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WoW Wednesday: The Lunar Festival

The wide world of Azeroth is home to some of the strangest holidays one could imagine; from the March of the Tadpoles where the young murlocs of the Borean Tundra make their march to safer waters, to Children’s Week where heroes of Azeroth can adopt an orphan and show them the life of a champion. This month, however, features a much more humble and simple holiday, born from the real-world concept of the Chinese New Year. This month Azeroth celebrates the Lunar Festival and the turning of the Elvish New Year.

Held traditionally by the Druids of the Moonglade, the Lunar Festival celebrates the victory of the world’s oldest alliance (namely the Night Elves, Tauren, Furbolgs and Earthen) banding together and repelling the first invasion by the Burning Legion. Heroes of both factions gather not just to honor their ancient heritage but also the wisdom and valor in times of old. Fireworks are shot off in remembrance, a symbol of the moon goddess Elune’s power, though the festivities also have a much darker purpose. Beneath Lake Elune’ara, the Wild God known as Omen stirs in his slumber. Once blessed by the Moon Goddess, Omen was driven mad by the Burning Legion’s power and must be slain once a year lest he return to wreak havoc upon the mortal world. It will take true heroes, blessed by their ancient forbears, to drive Omen back into his slumber.

The Festival never sleeps in Moonglade!

The Lunar Festival, in regards to the rest of World of Warcraft’s holidays, is fairly straight-forward for players with the main draw being Coins of Ancestry. These Coins are given to players who speak to various elders across Azeroth: ancient ancestors bathed in moonlight. Players may then turn in these coins for a variety of rewards ranging from cosmetic dresses, head-pieces and toys to the new seasonal hearthstone: the Lunar Elder’s Hearthstone.

The main goal for most players will be completing To Honor One’s Elders, the holiday achievement that is required for the meta-achievement What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been. To Honor One’s Elders is really the best and most rounded of the meta-achievements, and will give players the most thorough cross-section of the Holiday as well as the majority of their currency to spend on the holiday toys.

For those new to the Holiday, you will want to speak to the Lunar Festival Harbingers in your respective major city. They will give you a quest, which will require you to set off both singular and Cluster fireworks in launchers around the area. Purchasing 10 Cluster Rockets and 10 Festival Firecrackers will enable you to complete both Frenized Firecracker and The Rocket’s Red Glare by using them up in 10 seconds. From there players can teleport to Moonglade proper and begin the arduous process of finding the Elders of Azeroth.

“The best Omen was once a hero of this world…”

With the return of the Lunar New Year, the Elders who first fought against the Burning Legion return to Azeroth to offer up their wisdom and insight unto heroes who seek them. The majority of To Honor One’s Elders will revolve around tracking down each individual Elder across Azeroth and paying your respects to them. Each Elder will offer you a Coin of Ancestry which can be redeemed for toys, transmog and more. Each Elder only offers one coin per lunar festival, meaning that each year you can obtain up to 84 Coins of Ancestry to spend. This will afford most of the low-tier toys each year, as well as several parts of the Dragon Costumes (either Head, Body or Tail). Finding an Elder will also reward 75 reputation with your major city factions before any bonuses, meaning you can earn an additional 6000 reputation as well. Its best to gather this at the start of your reputation grinds, as players are reporting these bonuses are not applied to factions past Honored. These are not locked to your account, meaning you could easily gather all the toys in one year with a handful of characters.

There are roughly thirty elders on each major continent, including Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, Northrend and Deepholm. Each of the original major cities of the Horde (Orgrimmar, Thunder Bluff and Undercity) and the Alliance (Stormwind, Ironforge, and a Teldrassil) have Elder’s located for players of both factions to talk with them. Elders are also situated within Dungeons throughout Azeroth (up to the Wrath of the Lich King expansion), meaning that some delving will be required to round off your major achievements. These will fulfill Elders of Cataclysm, Elders of Eastern Kingdoms, Elders of Kalimdor, Elders of the Dungeons, Elders of the Horde, Elders of the Alliance, Elders of Northrend and 50 Coins of Ancestry.

For Lunar Festival Finery, players simply must spend a little of their newly earned coinage and purchase one of the dresses or pant-suit transmogs from the Coins of Ancestry vendors in Moonglade. Some of the transmogs are actually quite fetching, and pair well with the new transmoggable flower crowns introduced in 2019!

Dragons just wanna have fun too!

The last achievement, Elune’s Blessing, requires players to complete the quest of the same name and defeat Omen, a summonable max-level boss in Moonglade. Details on how to summon Omen are incredibly limited, however, the process is rather straightforward. Players must first purchase Cluster Fireworks of any kind, and travel to the southern end of Lake Elune’ara. On that shoreline are two cluster firework launchers, which players can use to launch their explosives into the sky! These will summon roughly half a dozen Minions of Omen, ghostly spectral wolves, that must be killed. These spawn in a wide area around the southern parts of Moonglade, from the Stormrage Barrow Dens to the southern bridge and must be killed before more Minions can be summoned.  After three or four waves of summoning, Omen himself will appear to terrorize players on the shore. While Omen can still be tagged by only one faction, a ray of moonlight will fall onto his corpse after the great Wild God is defeated. Simply walking into it will give you credit for Elune’s Blessing, and will allow you to complete the quest, rounding off To Honor One’s Elders.

What do you think of the Lunar Festival this year? Have you paid your respects to the ancients of old, are you celebrating with friends in Azeroth, or are you simply goofing off in the battlegrounds wearing a dragon costume?

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About Phil DeMerchant

A young pundit of the Industry, Phil first fell in love with gaming through World of Warcraft and the 3D platformers of the Playstation Era. Honing his expertise over years of reporting, he now focuses on investigative work on appraising and evaluating industry practices.