With the launch of World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic approaching, we’d thought it would be best to go over what we know now, about the game’s story. For those of you who don’t know, World of Warcraft, or WoW, is an online MMORPG developed by Blizzard Entertainment. The game, nearly 17 years old, follows a character in a faction-based war on Azeroth. This DLC, Burning Crusade Classic, follows the same story and general design as the original Burning Crusade, excluding some balance changes to abilities and characters, slight map tweaks, and a wholly revamped aesthetic. Thanks to the 14 years that have passed since the DLC’s original 2007 release date, there’s a lot of story to unpack. So, let’s begin!

A Quick Recap

Burning Crusade picks up two years since the founding of Durotar, a civilization built for the Horde-affiliated Orcs. Although the current treaty between the Horde and Alliance holds up, tensions have grown to an all time high with war just on the horizon. That’s when fighting erupts upon Azeroth, dozens of little backgrounds across the world. As the Horde and Alliance dissolve into a war, the already quite lucky Azeroth receives several resurfaced ancient threats.

Within Blackrock Mountain, black dragon Nefarian creates an unspeakable hybrid of red and black dragons. That’s at the same time as the resurrection of the demonic Soulflayer, who was resurrected through rituals. With these ancient dangers on the rise, you might think that’s the end, but no. Green dragons, corrupted by the Emerald Nightmare, travel to the real world through dream portals. Add in ancient intelligence-powered insect swarms, an angry Old God C’Thun and a battle between the qiraji and the night elves, and there’s quite a lot more going on.

Then, there’s the Lich King’s arrival, bringing the Scourge to attack both the Horde and the Alliance. Having been created from the spirit of the orc shaman Ner’zhul to create an undead army to prepare for an invasion, it took a lot of effort to drive back the Lich King. That leads us to the Burning Crusade story, where the uneasy Horde and Alliance wonder as to whether the Scourge was really destroyed.

Unravelling the Present

Burning Crusade’s campaign begins within the Deadwind Pass, a contested region in the center of Azeroth. Medivh’s Tower, once home to the demon-possessed wizard Medivh, has attracted adventures looking to reveal hidden secrets. Unluckily for them, and soon all of Azeroth, these nosy adventurers unleashed horror-filled nightmare creatures. Don’t worry, that doesn’t come to back to bite anyone until later through the campaign.

The real danger presents itself within the Caverns of Time, which have been attacked by mysterious agents. Thanks to the Cavern’s time-affecting abilities, these saboteurs had looked to sabotage three important events in WoW’s history. These would be Thrall’s escape from Durnholde, the Battle of Mount Hyjal, and Medivh’s creation of the Dark Portal, each with significant impact on Azeroth’s present. If the agents succeed, Thrall, a leader of the alliance will die; the Battle of Mount Hyjal and the world will be lost to the Burning Legion; and Azeroth will fall to Draenor, after failing to close Medivh’s Dark Portal.

With these three events having the potential to end the world, Nozdormu, the dragon guardian of time, enlists heroes to help combat this threat to the timeline. These heroes would include you, tasked with the goal of travelling to each event to combat the changes in time. The thing is, by placing the future at stake, a powerful relic has awoken, enabling Lord Kazzak to activate the current Dark Portal. While you’re fighting forces of evil in the past, an evil awakens in your absence.

The Realm of Outland

Through Lord Kazzak’s reenabling of the Dark Portal, the once disconnected realm of Draenor was made available. Following its destruction by the shaman Ner’zhul’s portals, Draenor was ripped apart and left to be ruled by Illidan Stormrage. As the self-proclaimed King of the Outland, Stormrage holds a tight grip over Outland and every portal connected to the world. The issue irises as the Burning Legion notices Outland’s connections to countless worlds. If the Legion took Outland, there would be no stopping their conquests.

The demon lord Kil’jaeden, ally and assimilator for the Burning Legion, remembers Illidan’s past failure to stop the Legion, and prepares to battle. As rumors of the Legion’s arrival spreads, defenses are erected to slow down their arrival and crusade. Illidan works with his allies and the powerful Black Temple, to keep Outland’s portals closed as defenses are built. Even still, he’s not the only one with access to them. Roaming tribes of draenei and orc spread across the land before the discovery of demonic corruption.

The corruption brings enemy forces to Outland, sooner than expected, leading to the Dark Fortress’ capture by blood elves. With the powerful Dark Fortress lost, and its abilities being used to absorb the Netherstorm, you’re equipped and ready to fight with Azeroth to fight the Burning Legion. Both the Horde and Alliance prepare, recruiting new allies and teammates.

The Draenei’s Flight

Long before this entire Burning Crusade story began, the eredar, a magical race, attracted Sargeras, the Destroyer of Worlds. Sargeras offered powers to the three leaders of the eredar in exchange for their loyalty. The thing is, Velen, one of the leaders, had a vision of the eredar transformed into the Legion, denying Sargeras’ request. The resulting flight from Sargeras led to the creation of the way of the Light, a force keeping loyal eredar, or draenei, safe.

Even as the Legion chased the draenei, the remainder was instructed in the way of the Light, leading to their eventual rest at Draenor, or Exiles’ Refuge. They were still being followed though, leading to a slaughtering campaign by the Orcs. Over eighty percent of the draenei were wiped out before the orcs proceeded to invade Azeroth. You come in as an ally in the never-ending battle against the Burning Crusade, tasked with putting an end to the war.

Blood Elves’ Legacy

In a long-ago time, even before the “long before this entire Burning Crusade story began,” exiled high elves landed on Lordaeron. Searching for a home, they battled with trolls and claimed the kingdom of Quel’Thalas. Using a vial of sacred water stolen from the Well of Eternity, they established a fount of ley energy. Named Sunwell, the fountain’s magic fed and strengthened the elves, building the city of Silvermoon.

Sunwell kept the city safe for nearly four hundred years before a massive army attacked the city. Quickly overrun, the elves struck an alliance with Arathor, a human nation. They traded secrets and strategies before battle was brought back to their city, once again. Arthas, the Prince of the attacking forces, craved the Sunwell’s power and wouldn’t leave without it. In a quick period, he wiped out the entire population including the city’s king.

Without the Sunwell, with which the elves were discovered to have become addicted, the remaining high elves became ill and apathetic. These were renamed blood elves by Prince Kael’thas, the last of the loyal line. The group went to do battle with the rest of Lordaeron against the Scourge, encountering prejudiced humans along the way. These humans imprisoned and condemned the blood elves to death, before accepting the assistance of Illidan Stormrage, who freed them. You’re part of the effort to rebuild Silvermoon, fighting against the Scourge along the way.

Beating the Burning Crusade

As a recap, the Burning Crusade follows the Burning Crusade and the Scourge as they attempt to ruin remaining civilizations. With several troubles behind itself, Azeroth soon came across agents attempting to sabotage key events in the world’s history. This attempt led to the reopening of a Dark Portal to Draenor, now Outland, home to Illidan Stormrage. Illidan holds a commanding lead over Outland, although the world’s portals attract the Burning Legion. He’s not the only one on Outland though, as roaming creatures awaken an evil. This evil had previously led to the Draenei’s destruction after their escape. Their fate was similar to the blood elves, who were attacked by Arthas Menethil for the power of the Sunwell.

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