Star Trek Online: Q's Winter Wonderland!
Regular readers probably know by now that I'm not a huge fan of festivals in MMOs. Mainly because they never seem to offer rewards that I want. Some folk love to collect cosmetic items and will happily repeat content to obtain them. I prefer a more tangible carrot on the end of the stick but sadly that seldom occurs. However Star Trek Online launched its seasonal festival today, namely Q's Winter Wonderland! This offers players the chance to claim a new Tier 6 ship, a Breen Rezreth Dreadnought Cruiser. This is quite a prize as the latest vessels sell for 3,000 Zen in the in-game store, which equates to about £20/$30.
Now obviously Cryptic do not just give players this shiny new vessel on a plate. It has to be earned. Players have to repeat a special racing event that rewards 40 Winter Prize Vouchers, twenty five times before they can unlock their prize. The repeatable activity is far from hard though and simply requires players to beat the clock on a race course made of ice. The trick is to forward roll when taking corners to avoid sliding. I consider this even to be an equitable arrangement and as I am currently well disposed towards this MMO, will be "grinding" towards my goal.
There are of course plenty of other activities to partake of each day which give favours that can be exchanged for traditional cosmetic items such as a pets and winter wear. These are all winter themed and involve snowballs fights and an evil Borg assimilated snowmen invasion. I must admit I prefer the summer festival so I am at present simply working towards earning the new ship and not really partaking of the other activities. It may also be considered heresy but I’ve never been a fan of the character Q in Star Trek The Next Generation, having always found him somewhat trying and bombastic.
Overall I think ones attitude towards in-game events and festivals depends very much on your overall disposition towards the game itself. Since returning to STO in April I've been having a lot of fun which is what gaming is supposed to be about. Therefore I am more than happy to indulge Q's Winter Wonderland! Plus working towards a reward that has some practical benefits is sufficient motivation for me to continue with the required repeatable event. It's a shame that other MMOs don't take a leaf out of developer Cryptic's book, when it comes to viable festival rewards.