Gaming Steve

October 28, 2005

Blizzard Officially Announces WOW Expansion

World of Warcraft The Burning CrusadeSo it's official. The new World of Warcraft expansion has just been announced by Blizzard and The Burning Crusade web site has been opened. Again, I'm starting to sound like a broken record here, but here are the details:

  • An increase in the level cap to 70.
  • Two new playable races, including the magical Blood Elves.
  • New starting zones in Quel'Thalas and beyond.
  • The entire new continent of Outland, reachable through the
    Dark Portal.
  • Many new high-level dungeons to explore in Azeroth, Outland, and elsewhere.
  • New flying mounts in Outland.
  • Many new and dangerous monsters, including epic world bosses.
  • Hundreds of new quests.
  • Hundreds of new items.
  • A new profession: Jewelcrafting.
  • Socketed items.
  • And much, much more...
One little tidbit, I just had lunch with my friend my Blizzard and it turns out that they don't expect the expansion to be released until Christmas ... of 2006! So expect lots and lots of changes until then, and even more complaining!

Posted by Gaming Steve at 12:00 PM | Comments (42) | Posted to MMORPG | PC |  Add this story to  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

Ugh... xmas of 2006? Thank god they've finally started to patch regularly... guess I'll have a slew of 60s to advance with by then on a bright note. But dang... over 2yrs after launch for ther 1st expansion? Thank god it's blizzard, so I can trust it will be nothing short of brilliant... but dang.

Posted by Bildo at October 28, 2005 1:10 PM

Also just read that apparently the alliance race won't be the Pandarean? So that leaves Draenai like some rumors have stated (gosh I hope not though), and what else? I suppose they could always make something up entirely... but that wouldn't happen with the 1st expansion I don't think, seeing the trend of focusing on the existing lore and going one step further with it... I am confuzzled.

Posted by Bildo at October 28, 2005 3:38 PM

Yeah, right, if I had a nickel for every time someone said they had a friend at Blizzard. I am guessing since the expansion is being played at Blizzcon that it will be this Christmas 2005 for release.

Posted by YahRight at October 28, 2005 4:17 PM

Actually if you are curious my "friend who works at Blizzard" has been there for over five years and is the senior level designer for WOW. He designed every single raid dungeon in the game, 90% of the instanced dungeons, Booty Bay, Warsong Gulch, and all of Blackrock Spire. Hence, I think my friend is credible, just in case you are still curious.

Posted by Gaming Steve at October 28, 2005 4:37 PM

Oh come on man, you think the starting area being playable for the BEs means it's going to be released in 2 months? How's the crack you're smoking? Do some reading up before spouting vomit. I believe ya Steve.

Get me some info on that alliance race though. All industry reporters are still guessing Pandaren. Besides Draenai... what else is there?

Posted by Bildo at October 28, 2005 5:28 PM

While I appreciate the work you do, I as well do not believe the Christmas 2006 date.. I can not see Blizz being that stupid to anounce a expansion, have it played at a convention over a YEAR early...

I think Blizz KNOWS they are going to be having a fight on their hand with some other MMO's coming down the pipe line, they know they need to keep the interest, to wait a year is only asking that people go else where to try other games.. I for one say if they do call for Dec 2006, I say Best of Luck Blizz, you just lost 2 more accounts from this house hold..

Posted by what ever... at October 28, 2005 11:04 PM

Hur hur hur... Your loss.

Earlier I said that when Spore is released, the apocalpyse will come, for irony's sake. Now, with the WoW expansion in 2006 too, it's been confirmed. Repent your sins and ready your bomb shelters, lads.

Posted by Haddeen Sol at October 28, 2005 11:23 PM

Blizzard is Blizzard; they're not going to release a product until they feel it's a quality product. If that means a two year development time for an expansion; so be it.

Also, having the STARTING ZONE for one race playable means pretty much nothing in the longterm; as that doesn't even represent 5% of the content in the expansion.

