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Posts with tag holidays

Bringing holiday cheer, Blizzard-style

We know that Blizzard celebrates the holiday season in-game with plenty of decorations and tacky sweaters, and as it turns out their real-world celebrations aren't that different. For this holiday season, the famed orc statue in front of Blizzard HQ has gotten its own special holiday makeover -- and, yes, it now sports its very own tacky sweater. On the plus side, the orc and his wolf mount both look like they're better suited to brave the cold months of (California) winter... and they've managed to be festive while still supporting their faction with horde-logo holiday gear.

Of course, this begs the question: what can we do to get our own tasteful winter gear? (And does it involve learning to crochet?)

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

A desire for more holidays and other events

Once upon a time, World of Warcraft's holiday events were one of my favorite parts of the game. Not only did they make the game world feel alive, they changed the standard day-to-day gameplay routine. When those events went live, I didn't even consider spending my time doing the same daily hubs, reputation grinds, or dungeons I'd been doing all along. There were new quests, light-hearted quests, and the holiday bosses asked me to revisit dungeons I may not have run in ages. I didn't even care much for the loot dropped by those bosses, I just liked seeing and fighting them. Before those bosses became something in the dungeon finder, I ran them as much as I could, just because I knew they'd be gone for a year afterwards. The rewards from quests, even when they were light-hearted items that didn't contribute to a character's power level whatsoever, were fun little short-term goals.

Unfortunately, these events long ago fell to the wayside, receiving few updates beyond increasing the item level of gear drops from bosses. Patch 5.4 introduced a pandaren brewmaster to Brewfest, Love is in the Air's last update was the addition of the Swift Lovebird in patch 4.3.2, but generally speaking, ilevel increases have been the majority of the changes. The focus has been on the Darkmoon Faire more than anything else, which has, itself, become part of the routine. It's understandable that these events have fallen out of production, it's difficult to justify creating temporary content over something more permanent, but I do miss the temporary, fleeting content. More than updates to old events, I'd love to see new events, holidays pulling from Azerothian culture rather than our own, or even events on a smaller scale. Let's kick around some ideas, shall we?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events

Breakfast Topic: Your holiday frustrations

Love Is in the Air once again, which means -- you guessed it -- crowds of people in a rush to complete their holiday quests and achievements before time runs out. I'm a fan of holidays for a change of pace, but the crowds -- especially on day one or two -- can be tremendously frustrating... especially when you've got twenty people standing on top of your quest-giver. Argh!

So, readers, let's talk holidays: what are your holiday frustrations... and, better yet, what are your frustration workarounds? The frustrated among us really, really want to know.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Do you revisit old dailies?

We're heading towards the end of daily quests, and while it's more than likely that no one will be mourning them, I've started to look back on them fondly since finding out they're going away. (But it's through the same aged haze of nostalgia that I look back on 40-man raiding with, so it's probably not to be trusted.) I've revisited the Isle of Quel'Danas, done past-expansion fishing dailies (I'm still trying to get those crocolisks), and done a ton of Cataclysm dailies. When I don't have to do them for advancement and I don't have to force myself into completing them every day, the dailies available really don't seem so bad. Some of them, like the Quel'danas bombing run or helping bear cubs in Hyjal, are even -- dare I say it? -- fun. But then again, that could just be the nostalgia talking.

So today I'm wondering, dear readers: do you ever revisit old dailies? Do they seem more entertaining in hindsight than they did when you were on the reputation treadmill and grinding out dailies as quickly as possible? Tell us about it!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

What surprises are left for Warlords?

At BlizzCon and after, we've learned an awful lot about the next expansion, Warlords of Draenor. While there's been some conversation post-BlizzCon about whether what Warlords has in store is enough for an expansion without any new classes or races, I just wonder what surprises Warlords has left in store. With all that we already know, what does Blizzard still have up its sleeve? Is there content yet to come that will amaze us?

As we get closer to the beta date, we're sure to find out -- but in the meantime, what surprises do you think Warlords will be throwing our way? Does Blizzard have big features it's keeping under wraps -- like a new race or class? And, just as importantly, will gnomes finally find their way into a cinematic? Tell us what you think!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Your favorite in-game event

World of Warcraft's Lunar Festival has just wrapped up and the Love Is in the Air event is about to begin -- with the time between the two bridged by an appearance of the Darkmoon Faire. No matter what your favorite in-game holiday or event is, you can almost always find something special going on in the game... for better or worse.

