WoW Wednesday – Feast of WinterVeil
By Meredith Watson, OnRPG Warcraft Reporter
It is that time again in Azeroth. Feast of Winter Veil is upon us again to the delight of some and the indifference of many. Feast of Winter Veil was introduced in patch 1.2.0 in December of 2004 and very little has changed with this particular holiday event since. This holiday event runs from the 15th of December to the 2nd of January.
The story of the feast of Winter Veil is primarily a Dwarven and Tauren tale (see what I did there? Tauren tail?). The latter part of the year is a time of renewal when the land is covered with snow and the people of Azeroth join together in celebration. The legend of Greatfather Winter is common among many cultures in Azeroth. He casts his wintry veil over the land giving it time for rebirth. It is said Grandfather Winter would bring a bounty with his wintry wake which has led to the races of Azeroth celebrating with feasting and gift giving.
‘Twas the feast of Great-Winter
And all through the land
All the races were running
With snowballs in hand.
The cooks were all frantic
And for those “in the know”
Swoops and owls were crashing
Like new-fallen snow.
Cookies and eggnog
Were consumed by all
As the snowballs flew freely
And drunks smashed into walls.
May your feast of Great-Winter
Be one merry and bright
And from all here at Blizzard
We wish you a fun night! – From the official World of Warcraft site
So what is there to do in Azeroth during Winter Veil? Well, there is a daily quest as well as quests for both Horde and Alliance that require level 10. The daily, You’re a Mean One…, is for those at level cap and requires the freeing of Metzen the Reindeer and killing the Abominable Greench. The reward for this is a stolen present. Inside the present is a toy of varying rarity. The other quests give experience, reputation, gold and a gift from Smokeywood Pastures (obviously the Azerothian version of Hickory Farms). Other than a handful of simple quests, there isn’t that much to do. Winter Veil is not the best holiday in World of Warcraft. It lacks much muchiness.
Of course there are achievements to be had including a meta achievement granting the Merrymaker title that were introduced in 2008. If you happen to be in Ironforge or Orgrimmar Greatfather Winter requires some cookies and milk (one of the quests mentioned above). Top tip-sell small eggs during this time for a sizeable profit. There are also holiday revellers in the cities that you can /kiss for some snowflakes. Raid bosses wear and drop Santa hats, there are snowmen about as well as holly that transforms your mount and snowballs used for certain pets and outfits.
One of the best bits is the PX-238 Winter Wondervolt Machine which transforms your character into a festive gnome. The disguise lasts for 30 minutes but not through death or shapeshifting. If you aren’t a fan of playing gnome but think they are cute then this is a good bit of fun. Watch out though for those that would punt.
Finally, on the actual real world Christmas Eve several presents under the tree in Ironforge and Orgrimmar will become available to each player. Lower level characters won’t be able to get all the presents. In total there are six presents: Gently shaken gift, Winter Veil Gift, Carefully Wrapped Present, Festive Gift, Gaily Wrapped Present and Ticking Present. The Winter Veil Gift typically has a rare one of kind gift: Clockwork Rocket Bot 2007, Crashin’ Thrashin’ Race Controller 2008, Red Rider Air Rifle 2009 (nod to A Christmas Story), MiniZep Controller 2010, Gaudy Winter Veil Sweater 2011 which can now be purchased from a Smokeywood Pastures vendor. Who knows what it is in the Winter Veil Gift this year. Hopefully, a baby murloc.
There are quite a few bits and bobs to the festivities but nothing really substantial. I would like to see a special currency that could be used during the holiday for transmog items, rare pets or even mounts. Other games such as Rift and Guild Wars 2 have had this dynamic incorporated and if we are being completely honest their winter holiday events are a lot more fun and rewarding for it. Adding some sort of currency could potentially add more interest to what is now a very stale holiday. Over the years the changes to Feast of Winter Veil have been sparse at best. Surely, it is time for a change.
What is your favourite WoW holiday?