Tag Archives: Brewfest

The Great Brewfest Kodo Arrives

Brewfest rolled around again in World of Warcraft, which generated a moment of excitement until I remembered that I had already done all the achievements and events in past years.

Getting wild at Brewfest

Oh, I did all the things…

I sagged a little at that.  As with last year, I felt my momentary enthusiasm gutted by the reality of nothing changing in the world.

But, wanting to do something in WoW, but still not quite ready to resume the Blade’s Edge Mountains, I figured I could queue up for Coren Direbrew.  He is quick and maybe he has some better drops this year.  Plus, I never got that Great Brewfest Kodo.

So I queued up, got into a group in about five minutes (or about one thirtieth of an Arche Age login queue) and wham, bam, he was down.

And what did he have for me?  A Great Brewfest Kodo!

BFKodoDrop

That drop, on the first run, rounded out my Brewfest mount collection, as I already had the Swift Brewfest Ram.

BFMounts

That was pretty exciting, considering how many runs we took at Coren Direbrew during past Brestfests.  I can now ride around Brewfest in style… when I am not flying.  I’ll probably have it out for Warlords of Draenor a lot.

Brewfest Kodo

Brewfest Kodo

Of course, now I have the one last thing I was missing from Brewfest, so I am back to where I started.  Such is life in the land of MMOs.

(On the flip side, that did get my mother and daughter to run Coren Direbrew as well in hopes of a mount drop.)

 

Hallow’s End, Brewfest, and an Empty Feeling

We were out shopping a couple of weeks back and stopped in at the Spirit Halloween store.  It is one of those seasonal stores that sets up for a holiday in an otherwise empty store front and then goes away once the holiday passes.  My daughter was looking for something for a Halloween costume.  As we wandered around the store, I found the whole place depressing.

The store was hastily put together, ending up feeling very “fly by night,” which of course it was.  The merchandise struck me as very cheap (in quality, not price) and often tacky in ways that offered no real redeeming humor value.  And the whole thing was set up in the former location of one of the two great hobby shops in the valley when I was growing up, adding another layer of despair to the whole scene in my eyes.

And, while I am sure I could work this into a “subscription to F2P” cash shop metaphor, that isn’t where I am going today.  This is more of a holiday depression themed post.

Though, really, depression is too strong of a word.  It is more like malaise.

We jumped back into World of Warcraft early in September, which put us in line for a round of Azerothian holidays.  At the time I thought that would be a good thing.  I have fond memories of many of the holiday events in WoW.  The instance group pursued many of them over the years.

However, once the holiday parade began, I started to feel a little different.

First there was Brewfest, which I headed out to see the day it got set up.  It was outside of Orgrimmar.  The music was playing (which is the one bit I couldn’t get enough of) the booths were set up, and the quests were ready to go.  I started out on the intro quests and quickly began to feel like I had done all of this before.

Which, of course, I had.

I checked out the now account unified achievements and saw that I had pretty much done it all.

Getting wild at Brewfest

Oh yeah, now I remember

I had raced the rams, captured the worpletinger, fought the dark iron, killed Coren Direbrew repeatedly, and even got the Swift Brewfest Ram.

CD21Mount

So it was one of those things where there was really nothing new to do, the event itself seeming relatively unchanged since I last ran through it vigorously some four years ago.  And with unified achievements and shared mounts across accounts, I had all the goodies right down to the Brewmaster title.  So I listened to the Brewfest music a bit and went on my way.

Likewise, when Hallow’s End showed up after Brewfest, I felt like I had done just about everything.  I am one achievement shy on Hallow’s End, having earned 18 of 19 already.  And that last one is for the candy buckets in Pandaria.  And while I am sure that the Headless Horseman has some new/different drops this year (as no doubt Coren Direbrew did)  I actually do not have any characters high enough level to queue up for those fights at the moment.

Last Call for the Headless Horseman

Hallow’s End – 2009

On the heels of Hallow’s End we will have Pilgrim’s Bounty, for which I also already have all of the achievements.  I will no doubt use the event as a way to level up my cooking skills on some new characters, but aside from that, I am not feeling a big thrill.  And then will come Winter’s Veil where, again, I have about all of the achievements I can realistically expect to earn at this point.

