After waiting a while to buy this expansion I figured it was time to finally go out and buy The Burning Crusade. Now that I have had a chance to get a toon from 1 to 70 the question is was it worth it to buy the expansion?

First a bit of information about the expansion. The Burning Crusade adds a few things to the original World of Warcraft. First on the list of stuff the expansion adds is the two new races. On the Horde side you have the new Blood Elves and on the Alliance side you have the Draenei. The expansion also adds jewel crafting as a profession that can be learned. The items that are made with jewel crafting can be applied to weapons and armor to boost the stats up.

The expansion also gives the Horde side the Paladin and the Alliance side get the Shaman now.

Along with what I mentioned above you have also get access to new 5 and 10 man dungeons in The burning crusade as well. For those that like to do big raids the expansion also offers a load of new raid dungeons for up to 25 people.

The only dungeons I have seen so far have been a lot of the 5 man ones and also one 10 man. All of these so far look quite impressive and take a fair amount of work to complete them in a timely manner. The rewards from these new dungeons can also be pretty impressive and a lot better then what you would find in the old world of warcraft dungeons.

What I don’t like about these new dungeons is blizzard once again has made it so that in order to even get in the door of some of these new dungeons you have to complete a rather lengthy chain quest. Its not bad enough that you have to be 70 to get into any of these places but blizzard thinks once you are 70 you need to waste some more time on stupid chain quests to get a key to get into the place.

Next on the list is the flying mounts. You can purchase these mounts and use them as standard mounts but they can also fly as well. The flying mounts are currently only used in outlands which is a bit of a drag. outlands is also the new continent that was added to the game as well.

Along with the new Outland continent you also have new areas you can access when your making a new toon assuming that toon is either Blood Elve or the Draenei. The new starting areas are quite large and you should be able to level in it until your around level 20. After level 20 you will be heading back into the standard world of warcraft and then you will have to level from 20 to 60 and then from 60 on you can go to the outlands and level to 70. Note you don’t have to be 60 to get into the outlands you can go through the portal to get into the outlands at level 58.

Below is a screen shot of the new Blood Elve city called Silvermoon.

Below is a screen shot of the Dark Portal aka the entrance into outlands from the old world of warcraft.

These new areas also come with a host of new looking creatures as well. Some of the so called new monsters are just old models from the standard world of warcraft with new skins on them and you see that a fair amount in the expansion. Overall the new areas in the expansion are very well done.

The amount of quests that you have access to in the outlands is rather staggering. It seems like the quests will never end. The problem though that comes up with having so many quests is when to do them quests. Blizzard quite a while ago made it so that if you were max level and you went back and done previous quests that you didn’t do they would turn the XP you would get into gold. So what this has lead to is people just grinding out their levels inside a instance or on mobs in the game world and saving the outland quests for when they are level 70.

The reason for waiting is quite simple below level 70 you will get a quest and the gold reward for the quest maybe 3 gold. That same quest when your level 70 will give you 9 or 10 gold. That don’t seem like a lot but when you consider how many quests there are in outlands your talking about thousands of gold in quests if you do the quests at 70.

Below is what you get if you spend 5200 gold.:)

Now you maybe thinking what will I do with so much gold? Well the short answer is Flying Epic mount.. These mounts need a skill and that skill cost 5000 gold the Epic mount itself is 200 gold. So you need a total of 5200 gold if you want to have the Epic flying mount. I consider the Epic flying mount a must have if you want to make money quickly. With my mage that I made from the ground up I decided on the first day that I made him I would make the money for that Epic flying mount and that I did.

The two professions I chose for the mage were mining and skinning so the faster I can get around the more mining nodes I can hit. The standard flying mount you get I think is crap, it has a movement speed of 60% where as the Epic flying mount has a movement speed of 280%. It should be noted you have to have the skill for the standard flying mount before you can get the skill for the Epic flying mount. The standard flying mount and the skill for that mount will run you 900 gold.

As you can see from the prices of things here you will indeed have to be wise and not spend all your gold if you plan on getting to the Epic flying mount. The speed difference alone between the two mounts is HUGE let alone the fact that the Epic flying mount looks way cooler with the armor on it.

At some point in time in the future I will do another article on how I made all the gold I did to be able to afford the Epic flying mount.

Total time for me to make my mage and get him from 1 to 70 and also get the money for the Epic flying mount was around 2 months. This was putting serious amounts of time into the game as well. I played every day and always spent more then 8 hours a day on it. So one thing to keep in mind if you want the Epic flying mount you will have to put loads of time into the game.