Posted by UndeadScottsman at October 29, 2005 12:29 AM

hey why would the dranaei even be with the alliance werent they like allies with the blood elves, and why the heck would they add the pandaren in WoW, they originally added them for a joke in W3. If theres a cool race they could add are the .......omg i forgot their know those sea creatures from frozen throne is it nargul i have no idea. Cmon think bout it pretty cool an underwater city as their starting place but i guess that be pretty freaking hard to do. Well who should be the new alliance race stumped but if theres one thing that confuses the hell out of me. I know the blood elves are with the horde but like in frozen throne their considered as the Alliance and they didnt really join forces with the orcs, and werent the scourge originally their enemies........oh god this is all sooo badly confusing just as confusing as my bad grammar oh well i play games for fun if blizzard wanted to add retarded monkeys for a race be it as long as their fun to play with.

Posted by pana mcspana at October 29, 2005 5:43 AM

I'm excited by the details we've been told -- I may actually play a Horde character now that they aren't all hunchbacks(yes, I'm vain...).

That said, X-mas '06 seems crazy. I don't doubt what you're saying Steve, I just think Blizzard made a mistake by taking this long. As more and more people hit 60, they are realizing there isn't that much to do. They add new dungeons every other month or so, but most of them are too 'hardcore' for the majority of the people playing the game.

The alternative to the level 60 boredom is to make an alt. But I don't feel like getting a 3rd or 4th or 5th character to 60... Only to have to do it once again when they release the expansion and the new races. There are only so many classes, afterall.

Posted by Derella at October 29, 2005 9:11 AM

The Pandaren aren't a joke. When Chen ended up being so loved from WC3, Blizz even wrote them into the lore. Pandaria is north of Stonetalon, in a yet unreleased zone, but one that is on the game map and unmarked I believe. So careful what ya say about them, unless they make a huge mistake and go Pandaren, it could be them.

Also, if you scour over the pages of your art book from the special edition, you'll find a small drawing of a Dragonman tucked in the lower left corner of one of the pages. Like a dragonkin but with 2 legs instead of 4. Who knows, maybe they'll pull something like that out of nowhere.

But I for one, will cross my fingers for Pandaren, despite the reports that it's simply not them. I would love to be one. Moreso than all my dwarven characters.

Posted by Bildo at October 29, 2005 10:42 AM

Not Mistake=Pandaren, but Mistake=Draenai. No one would roll one, not even on the horde... They're just too dang ugly.

Blizz did tell Gamespy I think or everyone at the event even, that the details on the alliace race are still being hammered out, but when the info is released it will make sense, and also have people going "Huh?". So whatever that means. I'm really clueless as to what it could be... if Draenei, I'm going to be sad, if Pandaren, I'm going to be happy. If Dragonmen, I'm going to be very stoked (though doubtful). We'll all have to wait and see I guess.

Posted by Bildo at October 29, 2005 10:47 AM

Horde are generally smarter, because they're ugly. Less twelve-year-old kids play them because they look cool, but some play them because they look mean. I say adding draenei to the Alliance would make some sense - they're ugly. Other than the dwarves, alliance aren't vile enough.

Posted by Haddeen Sol at October 29, 2005 1:15 PM

Yeah but they're ugly in a bad way. Unless they overhauled the design of them, they're simply too ugly to be appealing. Whereas the Horde races are ugly but still appealing. They're warrior-like, muscular, and proud seeming. Whereas the Draenei are potbellied freaks in serious need of dental work and consultation.

So unless they are overhauled, or perhaps are come from the Outlands and are somehow unscathed compared to the few on Azeroth, I'm hoping it's not them. Though I will admit the racial trait possibility of invisibility would be bad to the bone.

Posted by Bildo at October 29, 2005 1:50 PM

Now I have been a blizzard gamer for a long time and I thing they are a company worth waiting a long time for.

I mean we waited for WoW such a long time already and it was all it was meant to be and i can say that the first time i played it i was amazed, shocked, and excited. I trust blizzard and i think that steve is right as i also know a blizz employee and he also is expecting the game to come out toward dec 2006. I mean why would blizz pull a EQ2 stunt and bring out a small expansion to fix mistakes that they made first time around.

Also on the point about the new races. The BE are great, to be put simply and about the alliance race I think that the Draenai would in fact be a good choice. If you dont like them then dont play them. but they are in fact not as ugly as you would think and they are the one real option of a new race. Even thou i would rather the BE alliance so i dont have to change sever.

