Good morning, Pilots!
Depending upon where you live in the actual world, you may or may not have woken up today to find the ground covered in white, but regardless of where you live, the Christmas Event on War Robots went live for everyone. And that means Snowflakes!
Snowflakes are a limited-time currency designed to help put you in a festive spirit. And if you’re angling at some of the top prizes, you’re going to need a lot of festive spirit to see you through. A few pots of coffee, too.
So let’s start with the Snowflake fundamentals.
Snowflakes are awarded for competing in matches, and unlike Gold everyone who participates in a match gets to walk away with at least something for their troubles. And that’s participates, mind. Folks who log in and eject don’t seem to be getting anything for their perfidy, though nobody seems to know yet what the “minimum activity threshold” is to qualify for participation.
Five Snowflakes are awarded to the top finisher in the table for each side. Again, unlike Gold, spoils go to everyone, not just the winners. Four Snowflakes go to the runners-up, three to third place, and two to the rest. Since the tables are sorted by damage dealt, that brings us to…
The Law of Unintended Consequences
Hang onto your butts, because players are going in heavy. Initial reports suggest that sniping for kills is down as players load up on high-output mechs and charge for the stramash. Basic tenets of ordinary gameplay- like winning or losing- seem to be taking a back seat in the frenzy to acquire Snowflakes, and a dropoff in low-damage but essential activities like beacon capping is expected.
If you’re not big on the Snowflake event but happy to grind Gold, this may be a good time to blow the dust off that Cossack and get to hopping. With the attention on engagement, you might be able to sneak in a few more caps and grab that Medal of Capture (the award you get for having the most beacon captures in a match) with both hands. Best of all, you’ll still get some Snowflakes regardless.
My own hangar seems well-equipped for this, since I run two Cossacks by default with a MagGep for raw damage output. If you’re not a fan of the humble Gepard, you may want to brace for impact- these are going to be a choice option for Snowflake harvesters. There’s a good chance you’ll be hearing that relentless THUMPTHUMPTHUMP of the Magnums when you try to go to sleep these next couple of weeks.
I treated myself to a Taran this morning for my non-Orkan Cossack, and have found it vastly preferable to the Gau Punisher T I had equipped on it previously. This was a suggestion I got from some of the members of the Wiki Forum, and it’s a good one.
So now that we’ve started accumulating Snowflakes through battle, what’s the point? Well, you’ve got two options there- the random, and the guaranteed. The random come in the form of Chests that you can spend a modest amount of your hard-won Snowflakes to open.
Opening a chest spins a wheel not unlike that found on The Price is Right, with prizes ranging from a handful of Gold or Silver right up to weapons and new mechs. I spun this morning and got something useable.
In the interest of science, I next opened ten more and got the following.
- 500,000 Au
- 100 Ag
- SURA-F Pinata
- 15 Au
- 10 Au
- 1 Au
- 1 Au
- 1 Au
- 1 Au
Not too shabby!
Of course, the REAL prizes are the guaranteed ones- the new American bots. We’ve seen these coming down the pike when they were available to demo on the test servers. I applied to the test server and was approved, and was very excited to test-drive the new Light mech, the Jesse. Sadly, the test server battleground only offered me max-level bots and weapons, meaning that I was basically fighting in Gold Tier. I never knew how many ways there were to die in Yamantau…
Just as the last expansion rolled out the “BritBots” (the Gareth, Galahad, and Lancelot), this latest expansion wave are bots styled on the American West. Dubbed “gunslingers,” they feature an intriguing new mechanic where they have four hardpoints (weapon slots), but only two active at a time. At the push of a button, you can swap between the two active and two “holstered” weapons, which can give you either high burst damage potential (nuke, nuke again, then hide while everything refills) or versatility (equip different weapon types and swap between them as needed).
WARNING: if you’re the type who is susceptible to sticker shock, please ensure that you are seated before reading further
So here they are, the gunslingers!
So..about those prices. You’ll note, of course, that the prices are listed in Snowflakes. Although they’ll be available later for a more ordinary currency, Snowflakes are the only way you can buy them during this holiday window. Given what we know about Snowflake accumulation, let’s see how this plays out in actual time.
Let’s say you’re an absolute demon on the battlefield, and you’re guaranteed to do the most damage on your team each and every game you play. That means you’ll always get five Snowflakes per game. And, just to spitball a number, let’s say the average game takes you six minutes to play. Crunching the numbers, here’s the time investment needed of straight gameplay (no potty breaks for j00!) to grind out each mech.
Jesse: 65 hours
Doc: 130 hours
Butch: 260 hours
That’s right, to grind out a Butch you need to play for almost eleven straight days during an event that lasts only fifteen days. No sleep til Brooklyn, peoples! Chop chop!
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Mon dieu! Nine straight days I can handle, maybe ten. I’ll just stock up on NASA diapers and have the wife run Christmas while I play War Robots in the study. But eleven? ELEVEN?
Fear not, friend! Pixonix has a solution to fit every lifestyle here. Voila!
How simple! How elegant! How convenient! You want the Butch? Fork over a hundred bucks and it’s yours- a genuine Christmas miracle! Doc is a steal at $60- and you’ll even have a few Snowflakes left over to go play the slots with. Treat yourself!
Now, joking aside, these mechs are meant to be difficult to acquire, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. After all, this isn’t some limited-time production run, they’ll be available for Gold later on. But if you want them now, during this holiday window, it’s either grind, spend, or fall somewhere in between. I for one really enjoy seeing the occasional rare bot sighting on the battlefield. It adds a dash of the exotic and unknown to an otherwise fairly standard battle.
As for me, while I’d like to get my hands on a Jesse, I’m not going to spend $40 to do so. I’ll probably end up treating myself to a $20 dollop of Snowflakes and either open a ton of Chests (which award a premium-prize “Gold Chest” when you open enough of them), or roll that into my Snowflake winnings and spring for the Jesse.
Just 3,246 Snowflakes to go!