Monday, March 9, 2009

Purple Proto Drake, or "Where Did All the Love Go?"

I've noticed in my guild chat and in forums and even on WoW Insider posts that everyone is complaining about the holiday achievements.

I felt elation when I heard about the changes for Noblegarden, when I heard it was being added to the requirements for What a Long Strange Trip. I was thrilled because I enjoy Noblegarden and didn't want to be stuck with one day to savor it. But I'm surrounded by people going, "Oh, holy crap, I can't believe there's more to do now."

What is that?! Seriously. I LOVE holidays, I adore them. They make me feel like I'm a level 12 starting fresh in the big new world again, no worries and easy experience. I get nostalgic when these events pop up, and I throw myself into them with dedication and joy, feelings I want to share with others so I post here every year with all the details I can find.

But so many people are too busy trying to get yet another notch in their mount collection to enjoy themselves. People are running around with the same bad attitudes so many use for loot -- "Have to get the shiny thing at the end of the grind, nothing else matters."

And it's upsetting to realize that over half the people around me during these holidays consider it a grind. There's no affection for the holiday itself, no pleasure in the quirks, no patience to sit back and enjoy yourself and maybe not even finish this year.

I'm 60 on Birdfall, the character I chose to get this achievement as her main focus (this achievement is her entire purpose right now). She is completely unable to fulfill all the requirements of the holidays until she's high enough to kill the bosses or farm the mounts. I might very well have to wait until 2011 to get my reward.

And I'm not complaining.

So why is everyone else?


  1. I totally agree. One of the aspects of WoW that I really enjoy is how they integrate social and game elements. I mean, aren't games supposed to be a social thing? The holidays wrap the social, the game lore, even a little competition together really well.

  2. Did you read the Noblegarden achievements? You get BUNNY EARS!!! And possibly a pink rabbit pet. I'm psyched. I just hope we get some permanent bunny ears alongside the ones you throw on people.

  3. Waytwhut.

    New Noblegarden achievements that aren't impossible!?!?


  4. I think what people are complaining about is that the social events on the WoW calendar have always been considered casual things to participate in for fun.

    Now thats all well and good, and I do indeed have a lot of fun playing in these events, especially with my girlfriend. However, when you try every day over the course of a very short holiday to get the bag of candies for your love title and never receive one stinking bag the whole prospect of more events leaves a bad taste in the mouth, if you know what I mean.

    Considering that on the new PTR build they have removed the Brew of the Year achievement from the meta achievement the whole idea of that bag of candies and other RNG based 'fun' achievements puts a lot of people off. RNG should be for raiders boss loot not for casual fun stuff.

    Sure, they shouldn't have made it TOO easy to get the violet drake but come on: It's the fun achievement drake! It's meant to not be hard work to achieve, it's meant to be a fun journey to get the mount. They say they'll keep in the Brewmaster one minute and remove it the next. A lot of people don't know whether Blizzard are coming or going and whether the left hands knows what righty is up to.

    I for one am not participating in anymore World Events after the Love Fool and I realise now I was incredibly lucky to have achieved the Hallowed title. I participate in these sort of events for fun, other games such as Guild Wars make special occasions like this fun without all of the random 'luck' rubbish. Get rid of luck for fun stuff please Blizzard, im not farming Naxx here! >_<

  5. I have CERTAIN holidays that I really enjoy. I couldn't stand the Elder Such-and-Such holiday (whatever THAT was) because it taunted me with exclamation points on my mini-map that I thought were legitimate quests. I LOVE Brewfest and Hallow's Eve (is that what they call it in WoW?). I guess I just really enjoy the autumn holidays. I'd probably love "Winter's Veil" too if it didn't have so much red velvet with white fur trim. Being someone who celebrates the Christian religious holidays IRL, the WoW versions of Christmas and Easter come across as too flippant and therefore don't interest me. The events might involve fun things to distract from the usual grind of rep, gold and honor but I don't bother unless I find some personal interest in the holiday itself.

    On a similar note, I LOVED the zombie plague and scourge invasion that took place just before WotLK. That coming just after my two favorite in-game holidays contributed to some of the most fun I had in-game during all of TBC.

  6. My only concern, is that I may become completely sick of the holidays come next year, unless they get an update.

    I've completed each holiday since achievements started getting tracked (thought I'll need 3.1 to make the Be Mine require 6/8.

  7. I'm all for making it way hard to get the achievement. All you lukewarm holiday partiers . . . who only participate because you can get lewt and who are finding it hard to get motivated to "grind" the holiday rituals because you really don't think it's fun . . . well you don't get the drake. Makes it even that much more cool when I do get it. Even if I get it a year later than I would because I'm enjoying the holiday instead of grinding it. lol.

