DDO Winter Games Review
The holiday season is over for most mmorpg games and you would think that the time for merriment has passed, but you would be wrong. The Midwinter Games are going full force in Dungeons and Dragons Online, and they'll continue until mid February. It's during this time that both the Harbor in Stormreach and Eveningstar in Cormyr get a wintry blanket of holiday cheer. So how does the winter festivities rate for your intrepid adventurer? We offer our take on the seasonal event in our DDO Winter Games review.
To be perfectly honest, I love seasonal events in mmo games as they provide some diverting content from the normal raiding or questing. Dungeons and Dragons Online is unique in that they put their winter seasonal event much later than most mmos, usually starting in mid to late January. The Winter Games in DDO actually encompasses two different events: the Midwinter Festival and the Risia Ice Games. The Midwinter Festival takes place in Eveningstar and is a later addition that was introduced after the Menace of the Underdark expansion was released, which brought players into the Forgotten Realms setting. The Risia Ice Games take place in the Harbor and also inside the Bogwater Tavern in House Phiarlan. Both events require players to use ice skates, which can be rented or bought in the DDO store, to be fully successful in their endeavors, but there are differences between the two. Each event has their own currency that the player needs to gather to redeem for items: coins for Risia and motes for Midwinter.
The Risia Ice Games have two events that the player can participate in. The first is the Harbor Ski Jump in which the player skates down a ski jump and attempts to make their way from ramp to ramp, gathering coins as they go. The rarer coins require a great deal more effort to reach. Having a high jump skill is extremely important. I will confess that I totally blow at doing this event. Jumping and navigating through the air has always been a particular failing of mine. That's why I've always hated jumping puzzles.
The other event in the Risia Ice Games is the Bogwater Half Pipe, found inside the Bogwater Tavern. This is a team event where individuals will light up runes and cause an air jet to go off, which will blow a person up into the air to get coins. I find this event frustrating as you need to get a group together to complete it. Therefore, when I play this event, I usually restrict myself to the ski jump in the harbor.
I find the Midwinter Festival in Eveningstar a more enjoyable experience in this mmo. The activity in this location is a race on the frozen river to collect mote. As you skate, you'll also encounter power-ups, such as speed or jumping boosts, that can help you gather more motes. I like this event as it's far easier to do than the Risia Ice Games and I actually feel like I accomplish something. I also think that this activity is more enjoyable than those in Stormreach. The only drawback is that you need to use a token to do the race. The race npc hands out free ones every day, but if you want to do the race a lot, you'll have to buy tokens from the DDO cash shop. However, you'll do a lot of grinding if you want to get the polar bear cub pet, which costs 10,000 motes. My main criticism for the Midwinter Festival is the piercing blue hue that permeates the landscape.
While I do enjoy the Midwinter Festival and dabble a bit at the Harbor Ski Jump, I do confess that I find the event lacking a bit. The Risia Ice Games have been around since 2010 and nothing has really changed. The games do provide a nice distraction, but it would be great if Turbine would add some new activities to the mix. Even adding some minor tweaks such as new costumes, holiday dances, changing the pet you can attain, or eggnog quaffing contests would spice it up a bit. Doing the exact same thing as years gone by isn't that thrilling. If you're new to DDO, then you'll definitely get a kick out of the Winter Games, but if you're a long time player, you'll just most likely dabble at the activities in-between questing.