Q&A from E3
Blizzard answers a set of questions providing more in depth look into Burning Crusade.
Q: What does the title of the World of Warcraft expansion refer to?
A: “The Burning Crusade” refers to the Burning Legion’s ongoing efforts to destroy life throughout the universe. To date, the Burning Legion’s exploits have been documented in Warcraft III and in our War of the Ancients novel trilogy. As part of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, players will be able to travel through the Dark Portal to confront the Legion on otherworldly battlefields.
Q: What new races with be introduced in the expansion?
A: The expansion will introduce two new races to World of Warcraft: the Draenei race for the Alliance and the Blood Elf race for the Horde.
Q: What are the Blood Elves?
A: No longer trusted by the Alliance, these former High Elves have joined the Horde to hunt down the demons that destroyed their homeland of Quel’Thalas.
Q: What are the Draenei?
A: Descended from the Eredar, the same ancient race as Archimonde, leader of the Burning Legion’s recently thwarted invasion of Azeroth, the Draenei resisted the demonic forces that corrupted their brethren and fled their ancient homeworld, devoting themselves to ending the Legion’s apocalyptic crusade.
Q: Why did you decide to add the Draenei as the new Alliance race?
A: The Draenei visited many worlds in their travels and explored much of the known cosmos on
their quest to find safe harbor. During this exodus they befriended the enigmatic Naaru – a race of beings with a deep affinity for the Holy Light of Creation that empowers the paladins of Azeroth. The Naaru blessed the Draenei with this power in an effort to help them in their struggle. This makes them a natural ally of the Alliance races who embrace this holy power.
In addition, the Draenei hold no affinity for certain Horde races. They outright hate the Orcs, who nearly drove the Draenei to extinction in Outland. And more recently, the Blood Elves stole technology from the Draenei and also sabotaged their dimensional ship, which crash landed on Azeroth.
Q: Where did the Draenei come from?
A: The Draenei’s flight from the Legion eventually led them to a remote, peaceful world, which they named Draenor. In time, the Draenei met and befriended the native Orc clans that lived on this tranquil planet. For many years they lived peacefully with their shamanistic neighbors, until Kil’jaeden discovered their hiding place and corrupted the Orcs, pitting them against the Draenei. The Orcs nearly eradicated the entire Draenei race during the ensuing war. Recently, the surviving Draenei fled Outland, and a small group of these refugees landed on Azeroth.
Q: Will the level cap be raised?
A: Yes, the level cap will be raised to 70 from the current maximum level of 60. In addition to the level increase, every class will gain access to additional talents and abilities or spells as they level up from level 60 to level 70.
Q: Will there be new lands to explore in the expansion?
A: Outland will be opened with the expansion. Players last visited Outland in Warcraft III: The
Frozen Throne, alongside Illidan as he conquered the pit lord Magtheridon’s domain. Players will also gain access to Quel’Thalas, the region to the northeast of the Plaguelands, where the Blood Elves reside, and the Azuremyst Isles, a grouping of islands off the northeastern coast of Kalimdor, where the remaining Draenei crash landed after fleeing Draenor. Other areas that players will be able to explore in the expansion set will be revealed in the months ahead.
Q: Will there be new dungeons and battlegrounds included in the expansion?
A: We do have plans to add dungeons and battlegrounds with the expansion, though the exact number has not yet been determined. One upcoming dungeon that we’re excited about is Karazhan, also known as Medivh’s tower, which is located in Deadwind Pass. Because Medivh has played such a central role in Warcraft lore, we think that a lot of longtime players will be especially interested in seeing what Karazhan contains. As an example of a battleground that will be included in the expansion, we plan on making some of the battles from the past accessible through the Caverns of Time. We’ll provide more details as we get closer to implementing this content.
Q: What are some of the other features of the expansion?
A: In addition to the new races, zones, dungeons, and battlegrounds, we have a number of new features planned for the Burning Crusade expansion. Some of those new features include:
- A complete new profession – jewelcrafting
- Socketable items
- Flying mounts
- New weapons, armor sets, and magic items
- Character advancement up to level 70, including new talents and abilities
- Dozens of new unique monsters
- Hundreds of new quests
Q: Do you need to own the expansion to play with friends who have it?
A: There will be many aspects of the expansion that are available to all players. However, in order to experience certain content, such as Outland, or be able to play as one of the new races, players will have to purchase the expansion.
Q: When will The Burning Crusade beta test begin?
A: Our development team is hard at work creating the vibrant zones and challenging dungeons that will be added to the game in the expansion. Once we’re happy with the way this new content looks and feels, we’ll arrange to begin beta testing it with selected players.
Q: When will the expansion be released? Will it be a simultaneous global launch? How much will it cost?
A: We will follow a careful, phased approach with the expansion. The target release date will be
late 2006 in Europe, Korea, and North America (and those regions that play on North American realms), and we will work to ensure that the launches in mainland China and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau take place as quickly as possible after that. This phased approach will help ensure a smooth and successful launch in all regions. Further details regarding launch timing and pricing will be revealed in the months ahead.
Q: Can we download the expansion online, or must we purchase it in a store?
A: We’re still looking into how the expansion will be distributed in each region and will provide more info on that at a later date.
Q: What are the system requirements?
A: The system requirements will be similar to what they currently are for the original World of Warcraft game. We’ll announce any updates to the system requirements at a later date.
Q: What is the ESRB rating for the expansion?
A: World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade has not yet been rated by the ESRB. However, we expect that it will receive the same rating that the original World of Warcraft received – “Teen.”