Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

School's in session at in-game Lore-ytime with Lessons in Lore

School is in session! No, we're not trying to plant the seeds of pre-Halloween nightmares featuring Darkmaster Gandling in your poor, Scholomance-addled brain. We're actually inviting you to come learn about the lore of Azeroth right inside the game itself. With comedy. Yes, it's a thing!

Gather 'round with other lore fans at weekly Lore-ytime sessions by Lessons in Lore, a wry retelling of some of WoW's great stories created by a spunky husband-wife team on Earthen Ring (US-Horde). The team earned their chops with their irreverent and frequently musical presentations at Dragon Con, but you might recognize Chad and Megan more readily as NPCs: Warden Chadrick and Watcher Megana on the Timeless Isle.

Watcher Megana says:

Can you believe this place? There's so much to learn and discover! I'm going to fill up books and books with all my findings here.

But it's just so much information, I don't know how anyone could possibly read through it all. Chadrik thought we could write it up as a song, but that's silly...right?

Players click:

A song?

Watcher Megana replies:

Yes! A song about the lore and all the lessons we can learn from it all. Sounds exciting, doesn't it?

But...we're still working on it. Chadrik seems easily distracted lately. Is there something on my tabard?

School's in session at ingame Loreytime with Lessons in Lore
Chad's main character Lubel, blood elf protection paladin
Guild Servants of Drake
Realm Earthen Ring (US-Horde)

Megan's main character Firana, blood elf destruction warlock
Guild Servants of Drake
Realm Earthen Ring (US-Horde)

WoW Insider: So you guys are ... storytellers? Event hosts? What exactly is Lessons in Lore all about?

Chad: I like to think of us as the first Warcraft comedians. I realize that there've been other funny people before us, but I think our scope and diversity really makes it so that we're a good place to go if you like comedy and Warcraft.

Megan: To get specific, I guess we do in-game lore stories which we call "Lore-ytime," music and videos; we just released an album in the store section on our website. We do discussions and games on our Facebook [page] and are, in general, personalities which are willing to lovingly poke fun and have a good time, all revolving around the game. Our live shows and parties are somewhat magical, in a "people really do this?" kind of way.
School's in session at ingame Loreytime with Lessons in Lore
When did you get the idea to pull this all together?

Chad: This actually came about in a very tricky way. I attended Dragon Con and was very into addons. I attended a panel featuring addons, and it was a Q&A with a guy from Curse. It was awful. No one knew what to ask, and because people were asking generic questions, it only covered extremely major addons.

So I wrote an email to Grimthorn, the head of MMO programming at Dragon Con and offered to do an addon panel. He accepted, and over time, we also agreed to do one about lore. Soon, we realized that a lore panel would be as boring as a Ben Stein lecture on the practical applications of the Dewey Decimal System, so we made a very animated show with tons of jokes, and a couple songs (which we wound up not having time for) ...

Megan: That year, we did the addon panel and the lore panel, and people would not stop talking about the lore show. It was amazing. A packed room and turning away dozens of people. That was four years ago.
School's in session at ingame Loreytime with Lessons in Lore
This year, we packed an even larger room with a couple hundred people and still turned away about 50 people who waited outside the door for people to vacate their seats throughout the show. The community which built up around our lore stories and our general personalities regarding Warcraft responded by showing up to just about everything we did, which included an interview with Blizzard developer Jonathan LeCraft and even a live Darkmoon Faire with carnival games, for which close to 1,000 people attended. We even played a live concert at the faire.

How many participants typically show up to an in-game Lore-ytime?

Megan: To an in-game Lore-ytime? It varies. Anywhere from five to 30. And people sometimes show up for one, skip three weeks and show up to another one.

How long do sessions last?

Megan: It can go anywhere from 20 minutes to once over an hour. It really depends on the story and the audience's involvement. You should call your doctor if we last more than four hours, though.

What do you think makes attending an in-game storytelling more appealing than, say, a well-written blog post that players can read anytime, anywhere?

