon Difficulty

Future instances will have a feature allowing groups to run instances at an elevated difficulty level for improved drops. As an example, running a L60-62 instance at Heroic ("Hard Mode") difficulty will upgrade the mobs and drops to the equivalent of a L70 instance. Initially, this capability will only be available for some of the Outland dungeons, but may be added to existing content in the future.

Flying Mounts

The expansion introduces new mounts, including ones which are capable of flight. At this time, aerial combat is not yet planned, but there will be some quest locations which are only reachable by air. Flying mounts require at least Expert Riding (225) skill and L70. Alliance and Horde teams will each get their own mounts for purchase (armored gryphons and armored wyverns), with other flavors of mount available by quest or reputation. One of the previewed mounts was the Nether Drake, a (relatively) small dragonling. These mounts will be usable in Azeroth, but will not be able to fly; they will still run at elite mount speeds (100% bonus over normal running speed).

Note that Druids gain a Flight Form which, while slower, will allow them to access the flight-accessible locations.

Races

There are two new player races added in the expansion, the draenei and the blood elves. The expansion is required to create characters of these races, but everyone will be able to interact or group with them.

Draenei Blood Elves
Draenei Male
Blood Elf Female
Faction Alliance/Exodar Horde/Silvermoon City - Note that the Blood Elves start Friendly with Undercity and Neutral with the rest of the Horde
Capital The Exodar
Map of The Exodar
Silvermoon
Silvermoon City Map
Starting Zone Ammen Vale, Azuremyst Isle, Kalimdor Sunstrider Isle, Eversong Woods, Quel'Thalas
Classes and Starting Stats
StrAgiStaIntSpi
Warrior2417212122
Paladin2317212123
Hunter2120202123
Priest2117192325
Shaman2217202224
Mage2117192424
StrAgiStaIntSpi
Paladin1922202420
Hunter1725192420
Rogue1825192419
Priest1722182622
Mage1722182721
Warlock1722192621
Passive Abilities
  • Gemcutting: +5 Jewelcrafting skill
  • Shadow Resistance: +10 Shadow Resistance
  • Heroic Presence: +1% to hit for all party members within 30 yds (Warrior, Paladin, Hunter)
  • Inspiring Presence: +1% to hit with spells for all party members within 30 yds (Priest, Shaman, Mage)
  • Arcane Affinity: +10 Enchanting skill
  • Magic Resistance: +5 All Resistances
Active Abilities
  • Blessing of the Naaru: 40 yd range, 1.5s cast, 3m cooldown
    Heals the target of 50 damage over 15s (will scale with level)
  • Mana Tap: 30 yd range, 30s cooldown
    Drains mana from your target and charges you with Arcane energy for 10 min. This effect stacks up to 3 times.
  • Arcane Torrent: Instant, 2m cooldown
    Silence all enemies within 8 yds for 2s. In addition, you gain 5 Rage/12 Mana/20 Energy (will scale with level) for each charge of Mana Tap currently affecting you
Pets Moths
Blue Moth
Dragonhawk Hatchlings
Silver Dragonhawk
Mounts Elekk (long-eared war elephant)
Elekk
Hawkstrider (killer flamingo)
Hawkstrider

Classes

No new classes were added for this expansion. However, the character level cap will be raised from 60 to 70. New spells and talents are available, including a new Flight Form for druids! Players who do not purchase the expansion will be limited to L60. Talent Calculators may be found here.

One recent interview suggested that players without the expansion would still be able to gain L70. This was refuted by a Blizzard representative, Nethaera, in the general forums: The statement in the article is in error. Players will in fact still need to purchase the expansion in order to level to 70. (Nethaera, 31. Re: Non-Expansion Buyers can level to 70, 09/26/2006 07:52:36 PM UTC)

Professions

Many of the professions are getting tuned in the expansion (some details may be found on the official site). Grand Master Trainers have taken up residence in Outland, mostly at Honor Hold (Alliance) or Thrallmar (Horde) in the Hellfire Peninsula. Grand Master trainers can train to Master skill level, allowing progress to a maximum skill level of 375. Master skill requires a minimum of L50.

Jewelcrafting

Jewelcrafting is a brand new production skill. With the jewelcrafting trainers located in Outland or the new starting zones, only those who purchase the expansion will be able to learn this new skill. In addition, the recipes for socketed items (items with slots to hold jewelcrafted gems) are all above L300 and produce gear requiring L61 or higher. However, many of the lower-level items produced by jewelcrafters will doubtless find their way onto the AH.

