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Posts with tag holidays

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 Sure, the RNG problem with many holiday achievements is gone, but it's been replaced by a tedious and time-consuming grind that makes the event feel like more of a chore.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

Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite WoW holiday?

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

Everywhere my characters went at the beginning of the year, NPCs were shouting "Happy Lunar Festival!" Elders waited to hand out Coins of Ancestry. And yes, yes, I indeed slew Omen. It made me think about all the holidays that WoW includes. Whether you are risking your life trying to get to an Elder you know is hidden in a dungeon during the Lunar Festival, searching for bonfires during the Midsummer Fire Festival, or stuffing yourself silly on Noblegarden chocolate, everyone has a favorite in-game holiday.

I started playing near Halloween about 5 years ago. The person who taught me to play didn't tell me that the citizens of Azeroth liked to celebrate holidays as well. So imagine my surprise when I logged on, went to Stormwind, and found giant pumpkins staring at me, people wearing costumes and silly masks, and innkeepers handing out treats! Halloween is my favorite holiday in the real world, so when I logged on and found out I got to celebrate in game for a week? Yes, please! It made me love the game that much more.

Over the years, I have gotten to experience all the holidays that World of Warcraft has to offer. Each of them has a little something I love. Pets from Children's Week. Pretty dresses during Love is in the Air. And who hasn't taken on Coren Direbrew trying to get that Brewfest Ram? Hallow's Eve is still my favorite. Midsummer Fire Festival is a close second, because I love the excitement that comes from running full speed into the other faction's cities and stealing their flames. But no matter what holiday the citizens of Azeroth are decorating for, I am having fun just because it's a break from the norm for a week or two. Who doesn't love a break from the grind?

What's your favorite in-game holiday?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

The OverAchiever: Guide to Pilgrim's Bounty 2010


Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. Today, we're running a special holiday guide for all those interested in stuffing themselves on turkey.

The Pilgrim's Bounty holiday was introduced to World of Warcraft just last year, so it's still fairly new. This year, the event will run from Sunday, November 21st through Saturday, November 27th. On my EST server, the start and end times on both dates will be 4:00 am, but you'll want to check the times on your own realm.

Pilgrim's Bounty is not part of the yearlong meta What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been. That's not to say that the holiday's without its share of rewards, though; doing the Pilgrim meta will grant both the Pilgrim title and the plump turkey pet. However, the holiday has an unbeatable side benefit; it's the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to level cooking to 350. Pilgrim's Bounty is tailor-made for anyone who needs to level cooking on a bunch of alts, or anyone who never got around to doing it on his/her main.

Pilgrim's Bounty hasn't appeared at any point on WoW's PTR or beta since last year, so we're assuming for the moment that the holiday hasn't changed from its 2009 incarnation beyond a few bug fixes (that and the developers are probably working at breakneck speed on Cataclysm still). I've updated and clarified our 2009 guide past the cut, and will also be around as the event goes live to ensure all the information here is accurate.

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Filed under: Events, Achievements, The Overachiever

Breakfast Topic: The reason for the seasonal achievements

Thanksgiving (or the United States version thereof) is quickly approaching, and with it comes the in-game Pilgrim's Bounty event. Now, I didn't actually finishing Pilgrim's Bounty last year. This is mostly because I was visiting my family for the entire week of Thanksgiving, so I was only playing on my laptop, and my laptop is sufficiently low-tech that it does not run WoW all that well. Also, I was totally spending most of my time with my family. This month, though, I'm going to be in town with access to my usual gaming rig, so I'll have more than enough time and ability to finish up the achievements.

That said, I'm still deciding whether or not I'll actually take the time to do them. After all, none of the Pilgrim's Bounty achievements are needed for What a Long, Strange Trip. I mean, an extra turkey pet is sort of cool, but otherwise, there's not really much of a profit to them. Also, some of the achievements seem downright annoying. Turkey Lurkey? Do I really need to run around looking for all these dumb rogues? Why so arbitrary? And what about the Turkinator? Do I really need to run around a newbie zone like a chicken with my head cut off trying to target critters more quickly than the other 100 people doing it? What does that accomplish?

