E3 Impression

World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade




There is so much to say about Burning Crusade, it is hard to fit it into one impression. First and foremost, the two new races have stunning new areas and their intro quests, while nearly identical to those of the other races, are not boring in the slightest. The new Alliance race, the Draenei, have a passive racial ability of Jewelcrafting +15, making them the prime candidates in the new craft available; they also possess an amazing heal over time (HOT) spell which, whatever class they are, will make them an undoubtable pleasaure to have in the party. The Blood Elves show to be no slouch either, with their areas having an eerie lush feeling to them; with their choice to side with the Horde, it wouldn't have been surprising to see their area as a warped, dark zone but instead it is incredibly brightly oloured and has many beautiful sights.

After playing around with the two new creatures, I grabbed a level 70 character and headed to the Outlands. My Orc Warlock was suited up in an Epic (purple) breastplate with three sockets, and my inventory was full of a variety of gems, so I plopped some in, experimenting to see what worked best with my personal playstyle. As I play a healer, I was naturally excited to see that gems which possess the "X mana per 5 second" ability existed. In fact, there were gems for every stat and effecy imaginable; whether these will all exist in the final version or whether they were for show was, however, unclear. Gems can be placed into an item and can be moved/removed until actually set into the piece. If another gem is preferred, it will overwrite the old gem much as a new enchant overwrites an old one currently in the game.


The character was also a 325 jewelcrafter (the new max for skills will be 375, up from 300), so I checked out the sorts of items that could be made. The high level items were flat out impressive but the low level items were really the best part; it really fills out the gaps that currently exist for items - such as rings, which generally aren't acquired until level 20 and are sadly overpriced. Next, with a debug cheat enabled, I suddenly had a flying mount, so I took to the skies excitedly. While on a flying mount, zones can be discovered and it seemed to be implied that some zones in Outlands will require a flying mount to get to them. Outlands, much to my surprise and pleasure, will have zones which are appropriate for those that are below level 60. What level exactly these zones will be hasn't been decided yet but it is a very promising detail.

Last but not least I also got to see a sneak peek at one of the dungeons which will be part of the expansion. Those who have played previous WarCraft games will be very likely familiar with the character Medievh; though he no longer haunts the tower, many of his grotesque creations still do as well as many long-dead human servants. Set in Deadwind Pass, it is a 10-man dungeon which characters will need to be close to 70 to attain. I walked out of the experience with a dazed and happy smile on my face, and even the most casual World of WarCraft players have an exciting plethora of features, skills, and races to anxiously await until the expansion is released to our greedy hands some time late this year.

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· Late 2006

· Vivendi Games

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