Nothing says Winter Veil like a skanky santa outfit. Ho ho ho, indeed. The winter holidays in Azeroth have enough sex and violence (mostly violence) to counteract all of the feel-good, family-friendly holiday cheer going on in the real world. It's exactly what you need after going anywhere near a mall parking lot at this time of year.
In-game holidays are always good for those of us with limited playtime because the quests give good experience, fun loot and there are often entertaining stories and activities to go along with it. The Feast of Winter Veil is no exception. While it doesn't have the ridiculous xp of the Midsummer Fire Festival or Hallows End, it does have some great Achievements, virtual toys and enough xp to make it worth your while. Following is a casual player's guide to the festivities.
If you have access to Dalaran, are PvP savvy and have time to do non-heroic Northrend instances, you are capable of getting all of the Feast of Winter Veil Achievements along with the title of Merrymaker. Check out WoW Insider's guide for how to achieve them all. If you are in Northrend, but haven't braved any of the instances yet because of past problems with PuGs and time constraints, go ahead and give them a try. Blizzard kept true to its promises and kept the new dungeon clear times to less than an hour -- some as short as 25 minutes with a good group. The Winter Hats required for looking cool and achieving 'Tis the Season drop off the Northrend dungeon bosses, so there will be plenty of people to form hat hunting groups.
The main Winter Veil quest hubs are in Ironforge for Alliance and Orgrimmar for Horde. Check out all of the ones that are available at your level and do them -- they are pretty simple, there are plenty of people around to help and you get Achievements and large experience rewards for completing them. Here are some tips for each one:
- Treats for Greatfather Winter: This quest is available at level 10 and is just a simple cooking quest. The recipe required for the cookies is obtained from one of the Smokywood Pastures vendors as well as the spices. The milk can of course be obtained from any innkeeper or food and drink vendor. And the small eggs can be harvested from killing lowbie birds or from the AH at exorbitant prices. We'll chat more about collecting small eggs later.
- Stolen Winter Veil Treats: Available starting at level 30, you get this quest from one of your friendly Smokywood Pastures vendors. You have to travel to Alterac Mountains, talk to a snowman, and then kill the Abominable Greench, who is just a very large yeti. There will be a bajillion people of both factions there killing him, too. Happily, as of this writing, the Greench is on an instant respawn, making it easier for everyone to get a kill quickly instead of fighting for spawns for an hour while getting ganked (no, I'm not bitter). Do group up to get him. He is a level 36 Elite, so if you are less than 40, he will be tough. Also, everyone in the group gets the treats off the kill, so the whole thing just goes more quickly for all involved if you are in a group.
- Metzen the Reindeer: Yes, all of Greatfather Winter's reindeer are named after developers. This quest is available at level 40 and you get it from a Smokywood Pastures vendor. The notes he gives you tells you that Metzen is possibly in two locations. He is actually in both locations (hmmm), but I think Tanaris is the easiest. Just go to where the pirates are south of Steamwheedle Port and you'll find him near one of the barracks buildings. The real trick here is to talk to him and use the dust quickly while you have the chance as there will be other players attempting to free him at the same time. Again, it is probably best to join a group to keep the mobs around him clear.
Just like in real life, there is a lot of money to be made during the Feast of Winter Veil. Because of Achievements, more players than ever are doing the holiday quests and are willing to pay high prices to get them done quickly. Here are a few ways to cash in on the fun and help you save up for mounts, bags or whatever tickles your fancy.
- Tailoring: You can make a lot of money off of selling Winter Clothes on the AH. The pattern for your faction will be sold by one of the Smokywood Pastures vendors. You can probably find the pattern for the other faction on the neutral AH for a high price. (Edited to add: Only if there are unused patterns leftover from last year as they are BoP this year. Thanks Osi!) The clothes for your faction can sell for about 5 to 25g while the ones for the opposite faction go for 45g and up. The prices will probably drop over time, so take advantage of the high prices now.
- Leatherworking: Winter Boots are your cashcow, so to speak. The patterns can be purchased from one of the Smokywood Pastures vendors. I couldn't find any on my server's AH for less than 45g since the event began.
- Small Eggs: In case you feel bad about price gouging players for these easily obtained items, remember that you are saving them time and effort. So go ahead and charge at least 5 gold for stacks of 5 on the AH. They will stack in stacks of 20, but the Treats for Greatfather Winter quest requires 5 cookies, which means 5 eggs, so split your stacks before selling. If you are Alliance, the drop rate on vultures in Westfall is pretty decent. If you are Horde, the dragonhawks outside of Silvermoon drop at least 1 per kill. Yes, 100% drop rate and sometimes they drop 2. You entrepreneurs yell at me all the time for announcing this, but there will always be lazy players to profit from.
Blizzard really brings out the silly for this holiday. There are devices for turning you into sexy santa gnomes and holly for turning your mount into a reindeer. You blow kisses at revelers once an hour to receive snow, holly and mistletoe. There are snowballs to throw, bots to battle and snowman disguises to wear. And, of course, there are presents to open on December 25th, no matter if you have been naughty or nice.
Whether you participate for fun, profit, experience, achievements or all of the above -- there's something for you at the Feast of Winter Veil. The holiday goes on through January 2nd, so even if you can't squeeze in too much playtime now, you still have plenty of time before this event expires.
Happy Feast of Winter Veil!