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Valentine's Day in Azeroth

Jennie Lees

"Love is in the air," proclaims the official website, and it's true; for the past few days a touch of romance has hit the capital cities with a vengeance. If you're the sort of player who likes to avoid in-game events, or who finds the overwhelming slushiness of Valentine's Day too sickly-sweet for words, look away now...

Today's the day the NPCs in our cities finally get a starring role--or a bit part, at least. We've long overlooked the patient guards and vendors who litter our streets, seeing them only as convenient human signposts or shops; now they're in need of some love, and all it takes is a small token.

The Valentine's event is reasonably low-key but enjoyable nonetheless. All the cities are decked out with hearts and candles; that's all there is to it, if you wish to bypass the Valentine's content. If you want to get involved, however, head to your local innkeeper and avail yourself of some perfume, cologne and Love Tokens--let your systematic seduction of every NPC in sight begin!

The low cost of the scents and tokens means that even low-level characters are able to participate, and there are some pretty hefty buffs available along the way. Simply apply cologne or perfume to yourself, and you'll suddenly see hearts floating above the heads of nearby NPCs; these NPCs are looking for love, and by giving them a Love Token you'll receive a gift in return. Perfume makes you appealing to male NPCs and cologne makes female NPCs swoon at the sight of you, regardless of your actual gender.

The first person you woo will give you a gift package, and the debuff "Adored", which means you won't be able to get another bumper package for an hour. However, NPCs will still accept your tokens in friendship and give you an item in return. These items are unique to the city you're in, and come in three types; for example, Darnassus NPCs give you a Sentinel's Card, Handmade Woodcraft or Pledge of Loyalty: Darnassus. If you collect five of each and then combine them, you'll end up with a Darnassus Gift Collection. Rinse and repeat in Stormwind and Ironforge, then combine all three into an Alliance Gift Collection.

You can turn in Alliance or Horde Gift Collections at Kwee Q. Peddlefeet, a flying goblin hanging out with your city's leader (he's getting friendly with Thrall in Orgrimmar, for example). Depending on where you turn it in, it counts as a "vote" for that leader, and the leader with the most turn-ins will have the benefit of Kwee sticking around for a week. If you /kiss Kwee, you get a nice little buff.

But that's not the end of it. There's a special quest line that sends you around the capital cities and over to Hillsbrad to investigate just why the NPCs are so amorous. The ultimate reward is a rather fetching dress or suit, but you'll have to find Ravenholdt Manor first. Ravenholdt Manor is a rogue's hideout, and this rogue quest guide may help you find it; it's really quite difficult to find if you've never even been to Hillsbrad before, but that's all part of the fun.

On top of your new clothing, you'll probably end up with several buffs from the Valentine's events. If you get a box of chocolates from an amorous NPC, eat them to gain bonuses to spellcasting, defence and other stats. While you're making friends with other NPCs, you'll probably be rejected at least once, and given the "Heartbroken" debuff. I found that other players were quick to remove this debuff; use an Unbestowed Friendship Bracelet on another player to cure their broken heart, and gain the "Gift of Friendship" buff in return.

There's also a new non-combat pet on the block, a personal Peddlefeet; shoot another player with a Silver Shafted Arrow to give them the gift of goblin love. If you're lucky, a NPC might give you a Truesilver Shafted Arrow and you'll have your own to follow you around. Another present you might receive is a Love Fool, a combat dummy who'll distract mobs away from you. Valentine's gifts aren't usually this useful!

A side note: when this content first came into the game over the weekend, many of the NPCs were amorous but wouldn't accept tokens.  This is working now. Also, in your endeavour to collect all the items for an Alliance/Horde Gift Collection, you'll end up with plenty of leftovers; I found that these sell very well on the AH, or are traded equally easily with other players, especially cross-continent.

The Valentine's content is simple and accessible, as well as easily avoidable, a winning combination. Despite being a Valentine's cynic, I enjoyed my little jaunt around all six cities basking in the glow of worldwide adoration. Have a great time on this romantic of days in Azeroth; if you feel like sharing your experiences, submit your screenshots to the WoW Insider Flickr pool--my Valentine's adventure is already on there.

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