So today let's talk in-game events. Do you love them? Do you loathe them? Are you totally indifferent to them? Do you wish these crazy holiday quests would get out of your way so you can go back to raiding, PvPing, or whatever else? Leave your expressions of joy and/or misery in the comments!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Happy holidays from Blizzard

Finally, gnomes get top billing in a Blizzard cinematic holiday card. Now should we take this to mean that we'll finally be getting the pony Ghostcrawler promised us so long ago?

Filed under: Blizzard

Get your Winter Veil quests done despite the crowds

The first day -- or first few days -- of any in-game holiday is always busy. Sometimes it's so busy (as above), that the number of people crowded in on their mounts makes it impossible to see or interact with the questgivers. Complaints on the official forums have drawn out Bashiok, who offers a couple of solutions to the problem:

Bashiok
Grr! Yeah, some people can be jerks. Some people are just oblivious though, too. If you think someone is specifically and intentionally blocking an NPC in a malicious way, that is behavior specifically mentioned in our harassment policy, and something you can report that player for and we'll take a look.

An easy workaround though is enabling nameplates for friendly characters (default Shift+V) and then right click on the nameplate of the NPC you're wanting to interact with.


Of course most people in these crowds are probably just trying to get their quests done like you are, so chances are you'll get more traction by bringing up nameplates with Shift+V -- or waiting for a few days until the excitement calms down.

Filed under: News items

Feast of Winter Veil begins on Monday

The season of Winter Veil is nearly upon us, adding a big dose of holiday festivity to the game world. Even if you've done this holiday before, it's hard to resist the temptation of getting your own Gaudy Winter Veil Sweater, filling out your battle pet collection with a Lump of Coal, or just getting into a snowball fight. Patch 5.4 files suggested some changes to the holiday this year, and Wowhead says we can look forward to new a new pet and toy this season.

If you're looking forward to participating in this year's holiday festivities, Winter Veil will run from December 16 to January 2, and you'll find holiday decor and events in most major cities. Happy holidays!

Filed under: News items

Reminder: Day of the Dead November 1st and 2nd

day of the dead
Hot on the heels of the Hallow's End festivities comes Day of the Dead, which is actually two days, to give you a few extra chances to grab the single achievement available on this holiday. The Day of the Dead is a time to remember and celebrate the spirits of those who have been lost, which must hold a special irony for the Forsaken. Oh well!

You can grab a number of fun items during the Day of the Dead, including the seasonal pet Macabre Marionette, the Bread of the Dead recipe, Bouquet of Orange Marigolds, Whimsical Skull Mask, and a Spirit Candle. Check out the Day of the Dead post on the WoW official blog for more information on the holiday.

Filed under: Events

Playing in the holiday ghost town

Playing in the holiday ghost town
I'm not someone who celebrates many holidays. As we head into the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years axis of festivity, I'm fairly unmoved. I know people who really like the holidays, who go to great lengths to take part in the festivities, but I'm not one of those people and that means that I end up finding myself standing around deserted capital cities wondering where all the people went. Why are my dungeon queues twice as long? Why do I have a queue when I signed up to tank? How can there be a seven minute queue for scenarios?

Now, since I have terrible insomnia I often play at times when there's not a lot of people on, but the holidays create days where WoW feels like a mall that just doesn't know it's closed. I have an easier time finding people to do stuff with at 3 AM on a normal day than I do at 5 PM around Christmas. Raiding tends to shut down, and even the people who are on are often just chatting from their phones while getting ready to devour some hapless turkey. Last year, I spent the holidays running laps around the Twilight Highlands randomly helping people do the Crucible of Carnage in-between laps, when there was anyone online to help.

Strangely enough, despite the somewhat eerie feeling of an Orgrimmar or Stormwind where nobody knows your name, I do find myself attracted to the quiet. When I do get into a dungeon or Raid Finder group, the people tend to be somewhat friendlier. This could purely be perception, but it seems like the shared respite from an otherwise solitary period brings groups together. Then again I could just be deluding myself.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

How to deal with holiday raiding

Raiding during big holidays can be a bit of a sore spot for many guild masters, raiders, and other members of your raiding guild. When large content patches like Hour of Twilight come out so close to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's, and every other holiday I missed that happens in the winter, schedules can get tight and tensions can flare up. The guild leader and a handful of raiders want to push progression, while another contingent of raiders doesn't want to rush home after family gatherings. Many players won't be available at all.