Chad: When you read a blog, it's one-sided. It's usually one person presenting their side of a story with only details to support their often laughably overly-analyzed critique which isn't so much meant to inform as it is to give themselves a sense of superiority regarding their grasp of the story. As an alternative, our Lore-ytime events are interactive. They're not quiet events. Audience members are encouraged to shout out questions or chime in with jokes. As with everything we do, it's usually filled with memes and pop culture references, and we think that makes the story more fun to digest.
School's in session at ingame Loreytime with Lessons in Lore
But you have started to post individual zone stories on your website, haven't you?

Megan: Yeah ... That was kind of a failed experiment. As with anything we do, we're open to feedback, and there simply wasn't any for that. So it meant very few people read it. It started as an idea to get people more interested in the Cataclysm lore, which I thought was interesting, but few others did. So Chad went through and played every quest in a zone taking notes. It was a really time-consuming process to do, and it just seemed like no one was interested. So we figured our efforts were better spent doing things like making a video of a death knight taking a tour of hostile faction cities with Army of the Dead out, set to the Benny Hill theme. I'd say the results were mixed.

That's a reach! Any plans for other experiments?

Chad: "Plans" is a strong word. I really hate blogs; they're just so one-sided. I personally want to keep us focusing more on being a great community and never ever acting in a way that excludes our audience from being just as big a part of what we do. We usually throw the first half or so of our lore shows on YouTube, but we really try to avoid being a YouTube channel. That gets too one-sided and preachy.

Future ideas may just be adding new segments for content on our website, which is Lessons in Lore, though our Facebook and Twitter are more interactive.
School's in session at ingame Loreytime with Lessons in Lore
Guild Launch, the guild site hosting place, is where we keep our website, and there are just so many options there that it's something we could easily build upon. We do a game where I take a screen cap every Wednesday and post it, while people try to guess where it was taken. It's a fun contest where followers compete for a prize of absolutely nothing except the ability to shout FIRST before anyone else can. I do a thing about pets on Fridays. And I've been thinking of adding an addon segment. But most of our postings are a result of us having something amusing to discuss. We never force content if we have nothing to say.

What inspired you to get out there and offer Lessons in Lore?

Chad: The community wanted it. I know that sounds like a cheesy line from a "based on a true story" film starring Danny Devito, but it's really true. When we did the first lore show, we had people trying to friend us on Facebook. So we realized we needed a place for those folks to go. Once we had a place on our website and Facebook, we needed to give those people something to look at. It was like being followed home from school by a very insistent dog which invited all his friends but was at least nice enough to compliment you on your taste in furniture.

Pretty soon, we were trying to come up with content, and at first we were very picky about what we would or wouldn't post. Eventually we got to where we don't even ask each other before posting things. Which can sometimes lead to rants where I drunkenly compare a true story about 20 or so people trying to jump up a wall knowing full well there was nothing up there, to our take on patch 5.4, and then to life as a whole. Was it lore? No. But it was entertaining and works.
School's in session at ingame Loreytime with Lessons in Lore
Is there a guild, too?

Megan: There is a guild, Servants of Drake. (Drake is our son.) We have only two members now, but we have in the past had as many as three. It used to not matter. We had a group of friends who would raid with us, and we'd do all kinds of stuff together. But now, Blizzard gives bonuses to guilds that only play with guildmates. So they all disappeared at Cata launch, and most we've lost contact with. Sad, really. It's like the first 10 minutes of a Disney film: "... and they never saw their friends again."

Awww. What might we find the two of you doing away from World of Warcraft?

Chad: They don't make questions quite as loaded as that. We wear a lot of hats. Megan works for an IT consulting and staffing firm, doing recruiting, marketing, graphic design, video production ... the list goes on. But she's also been a tour guide, event coordinator, character, digital puppeteer, and team lead for the Georgia Aquarium, an actress, and a fantastic vacation planner.

I'm a stay-at-home dad who is sitting on an EMT license which is about to expire. I've held jobs as a projectionist, music teacher, professional actor, and puppeteer. I record and produce audiobooks in my spare time.

We love playing the WoW TCG, may it rest in peace. Deck building games are fun. But more than that, we love socializing and hanging out with all kinds of people. Megan and I have been married five years, and we have two kids, Drake and Talia. They're both named after Batman characters because I won the coin toss both times.
"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- and neither did we, until we talked with Game of Thrones' Hodor (Kristian Nairn) or a 70-year-old grandma who tops her raid's DPS charts as its legendary-wielding GM. Send your nominations to

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr