After earlier reports
of an indefinite slip into the first part of 2007, The Burning Crusade
- the latest expansion for blockbuster MMO World of Warcraft
- has been given a firm release date of January 16th.
The expansion will be released simultaneously on January 16th in both North America and Europe. Burning Crusade
was originally to be released in time for the holidays, but was delayed to 2007 to "allow extra time for current beta testers to participate in the final stages of development and continue providing valuable feedback."
will allow long-time players to advance their characters to level 70, and will additionally include two new playable races -- the Blood Elves and the Draenei, as well as flying mounts, new talents and abilities for all character classes, the new jewelcrafting profession, new magical weapons and armor, and enhancements to player-vs.-player action.
The expansion also opens up new realms for higher-level players, including the fabled Dark Portal and into Outland, with new outdoor zones, quests, dungeons, monsters, and more.
Said Blizzard president and co-founder Mike Morhaime, “While World of Warcraft
has continued to grow rapidly along with its player population, The Burning Crusade
will represent our single largest addition of new game content and new features to date. With this expansion, we’re looking forward to offering the same level of quality that players have experienced in World of Warcraft
so far, and we’ll continue balancing and play-testing up until launch to ensure that The Burning Crusade
achieves that goal.”