Daily Archives: December 16, 2019

Frostfell and the Feast of Winter Veil

The tip off was the lights hung outside the bank in Stormwind.  Those hadn’t been there on Saturday when I passed through town, but when I made it back on Sunday afternoon there they were.

The bank gets some holiday decor… too late for Diwali, so must be Winter Veil

Inside the bank there was even a decorated tree, reminding me very much of how banks used to decorate for the holidays back in the day.

Prominently yet awkwardly positioned

What with the alleged “War on Winter Veil” you don’t see such sites as often these days.  But here in WoW Classic the Feast of Winter Veil was upon us.

As a group we had been wondering when it would show up.  Other games I pay attention to had already gotten on board with the holidays, with EVE Online kicking off their Naughty or Nice event and EverQuest II launching into its annual Frostfell celebration.

One thing was that I couldn’t really recall how big Winter Veil was in the 2006 era.  We all knew enough to sock away a couple stacks of eggs for the annual auction house festival of price gouging when people need five of them to make cookies for Santa.  (Too many people remembered that, so you could barely clear 6 silver an egg, though that is still a hell of a markup.)  But as an overall event it didn’t leave as big of an impression on me as Frostfell did.

Over in EverQuest II Frostfell has always been a pretty big deal, and it has continued to grow in waves of dev enthusiasm over the years, interspersed with times of neglect.  There is essentially a whole zone set aside and decorated for the event.

Behold Frostfell Village

Yes, that is just the bay at one end of the Everfrost zone repurposed, with the water frozen over and the islands all decorated, with other additions added over the last 15 years or so.

The EQII zone methodology, which I criticize for not making Norrath feel like a world, lends itself to this sort of thing, allowing them to carve out a temporary seasonal zone, which has spawned its own series of related instances.

It was impressive back in the day when my daughter was little and seeing a red nosed reindeer flying around got her quite excited.  I have spent quite a bit of time over the years in this area, running the quests, collecting snow globes for housing decor, and whatever else has been going on.  The wiki page for Frostfell runs pretty long.

Snow Globe collecting over a decade back

There are hints of Christmas that people will recognize.

Santa’s sleigh flies about the zone

Though there are other aspects that might diverge from expectations.

May I introduce Santa Glug. He has daily presents.

Anyway, as noted, it is quite a production, and one that has been built upon over the years, which I have indulged in off and on.  Some of my characters wear winter hats from Frostfell year around.

Paladin in gold topped off with a blue Frostfell hat

And Daybreak pushes the event in game.  It is difficult to miss the setup, the collection items glowing on the ground around the home cities, and even if you bypass that they send all of your characters a note in the mail to remind you that the season is upon us.  I always find those still in my mail box when I log in some long neglected character in the spring or summer.

In WoW Classic things are a bit more subtle.  No notifications and some decorations up around some parts of town.  But I remembered enough to go to Ironforge where I knew the main event would be. (Though if I had looked a bit harder I would have found the quest in Stormwind that would have directed me there.)

Outside the bank in Ironforge

My memories from the vanilla era are pretty vague.  As noted, I recall the milk and cookies for Great-Father Winter, as Santa is known in Azeroth.

Great-Father Winter is a dwarf here… only his helpers are goblins

As it turns out, there is a bit more to it than my memories of the time can bring up.  The WoW Head page for the season shows a range of quests as well.  There are a few easy ones that send you around Ironforge.

The dwarves have their own big tree in the back

There are also a few bigger quests that send you out into the world.  We will have to see how doable some of those are for the group, which is hovering about in the low 30s when it comes to levels.  But the season is upon us and, like so much else in WoW Classic, I am probably taking a closer look at it now than I did back in the day when this was all fresh and new.