By the time you read this the Guild Wars 2 (GW2) Halloween event will be over. This was the first event for the new MMO, so it was important for ArenaNet to make a good impression with its player base. How’d they do? Here are five more-or-less random thoughts about the event:
1. There was a bag full of sweet Halloween content.
The event was stuffed full of more sweets than the stomach of any kid the morning after Halloween. There was a scavenger hunt, special crafting recipes, two Halloween PvP matches, a costume brawl, an infuriating jumping challenge, and two dungeons – the Mad King’s Labyrinth and the Mad King’s Realm. Not to mention special Halloween events and lots of random silliness. Almost every aspect of the game had some sort of Halloween activity, and, most importantly, most of them were fun.
It was impressive to see so much special content for the event so soon after the launch of the game.
2. The Mad King was perfect.
The central character of the GW2 Halloween event was the Mad King. He was so much fun, the perfect centerpiece of the event – a little evil, a little insane and a whole lot of fun. His horrible jokes were so perfectly delivered they became funny after a while.
The final event, Mad King Says, was Simon Says with the Mad King. With another, poorer voice actor, this event would have been unbearable, but whoever was cast in the Mad King’s role delivered the perfect blend of crazy charm, humor and madness. You wanted to hang out with him, even if he might demand your head at any moment.
3. The Mad King’s Clock Tower was insane.
Has there ever been an achievement in an MMO holiday event that people just couldn’t do? This might be a first for an MMO: Not everyone could do the Mad King’s Clock Tower.
The tower was a jumping challenge, a hard jumping challenge. Jumping challenges are something of a hallmark of GW2 so it was appropriate there would be one for the event. However, this one was probably the hardest one in the game and a lot of people just couldn’t do it.
Frankly, it’s good that an MMO has some challenges not everyone can do, but maybe it would’ve been better to make the Mad King’s tower permanent in the game so people could keep trying it forever until they conquered it. There was so much to do in the GW2 Halloween event people didn’t want to spend too much time trying to learn to do the clock tower.
4. PvP events were pointless.
There were two PvP events, the Reaper’s Rumble and the Lunatic Inquisition. They were both a lot of fun and almost no one played them. Why? The rewards sucked. You didn’t get any PvP rewards – i.e. no glory – and you only got 5 trick-or-treat bags for playing. With so much Halloween content to explore and better rewards from other events, players spent their time elsewhere.
5. Hats make you bald.
If you did Mad King says, you got a witch’s hat. If you put it on, it made you bald. Sorta funny, but an odd oversight by ArenaNet. Evidently hats and hair attach to the same point on your character, so when you put on a hat it takes off your hair. Hopefully, this is something they’ll fix. It just looks silly.
The Guild Wars 2 Halloween event was a great success. ArenaNet added an amazing amount of content for this event with very few problems. Things like the rewards for the PvP events can easily be fixed for upcoming events. If other events have half as much content, Guild Wars 2’s future looks assured for years to come.