Tyrian Times - Wintersday Part 1
By Meredith Watson, OnRPG Tyrian Reporter
It is Wintersday in Tyria. Wintersday is the December event for Guild Wars 2 and already proving to be a great experience. This Wintersday Lion's Arch will host Toymaker Tixx as their special guest of honour but before he reaches Lion's Arch he will be stopping by each city for fun and games.
There is plenty to do in this event. Plenty. Since Lion's Arch is the major hub of Tyria, it is dressed to the nines in winter splendour. It is truly a winter wonderland with a massive snowglobe on top of the mystic forge, hanging snowflakes everywhere, candy canes, snowmen, festive dolyaks and lots of snow. Gorgeous artistry from ArenaNet as usual. But it isn't all just for show. There are three events that can be participated in from the Mystic Plaza by talking to the festive youth, Bell Maestro, and Festive Lionguard. They each have little flag icons over their heads so can't be missed.
The Festive Youth will take you to Winter Wonderland which is the mother of all jumping puzzles. The premise for the puzzle is taking presents to needy children by jumping through a maze of snowflakes, presents and whatever else wintery goodness ArenaNet can throw at us. If you fail you go back to the start and have to wait for another round to begin. If you love the jumping puzzles, then this is the event for you. Having a chat with the Bell Maestro will see you playing for the Bell Choir Ensemble. Once you enter the Bell Choir Ensemble you speak to a snowman and go through a couple options. You are then sent to a big, coloured, round platform that looks a bit like some sort of ye olde children’s game. Essentially what needs to be done is when the coloured lights reach the middle you press the corresponding note on your hot bar. It takes some practice. Finally, the Festive Lionguard will take you to Snowball Mayhem which, as you probably guessed, is a large PvP snowball fight. The snowman at the start will give you three choices for a “class”: heavy gunner, scout and supporter. Each has strengths and weaknesses. The first team to 500 wins. The teams are the red team and the blue team with no choice of what team you’re put on. The purpose of Snowball Mayhem is to bring Wintersday Gifts back to your base to score points while killing other players.
Hovering over a capital city on any given day is Toymaker Tixx and his Funworks Krewe on their giant golem ship. There is a teleporter in whichever city Tixx is over so that his ship can be easily reached. The teleporter is easily located on the map. Tixx's Infinirarium is a 5 man instance that changes depending on which race's city it is above, incorporating the vibe of that race.
As if that isn't enough to do there is also a snowball fight in the Grand Piazza in Lion's Arch. There are also presents out in the game world to be found which spawn mobs which drop even more presents and have a good chance of dropping weapon skins.
Doing all these events rewards the players with presents which often have the Wintersday currency in them which are Ugly Sweater, Ugly Sock and Ugly Hat. This currency can be used to purchase gimmicky weapon skins such as candy canes. You can find the best looking weapon skins in the gem store. As well as skins in the gem store there is quite possibly the best costume ever. It looks like something out of a Victorian postcard. Guild War 2's artists have pulled out all the stops on this one and never fail to impress.
What never ceases to amaze about Guild Wars 2 is that it is buy/free to play. ArenaNet has given us so much for so little, which I think is testament to their commitment to give us a great game. What is also refreshing is that unlike the other big MMOs out right now, ArenaNet is not giving us just another rendition of Santa Claus. They have made a winter holiday experience that is unique to them. Yes, there are the usual things you'd expect of winter but there isn't a Santa knock off one. WoW gives us Greatfather winter (a dwarf in a red robe), Rift we have Greatfather Frost-a fae of some description who is also in a red outfit and Everquest II has Santa Glug who is a goblin in a Santa hat. It is really nice to see ArenaNet breaking the mould by giving us a steampunk inspired Asuran toymaker. Tixx will be in Lion's Arch on the 20th when we are promised a Toypocalypse. I, for one, can't wait.
Are you looking forward to the Toypocalypse?