With the eighth Guild Wars Halloween coming to a close (we had two Halloweens in 2008, if you recall) it is time to work on our Sweet Tooth titles, time to dye our new costumes, time to sport our new Tricornes and Reaper’s Hoods, and time to look forward to the future.
But let us not forget about the past.
Halloween 2005 was the first holiday event ANet introduced. Before the time of titles and expansions, Mad King Thorn’s influence spread only over Lion’s Arch and Droknar’s Forge and only 4 treats were available to players. The hat that year was the Pumpkin Crown and sadly, it’s the only one I don’t have. You see, I was new to GW then. I had just started playing in September 2005 and knew nothing of this new event. Instead, I helped hand out candy that year.
Still, it was the start of numerous annual events from April Fools Day to Talk Like a Pirate to the longer lasting, and more well known, Wintersday, Dragon Festival, and Canthan New Years. Interestingly enough, there are no Elonian holidays… Lots of consumables to be had for titles and lots of hats and special items to share and show off.
Now to the present.
This year’s Halloween was in many ways similar to those of recent years. Several quests were available that have you scramble all across Tyria and Elona doing deeds for the Mad King. You are able to enter the Underworld and strike out against Dhuum–a longtime rival of the Mad King. The Costume Brawl was in full swing and Mad King Thorn came to Lion’s Arch and Kamadan as he does every year to tell horrible jokes, command you to do things, and hand out trick or treat bags. This year we got the Vale Wraith and Ravenheart Witchwear costumes from the store and a new challenge mission: Scarred Psyche. I also got a great present this year: Legendary Survivor (thanks to the “Every Bit Helps” quest chain). As GW Halloweens go, this one certainly did not disappoint.
But what about the future of holiday events in Guild Wars? We’ve heard the live team will continue to support holidays in GW1, which is nice, but will that be enough to pull those of us who are drunk on GW2 away long enough to enjoy and explore GW1 content. Will it be fun or simply nostalgic then? Or will that be the only time you see people you know in game? I’ve noticed my friends list is packed with people online during holiday events, but rarely is it that full any other time.
And what of holiday events in GW2? I recall reading somewhere that they will exist, but what can we expect? Will they be in Lion’s Arch as they always have been or will they move to Divinity’s Reach? Will all races celebrate all holidays or will we see things like Charr Reunification Day or The Great Keg Olympics? So far, the holidays we have celebrated have been rooted in the lore of humans (though loosely related to our own real world holidays, of course). The future of Guild Wars holiday events is wide open. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to cracking open my first Witch’s Brew and snacking on Pumpkin Cookies in Divinity’s Reach.
What do you think? What will become of our holidays in GW1? What can we expect in GW2? Will Mad King Thorn still tell terrible jokes 250 years from now? What new holidays can we look forward to?
About the author: Belzan enjoys playing and writing about Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 in his free time, when he’s not working on his dissertation and trying to make a living in the field of psychology. His articles range from humor to analysis to observation and he enjoys writing fan fiction about his longtime character Belzan. He also writes a character blog entitled Blog of the Vagabond.