Winter Veil is one of the more immersive and fun holidays that World of Warcraft offers over the course of the year; it grants you the chance to ride something a little "different," turn into a snowman with a cute /dance animation, and receive gifts containing noncombat pets if you've been good and Coal if Santa RNG thinks you've been bad.

Before anyone asks, Winter Veil runs from Tuesday, December 15th to Saturday, January 2nd in 2009/2010, and this is article is about what you'll need to do in that period to complete the meta (and earn the title)
Merrymaker. Unlike November's holiday, Pilgrim's Bounty, Merrymaker is required for the yearlong meta What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, so don't slack on this one if you want that violet protodrake!

On Metzen!

Saving Metzen for the achievement
On Metzen! is a short but fun questline that starts with an NPC in front of the Ironforge bank (if you're Alliance) with Metzen the Reindeer, or an NPC in front of the Orgrimmar AH (if you're Horde) with Metzen the Reindeer. The quest ends in either Searing Gorge or Tanaris, whichever is more convenient to you.

Either zone you hit, try to do the Metzen quest first, as you'll need rewards from it for two of the following achievements.

With A Little Helper From My Friends

If you've never taken part in Winter Veil previously, what you need to know is that there are machines located outside (or in) most major cities that will turn you into a gnome in a Winter Helper costume. Locations are as follows:

  • Orgrimmar: Next to the zeppelin tower to Undercity/Grom'Gol.
  • Ironforge: Outside the city's main gates.
  • Undercity: At the zeppelin tower to Orgrimmar/Grom'Gol.
  • Stormwind: Outside the entrance to the flightmaster.
  • Tanaris: East of Gadgetzan.
  • Booty Bay: On the docks.
  • Shattrath: Just east of the city in Terokkar Forest.
  • Dalaran: Smack in the middle of the city in Runeweaver Square.

While "disguised" as a "Santa Gnome," you need to get 50 honorable kills. The fastest way to do this is to get the costume, then wait for Wintergrasp to roll around or queue for an Alterac Valley/Strand of the Ancients/Isle of Conquest match. If you're really paranoid about dying early, man one of the Wintergrasp cannons, Strand cannons or sieges, or Isle cannons/sieges (glaive throwers are particularly effective, so here's hoping your faction's controlling the docks). Because you lose the costume upon death, just keep getting the costume and queuing for more battles, as long as it takes until you've gotten 50.

Yes, my fellow druids, you lose the costume instantly upon shapeshifting. Yes, this is an enormous pain in the ass. Yes, if you are feral, I highly recommend respeccing into Balance or Resto in order to do this, or at least plan on getting this achievement by way of vehicle combat. Life is not fair. Did I mention the possibility of getting Coal in your presents?

Scrooge (Alliance) or Scrooge (Horde)

Alliance will need to toss a snowball at Magni Bronzebeard; Horde will need to chuck one at Cairne Bloodhoof. Pretty easy, particularly because
snowballs are so easy to come by around the holiday. You'll find them sold by Winter Veil NPC's in all major cities, or -- if you're such a miser that you can't shell out the 10 copper -- doing the Brunnhildar daily offered by Thyra Kvinnshal will usually net you a few instead of the polar bear mount that I have yet to see after more than a year. Not that I am bitter.


This is an easy quest to do, but in order to have access to it, you need to have done the initial Ogri'la questline and will also need some
Preserved Holly (which you should already have if you've already rescued Metzen) or Fresh Holly (a random reward from /kissing Winter Revelers in inns) to turn your flying mount into a reindeer. And yes, you will need a flying mount, so druids, if you've been gadding around with either version of flight form and haven't actually bothered to buy one, you'll need to drop some gold.

If your character hasn't yet started on the Ogri'la chain, start with
Speak with the Ogre (given by V'eru in the middle of Shattrath) and follow the fairly short questline. Since Grim(oire) Business no longer requires 5 people, the entire chain is be easily soloable by most well-geared level 80 characters, though cloth-classes may want to find a buddy nonetheless. You shouldn't have too much difficulty with this, given the number of people who will typically be bringing death knights and alts through the chain solely for this achievement.

Once you finish up the chain, you'll be given the quest
Ogre Heaven. This will take you to an NPC named Chu'a'lor in the actual Ogri'la on the western side of Blade's Edge. He will give you a short quest chain starting with The Crystals and ending with The Relic's Emanation. This will unlock other Ogri'la quests, among them Our Boy Wants to be a Skyguard Ranger from Torkus, which will eventually take you a hop, skip, and a jump over to the Skyguard questing area north of Ogri'la. There, Sky Sergeant Vanderlip will give you Bombing Run, and (upon successful completion) the quest you actually need for Fa-la-la-la-Ogri'la, which is Bomb Them Again! Turn your mount into a reindeer, complete the quest, and you're all set.

This is just a bare-bones guide to the questline due to space concerns, but if it's your first time doing the Ogri'la chain,
Molsan Method has written a much more detailed guide to getting yourself squared away for Fa-la-la-la-Ogri'la that I thought was extremely useful. I would recommend reading this in the event that Ogri'la is a completely new deal for you.

'Tis the Season

As with Fa-la-la-la-Ogri'la, the achievement itself is simple -- it's getting the stuff you need to do it that will take some work.

First off, you'll need the threads. The chest items and boots are fairly simple to pick up, and are crafted by Tailors and Leatherworkers respectively from patterns that can be bought from Winter Veil NPC's. You'll need either the
Red Winter Clothes or the Green Winter Clothes, plus a pair of Winter Boots. Finished sets of these, as you might expect, command high prices on the AH during the holiday, so you can save yourself some money by collecting as many of the mats as possible and press-ganging a guild Tailor, or tipping an independent craftsman to make them. Failing that, the recipes only require 250 Tailoring and 285 Leatherworking respectively, and if you've got an alt with either profession, it might be more cost-effective simply to level the necessary skill rather than shell out to people making a killing off the holiday demand.

