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Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Twists in time

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition Twists in time
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.

Two weeks ago, we looked briefly at the Timewalkers and the strange goings-on on the Timeless Isle. Since then, players that have been dutifully completing Kairoz's weekly quests have reached the end of the mysterious visions Kairoz has been trying to pinpoint -- with some disturbing results and implications. In fact, the whole mad journey has been a steady trickle of unanswered questions and dizzying scenarios that might or might not be true. Or perhaps they're all true, just in different versions of reality.

And that's the bronze dragonflight in a nutshell. It's a headache-inducing puzzle of events that might have been, have been, never been, and may have meant to be but hadn't, that can't quite be untangled. Led by Nozdormu, the bronze dragonflight's missive has always been to protect and observe the pathways of time. The Titans gifted Nozdormu with the knowledge of when and how he would die as a warning, a lesson -- that no matter how powerful Nozdormu might think he was, he, just like any mortal, would have to answer to time eventually. This was meant to keep the Timeless One in check, an effective plan.

But did it really work?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on how it happened. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

Please note: This post contains spoilers for events on the Timeless Isle.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

All the World's a Stage: Dwarf and gnome timelines in roleplay

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In World of Warcraft, that player is you! Each week, Anne Stickney brings you All the World's a Stage with helpful hints, tips and tricks on the art of roleplay in WoW. Have questions about roleplaying, or roleplaying issues? Email me -- I'm always open to suggestions!

Continuing on with our series on life spans, timelines, and how the different races of Azeroth relate to the timeline from a historical standpoint, today, we're going to look at two Alliance races with roughly the same life span: gnomes and dwarves. However, unlike every other race on Azeroth, these two races share a unique history that was only recently discovered. Even though most Azerothians don't really consider where their race may have originally come from, the dwarves and the gnomes know, unequivocally, where their races started -- and the discovery was a shock for both races involved.

Unlike their human allies, the dwarves and gnomes have been around just as long, if not longer, than their night elf allies. While life spans guarantee that there isn't a member of this race who remembers the thousands of years between their original creation and today, recent events have uncovered the truth behind that history and given the gnomes and the dwarves a unique outlook into just where they've come from.

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Filed under: All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

WoW Rookie: Reading about Warcraft

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit the WoW.com WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

Even if you're not a roleplayer, it's almost impossible not to find yourself swept up by some aspect of the hundreds of compelling stories tucked into the World of Warcraft. The question is, how can you dig deeper? Where do you find more? The answer: Books ... Manga ... Comics ... RPGs .... Page after page after page of glorious lore. Blizzard approves the storylines and lore included in the Warcraft and World of Warcraft line of novels, although you won't find a straight and clear progression across the whole line. Not every story and character crosses over from books to game (and vice versa).

Besides the Warcraft novels, WoW-starved readers can chew through enough manga, roleplaying game books and gaming guides to sate any lore feeding frenzy. The best part? You enjoy +Lore bonuses to your online play experience. Even the RPG books add color to the overall picture. Follow us beyond the break for a basic reading outline to escort you down Warcraft's path of lore.

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Filed under: Features, The Burning Crusade, Lore, WoW Rookie, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Where in time is Azeroth?

There's a great question fluttering around the community lately: just when are we anyway? It's a good one for the Lore Nerd, actually, and maybe he can answer it in more detail than I can, but it's almost a question of relativity as much as it is of lore. The official lore says that World of Warcraft takes place four years after Warcraft III (hence the reason for the "four years have passed..." in the opening cinematic). And since then, we've heard from Blizzard that they consider every expansion to be another year in the history of Azeroth -- Burning Crusade takes place a year after the original game, and Wrath of the Lich King two years after that. But when, for example, did Van Cleef fall? Has it been just under two years since his plan to attack Stormwind was defeated? And what about our characters -- you'd assume that if you started from level 1 today, the story would be beginning four years after the events of Warcraft III again, so have our characters aged two years since they first stepped foot out of Elwynn or Durotar? And we'll ignore that when you get to Orgrimmar, you might see Death Knights walking around, who technically won't join the Horde until two years in the future.

See how confusing? Of course, the right answer to all of these questions is "it's just a game," but there are plenty of interesting thought experiments here. Time and story in the World of Warcraft aren't necessarily connected, which is why Blizzard can get away with things like having Kael'thas in two places at once, but still tripped up by things like getting Onyxia out of Stormwind. Phasing helps a little bit (and who knows what WoW would be like if Blizzard designed it from the ground up with phasing -- we'll have to wait for the next-gen MMO to see how that works). The official timeline has Arthas brooding in Icecrown for around six years. But just like real relativity, our characters have experienced that time period in all sorts of different ways.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, Lore, NPCs

Path of a Hero lets you blog your character


Reader Aaron sent us a link to his new site called Path of a Hero earlier this week, and it's an interesting little endeavor. Basically, you just punch in your realm and character, and then you can add entries to your character page by putting in a screenshot. The system itself also grabs your stats from the Armory, and puts it all in a nice readable format, so what you end up with is basically a blog/timeline of what your character has been up to lately.

You can even follow your friends (or create rivalries with other players), and you can check "gear scores" as well, so you can track your and others' progress over time. And the whole thing is actually controlled with a slider interface with a cool fade animation -- if you update often, you can watch your character grow from level 1 up to 70 and beyond.

The only issue with the site seems to be that it's a little shakey -- it takes a while to deal with all of that data, and I wouldn't be surprised (even on a Saturday like today) if we bring the site down by linking it for you readers. But it is a good idea, and if Aaron can make sure it scales well (and maybe throw a few ads in there, just to make sure his work pays off a bit), it could turn out to be a nice place to keep track of what your character's path has been like so far.

Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Guides

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