Enriching WoW with the Lore
A lot of people have been talking about apathy since the announcement of the expansion. I think its gotten worse for some people over the summer, and while I haven’t experience apathy per se, I have had a bit of a loss of focus of late.
There’s a number of reasons for this. The recruit a friend promotion, which we’ve posted about a few times over the last week and half, has shifted my focus from my 70s to my alts. Especially with being able to both dual-box and level with a friend of mine. Since the promotion started, I’ve created six horde alts, and seven alliance alts. While some have had more play time than others, thirteen alts tends to take up time, and as I mentioned, split your focus.
But one thing I’ve found is that I’ve been discovering a lot of lore in game that I previously missed out on. But more than that, I’ve recently been tearing through most of the WoW novels and they’ve helped me learn a tremendous amount about the lore of the game, and when I find something from the novels that is actually in game, it makes it hit home and enriches the whole experience of the game.
With some of the travelling that I’ve done over the summer, I’ve had plenty of time to read, especially on long flights and while sitting on beaches (in Hawaii!). What I’ve read so far is:
Rise of the Horde, by Christie Golden
Tides of Darkness, by Aaron Rosenberg
Beyond the Dark Portal, by Aaron Rosenberg and Christie Golden
Lord of the Clans, by Christie Golden
The Last Guardian, by Jeff Grubb
Of Blood and Honor, by Chris Metzen
Day of the Dragon, by Richard A. Knaak
Cycle of Hatred, by Keith R.A. DeCandido; and
The Well of Eternity, Richard A. Knaak
I have to say that overall, every one of the books has impressed me with how well they were written and how rich the stories are. As I’ve already mentioned, these stories make playing the game more fun when you understand where things in the game come from and why they are the way they are. If I had to pick a favorite, I would have to say that it would be Lord of the Clans, since I’m already a huge Thrall fan, and learning the whole story behind how he came to lead the Horde was amazing. As a close second, Rise of the Horde is right up there, detailing how the Orcs came to be corrupted by the Burning Legion and eventually invade Azeroth.
Both of those stories gave me a greater appreciation for some of the Shaman class quests that I had done on my first Shaman, and repeated last week on my second Shaman. In addition to that, Rise of the Horde begins discussing the corruption of Archimonde and Kil’jaeden, and the flight of Velen with the uncorrpted Dranei. When I started my Dranei Shaman earlier this week, I met Velen in game for the first time and was totally geeked out.
Other examples include reading about the Alliance’s victory over the Horde at Blackrock mountain and the fall of the Champion of Stormwind, Anduin Lothar. It mentioned that they erected a statue to him as a tribute, something that I’d seen in game and thought looked totally out of place until I understood why it was there. I also saw Turalyon’s statue in Stormwind, after I’d read about his accomplishments in the novels, and was truly able to appreciate it. Having read The Last Guardian has given me a new appreciation for Black Morass, while defending Midivh, and the Shade of Aran fight in Kara, knowing the stories behind both of those characters. (As an aside, I wonder if any die hard Alliance out there have mixed feelings about BM, knowing that if they don’t help Midivh, they could be saving their entire world from years of war and destruction, even if it would change the present. Hrmmmm, will have to find someone to ask about that…) Finally, I found Tirion Fordring while out herbing in the Plaguelands. Having read Of Blood and Honor, I immediately knew who he was (not some hermit as he appears to be) and decided that I would do some of the quests he offered to see where they would lead.
All in all, while reading the novels hasn’t necessarily given me any focus in my altaholism, it has allowed me to enjoy the game in a way I wouldn’t have realized without having read the amazing novels that are out there.
If you haven’t read any of these yet, but do enjoy good stories, I recommend all of them. If you don’t have time for all of them, pick a particular aspect of the lore you’re most interested in, and read about that. Wowwiki also has some great aritcles, that while don’t have nearly the depth of the novels, will let you know what happened in Azeroth’s past.
So enrich your WoW experience and go enjoy some of that great lore that’s out there!