2009 Christmas event

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2009 Christmas event presents.png

The 2009 Christmas event, officially titled "A Christmas Warble", was a RuneScape seasonal event released on 21 December 2009. The event's basic premise was that it was the player's job to go to the Land of Snow to free Santa Claus from a dark wizard who hates Christmas. The story of the event is loosely based on the traditional Christmas story A Christmas Carol. Unlike previous events, this one lasted three weeks instead of two. It was removed on 11 January 2010 with the news item "Nomad's Requiem." Rewards for this event included a new ghost costume, a wieldable candy cane, and a new emote. Snowballs were collectible during this event, but, unlike the ones from a snow globe, they could not be kept. This event was the first project developed by the Jagex Moderator Edam, who had recently started working at Jagex.

Storyline[edit | edit source]

In Draynor, Falador, and Varrock, mysterious Christmas cupboards could be found, with a partygoer cheering next to each one. The partygoers reveal to players that the cupboards are entrances to the Land of Snow, where the Queen of Snow, Santa Claus's wife, is throwing a Christmas party and feast for all citizens of RuneScape. Upon entering through a Christmas cupboard, however, players find all the partygoers inside quite upset. They reveal to the player that a dark wizard who hates Christmas stole all the food for the feast, and kidnapped Santa Claus. The player meets up with a snow imp as a companion, who suggests the player talk to the Queen of Snow. When spoken to, the queen asks that the player rescue her husband and save Christmas.

When the player and the snow imp arrive at the house of Ebenezer Scourge, the dark wizard, they find Santa locked in a cage, and try to persuade Scourge to let him free. Scourge refuses, and reinforces his hatred of Christmas. The player's snow imp suggests that they try to scare Scourge into giving Christmas back. After looking around Scourge's house, the player finds some bedsheets and some chains, which they craft into a ghost costume.

The snow imp tells the player that information about Scourge's past is needed before they go on to scare him. The player talks to the Queen of Snow again, who reveals to the player that, in the past, she and Scourge were in love, but she eventually left him for Santa Claus because Scourge had become evil. The player, disguised as a ghost, confronts Scourge and tells him about his evil deeds of the past, and his relationship with the queen. Scourge is not fooled, and retaliates by trapping all of the partygoers in the Land of Snow in a bind.

Ebenezer Scourge's house, where Santa had been kidnapped.

The player goes back down to the feast, and finds all the partygoers frozen within small, magical, glowing fires. The player learns that in order to free the partygoers, they must pour icy water on them in the reverse order in which Scourge cursed them. After freeing the guests, the player returns to Scourge, still disguised as a ghost. The player tells Scourge about how he has ruined someone's Christmas, and decides to bring the young partygoer Tiny Thom to Scourge. After the player's snow imp summons Thom to the house, Thom complains to Scourge about how he lost all his food and presents. Scourge becomes even more resentful towards the player, saying that Thom's brattiness only supports his cause. This leaves the player no choice but to leave Scourge again.

The Dramatic Point emote.

After talking with the player, the snow imp comes up with one more idea: since Scourge is uninterested in the past or the present, he must be concerned with his future. The player, still dressed like a ghost, goes back up to Scourge's bedroom, and, without speaking, dramatically points to a gravestone (conjured by the snow imp) that has Scourge's name on it. Fearing for his life, Scourge agrees to free Santa Claus and give back the food, and claims to now be a changed man.

The player returns to the feast to find everything back to normal, with Santa, the food, and the presents back. Santa, grateful that the player and his snow imp helped free him, rewards the imp with a scarf and the player with a very large candy cane. Ebenezer Scourge can be found enjoying the feast as well, saying that he is redeemed, and that he wishes the player a Merry Christmas.

