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My holiday discontent

Matthew Rossi

I don't like WoW's in game holiday events.

I never really did. In general, I'm not a big pet/mount/special cruft kind of collector, although I'll admit I've always wanted the Great Brewfest Kodo on my Alliance characters, just because I miss kodo. They're one of my favorite mounts. But be it Love is in the Air, Hallow's Eve, the Harvest Festival, or the Lunar Festival I just don't like the in-game holidays. What ends up happening is this: a lot of people do a lot of stuff, then there's a dungeon I can run once a day for special rewards I either don't care about or won't get, and then it's over.

Now, you could point out a few things here. First off, that it's okay if I don't like the content as long as I'm not forced to do it and I'll agree with you. The content is eminently avoidable. I do like that. I like not having to do any of this stuff. I don't have to rescue reindeer or go fight the Greench, but for some reason I find the holiday events annoying and I won't even pretend I know why I find them annoying. I just admitted I can avoid them. Why, then, do they bother me so much?

And here's another weird but true fact: they annoyed me a lot less when you could chain-farm them. Ever since they put holiday bosses like Coren Direbrew, The Headless Horseman and Ahune on the dungeon finder and made them drop one special bag a day (for your first run) I've found them far, far more terrible and annoying even though it means I can run them less. I actually find myself looking back fondly on the day that I ran the Headless Horseman twenty-seven times, as everyone in our group of five switched to every max level alt they had to get another shot at the fellow.

I don't even understand that one myself. I just said I don't like the holidays, and that I like being able to utterly avoid them, and now I'm saying that I don't like that I can run them less now?

Grasping at straws here, I think part of the problem for me is that the few holiday bosses I even care about usually put the only stuff I want (the helmet from the Headless Horseman, the mount from Direbrew) in the loot bag, which you can only get once a day. I realize it's probably both selfish and contrary to my own position on other means of content gating, but I feel like if I want to run Direbrew for endless hours until the Kodo finally drops, I should be allowed to do so primarily so I can get the damn thing and thus never have to run him again. I don't want to run Direbrew, or the Horseman, I'm just doing it for one drop so let me get that drop and get out of here.

You don't have to point out the many ways this is wrong. I get that it is. I see how it doesn't work. What I don't get is why I only feel this way about holiday bosses. Perhaps it's the limited time window? I've run Tempest Keep hundreds of times -- once a week for years now -- and I've only seen the Ashes of Al'ar drop once. But that doesn't irritate me the way that Ahune does. I want the Frostscythe for transmog purposes, but Ahune is a holiday boss. Since he only drops the Frostscythe in his reward bag, and you can only get that once a day, and you can only run him for a couple of weeks a year it's as if the randomness is personally insulting in a way it isn't with a boss like Anzu. Sure, I only get one shot a day at Anzu, but he's not going anywhere. If I feel like running him tomorrow, I can. And if I don't, which I almost never do, he's always there should I change my mind.

But holiday bosses aren't all there is to a holiday, you could argue. Heck, some holidays don't even have one. The Harvest Festival doesn't, for instance. Perhaps that's part of my problem. Maybe I'm just too devoid of whimsy to enjoy these things. I tend to play WoW in order to satiate my plundering instincts, and if there's no plunder, I check out -- but I'm not annoyed by things like fishing or the Tillers, I just choose not to do them. Why I don't feel the same level of tolerance for holidays that I do for Pet Battles, I couldn't tell you.

In the end, I feel like I'm missing the point. Perhaps that's what really irritates me about the in-game holidays, instead of the Stranglethorn Fishing competitions or the hours people spend looking for an Unborn Val'kyr. What are in-game holidays for? Why don't I like them? I feel like I should, but I don't, and I haven't in years.

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