A Christmas Miracle: Winter Wonder 2017 Pack Review

Dec 27, 2017

Preface

Get some crowns this Christmas? The 2017 revamp of the Winter Wonderland pack was released earlier this month and if you’ve been holding out on it your window of opportunity is soon closing (or, if you’ve tried it a few times and then given up hope). I was pretty intrigued by the new stuff so I decided to “farm” the new Winter Wonder pack on my baby Ice just in case the new reindeer spell pops. Of course, I also wanted to take the opportunity to write as comprehensive a review as possible for AoS! I’ve never really been the luckiest with packs so I’ll have you know that I went into this with low expectations, but I forged ahead for science and blogging! She also has a lot of backpack space and not much gold…so perfect for selling off any junk.

Your Mission If You Choose to Accept It (aka. Drop Rate)

Yeah I’m not sure why I decided to include the Mission Impossible reference…you should know by now how I operate. We’re gonna start out by discussing the actual pack as a whole in relation to its drop rate. Because I know that’s what you really care about here, ya’ll aren’t fooling anyone readers. After all, all the items in the rest of this post are meaningless if you can’t actually get any of them. My mission: to see if I could get the Reindeer Knight spell to drop for my ice, as well as see how the drop rates were for the rest of the notable items of the pack- both new and old.

(Can I just whine for a sec because WordPress deleted my first draft of this post and it was a real pain to type out my list again  -.-)

Day One:

(*Note: These are my cumulative notable drops, not a sequential list of the drop order…for now…I’m just trying to condense the boring parts ya’ll)

  • Ice Wig
  • Snow Drifter’s Mantle
  • Winter Antlers
  • Armor of the Silent Knight
  • Silent Knight Footgear
  • Silent Knight’s Snowboots
  • Snowdrifter’s Shoes
  • Silent Knight’s Cold Steel x2
  • Snowhoppers
  • Snowhopper Sleigh (7 day)
  • Wolf of Winter (7 day)
About 5k crowns spent

The first day with this pack definitely gave me hope and was what I needed to want to continue. When the pet and the two 7 day mounts dropped a switch kind of flipped in my brain and I knew that the permanent mounts were in fact attainable. If I had gotten packs and packs of junk, that little decision switch wouldn’t have flipped regardless -but- I was happy to see a rare or ultra rare item with every pack opened.

Day Two:

(*Note: Switched to a sequential drop list since I wanted to show exactly the order before my first permanent mount drop)

  1. Winter Antlers
  2. Snowdrifter’s Trekkers
  3. Boots of the Silent Knight
  4. Silent Knight’s Snowboots
  5. Snowdrifter’s Conical
  6. Snowhopper Sleigh (Permanent! woot woot!)
About 2k crowns spent at this point, 7k total

(switching back to a cumulative list structure since nothing special really happened after that- cumulative lists have bullets and sequenced lists have numbers, because I am all about formatting)

  • Snowdrifter’s Mantle x2
  • Winter Antlers x2
  • Silent Knight’s Cold Steel
  • Silent Knight’s Snowboots
  • Snowdrifter’s Conical
  • Boots of the Silent Knight

Took a big break here. I was a little worried that I’d lose whatever luck had bestowed upon me the Snowhopper Sleigh. At the same time I felt that the reverse could be true, that a long break could reset things in a positive way and open the door to more awesome drops. I choose to believe the latter!

When I got back I decided to switch characters and see what happens: (this is how I justified it to myself even though it’s actually just an excuse to go over my limit)

  • Snowdrifter’s Mantle x2
  • Silent Knight Helmet (first one!)
  • Snowdrifter’s Vestment (first one!)
  • Silent Knight Vestment (first of this type!)

Annnd full backpack here (*quietly hoping I’m not resetting my luck* Answer: I totally did)

  • Snowdrifter’s Hat
  • Silent Knight Claymore (first of this type!)

Backpack full again! I think I’m gonna switch back!

I did indeed switch back at this point! It’s honestly the best decision to farm packs with the most empty backpack possible. Otherwise it gets very annoying very fast. (On the other hand, maybe that natural limit can be a good thing?)

  1. Snowdrifter’s Hat
  2. Ice Wig
  3. Snowhopper Sleigh (Wow! Permanent again!)

In my mind this was such a big deal, albeit a little disappointing. Naturally I had been hoping for a Wolf of Winter. However, the significance of getting a second permanent mount was undeniable. This proved to me that the drop rate of the permanent mounts was not something like 1% so low that my last drop was just a lucky fluke. The Wolf of Winter was in reach, just not quite close enough!

  1. Snowdrifter’s Hat
  2. Wolf of Winter (Omg! Permanent!)
About 13k crowns spent total at this point

Needless to say, this was super surprising because I just got the second Snowhopper the pack immediately before. I mean…it was wonderful because I had literally just been moping about not getting a wolf. This was the first indication of the Christmas miracle that was occurring! I was extremely pleased to have gotten the wolf, however our goal was Reindeer Knight, so your intrepid blogger pressed on.

  1. Silent Knight Vestment
  2. Armor of the Silent Knight
  3. Snowdrifter’s Conical
  4. Winter Antlers
  5. Winter Antlers
  6. Reindeer Knight

*Insert a lot of screaming here. “It’s a Christmas miracle!*

15k crowns spent total

Do I have poor impulse control? Perhaps. But it was for science! This is actually only the second time I’ve gotten permanent mount drops from packs- the first being the bat cloud. Some packs are much stingier than others, so I usually sort of give them a try and feel them out, setting a hard limit for myself. This is a policy I recommend for everyone if there’s a pack released that you like. Sometimes it’s just not worth it. In this case I feel like it was- though I fully acknowledge that I did get lucky to some extent. definitely overheard a dude who allegedly spent 30k trying to get the wolf. Guys -guys- listen: you gotta set a limit.

