Proposed New-Look Yule Festival for LOTRO

A Yule Festival Revamp Proposal for LOTRO

As many of you are aware, I’ve spent years documenting, reporting and guiding players of The Lord of the Rings Online through their in-game events and festivals. And few are as anticipated and enjoyed as Yule Festival, given that it falls during a holiday time for a lot of people. Yet even the most established of festivals (offline as well as online) need a refresh from time-to-time. I’ve had a look through the current quests – and the stories behind them, and I’m offering a hypothethical Yule Fest revamp!

It’s purely based on my opinions and ideas, so it would be fun if you could pitch in as well! And it’s not a complete overhaul – I’ve kept quests I think are worthy of this time of year, I’ve tried to remould some, ditch others and introduce some new quest ideas. So here we go!

Where Are the Children?

If Yule is supposed to be for all kinds of families, I don’t know why we can only normally see adults in Winter-home. As far as I can tell, there are no children in the town or indeed around Frostbluff, except in Battle at the Frostbluff and at the end of Stolen Sweets. LOTRO have kids running around and playing in all sorts of regions of Middle-Earth. I think bringing a few to Winter-home would be lovely. I’ve also included children in some new quests below.

Quests to Keep

Yule Fest quests to keep include Tidying Up
Doing a Yule Festival revamp doesn’t mean starting from scratch. So, here are the quests I think could be kept. Note, I’m predominantly talking about those originating in Winter-home and Frostbluff. I don’t see any particular issues with quests in the starter regions. So these are the quests I would keep pretty much completely in their current form.

  1. Abominable Snow-Beasts
  2. Cold as Ice
  3. Stuffing the Stuffed
  4. Tidying Up:
    Add Deeds:
    • Complete this quest: &time;15 and receive the title Cleaner.
    • Complete this quest ×25 and receive a Mop held-item cosmetic (Bound to Account)
    • Complete the quest ×50 and receive the /mop emote (character only).
  5. Battle at the Frostbluff (Daily)
  6. Battle of the Snowballs: but maybe with some NPCs as well as players to facilitate engagement with this feature. I’ve offered an alternative to this below.
  7. Empty Keg Emergency
  8. Filling the Field

Quests to Drop

  1. Moving Them Off: I know there’s story behind this quest – and if you’ll bear with me I’ll address this! But this is a horrible quest in principle.
  2. Assist the Rich (Gain and Glory): Again, bear with me, we’ll get to my revamped version in a bit.

Existing Quests to Change

Unwilling Firewood - Wood-Trolls of Frostbluff
  • Making Mischief: only available in its current form if the new A Final Act has not been completed.
  • A Charitable Spirit: original version only available before A Final Act. A new version is only available after A Final Act. All quest-givers have rings over their heads until you complete this already so there are plenty of reminders to do A Final Act. See below for how I would change this quest.
  • Stolen Sweets: Keep the quest as-is, but change to every two weeks and make the Snow Rabbit bound to account. It’s very time-consuming and it would be good to be able to earn bunnies for your other characters more often.

Changes to Quests

Unwilling Firewood

The Wood-trolls are only grouchy, they’re not invading Frostbluff! And why the Mayor only wanted the “best wood” to burn, no one knows. Burning wood makes heat, so any wood will be fine! It may be nicer, both as a story and to prevent competition/racing with other players, to have wood picked up from fallen Trolls, or fallen branches from the Grumpwood itself.

You could increase the de-spawn timer on fallen Grouchy Trees to enable them to be lootable for quest items. This would make this quest nicer to complete than the “I must outrun the Hunter or the Lore-Master’s Bog-Lurker pet” we’ve all been through!

Alternative: Kindle the Fires

Quest-Giver: Mara Sandydowns
Her fire is about to go out! As she is on duty to welcome new visitors to Winter-home and direct them to the right people, she cannot leave to go collect more kindling.

Collect: 5 × armfuls of Kindling from bushes in Frostbluff and 3 × logs from fallen Grouchy Trees.

Overhaul of A Final Act

This season should be one of goodwill, where all can enjoy the spirit of Yule and feel included. This includes the poorest of people (think of Bob Crachet from A Christmas Carol). So, I propose an alternative route here. My quest would only be completed once per character per year, as the current A Final Act is, but I think it would be good for it to unlock other quests after that point. Let me explain:

A Final Act (Expose the Mayor)

The only route should be to expose the Mayor’s corruption, leading to a chance of heart for him and a “permanent” change of fortunes for the poor. At least for this year’s festival. After you’ve given all the people’s jobs back, the following changes take place.

Making Mischief

There should be no more picking of pockets after the new A Final Act
This quest should no longer be available for that year. With fortunes turning for the poor, they should not be stealing from the rich any more. However, see my new quest Still Making Mischief.

