Halloween So Far

October 24, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Posted in Crafting, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 10 Comments
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I’ve been having a lot of fun with Halloween. Guild Wars had a pretty solid history with its Halloween festival, slowly growing the number of activities until after a few years it felt like an extensive and hard to beat festival. Guild Wars 2 has started out on the right foot.

To start with there are a number of really clever ideas. The Costume Brawl is just genius. You can fight virtually anywhere, no special arena required. And there are all sorts of ways to join in. Already existing tonics have had skills introduced, you can interact with cauldrons to grab a costume, do the jumping puzzle in Lion’s Arch to be transformed into something, or buy a costume from the gem store.

As a result the costumes are quite varied and the amount of fighting going on is impressive. I don’t imagine it will quiet the PvP types who moan about dueling but hopefully it will quench their thirst. There is even a community achievement for becoming King. This requires getting off 25 hits on opponents without losing all of your hearts. I have to admit I had to resort to sniping with a ranged skeleton to manage to get past the first tier and won’t be going further.

Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any real rewards which disappointed me. It’s fun, which is the important thing, but the only reason to do it is the achievement and that isn’t enough to motivate me.

Another problem with the Costume Brawl is that people who buy a costume seem to have a clear advantage over those who don’t. Not only are the costumes amazing to look at and have some amazing effects (you ride around on a broom as a witch and can melt, as the mad king you can let loose a litany of audible jokes) but you usually have better skills than those simply using tonics, cauldrons, etc.

One of the things I really love about the festival are the doors found in various zones. They appear somewhat randomly out in the countryside of Kryta. Approaching one will allow you to interact, receive a Trick or Treat bag and then it spawns a mob. Much fun was had the first night when many of these doors started to infinitely spawn monsters. Immediately people camped these sites and farmed up dozens if not hundreds of trick or treat bags. They’re fixed now unfortunately.

Another way to get trick or treat bags is simply by going out into PvE anywhere in the world and mining raw candy corn nodes. Use your mini-map to mouse over mining nodes to see if you’re near one. You’ll get mostly candy corn but there is an achievement, the monthly, for eating 150 pieces.

Probably the most fun was the scavenger hunt. There is an NPC near the portals in Lion’s Arch that will give you a scanner that allows you to talk to ghost. After talking to the ghost by the NPC you’ll get a memoir of the mad king with clues to the other locations. It’s not particularly difficult but I enjoyed the clues and the locations I had to go to. It hints that there is more to come so I’m looking forward to just running around with a group finishing this up.

Although the short and sweet jumping puzzle in Lion’s Arch is a bit of fun, the newly added puzzles in Dredgehaunt, Timerline, and Mount Maelstrom were far more interesting to me, and I’ll add them to my guide within the next couple days.

I think the one thing that makes me wonder about Arenanet are the unique skins. Arenanet often gets so much exactly right and then makes such obvious mistakes.

There are unique skins available in the black lion chests. You have to gamble to get them, buy the keys from the store to get a random chance at something valuable. I heard a few people complaining that they had opened 10, 20, 50 chests and received nothing. Don’t get me wrong, you can get the skins off the auction house, but at what cost?

The chain sword skin is going for 6 gold. The shield for 30 gold, the rifle for 3 gold, the greatsaw for 39 gold, well it goes on like that. The ghastly shoulderpads are more affordable, clocking in around 1 to 2 gold depending on the skin.

These are supposed to be festival items are they not? Themed skins for halloween? Are they supposed to cost a fortune and only be available to some elite few?

I was also checking out the skins available from the NPCs in Lion’s Arch. You can rent them for 6 silver or 150 candy corn. For 4 hours. I remember in Guild Wars the candy cane sword or mint shields were quest rewards weren’t they? Why the change in attitude from freely available holiday themed skins to unreasonably difficult to get skins that cost a fortune to buy or craft.

The crafting part is such a joke. The recipe alone for Arachnophobia costs 11 gold. If you add up the further costs of crafting one of these skins it gets ludicrous. It doesn’t cost anything close to what a legendary costs but it certainly prices everyone but the most dedicated players out of seriously considering getting one of these skins. Unless you want one for 4 whole hours. How generous.

Rewards have definitely been the weakest point in Guild Wars 2 overall and that continues with this festival. There’s plenty of time left with more stages to the event so I’m hoping things improve, but so far all I have to show for my efforts are some foods, crafting materials, candy corn and a low level backpack I might transmute.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m having fun, and visually everything is a treat, but the only permanent things I’m walking away from this festival with are the free devil horns and a book. And few ways to show off my Halloween spirit aside from temporary tonics and costumes.

Try backstabbing me now thief!


  1. I totally agree. The only thing I would mention in regard to the crafting is that I am fairly certain they said that you will be able to craft them after the event ends, you just can’t get the materials any more (unless someone is selling them). That would mean that you would, in theory, only need 250 candycorn and 100 of whichever other other material you need (nougat, plastic teeth, or chattering skulls). That is a much more affordable goal for the duration of the festival, though I still don’t like it.

    I for one think that halloween skins should be something that people can all get decently easy access to. The thing is, who really wants to go around with halloween skins all the time? Most people don’t. If some people fall in love with their look forever, I say more power to them. This business of having seasonal-looking skins that are super hard to get even under normal circumstances, and then compounding that by only having a one week window to get them seems really strange to me.

    • My issue is more the sheer cost of crafting the items. 250 orichalcum ingots for instance. That is nuts. The short window, crafting it any time you like, fine i guess, but for a halloween themed skin, unacceptable.

  2. I think it would lose something if everyone and their brother or sister had a chainsaw or bat bow, especially year round. The chainsaw in particular is almost legendary quality. I mean, it actually moves in the video I saw. They should only be temporary if easily accessible. Sorry, but 4 hours is about the time it would take for the novelty to wear off. Costume Brawl is mindless entertainment so I don’t mind the paid costumes having cooler skills. People should get as much value for their money as possible and since costume brawl is meaningless, so are any advantages. I got my achievement in about a minute of targeting everyone drawn to the banquet tables. I’ve also gotten a lot of needed non-holiday mats off of mobs so my multi-tasking self has been pretty satisfied at this early stage (1 of 4.) Better than the scavenger hunt is the bonus uses for the scanner. I don’t want to spoil anything but a quick search should pull up the reddit tips. I’m also pretty happy about the new karma rewards for daily and monthly completion. That seriously takes the edge of pursuing a real legendary.

    • You got your 12 tiers of the achievement in one minute? Come on aly, even Arenanet acknowledged at the least that the rarity was nuts and has patched in a solution already. I am still of the firm belief that fun halloween themed items should be freely available.

  3. I broke down and bought the witches costume last night. It the greatest investment I have ever made in an MMO. I can flies everywhere. Also, a cat in a witch’s hat.

    The event is awesome, minus the part where it will take me two years to attain Arachnophobia.

    • You are weak. But they are very impressive costumes.

      • RAAAWR

  4. There are two titles that a player can get from the halloween event: Pumpkin Carver and Emissary of the Mad King. I am hunting that titles.

    The pumpkin carver will come, sooner or later. The emissary will need more work, more time, complete the clock jumping puzzle (that not appeared until now) and complete all 4 acts.

    • The titles are okay, pumpkin carving is boring as hell though, No real point to it.

  5. […] Hunter’s Insight — Halloween So Far. “I’ve been having a lot of fun with Halloween. Guild Wars had a pretty solid history with its Halloween festival, slowly growing the number of activities until after a few years it felt like an extensive and hard to beat festival. Guild Wars 2 has started out on the right foot.” […]

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