This website distills the entirety of WoW's lore into an amazingly simple format

Warcraft's lore is intimidatingly complex. It's a chronicle that spans millennia, from the dawn of time and to World of Warcraft's latest patch. Unless you've taken the time to read every book or sift through the wikis, it's not always easy to understand what's going on, who certain characters are, or why the hell it even matters. That's a shame because the lore, while intimidating, is one of the richer mythos in gaming. Fortunately, Reddit user SinanDira has a solution.

WoW Lore TLDR is a website that takes the entire backstory of Warcraft and condenses it into digestible bullet points that you can quickly sift through. It's like a really fancy Cliff Notes version of Warcraft with ingeniously laid out elements that further explain the plot points that you care about. It breaks the entire mythos down into four major chapters with a quick one-paragraph synopsis for each. If you want more detail, you can click the paragraph to open a bullet-point timeline of that chapter. From there, each bullet point can be expanded again to offer a much more granular look at the events leading up to World of Warcraft.

Taking a page out of Obsidian's latest RPGs like Tyranny, there's also an extremely helpful tooltip system that offers context on certain topics. If you're reading along, for example, and the story mentions the World Soul and you have no clue what that is, mousing over the term will give you a quick description. It's all incredibly intuitive.

As SinanDira explains, the whole project has been a 200-hour labor of love, but it's still far from complete. Right now there are four chapters leading right up to the events of World of Warcraft, with plans to add a fifth chapter that will cover massive events like the world-altering Catacylsm expansion, death of Arthas the Lich King, and everything else that's happened in WoW. There's also a laundry list of soon-to-be-added features including maps that will pinpoint important locations.

The only major sticking point is that, as WoW's lore buffs have pointed out, some of the information in WoW Lore TLDR's four chapters is out of date due to recent retcons introduced in Blizzard's official compendium, World of Warcraft: Chronicle. For the most part, this seems to be relatively minor nuances that won't impact your understanding of the big picture and SinanDira says they're already working on rewrites. If you're not that familiar with Warcraft's story, this is hands down the best way to get up to speed.

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.