One of my greatest pleasures while playing LOTRO is taking part in the seasonal festivals that Turbine rolls out four times a year. These festivals are always a great part of the game, and lately, Turbine has been adding new content to each festival as it comes out. During the Fall festival, we had the addition of the Haunted Cellar under Bilbo's house, and now, for the Yule Festival (which started on December 14th and runs to January 11th) they have added an entire zone, Winter-Home. And now that LOTRO's free to play, you can enjoy it over the holidays as well!
With the addition of Winter-home, players now have a few new interesting way to entertain themselves as they gain new festival rewards. Not only can players complete the usual array of festival activities such as the horse race and the plethora of activities at the Party Tree in The Shire, but there are now new quests that players can complete to learn the story of Winter-home.
Other than quests, there's a few new activities that you can participate in around Winter-home: the snowball fight and the Frostbluff Theater performance.
First up: the snowball fight. Travel to the snowfield a little ways from Winter-home proper. Gather enough snow to form a few snowballs, then hurl them at other players. Depending on the amount of snowballs that connect with other players, you receive different rewards (10 hits for easy mode, 15 for hard mode). I found that this was a fun event to run, but as one of my kinmates mentioned, it would be nice if there was a little more "ooomph" when the snowballs connected. You'll have to use your imagination to see players fly back a few feet when they're pelted with snowballs.
In Winter-home itself, the Frostbluff Theater lets you take part in one of the performances. As soon as there are 3 players in the theater, the play will start. If there are more than three players in the theater, three players will be selected at random to become actors and actresses in the play. If chosen, you'll be asked to perform specific emotes at specific times, following the narrator, to successfully complete the quest. Success not only brings you a small amount of dramatical experience, it earns you titles and other rewards. Personally, I found the performance to be a lot fun. It really felt like I was performing, especially when there were lots of other players in the audience. Of course, other players have been saying on the forums that they find it annoying, so it'll depends on your playstyle and affinity for the arts . If you enjoy the dances at the Party Tree in The Shire, you'll love this!
The rewards from both activities are our standard fare of festival goodies, including cosmetic items, items for your home and single-use toys such as fireworks and food. The Yule Festival horse looks great this year, and I'll definitely be spending my festival tokens on it as soon as I get enough! Horse race, here I come!
There are tons of great resources out there to help you with the new quests in Winter-home, as well as all the other activities associated with the festival. If you're looking for some festive fun over the holiday break, use these guides to get the most out of LOTRO's Yule Festival!