None of which is exclusive to WoW at this point.  Holiday events in most games tend to hit a final state where the changes that come year by year are pretty small, so you end up doing the same thing every year.  It just happens that WoW is the game I am playing at the moment… or at least the one that has holiday events… and happens to be a game where I have, in the past, invested quite a bit of time in those events.  To use the standard phrase, I have both been there and done that for nearly every holiday in WoW.

Which brings up the question as to what else I should expect.

Do you jump into MMO holidays every year, even if little has changed, or are they more of a “fun once” sort of thing with you as well?

And should companies change up their holiday events, or is tradition more important than newness in this case?

Brew of the Year Achievement Done

Emboldened by the news that, if only I could rejoin the Brew of the Month club before the end of September, that I could complete that one last Brewfest achievement, the one I thought was going to elude me for another year, I started grubbing for Brewfest tokens as hard as I could.

Granted, there are only so many things you can do for Brewfest tokens.

I managed to get myself to 161 tokens when I realized that I had not killed Coren Direbrew yet this year.  He had to be worth some tokens.

Fortunately… from my perspective anyway… killing Coren is easier than ever.  Seasonal events like this are now included in the dungeon finder.

So in I went with four complete strangers, none of whom said a word.  The tank just charged in, we all followed, and soon Coren was dead.

This time around Coren is also dropping a goody bag… or barrel.  I received two emblems of frost in mine, which earned Vikund an unexpected achievement.


One more achievement checked off I guess.  One I was unlikely to get otherwise.

After that, it was back to Brewfest central where I found that there was indeed a reward for killing Coren Direbrew.

I needed 39 tokens and this got me 40.

So I ran to the token vendor, bought the Brew of the Month Club application for 200 tokens, ran up to Ironforge, turned in the application, and then, as a fully paid up member, I was able to purchase the Binary Brew, consume it, and finish off that last achievement.


Brewfest achievements complete!

When does Hallow’s End start?

The Longest Achievement

Or the longest wait for an achievement.

My daughter announced that Brewfest had begun last weekend.

Now, last year the instance group pretty much beat Brewfest to death.  I got the Brewmaster title, we collected tokens, we killed Coren Direbrew nearly two dozen times, lederhosen was worn, and we danced in the streets of Dalaran.

How you doin'?

There was just one Brewfest achievement left, the Brew of the Month Club.

That Last Brewfest Achievement

It is an optional achievement.  You don’t need to do it to get the Brewmaster title.  But the completionist in me wanted to check off that last box.

To get there, one had to earn enough tokens to buy a membership… some 200 tokens for the privileged.  So I diligently did the Brewfest daily quests… well… daily until I had enough tokens to buy my outfit, my beer keg, my membership, and whatever else I needed.

And so, the year long brew of the month club membership began.

On the first of each month a new brew would appear in my in-game mailbox.  All I had to do was drink it, and I was another step closer to that last achievement.

Months went by and little checks went into the achievement tracker.

August 1st came, I drank the brew of the month.  I was, at that point, just one beer away from being done.


And then I let my World of Warcraft account lapse.  The instance group was playing Lord of the Rings Online this summer, I was out of work so I was even less keen than usual to pay for an account I was not using, and my latest 3-month subscription term was due at the end of the first week of the month.  I canceled my subscription.

So summer turned to autumn as we played in Middle-earth, leaving Azeroth for another time.

Then, as I said way up at the top, my daughter announced it was Brewfest.  I was employed again, she wanted to run around and do some of the activities, and I wanted that last achievement.  So I resubscribed after only a 6 week hiatus.  It can be hard to stay away.

And the first thing I did was log on with Vikund to check my main for that last, oh so satisfying beer.

Only my mail box was empty.  No beer for me.

I am going to guess that you have to be subscribed on the first of the month to get your monthly brew, and I was not.

Oh dear.

Still, I wanted to finish off that last Brewfest achievement.

So now I am back to doing daily quests to earn the 200 tokens.  that will take me less than an hour each over four evenings to do.

Then I have to buy the membership.

And then I have to wait 11 more months until we’re back to September first.  I have to remember to stay subscribed.  And I have to drink that last beer.

See what the achievement oriented player will do, just to check off one box.

