Monday, March 26, 2007

The Burning Crusade

I figured it was about time to post about this, as it's been out now for quite a while. The Burning Crusade is the new expansion for World of Warcraft. It's been a source of excitement ever since they announced it, as it brought a huge amount of new content to the game. Last Christmas, my hubby got me World of Warcraft as a present. Little did he know what he was getting into! We both have our own accounts now, and several characters each. This year I got a pre-order for the Burning Crusade (TBC) for Christmas, and I have to say, when January 16 rolled around, I was beside myself with excitement!

The level cap for characters (the highest level you can get) was raised from 60 to 70, and they introduced two new playable character races (there were 8, now there are 10). They also evened out the playing field as far as class is concerned. Before TBC was released, only the Alliance (more or less, the good guys) characters could choose the Paladin class, and only the Horde (the bad guys) characters could choose the Shaman class. Now, thanks to some interesting convolutions of lore (the story behind why things are the way they are in the game), all class types are available to either side. Of course, if you want to be a Horde Paladin, you have to be a Blood Elf, and if you want to be an Alliance Shaman, you have to be a Draenei. Those are the names of the new races, by the way.

A lot of my in-game friends took this new opportunity very seriously. Blizzard allowed players to copy their characters into Beta test realms and use some of the new content before the actual software was released, and they took advantage of it. My guild master applied himself very determinedly to getting his character to the new maximum level. He took off 3 days from work, and played more or less constantly. He reached level 70 inside of a week. I heard that on one of the other servers, one player (with the help of his guild) managed to get to 70 within a day or two. I can't even imagine that sort of drive, especially about a game. I mean, the whole point is to play for fun, right? I mean, yeah, you get recognition for being the first person to get to level 70, but how much fun could that really be, to have to frantically quest and grind through the levels? I'm much more laid-back about the whole thing. It got me kicked out of my guild, but hey, if it's not fun, why do it? I'm still not 70, and while I miss guild chat, I still get to talk to my friends, so I'm still happy.

I got my copy via UPS the day after it actually came out. The first thing I did when I got everything installed was take my level 60 main character over to the new Draenei area and check it out. I wandered around for a while, and still, I think it wasn't until the next day that I actually went over to the new high-level area that was released (called Outland). It was crazy. There were so many people in the starting "city" (called Honor Hold) that you could hardly walk around because of the lag. It reminded me of when I first started playing. Back then I was on dial-up, and I didn't have anywhere near the recommended amount of RAM. My computer would almost lock up from trying to load all the other characters moving around, especially in the high-traffic main cities. This was nearly as bad. After that, I decided that I'd give things a little while to calm down, and to keep myself occupied, I started a Draenei Paladin. I had never played a Paladin before, and so it was an entirely new experience, given that the Draenei starting area was new content, and so had quest lines that I had never seen before. It also reminded me of when I first started playing, because I was in completely new territory, playing something I have no experience with at all. My pally is now lvl 34 and climbing, and I'm still loving it! :)

All in all, I am really enjoying this game, just as much as I did when I first started playing. In fact, I think it's even more fun now that hubby's main character is about the same level as mine. We can run around doing quests together, or just about anything. It's great!

World of Warcraft™ World of Warcraft and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

3 fellow footsteps:

Skittles said...

Nowhere NEAR as exciting.. but Virtual Villagers has a new one out ;)

leyna said...

i enjoy the game, did not play it until just before the new expansion came out but have not been playing it much lately.

W2E said...

Hey blog readers, here’s an article I wrote on WOW, mainly on the Burning Crusade – hope you’ll find it interesting:

Almost 8 million World of Warcraft players around the world have been waiting for the release of the extension pack named The Burning Crusade. The WOW community was very excited to enter the new territories imagined and created for them by the ingenious Blizzard team. This extension brought to light two new races with new starting areas and quests, new dungeons, jewel crafting: the newest trade profession, PVP arenas and new battlegrounds. The big majority of WOW fans were very impressed of Blizzard's work.

The newest two races mentioned above are the "draenei" and the "blood elves" and they are great to start playing with all over again and no doubt new players will find the way up to level 70 very exciting.

The new territories look fantastic and the quests you have to pass in order to level up are very interesting. Many players' reviews agree that blood elves are more popular than the draenei and this fact can be easily explained. The Horde was never given the chance to play a good looking character until now while most Alliance characters are looking good and are physically attractive. Horde's characters are all looking funny; after all they don't have anything human in their look, but they have great jokes and it is a real pleasure to play as a troll, undead, orc or tauren.

Another important aspect to mention is that Horde was finally given the chance to play as paladin with blood elves. Blizzard balanced the two new classes by allowing draenei to play as shamans. However chances for the two new classes to interact with their neighbors are low while they are leveling up. The new classes will probably experience trouble in finding trainers and even some quest givers. The new profession, jewel crafting can be really profitable, especially when combined with mining.

The flying mount was something new for WOW players, but many reviewers agreed that flying mounts are cheap indeed but very slow, even slower than a non epic mount. The epic flying mount is fast and crucial for some quests and territories but it's a bit expensive to some players. However, camping in the new territories can be a real pleasure because the player is now able to raise more gold in a shorter time span than before and also has great chances to loot precious items they needs or they can sell in auction houses.

Patches are regularly released in order to improve the balance and the quality of the game. In addition Blizzard performs weekly server maintenance so they can prevent game bugs, account break in or other problems related to the technical support of the game engine. Game masters are always online and they solve players' problems very fast and in a professional manner. The Burning Crusade can be considered a great new real-time game and also the valuable proof that WOW was and still is an unique PC game that fascinated millions of people around the globe.

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