Dialogue[edit | edit source]

Rewards[edit | edit source]

2009 Christmas event reward.png

The following were rewarded to the player upon completion of the event:

  • The candy cane, which can be thrown into the air and spun as an emote.
  • The Christmas ghost costume, which includes a hood, a top, and bottoms.
  • The Dramatic Point emote, which was the emote the player used when pointing to Scourge's gravestone.
    • If not already unlocked, the emotes Freeze and Melt (now simply called "Freeze") and Snowman Dance were also unlocked. One emote, Trick, was automatically performed by players' avatars while scaring Scourge in the ghost costume; however, this emote was not unlocked for future use by players who had not unlocked it already.[1]

Music[edit | edit source]

Audio options icon.png
Christmas Event Complete!
Plays after this event is completed.

Three music tracks were unlocked during this event. Players that did not participate in the event had these tracks automatically unlocked after the event ended.

These music tracks, along with every other music track released in 2009, were included in the 2009 RuneScape Awards poll (see below).

History[edit | edit source]

Development[edit | edit source]

Concept art of the event.

The 2009 Christmas event was developed mainly in September and October of 2009[2] and was the first project developed by Mod Edam.[3]

Mod Edam based the story of the event on A Christmas Carol, a traditional Christmas novel written by Charles Dickens.

I decided to use a traditional story as the basis of my event, but to change the perspective and give it a twist. Hopefully, a bit of humour and a fresh perspective could give the story a bit of a kick, yet still let me tap into that traditional atmosphere I have a hankering for.
— Mod Edam "Holiday Event: A Christmas Warble"[3]

The Christmas ghost costume, a reward for the event, was not given an alternate form for female players, like the Santa and witch costumes. This was because that in the original novel A Christmas Carol, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, which the Christmas ghost costume is based on, had no actual gender, and the developers believed that if the costume had one, it would have been less scary.[4]

A candy cane.

The candy cane, another reward for the 2009 Christmas event, was previously considered as an option for a reward for the 2008 Christmas event. In one of Jagex's Guaranteed Content Polls, the candy cane lost to the Santa suit, and the candy cane was instead made the reward for the 2009 Christmas event.[5]

Mod Edam wanted the rewards of the event to be so that they would not give any player any notable advantage over another, but would still be fun.

To an extent, I think us developers (and players) have to accept that holiday items won’t ever be the most-used items in the game, but that doesn’t mean they should be written-off as useless. For me, a good holiday item is one which looks cool and is a bit of fun. More importantly, it should have a distinctive look that’s true to the event it came from. What better way is there to nostalgically say "I was there at Christmas 2009" than by wearing a piece of it?
— Mod Edam "Holiday Event: A Christmas Warble"[3]
Particles, a graphical feature introduced during the event, in a Christmas Cupboard.

For the event, Jagex introduced a new particle system in RuneScape that included a more realistic look of snow. This was the first appearance of particles in RuneScape.[6]

Announcement[edit | edit source]

The 2009 Christmas event was first announced in the news item "Christmas Cards and Blog."[7] In the developer blog, titled "Holiday Event: A Christmas Warble," Mod Edam gave a few details about what the event would be like.

A Christmas card depicting Santa Claus, an old man, and a young boy.

Mod Edam said that new characters would be released with the event, but Jack Frost and snow imps, characters seen in the 2008 Christmas event, would have small cameos.[3] Santa Claus's appearance was confirmed by Jagex Christmas cards that represented the event. Mod Edam confirmed in the blog that the plot would be based on a traditional Christmas story, but he did not say which.[3] Upon the event's release, this was confirmed to be A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Release[edit | edit source]

"A Christmas Warble" was released on 21 December 2009 with the news "A Christmas Warble (Christmas 2009)."[8] A list of frequently asked questions about the event was posted on the forums the next day.[1]

The 2006, 2007, and 2008 Christmas events were all released on either 16 or 18 December, but the 2009 Christmas event was released on 21 December, later point in the year than any Christmas event since 2004.

