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Lore unfolding


One of the changes between The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King that I'm noticing most strongly now that I've cleared most of the solo and small group quests in Northrend (I needed money for crafting) is how accessible major lore moments are, and how much lore is now being created in the massively multiplayer game, rather than simply being resurrected for it. Yes, we're seeing the machinations of the Lich King, that fusion of Arthas and Ner'zhul we saw created at the end of Warcraft III, but we're also seeing in the Storm Peaks and Sholozar a great deal of new information about the Titans, who they were and what they were up to on Azeroth, and their contrasting opposites the Old Gods. The Yogg-Saron storyline has fingers in Dragonblight, Grizzly Hills, Storm Peaks, and Icecrown at the very least and the quests that reveal the conflict not merely between this vast, formless entity and the Titans but even against the Lich King's forces in Icecrown are surprisingly deep and complex for ones you can do solo or in a group of three or four people.

There were a lot of lore quests in TBC, of course, but often the coolest ones required at least five people to get through if not a full 25 man raid group. So far in WotLK I have run all of the big new lore quests either solo or with a small group of two or three other players. The Admiral Revealed in particular was a great big lore bomb for the size of the group that accomplished it. There are huge revelations available in game that change the very foundation of the Warcraft setting and they're very easily accessible.

On the whole, I enjoy this immensely. I wondered what that guy's deal was, and I have to admit that Blizzard managed to create a real sense of epic scope and scale to what is an entirely soloable quest line in the Wrathgate quests. It's one thing to say you're going to involve players in things from the very beginning, but it's another thing to do it: by now I've had run-ins with the Lich King, the Old Gods, disaffected servants of the Titans themselves and I'm just starting to get ready for raiding. I've seen Loken betray his brother to the old gods (in what I can only believe will be a preview of what I can expect to fight in Ulduar) and fallen down a hole in the glacier to where Arthas... well, I won't directly spoil it for you, but any quest where I have to cut open Faceless Ones to smear their blood all over myself is amping up the creepy factor considerably.

So we turn now to you: are you satisfied with how Blizzard is dealing with the lore this expansion? Are you enjoying the quests? Any particular favorites (I've listed some of mine, now it's your turn) or clunkers?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

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