Fun with Hallow's End

Very much to my own surprise, I've really been enjoying this past week of Hallow's End activities. I mean, as far as WoW holidays go it's been one of my favourites for a while, but considering that I tend to feel somewhat "meh" about seasonal events in general, that's not really saying much. And in this case I figured, hey, I already got almost all the meta achievements on my main and I don't really care much about collecting achievements on my alts, so whatever. Yeah, that's what I thought.

First off, trick-or-treating at the innkeepers is just way too much fun. I understand that the pressure to log in every hour to maximise your treats if you're after something specific is not particularly great, but if you approach the whole matter more casually, it's really entertaining. You can do it on characters of every level, receive all kinds of costumes, and those masks...! I love masks, especially for alts that are too low-level to wear proper hats yet, but I'm also not afraid to have my level eighty tauren wear a tauren mask for example. There are few things that look wackier than that.

Wanna be my friend? OoOoOooo...

The only problem is that you get so many "rubbish" items that way that they seriously start to clog up your bags after a while. Sure, you can just destroy them, but then I think it's kind of a shame when free items turn into a sort of "spam" that you have to filter and clear out! I'm honestly not sure whether reducing the number of items would really be a solution though; after all the guaranteed reward (even if it's useless) is part of the fun.

Then there's trick-or-treating. No, wait, candy buckets. Am I the only one who's perpetually perplexed by the fact that the Trick or Treat! achievement is not actually about trick-or-treating? Anyway, I'll admit that the candy is not particularly interesting at level eighty I suppose, but since the buckets give great experience, they are almost like an alternate levelling path for lowbies. Stuck at a level where you don't like the current content much and wishing you could gain another level or two somehow, without having to do much? Candy buckets are the way to go. The various candy bucket trick-or-treat achievements also work well in conjunction with the exploration ones. On my hunter for example I ended up finishing off Tricks and Treats of Azeroth and World Explorer at the same time.

G.N.E.R.D. rage also inspired me to do some PvP again. I found it to be rather broken in certain level ranges but in others it was actually good fun. Though I was less pleased when I found that the random bugs of 4.0.1 extended to the battlegrounds as well, for example when I didn't get credit for Warsong Gulch Perfection on my death knight even though I did achieve it. Oh, and let's not forget the battleground queue bug that currently causes the system to prioritise by group size for some reason, meaning that if you're in a party of five you'll get into a battleground within less than a minute, but if you're on your own you can get stuck waiting for anything between five and forty minutes...

The Horseman is amazingly bugged as well of course. I'm pretty sure everyone's heard of the infamous "cogwheel bug" by now, which can cause people to crash out whenever their cursor hovers over something that causes it to turn into a cogwheel, such as... the pumpkin you have to click on to summon the Horseman. I've only had it happen to me once or twice fortunately, and am thus quick to volunteer to do the summoning in my groups now. Watching people shuffle their feet uneasily as they wait for someone else to start it because they don't want to crash out is only fun for so long. Once I also ended up in a run where apparently my whole party disconnected! Fortunately I was tanking on my paladin and thus more or less managed to solo the boss - a warlock came back online just before the end and helped me to finish him off.

I haven't been too happy with the loot drops, but again, since I'm not a hardcore achievement hunter I'm trying not to let it get to me too much. My main still hasn't got the squashling for Sinister Calling, while I already had to destroy three or four extras on my alts. My druid, of all my characters, ended up getting The Horseman's Reins - the one character that never uses a flying mount. That's sod's law for you I guess. More than anything though, and this really surprised me, I missed having actual emblems to take out of my goodie bag at the end, because without them I already had to encounter several cases where the so-called Loot-Filled Pumpkin I got actually ended up being completely empty. What a letdown.

On a side note, while the Horseman is another boss for whom we are way overpowered at our current gear levels, he never felt as boring as Coren to me, probably because you're at least forced to change targets occasionally... you've got to be grateful for small blessings.

And finally, I've been having a lot of fun saving the newbie villages from the Horseman's fires. I was really surprised by how much I suddenly enjoyed this little mini-game, considering how simple it is - get bucket, throw it on fire, repeat. I guess that's still more engaging than some of the other content available at the moment...

It's also interesting to see how player participation affects the outcome. During one round in Brill we had so many players that they put all the fires out within seconds, causing the Horseman to bug out and claim that the town had burnt to the ground. Another time I tried to save Falconwing Square (pro tip: really, don't), but hardly anyone else was there and the other players completely ignored the event. On my own I was completely powerless. Now, you could criticise this as being a bad thing and say that it should scale with the number of players around or something, but I kind of liked how the way it's currently done added a certain excitement to the scene. Several times saving the town actually felt like a close call and I got the feeling that I had accomplished something, knowing that my contribution might have made the difference between victory and defeat. Plus, my inner roleplayer really can't stand to see those places burn!

I also noticed that Blizzard changed it so the Horseman doesn't automatically come around every fifteen minutes anymore (or whatever it used to be), but instead only gets triggered when someone starts the quest to put out the fires. This is kind of nice because you don't have to helplessly watch beloved newbie villages burn to the ground over and over again while nobody is around. Just make sure to pick your battles wisely, and don't start the event when the place is completely empty.


  1. The HH fight is actually hard for me because of the plate bug. Once the head pops off, I have to spend over half of the time just finding the darn thing before I can close on it. Good thing casters are OP, otherwise the fight would last a lot longer.

    But yeah, I love this season. Lots of XP for low level alts, and lots of fun throwing pumpkins on people's heads.

  2. If you loot an empty pumpkin, you should get some justice points. 24 I think?

  3. Back in TBC in the first year, Coren was hard and an interesting boss. He had a high DPS requirement and the fight went on for quite some time.

    One of the brewmaiden that spawned didn't do any damage but would stun the person she has aggro on from time to time. That, of course, was a complete aggro loss for the tank. It was therefore important that a (range) DD would get aggro on her to prevent the tank or healer from being stunned.

    The other brewmaiden threw a beer at random players. The beer ended up in your bag and if you didn't drink it withing a few seconds you would get stunned. Everyone had to watch out for that.

    And there were tons of non-elite adds, which were nevertheless quite threatening to cloth wearer, which had to be kept under control.

    It was one of the best and most challenging 5 man bosses I've ever seen in WoW.

  4. @ecclesiastical: As far as I'm aware you get the same amount of justice points regardless of loot in the pumpkin. Either way I miss having something to click on; opening the pumpkin and getting nothing but a "There is no loot" message is rather disappointing.

  5. They changed that. You always have at least a mask in the bag.