Assassin's Creed Valhalla - Comparing the Yule Festival to the Ostara Festival

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla recently introduced its next seasonal celebration; this time called the Ostara Festival. While fans were excited to celebrate the Spring Equinox and see what types of new activities and rewards this festival would bring, fans quickly noticed that the whole thing felt very familiar. Objectively speaking, these are two very different festivals that observe two different Viking holidays, but in terms of gameplay there are more similar than most expected. The Yule Festival launched back in December of 2020 and ended in January 2021. Now the Ostara Festival has been ongoing since March 18th and is expected to end on April 8th.

For those that haven’t kept up with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla‘s post launch support, one of the biggest things Ubisoft has done to keep the game fresh is adding in seasonal festivals. During these events, Ravensthorpe gets overhauled with festive decorations, and one corner of the town is turned into a place for merriment. Eivor can compete in a variety of games and challenges in order to earn tokens that the player can then use to get new gear, cosmetics, and the like. The Ostara Festival is the second time this has happened in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla since its launch last November, so fans are starting to see that this may become a recurring feature.

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As previously stated, the Yule Festival ran through both December and January. In this festival, players could partake in three different activities and two side quests in order to earn Yule Tokens. These could then be given to Norvid in order to earn unique items and cosmetics. The three activities were Braun’s Folly, a drinking contest that rewarded 10 Yule Tokens if the player won, Yule Brawl Fighting Contest, in which players would take on ten foes consecutively for a chance to win up to 70 Yule Tokens, and Twirling Targets, an archery challenge that rewarded 40 Yule Tokens at best.

In Norvid’s festival shop, players could redeem these for a unique set of Modraniht Ceremonial Armor, as well as the Modraniht Ceremonial Seax and Shield. There were also a host of cosmetic items to decorate Ravensthorpe with and a set of Modraniht Ceremonial Tattoos as well. The Yule Festival wasn’t without its issues, however, as many players encountered glitches during this time. One glitch caused players’ quivers to permanently reset back to level one, another caused Eivor to spawn in drunk every time the player loaded the game, and one even made it nearly impossible to finish one of the event quests.

The Ostara Festival is still ongoing, and is expected to run until April 8th. Like the Yule Festival, there are three main activities to take part in, but this time there are four side quests for players to tackle. Surprisingly, the three activities are exactly the same, although they’ve had just a few changes made to them. Players can still have a drinking contest with Braun for 10 Ostara Tokens, or challenge the Twirling Targets archery contest for a chance to win 40 Ostara Tokens. Thankfully, the Ostara Brawl Fighting Contest got reworked a bit, allowing players to earn up to 140 Ostara Tokens if they win all ten fights.

The biggest change here comes in the quests. Two of the side quests are fairly standard, having players help with a ceremony to fend off spirits and build a fearsome May Crown for Mayda, each rewarding 140 Ostara Tokens just like the Yule Festival’s side quests. The other two are more unique, however, with one requiring players to decorate Ravensthorpe and the other sending Eivor on a literal Easter Egg Hunt for 15 baskets of eggs. This festival also came with a host of glitches, though. One glitch causes players to be shown a screen claiming the festival is ending in 48 hours even though it isn’t, and another caused crashes when players decorated Ravensthorpe, forcing Ubisoft to remove this functionality while it works on a fix.

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Another way that these two festivals differ is in the rewards they offer. Both festivals offer a set of tattoo for Eivor that fit with the theme of the holiday as well as a host of new settlement decorations, but that’s where the similarities end. Whereas the Yule Festival awarded players with Modraniht Ceremonial armor and weapons, there is no gear to be earned from the Ostara Festival. Instead, players can spend 240 Ostara Tokens to purchase the Colorful Raven cosmetic that lets players change the appearance of their trusty raven, Synin.

It’s difficult to say what the next festival to come to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be, but it will probably be sometime in the months of June and July if the pattern holds. If that’s the case, it would make sense for Midsummer to be celebrated, as it is the festival in celebration of the Summer Solstice. Moving forward, either Mabon, a minor holiday that celebrated the end of the harvest season, or Winternights, a holiday celebrating the start of winter in remembrance of the dead, woudl fit well. This is purely speculation, but it also seems likely that these festivals will return each year, meaning players may end up seeing the Yule Festival again this December and the Ostara Festival might return next March.

With any luck, these festivals will get a little more diverse as time goes on. While there’s nothing particularly wrong with reusing a few activities, especially the ones that fans enjoyed, recycling the whole event and adding two new side quests seems a bit lackluster. To make matters worse, each festival seems to come with a host of bugs and glitches that either halt player progression or serve as major inconveniences, so hopefully this trend dies with the Ostara Festival as well. Regardless, these are a nice way to break up the grind of conquering England and also helps to flesh out some of the other settlers of Ravensthorpe.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

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