Guild Wars 2: Ascent to Madness

The Dance of Madness

There’s a rhythm I get to in Guild Wars 2; bring up the map, look for a blank spot, and go there. Fill the hearts, look at the vistas, do the skill challenges, sell and move on. If there’s an event nearby, try to get to it and join in.

Having unlocked all my weapon combos and decided upon favorites, that’s done forever. My gear is limited by my level, so nothing I can really do about that. The story missions are fun, but most of the time in GW2, I’m just on auto-pilot. So it’s nice when things like the Halloween event comes by to break up the flow.

There’s been a lot of concern about how players would have to be in specific places at specific times in order to fully participate in the Halloween event. I just pretty much ignored it because I thought I (correctly, it turns out) would be too low level for it.

The Mad King

But, thanks to a friend (/wave @Longasc), I was pulled into the final Halloween event, the Ascent of the Mad King. He appeared in Lion’s Arch, and I can’t remember if there was a battle there or not. Regardless, he soon finished being mean or whatever, and poofed through some haunted doors.

Well, nothing to do but to follow him. Valnora (80 ranger), an Aztec Charr (16 something?) and I (21 thief) entered the portal and found ourselves in a Halloween nightmare. All of us had been leveled to 80 for the instance, but the crappy gear on us two lowbies meant Valnora had to do most of the work.

First was “Mad King Says”, which I failed at, even though I did the emotes when the Mad King said “Mad King Says” and did not do them when he didn’t. Either way, I got attacked by Halloween creatures. Eventually he tired of this and decided to just deliver a beatdown.

That just continued my litany of death. Die from being feared off the edge. Die from missing a jump. Die from being swarmed by monsters while balancing on a shaky chain above an eternal chasm. Die from pumpkin bombs. Die from finding myself beneath the Mad King after he teleported.

But we did eventually kill him, got the level 45 loot from his corpse and more level 45 loot in a hidden chest far below. The level of the loot seems a little arbitrary. If you’re 80, it’s worthless. If you’re a lowbie, it just has to sit in your bank forever. If you’re level 45, you’d be best just buying the stuff off the auction house, as there has to be a vast oversupply of level 45 gear after all these events.

In the Mad King’s realm

Afterward, @Longasc brought us to the Mad King’s Labyrinth, where we killed things until the huge number of people crashed the game. Everyone was upleveled to 80. Most of the people were low level. Things died soooo slowwwwwly.

Stuff like this really makes me miss Rift.

But, it was fun!

So was Rift, though.

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7 thoughts on “Guild Wars 2: Ascent to Madness”

  1. “First was “Mad King Says”, which I failed at, even though I did the emotes when the Mad King said “Mad King Says” and did not do them when he didn’t.”

    You would think, wouldn’t you, that he was asking you to do emotes. But actually your quickbar changes and he’s asking you to use one of the new abiltiies. As is typical in GW2, they don’t notify you that your quickbar has changed or give you much time to check the new abilities out though.

  2. Actually, that’s one of my (relatively few) complaints about GW2 to date: There’s very little information. You’ve basically got to figure things out on your own and generally under pressure. This can be fairly stressful the first few times.

    A lot of GW2 features are based on games that came before it, but there are quite a few unique points that are very unintuitive to the newbie. I think it’s great that GW2 has those unique bitties, and wouldn’t want that to change, but they could do a better job of communicating things.

  3. So THAT’S how you do it! It’s exacerbated by the fact that that was how you did it in the first game – Guild Wars 1. You typed the emotes as fast as you could when he ordered you to do something. So yeah.. that’s what I was trying to do too! But we too had fun!

  4. @spinks yeah, I just died again and again. It was all about the quick deaths. Some games do holiday events which aren’t all about dying repeatedly but GW2, not one of them.

    @Derrick my biggest issue was holding an event in the most crowded city in the game. Why not have it happen simultaneously in every city? I imagine that’s not possible, or they’d have done it, but still.

  5. We managed to go on holiday for a week on the very day the GW2 Halloween event began (we were right down by Valencia at one point – didn’t see any goose-stepping clockworks though). We’ve been doing bits and pieces of the events today and so far I am very seriously unimpressed.

    Compared to holiday events in Rift, these seem labored and the rewards seem far less interesting. Compared to Halloween, specifically, in EQ2… well there really is no comparison. First time since I started GW2 that I actually wished I was playing EQ2 instead.

    If the Mad King is supposedly the jewel in the crown of Guild Wars events, this doesn’t bode well.

  6. Right with you — the whole thing reminded me of how well Rift does public group events.

    I loved the EQ2 Halloween things so much; I used to just go through again and again. Scaled to level, loot you could use, lots of decorations for the house… it was just perfect.

  7. Huh. I had the opposite reaction — I thought the GW2 Halloween events were very well done. I loved the variety of content (two rounds of PvE scavenger hunt, a “fast and furious” PvE maze, two PvP maps, a jumping puzzle, a boss instance, and the social party stuff) to be very good, and didn’t have any problems with the party or with the event in general. I did the “Mad King Says” via emotes (several times) and didn’t die, did all the content except the clock (I’m not a fan of jumping, but my son liked it.)

    The wife went back and did the old EQ2 and GW1 events as well, and the family consensus was the the others were nice but dated, but the GW2 stuff was outstanding.

    Tastes vary, I guess.

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