Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflections on Merrymaking

I've long been a hold out from seasonal events. Not from the entire event, but rather a holdout from trying to do everything the event has to offer, or in the age of Achievements, try to compete all the feats of strength.

Generally, I've got my plan and I'm sticking to it, and the seasonal stuff just sits off to the side.

But the bug bit me for Winter's Veil this year and me and the gf decided to become Merrymakers.

Why the change of heart?

Two reasons....

1) Having dinged exalted with Hodirs and Argent and revered with Ebon Blade, I'm pretty much done with what I view as "required" rep grinds. The remaining grinds are for vanity items, cheeper vendor rates, or other such frivolity.

2) Blizzard did Christmas right as compared with their doing Halloween and Octoberfest wrong. Getting "the hallowed" required you to run that stupid horseman boss 5 times a day, pretty much every day, and then cross your fingers for RNG to drop the right items and then cross your fingers again and hope RNG will give you top roll. /disgust

Christmas was done with, IMO, a perfect blend of solo-ability and some social aspects mixed in.

Lets take a deeper look....


Most of the Winter Veil achievements are soloable.

Fly to here, here, and here and kiss people or throw snowballs or whatever. Fun for veteran players to nostalgic visit the old world. Fun for new players to get a taste of a few different locations.

Cook some stuff with easy-to-locate ingredients.

Run out to rescue Rudolph. Maybe not solo-able if you're lower level, but generally I'll say its safe to call this one a solo run.

/kiss a bunch of revelers at inns to get the items you need for other quests. Although the rate with which they drop Handful of Flakes for me was rather stingy.

Social Aspects

WoW is an MMO afterall. Cant make it exclusively solo game.

So you could go to one extreme and require players to find 5-person teams every day for two weeks. /yuck

Or you could make them play bumper cars on the plaza in Ironforge. Fun as hell, for just a little while, to ram and chase other players crashin thrashin robot.

Or you could make them run around Dalaran, mousing over every player they come across, looking for that damn Blood Elf Warlock to sprinkle some snowflakes on.

Or you could make them go to BG's and kill stuff. While all cute wearing costumes and such.

And if you're going after the title with a friend, what fun to get to dance as snowman together. Simple, stupid, frivolous. Definitely not game changing. But totally worth the few minutes of laughing together and taking a break from the hardcore grind.

For my $15, Merrymaker involved just the right blend of solo stuff and social stuff.

How about for the newer players?

Having spent nearly a year at level 70, with high level cooking, an entry-level set of resiliance gear, and exalted with Ogrila, Merrymaker was pretty straigh forward for Amava.

How about for the gf who, for all intents and purposes, joined wow with the release of WotLK?

Cooking: Ok, so getting cooking from 1-325 in a weekend was a little bit of a bear.

Endless piles of Clam-dropping Nagas and Egg-dropping Owlbeasts were crushed in the process. But, her cooking is now up to Northrend levels and she's happily earning Dalaran cooking awards and the highly lucrative Norther Spices like all the cool kids. Wanted to get this done anyway, so all the merrier that Blizz gave some motivation to stop putting it off.

Ogrila: Kinda took the Ogrila bombs for granted. On Amava, I just flew up there and bombed away like I've always done. Still haven't gotten it done in under 2 minutes, but whatever. /fail

How about for a player who (A) never had a flying mount and therefore must haul ass out to SMV to buy one and also learn to control the flyer, and (B) never did Ogrila dailies and therefore must do the attunement chain and learn how to actually complete the quest.

Luckily, at level 80, the attunement chain is easy for a gorilla-toting Hunter. However there is one abominable step that requires 5 players to summon the boss. This took some tapdancing on /general, a kind helping hand from a guildie, plus taking one of my alts and running her all the way up to northeast BEM since she's not 70 yet and cannot fly.

But we got the attunement done.

And the gf's got good hands and quickly learned how to get the bombing quest done.

Only to discover that the very first time you do it, its not considered a daily quest. So she had to do it again.

Running short on Mount-Transforming Holly, it was getting a bit scary, yadda yadda yadda, she's a full-on Ogrila Bomber!

Battle Grounds: This one probably deserves its own post, but suffice it to say, a level 75 Shadow Priest with 0 resil makes for a fantastic target in a battleground full of 80's.

I offered to farm it for her, but more or less was told where I can stick it. So we went into AV together and after 6 or 7 complete fail jobs at getting HK while dressed as Santa Helper, finally got into what's actually an awful AV match, but perfect for what we needed. All out grind fest, blood bath in no-mans land. Neither side going after anything strategic, just kill kill kill.

And at 75, she did a miraculous job of staying behind the front line, dressed as a little helper elf, darting between hiding in the trees and joining battle.

She single-handedly healed me through killing 4 level 80 hordies that jumped the two of us in isolation, and I suck, so her keeping us alive is actually saying something!!!

We both got like 6 achievements each in that one AV for killing anything and everything.

Outstanding time had by all. Well, I bet "all" in the BG hated it, but the two of us loved it ;-)

Merriment times two

So we both wear Merrymaker title above our heads. Had a blast.

Leaves me hoping more seasonal events follow the pattern of Winter Veil and escape the awful randomness of Brewfest and Halloween.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At first I wasn't going to go for this title. Like you, I hadn't done any BG's since 70, and with all my new (mostly blue) clothie gear I wasn't in any hurry. But I had Ren out in Silithus grinding CC rep for Guardian of Cenarius and the hat dropped off some random mob. Let it never be said that I ignore clear signs from above! (Above being the North Pole, natch.)

Happy New Year!

~Merrymaker Amanda