Love or hate the direction it’s going, if there’s one thing Blizzard is trying to do with Battle for Azeroth, it’s telling a good story. A game that’s been going as long as World of Warcraft is going to wind up with lore that’s a mess, filled with loopholes, contradictions, and other problems, but a clear effort has been made recently to fix that as much as possible. The World of Warcraft: Chronicle series, for a start, is a wonderful series that covers (and attempts to fix) Azeroth and Draenor’s history from creation right up until the events in Cataclysm. If you’ve ever been interested in World of Warcraft lore, I can’t recommend it strongly enough. And the Battle for Azeroth Collector’s Edition comes with not one, but two story novellas, something unheard of before.
These novellas cover the War of the Thorns, the pre-patch event that, in-game, has left players feeling like there must be so much more to this story – and there is. Each novella tells the story of events in detail – Elegy, by Christie Golden, from the perspective of the Alliance, and A Good War, by Robert Brooks, from the perspective of the Horde. And here’s the good news: PDF versions of both these novels are now available to download, free of charge, from the World of Warcraft website. Here is the link for Elegy, and here is the link for A Good War. I’m only half-way through Elegy, but I already love it.
Honestly, this doesn’t quite fix the problems we saw in the pre-patch. As many have pointed out, a game’s story should be told in that game. Books and similar can add to or accentuate a story, but you shouldn’t have to feel forced to go to another medium if you don’t want to. On the other hand, what’s done is done, and if you, like me, would like to go into Battle for Azeroth with a better understanding of how we even got to this point, you should pick up these books. They’re not long at all, and they really do add a lot to the story that was missing.