With the final content patch of this expansion on our doorstep and Cataclysm following close behind, we'll be taking the next several weeks to look back on
Wrath of the Lich King and everything that made it what it is, for better or for worse, in WotLK Retrospective.
Wrath of the Lich King
wasn't just an expansion -- it was an experiment in progressive storytelling featuring story lines and lore that we haven't seen since Warcraft III
. While Burning Crusade
tackled new issues and races, it did little to further any of the Azeroth stories we'd seen in the earlier Warcraft
took a step backwards to move the prior stories forward. Along with this change in direction, we saw the introduction of a few things that hadn't been seen in Warcraft
before that made a large change to the way we view stories and quests in World of Warcraft
, and a re-introduction of many of the heroes and prominent figures that we'd only caught glimpses of in vanilla. Today, we're going to look at Wrath
lore: what worked, what knocked it out of the park and what failed to impress.
Quite possibly the biggest technical advancement in storytelling was the introduction of the phasing mechanic. This allowed players to play through quests, and as the stories progressed, so did the world around the players, giving a new and unique feel to story line progression. Suddenly, instead of playing through a zone with no indication that you'd made any changes to the status quo, the world changed around you -- the chain of events in Conquest Hold
in Grizzly Hills and Frosthold
in the Storm Peaks both actually ended with NPCs
as a direct result of player interaction. In the quest chain of The Battle for the Undercity
, both Alliance and Horde players are teleported
into a phased version of Orgrimmar, designed as a vehicle to further the story line -- and as a way for Alliance players
to interact with Thrall without being attacked.
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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore