Wednesday, January 17, 2007
World of Warcraft - The Burning Crusade
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade is the first expansion pack for the popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft. The release date is set as January 16, 2007 in Europe and North America. It will be available in a similar time frame in Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore as well, and availability for mainland China and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau will be announced in the near future.
* New content will be accessible to players without the expansion, such as items crafted with the Jewelcrafting profession and any tradable items found in Outland.
* On July 21, 2006, it was announced that Blood Elves will be able to play as Paladins, which were previously unavailable to the Horde. Similarly, the Draenei will be able to play as Shaman, previously unavailable to the Alliance.
* New endgame instance raids are capped at 25 members (previous instances had a limit of 40 players).
* New dungeons will have two difficulty levels: normal and Heroic. Once a player reaches level 70, they may choose to run a lower-level instance at the Heroic difficulty. While the harder difficulty will present a much greater challenge to the group, it will also yield better rewards. Blizzard is considering adding this feature to currently existing dungeons but has no plans to implement them yet.
* World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade is currently undergoing a closed beta test in Korea. As with the World of Warcraft closed-beta test that occurred in Korea in 2004, participants can acquire beta keys from various fansites.
* During a conference from September 26, 2006 to September 30, 2006, GameStop store managers signed up for the Burning Crusade beta test. These managers were also high-priority recipients for the betas for World of Warcraft when it first came out. 
* Invitations for the United States Closed Beta were sent via email on October 11, 2006 to those who had gone to BlizzCon 2005, and the beta test is currently taking place.
* On December 13 2006, the opening cinematic of The Burning Crusade was shown on Spike TV and subsequently made available on the official World of Warcraft web site .
* A midnight release and signing will be held at the Fry's Electronics in Anaheim, CA. Doors will open at 12:00am January 16th, 2007; the programmers, artists, and other people in Blizzard will be there giving their autographs.