On the not so good side of things Blizzard has decided it needs to limit people some more and has introduced daily quest limits into parts of the game. So for example there is another mount you can get after you get your Epic flying mount called a flying nether drake and to get this mount you have to do a chain of quests. At the end of the chain of quests you come to a part where you have to do more quests but these quests are limited in that you can only do them once a day. You have to do these quests over and over for a couple of weeks in order to get the nether drake.

This is nothing new when I played the game a year ago they had the same thing in place for Molten Core where you could only complete the instance one time per week. These types of limitations really piss me off. I don’t like to be told when I have to do something, the game should be open ended in this regard. I like to play when I like to play and some people may only have a weekend free and may want to use that entire weekend to get something. Blizzard is making sure that the users only get certain things on blizzards time schedule and not yours.

Another good example of this was in The Burning Crusade they put in more world pvp. You go take a quest from quest giver and then when you defend the 3 control points for a certain amount of time and the quest is complete. When the quest is complete you take it back to the quest giver and then you get these tickets that can be used to purchase things from certain vendors. Well as of lately Blizzard has decided that they want to limit how fast you get these tickets and now they have put a limit on the quest giver for the world pvp. You can now only do the world pvp quest in the hellfire zone once a day.

Keep one thing in mind about this some things take like 30 tickets to get and with the new restrictions in place you can get 3 tickets a day max. So what you used to be able to get in a day if you put the time in is now going to take 10 days. This is the sort of stuff that makes me want to cancel my wow account. What makes this worse is blizzard is going nuts with this restriction idea and your starting to see it more and more.

Another area of MASSIVE frustration for me is the Battleground PVP stuff. This game has to be the worst game I have ever seen for people ignoring the obvious. One of the battle grounds in wow is called Alterac Valley and its a battleground that not only has pvp but there are objectives you have to complete in order to win. The problem with alterac valley is you get honor points whether you win or lose and you also get tickets as well.

Both the tickets and the honor can be used to purchase weapons and armor. So on the Horde side of things you get 40 people together they are all in this battleground and most of them don’t even try to win because if they lose they still get something for losing. You do get more honor points and tickets if you win but the Horde side seems to think if you let the alliance win quickly some how you are better off because you lost fast and you got honor and tickets for it. So what all this leads to is you get into alterac valley and people are just doing whatever there is no organization at all and you get people doing whatever they want including sitting back at the start point afk collecting honor and tickets for doing nothing.

Where this really gets annoying to no end is no one works with you, you might figure you can get a few people to go with you and you may then win. Problem is that never happens like I said people are off doing their own things and have got it into their heads that losing is far better then winning.

What pisses me off to know end is the loosing all the time. I played one day I did 20 matches in a row and we won 2 of them. I have put in hundreds of matches into alterac valley and the horde loose all the time.

One way to fix this is for blizzard to not give out honor or tickets to the side that lost. If you get nothing for losing you will make sure you don’t loose. Also something else blizzard has to do is make the gear better that you can get out of the battlegrounds. Blizzard decided they would give people in the battlegrounds all blue gear when it comes to the sets of armor and if you want the purple sets of armor you then need to get into the arena and start doing that. The arena combat is nothing like alterac valley and you can only have up to 5 vs 5 matches.

If they made the gear better that you could get out of alterac valley and the other battlegrounds and then made it so losers get nothing I think you would start to see the horde get their shit together and start fighting like they used to a year ago.

Another problem with alterac valley is that you have 2 types of people playing it, you have those who need tickets and those who need honor. In terms of honor the longer the battle goes the more honor you get because you get honor based on the kills you get as well as the objectives you complete. The other type of person in alterac valley is the guy who needs only the tickets and in this case these guys want to win the round quickly because when you win a round you get 3 tickets where if you loose you get 1 ticket.

This is another problem with the battle grounds in general is the fact you have two different types of currency you can get from them. Some people don’t need the honor points right away but they only need the tickets say for example to get a Epic ground riding mount. The people who need honor and lots of it and don’t care about the tickets because they need so much honor they will have more tickets then they know what to do with by the time they get the honor they need. These two sides are a huge conflict in the battlegrounds and it needs to be addressed.

If the horde were to start winning a lot more then that may solve some of the problem but I’m not going to hold my breath on that one.

The reason why I mention alterac valley in this Review despite the fact its not a new thing that was added in The burning Crusade is because the burning Crusade didn’t do anything to address one of the biggest flaws in the game since day one. The expansion is supposed to expand on the current game but also fix any glaring issues and in this case it didn’t change anything about alterac valley at all. Atlerac valley has been broken a very long time now and even up to the latest patch Blizzard has done nothing to address the problems with it.

