The festival celebrates the old heroes of Azeroth, presumably ancestors of us modern Azerothians. From the capital cities, you'll be sent on a quest to locate and meet 50 of these heroes or Elders, who are scattered all over world.
The best way to travel is with a Mage (nothing like portals to zip all over the map) and lots of real life Lunar New Year munchies as you (re)visit various corners of Azeroth. To take the guesswork out of your journey, here's a list of the Elder's locations, and walkthroughs to boot!
While there isn't any special reward for collecting all 50 Coins of Ancestry from the Elders, other than a sense of achievement, the coins can be traded in for some nifty costumes, fireworks and dumplings. For each Elder you meet, you'll also get a Lucky Red Envelope about six hours later in your mail. That's a lot of fun goodies to get in game during this two-week period. For raiders among us, Festival Dumplings, with a 4% health and mana regen, is one of the best foods in game.
Now this visiting of Elders business ties in neatly with the real life Lunar New Year tradition of getting together with family and friends. Children and unmarried adults can also expect to get red envelopes from their parents and elders, and guess what, the red packets almost always contain money! (Now you know why kids love this festival: holiday, goodies AND money! It's like Christmas all over again!)
Unlike WoW, real life red envelopes are not mailed; you usually get them immediately after being really nice to your parents and elders. Extra points (and cash) if you've been a good girl or boy all year round! Thankfully, the red envelopes are usually too small to stuff a lump of coal into.
One of the stories behind Lunar New Year is that of a large, dog-like beast that appears around this time every year to prey on humans and livestock. Sound familiar? Yes, Omen is that beast (not to be confused with the threatmeter). In the Chinese version of WoW, Omen is known as "Nian", which is the actual name of the beast in Chinese mythology. The Nian (a homonym of "year" in Mandarin) beast is believed to be sensitive to the color red and loud noises, which explains the festival's association with everything red, and firecrackers.
Unfortunately, Omen or Nian isn't such a wussy in the game and takes a raid to bring down
. Travel to the southeastern of Lake Elune'ara (about 62,63) in Moonglade, with a handful of friends and lots of cluster rockets to initiate the summoning of the beast. Minions of Omen or demon wolves on steroids will spawn; kill them and/or use Elune's Candle on them, and their head (two heads in fact) honcho will show up eventually. Unlike other WoW
raid encounters, this fight isn't restricted to level 60s or 70s. However, if you decide to participate with a lower level toon, be prepared to run back from the nearby graveyard a lot, especially when Omen uses his deadly Starfall AoE attack.
Since this is a Warlock column, I'd like to highlight that a level 70 Warlock with good gear could probably solo
Omen, according to WoWWiki
. Granted it'll take you about 30 minutes of running around a large tree with the doggie all dotted up, but nobody said that OP-ness was easy. I'd like to try out this stunt myself although an Affliction build would probably survive better.
In the meantime, I'm going to collect both the tailoring patterns
from the festival. I was probably having too much fun with the outfits and fireworks in previous years to pick them up. My personal favorite is the purple outfit on a female toon (see above) - vavavoom!
Blizzard certainly did a nice job with the Lunar Festival, adding some holiday cheer to the game and capturing the nuances and some lore of the real world festival. It's a pity that it hasn't been updated
since 2006, as far as I know and from the reports of guildies. Obviously the Lunar Festival isn't the "old holiday
" that has received the Hallow's End style
makeover. Can we expect something different out of Valentine's Day
next week? We shall see!Note
: Dear Blood Pact
readers, I apologize for this week's column not having very much to do directly with warlocks. However, being the evil masterminds that we are, I thought a little knowledge and cultural background of in-game events couldn't hurt. This is the year of the Rat after all, and rats are supposedly inquisitive and enterprising - perfect Warlock traits, by the way - and not blindly chasing yellow exclamation marks made of cheese, or not. And thank you Balasan, for the new year greetings! :)