The Culling of Stratholme

It was Saturday night and we had killed Coren Direbrew for the 21st and final time during Brewfest.

Since by that point killing Coren was a quick and well rehearsed process, we had plenty of time left for another activity.  So we went to the next instance on our list, the Culling of Stratholme.  We were:

80 Priest – Skronk
80 Mage – Ula
80 Warlock – Bungholio
80 Warrior – Earlthecat
80 Paladin – Vikund

Ula put up a portal to Dalaran where we picked up the portal to the Caverns of Time.  And from there… well… we had to find the entrance.  That sounds easy, but it isn’t like there is a big sign that says “Stratholme – This Way” or anything.  In fact, it just looks like some more buildings.

Shhh... Stratholme this way...

Shhh... Stratholme this way...

Okay, I guess there are the banners of Lorna Doone… erm… Lordaeron out front, but still.

In we went at last, only to run into Chromie, who looked remarkably like Ula with her current hair style.

Only their hairdressers know the truth

Only their hairdressers know the truth

Chromie then went on about how those neferious nabobs of no-goodness, the Infinite Dragonfligh, the Team Rocket of Azerothian time travel, were again screwing with the flow of time.

This time around they were trying to keep Prince Arthas from making his fateful decision in Stratholme and thus alter the course of time.

However, given that Arthas goes through the whole story ignoring sage advice, making questionable decisions, and eventually becoming the Lich King (whoops, spoiler… somebody out there is going “What?!  He’s the Lich King?!?”) it wasn’t exactly clear to me how things could get worse and that we might all be better off just seeing what happens.  I mean, we’ve got time travel here, right?  We can always go back and fix it later if things don’t work out.

However, there is no loot and no achievement for trying to stump Chromie with logic, so we opted to go along and just follow instructions.  Mostly.

We were given a thingy and told to go find some tainted grain that would turn people into scourge like meat from that packing plant in Georgia last summer.  They grain is in crates that are glowing, so that wasn’t all that tough.

I did try to ride off into the distance, but you just get enshrouded in fog and eventually run into an invisible wall, so plans to invest a bit of gold an feel the magic of compound interest were thwarted.

We did notice that it was Brewfest in Stratholme.  What a coincidence that this particular bit of Azerothian history took place during the holiday we happened to be currently celebrating!  Amazing!

Brewfest - A Stable Tradition in Azeroth

Brewfest - A Stable Tradition in Azeroth

The crates collected, we were then sent off to follow Arthas around and help him keep to his course.  Fortunately, I suppose, change is just a word for the coins you get back with a purchase in Azeroth, so we didn’t have to worry about any “Back to the Future” like issue, such turns of phrase not in common use or wearing down vests and being mistaken for a sailor.

We then got to watch a little play acted out, where Arthas ignores advice from people who later succeed in NOT becoming… say… the Lich King, and goes on his merry way.

Arthas not listening to his elders

Arthas not listening to his elders

Then it was off into Stratholme proper and a lot of running around as we played a large scale game of Twister.  Scourge in the market!  Scourge at town hall!  Scourge back at the market!  Back and forth we ran.

Chasing the Scourge

Chasing the Scourge

Eventually, we wrapped that up, caught up with Arthas, and began a long escort quest which eventually led us to a Strathomle that we all recognized.

Classic Stratholme

Classic Stratholme

Arthas behaved like a typical escort target, by which I mean he did his best to elude us or pull extra adds when ever possible.  The only thing missing was him looking for a misplaced sword or shield.

Still, we have been trained as a group to escort idiot savant targets, and we managed to get him to the last fight with Mal’Ganis in Crusader Square.  The last fight, frankly, was easier than just getting Arthas there in the first place.  The fight ended with us getting the achievement.

CoSAchi

Once Mal’Ganis was down, Arthas gave us a little pep talk, packed his skis, and headed to Northrend.

Arthas say good-bye

Arthas say good-bye

Then Chromie showed up again, stood awkwardly in mid-air, thanked us for our efforts, and handed out goodies.

Floating Chromie

Floating Chromie

And then Chromie said her final words to us.

CoSChromieChat
Really?  This was the best results the time traveling sect could come up with?  I am still unconvinced.