Featuring the full festive Silent Knight’s set and the Snowhopper pet

Let’s Talk (Mostly New) Items

Silent Knights Gear

As I mentioned a bit earlier, I really (really) like the new Silent Knight’s gear. The three different sets are essentially something for everyone. One set is very festive, one geared towards Ice (or just those that like light color schemes), and one geared toward those who like dark color schemes. The detail of the armor is wonderful! I’m all about the abundance of holly leaf clasps! Normally I would quibble a bit about the fact that there isn’t any variation between the male and female sets, but this time I really don’t mind too much.

Silent Knight’s Swords

I also really like the design of the swords for the Silent Knight set. There are three variations, each tailored to a different color scheme. However, in my opinion the Silent Knight’s Cold Steel and the Blade of the Silent Knight can stand for either of their intended color schemes. The glowing blades definitely feel (and by “feel” I mean vibe-wise) like they’re made of ice and little snowflakes continuously float around it. Overall, they’re definitely the perfect weapon for any Ice wizard that’s a fan of sword-type wands.

Featuring the Wolf of Winter Mount alongside the Silent Knight’s Gear

Wolf of Winter Mount

Wow! This is one stunning mount! Essentially, the Wolf of Winter is a retexture of the Celestial Wolf mount of the Evergreen Bundle. However, the texture work on this new version is just stellar. Yes, they look the same on a base level, but I feel that the mount 100% is able to stand on its own. In fact, I like it better than its predecessor. Alas, what this mount doesn’t have an extra effect (eg. additional speed, extra pierce, etc.) which is something I’ve been somewhat expecting from new mount releases. Considering the considerable investment one potentially has to make to receive this mount, I think it could’ve done for a little extra something. If you get a chance, check out the detail work on the saddle!

Reindeer Knight Spell

Really liking this spell so far! Yes, it is just a reskin of Deer Knight, but that spell has always been super cool. As a mid-level ice wizard this is my most powerful AoE, with Blizzard doing half as much damage. I’m pretty sure I’m making all my questing buddies sick of it in Marleybone. Considering the power of Blizzard at high levels, this spell definitely has even more potential. Granted, the big issue here is having the luck to get the spell to drop. I do think it’s one to try for, just don’t go broke trying to get it. All in all, I really feel like at the very least this is a very fun addition to any Ice wizard’s arsenal.

Featuring the new Reindeer Knight spell

Notable Items from Last Year: Snowhopper Mount & Pet

I wanted to include a section about these items, even though they’re from last year. I felt like the offering last year with the Winter Wonder pack was pretty lackluster, but I loved these two items! Turns out I still do! I love that the mount and pet are the same because it really gives the appearance that my character is hitching her bunnies up to her sled. The bunnies themselves are adorable, occasionally falling asleep upon one another. One wibbly thing is that that there are two bunnies, but you can only choose one, singular name for the both of them. Definitely one of the most charming offerings I’ve seen in game!

So Close and Yet So Far…

So let’s talk briefly about what I didn’t get from all that. 15,000 crowns in and I actually only managed to get one full set of Silent Knight gear. I got the boots of the light colored set several times as well as its wand “Silent Knight’s Cold Steel.” However, the robe and helmet were nowhere to be found. In the case of the the black version, the robe and boots popped a few times, but I didn’t manage to get the “Blade of the Silent Knight” or the helmet to complete the set. I also didn’t get any of the premium housing items (eg. snowglobes, etc.) which is a bit of a let down since I love them.

A lovely shot of the Blade of the Silent Knight courtesy of Iridian Willowglen

To be honest I much prefer the Silent Knight gear over the Snowdrifter’s gear and would rather have just had this pack feature the Silent Knight sets only. This decision would have made the previous year’s gear more exclusive which would have only served to better the gear’s reputation in the community. First of all, in general, people really like exclusive items. Exclusivity makes them feel special. Looking at my data above you can see for yourself the frequency of the old gear’s drop rate. As it stands, with the majority people looking for the new items rather than the old, people are just getting irritated with the old stuff. Personally, I’ve always felt like the Snowdrifter set made me look like some kind of “It’s a Small World” attendant…

Am I right or am I right about this gear and “It’s a Small World”?! This is actually the Snowdrifter’s gear matched with Alhazred’s shoes from the Professor’s pack. If you like the look of this gear but don’t like the shoes or haven’t recieved the shoes, I think these are a lovely option!

Yay or Nay?: Final Thoughts

I felt like this release of the pack was a wonderful revamp of last year’s version. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the new gear and I think this, as well as the other bundle and pack releases this year, shows that the appearance of gear in game is only getting better. The same goes for the beautiful textures found on the Wolf of Winter- I really feel it’s one of the best looking mounts currently in the game.

Personally, I was surprised by the drop rate and the luck that I had and I was surprised by how generous the pack seems to be (Cat, for example, got both mounts within 10k crowns). It definitely seems like the pack’s drop structure is universal. 90% of the time you will see some kind of gear item and possibly an epic item alongside it. The other 10% of the time you’ll see a special housing item in that slot. As with any pack I believe you should give yourself a hard limit to stick to. Decide how much the epic items are worth to you and stick to it. In my opinion this one is well worth a serious try and investment…so long as you have ample funds, time, backpack space, and a bit of patience. It will take a strong soul to delete all the one day mounts, but well worth it in my opinion!

As always, thanks for reading! (And as always I hope this post was actually coherent) And good luck!

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2 Comments

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