World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic takes us back into Outland

Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard Entertainment /

What’s old is new again and World of Warcraft Classic is set to receive its first expansion — World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic.

Similar to the original MMORPG’s timeline, Burning Crusade was World of Warcraft‘s first expansion, released in 2007. Now players will venture back through the Dark Portal and into the Outland… to experience it all over again, I guess?

If you recall, WoW Classic was released in 2019 as a return to the MMORPG in its original form prior to the release of Burning Crusade in 2007 (after patch 1.12.1, c. September 2006). All of the expansions and controversial mechanics of modern WoW were removed. It was as if players traveled back in time.

World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic is a step forward in our classic WoW timeline. I’ll never forget my first experience with the expansion, stepping through the Dark Portal and into Outland, a shattered and destroyed world of Draenor.

World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic
Blizzard Entertainment /

World of Warcraft was already groundbreaking at the time. The Outland introduced some breathtaking new areas along with two new playable races; the blood elves for the Horde and the draenei for the Alliance. The expansion also introduced flying mounts.

While Burning Crusade Classic launches in 2021, its content will be released in phases.  The current schedule will have Karazhan, Gruul’s Lair, and Magtheridon’s Lair available at launch. Serpentshrine Cavern, Tempest Keep, and Arena Season 1 will come in phase 2; Hyjal, Black Temple and Arena Season 2 in phase 3; Zul’Aman and Arena Season 3 in phase 4; and The Sunwell and Arena Season 4 in phase 5.

Blizzard is trying to keep as much of the Burning Crusade Classic as true to the original as possible. Mechanics introduced later in WoW’s lifecycle that made some of the raid bosses easier to conquer have been removed. In some instances, where mechanics deemed too frustrating were removed, like M’uru’s spell pushback, Blizzard made up for it by increasing his health pool, so the difficulty should still resemble his original incarnation.

World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic
Blizzard Entertainment /

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Prior to the launch of Burning Crusade Classic, players will be given the choice to move on to the new content or stay back and experience WoW Classic as it is. The decision will be individual to each character and not your account. For a fee, you can clone your character so that you can have a version in Burning Crusade Classic as well as one in WoW Classic.

If you don’t already have a WoW Classic character eligible to travel into Outland, Blizzard is offering a one-time character boost to level 58. According to Blizzard:

"These boosts will be limited to one per account, won’t be usable on Classic Era realms, and won’t be usable on the new blood elf or draenei races. Boosted characters will be equipped with some basic dungeon blues, the level-40 mount skill, and a mount. Freshly boosted characters will not include any professions while existing characters will retain their chosen profession as it is."

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I played World of Warcraft regularly through 2010’s Cataclysm. The Burning Crusade was, hands down, part of what I consider the Golden Era for the long-running MMORPG. With two kids now and a full-time job, I can’t say I have the time to dedicate myself to classic WoW, but I certainly appreciate what Blizzard is doing.

World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic will be included with your existing World of Warcraft subscription. It will be available in 2021 with a beta test kicking off “in the near future”