Blizzard Halloween

by Stephanie Cookies

I love October! It is my favorite month. Leaves change, a chill blows through the air, shoes stop melting to the sidewalk and Halloween decorations appear everywhere. Well, unless you live in LA, then the only sign of fall you get is pumpkin everything. Since it’s my favorite time of year, and I am an avid gamer, I absolutely adore all the Halloween events in my games.

As of this writing there are still a few more days to partake in the ghoulishly good times these games provide. Act fast, they won’t stay around for long.

DESTINYFestival of the Fallen
10/26 – 11/09

“Have some candy, Guardian. Death has passed up by this night.”
-Eva Levante

I’ve been playing Destiny every free moment I’ve had since The Taken King dropped, so of course I’m excited for a Halloween event in the form of The Festival of the Lost. From Bungie’s website:

The Festival of the Lost honors and celebrate the spirits of the dead, Guardian and citizen alike. We commemorate their sacrifices and treasure their memories. We laugh in the face of Deeath.”

Uh, since Guardians were resurrected, does that mean we also honor ourselves? Or do we not count since we are still alive, in some sense of the word? Just asking for a friend…

Long story short, it’s a series of quests where you go out and kill bad guys, to collect candy, to fill up your candy sack, to trade in for masks, to go out and kill more baddies while you wear specific masks. You get the idea. Yes, you get masks to keep. Most are temporary and will expire at the end of the event but legendary masks are permanent (hooray!). My friend and I have a joke “shoot ‘em till the candy falls out’. Let’s be honest, when you kill a baddie in Destiny and it drops glimmer, it looks like sparkly candy exploding in all directions. Now it really is candy! Best. Thing. Ever.

If going out and farming (grinding) isn’t your thing, you can use silver (real world money) to purchase some limited legendary dances or candy bags with, shocker, legendary masks. In addition to the holiday goodies, a new crucible map launched. The map, The Cathedral of Dusk, will stick around in rotation long after the event is over.

If the holiday quests aren’t your cup of tea: at least log in to visit The Tower, which is simply gorgeous right now. Destiny’s graphics are already amazing, add dancing, floating lights to The Tower and it becomes magical. Which I’m sure is the point. Even the denizens of the tower got into the spirit, wearing masks as they give you candy and quests.

 

GUILD WARS 2 – The Shadow of the Mad King 

One of my newest obsessions, Guild Wars 2, has The Shadow of the Mad King. I’ve yet to have the time to explore this event to it’s fullest but my little taste has me clamoring to dive back in at my earliest opportunity.

The hub of the festival activities is Lions Arch, which offers “tricks, treats and terrible jokes.” Decked out in Halloween finery, the city acts as a waypoint to the realm of the Mad King. Players can pit themselves against a jumping puzzle in the Clock Tower, or find their way through the undead armies and candy corn elementals (yes this is a real thing) in the Labyrinth. If you are so bold you can also take on the Mad King himself.

This is a max level event however, the game will scale you up to the appropriate level if you are just a little lowbie wondering lost and confused. I went in with my level 16 Necromancer and had no problems. The game scaled me fine. Of course, since it’s Guild Wars 2, you quickly meet up with other players and bolster your numbers to increase your survival chance. This is great news for someone like me who recently started playing. I can go tackle whatever I choose with my level 16, or my 18, or my 11, or even 10. I have an alt problem right now, don’t judge.

As with Destiny, Guild Wars 2 is a gorgeous game. You can lose time just exploring and seeing all there is to see. Lion’s Arch really is a sight to behold. When you’re there, be sure to look up at the moon smiling down at you.

To be fair, the release states it lasts nearly 2 weeks. I am guessing it will poof on November 6th, but wouldn’t be surprised to see it go the way of the pumpkin patch Tuesday, November 3rd.

Guild Wars 2 Halloween

WORLD OF WARCRAFT – Hallow’s End 
10/18 – 11/01

I’ve participated in Hallow’s End for years, and years, and years. It might be the first holiday achievement I completely. Of course, that might be primarily because it was the first holiday after the achievement system went live.

Honestly, I burned out on ALL the annual holiday stuff a long time ago. I enjoy doing them with friends because they are still fun but, if left to my own devices, I’m no longer into soloing the festivities. I kept doing Hallow’s End, because Halloween and black cats. I’ve now killed the Headless Horseman more times than I can count and have never received his damn mount. Ah well.

Warcraft goes all out, there are tons of quests and activities that can keep you busy throughout the entire two weeks. You have the usual stuff from previous years: max levels can fight the Headless Horseman in the Scarlet Monastery, low levels have a few quests they can complete, and everyone has achievements to hunt for the Long Strange Trip meta. There are wands, flying brooms, masks, pets, disguises, pet disguises, toys and candy to collect. Go trick or treating throughout Azeroth and the lands beyond.

But wait, there’s more!

The event has slowly grown over the years until it’s almost a character in its own right. Blizzard added more and more to dazzle new players and keep old player (like me) interested, but the best change: decorating your Garrison. Some people love the Garrison, some people hate it, some people couldn’t care less. I enjoy the idea I can now decorate my home base with the accouterments of my favorite holiday.

Wowhead.com has a very good write up, click the link up at the top of this section and read all about it.

HeadlessHorsemanTCG

HEROES OF THE STORM – Hallow’s End
10/27 – 11/17

See the same name as WoW? Does this surprise anyone? Nope. Blizzard links their properties by placing easter eggs in their games that relate to all their other games. Since I have a Blizzard problem, I must try to get all the things. Case in point, if you win 25 matches you get a shiny new Jack-O’-Lantern portrait.

Yeah, I want the portrait because I’m just that kind of person, and because I tend to chase rare stuff and achievements like an addict. Don’t judge.

Besides the portrait, Halloween weekend is double XP and you can purchase skins for your favorite heroes, if you are willing to spend real money. If I want to cough up the cash, I can finally get the Horseman’s mount that has eluded me in WoW all these years.

HotS Portrait

Blizzard even has Diablo 3 getting into the action, in a way:

TREATS, NO TRICK!

I don’t actually play any of the games below, but I have friends who do and they are constantly tweeting about the holiday events. Check them out. From what I’m told, they are a blast. But, I’m going to be real, I don’t have enough time in my life to play all the games. Wish I could, but it’s just not realistic without a TARDIS.

Here’s some links to these games:

Wild Star – Shades Eve

Final Fantasy XIV – All Saints Wake 

Rift – Autumn Harvest

The Secret World – Halloween (seriously)

Pick your poison and have a good time. But, don’t really do poison. It’s bad for you, or so I hear.

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