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Know Your Lore: Worlds lost, worlds unknown

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.

There are worlds we have not yet visited. Realms we have not seen, do not know. Some are demon-haunted nightmares, still others lost to our understanding, destroyed. The Burning Legion has been thwarted twice on Azeroth, but make no mistake - they have yet to bring their full power to bear, seeking instead to seize the world's unique magical energies for their own use. The dead world Xerrath demonstrates that the Legion has in the past destroyed entire worlds merely as a show of force to cow others into submission and slavery. What's worse is, there are races that were wiped out by them, but others who proved their worth were instead made into servants and slaves to the Legion - and Azeroth has balked their advance twice, putting us squarely in the strong enough to make good slaves category.

Yet, too, there are worlds beyond even the Legion's control, worlds dominated by the vast hosts that the Old Gods and their servants such as the Prophet Skerram, worlds like K'aresh (home of the Ethereals), worlds shaped by the Titans, and worlds that yet sleep in their infancy, unaware of the struggle between ancient inimical forces. Azeroth was one such world not too long ago. The destruction of K'aresh by Dimensius the All-Devouring proves that there are forces, hungry and ravening, that serve no masters and have destruction on their mind completely unrelated to the Legion or the Old Gods.

We know barely a fragment of the vast cosmos. Let us explore what little we do know.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The Warcraft cosmos, part one: The Material Plane

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.

Even now, the true battle between the forces of Light and Darkness approaches. We will all be called to join, and in the face of this conflict, all mortal suffering will be meaningless. -- Prophet Velen

Far beyond the tiny planet of Azeroth, beyond the shattered shores of Outland -- or Draenor, as it was once called -- there lies the Great Dark Beyond. This dark, empty void between worlds exists even beyond the Twisting Nether. It is the space between planets, existing in the same material plane as the planets themselves. While the Twisting Nether exists within it, it should not be confused with the Nether, because they are two distinctly different entities.

In the existing universe of Warcraft, only a small handful of planets have been defined, floating somewhere out there in the vast, empty space of the Great Dark Beyond. All of these planets are connected, which gives way to a larger, slightly more tinfoil hat theory regarding the greater Warcraft cosmos and what it all means, when it comes down to it. But before we indulge in any speculation, we should define what lies within that Great Dark Beyond and how it all plays together in the vastness of the universe.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Beyond the Lich: looking forward to future patches

Patch 3.0.2 is out today, and so goes the ways of old. Buffs have undergone the largest change since release, Protection Warriors can now AoE tank like a pro, Retribution Paladins are all screaming "Don't nerf me, bro!" and casters around the world are getting their heads around spellpower.

All this change begs the question, what's in store for the future? Could this be the last great patch we see? Is this the beginning of the end of the World of Warcraft? Highly unlikely, and we already know that there is a bit in store for us in a few 3.x.x patches.

Read on after the break for what we know is coming, as well as for what my predictions of the future hold.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

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