Oh boy oh boy oh boy!
Another holiday event!
And this one is 15 days long!
It’s time for the Midsummer Festival, so grab your marshmallows and head out to bonfires scattered all over the bloody world. Collect Burning Blossoms to buy spiffy gear, fun foods, and a vanity pet.
For the Meta Achievement and unlocking the title of “The Flame Keeper” you will need to complete the following achievements:
- The Fires of Azeroth (also one for the Alliance)
- Desecration of the Alliance (or Horde)
- Burning Hot Pole Dance
- Ice the Frost Lord
- King of the Fire Festival
- Torch Juggler
The Fires of Azeroth and the Desecration achievements are best done at the same time. Those achievements are really 3 achievements each – one for Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, and the Outlands. We started in Silithus, worked our way up North through Kalimdor, ported to Stonard (mages are awesome, if I do say so myself), flew to Booty Bay, and worked our way up North through the Eastern Kingdoms. Along the way, we hit the Alliance capitals to steal their flames. (I haven’t done the Outlands yet, but those should be easy by virtue of being able to FLY.)
To honor a flame for your faction, there will be an NPC standing under a red tent by each bonfire. If you are high level, turn on low-level tracking to make finding them easier. You can honor your faction’s flame while remaining mounted. Get 5 blossoms and some cash.
Desecrating a flame requires you to dismount and interact with the opposing faction’s flame. This gets you 10 blossoms and cash. The NPCs will generally leave you alone, it’s the players you need to watch out for. I did the run in my PvP gear. Also, the Midsummer Vendor CANNOT be killed. If you aggro him/her you will have a fun time trying to get out of combat. Persistent bugger.
You can relight a flame for your own faction by using a blossom near the flame, netting you a buff. Note that you can still honor a flame, even if it has been extinguished so you may want to save your blossoms until the end.
King of the Fire Festival requires you to complete the quest “A Thief’s Reward.” There is no obvious starting point for this quest. Just go to each opposing city and steal the flame by interacting with it. This will put an item in your inventory that starts a quest. You can collect all 4 and then turn them in to an NPC by the bonfire in any of your capital cities. Completing the quest also gives you the crown item and 25 blossoms for each flame.
For the Horde players:
- The Darnassus bonfire is actually just past the docks at the base of Teldrassil, not inside the city. You still need to run through the city as there is a bonfire to be desecrated out in Dolonar.
- The Exodar flame is a pain to get to. We entered the city at the southern-ish entrance, the one by the flight master, not the one by the docks, and just went right. You will be running through the AH/Bank area, but no one is ever in Exodar anyway. I think it’s in the area called the Crystal Hall.
- The Stormwind flame was the worst. Enter the city through the gate, cut to the left, past the AH and bank (and there will be a gabillion people here), cross the bridge and turn right. You should see the summoning stone for the Stockades in front of you. We bolted for the Stocks (took care of that achievement while there) to regroup and then dashed from the Stocks to the right. If you skip the Stocks, just turn left at the summoning stone. If you die, the nearest graveyard is at the Eastvale Logging Camp on the other fucking side of the zone.
- Ironforge was easier than Stormwind. The flame is directly opposite the entrance, but go left. If you go to the right, you will pass through the AH/Bank, Battlemaster area, and Tram station. Going to the left puts you through the paladin training area and the fishing pool, many fewer people.
To get the Burning Hot Pole Dance, you will need the chest, shoulders, and sandals from the Midsummer vendor, purchased for 100, 100, and 200 blossoms respectively. Equip the items and dance around the pole for a minute to get the achievement.
Ice the Frost Lord is completed by slaying Ahune in the Slave Pens. This can be done on normal or heroic, but rumor has it that the enchanting pattern is more likely to drop on heroic. He also has the chance to drop a Scorchling vanity pet and seems to always drop a level 70 epic cloak. Plus some snowballs. To activate this quest, you will need to talk to a member of the Earthen Ring by the bonfire in a capital city. They send you out to Zoram Strand where you kill some cultists that weren’t there last week, get a drop, summon a ghost wolf, turn into a crab, scuttle up the beach, listen to some naga chatter, summon the ghost wolf again, and head back to a capital city.