Anyway, we’ve culled Stratholme.  Now we have to head back to the Howling Fjord, back where we started of f months ago, and face Utgarde Pinnacle.

The 21 Deaths of Coren Direbrew

Brewfest has passed in Azeroth.

The tents have been folded.  The spilled beer and goat droppings have been cleaned up.

The vendors have gone back to their respective breweries.

Perhaps not everybody is sad to see them go.  Not everybody is into drunken revelry, though my wife might say I am pre-disposed to such activity, have married a beer brewery heiress and all.

But even if you weren’t into the ram riding and drunken brawls with the Dark Iron dwarves, there were still some more tangible goodies to be had by killing Coren Direbrew.  Four of us managed to take him down once on our first outing, and twice on our second, but when we got the full group together we were able to beat him like a pinata in hopes of getting good drops.

So Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights last week we assembled and took him down six times each evening.

While we are only a group of five, I happen to have a level 80 hunter on the server as well, so I was able substitute Tistann, my hunter, in for Vikund once per evening to get us one more bite at the apple.

Some reading up showed that we could avoid the whole “barrel on the head” thing by making sure we had no empty bag slots.  This prevents you from catching the barrel, so to speak.

Fail - A Paladin with empty bag slots

Fail - A Paladin with empty bag slots

Of course, if you have no empty bag slots, you cannot catch the rare beer that turns you into a Dark Iron dwarf.  At least I think that is where that particular beer came from.  Vikund spent some time in Dark Iron form.

Vikund Transformed into a Dark Iron Dwarf

Vikund Transformed into a Dark Iron Dwarf

And what did we end up with after killing Coren 21 times?

  • Bubbling Brightbrew Charm – I lost count of these because  they came up so often.  After a while we couldn’t roll on them because we all had one.
  • Direbrew’s Shanker – Several of these dropped, but they could at least be sold to a vendor for some decent gold, since nobody really needed it.  Tistann could have used it, but it never dropped when he was in the group.
  • Bitter Balebrew Charm – At least four.  Like the Brightbrew Charm, amusing but not so useful.
  • Ancient Pickled Egg – Four received, but it was at least useful for Skronk the priest and potentially so for Vikund, should he spec holy.
  • Brawler’s Souvenir – Three of these dropped.  Good for Earl, okay for Tistann, otherwise not so useful.
  • Mithril Pocketwatch – we got a pair of these, one for Bung and one for Ula if I recall right.
  • Swift Brewfest Ram – Just one of these.  We finally saw this drop on the last night we killed Coren.

CD21Mount

Vikund won the roll, which not only got him the mount but also an achievement.

CD21BrewFAST
Granted, it is a feat of strength achievement, which means that it only counts to settle a tie when bragging about your total achievement points, but it is still cool.

The mount itself looks like your standard epic ram mount from Ironforge.  The main difference is the glowing green eyes and the armor that appears to be made from beer barrels.

The Swift Brewfest Ram

The Swift Brewfest Ram

As for the other items, we got some many Brightbrew Charms in a row at one point that we were convinced that we needed to reset the instance to reset the loot table.  Over the long term that did not prove to be true, but one night we took a portal back to Ironforge and reset the instance after each fight.

The only items we did not see were:

  • Coren’s Chromium Coaster – Might have been a nice trinket for somebody.
  • Direbrew’s Remote – Not that great, but would have saved us some travel time each night, especially during our repeat drop paranoia.
  • Tankard O’Terror – That is on heck of a one handed weapon.  It would have been good for Earl, and Vikund wouldn’t have said no to one if offered.
  • Great Brewfest Kodo – The really distinctive mount for alliance players.  It did not come our way.

So that was the net goody haul for our group’s Brewfest adventures.

Now we will have to see what the Headless Horseman will have for us come Hallow’s End!  Last year he didn’t drop anything spectacular for us, but maybe we’ll have better luck this year.

Brewmaster!

Not everybody likes Brewfest.

In fact, not everybody is all that keen on game holidays in general.

I must confess that I used to be one of those people who greeted such holidays with a tepid response on the best of days.  Well, unless Rudolph was involved.

And then, of course, Blizzard put in 900 or so happy shiny achievements into WoW, many of which are related to holiday events.

