Sick of the holiday spirit? Hearing another Christmas song or seeing another wreath or lighted tree might lead to violence? Then it would seem like the special winter events now going on in World of Warcraft and Guild Wars are not a good choice. It might seem like a better idea to avoid the games altogether.
True to a point, but a player doesn’t have to like or celebrate Christmas to get something extra out of the events, particularly in Guild Wars. The decorations are in the main cities, of course, so they’ll be in Kamadan, Lion’s Arch, and Kaineng Center as a player maps in and out of the different continents and campaigns. A quick load in, hit the m key shortcut to bring up the map, and a new destination later, and the decorations can be avoided fairly easily. There are also decorations in Ascalon City, Drokner’s Forge, and Eye of the North, making Eye of the North probably the place where players would have the most exposure to the decorations as they go to their Hall of Monuments or perhaps Lion’s Arch if going back and forth to Lion’s Arch Keep.
It may be less possible to avoid the Wintersday changes to the player-versus-player (pvp) side, where guild-versus-guild matches have been changed to have either the goddess of life, Dwayna, or the god of death, Grenth, be the guild lords and their bodyguards are elves. However, if a player chooses not to participate in this type of event, this can be avoided.
The quests available in the main cities with a Wintersday theme are completely optional. Some are repeatable, but if a player doesn’t want to get involved, there are no penalties. The costumes now available for extra purchase are also voluntary, and players will not be charged unless they want to buy them.
If a person is avoiding decorations and not taking quests, why bother playing during the special event? Why not avoid playing altogether?
Foes will randomly drop items such as frosty tonics, mischievous tonics, yuletide tonics, snowman summoners, fruitcakes, peppermint candy canes, rainbow candy canes, eggnog, spiked eggnog, wintergreen candy canes, and candy cane shards.
What’s so special about them? Why want them if they’re holiday themed?
Frosty tonics, mischievous tonics, yuletide tonics, and snowman summoners all count towards the party animal title. Frosty tonics, mischievous tonics, and yuletide tonics are all two points. The snowman summoner is one point. Most party animal points or festive points can only be gotten from drops during special events like Wintersday.
Candy cane shards can be turned in for a Wintersday gift that randomly has one of these items in it, excluding the frosty or mischievous tonics. All the candy canes except the shards count towards the sweet tooth title, but the have individual bonuses as well. Peppermint candy canes remove all death penalty and give two points. Rainbow candy canes give a five percent morale boost and one point. Wintergreen candy canes remove fifteen percent death penalty and give one point. Fruitcakes are one point towards the sweet tooth title. Yes, it’s true that players can buy rice bean cakes for this, but they cost two hundred gold each, and with a required ten thousand points to max sweet tooth, that’s a cost of about two hundred thousand to max. It’s far cheaper to collect them during the special events, the same with alcohol.
Eggnog is level one intoxication, and spiked eggnog is level five. Since maxing the title requires spending ten thousand minutes drunk, the cost of maxing a drunk title is expensive, because the purchasable alcohol, rice wine or dwarven ale cost one or two hundred gold each and only give level one intoxication.
It saves a considerable amount of in game money to collect special drops. What if a player has no interest in sweet tooth, party animal, or drunk titles? As previously mentioned, some of the candy canes give a bonus that is worth using regardless, especially in hard mode. Also, these items can be sold to other players at any time, so they are worth collecting for reselling if not for use.
So don’t play because it’s Wintersday. Play for the drops. Got a level twenty character from Nightfall or Factions that needs to walk back to Ascalon to start at the beginning for the protector of Tyria title or to do hard mode? This is an excellent time to make a tedious run with no experience more worth your while. This will work for exploring the lower level Elonan or Canthan areas as well, tying in well with collecting silver bullion coins in Nightfall, the item needed to trade for Nicholas the Traveler’s gifts (absolutely no holiday involved with these) until Monday, December 20th brings the next change of item.
Guild Wars’ Wintersday event started on December 16th, 2010 and will continue until January 4th, 2011 at eleven a.m. Mountain time.