No Hungry Beggars

For that character, for that year, you should not see the beggars any more. With Moving Them Off removed and A Charitable Spirit altered slightly, there is no reason for those to be visible in Winter-home.

A Charitable Spirit/Treats for the Children

You could use the Frostbluff King Kids in Treats for the Children
After the new A Final Act, A Charitable Spirit is replaced by Treats for the Children. This quest sees you donating tokens to poor children NPCs around Winter-home, so they can go get nice things from the stalls. I’d use NPCs already in “the system” such as the children who are all self-proclaimed Frostbluff Kings!

New Quest: Bridging the Divide

Prerequisite: A Final Act (New)

Led by the repentant Mayor Goodnough, the rich of Winter-home donate (worn, but respectable) clothes and food to the Beggars. This could be simply any of the simple cosmetics already in-game from the Outfitters. You get a set as a quest reward.

Quest Outcomes

  • Permanent change for that year: beggars given clothes do not respawn as beggars, but are out and about in their new clothes.
  • Possible new side-quest from them also. They couldn’t afford to give something, but maybe they could help out in Winter-home so everyone can enjoy the festival. Possible helpers could be: giving the guards time off by patrolling for them, assisting people in the Theatre, manning a vendor’s stall or grooming the horses just outside Winter-home.

Quest Rewards

Part of me wondered whether players choose to side with the Rich because they wanted the nicer-looking cosmetics. Or maybe it’s just marginally quicker than Support the Poor. Either way, I didn’t want to take people’s toys away. So the quest reward options for this would be (one of):

  • The Shabby set (from the old “Self-Sacrifice: Gareth’s Plan” quest).
  • The Extravagant Festival set (from the old “Gain and Glory” quest).
  • A Random Cosmetic from the Outfitters – a spare after all the others have been given out.

Other New Quests

No Yule Festival Revamp would be worthy of the name without some new quests! These are fledgling ideas and are bare-bones. These would be available regardless of whether A Final Act is completed or not.

An Ode to Old Blood-Tusk

GLOBE Theatre in Winter-Home during LOTRO Yule Festival
You could run the existing Disappearance of Mad Baggins and An Ode to Old Blood-Tusk, with the system randomly choosing which of the two shows to run.
We could invite the Cloudyheads for an alternative show in Winter-home.
Alternatively, have the Cloudyheads perform and people form an honourary part of the band. Use a temporary ability bar (already in the system – think of the escape button in the Hedge/Wheat Mazes) and the ability has to be clicked when prompted.

Souped-Up Charges

See Guard Kember for the new Souped Up quest.
Quest-giver: Guard Kember

Collect soup from one of the Festival-Announcer NPCs for The Biggest Stomach of them All and give to 5 × guards or helper-NPCs in Winter-home and locations in Frostbluff.

Pamper the Chickens

Pamper the Chickens in Cluckland
Quest-giver: Mara Sandydowns

Pick up seed from near the servant’s oven and feed 5 × Chickens at Cluckland.

The Great Chicken Rescue

The Great Chicken Escape - a New Yule Quest
Quest-Giver: “Empty Nest” in Cluckland

Rescue chickens × 3 from the Grumpwood and back to an empty nest at Cluckland. (There are 2 empty nests already in Cluckland, so just a quick adding of another is needed – or move a chicken off a nest).

Secret Saint

Jack Mitford becomes a quest-giver in Yule 2.0
Quest-Giver: Jack Mitford

5 × Festival-Goers of Winter-home want to give children a gift, but without them knowing who the gift-giver is. You do the delivering to 5 × Children. Don’t do any corny “girl/boy gift” nonsense, just “gift” is fine! To quote a book my five-year-old daughter has, it is fine for a girl to get a toy soldier!

Deck the Whole

Quest-Giver: Gareth Rust
Three different choices:

  1. Retrieve branches, pinecones, berries from Winter-home and/or Frostbluff and decorate the poor quarter of Winter-Home.
  2. Fetch snowmen items and three armfuls of snow and build a snowman there.
  3. Ask Guard Kember for location of spare Winter-home banners and put them up on the pillars.

New Deed: Complete each of the above three times. Title “Exterior Decorator”.

Snow Use (Daily Auto-Bestow)

Snow Use - hit players and be hit by players for rewards!
Throw 10 × Perfect Snowballs at different players and be hit by 10 × Perfect Snowballs from players. Uses the snowball item from the vendor and encourages deed completion. Use a buff of 30-60 seconds before someone can be re-hit.

Waste Not, Want Not

Quest-Giver: Jack Midford, or Hobbit (G.L.O.B.E.)

