Halloween is the first real-world event that will be in Guild Wars 2 and I guess for me it was a bit of a testing ground to see what would happen. I’m not a Halloween person, coming from Australia, which inherited it from overseas. Having never played the original Guild Wars, I’ve only heard of events like these, so it was a hopeful heart when I logged on to see the new changes the world had for me—
“Hey, join us in Gendarran Fields, the doors seem to be bugged and are throwing us all candy.”
Oh boy. ArenaNet, you need to work on testing your patches before it hits prime-time. There’s a difference between one thing being slightly weird every so often and every door in the map constantly spawning monsters and flooding the area. On the plus side, it was hilarious roaming the countryside for doors before seeing the fabled message: “New Build Available. Your client will restart in 2 minutes.” and having all the people in chat give a farewell and count down the death of the bugged doors.
Mining for candy corn makes no logical sense to me, considering that from what I know, candy corn isn’t exactly formed in the ground. Regardless, it was interesting and I enjoyed getting a few of the sweets every so often. However, I feel that there wasn’t much to use the candy corn in. Cooking wasn’t as good as the other items, the runes were average at best, and the three craftable exotics were either useless to me as an engineer or didn’t look all that good. The Mad Moon doesn’t look good- there, I said it.
After a few bits of wandering around and getting candy corn, I left. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get that book people were talking about.
I didn’t like the way we got the book, and yet I’m wondering how it could be implemented better and failing to come up with something. I understand how it gives a good idea and story as to who the hell this Mad King is and why he’s so important (and mad), but I just don’t like fetch quests scattered around everywhere and then returning to base. On top of that, the way the game wanted me to work out the points of interest through clues just made me check one of the many guides around the Internet. It felt like a quest from another MMO to me, which was really annoying. It just didn’t click.
The second part had come out, and finally there was something of interest to me: a whole new level filled with monsters and interesting areas. The labyrinth was actually quite fun to walk around and blast away at stuff, finding random things and falling to my death off the sides. It felt like a big dungeon for everyone to enjoy, which made it quite interesting. My only issue was that it seemed pretty small and there were only about two events inside, which were basic “KILL THE CREEPY THING” quests.
After looking on a few websites, I was surprised to see pleas for insanity for a jumping puzzle that was put insomewhere in the realm. Huh. Surely it couldn’t be that hard…
Sorry. Kinda exploded on the keyboard.
The Mad King’s Clock Tower was my personal highlight of this event. Not because it was fun, but because it was challenging. It could be likened to Veni Vidi Vici from VVVVVV, a taunting challenge to all, which only the quickest, bravest and stupidest would dare attempt. I estimate around 5 hours were put into the clock tower over two days. It was addicting to the point of crying out “No!” every time I slipped and fell off. As a one-time event, this was perfect. And evil, which suits the Halloween tradition.
In a few years’ time when everybody’s complaining about the newest jumping puzzles, I’ll be able to say “Yeah, but is it harder than Mad King’s Clock Tower?”
Completed the clock tower after a few hours, yay.
The 5-man Mad King dungeon in Lion’s Arch wasn’t interesting for me, gave it a run and picked up the treasure. I think I was more annoyed by the whole area being spammed with “LFG MK”. And I don’t need a 10 slot bag. Ew. While I do get there were chances to get rare items, it was kinda boring.
So let’s do something fun. PvP game modes! The best fun I had was playing Lunatic Inquisition with a few guildmates. For those of you who didn’t try it, the game was a “humans vs zombies” type mode where everyone started off as a villager, and one person was a ghost of the Mad King’s Lunatic Court which had one job: kill all villagers. It was exhilarating running away from ghosts and finding all the good hiding spots in the labyrinth, before one guildmate suggested that we take the fight to the ghost. The next three games had us all running to the middle, picking up the hammers and one person with a cobweb to stick it to the floor, and managing to take down the ghost as many times as possible before running away on minimal health after a few people came too close while it wasn’t stunned. While some people have complained about the rewards, I felt it was a great game to include and extremely fun. A suggestion for a better reward maybe could be sPvP Halloween skins, seeing as the weapons didn’t have a sPvP equivalent yet.
Mad King Thorn bursts out and tells bad jokes. Play Mad King says, get a hat. It’s kinda simple, but hey, it’s funny. I feel slightly disappointed that there isn’t more to this phase. Maybe a bigger chain event or something, but I can understand what the idea was. Also the length that it would go for means that anything added would have disappeared in about 24 hours. It’s nice to walk around and relax, maybe use this chance to farm all the candy corn you can find.
It’s over. Final thoughts: awesome ideas, good implementation, great first event. If this is the first event ArenaNet were planning, I wonder how they’ll top it with the November and Christmas/Wintersday updates. They’ve set the bar high as a starting point, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I do have some complaints about the cost of some items (over-abundance of candy corn vs the lack of materials for crafting the exotics is still confusing me, keeping all but three as skins, etc.) and I never got an endless tonic, but those are minor annoyances. Overall, it was a great first event and I am eagerly waiting for November the 15th to see what these whales are about.