Wintersday has always been my favorite of the Guild Wars holidays, and this year was no exception. Wandering the snow-covered streets of Lion’s Arch sent a wave of nostalgia over me, and I was happy to join in the excitement and celebration. With so many activities and beautiful scenery, it wasn’t hard to get swept up in the joy of the season.
Toymaker Tixx’s airship was something to behold, looming grandly over whichever city it had traveled to. I didn’t want to miss out on what each day I had to offer, so I made sure to get on, even if it was just for the dungeon. This time I didn’t make the mistake of trying it by myself (unlike the unfortunate Mad King incident), so it went much smoother. But as the days progressed, I realized ArenaNet seemed bent on repeating the events that gave me the most trouble. Painting the princess dolls had to be my least favorite, because most of them ran faster than I could, and in the complete opposite direction. And of course, they couldn’t make the plasma skill mobile, because that would be too helpful. When the skritt attacked the princess dolls’ home, it took my group way longer than it should have, because the skritt came too fast for us to capture the area, and if even one of them put a toe over the line, it stopped. We finally figured out that we had to pull the skritt outside the circle, and one of us went in to capture it while the rest of us distracted them. However, when it came up again the next day, it was much easier to capture, so ArenaNet might have done something with that, thankfully.
One thing that very much amused me was Toxx. Not only was I pretty sure she was GLADOS (as far as I know, it’s not confirmed that it’s Ellen McLain, however, it sounded just like her), but the lines and the way she said them kept cracking me up. As a ranged fighter, I never had to get in range of her frantic flailing attacks, and for that I was very glad. The few times where I accidentally got too close, it didn’t turn out too well. But it all worked out, and I wound up making two of the five minis (the adorable plush griffon and the always wise toy Ventari).
The bell choir might have been my favorite Wintersday activity. I’ve always loved Guitar Hero, so to see ArenaNet put it into Guild Wars 2 made me very happy indeed. It took some getting used to, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. When I had two other players who actually knew what they were doing, it sounded really pretty. The friendly competition was fun too, with everyone seeing if they could get a perfect score. I do wish they had included a better variety of songs, instead of the same six over and over again.
I continued my streak of being terrible at jumping puzzles when it came to Winter Wonderland. It wasn’t for lack of trying, though; I literally spent hours attempting (and failing) to get that puzzle. Sadly, I didn’t even get past the snowflakes. I’d rather you not try to wrap your brain around that fail, if you would. However, I did make some great new friends. What did actually surprise me a little was the amount of encouragement everyone was giving each other. The feeling of camaraderie was definitely present, and it made the repeated fails a little less bitter. And to those two guys who had a complete conversation with me about Logan Thackeray’s pecs at 4 in the morning (among other things), thank you for thoroughly entertaining me. Alright, this is probably the only time you will ever hear me say this: I hate quaggan. Let me clarify that statement before you rage quit this post. I hated the quaggan path, not the cute cuddly creatures. For me, the quaggan path was by far the hardest of the three. The other two (gingerbread and snowman) were a tie, because I made it about the same distance. But with quaggan, you had to time them absolutely perfect and be in an exact place for it to even work. Needless to say, I groaned every time I got stuck with that path. One thing I did find highly amusing was whenever I couldn’t get off the platform in time, it’s like I was kicked with an invisible boot and turned into a human fireball on the way down. Whoever thought of that, thanks for the little chuckle.
I only tried Snowball Mayhem for a little bit, as I’m not a huge PvP person, however I did enjoy gift running. Another thing I tried briefly but loved was Toypocalypse. I went in to get the achievements, and wound up not only getting them on the first try, but I also got the most kills, weirdly enough. Beginner’s luck? Probably. For the entire duration I used the rifle, and it wound up working very well. Toxx was definitely harder (and a bit more annoying) even for a ranged character, because she would randomly lock on me and shoot purple energy beams that were uncannily accurate, no matter how far away I was. But even with her sudden adoration of me, the others were good enough to take her down with only the occasional casualty. Big thanks to whoever was on my team, because they really knew what they were doing.
I honestly didn’t get the purpose of the ugly sweaters, socks, and hats. When I traded them in for gifts, all I got were more of the same things I had just traded in. Was I not doing it right? Maybe I was just having a blonde moment. And they could have made the skins a little nicer; I wound up selling the ones I got from Tixx’s gift, and didn’t bother trading my assortment of ugly garments in for them. I did lust after the mini Foostivoo with a passion, but since gems have shot up like they’re trying to emulate Mount Everest, then sadly I didn’t have a chance. I wish they would’ve had more of a grand finale, but that’s just me being picky. All in all, I was definitely won over by the new Wintersday. It’s given me memories I’ll never forget, and friends that will last long past the holidays. And that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?