World of Warcraft Classic, Blizzard’s retro version of the long-running MMO, will be expanding to include the game’s first expansion, The Burning Crusade, on 1st June at 11pm BST/6pm PT.
As you’d expect, The Burning Crusade’s arrival will see World of Warcraft Classic receive all the features delivered in the original expansion, meaning the introduction of Blood Elves and the Draenei as playable races, flying mounts, an increased level cap of 70, arena PvP, and more.
WoW’s map will also expand to include new starting zones – the Azuremyst Isles and Eversong Woods – and the Outland, a “fel-scarred planet where the forces of the demonic Burning Legion prepare to mount an assault against all life on Azeroth”, accessible through the Dark Portal.
All World of Warcraft Classic subscribers will be granted access to The Burning Crusade at no additional cost; however, those wishing to keep WoW in its pre-expansion state will, from 18th May, have the option to split off and continue playing the original version on a brand-new Classic Era realm, rather than forging ahead into the Burning Crusade with everyone else.
Additionally, Blizzard is offering a paid character cloning service – costing $35 USD (around £25) per character – for those wishing to continue their progress across both Classic Era and Burning Crusade Classic realms.
In fact, 18th May is a busy day for WoW Classic; as part of Blizzard’s pre-expansion activities, players can create a new blood elf and draenei character (and experience their starting zones), and there’s also a new limited-time in-game event, in which “demonic agents from beyond the Dark Portal pour into the Blasted Lands and assault key locations across Azeroth”.
Other paid options arriving on 18th May include the Dark Portal Pass, enabling players to boost one of their characters on a Burning Crusade Classic realm to level 58 (blood elf or draenei characters are ineligible) as well as a $69.99 USD special Deluxe Edition.
The latter includes the Reawakened Phase-Hunter mount, the Dark Portal Hearthstone, and The Path of Illidan toy – all for use in Burning Crusade Classic – as well as the Viridian Phase-Hunter mount for modern WoW, a Dark Portal Pass, and 30 days of World of Warcraft game time, granting access to WoW Classic, Burning Crusade Classic, and the modern game.