When World Of Warcraft originally released in 2006, it instantly became an overnight success. It may not have been the first MMORPG released; that title is still disputed between Neverwinter Nights(released in 1991) and Ultima Online(released in 1997). Since then, there have been countless different MMORPGs released, many of which have fizzled. But none of that matters here. I’m here to strictly talk about World of Warcraft’s first expansion, The Burning Crusade.
The Burning Crusade was the first expansion released for Blizzard’s MMORPG World of Warcraft. Since The Burning Crusade’s initial release in 2008 there have been another 6 expansions for World of Warcraft. While I can talk about any of the expansions extensively, I’m specifically going to talk about The Burning Crusade.
With the release of The Burning Crusade Classic on June 1, 2021 many players both old and new have embraced the re-release of the 2nd expansion with delight and have been sinking countless hours into the game.
This is not my first, nor my second time playing The Burning Crusade. I have leveled both Horde and Alliance characters both when The Burning Crusade was the current iteration of World of Warcraft and on private servers such as Gummy’s, Netherwing, and Endless. I have seen both sides of the story multiple times and have gone through each zone many times.
In this article, I will give my own personal rankings of each zone that was introduced in The Burning Crusade’s new continent, Outland.
Before I begin, it must be clarified that I will be speaking of each zone through my personal experiences as a Horde Priest. For a little more background, I mained Shadow Priest ever since I picked them up at the very end of Cataclysm and continued this trend until the middle of Battle for Azeroth. Once I discovered that Private servers existed I have consistently leveled a Shadow Priest but mained Holy Priest at the end game. I’m certain many people will have different opinions based on what they find interesting, what class they play, and how many times they’ve played the game.
I will be ranking the zones from my least favorite to my favorite. So get on one of your favorite WoW TBC Mounts and let’s explore!
Least Favorite Zone: Blade’s Edge Mountains
Where to begin on this dumpster fire of a zone Blade’s Edge Mountains.
There is close to nothing redeeming about this Zone. In fact, I’d constantly skip it entirely if there wasn’t an important quest chain at 70, and a pretty good Primal Fire farming spot in it. But alas, you’re kind of forced to do at least a little bit of the zone once you hit level 66, otherwise you need to grind mobs until the next zones are available at 67, and fully at 68(Netherstorm and Shadowmoon Valley).
I have always found the quests tedious, the mobs are unnecessarily either spaced way too far apart or way too close together. But the icing on the cake? Design. It’s almost like the person, or people, who designed Blade’s Edge Mountains decided “Hey, you know what’ll really piss people off? Them having to run forever between quests, a boring story, and most importantly A TON OF BEIGE.” The entire zone is an abomination. I hope you enjoy running up and down through canyons and enemy territory constantly where you’re always subject to being ganked by rogues and face pulling an unnecessary amount of mobs at the same time. I also hope you don’t take your eyes off of the muted beige coloring because if you’re not careful you’re going to plunge into a canyon and probably die on a spike jettisoning out of the side of a cliff, forcing you to spirit ress.
The only redeeming thing about Blade’s Edge Mountains for me is the fact that you get to kill ogres. I like killing ogres.
But yeah #$@% Blade’s Edge Mountains and if you enjoy it #$@% you too.
6th on the List: Shadowmoon Valley
Shadowmoon Valley is one of the two end-game zones introduced in The Burning Crusade.
In concept I like the zone. Volcanos, Fel Beasts, Demons, Netherdrakes, and a decent storyline. But for me Shadowmoon Valley falls flat because it feels so empty outside of a few pockets of the zone.
Aside from the chain that introduces you to the Netherwing Clan, I find that the quest chains fall flat in engaging you in the storyline and seem to drag on. One of the benefits of this zone is that there are really good farming spots for cloth, primals, and Scryers/Aldor rep but, to me, that’s the only redeeming factor.
Later in the game you spend A LOT of time in this zone because of the Daily Quest hub at Netherwing Ledge. This little area of the map can make for some very good World PVP.
There are no dungeons in Shadowmoon Valley, but a 25-man raid, The Black Temple, gets added in phase 4 of The Burning Crusade.
