World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade re-returns on June 1, requires “cloning”

After World of Warcraft successfully relaunched its original “vanilla” client in 2019, fans began wondering whether the WoW Classic universe would eventually march toward expansion packs—like the unofficial WoW Vanilla community had already done. That question was answered earlier this year with news that the official WoW Classic line would indeed adopt 2007’s Burning Crusade expansion sometime in 2021.

Blizzard firmed up this plan’s timeline on Thursday, confirming that WoW Classic‘s Burning Crusade transition will kick off on June 1. Just like with 2019’s launch of WoW Classic, anyone who pays for an ongoing WoW subscription will get full access to WoW Burning Crusade at no additional cost.

Today’s news also clarifies the game’s march toward “Classic but newer”—it understands that some players may not want to stomp toward new zones like the Outland or new character species like the Blood Elf and Draenei. If you’ve already been playing WoW Classic since its 2019 launch, you’ll be prompted starting on May 18 to peruse a new “cloning” feature, designed to let you do something with your current characters. The default is to pack that character up and move it to a newer Burning Crusade server, thus deleting its pre-expansion state. You can also lock an existing character so that it is not moved forward to a Burning Crusade server, or you can split the difference and have two versions of a beloved character: one on an older server, trapped forever in a pre-expansion bubble, and one on a newer server, ready to march alongside the ever-moving tides of darkness.

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