Then I think about some of the other holidays. It's not like I haven't had to run around Dalaran looking for random class and race combinations before, and it's not like I haven't run around the newbie zones doing silly, inconsequential stuff before either. So why is Pilgrim's Bounty bringing out the achievement cynic in me? I like to think I've been doing achievements because they're interesting and fun, but what if they've been about the carrot and stick all along? Now that there's no reward I'm really interested in, am I finally seeing achievements for what they are, or am I just being a grinch a month early?

What do you think? Do you do achievements for fun, or are you pretty sure you'd leave them alone if they weren't rewarding you with shiny stuff?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Achievements

Breakfast Topic: Give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile

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

WoW holidays are special times. There are gifts and games, costumes and cavorting, and copious amounts of food and booze. However, once I mine the holiday's quests and achievements, I like to find things to do during the remaining time that don't have anything to do with the intended purpose of the festival. Whether it be using the holiday items in ways they weren't meant to be like storing "Bravado" Cologne from Love Is In The Air in my guild's bank so my rogue is the nicest-smelling ruffian you'll ever smell as he sneaks up behind you, or taking advantage of the terrible, terrible travesty that is PvP battlegrounds during Children's Week to rack up some easy honorable kills while everyone's focused on getting the achievements and people who never touch battlegrounds with a 10-foot-polearm jump in with both feet, sometimes holidays have little extra bonuses that just take a little thinking outside the box to enjoy.

My most recent holiday adventure was during Brewfest. As I'm sure many people realized, the rams you get to race around outside Ironforge make excellent temporary mounts for low-level toons looking for a quick ride. I took the opportunity to roll a dwarven paladin because it had been a while since I laid some holy smack down, and by simply accepting the There and Back Again quest, riding the ram around Dun Morogh to my next destination and then abandoning the quest, I effectively had a mount throughout my first 10 levels (or at least half the time, since each ride was a one-way trip).

It's obvious Blizzard encourages this playful attitude; see Dartol's Rod of Transformation, for example. What other workarounds have you discovered while playing, whether from other temporary events like the holidays or more regular things like quests?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Completion tracker and more from Wowhead

Wowhead has given us a few new features for holiday presents. The navigation tabs have been tweaked to showcase some of the features and pages they've been adding recently. There's also a super-cute wallpaper by Noxychu, featuring cartoon avatars of various Wowhead employees.

More interesting, however, is the Completion Tracker, which works with their profiler and client to track your characters' endless quest to 100%. Areas tracked include quests, mounts, pets, and recipes. It's still in beta, but it seems to be working fairly well. It also lets you exclude categories that you may not be working on.

The other feature that Wowhead added is one that I'm honestly not a fan of - the little "share" button at the bottom of blog posts. I know we have it on Wow.com as well, but I still think it would be better not to have it; people are perfectly competent to submit links to Digg or Facebook or whatever without you encouraging them to do it. That's just a personal opinion, though.

Filed under: News items, Quests

The Guild sells out for Christmas


It was just on Sunday that we first heard about a Guild Christmas special, and now here it is. The Guild gang have decided that the web series thing isn't really happening with the money, so they're taking the advice of commenters and selling out with six different pieces of merchandise, one for each Guild member. They're actually pretty funny, from a Codex "answer Orb" to a talking Tinkerballa doll to a Vork unbreakable bank (unfortunately, all of the items have been recalled for various reasons). There's some cool guest stars in the mix as well -- see if you can spot Heroes' James Kyson Lee (in a Delorean!) and our buddy Alex Albrecht, along with a few other familiar faces.

Good stuff, and man, The Guild crew is getting really good at making some quality video. No word whether these will show up on Xbox Live at all (they're actually out now on YouTube, so this may just be something the guys did for fun, outside of the Microsoft agreement), but you can watch them all right now above. Merry Christmas, guildies! All I really want for Christmas is a Vork unbreakable bank -- in these troubled times, it's really the safest thing to do with your hard earned money.



