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Everything You Need To Know About World Of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Classic

At BlizzCon 2021, Blizzard announced that it would release The Burning Crusade expansion for World of Warcraft Classic. The new adventure will appear in 2021, and fans everywhere will be able to venture into the dark portal for themselves.

Or perhaps not? In the opening ceremony, Blizzard made it clear that players and their characters won't have to move on to The Burning Crusade if they don't want to. Players will have the option to remain in the original Classic world forever, or progress to The Burning Crusade and other expansions. This allows gamers the chance to experience World of Warcraft in its original state without the bells and whistles later expansions offer.

And what bells and whistles they are. The Burning Crusade will add two new playable races (the Blood Elves and the Draenei), the shaman and paladin classes, as well as flying mounts, just as the original expansion did back in 2007.

Lead producer Holly Longdale, production director Patrick Dawson, and lead engineer Brian Birmingham sat down at BlizzCon 2021 to discuss the future of World of Warcraft Classic as it moves towards The Burning Crusade.

Some things change, some things stay the same in The Burning Crusade

The World of Warcraft Classic team spent a lot of time talking about what elements of the original expansion should stay and which elements should be changed for smoother gameplay. The new edition of The Burning Crusade will remove spell batching, which effects how quickly spells are processed by the WoW servers. This should make for an overall smoother battle experience.

The Burning Crusade will also feature "final form" bosses consistently. Instead of nerfing a boss a month or so after it appears in game, its final form will remain, providing players more of a challenge. Patrick Dawson explained this as an aid to the contemporary raiding community, who know the basics of battle already and crave more complex encounters.

The last significant change to The Burning Crusade comes in the form of faction balance. The Alliance and the Horde both have faction-specific abilities awarded at level 64, but the Horde's ability was far superior than the Alliance's ability in the original expansion. Now, both factions will have the chance to get each ability, earning their faction ability at level 64, and an equivalent to the other faction's ability at level 70.

A big choice before The Burning Crusade

Players have a big choice to make, but they don't need to make it just yet. When The Burning Crusade releases, players will be asked in-game if they want to continue existing on a Progression server (a server that grows with each expansion), or move to a Classic server, which will never progress past the base game. 

Gamers can make the choice for each character individually, but some folks might be interested in remaining on a Classic server while also moving on to The Burning Crusade. A new paid service from Blizzard will allow players to make a clone of their character, leaving one in the Classic Era while the other moves on to the latest expansion and beyond. 

Holly Longdale emphasized that this information may sound confusing to players, the ones left with the brunt of these decisions. However, she stated that the dev team remains committed to helping walk players through each choice, and reassured viewers that more information would be forthcoming. For now, there's more information about this process on the World of Warcraft Classic site's FAQ page.

When can fans expect The Burning Crusade?

When Holly Longdale asked Patrick Dawson when The Burning Crusade will release, he sheepishly said, "Soon." Dawson confirmed that the expansion will come out in 2021, but didn't provide a specific date. The Beta for The Burning Crusade should open up in the next few months and allow for additional testing by the dev team.

Players will be able to play as the Blood Elf and Draeni before the dark portal actually opens, giving them time to level up a bit in preparation. For those completely new to the game, a level boost will be available to purchase. This boost bumps players from level 0 to level 58 instantly, although it doesn't come with the bonuses that one would earn if playing the game traditionally.

Fans will have to wait just a bit longer for The Burning Crusade, but Blizzard's updates leave gamers with many exciting promises. For those still unfamiliar with World of Warcraft Classic, now's the time to read up on its history and jump into the world. There's still time to quickly level up a character and prepare for the dark portal to open. Survival in Azeroth is no easy feat, so you'd better prepare now.