Know Your Lore: Where is WoW’s story headed in the distant future?

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.

Because of the way we experience the setting, the story of World of Warcraft progresses in bursts. It’s fair to think of each expansion as a new series, and the patches as episodic, in the same manner as British TV series such as Doctor Who or Turning Evil. Therefore, each expansion brings new settings, new dangers, and a new, overarching storyline, while each patch is an advancement of that storyline, bringing it to a conclusion with the ultimate patch of each expansion. In this way, Patch 4.3 is effectively a multi-part episode concluding the story of our confrontation with Deathwing.

I bring this up because with Mists of Pandaria, we’re going to see a whole new place and explore it. In essence, it will be an expansion that introduces a great deal of new — new lands, new peoples, new experiences. While it will still be part of Azeroth and still part of the unfolding storyline, it’s also a change to switch gears and get away from the familiar. In a game like WoW, it’s necessary to introduce new elements in this way to keep the setting engaging. It may be hard to relate now, but Ragnaros, Ahn’Qiraj, the Old Gods, the Silithid, all were introduced in World of Warcraft and not any of the RTS games. Look at the Warcraft III map of Kalimdor. You’ll notice pretty much everything south of Feralas is blank on it.

This puts me in mind to speculate on the future of the game and where the lore is going to take us. Not just in Mists, of course, as I expect that much of the lore of the expansion is well and truly fleshed out already, and I’m as eager as anyone to see it. But we’ve got expansions down the road and trends to consider. None of this absolutely will happen … but some of it might.

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Know Your Lore: Where is WoW’s story headed in the distant future? originally appeared on WoW Insider on Wed, 18 Jan 2012 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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