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Since there was no mention of it except the holiday summary thread, I thought I put it here...
The Simril festival launched 2 days ago, and it's pretty fun. The town looks great, it has a chill, (never)wintry feel, the lore chuncks are decently written. Has 3 main events:
- an ice race. Imported from Q's Winter Wonderland, upgraded with speedbooster parts, obstacles and slalom gates. Since mounts are allowed, it has a bit arcade / console feel, a 110% mount can reach a hilarious speed if controlled precisely enough
- a combat area, lot tougher than the previous two events' counterparts (Valindra invasion, and the trolls during the summer). Fast respawn, adds, ... oh, and it's on ice. So, like STO's fight on the lake, there's a lot of slipping around which is fun. Sadly it's similar to the previous events in that it also favors fast-killing ranged and AoE dps. Clerics, GF's... tough luck again this time.
- ice fishing. Simple, just seek the purple / blue spots to fish, those have the best catches. The event profession is backing this one up, with craftable green / blue / purple fishing rods for faster pulls, and lures for the better catch. There are occasional skeletons of former unlucky anglers disturbing the fishes, so it also has some fighting-on-ice elements.
It's a great event, worthy enough to participate for the fun itself, but of course there are the folks Matt wrote his latest column about, the "Action for reward" peeps. (or as Matt wrote "Players want to be rewarded for their time spent") Well, they're basically screwed. This event is maybe the most grind-heavy one in Cryptic's history Someone in Zone chat said yesterday, this event is how Cryptic wishes the players a Merry Grind mass and a Farmy New Year.
There are two sets of rewards. One is the much easier, either a Sled mount (looks great) or a Mimic companion (which is quite meh). Both are green, and only takes about a minute of the player's time - every day. If you skip a few days, you miss the Mimic, but even for the Sled you have to log in at least 10 days during the holidays. Which can be a grind, but nowhere near as the other part.
On the other side are the better rewards (winter cosmetic items, winter weapon looks, a mount and a companion), with a cool, glowing Bambi companion at the end of the chart, who dishes out AoE heal of cuteness. Well, that one takes at least ~2 hours of play every day to reach. (with optimised play, as in searching the lowest pop zones, bringing a CW or a hunter, etc.). For only one character - if someone wants two of those, then it's already 4 hours every day. And it's only a green companion...
Edit: maybe easier this way http://youtu.be/TSNlJdX8DV0 (the bug they mention in the fishing area was fixed after the first update)