And to coment on what pana mcspana said "hey why would the dranaei even be with the alliance werent they like allies with the blood elves"...

yes they where but if you play W3 again (which is what i did to see what the new race could be) you will see that they are enemies of the orcs so they cant be horde. And the blood elves are kinda f**ked up in general so it doesn't matter if they were 'once' allied. Alliances break. i mean look at the Humans and orcs working together at the end of W3.. what happened there?? well now we know.. things dont work out as you want them too.

but i was wondering if anyone thinks there will be any new classes (excluding the spell breaker as they will have no choice but to have those).
I have always wondered if they will introduce a death knight to rival the palladin, even thou you could say that the shaman does that.

Posted by Taydus at October 31, 2005 5:34 AM

I still feel that high elves will be the next new Alliance race

Posted by Farkiller at October 31, 2005 7:53 AM

Blood Elves ARE High Elves. Read the Lore. There will be no Helf Alliance.

Posted by Beomoose at October 31, 2005 11:48 AM

1- The Draenai REALLY are ugly. If you don't think so, fine, but god do I.

2- Alliances do break, things do change, and in a world that is evolving as the game grows, I believe the Pandaren would also be able to find their way into WoW, regardless of how the race started as a joke. Truth is they became loved and many people would take a giant leap of joy were they to become a playable race.

3- It will proably be either Draenei or Pandaren. Don't see much sense in any others. But who knows they could very well invent something new altogether.

Bottom line, we'll have to wait and see. But unless they makeover the ugly arse Draenei, I'll be ver disappointed. Besides being hideous to look at, it just wouldn't fit. The Blood Elves barely do with the Horde, but it works. The Draenei would be the oddest addition to the Alliance.

Whereas the Pandarens are already friendly with Dwarves, and are in general a very affable race of creatures. They love to keep to themselves, but with what may be coming to Azeroth, is it not true that they may not be able to play Switzerland any longer?


Posted by Bildo at October 31, 2005 12:33 PM

PANDAREN hmm maybe not. the the Draenai are kinda believe able and why not warcraft lore would allow them to come into the alliance easy.

ok lets say the warlocks open the portal to outland and meet the Draenai. and we need a outland race if we are going to have it as a new continent.

and if you look on one of steve's other posts you will see that he said that the BE will be horde and the Draenai he said would be horde. SO FAR he was almost completely right....

and i kinda would prefer the Draenai to the panda people as i mean come on!!!! a race of pandas. Most people i know think the game i play looks cartoony and happy and if u add pandas then even i will agree with them. The Draenai on the other hand look evil and angry and the alliance need a race like that while the horde need a pretty race which we now know that they have!!


Posted by Taydus at October 31, 2005 11:00 PM

I now will agree that for purposes of server balance, an ugly race is needed, but I know a good chunk of alliance players would not only be disappointed with the Draenei (as they look in the game now, that is), but would even consider leaving and joining the swell of people that are incoming to the Horde with the expansion. To alleviate the server balance, the need a race that is more attractive to the horde (BE's), and one that is attractive but not nearly as much to the alliance.

Pandaren, I agree, would be a very attractive race to play for most people, and would almost counteract the BE's on the horde. But Draenei as they are designed in WoW right now, would repulse most alliance players. Cause let's face it, we are vain people, Horde or Alliance, when it comes to the race we play. We play it because we like the way it looks and it fits us. I daresay, Draenei would not fit anyone except the .05% of players that are leppers or decaying dead.

Posted by Bildo at November 1, 2005 7:39 AM

i realy dont care if they take that long to market th expac in fact it would bebetter that way people cant b**tch about a flawed game. on another note i agree with all the race specs but i do think that the goblin(seeing as it has been in all the games as far as i know) would have been an awsome choice i mean come on
every one of the hord races are larg (exclouding undead) and the alie have gnomes. Covering something i have read alot about
"the lvl cap being a bad idea" I dont think so "having to rebalance the dungeans" No thats why they are putting new ones in and when people reach lvl 70 HEY! go finish or beat or whatever term you use all thoughs places you couldnt befor then set your sights on the big guys.

all in all i love the game cant stand it when people complane about something but they keep doing it and i hope i didnt make any one angry that is not what i was going for =)

Posted by Yungbull at November 1, 2005 9:59 AM

Now i dont like how the Draenei look but hey i'll make a Draenei alt because they are a cool ugly... hmmm... well you can say that the undead are ugly but people still play them and the same can be said about dwarfs yet i see people playing those races anyway.