The competitive piece is the hat. For Winter Veil, these traditionally have dropped off high-level boss mobs in 5-man dungeons, and last year was no different, with the
Red Winter Hat dropping off Grand Magus Telestra in the Nexus and Jedoga Shadowseeker in Ahn'kahet, and the Green Winter Hat dropping off Mage-Lord Urom in the Oculus. We assume that the hats will still be dropping off these mobs in 2009/2010, but we'll update you in the hours after the holiday goes live if we find otherwise. For many classes, Telestra is soloable at 80, but again, if this isn't true for you, there will be plenty of groups formed for Nexus and Ahn'kahet with the sole intent of farming hats. Somehow I doubt that Oculus will be the most popular option of the three even post-nerf.

fruitcake itself is contained in a package you'll receive in the hours after completing the quest to save Metzen. Toss on your new duds, choke down the fruitcake (bleh), and you're done.

Simply Abominable

The short questline starts with
Stolen Winter Veil Treats (for Alliance) or Stolen Winter Veil Treats (for Horde). These will take you to the Strange Snowman NPC at 35,72 in the Alterac Mountains, who will direct you to kill The Abominable Greench, a spawned mob in the area. Although the Greench respawns quickly, the worst part about the questline is having to tag him before someone else does, so I highly recommend grouping with other people of your faction in the area in order to get this done faster. Once you've killed him and looted the Stolen Treats, speak to the Snowman again, then head back to the Ironforge/Orgrimmar Winter Veil NPC's.


Let It Snow

This is a mercifully kinder achievement than others of its ilk in
What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been -- most of the combinations here are fairly common. You'll still have to hunt some of them down, of course, but none of them approach the absurdity of having to find a Dwarf rogue for Pilgrim's Bounty.

Handful of Snowflakes
are random rewards from /kissing Winter Revelers in inns. You'll need to keep at this long enough to get the 10 handfuls you'll need, and then hunt down the race/class combinations.

Bros. Before Ho Ho Ho's (Alliance) and Bros. Before Ho Ho Ho's (Horde)

You'll need to track down a set of NPC's for this achievement, and while it looks like the Alliance has a lot more legwork to do, in reality most of their "brothers" are in Stormwind. Track 'em all down, use the
Mistletoe you'll get as a random gift from /kissing Winter Revelers, and you're in business.

For Alliance

  1. Brother Nimetz: The Rebel Camp in Stranglethorn Vale.
  2. Brother Anton: Nijel's Point in Desolace.
  3. Brother Karman: At 67,47 in Theramore.
  4. Brother Wilhelm: At 41,66 in Goldshire.
  5. All of the other brothers can be located in the Stormwind Cathedral or directly outside of it (Brother Kristof, the sole Brother outside, is at 55,54 in Crusader's Square).

For Horde:

  1. Brother Malach: Located at 55,22 in Undercity's War Quarter.
  2. Durkot Wolfbrother: Located at 40,55 in Warsong Hold (near the stables housing the wolves).
  3. Brother Keltan: Located aboard the Horde gunship, Orgrim's Hammer, that patrols the northeastern portion of Icecrown.

The Winter Veil Gourmet

All those Cooking skills you acquired during Pilgrim's Bounty are going to come in handy here, because you'll need to cook up three holiday recipes. The
Gingerbread Cookie, Egg Nog, and Hot Apple Cider recipes are all sold by Winter Veil NPC's in major cities, although -- curiously enough -- the Hot Apple Cider recipe only seems to be sold their Ironforge and Orgrimmar counterparts. I also recall my main getting mailed the Cider recipe instead of having to buy it, so you may not necessarily have to drop the money on it. As a shopping list for all three recipes, plan on buying or getting:

You'll need at least 325 Cooking to do all three recipes (1 Cooking for the Gingerbread Cookie, 35 for the Egg Nog, and 325 for the Cider), so if you didn't level yours when you had the chance during Pilgrim's Bounty, get cracking!

He Knows If You've Been Naughty

Opening one of the presents beneath the Ironforge or Orgrimmar tree is quite simple -- you'll just need to wait on the presents to start spawning (which will start happening on December 25th and continue until the end of the holiday), and right-click on one to open it. They don't respawn immediately, but they will after a few minutes, if I recall correctly.

As an aside, both the
Clockwork Rocket Bot from 2007 and the Crashin' Thrashin' Racer from 2008 went on to become Feats of Strength, so if there's a new toy or noncombat pet offered through the gifts this year, hang onto it.

A Frosty Shake

This achievement sounds pretty straightforward, but you'll actually need to line up three things for it: a). The
Winter Veil Disguise Ki: b). A Snowball, and: c). Another willing Snowman in Dalaran.

The disguise kit is easy to get -- it's an unannounced reward from completing the aforementioned questline needed for
Simply Abominable, so if you've done that achievement, you can expect to receive the disguise kit in the mail within the next 24 hours. Snowballs, as previously stated, can be purchased from holiday NPC's or dropped from Hyldnir Spoils. Finding snowmen in Dalaran will be easy during the first few days of the holiday, but the number will start dwindling as time goes on, so you're probably better off doing this achievement sooner rather than later. That said, there were a number of generous souls on my server who simply parked themselves on the bank steps as a snowman and /danced the night away to enable others to get their achievement, and -- as with the people who rolled rogues of underplayed races and got them summoned to Dalaran for Pilgrim's Bounty -- I wish nothing but the happiest of fortunes upon them this holiday season.