Whether you're a 10- or 25-man raid team, the holidays can put a dent in your progression and the willingness of raiders to put in those extra few hours or cut their raiding time close to family time. Here are a few tips and suggestions for dealing with holiday raiding and guild members who just don't have the fire during the coldest months. Don't let the holidays break up a good thing.

Be accommodating. Guilds and guild leaders need to be accommodating to players during the holidays. Many WoW players are college kids or younger and usually don't have a say where they are going for the holidays, what they are doing with their families, or what their schedules are going to be. If you're a guild that requires sign-outs or sign-ups for raids, make sure that people know early to post their holiday schedules or make it known when they won't be around.

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Filed under: Raiding

Breakfast Topic: What WoW holidays need to be improved?

Kwee
This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

World of Warcraft has a lot of holidays, but some are rather ... bland. Take the Harvest Festival, for example. No, really, take it back in its current form. I did it back when it was first released on several alts, and I don't think I've noticed any real changes since then. Let us do more Peacebloom vs. Ghouls to save the harvest, or let us go to Caverns of Time to meet the fallen ... um, heroes we're celebrating. Give us a new mini-feast perma-item to lay out for the event, similar to the celebration mug that Brewfest almost always got.

What about Day of the Dead? It's got a few fun things in there, but remember when we first heard about it via datamining and thought it was the return of the zombie apocalypse? What if Blizzard actually brought that back, just for a few days a year? I know people who don't play WoW anymore who'd resub just to get in on that.

Hallow's End got a facelift, so which other events should be considered? Is New Year's not new enough? Does Love is in the Air need some more love? Is there not enough "Yarr" in Pirate Day?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Let's make up our own WoW holidays

One of the biggest issues that I have with holidays in World of Warcraft is that they mirror our own holidays in the real world and give them the ol' World of Warcraft spin. I am of the opinion that Blizzard should create a truly unique in-game holiday that does not have its roots in our traditional celebrations. Two holidays would need to be created -- one for the Horde and one for the Alliance.

We already quasi-have this to a small degree with World of Warcraft's heroes. Some quests during the Harvest Festival over on the Horde side of things, for instance, have us visit Grom Hellscream's monument and pay tribute to his sacrifice in removing the orcish blood curse. I think we could have two faction-specific holidays that show off the Warcraft history without being spiritual dopplegangers to real life events.

For the Alliance, a holiday could be created to honor the sacrifices of the men and women who charged through the Dark Portal and destroyed the other side, leaving them stranded on Draenor for what appeared to be forever. Nethergarde Keep could be the site of the holiday, as Alliance players go to pay their respects at the site of one of the bravest acts of heroism the Alliance exhibited in the war against the Legion-dominated Horde.

For the Horde, players could partake in some sort of release from bondage day, since at some point all of the races that currently make up the Horde were enslaved either physically; through addiction, like the blood elves; or through conflict, like the tauren. Rather than be a holiday wishing for the destruction of slavers, this time would be of appreciating the relative freedom that the races of the Horde now enjoy.

What do you think some in-game holiday, unique to the game world and lore, be? Would you like to see Blizzard make up actual in-game holidays instead of following by our own cultural moments?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Do you like the changes to classic holiday events?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

I distinctly remember the time of year that I started playing WoW because there were Halloween decorations all over the game world. It was October, and Hallow's End was in full swing. Perhaps because of this, I've always looked forward to holiday events in-game, though they've changed over the years. Naturally there was no Headless Horseman boss back then, nor any holiday boss. Noblegarden was a one-day egg hunt in which roleplayers and completionists scrambled to find an Elegant Dress. Stormwind Guards received Valentine's cards during Love is in the Air rather than becoming convenient targets for chemical spray, and the Lunar Festival elders were generous with XP, reputation, and gold when you paid your respects.

Of course, there were no achievements, either.

I think I liked some holidays better the old way. Sure, the RNG problem with many holiday achievements is gone, but it's been replaced by a tedious and time-consuming grind that makes the event feel like more of a chore. I felt the same way about Lunar Festival when finishing it up on my alts. Without the rewards, the only purpose to visiting all the Elders is to tick their names off on the achievement tracker. I happen to like the new Noblegarden format, but I know some people tear their hair out over the egg competition. Brewfest and Pilgrim's Bounty, the new holidays designed with achievements in mind, are more successful in my view.

Do you like the revamped classic holidays? Do achievements make them more or less fun? Did you even do holidays before achievements? How could Blizzard improve its holiday events?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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