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Know Your Lore: Getting into the lore of Mists

Know Your Lore Getting into the lore of Mists 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.

Well, this has certainly been a week, hasn't it? Mists of Pandaria will officially be out and in your hands on Sept. 25. In the tidbits I've discussed here and there regarding Mists of Pandaria, I've pointed out time and time again that the lore we will see with this expansion will all be new. Does it tie into old lore and events that have been set up in prior expansions? Absolutely. Will we be dealing with villains from days of old? ... Not so much. This isn't something to be annoyed about; it's something that we should embrace. The continuation of a story is always a good thing. For a story as massive as Warcraft's, it's about time we had a shot of new lore added into the mix.

The best part about the lore in Mists is that because it's all so very new, everyone will be on roughly the same page headed into the expansion. For players who know the lore inside and out, this will all be new material to learn. For new players just looking to get into the lore, you'll be on the same page -- looking at brand new material and figuring it all out. There are a few story threads that have been picked up, but by and large, everything on Pandaria originated on Pandaria.

So how do you get started processing all that stuff? Let's take a look, minus the spoilers. Sorry, guys -- you will eventually get more Pandaria info than you can shake a stick at, but it's going to be September before I start throwing it at you with unbridled glee.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Mists of Pandaria beta: New achievements weave together exploration and lore

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There seems to be something different about exploration achievement in Mists of Pandaria, and it's different in a really amazing way. To date, all exploration achievements in WoW have involved simply uncovering areas on your map. While that's fine for viewing scenery, it lacks a certain something, doesn't it? Well, the exploration achievements in Pandaria are taking a wholly different path. Hidden away in different areas of Pandaria are shrines like the one pictured above. Each tells a different piece of a story, and each piece that you find unlocks part of the overall achievement.

These don't quite seem to be a replacement for uncovering zone maps so much as an addition to them. The stories found in the different areas involve various parts of Pandaria's history. Considering the fact that Pandaria's been shrouded in mists for 10,000 years, we don't really know a lot of that history at all. These shrines and their associated achievements are a wonderful way for lore hounds out there to find out all they can about Pandaria's past.

What's more interesting is that there seems to be a new tracker for multi-objective achievements like this one. Each time you find a shrine, a faint window will pop up and notify you that you've completed a step in the achievement's objective. Once it's completed in full, you'll get the full-on burst of light that you usually see with an achievement's success.

This is a great way to integrate lore and exploration into something new and fun for players that really love the lore of the game. While these achievements are all marked as Not Yet Implemented, they seem to be tracking progress already. The one and only plaintive request I have is that completing these achievements give the player a specific reward -- a book that contains the full story that they've just completed discovering. What can I say? I like books!

Whether or not these achievements will actually be implemented is up in the air, but I hope that they are. Searching for hidden shrines has become just as much fun as questing through the zones themselves.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

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