World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (PC)Wollf -
Price: $39.99 USD
World of Warcraft (aka WoW) has been around in North American stores since November 23, 2004 and released by Blizzard, who has also released many large successes like Diablo, Diablo II, StarCraft, and the whole Warcraft universe. With a slow start to World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade due to lagged areas and overpopulated servers, it has grown to be the largest MMORPG to date. Even now it has topped out with over 8 million players worldwide.
World of Warcraft is an online role playing game where you can take on the persona of a character in a basic world of good vs bad, with some very blurred lines as to who is good and who is bad. Choices made in the character select screen decide what path you will play the game. Fortunately, you can have 8 different characters you make per server so if you don't like one you started with, you can start a new one for a different flavor. The classes available are Warrior, Hunter, Priest, Shaman, Paladin, Mage, Druid, or Warlock. The Races are Human, Night Elf, Orc, Blood Elf, Dranai, Undead, Gnome, Dwarf, Troll, and Taurin. Not all races can be all classes, and vice versa.
I have been playing WoW since the release date and while my play time may seem high to some, compared to others it is low. On average, in the winter I can get as many as 3-4 hours a night and during the summer (I like sunlight) I can see as few as 6-8 hours a week. With this extremely varied time frame, I have 6 characters made and they are ranging in levels from 61 to 6, though mostly in the 40s to 60s. Leveling can go very fast or very slow depending on how you choose to play the game. You can spend hours collecting leather and working on your skills or you can head right out and grab a quest to collect items. It's all up to you!
The Burning Crusade is the first purchasable expansion to this widely popular game and was eagerly anticipated by many players, myself included. So much so that I must have placed at least half a dozen calls to my local store and a few carefully worded threats.
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade was released on January 16,2007 (is now to be called WoW-BC to help save on my carpal tunnel). It introduces two new playable races, the Blood Elves (picture 1) and the Draenei (picture 2), as well as a large new continent to explore and the two new starting areas for each race. There is a lot of new ground to cover in your explorations! WoW-BC also brought a few new tricks by bringing the player caps up to level 70, introducing flying mounts to both races (available only on the new continent). Also added are socketable items, or better known as armor that you can customize yourself to more suit your needs. Finally, a large new central town is available to both Horde and Alliance.
Let's break this up some and have a closer look at some of the new content. We will start with my personal favorite, the Blood Elves. Starting in their home city of Quel'Thalas, you can see right away the time they put into the making of this expansion. The race is simply beautiful and their starting city is a gorgeous place to spend some time working on the new skill, Jewel crafting. The only problem at the beginning was the overcrowding from all the players making their new Blood Elf Paladins, and the constant server crashes this overcrowding created. However, as the players moved farther away from the crowded areas this soon became a memory. The Blood Elves get a nice treat with their starting area, as it is a very nice improvement over other Horde areas by making it bright and spacious, well lit, and a visual treat for everyone there. This is in contrast to the usually dark and dreary looking starting areas we were all used to having to play in at the first levels. To maintain their wonderful area, they had to ally with the Horde and tap the darker side of magic to use the power of blood to revive their once majestic city.