5th on the List: Terrokar Forest
Terokkar Forest is a good zone. The quest hubs are pretty decent, the storyline is pretty engaging-especially when you reach the southern part of the zone- throughout. The gear upgrades in this zone are plentiful and to me I really like the aesthetic.
There’s a major Daily Quest hub in the South Eastern corner of the map: Skettis where there is always a chance for good World PVP. There are fish unique to Terokkar called Furious Crawdads which are the most sought-after food for Tanks in The Burning Crusade. Farming these also gives you a chance to pull an item called Mr. Pinchy which has a chance to drop a unique non-combat pet, Magical Crawdad!
Terokkar is also home to a World PVP event where players have to gain control of each of the 5 towers in the center of the map. When your faction controls all 5 towers you get a Zone wide buff of +5% Damage, +5% Experience gained from Kills, and the Ability to receive Spirit Shards from bosses within Auchindon, a 4 dungeon-hub in the southern section of the zone.
You’ll be spending a lot of time in the 4 dungeons. They are as follows: Mana Tombs(64-66 mobs) to the North, Auchenai Crypts(65-67 mobs) to the East, Sethekk Halls(67-69 mobs) to the West, and Shadow Labyrinth(70-72 mobs) to the South. For more information on these dungeons check out this wiki
Some of the drawbacks of this Zone is that it’s pretty hard to farm in, it’s always, and outside of the Dungeons and Daily Quest hubs, you’re not spending much time here other than in the capital city of the expansion, Shattrath. 5th’s not a bad spot on this list? Right? …right?
4th on the List: Zangarmarsh
Zangarmarsh is the second zone you are sent to once you begin your journey in Outland. The name is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a big ‘ol marsh. While most people might put this zone lower on the list; I’m very fond of it because of the aesthetic, great farming spots which are instantly available, and one of my favorite dungeons in the game, The Underbog.
Whenever I level through The Burning Crusade I go up to the northern portion of the zone and mindlessly slaughter Bog Giants. You can double loot them as an herbalist. They drop herbs, grays, and motes of life. This netted me 1500g when Burning Crusade Classic released back in June 2021.
In Zangarmarsh you complete quests for The Cenarion Expedition, The Darkspear Trolls, and you are introduced to a neutral faction of a new race, Fungarrians(mushroom people), called the Sporregar.
There are 3 dungeons and 1 25-man raid in Coilfang Reservoir located in Zangarmarsh. They are as follows : The Slave Pens(level 62-64 mobs), The Underbog(level 63-65 mobs) and The Steamvaults(level 70-72 mobs). The 25-man raid is called Serpentshrine Cavern. For more info check out this wiki
The quest chains are pretty good but can get tedious, navigating can be a pain because you can easily get dismounted in water or continuously run face first into trees-which in this case happen to be giant mushrooms- and face pulling mobs is all too common, especially in the Naga areas of the Zone.
*Blegh* Naga, horrible creatures.
3rd on the list: Hellfire Peninsula
Ahh good ‘ol Hellfire Peninsula. There’s something special about stepping through The Dark Portal for the very first time to find a massive army of demons beating at the gates. “Woah” was the first thing I thought the first time I played The Burning Crusade and saw this unfold in front of me.
Hellfire Peninsula introduces you to the story of why the Horde and Alliance are in Outland, the story of how Draenor was basically destroyed by Gul’Dan and became Outland, and everything that’s been happening since that chain of events.
The quest chains are engaging and exciting, it seems like every other quest gives you a gear upgrade, Horde and Alliance share quest areas so while mobs can get sparse, there are plenty of opportunities for World PVP. Just don’t get too tilted when a 70 rogue randomly 1 shots you with Ambush and teabags your corpse.
And who can forget the feeling of slaughtering buzzards, or demons, or orcs without a single care in the world when all of a sudden your screen shakes, a loud whirring sound fills your headphones and the infamous Fel Reaver just runs over and curbstomps you into the dust. Over, and over, and over again. It’s actually a pretty easy thing to avoid, but we’ve all fallen victim to it, which only makes it sweeter when you come back to Hellfire Peninsula at 70 to kill it.
