Even if you don't want or don't need any achievements this year, Winter Veil will also give you the opportunity to turn your mount into a reindeer, become a snowman with a unique dance animation, and get noncombat pets and unique holiday items. Interestingly, it looks like the Winter Veil pets no longer require snowballs to summon, which is cool, although they're not going to stick around if the holiday's not on. Seriously, go try pulling out your Father Winter's Helper and see what it does. I'll wait.
There's also a new pet as of 2011 and a sorta-new (well, not really) holiday boss. As always, I'll be up as the holiday goes live to make necessary additions or corrections to the guide.
Historically, On Metzen! involved a short but fun quest line that started with an NPC in Ironforge (if Alliance) with Metzen the Reindeer or an NPC in Orgrimmar (if Horde) with Metzen the Reindeer.
However, it looks like this has changed as of patch 4.3. Right now, the achievement is contingent upon the completion of You're a Mean One ..., which is flagged as a daily group quest. It's possible that the Abominable Greench, like other holiday bosses, can now be queued for through the Dungeon Finder, but he also might be non-instanced -- in which case, plan on encountering a pack of players around his spawn point in Hillsbrad. More to follow once the holiday goes live.
With a Little Helper from My Friends
With a Little Helper from My Friends can take a little while to get done. If you've never taken part in Winter Veil previously, what you need to know is that there are machines located in major cities that will give you a buff turning you into a gnome in a Winter Helper costume. Once you've got this buff, you'll have the costume for an hour, until death, or until clicked off (whichever comes first). Locations are as follows:
- Orgrimmar Below the easternmost (Undercity/Grom'Gol) zeppelin tower in Orgrimmar.
- Ironforge Outside the city's main gates.
- Undercity At the zeppelin tower to Orgrimmar/Grom'Gol.
- Stormwind Outside the entrance to the flight master.
- Tanaris East of Gadgetzan.
- Booty Bay On the docks.
- Shattrath Just east of the city in Terokkar Forest.
- Dalaran Smack in the middle of the city in Runeweaver Square.
On an irritating note for feral druids, the costume is instantly lost upon shapeshifting. Yes, this is an enormous pain in the ass, and no, there's nothing you can do about it. I would recommend respeccing to balance or restoration for this, or at least plan on getting the achievement by way of vehicle combat.
On a more general note, it wasn't totally unheard of last year for malicious players to specifically target those with the Winter Helper costume. Keep at it.
Alliance will need to toss a snowball at Muradin Bronzebeard in Ironforge for Scrooge: Horde will need to chuck one at Baine Bloodhoof in Thunder Bluff (the achievement previously concerned Magni and Cairne, who are obviously no longer around). Snowballs are very easy to come by during the holiday. You'll find them sold by Winter Veil NPCs in all major cities, or if you're too cheap to shell out 10 copper, you can also get them from snow mounds all over the Alterac Mountains, Dun Morogh, and Winterspring. Those of you still trying for a polar bear mount from the Brunnhildar daily offered by Thyra Kvinnshal will probably also get some in the reward bag each day.
Fa-la-la-la-Ogri'la will take a little elbow grease if your character hasn't played through Outland much. If you started playing after The Burning Crusade and aren't familiar with Ogri'la, it's a faction of enlightened ogres located on the western side of Blade's Edge in Outland. While the 2009 version of the holiday allowed you to skip past the Ogri'la prerequisites to get the Bomb Them Again! daily immediately, the 2010 version did not. We're not yet sure what to expect this year, but just in case you've got to do the full quest series to access the daily, this is what you've got to worry about:
- You can also start with The Crystals from Chu'a'lor at 29,57 in Ogri'la.
- Our Boy Wants To Be a Skyguard Ranger, given by Torkus at 28,57.
- The Skyguard Outpost, given by Chu'a'lor.
- Bombing Run, given by Sky Sergeant Vanderlip at 27,53.
- Bomb Them Again! should now be available from the same NPC.
'Tis the Season itself is simple, but getting the stuff you need to do it that will take some work.
First off, you'll need the threads. The chest and boots are fairly simple to get, as they're crafted by tailors and leatherworkers respectively from patterns bought from Winter Veil NPCs. You'll need either the Red Winter Clothes or the Green Winter Clothes, plus a pair of Winter Boots. Finished sets command high prices on the Auction House during the holiday, so you can save yourself some money by collecting as many of the mats as possible and press-ganging a guild tailor or tipping an independent craftsman to make them. Failing that, the recipes only require 250 tailoring and 285 leatherworking respectively, and if you've got an alt with either profession, it might be more cost-effective simply to level the necessary skill rather than shell out to people making a killing off the holiday demand.
The competitive piece is the hat. These traditionally drop off high-level boss mobs in 5-man dungeons during Winter Veil, and you'll have to roll for them. Last year, they were 100% drops off the heroic versions of:
- Admiral Ripsnarl in The Deadmines
- Lord Godfrey in Shadowfang Keep
- Drahga Shadowburner in Grim Batol
- High Priestess Azil in Stonecore
- Corla, Herald of Twilight in Blackrock Caverns
Got your chest, boots, and hat? The Graccu's Mince Meat Fruitcake you need is contained in a package you'll receive in the hours after completing the quest to save Metzen. Toss on your new duds, choke down the fruitcake (bleh), and you're done.
Simply Abominable, like the quest to save Metzen, has likely changed a bit this year. The short quest line historically started with Stolen Winter Veil Treats (for Alliance) or Stolen Winter Veil Treats (for Horde). These take you to the Strange Snowman NPC in the Alterac Mountains, who will direct you to kill The Abominable Greench, a spawned mob in the area. As the Greench seems to be the subject of a new daily group quest, it's possible that he's been instanced this year in the same fashion that nearly all holiday bosses have been. If not, plan on having a lot of competition for his spawns, though it's always possible that you'll get credit for a kill if you're just on his aggro list.
Once you've killed him and looted the Stolen Treats, speak to the Snowman again, then head back to the Ironforge/Orgrimmar Winter Veil NPCs.
Click the link below for the rest of the guide on Winter Veil!