Shadow of the Mad King

October 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 7 Comments
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Lion’s Arch on All Hallow’s Eve.

Halloween is coming to Guild Wars 2. It was always a fan favourite in Guild Wars. Quests that dragged you through the country side with a Tyrian flavoured Halloween theme. Decorations in two major cities with a few laughs to be had. Consumable items that dropped from mobs or trade in NPCs that gave out a choice of those items.

And of course, the Mad King.

Every few hours on Halloween he'd appear in Lion's Arch and Kamadan with terrible jokes, awful puns, and a deadly game of simon says. Lots of games have good festivals, this was (and still is if you happen to play Guild Wars) one of them.

I'm anticipating Halloween but I am left to speculate about a few things.

I'm guessing that the simon says game is out. Guild Wars 2 doesn't have as many emotes as Guild Wars does. I suppose they could add more emotes, it's possible, but I suspect they'd want to differentiate the sequel's Mad King festivities from the original game. There isn't much use in repeating yourself.

That said they do appear to be bringing back the Costume Brawl. A PvP mini-game from Guild Wars. So returning games are possible.

Obviously the above concept art does suggest the Mad King’s return to Lion’s Arch. My guess is that there will be dynamic events inside the city. There’s plenty of room and what better use of a city during a festival than to put your games major feature on display? I suppose some of the events might happen just about anywhere. The Mad King was known to travel to Elona after all, who knows where he might end up this time. However he was the king of Kryta, so I’m expecting Krytan zones for any events outside a city.

They also describe an epic adventure in four acts. Is that suggestive of a Personal Story arc? Perhaps.

I’ve also been anticipating Halloween for other reasons. The past two weeks has seen an ever rising cost of gems in the gold exchange. I’ve been hoping Halloween will bring an influx of gems so that I could grab up a slew of gems all at once. According to the link, there will be costumes and transforms to be bought. I plan to buy neither but Arenanet has shown some truly inspired costume designs in the past so I’m sure they’ll make it tempting.

One thing I noted and am skeptical about is the tie-in of these items to the costume brawl. It sounds as though you need to pay to play. I’m willing to put off criticism until I know the full details but it does have me wondering.

Along with Halloween themed updates are a number of other content additions as well.

new events, jumping puzzles, bosses, mini-dungeons, and achievements

Some of these can be attributed to the Halloween events, but I’m quite curious as to how much will be added outside the festival. The plural uses of those words helps me be optimistic but I’m not expecting a large update.

Brisban Wildlands doesn’t have a jumping puzzle (I’ll add any jumping puzzles to my guide (which is complete as far as achievements go)) as far as I know. The monthly achievement was changed at the beginning of October to display question marks for one of the requirements, which many have speculated is related to Halloween. And hopefully they’ll add in the achievement for the Sparkfly puzzle. Multiple mini-dungeons, bosses, and events? If they’re not related to Halloween as the link implies then Arenanet truly has my praise.

One of the things I’m hoping for is numerous event bug fixes throughout the game. But that’s a whole other post.

And as an aside I am aware that there are some fixes coming in, like players who’ve finished the storyline getting a token for a rare weapon from a currently bugged NPC in Fort Trinity. I’m sure there will be a ton of other fixes too.

Halloween is shaping up to be a critical time for Guild Wars 2. Can’t wait.



  1. I was wondering about the “pay to play” of costume brawl as well. I do hope that’s not the case, though, and it’s just a case of weird wording.

    Other than that, I’m very much looking forward to this festival. I’m not sure how much time I’ll actually have to play the game in the next few weeks, but I’ll be happy with just looking at Lion’s Arch if they decorate it accordingly. 🙂

    • Hopefully there is a compromise between a wide variety of free costumes and a couple special ones that you need to pay for, i’d be cool with that. It would make sense in the context of modern f2p games.

      • might be the time to refer to this qoute here from ArenaNet.

        Regina Buenaobra

        October 17th, 2012

        I just wanted to clarify a couple of things regarding Costume Brawl and some concerns we’ve seen:•It may be called ‘Costume Brawl’, but it’s not like the Costume Brawl in the original Guild Wars.

        •While it does take advantage of Gem Store related items, players will still be able to participate in Costume Brawl even without spending gems.
        As a teaser: think Boxing Gloves, but taken up a few more notches.
        We will have more details about Costume Brawl soon, so stay tuned!

        • Thanks for the update, I suspected some form of hybrid, but I’m still waiting for all the real deal details.

  2. This update is critical, it’s a demo of what sort of support anet really have in mind. It’s also critical that there’s no mass bugs. Lets hope it’s as awesome as they have documented. I still see a future where there’s a test realm, given what’s happend so far. I hope the level of quality so far hasn’t impacted their plans too much… Still now is a great time to be an MMO fan so much to do!

    • I’m not betting on a test realm but I think its more critical because of the impression it will leave not so much the bugs. I’m sure bugs leave an impression but its more whether the festival and updates are fun that is important.

  3. […] Hunter’s Insight — Shadow of the Mad King. “Halloween is coming to Guild Wars 2. It was always a fan favourite in Guild Wars. Quests that dragged you through the country side with a Tyrian flavoured Halloween theme. Decorations in two major cities with a few laughs to be had. Consumable items that dropped from mobs or trade in NPCs that gave out a choice of those items.” […]

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