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WoW: The Burning Crusade

WoW lead producer Shane Dabiri grilled about the expansion for Blizzard's MMORPG phenomenon

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What types of buffs/powers will jewels created in Jewelcrafting offer, and will powers from jewels put in sockets be on top of base buffs given by these items?

Shane Dabiri: We're still examining how buffs offered by jewels will work with regard to those given by the socketed items themselves. Also, we're not quite ready to get into the types of buffs that jewels will offer; however, it's important to note that jewelcrafters will use jewels to create rings, trinkets, and necklaces, so you can begin to imagine some of the ways in which they'll be very important to their fellow players.

We know that the much-discussed Caverns of Time will finally be opened with the arrival of the expansion - will the Caverns contain only high level dungeons and instances etc. or will players of all levels be able to explore Azeroth illustrious past?

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Shane Dabiri: Because the Caverns of Time will feature content that's available through the expansion set, it will by necessity be geared toward players at the current level cap and above. Also, because of the truly epic nature of this content-aiding Thrall's escape from Durnholde Keep, helping Medivh open the Dark Portal, participating in the world-defining battle at Mount Hyjal-we felt that it would be most appropriate for some of the most powerful characters in Azeroth. However, this does not mean that all of the Caverns of Time content will require the organization and mass participation of areas such as Molten Core and Blackwing Lair. In fact, we're designing a good portion of the Caverns of Time content to be accessible by much smaller groups than what has traditionally been required by high-end content, which should help casual players enjoy some of the great things that the Caverns of Time have to offer.

What's a cool expansion feature you can tell us about that's not yet been revealed?

Shane Dabiri: You mean in addition to jewelcrafting and socketed items, Outland, Quel'Thalas, flying mounts in Outland, the blood elves and another brand-new race (and their unique racial abilities), new items, new dungeons, new battlegrounds, and a new level cap (plus all the quests, spells, and abilities that come with reaching that level cap)? We're looking forward to sharing further details about the expansion, but the time's not quite right for that yet. Stay tuned to our community Web site at www.wow-europe.com, where we'll definitely be getting into some of those additional details in the months ahead.

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