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Guild Wars 2 Column: Wintersday is Here!

By David North on December 17, 2012

It’s finally here!  Oh joy, Wintersday is here!  The snow machines have begun to cover the ground with snow, the presents are out, and the candy canes are ready for eating!  ArenaNet has kicked off the next huge holiday event in the world of Guild Wars 2, and it’s been a blast.  With the event now only 3 days in, at the current time I’m writing this, already items on my Wintersday wish list have been checked off.  It seems like Tixx got my letter after all.

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Much like the Halloween event in October, ArenaNet has changed the face of Lion’s Arch to fit the holiday feel.  The ground is covered with snow, and presents are laying around at every corner.  Players are also sporting a nice new look, with a town outfit that would keep anyone warm in the cold.  Other players are showing of their brand new Wintersday weapon skins, which can now be purchased separately.  This is a very welcomed change, but I do wonder if 200 gems are a bit much for a single weapon skin.  But at least you now have a chance to get exactly what you want without having to go through hundreds of random loot boxes.  Some players are even finding their desired weapon skins in their gifts.


It’s time for snow!

It would seem that a new jumping puzzle will indeed be introduced for each holiday.  Wintersday throws players into the mystic forge, which is now a huge snow globe, for them to test their jumping abilities.  Players must jump on snow flakes, candy canes, and exploding presents over a snowy forest to reach their goal.  The pressure is on as the snow flakes begin to melt, and your health slowly drops. 

I was hoping the puzzle would be easier than the Mad King’s Clock Tower, and it is.  You aren’t in nearly as much of a rush, and most of the jumping surfaces are pretty big.  ArenaNet also split the players up a bit, by taking a large group, and sending them on 3 separate paths.  All the paths do connect at the half way point, but the first time jumpers will have fallen by then, so large groups aren’t that big of a problem this time around.


After conquering the jumping puzzle you are greeted by cheering gingerbread men.

Another welcomed change was in the waiting area itself.  Piles of snowballs offered you a chance to take out your frustrations by beaming snowballs at other players.  It keeps you occupied enough ‘til it’s time to start jumping again.   Overall it’s a vast improvement from the Clock Tower.  It only took me 7 tries to conquer it.  I’d say all those years of playing Mario games have paid off. 

ArenaNet threw in a really nice PVP map, and it’s just what I wanted!  Players are placed into two teams, and forced to fight over gifts, armed with only the snow. You can pick between a number of skill sets.  I went with a support set, allowing me to construct snow wall barriers.  I could also freeze the ground beneath the enemy’s feet, watching them slip and fall on their butts.  My favorite skill had to be the ability to turn my character into a huge snowball rolling around trampling other players, bringing chaos to their ordered tactical strikes.  I wish real snowball fights were this much fun.


Things can get pretty crazy in a snowball fight

A big item on my Wintersday wish list was to play through a Wintersday themed dungeon.  Tixx is an amazing toymaker, but he needs help.  A large group of Skritt decided to be a bunch of Grentchs, and ruin Wintersday. Players have to help keep the Skritt threat under control.  And just when you think your job is done, the toys themselves start to get a bit glitchy.  The dungeon is pretty basic, taking place all in one room, giving players numerous tasks to complete in order to keep operations running smoothly. 

ArenaNet has posted a schedule for when and where Tixx will visit, and so far it seems he will be visiting a major city everyday until 20th, where he will remain at Lion’s Arch until the 3rd of January.  When he visits a new city it adds tasks in the dungeon.  Based on the new tasks, you get rewards to build yourself a new toy.  For example, let’s say one day you help paint some princess dolls.  After completing the dungeon, you’re rewarded with parts to help you build a princess doll.  What’s Wintersday without toys?

I feel like every wish on my Wintersday list has been granted.  It’s only been 3 days into the event and there’s still much more fun to be had.  If you haven’t yet, get your friends together, and some may be able to get family members as well, and join in on the holiday festivities.  The holidays are always better with others.  What do you think of GW2's second holiday event so far? Are you enjoying the fact that it's much more available at ranging times of day? Let us know in the comments!


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