World of Warcraft is returning to the past once again with the announcement of Burning Crusade Classic at BlizzConline.
The Burning Crusade was the first expansion for World of Warcraft, released in 2007. Players travel to Outland, a shattered planet that played a big part in the lore of Warcraft 2 and Warcraft 3, and recruit two new races. The Horde get Blood Elves, one of the game’s most popular factions, and the Alliance recruit the Draenei, who are affectionately referred to as “space goats.”
When Burning Crusade Classic launches in 2021, players will have access to the original questing content and the first stages of endgame gear. That means players will be able to level through zones like Hellfire Peninsula, Zangarmarsh, and Nagrand. Once they’re level 70, they can purchase a flying mount, and choose between the Aldor and Scryer factions in Shattrath City.
The raids available at launch will be Karazhan, Gruul’s Lair, and Magtheridon’s Lair. After some time, Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep will unlock, allowing players to go head to head with Lady Vashj and Kael’thas Sunstrider. Later patches will add raids like Zul’Aman, Black Temple, and Sunwell Plateau.
Blizzard has adjusted the fights in raids a little more than in World of Warcraft Classic. Some bosses, like M’uru in the Sunwell, were nerfed multiple times. The technical issues, bugs, and limiting mechanics are being removed, but M’uru will retain a bigger health pool and feel a little more like his original incarnation that served as a brick wall for guilds back in the day. Class-specific abilities, like the Blood Elf Paladin seal, will be made available across factions at max level to keep things relatively balanced.
Burning Crusade also adds the Jewelcrafting profession and the Arena PvP system. Players will be able to queue for 2v2, 3v3, or 5v5 matches. The matchmaking system will also be updated and overhauled with Blizzard’s modern technology to provide quick matches.
Before Burning Crusade Classic launches, players will be able to make a choice with their current World of Warcraft classic characters. You can either advance your character to the Burning Crusade era, or hang back and continue to experience the original game on a Classic Era server. Players can clone their characters for a small fee, allowing them to keep a level 60 while also leveling that character through Outlands.
Blood Elves and Draenei will have to level to 60, but they’ll have a small headstart before the Dark Portal opens, and a slightly accelerated leveling curve. Players jumping into Classic content for the first time will be able to boost a character to 58, so everyone will have a shot at opening the Dark Portal as soon as it officially opens.
Both Burning Crusade Classic and World of Warcraft Classic will be available as part of a standard World of Warcraft subscription, which allows players to play the current game in its Shadowlands expansion.