The Draenei will be played. no reason to think otherwise.

Also the Draenei will be the first race in Outland i can bet you most people will make a charcter with them just to explore the new area.. And once begining to play with them they will keep that alt and play it because they will enjoy them.

for example:
I hated gnomes!!!!! HATED and as a joke i made a gnome alt, a mage, and now i LOVE gnomes. See my point?

things grow on people and so will the Draenei.

I personally will make one just to try them out and to explor outland before i venture there myself.

Posted by Taydus at November 2, 2005 7:54 PM

I highly doubt any race will start in the outlands this time around Taydus. Just doesn't make sense. If they do have Draenei, they will start somewhere on Kalimdor, following the current pattern of Race placement.

Alliance (1 Kalimdor, 3 Azeroth)
Horde (3 Kalimdor, 2 Azeroth- with the addition of the BE's)

Starting a new race in a whole other world intended for level mid 50s+ would be odd, even odder than starting the BEs above the Plaguelands (though I'm sure there will be a Zep connecting them to the rest of the Horde lowbie world).

Also putting the new race in Outlands/Draenor would counteract the words of the devs themselves, being that they have stated they'd like the Dark Portal to be opened by the players. Say this is true, and that the Draenei or whoever start in the outlands. Say a server hasn't opened the Dark Portal, and the existing Draenei players are as high as they can go level-wise in their starting area. How do they get out and level up until they can return to the Outlands at the mid-50s? See my point?

The alliance race will most likely begin on Kalimdor.

Posted by Bildo at November 3, 2005 11:34 AM

yeah i agree with that.. but i still dont think the pandarens will be the new race..

but in the case of the draenei they could always make them a portal into dara.

"I could easily see the Night Elves getting along with the Draenei"
-posted by Save_yourself

who knows.. i will agree that the draenei seem like a crazy choice but they are a BETTER choice than the Pandarens...

Posted by Taydus at November 3, 2005 6:04 PM

I think the new alliance race will be something comeplety different I mean did you notice how they added drainai in frozen throne nobody I know had ever evan heard of them before. ;0

Posted by MIke at November 3, 2005 8:09 PM

That's why I brought up the idea of a lizard-like race. Would fit the ugly race, monster-like race category, but the problem would be fitting it into the alliance. Taydus... you have no support as to why Draenei would be better than alliance, except for personal opinion. Which you're entitled to, but try to post something with more thought, it would go a lot longer ways.

Posted by Bildo at November 3, 2005 9:51 PM

yeh but i would think them better suited as a new race... i wouldn't know about a lizzard race but that would work. I still wont ever think that the pandarens will be a real race.... but thats my opinion.

Posted by Taydus at November 5, 2005 6:52 PM

To find out which race Blizz. designers are developing, we have to thiink with their minds (or at least try)! Look at the facts: they made Blood elves playable, though few thought about them being pklayable, in their corrent form, most have fantasised about them, as they had a HUGE fan club. And a great fan club means more players, that means in turn, more MONEY for Blizzard. So the formula seems simple: They will not pull new races 'out of their sleeves', as long, as they have other, already popular choices. The points for including a new race are the following:

1:Make it popular!: So the visual appearance certainly place a crucial role, as everyone, who played, could observe: the most beautiful (or most human-like) races were #1

2:Gameplay balance: this came up as a serious issue, after experiencing the Horde being beaten by the Alliance by nearly 1:2 on almost all servers. I have played both Horde and Allkiance (on the same server), so I know, how hard is to realise you are badly outnumbered all the time. Balancing the scales will result in an enchanced experience of playing: so no longer will Horde players quit becouse they cannot find any mate for instancing, for example.

3:Lore: While Blizzard seems to be rather flexible at this point, we can admit: they did nothing, that could not be fit into the storyline's frames: These are the reasons, why Alliance cannot get Blood Elves, or Nagas, while the Horde will not get Dryads or Draenai.

4: Subsequent series of expansion: An official of Blizz (I do not remeber which designer) told: They have enough concepts for even 5-6 expansions (though I doubt there will be so much), and they have a practically unlimited series of possible new playable races. So even if they make only 4 expansions, and each expansion only features 1-1 new races, it will be finally 16 (!) Playable races, which is truely great, and this means, they can feature every major (most popular) races. So: Just look forward to see your favoured race featured soon or later!!!

