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The Burning Crusade was an instrumental step forward for World of Warcraft, adding many features that would evolve into the current version of WoW players enjoy today. Alongside the new content like more playable races (Blood Elf and Draenei), zones, dungeons, and quests, the expansion included quality-of-life additions that ensured players’ time in Azeroth was much more enjoyable. Here’s how The Burning Crusade changed Azeroth forever.

The Burning Crusade was the first expansion for 2004’s World of Warcraft. Developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment, the expansion was initially released in 2007. Players will soon be reintroduced to The Burning Crusade when it comes to World of Warcraft Classic later this year.

One of the most significant changes The Burning Crusade brought to players was an updated Looking For Group interface. With the original version of the game, there was no interface for players to search for groups of like-minded individuals to tackle content like Dungeons. Players relied on their guilds, friends or the Looking For Group chat channel to undertake group content. This was problematic as the channel was zone-specific, meaning players in a city or nearby zone wouldn’t see postings from others trying to rally characters just outside the Dungeon.

Often, this meant the tedious work of forming a group in a major city (where the highest density of players would congregate) and then having the group make its way back to the Dungeon. As a result, content far away from major cities was seldom undertaken to avoid the cross-country trip. It made Warlocks and their ability to create summoning portals very popular. Though some kind of queuing system came in the form of the Meeting Stones found outside of Dungeons, they were rarely utilized.

The Looking For Group interface that The Burning Crusade introduced would act as the progenitor for the more modern iteration of Dungeon Finder and the Raid Finder interface that would follow. It provided a menu that offered a more streamlined experience when trying to create or find a party for Dungeons, allowing players to search for groups without the need to remain in a specific zone and watch a chat channel. Additionally, the Meeting Stones were revamped and allowed players to summon group members to the dungeon location without requiring a Warlock.

Once players were nearing the end of their adventures in Outland, they could achieve one of World of Warcraft’s most beloved features: flying. Though at the time it was only available in Outland, flight changed the way players got around and would inspire a whole slew of future mounts in addition to unique uses for the new form of transportation. No longer were players at the whim of nearby Flight Master’s taxi service; they could mount their wyvern or griffon and take to the skies.

Flight Masters always offered their service by air, but it had been on their terms. This meant passing over several other destinations while en route to where the player wanted to go. This planned route would often ferry players out of their way before they could disembark and added a genuine element of wasted time. Meeting up with the guild for a fun fishing event? Well, players better had planned their wow tbc gold and location well or risk being late as their air taxi made every possible pit stop along the way.

Flying mounts not only put some control back in the players’ hands, but it also allowed for more direct routes to destinations that weren’t available before. It wasn’t long before players began to realize the advantages flying could deliver for PvP as well. Groups or guilds could organize their forces, hideout up in the air behind some obstruction and swoop down on unsuspecting players from the opposite faction.

Some of the most important changes that The Burning Crusade introduced were under the hood. These included changes to talents and spells, offering some revisions and additional inclusions. Some of note were the ever-popular Bloodlust ability for Shamans and Righteous Defense for Paladins. These two classes were no longer faction-specific and were rounded out to make each class play and feel the way players expected them to.

Character stats also received a few tweaks. Critical strike, defense, hit rate, spell critical and dodge stats were all changed from being strictly percentages to a rating system that would convert to a percentage. As characters level up, these percentages require more and more of the stat to maintain the desired percentage. This meant that players could no longer find a piece of level 30 gear that provided better stat percentage than something acquired in the end-game. Though some of the stats no longer exist or were replaced, the system persists even in current-day WoW.