ArenaNet made an amazing Halloween event, in my opinion it was on of the best I have seen in a long time. Halloween in Guild Wars 2 focuses on the Mad King Thorn; what he has done and what he has become. You get to learn about his past as king and you get to visit his realm, where a deadly labyrinth, several mini games and a very challenging jumping puzzle awaits.
The Halloween festivities were split into four acts.
Spread over the several cities in the world they did ‘hide’ pumpkins that still needed carving. By pressing ‘F’ you could carve them out (animation). After 75 carvings you would get the Halloween achievement for Pumpkin carving, at 150 carvings you also get a title for it (Master Carver).
The city was nicely designed in Halloween style with bats hanging from the wires, pumpkins lit with candles, the sky was green because of the Mad King and kids were running around in costume saying Trick or Treat. In exchange for candy corn, which is minable in the world and is also rewarded by killing candy corn monsters etc, you would get trick and treat bags with recipes, costume potions, items and candy corn.
Costumes and costumes brawls are available
Special costumes you could buy with diamonds and some of the temporary costumes were part of rewards, part of the trick and treat bags or could be bought with either silver or candy corn. The costumes spawned either a dinner table or a cooking pot and standing next to them and pressing ‘F’ would start a costume brawl. Costume brawls are an early version of duelling with another player. It has though a bit more complicated but fun system design as it involves multiple points and a ranking system.
Find the first six ghosts with the help from the Durmand Priory to get the history of Thorn and an item reward. This was a quest line that started at an NPC at the Lion’s Square in Lion’s Arch.
Trick or treat bags drop from mobs
Monsters started to drop trick and treat bags
Haunted doors appear in the low level areas. Time for trick and treat!
At these doors you needed to knock at the door (pressing F) and out came a monster from the Mad King dimension which needed to be slain. Rewards were often more trick or treat bags.
New mini dungeon
A new mini dungeon was added involving Escher styled challenges.
In act 2, the Mad Kings’ Realm is available. It offers two mini games, a labyrinth and the Mad Kings’ Clock Tower.
Find the remaining six ghosts to get the complete book from the Mad King as a ‘back’ item. The item is cool since it offers you a burning glow on your back and it even gives a bit of light.
More events at low level areas with Durmand Priory, that have to do with removing the energy fields that are causing disrupts and massive amounts of monster spawns.
Act 3 started with an amazing blast. The evil king destroyed the Lions statue in Lions Arch, where after he summoned a big ass portal to his dimension. We recorded the event with the return of the evil king, see Mad King Halloween event article.
The dungeon was a level 80 dungeon where you have to fight the Mad King himself. It was soloable and upon entering you were automatically transformed to a level 80 character.
The Mad King walks around in Lions Arch telling awful jokes and also has a game to play, his favourite game: “Mad King Says”. Like in Simon Says, Mad King Says is all about doing what he orders you to do.
If he says “Mad King Says… SIT” you will have to sit by typing /sit. But… when you do it wrong.. or he said SIT without saying Mad King Says, you will get punished with a pumpkin on your head and your health reduced to 100. When you’ve completed the event you are rewarded with a hat.
The mad king plays otherwise tricks on you and transforms you whenever he can into all types of creatures (costumes for costume brawl). He also summons portals with “YAY free candy” and “TREASURE!” written on them. They lead you to a fall into the cooking pot and a transformation into a creature.
My favourite part of the event was the boss fight and the super challenging Jumping Puzzle named “The Mad Kings’ Clock Tower”. The tower itself is not easy and ArenaNet already said that only about 5 % of the player base will complete it. I have of course completed it after many frustrating hours of crying, screaming, sighing and laughing. Yes, the puzzle was frustrating, mostly because of the misbehaving camera and server lag. Sometimes you got reset and had to start from the beginning again, even though you never touched the green goo. Make it to the top and you are rewarded with the Slippers of the Mad King, a level 80 exotic and some transformation potions you can use in a costume brawl.
Here is the video:
The mini games were fun too. You had one where you had to survive and you had to use items you found in the surroundings. If you were caught by the ghosts (which were other players) and they killed you, you were turned into a ghost and had to kill the surviving players. The others with pumpkins gather pumpkins in your crypt which leads to summoning skeletons and destroy your enemy’s crypt.
There were events outside of Lions Arch as well all in the starter areas of each race. You helped the Durmand Priory to research the mysterious doors and killing anything in its path.
I suppose what amazed me the most was the detail they putted in Halloween. The Mists had a new design and so did the enter city of Lions Arch.
I liked the labyrinth as it gives you a chance to get the exotic set of the Mad King, by slaying its champions, that either came out from the haunted doors or the candy corn boss at the centre of the labyrinth.
The boss battle with the Mad King was solo able but would take a long time. After killing the boss you were rewarded a rare 10 slot bag, crafting goodies and a huge treasure chest that might contain an exotic. This Halloween event offered something for both new and veteran players. ArenaNet did a very good job and I can’t wait to see their next event.
The Game Mistress