Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Shadow of the Mad King

As planned, this is the start of the living story coverage. The events of Guild Wars 2 began with the Shadow of the Mad King; the halloween update for Guild wars 2. This has been an on-going story throughout the Guild Wars franchise. Mad King Oswald Thorn is the former king of Kryta and is known for his jokes and insanity. He is stuck in his realm but is able to build enough power to break into Tyria for one day every year. When he breaks into Tyria he brings games and activities with him, even though his intentions are negative. This update was released on October 22nd and came in several acts. As well as the activities brought by the Mad King; many updates to the game were added such as updates to the gem store contents; pvp tournaments and a whole group of world content and achievements.

The video above is the official teaser for the update and shows the changes made to the aesthetics of Lion's Arch during the halloween event. To set the scene, the mad king hasn't been seen since his previous appearance in Tyria during the events of the original Guild Wars. 250 years have passed since then and the mad king has slowly become a myth. This hasn't changed the rumors of his return building up to the event.
"500 years ago, a tyrannical Krytan king was slain by his own people, those who had suffered greatly during his reign of lunacy. It is said that this king’s body was chopped into pieces, and his spirit was banished to the Underworld, but that he can return to the mortal realm for just one day a year: on Halloween.

Of course, that’s just an old folktale. Isn’t it?

It’s been 250 years since the last alleged sighting of Mad King Thorn’s spirit, and today, Halloween is safely celebrated by children (and merchants) all across Tyria.

But! Strange energies are rising under the autumn moon. Is there perhaps some truth to the old stories? Do you dare to find out what’s really going on?" - ArenaNet

Act I: Tricks and Treats

The celebration has begun within Lion's Arch with candy, costumes, decorations and Mad King impersonators! Despite the celebratory nature and excitement surrounding the event; there were few who talked of the 500th anniversary of the Mad King's death and the possibility of his return. This act added several events as well as the haunted doors spread across Tyria. The new events and haunted doors allowed players to delve into the history and mystery of the Mad King.

Act II: The Shadow Falls

Breaking from his mad realm; the Mad King has returned. He threatens to corrupt all of Tyria. New halloween activities, maps, puzzles, events and surprises introduced. Firstly, the realm of the mad king, this effectively a farm zone where players are able to roam and collect halloween specific items and collectables. Haunted doors have become portals, these lead to the realm of the mad king. Two new mini games were also added; Lunatic Inquisition and Reaper's Rumble. Lunatic Inquisition is effectively a more complex game of hide and seek. Players begin as civilians, they must survive and if they wish to win the game they must also explore the area while collecting items and returning them to specific NPCs. Reaper's Rumble is similar to a MOBA game, skeletons spawn at each teams base and move toward the opposing team's Mausoleum. Players must find pumpkins to spawn skeletons and help the skeletons destroy the enemy team's mausoleums. The final addition in this act is a jumping puzzle called the Mad King's Clocktower, it rotates and moves while players race to the top to retrieve the mad king's treasure!

Act III: Return of the Mad King

The Mad King breaks into our realm through the giant lion statue in Lion's Arch leaving a portal to his realm. Players must work together to fight the mad king within his own realm and stop him from corrupting Tyria. This was a new mini-dungeon was known as the Ascent to Madness and required a group of five players. In the end; the Mad King was locked back into his realm once more, ensuring Tyria's safety for another year!

Act IV: The Mad King’s Revelry

The threat was contained and the mad king was sealed back within his realm. The excitement and celebrations must go on. This act also contained an activity known to Guild Wars players; Mad King says. This was an activity where players must copy the mad king when he says "mad king says" much like simon says. If a player performs the correct emotes throughout the game - they are given a celebratory head item!

This is the start of the updates which will cover the living story in it's entirety. The Shadow of the Mad King was the first update for Guild Wars 2 and continues the story of halloween. I've decided to place a picture at the bottom of each of these posts which will eventually link to the next living story post so that readers will be able to read through the entire story of Guild Wars 2's living story. I may even add buttons/previews which act as links to the previous and next living story posts.