Surprisingly, I have managed to resist the temptation of letting my life pass me by while playing World of Warcraft. Of course this is by no means a reflection of my self control, it’s more because my then Technical Editor, Lars nabbed the review copy of WoW before I could get my paws on it, and I’ve only recently got around to asking Vivendi to send me another one. Now I know that I could have just installed Lars’ copy and then signed up for WoW, so I guess there was a certain degree of self control going on there after all.
Blizzard had a lot to shout about at E3, not least of which was the announcement that it has recently counted a total of 6.5 million WoW players worldwide. That’s an amazing achievement for a game that requires a monthly subscription, and goes a long way to proving that the future of video games lies online. Blizzard was also showing the latest build of its upcoming expansion pack for WoW, The Burning Crusade.
I was ushered into a small room hidden in the Vivendi stand and taken through the many new additions that Burning Crusade will bring to the world of World of Warcraft. The big news for E3 was the unveiling of the Draenei, a new Alliance race to be included in Burning Crusade. Despite being descended from the same ancient race as Archimonde (leader of the Burning Legion’s recently thwarted invasion of Azeroth), the Draenei have not been corrupted by demonic forces and have instead sworn to end the Legion’s evil crusade.
The Draenei lands surround the crashed interstellar space ship that brought them to the Azeroth. The Draenei technology is based on crystals, and the landscape reflects this with beautiful crystalline environments to explore. With proceedings kicking off shortly after the crash, your initial quests involve gathering plants and herbs so that you can heal your injured comrades.