    I think it's a mistake to think of the violet proto-drake as "just" the "fun achievement drake". I mean it is meant to be fun . . . but the whole game is, right? The red proto-drake should be fun to achieve . . . for someone who likes dungeons. Particular rewards are signs of what aspect of the game you enjoy. Not "everyone should get one . . . because it's fun!" That's what the Blizzard Bear was. You see someone riding the violet proto-drake and you know . . . "hey! fellow holiday enthusiast!"

    Hopefully that doesn't sound too flippant. I guess all I'm saying is that I think it's okay if achievements aren't all achievable by everyone. For whatever reason. If it's because you started playing the game too late to participate in some event or aren't a high enough level or just can't bring yourself to go through what it takes . . . that's okay. It just makes it a real, well . . . achievement for those who do get it.

  8. the whole idea of that bag of candies and other RNG based 'fun' achievements puts a lot of people off

    But, see, I farmed every day during Valentines for the pet on three characters and didn't get one, but I still didn't let it bother me. The event didn't cease to exist (like the raiding mounts *cough*). For something "fun," people are getting their shorts in a twist way too much.

    I also can't help thinking that maybe the people who want the holidays to be less of a grind are the ones who are glad Blizzard is taking out the raiding mounts so us "casuals" can't get them -- so they'll be a rare status piece. And then they come over to the holidays and complain about how hard our status piece is.

  9. New Noblegarden achievements that aren't impossible!?!?


    I'm assuming they start at or near Easter, which is on your in-game calendar. The new achievements will be implemented in 3.1 and the new dates will appear on your in-game calendar. I'm not sure when they are at this time.

  10. In response to Jack's comment:

    So, losing out to random bad luck (when I tried to get the candy bag for 10 hours on and off the game each day of the event) somehow means that I and many others should lose their fun reward for participating to the fullest extent in these holidays? Are others like me 'lukewarm holiday partiers' simply because we lost out to a virtual dice? Blizzard had to hotfix the game because they realised the candy bag wasn't dropping like it should have. It's a white common item that I wanted to get some hearts from to present to my girlfriend in a little bit of realm role play. I tried and tried, surely now I will get a bag to play with on this fun holiday! Surely not, more like.

    I for one am incredibly pleased the Noble Garden achievements have been added, I don't mind the fact of MORE to do, it is the achievements reliance on luck that I detest. Achievements where I have to DO something, actually achieve something in the holiday spirit, are sure as hell damn fun! (As they should be). An example of this is the upcoming juggling achievement for the Midsummer Fire Festival. I for one am going to be attaining that achievement...whilst drunk...on Kungaloosh!

    Achievements where I only 'achieve' something through luck are an absolute poor excuse for a holiday achievement and should be removed. Not everybody who participates in the holidays even goes for the achievements, but for those of us that do Blizzard need to acknowledge that they need to 'make better achievements' instead of just sticking one in based on luck because they ran out of time or they wanted a certain level of difficulty to the achievement.

    Im not a hardcore raider so I have been aiming for the Red Proto Drake through heroics and the Violet Drake through fun holiday stuff. The Violet Drake has been thwarted until February of next year but I am happy to wait if that is what it takes.

    I find it interesting that they are removing the Plagued and Black Proto drake 'because Naxx will somehow suddenly become OMGEASYMODEZ when Tier 8 arrives' and yet they are keeping the Red Proto Drake when heroics will become even easier than raids, going by their logic.

    My only prayer is that they don't remove the Red one because:

    1) It doesn't look half bad.
    2) The Plagued and Black were ugly anyway.
    3) The Vrykul in Howling Fjord ride them.
    4) As the AQ40 Red Battle tank achievement states: Why? Because it's red!

  11. So, losing out to random bad luck . . . somehow means that I and many others should lose their fun reward for participating to the fullest extent in these holidays?

    Yes? I mean, not "lose the reward for participating to the fullest extent". That makes it sound like you're being punished for participating. But yeah, not get the reward because you were unlucky. Sorry man, some games are like that. We roll dice, deal cards, pull levers . . . you know, get something random. The unpredictability adds an edge of excitement.

    Personally, I thought opening the gifts on Christmas was an excellent idea . . . that went wrong because it was too predictable. I would have liked to see more randomness in the gifts.

    I'm not advocating total randomness in all aspects of the game. But some people really enjoy that kind of anticipation. I like it in some types of activities . . . like gift giving/receiving. It has a place and I think it fits in the holidays.

  12. I agree with both points. Randomness is not bad in and of itself until you've been "unlucky" more than one year in a row. I don't think everything for the holidays should be EZsauce, but I agree that too much random can be a bad thing -- and the candy bags were definitely too random until the last 2 or so days. I highly approve of the changes Blizzard made, requiring 6 candies instead of 10 and giving the bags a higher droprate from now on. I got a weird 6 bags on one character, 4 on Birdfall, and got my 10th candy halfway through the last bag. That's 35 candies before success. And others didn't have the same luck with bag drops as I did.

    So I guess, like most things in life, moderation is key.


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