I don’t know about you, but the switch to standard time always kind of slowly sets the Christmas season in motion for me. In most countries in the western civilization it’s getting chilly these days, and you suddenly realize how early the sun sets. For Neverwinter, we’re still knee-deep into the jungle and as far away from snow as it gets. But looking up the calendar, the Winter Festival (guide!) isn’t too far away either. Twilight Tor will open its gates soon and offer players fun activities and gifts.
The Winter Festival is Gorgeous
I like the Winter Festival, I really do. Its scenery is just gorgeous and I at least do all the activities once because they are fun. But just like any other event that’s been around for some time, it has lost some of its edge. It’s essentially been reduced to fishing for campaign currency and opening gifts on as much alts as possible. That being said, rewards are still fine. The sleds are beautiful skins, most of the fashion fits and if you’re lucky, you can pull some good stuff out of gifts. It is however just a grind, and quite frankly can get boring.
I think the event lacks one cool and unique mechanic or system or mini-game. Something that people want to come back for besides the dailies. So I’d like to talk about some suggestions how to make the Winter Festival a tad more appealing.
I think generally you don’t have to do too much. In the end it boils down to two things. You either give players challenge or unique rewards, if possible even both at once. The Winter Festival technically already has challenge with its mini events, but since they are merely part of the daily grind, it does not really create the feeling of competing against each other. You just want to get over with it as fast as possible. And while the rewards are unique, most have been around for too long to matter any longer.
Upgrade the Profession
My first idea to counter the slow decline is tweaking Simril Lightcrafting. I think having a time-limited profession is intriguing, but it lacks rewards and is additionally hampered by the one task limit. The Winter Festival’s design is to gift players with a whole lot of progression in different areas. The Starlight Parcels offer a wide range of useful items while fishing grants campaign currency since last year.
One key aspect that is missing however are refining points. On PC this might change this year due to the new refining system as event refinement like Brilliant Lumen should be giving out RPs that are not limited to the Beacon of Simril. I would still like the Simril Lightcrafting profession to hand out significant account bound RPs, and possibly even a chance at Marks and Wards. Let players craft more Master of Lights and make more out of Lightcrafting than just a complementary profession.
I love racing down the ice track with my sled mounts. It’s just one of these unique things that the event offers that never gets old. I mean it’ll get old eventually, but I almost always participate in one contest at least. So why not extend this to a whole competition that runs during the festivities? You can keep the track at Twilight Tor as training ground, but add a solo queue with full matchmaking and possibly even one or two more tracks.
It would essentially work like the contest. Players start on their feet, need to run to the track and complete it as often and fast as they can. Alternatively you could also be ported back to the start automatically on completion. The top 50 or 100 or whatever get a unique reward at the end of the Winter Festival. I think that would be tons of fun.
Devs could also get very creative with new tracks. How about not only speed-ups, but also slow-downs? Or traps that completely stun you or push you off the track? Some Mario Cart action, collecting power-ups and shooting your opponents? Woo-hoo!
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Unique Yearly Incentives
The next suggestions is something I might have brought up before, at least I’ve been thinking about it for quite a while. Events partially decline over the years because their rewards never change. The devs occasionally add new ones, but never take away old stuff. For the most part that’s fine because you want newer players to still have a chance to catch up, but items getting so devalued that you can grab them for pennies off the AH isn’t going to help anyone either. So what I would like to see is unique yearly incentives that are only added to stores temporarily.
That would add a ton of meaning to each run of old events, because if you like the rewards, you have to participate now. If you fail to get them, you missed that opportunity. Ideally you want to make these items unbound so they can be sold later, but that’s not mandatory. For the Winter Festival it could be cool costumes like a snowman, Santa or a Grinch. These rewards essentially become achievements for participating in a particular edition of a particular event and only gain value over time.
Festival Group Content
I know this is not reasonable, but I’ll put it out anyway. I’d love group content as alternative way of farming event currency. It could be as simple as a skirmish in which you fight ice trolls or as complex as a revamped epic Frozen Heart dungeon.
These are my thoughts of how to add a bit more juice to the Winter Festival. Like them or have your own ideas? Share your opinion in the comments below and visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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