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World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Review - PC

9.5
Gameplay: 9 stars 9
Graphics: 8 stars 8
Audio: 10 stars 10
Multiplayer: 10 stars 10
Innovation: 8 stars 8
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World of Warcraft, one of the largest MMORPG’s around, just got larger. The Burning Crusade offers World of Warcraft players a whole new range of content: new zones, new dungeons, new professions, new races, new weapons and armour, new flying mounts, and of course the raised level cap of 70. With over six million subscribers, World of Warcraft is by far one of the most influential (not to mention, addictive) online games ever created, and releasing a gigantic expansion with the potential to get much larger as further patches are released will only bring in even more gamers. The Burning Crusade is definitely in the running for Game of The Year, especially in the PC and RPG categories. Read on to find out why.

Gameplay

In a nutshell, the expansion consists of seven new zones on a new continent and two new starting areas for the Draenei and the Blood Elves which consist of two zones each. There is next to no new content in the already existing lands of Azeroth apart from the new ten man instance Karazhan located in Deadwind Pass. Although seven zones doesn’t sound like much, they are all two to three times larger than most of the zones in the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, and all the zones except for Nagrand and Shadowmoon Valley have instances, although there is plans for a 25 man end-game instance in Shadowmoon Valley by the name of The Black Temple which houses the infamous Illidan Stormrage.

The Outlands are covered in instances, sixteen to be exact, with more in the making. There are also four new instances back in Azeroth with at least three more due out this year. With all this new content, players are generally finding it very hard to get a group together. People who have leveled characters to 70 without really having much instance experience are proving to be unreliable. This makes PUGs (pick-up groups) a rare occurrence on the end-game content, at least until Blizzard makes the new dungeons a little easier for them.

Experienced players can take on a new challenge though, which is heroic dungeons. Once you get enough reputation that you become revered with the faction for the certain set of instances, eg: Honor Hold for Hellfire Citadel, or Sha’Tar for Tempest Keep, you can purchase a heroic key from the reputation quartermaster, and then set the instance mode to heroic. The advantages of fighting through an instance where all the monsters are basically twice as hard to kill is that the bosses drop better loot, sometimes even epic. It’s basically a way for Blizzard to add in double the amount of instances without having to do half the work, but we don’t mind.

The experienced raiders will be pleased to know that there are ... (continued next page)