This week has been all about playing through the first Act of the ongoing Guild Wars 2 event. So far it’s been really nice, but at the same time I am wondering if there is something meatier coming. Act 1 is definitely the opening scene, but I feel it’s a tad weird for the opening scene to last for half of the whole play. Act 2 starts tomorrow, with things ramping up fast after that.
Much of Lion’s Arch and the Heart of the Mists were changed to add Halloween paraphernalia. There are pumpkins and candles everywhere. Children wearing costumes run about, and the evil Zommoros “The Sink” Genie, has turned into a huge witch’s kettle. Like most of ArenaNet’s art, it is a beautiful sight to behold. My favorite are the floating candle bridge lights. New music has also been added, which is very evocative of the Halloween celebration. I am not sure why this isn’t playing constantly in Lion’s Arch.
It’s All Games Until…
There are four big activities added for the event in addition to crafting, gathering, and killing evil baddies. There are uncarved pumpkins that need a swift dagger to the face all around Lion’s Arch, Queensdale, and a few other places. After 150 pumpkins, players get initiated as a master carver complete with a new title. Be sure to make judicious use of Lion’s Arch overflow if you seem to be running out of bare gourds. Another title to chase involves door-hunting in Kryta for ghostly doors that spawn tricks or treats. This appears to be the only way, currently, to kill the Mad King’s denizens, and it is also a good source of trick-or-treat bags and Halloween materials.
There is also a quest-type activity for a ghost hunt to create a history of the Mad King. Players are given an asuran device that runs on candy corn to try and ping in radar-like fashion any unusual spots or ghosts. Once all the pages are complete, players get a pretty spiffy back item.
Finally, there is Costume Brawl. Lots of ways to join this town-based activity. Tonics and toys (from costumes) are best. It is basically a gleeful game of king-of-the-hill and tag wrapped up in Guild Wars 2 skill mechanics. Once players join the fray they get 15 life, and the goal is to “king” yourself by hitting other players 25 times before getting KO’d. I have spent hours on this activity because it is so addicting. I especially like getting rivalries in the game. Fear my frying pan, mummies!
Black Lion Gem Treats
Of course ArenaNet is doing well to capitalize on the gem store during the event. There are two costumes, a witch and Mad King. Both are quite good, and not too bad at 700 gems. There are also personal trick-or-treat bags, which are much better obtained unpersonalized via the trading post, new miniatures (not random), and a free pair of devil horns for town clothes. The miniatures can also be forged into a rare miniature via the Mystic Forge. All in all I feel the cash shop offerings are fairly reasonable, and being able to convert gold to gems make it even tastier.
The one bittersweet area is with the additions to the Black Lion Trading Chests. These contain rare Halloween skins for weapons and shoulder armor. The sweet part is that the rare skins are tradable on the Trading Post. I snagged the perfect shoulders for my necromancer that way instead of gambling on keys especially since I paid for them at the cost less than a single Black Lion chest key.
It seems that a lot of people did gamble, and they were not too happy with the drop rate of the rare skins. So much so that ArenaNet created a quick-appeasement by letting players cash in unwanted items gained from opened Black Lion chests into Mad King chests. The great thing is that I’ve opened a nice handful of chests, and I had mysterious tonics and unwanted boosts to make a few Mad King chests. The not so great thing is that this is more gambling. Still all but two skins are selling at what I feel are reasonable “rare” prices of around 1-2 gold. If you are sitting on unwanted boosts and tonics, might want to throw them at The Sink to see if you get lucky with the chainsaw greatsword skin.
But Wait, There’s More!
Looking at the Halloween achievements it seems that there is quite a bit of content left. There are Halloween events (the events tied to the haunted doors don’t seem to count). There is exploration of “the Mad Realm.” And there is a much anticipated jumping puzzle the Mad King’s Clock Tower. I am hoping that all three achievements get their content unlocked tomorrow so that at least half of the event can be used for filling them out.
Ignoring the event completely there are new achievements via mini-dungeons (pst, add Flame Temple Tombs) with all new mini-dungeons in Dredgehaunt Cliffs and Fireheart Rise. There are over 30 new permanent events scattered throughout Tyria, including a skritt who will turn players into a chicken. There are also three new jumping puzzles. I am sure there is plenty I missed, but Guild Wars 2 is continuing to move at a pretty fast pace. I am simply trying to enjoy the Halloween stuff!