Well, Noblegarden ends today, and my time spent in the latest incarnation of the holiday has been less terrible than I thought. I actually managed to find the Springstrider after only 120 eggs or so, much better than the 500 I thought I’d have to collect!
The event was my first holiday, as it happens; I joined WoW in April of 2010, a couple days into Noblegarden that year. It was practically the only holiday event I could complete at a low level, albeit with a lot of help from my friend who referred me. That teleport made it really easy to plant flowers in deserts, or lay an egg in Un’Goro. I still remember memorizing the perfect route around Bloodhoof Village to find all the eggs as they spawned. I wore that “the Noble” title with pride; it felt good to be sub-level 20 and have a title!
In fact, holiday events were what drove me to hit max level quickly, once I found out that Children’s Week required you to be level 75 to complete it. After narrowly finishing that holiday with only hours to spare (Eye of the Storm queue, you bitch), I made it my goal to finish every holiday meta the first time I saw it, so I could get that glorious Violet Proto-Drake the next February. And I succeeded! Although I hadn’t done everything in every holiday, I had done enough to secure that mount. I’d finish up the remaining achievements over the next year or two, I reasoned (Veteran Nanny, you’ll be mine this year). And hey, why not keep doing holiday events? It’d be fun to have a new thing to do the next year.
I was disappointed to find out that this was not how WoW’s holiday events worked. The only prior MMO holiday experience I had had was Runescape, which gave a new event every year, with unique rewards for players who logged in and completed them, that never repeated themselves. These items would end up being slightly silly status symbols, giving players unique costumes or toys to impress their friends with.
But in WoW, the events remained the same from year to year, barring mechanics changes. Noblegarden is one of the least-changed of them all: go collect eggs, crack them open for chocolate or prizes, redeem chocolate for prizes you don’t have. And that’s it. No quests to go track down someone who’s sabotaging the Noblegarden eggs with rotten ones, no unique rewards for that year’s event, just the same ol’ from year to year. Once you’ve done it once, there’s no need to do it again.
Blizzard does seem to be aware of this, which is why they’ve added new items to the various holidays to keep players interested and coming back to do them. Lunar Festival has added two new pets, one Horde, one Alliance; the best part is that they’re tradable, so cross-faction sellers can make a boatload (conversely, pet collectors can lose a boatload). Love is in the Air made the Peddlefeet pet tradable, and added the Lovebird mount, also tradable. Noblegarden added the Springstrider mount, though players need to go out and track that down themselves. Children’s Week added two new pets to the Azeroth and Outland orphans’ quest chains, so those who have finished can come back and be rewarded with another pair of exclusive pets. Hallow’s End added some new pets last year, and Winter Veil turned the Greench into a seasonal boss, even letting players snag old Winter Veil presents for beating him.
The problem with this tactic is that you’re still completing the same event year after year. For Brewfest, you ride around on a ram and deliver beer. For Children’s Week, you cart orphans around and let them see the world. For Lunar Festival…haha who am I kidding nobody does Lunar Festival more than once (except me). While pet and mount collectors will log in to snag the latest things to add to their collections, once they’ve gotten everything, they too will stop showing up for these.
I’m not saying the holidays have to change every year. But adding on a new thing to do every so often wouldn’t be such a bad thing. The revamp of Hallow’s End was fantastic, as was Winter Veil’s. I do disagree with making the Greench a seasonal boss, though, as many people miss out on chances to kill him when they’re away for the holidays. Extend the event for the rest of us, okay?
The holidays are meant to be fun times. Let’s keep that fun going.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta go get on my bank alt and grind up those pink and black circlets I forgot about. Gotta keep with the latest fashions!