It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and no, I don’t mean Christmas — I’m talking about Halloween, my friends, because trees that look like Fruity Pebbles and candy corn M&Ms and cool, blustery days are what it’s all about.
What better way to celebrate than with a harvest-moon-and-trick-or-treat themed Guild Wars 2 content update?
Make that the up-and-coming MMO’s very first since it launched on Aug. 28, a little something developer ArenaNet’s calling “Shadow of the Mad King.”
Halloween is almost here.
There’s a baleful moon on the rise and a chill in the air.
Ghosts bemoan their lonesome graves,
and bats in the belfry grow restless and crazed.
Prepare your costume; get ready for sweets.
It’s almost time to shout, “Trick or treat!”
I’ve played the game for dozens of hours and still know next to nothing about Tyria’s history, nor, frankly, do I care all that much, but give me a Halloween-themed game world and I am so there.
That said, here, for those of you paying attention to every narrative detail, is the official lore blurb:
Halloween has a long history in Tyria, and in times past was always marked by the spirit of Mad King Thorn cavorting among the people unleashing his own brand of insanity. However, it’s been over 250 years since he was last seen, and for most people he is merely a figure of folklore. Despite this, rumors persist among the populace that something wicked this way comes.
What do you get? “Festivities are afoot,” writes ArenaNet, noting that Tyria will undergo a seasonal transformation that’ll add “decorations, new mini-games, new dynamic events, and more.”
And if this isn’t a tease, I don’t know what is:
Despite the celebrations there are those who dread the coming of Halloween and all that it may bring, for it is the time of year when barriers between the realms are weakest.
Other tweaks include “all new items” for sale at the Black Lion Trading Company (Halloween-themed costumes and transformations), paid PvP tournaments for five-person teams (they’ll require tickets to enter and yield better prizes) and “new events, jumping puzzles, bosses, mini-dungeons, and achievements appearing across a variety of maps.”
ArenaNet says “Shadow of the Mad King” goes live on Oct. 22, and that we can expect it to run a full week.