Irvine (CA) - Blizzard is setting the final release date for the Burning Crusade expansion pack for World of Warcraft. Burning Crusade will be released on January 16th, 2007 for North America and Europe and Blizzard says Asian countries will have the expansion in a "similar time frame".
The expansion will include hundreds possibly thousands of changes and addition. Most notably is that the level cap has been raised to 70 and two new races have been added. Alliance players will have the new Dranei race which is a extra-dimensional race that has crash landed on Azeroth. The beautiful, but vain, Blood Elves are a new addition to the Horde.
Players will also be able to travel through the Dark Portal to the Outlands and battle new creatures and explore more dungeons. Players who don't buy the expansion will still get some new content in an upcoming patch, but will not be able to go through the portal.
World of Warcraft players have been testing out the Burning Crusade beta for the last month and several guides and screenshots have already popped up on the Internet. You can read TG Daily's experiences, along with dozens of screenshots, here.
The Burning Crusade will be available for Windows and Mac computers for $40, while a Collector's Edition will be sold for $70. Game stores are taking pre-order reservations on the expansion pack and the Collector's Edition is already sold out in many places.
The Burning Crusade requires the original game to work and Blizzard has dropped the price of World of Warcraft to $20. Official Blizzard sources have said the company plans on releasing one major expansion every year.
World of Warcraft is currently the most popular online role-playing game with over 7.5 million players.