Well, nearly a week - lets not quibble.
I spent most of the weekend pounding into the content of The Burning Crusade and I have to say that in the most part I am mightily impressed. Theres obviously been some lessons learned regarding the way the game is played and the good and bad points of the previous content.
Presentation and graphics have really been improved. The game simply looks better and that feeds into the weird feeling of Outland. There are some simple tricks being used - like not making all of the terrain flat - that add to the weirdness factor. The re-skinned mobs look great, especially the voidwalkers and ogres. There's also quite a lot of good lore within the massive (and I mean MASSIVE) number of quests that can be had, which makes the progression that little bit more immersive. I'm still not quite sure why we are throwing our bodies against Hellfire Citadel, but it's fun anyway. As I travelled from Hellfire Peninsula to Zangermarsh, the scene changed again and we enter more story-quest based stuff. I am actually intrigued to find out why the lakes are being drained by the naga of all people and what it has to do with the Sprogshroomthingy people.
There are some subtle changes within the quests. There are still the standard four types of quest: kill X mobs, goto X NPC, collect X items and explore X areas. However, in Zangermarsh you have a guided 'Explore X areas' quest where you are turned into the druid stormcrow form. AWESOME stuff. There are some 'hidden' rep collection things going on as well, which make some of those random pieces of chaff that you gather more useful. Oh, and an escort quest that runs. Yeah, just read that one again! Brilliant.
There are some downsides. The decision not to put any class trainers in Outland was a clever one - if only to make a reason for the mains to travel back to Azeroth. However it is a pain in the arse, making a well-stocked bank alt almost essential to act as an agent for the main character. The auction house has gone mental, as predicted. However this is partially fuelled by the vendor inflation in Outland. When leather scraps can sell for over 1g a stack, the normal price is going to well exceed that expected of such menial crap.
The worst downside is camping. Oh boy, the boss mobs are camped to fuck. There are a load of boss kill quests in Zangermarsh and you have to queue to kill these guys. However, not everyone has the same morals regarding this. There are queue jumpers. There are AOE spammers - including the infurirating paladin consecrate tagging method. It's just maddening. The respawn times really need to change on these mobs.
So, how's Gorthaal doing? He dinged 63 last night with maxed out First Aid and Skinning. Leatherworking is at 326 and he has a whole new set of feral gear with an AP of just under 1300. He still has a shedload of quests to do in Zangermarsh and one of two bits and bobs to do in Hellfire Citadel. I think when he finished Zangermarsh, I'll bring Kylea in and run her through as well. Hell, I'm even tempted to give Gortessa a run out!
All in all, I approve wholeheartedly of The Burning Crusade. It's revitalised the game for me in the short term at least. Whether the new endgame has any longevity is another matter altogether.