Okay, so let's assume for the moment you're interested in the advancing storyline for the Mists of Pandaria expansion as we head into patch 5.3, but are wondering if you missed anything or have just started leveling to 90 and want to make sure you get caught up with what's happening. Why is the Horde in such a tizzy? What's the Alliance planning to do? Who are the major players, and why are they doing what they're doing? Don't worry. We here at WoW Insider have been covering this all expansion, and we can help you get up to speed.
First off, there are some easy ways to get some of this backstory yourself. Not only did the Jade Forest quests give you a good understanding of the state of the expansion, but patch 5.1's Dominance Offensive and/or Operation Shieldwall faction quests did an amazing job of unfolding each side's lore without being at all difficult to unlock new story elements. In addition, whether you're Horde or Alliance, you can run the 5.1 scenarios A Little Patience and Dagger in the Dark to see the events that helped set up the current animosity between Alliance and Horde as well as divided the Horde's loyalties between Garrosh and Vol'jin. Also, the Isle of Thunder daily hubs culminate in a conflict between Jaina Proudmoore and Lor'themar Theron which you'll definitely want to see for implications for patch 5.3 and beyond.
But wait, there's more! Just a few posts we've done that help round up the lore going into patch 5.3 for you (please note, there have spoilers for the story if you'd rather experience it in game):
- Bloody-handed In Dalaran
- Vol'jin and conflicted loyalties
- Vereesa Windrunner
- Aethas Sunreaver and the founding of the Sunreaver Onslaught
- Jaina Proudmoore and the Kirin Tor
- The lore so far - leading into patch 5.2
- The divided Alliance command structure
- The strategy and tactics of Garrosh Hellscream
- The Genesis of Garrosh Hellscream
- Where is the rest of the Alliance?
- What is the Alliance missing?
- Is Garrosh Hellscream corrupt?
- The Horde vs. The Horde
- Patch 5.3 PTR - Blood in the Snow overview
- Patch 5.3 PTR - Dark Heart of Pandaria scenario