If you haven't bought into the whole Midsummer hype yet, allow me to try to convince you. This year's Midsummer Fire Festival is possibly the most casual-friendly WoW event. Still you may ask, to paraphrase a guildie, "What's so great except for a useless pet?"
This holiday is not about the loot.
Sure, I got myself a Brazier of Dancing Flames, but I had the blossoms burning a hole in my pocket anyway, so why not? Midsummer is really about every other reason we play the game: progressing our characters, seeing the world, supporting our faction and, most importantly, fun.
Let's break it down:
Experience: The experience you get for doing the quests is just obscene. My 54 pally got 8150 XP just for doing the daily Torch Tossing quest. Honoring fires gets you nice experience and desecrating flames gets you double that. And of course there is the experience buff from the maypole. If you have characters lower than 70, check out the Level Guide for the quests appropriate for you and go to it. It's a great way to get the most out of your limited game time.
Cash: Are you still trying to save up for your epic mount or are you looking to fund enchantments and gems for your new Arena gear? If you are level 70, these quests give a lot of cold, hard gold. The Torch dailies award just short of 12 gold as does desecrating enemy flames. Honoring flames gives about half that. I have totally recouped my frivolous title money and then some.
Exploring: Desecrating flames is a great reason to go out and see the world, particularly if you have a mount. If you are level 50 or above, take in the sights of the opposing faction's capitals as well. These quests can be done as part of a raid, so pick up strangers as you go and travel in a mob. Even if you play characters on both factions, it's fun to see familiar zones as the enemy.
Keeping it fresh: Let's face it: if you've been playing this game for a while, you are probably impatient for the expansion. Taking time out to participate in events is a great way to keep the game fresh and fun. Even if you don't like some of the quests (like Torch Catching), it's still different from what you've been doing and that's a good thing.
Fun: Sunday night, the Spousal Unit and I decided to take a tour of the Alliance flames. We picked up a small raid's worth of Horde and doused fires all over Azeroth. We died a lot (Stormwind was very well defended) but we had a blast. It's not always easy, even on a PvP server, to get interest going for World PvP, so I like to take advantage of it when I can. Being a crab is delightfully silly, giving incense to the scorchling was a great surprise, and even trying to catch torches with everyone else was a little enjoyable. There's a lot of fun to be had for this holiday, so why not take advantage of it?
Sure, the more hardcore players get that Alune guy to play with (and even that is possible to do as a casual player), but the rest of the event seems tailor-made for those of us with limited playtime. So get out and support Blizzard's casual-friendly holiday. And come join It came from the Blog this Sunday for some Midsummer fun.