This was the first Christmas event since 2007 in which players could collect snowballs from snow piles in the Land of Snow without using a snow globe. Although these snowballs could be taken out of the Land of Snow and lasted a week later than the Christmas event, they, unlike snowballs from a snow globe, would eventually melt. The snowballs that could be collected in the Land of Snow melted on 19 January 2010. Mod Tim stated that the reason it took so much longer after the Christmas event for the snowballs to melt was "because of the recent snow [they had] been having".[9]

Upon completion of the event, NPCs invited players to take food and drinks from the feast table. The food, which was available nowhere else in RuneScape, consisted of mulled wine, yule logs, roast potatoes, and turkey drumsticks, each of which being able to restore one hitpoint (equivalent to ten life points today). (Another item, called a cooked turkey drumstick, was once available during the 2008 Thanksgiving event; however, there are differences between that and the turkey drumsticks available during the 2009 Christmas event.) The food was only able to exist in the Land of Snow, and it would disappear if a player attempted to take it out. With the removal of 2009's Land of Snow, the food became no longer available.[10]

The event lasted three weeks, and was removed on 11 January 2010, with the news post "Nomad's Requiem."[11]

Reception[edit | edit source]

Criticism[edit | edit source]

One part of the event required the player to unequip their equipment. As this included members objects such as the Cape of Accomplishment, heavy criticism came from ex-members, who are unable to reequip members objects after they are unequipped. Despite the negative feedback, Mod Edam announced that the problem was unintended, but would not be changed.

We didn’t realise that this would affect ex members – but we won’t be changing it. We don’t want to discourage players from partaking in the event – but ultimately it is their choice. Keeping your P2P items on your F2P is a restrictive game play choice. Further if we were to make this change now it would be unfair on people who have removed their cape to allow them to complete the event.
— Mod Edam, FAQ – A Christmas Warble[1]

RuneScape Awards[edit | edit source]

Santa's reindeer in the Land of Snow.

On the day of the end of the Christmas event, the 2009 RuneScape Awards poll reported that eleven percent of players (the highest percentage) thought that "A Christmas Warble" included the best graphics of 2009. In another poll, ten percent—the second-highest percentage—thought that the event's rewards, the Christmas ghost costume and the candy cane, were the best new items of 2009. In a poll ranking the music tracks released with the event, six percent, in third place, thought that "Silent Knight" was the best new music track of 2009, five percent thought that "Ghost of Christmas Presents" was, and another five percent thought that "Smorgasbord" was.[12]

Credits[edit | edit source]

Update history[edit | edit source]

This information has been compiled as part of the update history project. Some updates may not be included—see here for how to help out!

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ a b c Mod Edam. "A Christmas Warble." 21 December 2009. Recent Updates Forums. Lost reference
  2. ^ Mod Edam. "Dev Blog: A Christmas Warble." 14 December 2009. Future Updates Forums.
  3. ^ a b c d e Mod Edam. "Holiday Event: A Christmas Warble." 11 December 2009. Developers' Blogs. *
  4. ^ Mod Mark H. "Ghost outfit - for guys ONLY." 22 December 2009. Recent Updates Forums.
  5. ^ Jagex. "Christmas Poll Results." 31 July 2008. RuneScape News.
  6. ^ Mod Woody. "Animation Update: Particles." 18 December 2009. Developers' Blogs. *
  7. ^ Jagex. "Christmas Cards and Blog". Facebook. 11 December 2009. (Archived from the original on 16:29, Dec 8, 2012 (UTC).)
  8. ^ Mod Edam. "A Christmas Warble." 21 December 2009. News & Announcements Forums.
  9. ^ Mod Tim. "Barbarian Assault Improvements." 19 January 2010. RuneScape News.
  10. ^ Christmas 2009 Event Guide. 04:48, 7 December 2011 (UTC).**
  11. ^ Mod Rathe. "Nomad's Requiem." 11 January 2010. RuneScape News.
  12. ^ Jagex. "The 2009 RuneScape Awards!". 11 January 2010. RuneScape Polls.

External links[edit | edit source]