Posted by Arinnaya at November 6, 2005 11:26 AM

Regarding my post above, I have calculated a few possible patterns: They need not be true, but it is worth to consider their Pro and Contra sides:

Alliance gets Horde gets
Case#1 Burning Crusade: Draenei Blood Elves
'Great Sea': Pandaren Naga
'Emerald Dream': Dryads Furbolgs
'Northrend'(ultimate): (like Tuskarr?) Nerubians

Case#2 Burning Crusade: Draenei Blood Elves
'Great Sea': Goblins Naga
'Emerald Dream': Dryads Pandaren
'Northrend'(ultimate): (like Tuskarr?) Nerubians

Case#3 Burning Crusade: Pandaren Blood Elves
'Great Sea': Goblins Naga
'Emerald Dream': Dryads Furbolgs
'Northrend'(ultimate): (like Tuskarr?) Nerubians

These patterns were based upon both class balance (equal number of Druids, for example), and the directive, that more popular races should be included first, regardless of the H/A descision. And some other: these races should have some (Lorewise) connection to the Expansion, that features them. Out of these 3 possibilities, I think, that currently X1 has the greatest chance, though #3 cannot be ruled out as well. #2 seems to have a low chance, based upon the faction imbalance, it would create, towards the horde: 3 in 4 expansion gives the Horde a "cooler" race, than to the Alliance, thus while creating 'the best Horde ever', it would bring a Horde dominated world, over the Alliance.

Posted by Arinnaya at November 6, 2005 11:50 AM

I'm disappointed, but I'm pretty sure it 's draeni. I was over my friends house and we searched on the internet and found a leaked document that the 2 new races for blood elves and draeni.

Posted by AgentKRO at November 8, 2005 7:57 PM


OK blood elves in wc3 where shuned by the alliance so with their hunger for magic turned to illidan and teh naga. they went outland and lost their leader Kael. The hunger for mgaic kael promised is now lost since they lsot him. With no where else to turn they went to the horde since they shunned by lord garithos(wc3). NOW with the draeni they wree in outland and got aided by illidan againt the orcs. This makes the draeni hate the orcs so maybe they ally with the alliance to kill the horde cause orcs have been salughting them. Now the pandas will not be in it. It was 1 hero in wc3. The naga r still sided with illidan, if anyhting they should horde since they ahte night elves cause they used to be part of the night elves but got sent underwater. My prediction is draeni ally and be r already horde

Posted by Brian at November 12, 2005 2:25 AM

Draeni were aided by Illidan and the Blood Elves, they would most likely not ally themselves with the Alliance after being freed from outland by enemies of the Alliance. I think its ogres. Metzen said he wanted the alliance between the new race and the Alliance to be a shady one, much like the Forsaken are with the Horde. Ogres are originally from Draenor. They are scattered into many tribes much like the trolls, so lore could be written to make it fit. Lore already exists with the Laughing Skull Clan, a clan of ogres still in outland fighting alongside the trapped heros (the statues in the Valley of Heros) in Outland. Ogres are strangly missing from the Horde, except for a small outpost.(could be explained away with tribes) for more very convincing points of argument visit

Posted by Zaalja at December 21, 2005 2:03 PM

Guys ive done some research that shows it cant be dreanei, one of the wow officials posted the new alliance race's game model isnt in the game yet, the dreaneis game model indeed already is in WoW, but the pandarens is not, and the pandarens island pandaria is in kalimdor the rumored starting location, and they have a place in outlands called Pan,Xing theres ur new alliance race :).

Female Dreanei :(?

Posted by TheGoodReverend at December 25, 2005 12:13 PM

The draenei as you all know were liberated by Illidan and so they allied with him. As Illidan is already allied with the blood elves, choosing draenei as the allience race is shady :D. There is a small faction of the Draenei who fled to Swamp of Sorrow, but they've gone mad. A smaller group is still intact so to speak, but it is too small to be considered the next playable race. Hence, if Draenei is chosen, starting location should be in Outland, which we already know is a high level location. Draenei out! (or at least I don't see them betray their savior, in which case, it won't be such an appealling race to play with)

The other two possibilities are Tuskarr and Worgen. If Northrend makes it in the expansion, then Tuskarr will surely be the Alliance race.

