The Winter Festival ran for the second time around the holidays the past two weeks and it continues to be one of the events I really enjoy. From the Twilight Tor adventure zone to the rewards and the events, everything fits quite nicely.
For me there is also some nostalgia involved. The Winter event in 2013/2014 completed a series of great events in the first months of the game with great AD making potential and lots of fun. After that, they pretty much nerfed the rewards all around, so the first round of Tymora’s Gift or Coins of Waukeen will always have a special place in the history of the game.
Contrary to that the annual Winter Event retained its value. The area of Twilight Tor is just beautiful. Although the game struggles sometimes in gameplay related areas, map design has been a strength ever since and the Winter area is not exception.
You also have an unique mechanic with the ice-sliding, that was used in Module 3 as well, and the hidden jump spot. When you approach the fishing area from the hill in the south (see picture and location on map), you will get four speed buffs similar to those in the Twilight Run and are able to jump all the way over the fishing area to a plateau on the other side. You might need additional gear or powers that enhance your movement speed, but every class should be able to master the flight.
Rightfully players have been asking to make the area a permanent one to go fishing or ice-racing, just without the rewards of the mini-events.
Speaking of events: Even if you don’t need anything from the Winter Event on your main characters, you want to come back for a day or two to race, fight on the ice or fish for a bit. Get that purple pole on every char just for the fun of it!
You can buy those things off the AH when they are cheap after the event, but players can also work the Event Profession for a [Resplendent Citrine] worth 500 RP and [Hero’s Feast] during the Festival’s Zenith. The Citrine is the only Refinement Gem that you can get by a Profession and the Feast stacks on top of other event food. The quantity is limited by the fact that you can only have one Master of Lights per character, but who cares. It’s completely free and worth it.
Other rewards are great as well. You get an unique and cool (!) mount, minor buffs, some of the better weapon skins, funny scarfs and some companions just for logging in each and every day. Unfortunately the Gift of Simril exploit spoiled the Star of Fortune and Light of Simril rewards majorly. The BoE companions/mount gave you 100-200k AD each last year after the event and you could sell the weapon skins for up to 300k later depending on the class. It’ll not be the same this year with the market being flooded by the stuff (current value: 5-10k ADs). You were better off completely passing on the companions and saving the Stars of Fortune in hope of making better use of it next year (they don’t seem to expire like the Lights of Simril). I did actually pile up on some transmutes as they are more likely to gain value over the year, but it’s questionable.
You were able to use your ALT army with the newly added Starlight Parcels though. This is another thing I like about the Winter (and also the Summer) Festival: It’s one of the rare occasions you can really profit with a big account. This shouldn’t be the case in every event, but once or twice a year? Absolutely!
Even without buying additional Parcels from the ZEN store, running gift exchanges you should have been able to open about 25 Parcels on each char, which means five shots at a really nice AD gain next to a bunch of useful items. Unfortunately it’s a bit of a wash for those that already had stockpiled some of the event items, hoping their value would increase over time. The Winter Event did quite the opposite (see Alchemist Experimenter or Duergar Theurge in NWO:UN’s Auction House Tracker), but judged by the market volume I’m confident prices will recover and you should be able to walk away with a nice gain.
Overall it’s been fun times again. You can’t ask for more in an annual event. Fun activities, useful gimmicks and the possibility of grabbing some serious ADs make the Winter Festival the No.1 event in NWO so far. Kudos to the devs for this!
Keep grinding and stay uncensored!