Like The Guild? We do, too! We've got all the episodes of season 3 posted: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and episode 12 above. We've also chatted with all of the folks at BlizzCon, including Felicia Day, Sandeep Parikh, and Jeff Lewis and Michele Boyd. And as if that wasn't enough Guild, here's the liveblog of their panel, and the guys were nice enough to stop by our meetup as well. Stay tuned for more Guild here on WoW.com!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Guilds, Blizzard, Humor

WoW.com's gift guide for 2009

It's that time of year again -- if you (like me) haven't gotten gifts for everyone on your list, it's time to start scrambling to find something nice to get under the tree this year. Fortunately, you don't have to worry about finding something good for the World of Warcraft fan in your life: we've got you covered there. In the gallery below, we've got a nice bunch of gift ideas for everything Warcraft, from the cheap to the expensive, from the silly to the practical, from in-game presents you can wrap with shiny paper, to out-of-game classics that you can... also wrap with shiny paper. If you need to give a gift to a WoW player this year, you'll find it below for sure.

And if you happen to be a Warcraft player, faced with the annual awkward question of "What do you want me to give you this year?", just feel free to drop this link surreptitiously as a reply, maybe even with a hint or two towards a specific item. We've included links to everything and kept it easy to understand even for someone who hasn't visited Azeroth before. That's our gift to you. Happy holidays, and good gift hunting!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Guides, Galleries, Fan art

Breakfast Topic: Dear Greatfather Winter

Surprise! It's December already, which means the winter holidays are just around the corner. According to Blizzard's calendar, Winter's Veil will be upon us in just two short weeks, and if patch 3.3 does drop next week as expected, it'll seem even shorter than that (I'm sure that the new Dungeon Finder system will make the time fly by for most of us). So before Greatfather Winter actually appears in Ironforge and Orgrimmar, the Godmother has the right idea: it's time to ask GFW what you want for Winter's Veil. He's delievered some nice ingame presents before, and this year should be no exception.

Personally, 3.3 will grant most of my Warcraft-related wishes, so I'll just wish for world peace. Oh, and 5000g for my newly 80 paladin's epic flying. Actually, I need a chopper, too, so world peace, 5000g for the epic flying, and another few thousand for the chopper mats. Oh, and I need gear to run heroics, so the peace thing, lots of money, and good gear. Wait -- I'll need a good flying mount, too. So let's say Rusted Proto-drake, epic gear, and lots and lots of money. Actually, it's Warcraft, so just forget the peace thing -- I'll just take the money and purples, thanks.

But that's just me and Steve Martin. What would you like to get from Greatfather Winter this year?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

Happy Halloween from WoW.com and Massively

Happy Halloween, dear readers! Today's the day, the spookiest day of the year! In the real world, prepare yourself to sit through hours and hours of random children in costumes ringing your doorbell begging for treats from strangers. In Azeroth, you only have two days left to finish your various Hallow's End achievements, everything disappears into the aether on November 2nd it ends tonight! Whoa!

Halloween is being celebrated in worlds beyond Azeroth and our own, too. All month long, our sister site Massively has been covering the numerous celebrations going on in the various ongoing MMOs, from Free Realms' Spooky Spectacular to Aion's Harvest Revel. If you're interested in any of those, head on over to Massively's Halloween roundup to check out their coverage, as well as a screenshot gallery of some holiday eye candy from those many games. Some of the events were quite cool, so I highly recommend taking a look. Guild Wars still has some pretty fantastic aesthetics.

As long as you're all here, I'm curious: Are you dressing up today? If so, what's your costume? If it's something WoW-related, we would love pictures! And are you taking anybody Trick or Treating, or will you be giving out candy? Personally, I'm dressing up as a chubby computer nerd (it's a classic) and handing out Dum Dums by the handful.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff

Speculating at the patch 3.3 release date

All right. Nethaera says that Blizzard can't actually tell us the patch release date before it's out, because they don't want to be wrong. Fortunately, sites like ours don't have any such compunctions, so we're free to speculate on when we might finally see this patch on the live realms. Note that I said speculate -- this is not a guarantee, and we have no secret knowledge save lots and lots of experience at watching Blizzard create, test and release content. Don't use any dates we mention here to plan any vacations from work or family events -- as anyone who's ever tried to log in and do anything significant on patch day will tell you, you're going to be disappointed. And we don't want the patch to come early anyway, so Blizzard can delay as much as they want to. Anyone who complains otherwise has to go into the Octagon with Rossi.

