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Posts with tag lore-development

Know Your Lore: Top 10 lore developments of 2012, part 2

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

In part one of our look back at 2012's best lore developments, we looked at the various aspects introduced to better introduce lore to those that had only a passing interest in it. While the Lorewalkers, print media and instance developments were also tremendously appealing to those that already have a handle on Warcraft lore, they also served as a method of getting the lore out to those that weren't really interested in the minutiae of mogu and mantid.

And that's honestly pretty important. There are plenty of players that play the game simply to play it, not paying attention to why they are playing at all. By implementing subtle elements that introduce the lore in an unobtrusive fashion, the developers have quietly found a way to make sure that regardless of how or why you play the game, you still have some sort of basic understanding of what is going on. Cataclysm had a story, but it was so complex that it was difficult even for those with a strong grasp of lore to puzzle out exactly what was going on and why we were doing what we were doing.

But the fun doesn't stop there -- and today's picks are those that are slightly less unobtrusive in regards to lore and story.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The final boss of Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore The final boss of Mists of Pandaria SUN
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

We've heard various and sundry conflicting tales about Mists of Pandaria, tales of various pandaren groups, tales of faction warfare, tales of a warchief's downfall. But in and among all of the tales, one theme pervades, one thing stands out as something people point to in dismay. This thing is the lack of a final boss that is a powerhouse in Warcraft lore, something that we've had with every prior expansion. Illidan, Kil'jaeden, the Lich King, and Deathwing were all prominent figures in Warcraft lore before we rose up to defeat them. They were terrible threats to our world, threats that had to be dealt with.

But in Mists of Pandaria, we don't have the reassuring face of a villain to charge after. We don't have a major lore figure to take care of. We have no idea what we're facing other than some rumblings about the warchief's downfall -- and even then, we're not sure if those rumblings are correct. For the first time in World of Warcraft's history, we don't have an easily recognizable, high-profile figure to contend with.

Or perhaps we do. We have to deal with one of the greatest threats we've ever seen. We just aren't looking closely enough.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

How the Raid Finder changed Warcraft lore

I know what you're thinking: What's the Raid Finder got to do with Warcraft lore, of all things? I hadn't really given it much thought, either. Generally speaking, Warcraft lore is a wholly separate animal from game mechanics. After all, the endless carrying of flags in Warsong Gulch doesn't exactly tell a compelling story, and returning to the same dungeon repeatedly to kill the same bosses over and over doesn't really make sense from a lore perspective, either.

When the Raid Finder was introduced, there were plenty of people curious about how it would turn out and far more who were excited about the possibilities of the feature. Along with cross-realm raiding, the Raid Finder has entirely changed the face of raiding as we know it. Much like the downsize from 40-man to 25-man with the release of The Burning Crusade expansion, the Raid Finder revolutionized raiding and changed it into something that far more easily accessible for players who don't necessarily have the time to dedicate to regular raiding.

This isn't to say that the Raid Finder is a magical solution to everything, however.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Know Your Lore: Top 10 lore developments of 2011, part 2

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

The development of lore in WoW has ramped up over the years. While vanilla saw a few lore developments, players could still wander the lands of Azeroth with nary a clue as to why they were there, skipping quest text altogether in favor of simply getting the job done. The Burning Crusade saw more of these lore-related quests introduced, and Wrath pushed the concept even further. But Cataclysm's taken lore and gameplay to a new level of interactivity.

Last week, in segments #10 through #8, we talked about a few of those innovations in lore development, include the emphasis on focused, directed storytelling over the aimless wandering days of vanilla WoW and the trend of releasing free-to-read short stories on the official website. Both of these have their ups and downs, but the short stories weren't the only focus of Blizzard's writing department.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Top 10 lore developments of 2011, part 1

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Since Rossi is taking a look at the top lore reveals of Cataclysm, I decided to jump in hand-in-hand with that. A little over a year and a half ago, I addressed some of the storytelling methods of Wrath -- what worked, what didn't work. It wasn't a look at specific lore moments as much as a look at how Blizzard was handling lore as a whole. Compared to the early days of WoW, Wrath made some giant strides forward in how we as players interacted and mingled with the various storylines of the expansion.

Much like Wrath, Cataclysm observed all that had come before, took a good look at all of it, and promptly made some giant strides of its own. What we've gotten in the past year has been nothing short of astonishing in terms of creating a meld of gameplay and lore that draws the player in and keeps them there ... to a point. After all, nothing's perfect in this world, and there are always things that could be tweaked and improved upon. Let's take a look at the top 10 lore developments of 2011 -- not the story we've seen in the foreground, but all those wonderful mechanics behind it.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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