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WoWJan 16, 2019 5:00 pm CT

We’re not prepared for Burning Crusade to celebrate its 12th birthday

On October 25, 2005, Blizzard announced they would release an expansion to World of Warcraft for the very first time. It took over a year, but on January 16, 2007, Burning Crusade was released. We were sent to Outland, the shattered remnants of the home world of the Draenei and the Orcs. And ruling over it all was an old enemy: Illidan Stormrage.

We were told we weren’t prepared, and neither were the servers

We were not prepared for the lag — oh the lag. You got to Outland via a portal at the bottom of Blasted Lands. When the expansion opened, the sheer numbers of people trying to get into Outland, crashed servers. Making it worse, n PVP servers, fights would break out over who controlled the area in front of the portal. If you could log in at all, you found yourself on the other side of the portal running in place with hundreds of your closest friends.

I was a wee level 35 at the time, so I couldn’t go to this fabulous place but I do remember giving up logging on because the servers — even for someone questing in Desolace — were not stable.

There were seven new zones, two new races, and tons of new quests. We found ourselves questing right alongside the other faction, and in some cases doing similar quest lines. We were all rushing to level to 70, where there would be new dungeons, new bosses, and new gear.

Gear! We’d come through three years of what we now call Classic WoW. People had spent months of their lives in Ahn’Qiraj and Naxxramas to get the best gear in the game, and it was all replaced with green quest gear or world drops within the first hours in Outland. Geared raiders hated it, but the rest of us were glad catch up to the gear curve.

The magic! The memories! The colors! The clown suits!

If you weren’t raiding which allowed you to get tier sets, your gear was referred to as a “clown suit.” It might be the best you could get from a dungeon but visually it was often an eyesore. Hunters, remember the aqua blue knickers and the bright red boots? I think I saw every Hunter in Shattrath sporting that combination at some point.

The story and lore created in this expansion became something on which future expansions built. Have we really seen the last of the Burning Legion? (Answer: no.) And those of you who earned Hand of A’dal, I salute you. I was two months from getting that achievement when it was removed.

Do you remember where you were when you turned 70? I was in Shadowmoon Valley. I had just finished the Teron Gorefiend quest line. It’s still in the game and it’s cool, though not — even at level — as difficult as it was when it was current content. I still have the helm. I think I had gone into Netherstorm briefly, but someone told me I should be questing in Shadowmoon, so I went there instead.

Remember original Karazhan and how you had to take your raid team of 40 people down to 10? And the lengthy attunement quest line? If you did the quests as you picked them up, it was a fat lot of experience… but it took forever. The chain took us into dungeons and behind old Dalaran. I think the NPC you had to talk to is still looking over the lake.

Everyone’s least favorite mob

And finally, who knew a monstrosity like the Fel Reaver could sneak up on you so quickly. After going through Hellfire and getting stomped on, most everyone I know went back at level 70+ and killed this guy.

What do you remember? Disengaging off Netherstorm? Gruul’s Lair? Fishing up Lurker? Concubines in Black Temple? So many memories. It’s kind of hard to believe it’s been 12 years already.

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