Now I am out there at almost every holiday doing at least a few of the achievement worthy activities. (And you can imagine my disappointment when Harvest Festival didn’t have an achievement of any sort.  Remember that Saturday Night Live skit where Bill Murray was given a treat for each gag, then when he didn’t get one he got all upset?  Probably not.)

There is obviously some deep psychological significance to the fact that I will run off and do some rather silly things just to get an achievement.

Go Vikund!

Go Vikund!

Yeah, there is my character in Dalaran dressed up in Brewfest finery, completely smashed, and dancing away for an achievement.

BMdtp

See, once we managed to kill Coren Direbrew on Saturday night, I figured I was well on the way to finishing off the Brewfest achievements and getting the Brewmaster title.  I just needed to figure out how to collect enough Brewfest tokens to cover all my bases.

The problem was that I went off and bought the pink elekk as soon as I had 100 tokens.  Then I counted out what else I needed and realized that 550 tokens were required to get the above achievement and the Brew of the Month Club achievement.

Even with three daily quests, that seemed like a lot, especially since I didn’t discover the third quest until a few days into Brewfest.

There are two quests that show the blue exclamation point, the brewery barking and the quest that comes up when you fend off the Dark Iron dwarves when they invade Brewfest.  Then there is the guy who has the racing ram quest that you run once.

At that point here is a cool down (supposed to be 18 hours, but it seems shorter as I managed to run the quest before going to work then late in the evening, which is less that 15 hours) after which you can talk to him again and he’ll give you the reins and a time limit during which you can make as many round trips as you can manage (each trip extends your time) earning 2 tokens for each barrel you deliver.

Once I figured out how this really worked (it is explained in detail on WoW Wiki) I was able to start grinding out quite a few tokens a day.  Still, 550 is a lot of tokens, and I can’t get on every morning and night.

Then I read somewhere, and I wish I could find the post again so I could link it and give proper dues, that you have two hours during which you can return anything you buy from the Brewfest vendor.  That is more than enough time to buy the Brewfest apperal, get to Dalaran, get smashed, do your dance, then get back and return everything and get your tokens back.

That sounded like the plan for me.

So off I went.

Once done in Dalaran, I took the portal back to Ironforge and rode out to Brewfest.  I returned the lederhosen for a 200 token refund, but I couldn’t bring myself to return the hat.  I actually have a very similar hat in real life which I have worn to Oktoberfest celebrations out here on occasion.  So I am saving that in hopes of there being an appearance tab some day, or just to look silly when I want.

The Hat

The Hat

The 200 token refund was enough for me to purchase the Brew of the Month Club application, which I hurridly filled out and turned in, covering the last major achievement for me in Brewfest.

BMAchi
The Brew of the Month Club then sent me a nice note welcoming me.

BMBotmcLetter
So I have that to look forward to every month.

All in all Brewfest has been a lot of fun this year and I am glad that the achievements were there to tempt me to get involved with it.

Not that it was without conflict of a mental nature.

My daughter gets to play WoW on the weekends and, of course, she found Brewfest.  There is nothing quite like your child announcing that she is the “Drunken Master!” to set off the bad parent alarms in your head.

I did try to rationalize this a bit, pointing out to my lovely but frowning wife that when I was our daughter’s age I was tending bar for my grandparents and could make a quite respectable Manhattan.  Go watch The Thin Man.  That was how my grandparent’s generation treated alcohol.  Growing up in the midst of that I somehow successfully avoided becoming an alcoholic.  Heck, I look at the per capita alcohol consumption figures and wonder who is drinking the vast majority of my 8.6 liters of pure alcohol. (And what is with Luxembourg and 15.6 liters per capita?)

And I did use the opportunity to explain to my daughter that the motion impairing effects shown in the game after consuming alcohol were all too real and that was why the law prohibits drinking and driving.  She got that since she was really annoyed by the whole weaving around and actually asked me to show her where to get the Synthebrew Goggles so her character wouldn’t have to drink any more to catch pink elekks.

But I have to admit, after running through the Brewfest quests on the first night, I actually wanted a beer.

I should probably just let my daughter taste a beer one of these days.  That was enough to keep me off of the stuff until college.