Now here’s where it differs depending on your level. My main did the whole quest chain last year up to Ahune and was able to immediately pick up the quest to go to the Slave Pens. My guildies at 80 that had not done it last year got the Ahune quest after turning in this part. My priest (and my mage last year) has been sent to Desolace to go bother some more cultists. It appears there are additional quests available for the lower-level characters so they don’t feel left out.
Ahune appears to be the same as last year, so is tuned for level 70 players. I’ve heard that DKs and palladins can solo him on normal. Our resto druid actually went boomkin for this and still kept us all up without a problem.
To finish the quest, you run to the Slave Pens in Coilfang Resevoir (it’s the left-most tunnel) and talk to the NPC just inside. She sends you further into the instance to talk to another NPC. There are only a couple trash pulls before you find the second NPC and discover that the area has been turned into a winter wonderland. Talk to the NPC and she gives you an item to melt the Ice Stone, summoning Ahune in the process.
THE ICE STONE HAS MELTED!!!!
Ahune has 2 phases, adds and Frost Core. He sends out waves of adds (2 in normal) and does some ice spike stuff on the ground. The spikes are avoidable if you watch the ground. Ahune CAN be damaged during this phase and the adds can be 1-shotted by Arcane Barrage. We ended up with the melee DPS on the adds and ranged on Ahune. Getting too close to Ahune in the add phase seems to send people flying. When he’s bored of sending adds, he retreats into his Frost Core, go nuts on it. We never saw a second add phase, but I’m assuming it’s a rinse and repeat sort of thing.
A chest appears and you get loot. The first time he drops, there is a shard that everyone can pick up and turn in to the NPC to get some more blossoms and a tabard.
Like the Halloween event, this is something where everyone with the quest gets to summon him. You do not need to exit the instance, just have the next person talk to the second NPC and melt the stone. And this should be a daily, so have at it 5 times a day.
THE ICE STONE HAS MELTED!!!!
I have not yet done the Torch Juggler achievement. But, this is what I have noticed: save your blossoms for purchasing the gear you need for the pole dance and for the vanity pet. Run an alt to a capital to do the torch dailies (see below). The blossoms are BoP, but your alt can buy the torches to send to your achievement-whore character.
After reading the comments at Thottbot, we may be able to do this one with as few as 10 torches.
And of course there are torch dailies in the capitals. Toss torches at the braziers and catch torches thrown in the air. I recommend going to Silvermoon or Undercity for these as there is more space and fewer people (although it is harder to see the torch shadow in UC). These quests seem to be much more forgiving than they were last year, or else I have a much better internet connection. This is excellent XP for alts and some good cash for all.
If you are leveling alts, don’t forget to give the pole a twirl and get a full hour of an XP-earning buff.
Here’s Arioch in the full Midsummer getup: the shoulders, chest, sandals, and crown.
Here’s the top half of the red tabard, there is also a blue option. Stupid tabards tucked into robes…
See? The Ice Stone really has melted. Those of you that remember the glitch are laughing and everyone else is scratching their heads in confusion.
And while bored in Naxx… the chest and sandals each have a “use” to set your hands and feet on fire. This looks very cool while dancing. Someone also pelted me with the summer petal shower.
Of course, there are some known issues with the event.
If you honored/desecrated a flame last year, the achievement page will show this. If you go back to that flame, you will not currently be able to get blossoms again. This is NOT working as intended and they are looking into it.
When you talk to the first NPC inside of the Slave Pens, she may not give everyone the quest to find the second NPC. This happened to one of our party members, but he was still able to talk to the second NPC and summon Ahune.