Burning Crusade Locations
One of the most amazing qualities World of Warcraft has is the ability to make the player feel immersed in the world he/she is playing in. Above all else environments are probably most responsible for this feat, a fact that Blizzard has recognised with the new expansion. As well as new zones made to accommodate the two new races Blizzard has also created The Outlands
, a rather nasty place for those of you who fancy venturing beyond level 60.
The Draenei starting area is in front of a part of the ship that crash landed onto the planet. I say part
as that is quite important, as the main part of the ship serves as the Draenei’s home city, Exodar. Like the Blood Elves home city, it is about 2/3 the size of a city from the Legacy
world (such as Ironforge) and it is fully featured (contains everything from an inn to an auction house).
To get you up to speed on the mother ship here is the lowdown from Blizzard Vice President, Chris Metzen
“The draenei nether-ship you've been hearing about is far more than it seems. Its part of a larger dimension-traveling fortress called Tempest Keep that essentially teleports through alternate realities.”
For those of you worried about WoW getting all sci-fi the Blizzard team is simply asking you to bear with them. In my hands-on test I have to say that the Draenei certainly didn’t feel like anything I have seen from sci-fi offerings. This may please those fantasy purists amongst you but like I have already said, I’m worried about the fact that you step off a space ship wielding a wooden axe – how can that add up?
For a Draenei life begins in a swamp area, a stark contrast to the other new race's starting zone. For all the Blood Elves evil intent, their starting area is truly a graphical masterpiece. You start the game in an area called Sunstrider Isle
, with high rise, brilliantly crafted vertical structures making up the buildings and lush green forest areas. I have to say this is one of the most beautiful in game environments I have seen in World of Warcraft and tip my hat to the level designers.
Click to enlarge
The home city is called Silvermoon
and will be fully featured too. The thing that really threw me about the Blood Elves is that despite being part of the horde they feel very Alliance like. A fact that is demonstrated more than adequately in the numerous screenshots of the area in both day and night time. At last, the Horde has an attractive female race!
The other major addition is The Outlands. This new barren looking area, filled with drab red and brown colours, is primarily for people to level up through 54-70, so if you’re like me and still wallowing in single digits then you probably won’t be visiting here for a while. They allowed us to have a run round with a level 70 pre-made character (with all the highest grade weapons and armour) and fight some of the beasties and I can tell you they are pretty unusual, large 'Tremor
' style worms exploding from the ground and elephant-man lookalikes dotted around waiting to be slain.
The story behind the place is again pretty complicated and probably not worth me going into too much. What is important about Outland is how it will be opened. Blizzard will be running a world event to introduce the portal to get into it. So if you're already a WoW level 60 make sure you’re there for that and get in there killing the monsters before anyone else. Don’t expect anything too magical when going through the portal to Outlands though, it will simply take you to a loading page and then you’re there.