So after seeing the mess that is known as the battlegrounds just recently me and some friends of mine decided we should take a look at how the arena pvp is in The Burning Crusade. This was another big part of the expansion that Blizzard was touting before the expansion come out. I have to say some parts of the arena I like but other parts of it plain suck.

One thing that baffles me about the arena is the arena vendor only has the matching set armor and thats it. For those that don’t know the matching set consist of 5 pieces of armor the problem is this so called set is not a set and is missing pieces to it such as the bracer’s, belt and boots among other things. So if you want to have a real set of armor that covers everything then your back to the battle grounds because thats the only place you can pvp and get the other non set pieces. So what this means is if you were hoping to be able to only do arena and get all your gear from head to toe your not going to be able to do that. You will still have to put up with the mindless shit that is known as Alterac Valley to get the other pvp gear you need.

I think blizzard dropped the ball here by making it so only some stuff comes from the arena. The arena requires far more skill to get anywhere in then the standard battlegrounds but yet you don’t get rewarded for your time or effort. They got to make the arena rewards far better then what they are now. If I want to play nothing but the arena matches then I should be able to gear my toon up from head to toe with all arena gear and not a mix match of arena gear and battleground gear.

Blizzard always drops the ball when it comes to logic. Its like they want to force you to put up with all kinds of crap to do anything in this game. The other problem with the arena combat there is no 1 vs 1. They have the arena so you can do 2 vs 2 or 3 vs 3 or 5 vs 5 and thats it. Once again this requires you to be in a guild at the very least because when you make your arena team you will want to do so with guys you know will be on when you are.

I think a 1 vs 1 would be good for just getting to know how to pvp against other people and get some gear for it. Right now the only 1 vs 1 in the game is dueling and you don’t get anything for that. Plus I think a 1 vs 1 would show what class rules the 1 vs 1. It would also make people have to come up with new ways and ideas to get to the top. The biggest plus of a 1 vs 1 would be I can do it when ever I want. I wouldn’t have to wait for people to come online or hope when they are online they play good and all that. Hopefully Blizzard will see the light and make it so we can do 1 vs 1 in the future.

Another thing I have noticed with this expansion is I seem to see more graphical glitches. Some times you will see the monsters in the game walking half in and half out of the terrain. They still haven’t bother to fix it so that monsters don’t glitch to the point where you can’t even hit the monster but it can hit you.

The expansion seems a bit less stable as well I have seen graphical glitches in the game that made me shut the game down and restart but I have only seen that happen three times so far. I have also had the game out right crash and pop up the blizzard crash reporting tool a couple of times.

One of my biggest complaints aimed at the burning crusade as a expansion is it’s simply not big enough. When you look at how huge the basic world of warcraft is you soon see how small burning crusade is in comparison. For me the problem with this small expansion is that when you make a new toon from scratch you get to see a new area if your a blood elf but you only see that new area for 20 levels. After you complete them 20 levels your back to the old world of warcraft levels till you hit 60.

This whole thing of leveling a new toon in the old wow gets sickening if you have made more then one level 60 in the past. I have seen so much of the old wow game I don’t really want to see any more of it when making a new toon.

I would have like to have seen the expansion big enough that I could level right to level 60 and not have to be in the old wow places.

The other thing I would like to see Blizzard do is start to make these expansions FREE. A lot of other MMO’S offer huge upgrades every year or so and do not charge for them at all. The burning Crusade sells for around 40 dollars and on top of that your still paying the monthly fee. I don’t suspect Blizzard will change this though because one thing they already know is millions of people WILL buy the game and the expansion and gladly pay the monthly fee as well.

The performance of The Burning Crusade on my machine has been quite smooth. The graphics I think are better then what you see in the standard world of warcraft but they are not that much better that you need a super computer to run the expansion. Below are the computer specs that the expansion was run on.

AMD 64 X2 4800

In conclusion I think people should get the expansion, Blizzard didn’t add anything revolutionary but they did add a lot of little things that over all make the game better. All the quests that are in the expansion is amazing as well and offers single players a way to make loads of cash when your 70. Don’t get me wrong some parts of the game really piss me off and I hope that Blizzard does something to address these issues, but if your going to be paying the monthly fee for the game then it only makes sense to purchase the expansion. At the time of this article you could get The burning Crusade expansion for about $40 U.S.

If you would like more information on The Burning Crusade you can get it from Blizzards web site here..