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Himeji Castle

The Crusade, It Burns

The WoW expansion pack, The Burning Crusade, is due in a month or so, and it's looking pretty groovy. The biggest changes are the level cap being increased from 60 to 70, trade skills going up from 300 to 375, a new race for each faction, a new continent to explore, new dungeons, tonnes of swanky new items, the Jewelcrafting profession, flying mounts and revamped skill trees for each class. There's a fairly good Beta hands-on article out there to whet your appetite, and some interesting tidbits on the official WoW site for stuff like the new Looking For Group interface and the planned updates to Hunter skills and mechanics. There's a lot of other stuff bobbling around various gaming forums as well - for example, those almost entirely useless Meeting Stones outside instances will be able summon party members the same way Warlocks can. It's not earth-shatteringly cool, but pretty bloody useful.

Essentially the expansion is more of the same, but I think that's pretty good. Our Wednesday night crew are approaching level 40 right now, so it'll still be ages before we visit Outland and give Illidan a wedgie, but we're all pretty pumped about it. We're also excited about the recent expansion hardware upgrades to Barthilas, which reduced the evening login queues to nearly zero, and the fact that several friends are thinking of signing up and joining the fun. They're not allowed to play Blood Elf Paladins though - those guys are frickin' traitors.