December, the time of the year where every MMO tries to
add a Christmas-themed event to their world without shattering their own
continuity. Star Wars Galaxies celebrated Wookie Life Day, in
Dungeons & Dragons: Online it was called the Festivult, and in
the celebration goes by "Fae Yule." Though the Fae Yule actually began
back on November 22, the celebration is actually broken into three
parts, with the second launching tomorrow. We recently had a chance to
take a look into the future and see how the final two phases will unfold
when they hit later this month.
While the Fae Yule is very "Christmasy," it's not even remotely religious. In a way, it's more like Christmas at the mall than it is Christmas at a church. Sure, Santa is chilling on a red chair and people are giving each other gifts, but there's no sense of faith to the festivities – and there really shouldn't be. Christmas celebrates the birth and resurrection, and if Telara thought resurrection was important enough to celebrate they'd need to have a separate holiday for every player in the game.
So, instead, they celebrate the Fae Yule, which is a warped version of Christmas done wrong. As we looked at the treants covered in colored lights and the Christmas trees with tentacles coming out of them we got a very Nightmare Before Christmas vibe from the cities, which is where a majority of the content will be found. During the first phase, which began a few weeks back, the two faction's major cities were decorated by the Fae, who want to bring some holiday cheer to the dark, gloomy world of Telara.
But once the second phase kicked off we notices something had gone wrong. When we loaded in we saw that the gifts were all torn up and the decorations were a mess. Standing in the middle of the chaos was Atrophinius, one of the bosses of the Realm of the Fae instance. The popular Rift character heard there would be mead involved in the festivities, and when he arrived and wasn't immediately drunk he lashed out, trashing the place looking for something to drink. During the second phase, players will be given the chance to help get him good and slizzard, all the while sneaking away on side-quests to put up decorations around the city to replace the ones he tore apart. It's light. It's cute. And doing these daily, repeatable quests will earn players "Unique Snowflakes," which can be redeemed for unique Fae Yule rewards, like adorable pets and new mounts.
After two weeks of drinking and merriment the third phase will kick off, hitting servers on December 21 (though it will not require a server reboot, it should all happen in-game). While we expected it to be the giant, explosive conclusion, we were surprised to see that it was actually pretty calm. It was a happy ending to the event, with quests that involve traveling to other cities and delivering gifts instead of slaying monsters. Sure, there will still be some monster slaying, but that's taking a back seat to the happy, celebratory side of the holiday.
It's horrible and dark and full of monsters outside the walls of the game's cities, and, from what Trion is saying, things are only going to get worse. The Fae Yule is sort of the last time of peace in Telara for some time, and Trion wants to give players a little breather from the nonstop assault of new enemies looking to tear the world apart. For more information you can take a look at the gallery below, or check out the in-game festivities as they happen. Be sure to let us know what you think!