With the Draenei joining the Alliance, the Horde will be expanded with the introduction of the Blood Elf race. The Blood Elves were formerly High Elves, but are now bent on revenge, hunting down the demons that destroyed their home world of Quel’Thalas.
As well as the two new races, there are new lands to explore. The expansion pack will allow players to explore Outland – an area last seen in Warcraft III – while the lands of both the Blood Elves and Draenei will also be available for exploration. There will also be new airbourn mounts included, which will allow players to reach areas that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Blizzard has been smart enough to realise that not every seasoned WoW player is going to want to start from scratch with a new race and has thrown in some high-level features as well. For a start Blizzard has raised the level cap – currently the cap is set at Level 60, but the expansion pack will raise this to 70.
Also there is a new profession - jewelcrafting. Jewels can be imbued with various powers, then “socketed” into other items. For example, you could insert certain jewels into a staff, thus imbuing it with additional power. On the downside, jewels can never be removed once they have been socketed, but you can replace jewels with more powerful stones.
Considering that I’m about to give up the ghost and finally get my teeth into WoW, I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on The Burning Crusade. What I saw at E3 looked very good indeed and with a tentative December release date there are still several more development months ahead for Blizzard to pack even more features in. Just make sure that you don’t have any prior commitments when you start playing – you know the kind of things, marriage, children, job, expect them all to fall by the wayside once you get started.