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MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 04/04/14)  | Pub:Bethesda Softworks
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Holidays - A Thing of the Future

By Ryan Getchell on October 21, 2015 | Columns | Comments

Holidays - A Thing of the Future

I was sitting in Mumble the other day talking with a few of my friends, when I asked them what they were doing they said Brewfest events in World of Warcraft. Of course, with me being very jaded towards the game I told them they were lame and Brewfest is boring, it’s always the same thing every year, it’s mundane and pointless. They replied with words that I’m not allowed to say here, but after they released what I can only assume was many years of pent up rage and hostility they calmed down and told me about some of the times I did Brewfest or other holiday events with them in World of Warcraft or other MMOs. As much as I loathe World of Warcraft now, I had to admit, some of the best times I had in the game was doing those pointless mundane holiday events with my friends. Maybe it was because nothing was really on the line, there was no stress about not screwing up and wiping the whole raid, it was pure relaxation and enjoyment.

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These events, no matter what MMO you’re playing, serve no purpose to the overall gameplay... except fun. By doing them you’re not going to become the most powerful person in the game, it’s not going to make the raids easier, it’s just filler content.  So why do it? Same reason people enjoy casual hobbies like fishing, model making etc. It’s a way to escape from the stress of your real life. Yes, I know Azeroth isn’t real, but we devote a lot of our free time to these worlds that we get stuck in a routine of habits, grind your dailies, get your tokens, buy your gear, do a raid, get more gear, do more dailies. These events allow us to step out of that routine and have a bit of fun. Look at Darkmoon Faire for example, who doesn’t like being shot out of a cannon and trying to land in a ring in the water?

So what’s all this talk about events in other games have anything to do with The Elder Scrolls Online? ESO doesn’t offer these type of events. Well you’re right they don’t but we might be seeing small step into that direction.

Starting October 22nd new cosmetic items are being implemented into the Crown Store, some of which were available as of October 8th. A lot of these items have a theme to them, guess you call them “scary-esque” type theme. Whatever the theme, they make mention that these new cosmetic items will be great additions for the Witches’ Festival that happens in Elder Scrolls Lore in the month of Frostfall (October).

We’re not going to be seeing any new in-game events due to this festival but this is the first I’ve seen Zenimax actually implement items into the game revolving around a holiday that does exist within the lore of the game. It’s all about the small steps, creating new in-game content even stuff that would be considered small by a lot of people it takes a mass amount of time and money to do it. So seeing them create this fantastic cosmetic items that tie directly into this specific event is really outstanding.

ZOS has a lot on their shoulders right now with a ton of content that has been commented about, Dark Brotherhood, Thieves Guild, Orisinium (releasing November 2nd), Player House (huge request from fans and anticipated, no confirmation). So taking the item to create items that are only available for a short time that are ideally for a specific time of year makes me happy, it makes me think that maybe, in a year we’ll start seeing actual holiday events being placed into the game.

If this was any other game I might be more disappointed that they had not created something to go along with just the cosmetic items but its ESO, and the community around ESO is unbelievable when it comes to creating events. Sure they aren’t all automated and you have to speak to actual people and not just some NPC, but trust me, you get yourself into a well-organized event, those small things won’t matter and you’ll walk away with a memory that will always be there to bite you in the arse when you bad mouth the game to your friends who are still enjoying it.

[…] known throughout Tamriel as the Witches' Festival when the forces of sorcery and religion clash. The Mages Guild gets most of the business since weapons and items are evaluated for their mystic potential free of charge and magic spells are one half their usual price. Demonologists, conjurors, lamias, warlocks, and thaumaturgists meet in the wilderness outside (the city), and the creatures created or summoned there may plague Tamriel for eons. Most wise men choose not to wander this night. In Daggerfall, this is the Summoning Day for Mephala. (source: UESP.net)

Just a quick off topic note: why isn’t Thaumaturgist a playable class yet! Who wouldn’t want a focused summoning / pet style class?

Player created content aside, let’s take this opportunity to throw our feedback to Zenimax about what type of events we’d like to see added (maybe next year? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

I for one think it would be fun if they had summoning circles throughout each zone which would throw out waves of monsters, similar to a dark anchor. After completing them you get a badge or token or something that acts like a currency and you can use it at the Mages Guild to buy some vanity item, like a black cat, or a “witch’s hat”. What are your ideas, what do you think would be fun to do during the Witches’ Festival?

Ryan Getchell / Ryan is our resident Elder Scrolls nerd, and columnist for Zenimax's MMO. When he's not out killing things in Tamriel, he's working in IT professionally.
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