Many of the so called “grimy dishes” are filled with edible food. Or would be, if they hadn’t been frozen since festival-goers abandoned them. Collect 5 × Grimy Dishes then return to (NPC Undecided) for them to heat it through over the fire again. Alternatively, reheat them at the Servant’s Oven.

Still Making Mischief

Gareth Rust: Still Making Mischief (New Quest)
Quest-Giver: Gareth Rust, during Night-time.

Having cottoned on that some mysterious people were setting off the fireworks early, Mayor Goodnough has moved the
fireworks to just outside of Winter-home. Not wanting to hear an inane mayoral speech before every firework display, Gareth Rust sends you to sneak and set them off.

Timer: 5 minutes (with an “Acting Mischievously” buff)
Mechanics: do not be seen “acting mischievously” by guards, or Mayor Goodnough (who moves to the location when you pick up the quest).

Meet the Cast

Idea From: @ErinScarlet | Twitter Thread
Quest-Giver: Hobbit (G.L.O.B.E.)

With the children feeling free to run around Winter-home more than previous years, the G.L.O.B.E. Theatre wants to give them something special this year: a chance to meet the actors and actresses they’ve only seen on stage before!
Get dressed up in one of the costumes from any of the shows and go meet the children! G.L.O.B.E. have prepared especially yummy “GLOBE Treat Boxes” so all you have to do is ensure five different children get a Treat Box.

Objective 1: Acquire Costume (Bilbo Baggins, Sour-Looking Dwarf, Gandalf, Other Hobbit, Fancy Narrator) – for Yule Festival Tokens (not Mithril Coins…)

Objective 2: put on your costume (using the same system as Fall Festival‘s Trick or Treat ones).

Objective 3: go meet 5 × Children, speak to them and give them a GLOBE Treat Box

Token Scaling

Given the introduction of new quests suggested, I reckon nearly all “pure” Winter-home quests would grant 2 × Yule Festival Tokens. The exceptions should be those that take more time. Such as:

  • Theatre: increase this to 5 × Tokens. Auto-bestow a quest Playing the Part if you’re chosen to do the acting, and grant an extra 2 times; Tokens. These should be conditional on you having been hit by a Rotten Fruit or showered with Petals, so that, hopefully, AFK-ers don’t benefit.
  • Filling the Field: grant 4 × Tokens for all snowmen, except the Broken Snowman, which should stay at 2 × Tokens.
  • The Biggest Stomach of them All

I would keep those that involve activities outside the town at 4 × Tokens (less the Broken Snowman).

Subtle Event Promotion

I admit, this is an idea pilfered from another game, but I like it nonetheless:

  • Add seasonal decorations to non-player buildings and/or fences.
  • Introduce some Yule decor to Bree, Thorin’s Hall and Celondim Docks.

Other Improvements

  • Add a separate Festival-Announcer Swift Travel horse to Winter-home from housing neighbourhoods.
  • Have a “Missions Centre” Stablemaster at Winter-Home (and make sure they all have Winter-home added) to more easily facilitate A Mission to Bring Good Cheer.
  • Make donating Festival Tokens during A Charitable Spirit a one-click process. Yes, you won’t get the dialogue back (speech bubbles could replace this) but it will prevent you missing out to someone giving them their jobs back and making them run back to work. This improvement should be made in the current Yule Festival quests, as it is almost impossible to give a token in the same time someone can make them walk away during A Final Act or Moving Them Off.
  • From Valentina: Put an announcer NPC (using some kind of timer) would also be useful for the theatre quest. FJ Addition: The wandering Town Crier could actually Cry something! Also, we should harness chat Announcements for the Theatre in the same way Stomp-a-Shrew is duriung Spring Festival.

TL;DR What do you think of my Yule Festival Revamp?

I’ll be the first here to say “this will never happen”, but I’ve enjoyed trying to think of different quest mechanics, while not removing rewards people enjoy receiving. I’m no game designer. But it is important to think through the offering at festivals, especially to keep established players interested. A player recently mentioned not wanting to grind something they’ve done a hundred times. With my alternative Yule Festival, I’ve kept some well-known (and well-used) quests in, remoulded others and also provided a more “Christmassy” feeling take on A Final Act.

If you have your own ideas, feel free to post them in a reply on my Twitter and Facebook posts about this and I may feature them too!

I will continue to write and update my guides with the same level of enthusiasm, as they’re great community get-togethers. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed making it. Take care – enjoy the events and a Happy New Year, when it arrives for you!

About the Author

Fibro Jedi
Fibro Jedi

I have been playing MMOs for about ten years and began writing guides to The Lord of the Rings Online in 2017. I've only been creating content about Final Fantasy XIV since 2022, but I am glad for the mix. My current games include LOTRO, FFXIV and the occasional Palia session too.

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