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Wintersday is Coming

William Murphy Posted:
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I’m sorry for the terrible Game of Thrones pun in the title, but with the 3rd major update to Guild Wars 2 (Wintersday) hitting tomorrow, I felt like I’d better get it out of my system and quickly. I recently chatted with ArenaNet’s Steven Waller and Anthony Ordon (leading members of the Holiday Team) about all we can expect to see in Wintersday 2012. In short, they’ve learned a lot from Halloween and the Lost Shores.  Players can expect to find a much more accessible event, and one that has both one-time happenings, and content that can be accessed by everyone throughout the three week period Wintersday will occurring.  Let’s get to the details, shall we?


There will be three new seasonal activities for players to take part in during the event, all accessible from Lion’s Arch from the 14th.  Meanwhile, Toymaker Tixx will be flying across Tyria in his massive Golem-shaped airship, stopping in all the major cities and inviting players into his workshop to help create (and destroy) toys.    Here are the three new  activities to do in LA during the entire three weeks.

  • Winter Wonderland – A brand new jumping puzzle, less harsh than the Clocktower from Halloween, but still hard enough to give folks something to work towards during the three week period.  There are three different places to start from, frostbite to endure, and great prizes to those who complete it.
  • Snowball Mayhem – A brand new PVP map just for Wintersday, Snowball Mayhem is as it sounds: a capture the flag map where players use snowballs and special class-based abilities to conquer the other team.  You’ll pick one of three holiday themed classes when you enter, and each profession has their own special skill on the map as well (Warriors get a dash, et).
  • Bell Choir – The final less stressful activity is the Bell Choir.  Like a holiday version of Rock Band in Tyria, three players will team up on stage to play three-part harmony holiday songs and even create their own if they succeed.


ArenaNet certainly listened to their players, as this event begins on 12/14 and runs until 1/3.  Toymaker Tixx begins his tour of Tyria in the Grove on 12/15 (he’ll be there for a full 24 hours), and hits every other major city until he arrives in Lion’a Arch on 12/20… where he’ll remain until January 3rd.  In each city, his workshop Golem Airship will be accessible by players, and there they’ll find a special instance (which scales everyone to 80, just like the Mad King).  Each city will have themed content geared towards its home-race, and in each next city the content will build.  So when he goes from the Grove he’ll take with him toys themed after the plant-like race.  His goal is to make the ultimate toys, but along the way… well, let’s just say not everything goes as planned.

Each city’s instance will drops plans and materials for players to craft toys themed after the capitol city.  But the good news is that you’ll be able to do every city’s instance once Tixx gets to Lion’s Arch.  If you miss Grove, come 12/20, you’ll be able to complete it.  You’ll simply choose which one you want to do from the UI. But in Lion’s Arch, all of Tixx’ tinkering will catch up with him as the Toypocalypse is upon him in his workshop.  The final instance of the event is Guild Wars 2’s Horde Mode meets Tower Defense.  You’ll face waves upon waves of runaway toys, while trying to preserve the toymaker’s workshop.  Again, it’s aimed at being difficult but doable by cooperative groups of five from level 2 to 80.

But what about World vs. World, PvP, the Black Lion Trading company? Read on to PAGE TWO for more details.

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William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.