Personally I wish they add Northrend as there is so much potential over there. Imagine Arthas as the New Lich King being the final boss. Yummy!

Posted by Deceneu at December 28, 2005 12:19 PM

Well, AOL games and a couple other game sites have the release date listen as july 2nd/3rd, the only discrepancy between the sites was that some said 2nd and some said 3rd. I don't know whats right, but I hope it's july lol.

Posted by Researched before posting at January 22, 2006 9:52 PM

i think they should make a new fration calld 'Legion' containing blood elves,naga,drainia,and chaos orcs, i belive that this should be read by blizzard,my ideas are endless!

Posted by the legion of blood at February 8, 2006 10:07 AM

They should make a new race :). I want something that no one expects and says "huh?" when they release the expansion! O.o

Posted by Arecia- Perenolde 44 mage at March 2, 2006 5:02 PM

I am not sure, but why not allow a system of remembering your actions in whatever area you are. As you gain reputation even if you are a Tauren, Dwarf, Gnome...undead or any other race. Then use the reputation as a do bad things in alliance gain reputation with the horde and vice versa....has anyone in the alliance (NPC's) ever ticked you off and wanted to attack them...I sure have.....this I feel would eliminate the need to be vain....You could be as evil a paladin or as good kind hearted an undead you would like.....You could make it tough to gain this reputation among the opponents faction....but this would change the game completely obviously...perhaps a new Role-Play PVP server would all that would be needed.......You could play a good looking evil or good anything!

Please respond.....I hope Blizzard reads this....

Posted by Larry at March 15, 2006 12:11 PM

I dont see the draenai as a playable race they were saved by the blood elves so that would make them closer to hord being as blood elves are going hord. As for a playable race you have to think the Razermain dont have faction nither do the Centure and as far as i know the centure have hated the taurens for a long time now. If it is true about the desine not being in the game yet then there is no real way to tell unless Blizzerd lets it out. One thing to note is if you look at the map fully zoomed out ther is an island north north east of Kalimdor wich seems a bit out of place becuse you cant get there but it is unexplored on your map???????
For all the Panda fans if you look at Wc3ft The panda hero helped the half Orc half Oger with the bear clense Kalimdor of the majer problems keeping Orgrimar from being founded so Panda would be more to the hord side as well. The only time they attacked any one was in the one Speciel lvl where the blood elves have to get to the portel and you have to keep them safe from Wave after wave of monsters and the pandas were one of the waves led by the panda hero.

All Blizzerd is realy trying to do with the hole thing about letting us in on the BE's but not the other race is to hipe up the need to find out so more people by the game. Props to Blizzerd cause i realy want the Xpac now.

Posted by Gutshanks at March 26, 2006 10:12 AM

to add on to ur comments gutshanks

the pandas were only helping someone in need and in the level against the blood elves they were only protecting theyre territory
so yeah!!=P

GO PANDAS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Satan man at March 29, 2006 10:02 PM

Ehhh.. Flying mounts? Does that mean new flightpaths with some new bird (not gryphon,hippogryph,wyvern or bat)? OR real mounts like birds and dragons in two different speeds like mounts now 60% and 100% but much faster ofc and ABLE TO FLY

Posted by Elmore at April 19, 2006 8:50 AM

hmm..odd on my server the allaiance loses the most except in AVBG we seem to win their a little bit. but as im sure u all know now the dinosaurs are in the A (lol) sadly i will not be able to hold myself back from making a bloodelf forgive me my A friends :( In WC3 i loved the blood elfs and their hatred and dark aura it was just cool and appealing to me. however the new level cap thing....isn't this just another way for blizz to make even more money? i mean what wow player whos level 60 couldnt buy it if they are serious about the game? to have a level 70 or even 61 player walk by your godly 60 char.? major ego shock i kinda don't like that u have to buy it or be left behind. but im not gonna call any shots about the release or anything...i mean hell last i saw they didn't even know how they were gonna get it to the players but on that i hope they pick downloadable versions i dont need more cd junk laying aorund my place lol (im a gamimg junkie) anyways yeh girls and guys thats my 3 cents

Posted by Lavey at July 30, 2006 3:42 AM