World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

We cornered lead producer Shane Dabiri and lead game designer Tom Chilton to get the final word on the upcoming expansion to one of the most popular online RPGs in the world. We begin with the story of the Draenei, the freshly announced race, and will continue with our explorations through the massive new zone of the Outland tomorrow (check it outhere ).

It all begins a very long time ago, when the Eredar race (horned, blue demon-looking creatures) fractured into three different camps lead by three leaders: Kil'jaeden the Deciever, Archimonde the Defiler and Vellen. While Kil'jaeden and Archimonde joined the corrupted Sargeras, forming the Burning Legion, Vellen split off from his brethren and with his people (now called the Draenei) roamed the cosmos in their dimensional city-ship (the Exedar) in search of a peaceful haven. On their travels, they formed a bond with the mysterious Naaru (beings of pure energy infused with powers of the Holy Light of Creation) and this bond blessed the Draenei with powers to sustain and aid them in their search.

They'd thought they'd found a land of peace, which they dubbed Draenor, where they befriended the native, shamanistic race of Orcs they found there. Unfortunately, the Draenei's brothers were not far behind them, and once Archimonde and Kil'jaeden caught up with them, they quickly launched an assault on the Draenei. Using twisted magic to corrupt the once-peaceful Orcs into the warlords they are today, the Burning Legion used the tainted Orcs to roll over Draenor, killing countless Draenei.

As the foul machinations of the Burning Legion progressed, some Draenei escaped through the dimensional gates that the evil warlockGul'dan had created to extend the Legion's reach. These poor Draenei were polluted by their passage through the Dark Portal and degenerated into the bent forms found in the Blasted Landsand Swamp of Sorrows. The surviving Draenei left on Draenor activated their dimensional ship in the hopes of fleeing the Legion, but they did not get far.