Meta’s Verse: City of Heroes Winter Event 2011
By Meticulous Meta, OnRPG Paragon Reporter
Winter has come. The ski chalet is open, hordes of snow creatures torment the city and someone has kidnapped baby new year! Sounds like a pretty average winter in Paragon City actually. Every year always brings new events to the holiday festivities in City of Heroes. However this year the additions were noticeably smaller. Two badges, a new temporary power and a non combat are only the beginning.
Winter has been an important time in City of Heroes since the beginning in 2004. In the beginning there were presents scattered through the city. What was inside each gift depended on if you had been naughty or nice. The next year introduced the festive jet pack and Operation Holiday Cheer and Operation Scrooge, essentially an attempt to ruin the festivities and the retaliation to save them. 2006 brought what is easily the most popular part of the winter event, the ski chalet in Pocket D. Inside Father Time is asking for your help in rescuing Baby New Year (the ugliest baby ever).
In 2007 we got candy canes to buy things with and the ability to ski the slopes while timed. 2008 gave us the luge which is a challenge just to complete thanks to high speeds and edges that are too close for comfort. With 2009 came access to the Lord Winter’s realm where heroes and villains team up to fight against the Lord Winter himself. This was accessed by finding large presents throughout the city and waiting for the timer to reach zero so you could join the invasion force. Last year we met Lady Winter who, I have to say is far too good looking for the giant snowbeast Lord Winter. Assuming they’re together that is.
So that’s the past. And looking back, we the players got spoiled with having something big come out for several years in a row. The slight disappointment that came when I first read the patch notes has gone and now I’m casually enjoying the event as I have for many years now. With all the other amazing things that have come out this year it really was no surprise that the winter event additions would be small.
Instant Snowstorm Temporary Power – This is a purely cosmetic power that surrounds you and your allies in a wonderful snow storm. Each charge only lasts 10 minutes and you can only have 3 charges at a time. It is the closest thing to actual weather you can get in City of Heroes and something I would happily pay to be able to have all the time. As it is obtained through candy canes or opening presents you can only get it this time of year. Which means in July everyone will want them, because who doesn’t want snow in July?
Duplicating Gift – The gift that keeps on giving. These gifts come from presents, being bought with candy canes or getting one from another player. What do they do exactly? Just make more of themselves. Pass the gift on to someone else and receive the Gift Which Keeps Giving badge. Receive the gift and get the Gift Getter badge. This was likened to a chain letter and seems to be only mildly popular. Mostly with those who want the badges and little interest beyond that.
Lord Winter’s Realm LFG Tool – This year instead of accessing the Lord Winter’s Realm via presents, which often resulted in failed attempts at defeating Lord Winter due to low numbers, the dev team has given us access to the Realm via the Looking For Group tool. With this tool you can be anywhere in Paragon City or the Isles and get on a Realm run. This makes the likelihood of failure much lower and hopefully makes it much more popular.
The newest change this year is the introduction of the Paragon Market. And so for the first time we are able to buy permanent winter related items; the first of these items is the Snow Beast. It looks like he was made using the MVAS model from the Vanguard pack. He is smaller than the snowbeasts we’re used to seeing in the game and has the ability to fly. This adorable non combat pet is really just too cute to pass up. A second item will soon be released into the market but as of now no further details are known.
The winter event is going on from now until January 3rd, 2012. There is something for everyone in this event. Well, unless you hate the cold. Then I guess you should take a vacation to somewhere warmer.