That said, testing is moving relatively smoothly on the PTRs, and lots of the content seems like it's pretty well put together. We aren't nearly done with testing yet, though -- we haven't seen most of the Icecrown raid, and we're still waiting on Halls of Reflection, the 5-man where we'll face Arthas. Gear still needs to go into the game and be tuned. There are around 15 different bosses and encounters in Icecrown (that we know of), and if Blizzard continues on the schedule of testing one or two per week, we're looking at six to eight more weeks of testing for just that content. The PTR itself went up just under a month ago, and it seems that we've got at least a month or, likely, more of testing and updating to be done.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Breakfast Topic: Violet relief


Some of you might have already gotten your Violet Proto-Drakes, a long, strange trip that spans one full year of playing World of Warcraft. Some persistent and conscientious players have already gotten their Brewmaster title along with the meta-Achievement, and I'm pretty sure it must feel pretty good. There's no more pressure to do all the holiday achievements now, is there? It's time to kick back and chillax.

For those of you who've completed the meta-Achievement, how do you feel? Does it feel good to ride around on that 310% mount? Are you among the first on your server to sport that dragonfruit-hued mount? What are you looking forward to in terms of World of Warcraft holidays now, considering you no longer have to chase after achievements? Are you excited for the new holidays and are you psyched to complete those Achievements, too, even though they're not required for the Violet Proto-Drake? Share your thoughts this morning. As for those who haven't gotten theirs, what else do you need to complete the meta?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Achievements

Breakfast Topic: Happy Pirates' Day, ye landlubbers!


Yaaaaaar maties, it be me again, Cap'n Phineas Blackbeard (ye may remember my old guide to the most piratical o' quests), and I be back again, today, September the 19th, because today, ye scurvy dogs, be Pirates' Day! My old flame Dread Captain DeMeza will be hanging out in Booty Bay and causin' all kinds of trouble under the nose of old Baron Revilgaz, so ye can head down to the southern shores, listen to some shantys with those old swashbucklers, and maybe even win some loot. If ye like, ye can even go and visit DeMeza with the scallywags from this here WoW.com site (though between you and me, some of them smell like the inside of a whale's belly, especially that landlubber Schramm). And of course, all of ye yellow-bellied scallywags should spend the whole day talking like a pirate as best ye can, and maybe even wear an eyepatch. Y'know, for the nightvision.

And just in case ye don't get enough grog today -- HA! Get it? "Enough grog"? A good pirate knows ye can never have enough grog! -- don't forget that Brewfest starts tomorrow. Stay tuned to this here vessel for more information about how ye can get all of the achievements and titles and dragons and treasure chests ye desire. Have a great Pirates' Day, and then get back to swabbing the poop deck, ye peg-legged, pox-faced mutinous cur! Dead men tell no tales! Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Gallery: Pirate's Day

Alliance CommonersHorde CommonersFirst Mate HapanaDread Captain DeMezaCelebrationsMore Celebrations

Filed under: Items, Tips, Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor, NPCs

Pandaren Monk pet has moves


MMO Champion has datamined up some video of the new Pandaren Monk vanity pet that's been floating around, and as you can see above, it's pretty darned awesome. Just like the Grunty the Murloc pet, this one comes with some fun animations, and they look terrific. Blizzard has been pretty coy about getting the Pandaren into the game, and they're teasing big here, too -- this little bear's got moves that would make the Diablo III Monk hang his head in shame.

However, the question remains: how do we get it? At this point, it's just speculation and rumor -- some say it might be a special anniversary pet for people who've been subscribed all five years of the game's life, some suggest it might be part of the Cataclysm collector's edition (past CEs have had a pet in each one, including a Diablo figure in the first box), and still others suggest that the Monk will be a new pet in the upcoming Brewfest holiday. How do we get it, really? We won't know for sure until we hear it from Blizz.

Filed under: Items, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Humor, NPCs, Achievements, Cataclysm

WoW, Casually: Making the most of holidays


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Holidays are for all players, of course, but I think they are particularly appropriate for players with limited playtime. Sure, there are often raiding quests or achievements that we can't complete, but overall, the activities seem to be designed for casual gameplay. For the most part, I think I'm preaching to the choir, here. But every once in a while, I read comments from people who just don't get holidays and avoid them completely. So here is my sales pitch about why every casual player should give each holiday a try.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, WoW, Casually

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