Alchemy

Master Alchemists will gain a form of specialization. Alchemists may choose to become Transmutation, Potion, or Elixir Masters. As with other specialization, the decision is irrevocable once made. It is necessary to abandon and retake Alchemy to change specializations. Each specialty has the chance to produce multiple products from a single action - for instance, a Potion Master has a chance to produce 2 potions from a single set of ingredients. The doubling effect is limited to higher-level recipes.

Alchemists also have the ability to research unknown formulae. In the game, this is implemented as a (very low) random chance to learn a new formula whenever using the Alchemy skill.

Alchemists are also the only source of certain reagents - Primal Might, Earthstorm Diamonds, and Skyfire Diamonds require advanced alchemical skill (365 Alchemy) to produce.

Blacksmithing

Blacksmiths gained new L300+ recipes. In addition, each specialty gained a Bind on Pickup crafted item which they will be able to upgrade over time.

Willhellm on Hellfire posted the following to the beta forums:
The latest patch has also almost almost eliminated the blacksmith specialties, as all of the BoE weapns and armors have lost their specialty requirement. Now every Blacksmith can learn and craft every plan except for the BoP plans. The only thing that your blacksmith specialty determines is which BoP items you can learn, make and equip, as they now require that specialty to be equipped as well and learned. Because of this change, you do not lose any plans when you change specialties except for the BoP plans, which you can relearn if you return to that specialty.

Enchanting

Enchanters gained additional recipes, including high-level enchants requiring Runed Fel Iron, Eternium, and Adamantite Rods to cast.

Engineering

Engineers also get more of the same. They are able to craft Toolboxes, which are containers that can hold engineering materials. Also new are the ability to make arrows as well as bullets; colored smoke flares, allowing the engineer to mark areas for raids or other purposes; and a Remote Mail Terminal (a temporary mail box with a 5 min life).

Leatherworking

Leatherworkers don't get any major new changes, but they do get a number of new craftable armor sets. It remains to be seen whether these add sufficient meat to keep leatherworking viable. As with Blacksmiths, they will gain Bind on Pickup specialty armor sets.

Tailoring

Tailors gain specialization: Spellfire (fire/arcane), Shadoweave (frost/shadow), and Mooncloth (healing/mana regen) branches will each have new recipes, primarily a Bind on Pickup armor set. Like other specializations, you can only choose one path at a time. The specialization quests are all given out in Shattrath City in the Outlands. New cloth types are added with the higher level recipes, including Netherweave (used to also make Imbued Netherweave and Soulcloth; Imbued Netherweave is used to make Primal Mooncloth and Spellcloth). Obviously, this leads to bigger bags for all disciplines as well as some good cloth armor choices.

Gathering Skills

Skinning is basically unchanged in the expansion. Herbalists and miners gain the ability to "skin" certain kinds of mobs (mostly in Outland) to get raw materials off the defeated creatures. In addition, certain herbs give buffs or have other effects for the harvesting herbalist (somewhat like the herbs in Felwood).

Secondary Skills

No major changes seem to be set for the secondary skills. As with the others, skills can be raised to 375 via trainers in Outland. A new rare vanity pet has been added to reward uber-fishers.

Zones

Eversong Woods is one of the beautiful new zones in the expansion
It's a beautiful new world out there...

Blizzard's Drysc posted: ...all current realms will run expansion content and the only thing restricting players from that content will be if they do not own the expansion. Those that buy the expansion will be able to access the new areas, such as Outland, the Draenei and Bloodelf starting zones, and places in the current landmass such as Karazhan and The Caverns of Time among other features only available through those new zones.

Two new starting zones were added to accomodate the new races. These zones are a part of Azeroth but will be limited to players who purchased the expansion.

  • Azuremyst Isles, Kalimdor (northwest Kalimdor, south of Darnassus)
    • Azuremyst Isle (L1-10) - draenei character starting zone
    • Bloodmyst Isle (L10-20)
    The Exodar and Auberdine are connected by a new boat route. The Exodar end of the boat route is a dock at the west side of the island (near the back entrance to The Exodar's Vault of Lights).
  • Quel'thalas, Lordaeron (north of the Eastern Plaguelands)
    • Eversong Forest (L1-10) - blood elf character starting zone
    • Ghostlands (L10-20)
    Silvermoon and the Undercity are connected via portals. In the Ruins of Lordaeron (above the Undercity), the Translocation Orb is in the west (right-hand) side of the courtyard as you enter. This links to the matching orb at the back of Sunfury Spire.

