The Celebration of Lliira already runs for the third time since launch and has been reworked twice. In 2013 you just needed to complete a daily task for five days and at the end of the event you would get the Ceremonial Mask of Lliira. That was pretty straight forwarded and a guaranteed reward,
but the event was not farmable because the Mask was BoP (*** UPDATE *** as our knowledgeable audience pointed out, the Mask has always been BoE). Last year they reworked the event to a competitive format and next to your daily Favor you earned additional by ranking high in the “Light up the Night” contest. This year however there is no longer a Favor coming out of the daily, just a ZEN voucher, and you only get Favors for hitting thresholds in the “Light up the Night” contest. You need to contribute 5 for a chance to get 1, 200 Fireworks for 1-2 and 500 for 2-3.
The official explanation for the threshold is that they didn’t like the competition and they indeed did bring in a co-op feature in the fireworks buff, which I highly recommend to use. But no daily favor also raised the overall grind-factor and fits a disturbing structural change to events lately. For quite some time now, PWE offers event currency packages in the ZEN store. While that alone is no biggie, it becomes an issue if they at the same time make events so damn grindy that you either buy in or lose out. Wonders of Gond marked the start of these new types of events. It first ran at the height of the Astral Resonator Exploit, which caused a massive backlog. People soon realized that getting enough event refinement points to get a Doohickey or the Apparatus was completely unreasonable. Luckily a fast route was sold on the ZEN shop with Blueprints and the demand was so high that people could sell them well over AD value, because nobody was able to trade ZEN due to the backlog. There have been other events with currency packages (Winter Festival or Protector’s Jubilee), but those at least offered some guaranteed rewards by just doing the dailies. If you wanted more or all the rewards, there were grind or there were ZEN. But you did get something out of the event.
Of all deities Lliira, the goddess of joy, happiness, freedom and liberty, stands for the next grind-fest, which only fuels the impression that players should be pushed into buying the ZEN event currencies (fittingly the daily reward is a store voucher…). You have two ways to get the new cool-looking Starry Panther Mount and both are equally annoying. Going with the guaranteed tiers, you would need to amass about 3400 Fireworks. I got 19 from an eCC run today. In what world is that reasonable? Depending on the amount of players in an instance and given a fast mount you probably are able to get about 200 per “Light up the Night” contest + farming for another twenty minutes fully buffed. That’s 8.5 hours of work and a best-case scenario, because you would need a partner to rebuff you during mob farming every ten minutes. 12+ hours is much more realistic. You could also test the RNG and only drop five Fireworks (players suggested a Favor dropping in every other contest in that case). It’s only a one-minute task, but requires to log in over a span of 25 hours. And that’s only the Panther for 25 Favors. The Mask adds an additional 10 and maybe you also want some dyes? Please don’t go for the Bell, it’s like 20k in the AH and not worth the pain.
Surely bots have lowered the price of the Professional Fireworks by quite a bit over the weekend and we’ve long passed the point (at 500:1 AD:ZEN it’s 156,25 AD) where it’s cheaper to buy them over ZEN Favors. Of course, you still have to attend all those contests and drop 200 Fireworks.
I’m cool that payers have to get additional work or ZEN in for all the rewards, but in my eyes you need to give people some dyes and Favors from the daily like it used to be so that they at least can get the Ceremonial Mask at the end of the event and walk away with something. As currently structured, for most it will be a bust and players mentioned they are indeed skipping it.
Thanks, but no thanks.