There are 3 dungeons and 1 25-man raid at the Hellfire Citadel within Hellfire Peninsula. They are as follows: Hellfire Ramparts( level 60-62 mobs), The Blood Furnace( Level 61-63 mobs), and The Shattered Halls( level 70-72 mobs). The raid is called Magtheridon’s Lair. For more info on Hellfire Citadel and it’s instances check out this wiki.
Overall it’s an engaging zone which wonderfully opens up Outland. For me it is filled with memories and I will always get that nostalgic feeling as I traverse the blood red landscape.
2rd Favorite Zone: Netherstorm
Netherstorm is one of the two end-game zones introduced to us in The Burning Crusade. A collection of a bunch of floating islands, it’s the center of operations for one of the villains you’re introduced to, Kael’thas Sunstrider. Who you will eventually kill in the T5 raid, Tempest Keep: The Eye.
For me, Netherstorm has some of the best quest lines in World of Warcraft. There’s nothing as pleasing as running from mana-forge to mana-forge slaughtering Blood Elves for their loot(which they drop a ton of) while you’re killing ethereals, demons, and even some undead in between.
The entire zone is a gold farmer’s wet dream. There are plenty of beasts and elementals that drop Motes of Mana, plenty of humanoids spread out across the zone that make Netherweave farming a breeze, and there’s good variety in herbs throughout the zone.
Sometimes the zone is a bit of a pain to navigate but once you get flying, finding routes for herb picking is quite a breeze.
There are 3 dungeons and 1 25-man raid at Tempest Keep within Netherstorm. The Dungeons are as follows: The Botanica(level 70-72 mobs), The Mechanar(level 69-72 mobs), and The Arcatraz(level 70-72 mobs). The 1 25-man raid is called The Eye but usually referred to as Tempest Keep, or TK.
Each dungeon is unique and aesthetically pleasing and contains some great loot; to the point where every class will need to spend quite a bit of time running multiple times once they hit 70. The only dungeon I personally don’t like is The Arcatraz because it’s long and can feel empty.
For more info on Tempest Keep check out this wiki
There’s something so very satisfying about crossing over from Blade’s Edge Mountains for the first time into the very purple and shattered Netherstorm, so satisfying in fact, that it easily takes the number 2 spot on this list. Bravo Netherstorm, Bravo.
My Favorite Zone: Nagrand
Ah Nagrand. Rolling green hills, music that you cannot not have on loop, and beasts. ALL OF THE BEASTS.
Nagrand is hands-down my favorite zone in The Burning Crusade, probably even in the entirety of the entire World Of Warcraft franchise.
The quest chains may be repetitive-kill this, collect that-as throughout the rest of World Of Warcraft, but something about the ones in Nagrand just feel different. The central hub of Nagrand is Garadar, home to the Mag’har Orcs. If you’ve played later expansions know of their leader Garrosh Hellscream, and that they eventually become an Allied Race!
I don’t know much about the Draenei side of the story line because i’m no pleb sorry. xd
For info on how to unlock 1 Allied Race in World of Warcraft:Shadowlands click here
You also get the chance to complete quests for Hemet Nesingwary! Who you’ve originally interacted with back in Azeroth at his camp in Stranglethorn Vale. Of course these are just beast kill quests- a whopping total of 180 mobs throughout- but the rewards at the end of the chain are very good for most classes.
Nagrand has everything that you need. Wonderful farming in the forms of Leather, Meats/Fish, Elemental Primals galore, and Netherweave just to name a few. With most mobs being in the 65-68 range, with the exception of mobs at the Elemental Plateau(guide inc?) and Demons in the western zone of the map. Farming will be a breeze for any 70 with even just pre-bis dungeon gear!
Nagrand also features a very special town in Outland called Halaa. Halaa is an open air PVP base which, if controlled by your faction, will provide a zone wide buff of +5% Damage and access to special vendors which carry PVP gear and PVP Gem Recipes. It can make for great world PVP or even great frustration if you are unfortunate enough to be questing near an enemy raid group as they head to one of the 4 bombardment stations standing around Halaa.
The Mag’har/Kurenai reputations also allow you to grind for mounts! Talbuks are beasts which you spend plenty of time slaughtering as you quest through the Zone. Watch this guide for more info