Outland

The main zone addition is the continent of Outland, every bit as complex as Azeroth itself, about half the size of one of the existing continents. Outland will be reached through the Dark Portal from the Blasted Lands (Eastern Kingdoms). An interactive map may be found on the Blizzard site. Outland will include its own set of creatures, as well as hundreds of new quests and challenges. Most dungeons in Outland will follow the "wing" pattern used by Scarlet Monastery, with 5- or 10-character instances of increasing level requirements and 25-character raids. Also introduced in the expansion will be neutral instances which are also cities (similar in concept to Stromgarde or Stratholme) whose behavior will change based on reputation with the host faction. Also, cities marked "(Faction)" are neutral cities which may be captured by either faction. Outland's zones include:

  • Hellfire Peninsula (L58-63)
    home of the Dark Portal, entrance to Outland
    • Major Cities:
      Alliance: Honor Hold, Temple of Telhamat
      Horde: Thrallmar, Falcon Watch
    • Dungeon: Hellfire Citadel
      • Hellfire Ramparts (L60-62)
      • The Blood Furnace (L61-63)
      • The Shattered Halls (L70-72)
      • Magtheridon's Lair (Raid 25)
  • Shadowmoon Valley (L67-70)
    • Major Cities:
      Alliance: Wildhammer Stronghold
      Horde: Shadowmoon Village
      (Faction): Ancient Draenei Base
    • Dungeon: Black Temple (Raid 25)
  • Terokkar Forest (L62-65)
    • Major Cities:
      Alliance: Allerian Stronghold
      Horde: Stonebreaker Hold
      Neutral: Shattrath City
    • Dungeon: Auchindoun
      • Auchenai Crypts (L64-66)
      • Shadow Labyrinth (L65-67)
      • Sethekk Halls (L67-69)
      • Mana Tombs (L70-72)
  • Nagrand (L64-67)
    • Major Cities:
      Alliance: Telaar
      Horde: Garadar
      (Faction): Aeris
      Neutral: Halaa
  • Zangarmarsh (L60-64)
    • Major Cities:
      Alliance: Telredor, Orebor Harborage
      Horde: Swamprat Post, Sabra'jin
      (Faction): Cenarion Refuge, Sporeggar
    • Dungeon: Coilfang Reservoir
      • The Slave Pens (L62-64)
      • The Underbog (L63-65)
      • The Steamvault (L70-72)
      • Serpentshrine Cavern (Raid 25)
  • Blade's Edge Mountains (L65-68)
    • Major Cities:
      Alliance: Sylvanaar
      Horde: Thunderlord Stronghold
      (Faction): Gronn'bor Shrine
    • Dungeon: Gruul's Lair (Raid 25)
  • Netherstorm (L67-70)
    • Major Cities:
      Neutral: Area 52, The Stormspire
    • Eye of the Storm (15x15 PvP Battleground, L61-70)
    • Dungeon: Tempest Keep
      • The Mechanar (L69-72)
      • The Botanica (L70-72)
      • The Arcatraz (L70-72)

New content was added to Azeroth. The expansion is required to access this content as well (at least in the form of keys or attunement that cannot be obtained without the expansion).

  • Deadwind Pass
    • Dungeon: Karazhan (L70)
  • Tanaris
    • Dungeon Portal: Caverns of Time
    The Caverns are not a dungeon in and of themselves; rather, they serve as a portal to various critical points in history where (or when) the Bronze Dragonflight has determined that someone (the Burning Legion or other mysterious adversary) is tampering with the flow of events. The scenarios planned for this expansion include:
    • Young Thrall's escape from Durnholde Keep, the first step on the path to his ascension as the greatest warchief the orcs have ever known
    • The momentous Battle of Mount Hyjal, where Jaina, Thrall, Tyrande, and Malfurion succeeded in turning the tide against the dreaded demon, Archimonde
    • The opening of the original Dark Portal by the crazed wizard Medivh‚ an action that ushered in the First War and introduced the mighty orcs to the world of Azeroth

API Changes

A number of API changes will be made. A summary can be found on the WoW Forums. One of the changes that has raiders nervous is the post from Blizzard's Tyren stating: Essentially, we don't want UI mods to make combat-sensitive decisions for players and as such, we've made some changes that block functionality that we feel is counter to the spirit of these philosophies. As such, AddOns and macros can't make decisions on who to target or what spells to cast... AddOns and macros will still be able to cast spells (with user interaction of course), they just won't be able to use logic to intelligently pick spells or targets.

For mod developers, the current version number is "20003".

A special thank you goes out to all those who are actively posted on the Beta Forums and to our roving reporters in the field.