Category: Holidays


Masquerade

Night elf druid? Come on. That is SO last expansion. Pumpkin-headed ninja witch just has so much more variety in the talent tree…

Heroes of the Past

 

This is my first Harvest Festival.

The first time you get to experience something always seems to be a bit special, and I’m guessing this is probably no exception. Although, now that Brewfest has started, I’m enjoying throwing mugs of beer and racing madly around on rams, something in the understatedness of Harvest Festival has caught my imagination.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no complaints with fun and silly holidays. Indeed, I’ve been looking forward to experiencing Brewfest and trying ram racing, and getting a new set of ridiculous holiday clothes (a night elven druid in German peasant dress? Right.), and all that goes with it…including the highly noticeable effects of getting completely smashed. I am endlessly entertained by trying to locate Dark Iron dwarves with my ‘vision’ so blurry I can barely make them out, which no doubt just goes to show that I’m easily amused. I also spent quite some time just chasing a Wild Wolpertinger around for the fun of it, making me wonder whether it’s me or Dhakeilh who’s a bit silly currently!

I’m glad, though, that Blizzard chose to start Harvest Festival a few days before the riotous revelry that is Brewfest. I actually find it a really intriguing  juxtaposition between thoughtful remembrance of the dead and an alcohol-drenched party which, it could be argued, encourages our characters to forget their cares and responsibilities and celebrate life. (If I’d ever drunk as much as Dhakeilh did the other night, I doubt I could remember my own name)! Just to complete the contrast, there is some overlap between the holidays – so your character can go and honor the dead and then come back to drown his sorrows, or conversely, can enjoy her wild party now and then in the morning nurse her hangover and contemplate more serious things.

Azeroth is, when you come down to it, not the most cheerful of places to live. Nearly everyone seems to have lost home, friends or family, or some combination of all of them. Countless threats to peace and safety, from the merely irritating to the devastatingly world-shattering, are part of everyday existence – and at least every second person you meet on the street is part of some sort of military or defensive group. (Also, the place is bristling with valiant heroes – it’s always an ominous sign when the heroes come out en masse). When you look at it that way, it’s easy to see their need for both kinds of festival – the celebration and the memorial. It’s the memorial, though, that draws me deeper into the lore of Azeroth, and makes me want to go and discover more about the heroes in my characters’ past.

Uther Lightbringer and Grommash Hellscream both, as we are reminded at this time of year, made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of their people. Watching my characters kneel at their monuments has made more of an impression on me than I really expected; it’s almost as though it ‘really happened’. It’s moments like this that inspire me to keep seeking out the more obscure lore moments, and to really think of Dhakeilh as fighting some great evil rather than as accumulating a collection of numbers…which, of course, makes everything more fun. Most especially, though, rereading Grom’s monument has given me a new respect for the orcs as a race.

Perhaps it’s because honoring our fallen heroes resonates so strongly within our own society, but I think Harvest Festival stands out among the other celebrations. It manages to be serious without being over-sentimental, and understated without being entirely swamped by the noisier Brewfest. Although there may not be as much to ‘do’, I think I’ve found my favourite of the Warcraft festivals. I shall have to think ahead and plan for Aminyara’s celebration of it next year…