Guild Wars 2 is experiencing the first nostalgic event. After the game’s launch just before September ’12, Shadow of the Mad King was the first big update that happened in October ’12. Of course, that update already had strong roots and expectations from Guild Wars 1, where the Halloween festival was considered one of the best. The Shadow of the Mad King was a great hit, and before the launch of Blood and Madness, people were getting excited about the return of the Halloween festival.
It is even more notable because this is the first update where ArenaNet had built up their foundation so as to push resources towards the other updates such as the previous Twilight Assault or whatever is coming next (possibly even some skunkworks). This isn’t totally true since The Secret of Southsun and Last Stand at Southsun both built on The Lost Shores, but in that case ArenaNet was not really building on a fan favorite. I’m not sure anybody knows what to do with Southsun Cove, but if it got dev resources I would love for it to become the preeminent champion farming zone.
Tonight Mrs. Ravious and I are going to do the story instances (which we didn’t do last night because I had a TSW dungeon to conquer), but I did have a chance to get in to the Labyrinth and check out the doors in the explorable zones. It was a nice return, and it was incredibly nostalgic. I loved seeing all the old decorations and enemies. The mummies especially have become rather annoying with some strong chain immobilizations. Another memory to add to the pile.
My favorite memory from last year was the night I spent trying futilely beat the Mad King’s Clocktower jumping puzzle. Mrs. Ravious was out (and not yet playing Guild Wars 2 anyway), and my two daughters were watching me intensely. They cheered every time a norn or charr died, which won’t happen this year since all other players are merely wisps. It took about 5 tries to kick my muscle memory back in to gear for the Clocktower jumping puzzle. Amazing how the correct jumps and paths seem to just flare back to life.
Some of the new skins are nice. I really like the batty greatsword, and the silly scimitar is pretty funny (it’s rubber). I also think the Dead Stop Shield is fantastic. I’m one of the few that prefers it over last year’s shield. The staff skin, however, doesn’t seem to rise to any level of cash shop coolness. I guess for fans of the Bloody Prince, that might be enough. The Crossing remains one of my favorite un-owned skins
, and I’m kicking myself for not creating the recipe last year and I’m kicking ArenaNet for making the three craftable weapons so expensive this year. The Crossing recipe requires 100,000 nougats centers. Even dropping to last year’s price of 40 copper per nougat that’s 400 gold for just the recipe. Maybe someday my swamp witch outfit will get it, or something more appropriate. ArenaNet has patched it down a magnitude making it a much more reasonable chase skin. I am thinking of going for it.
All-in-all it’s comfortable to see the return of Halloween in Guild Wars 2. It also is going to continue for a whole month so there is plenty of time to chase after a few things. I’ll be checking out the new story instances tonight, and I might be zerg-leveling another alt in the Labyrinth. Then the WvW season is starting this Friday so that will add another thing-to-do to the list. I am pretty excited about the shakeup there because I haven’t really played much as of late.