It's that special time of year where the hinges creak more ominously and the howling of the wind could be the sepulchral dirge of the undead. Halloween has come to Tyria in the form of the Shadow of the Mad King meta-event. There is a lot to do in this first ever holiday event for Guild Wars 2 and there are plenty of achievements to testify to this fact.
You can track your progress in the varying achievements by opening your Hero panel, [H], and selecting Special Event from the list found on the left hand side. This will open up the achievement window for the current event. As you can see, there are a grand total of eight achievements for the Shadow of the Mad King. Let's examine each one to see how you can fulfill that particular achievement.
Emissary of the Mad King
This achievement unlocks a title, Emissary of the Mad King. To fulfill this achievement, the player needs to complete any of the five other Halloween achievements. As there are seven other achievements, you can have two unfilled but still be able to get the title by completing the other five.
This achievement is earned by killing the creatures found during the Shadow of the Mad King such as skeletons, candy corn elementals, plastic spiders, and so on. You can find these creatures when you interact with Haunted Doors (those spectral doors you'll find dotting the countryside of the various starting zones), special dynamic events, and in the Mad King's Realm.
The quickest way to kill Halloween creatures is inside the Mad King's Labyrinth. You can enter the labyrinth when you enter a haunted door marked on the map with a pumpkin. This will take you to an entry point in the Mad King's Realm where you can use the transport pad to take you over to the labyrinth and you'll find hordes of creepies and crawlies to dispatch. Overall, there are six tiers of this achievement, measured by totals of 20/40/60/80/100/150 creatures.
Halloween Events Completed
This Shadow of the Mad King achievement is fulfilled by completing dynamic events that pertain to the Halloween event. You can find these events throughout the starting zones, but the best place is within the Mad King's Labyrinth. Dynamic events spawn on a very regular pace within the labyrinth. You should easily finish this achievement within an hour at the most inside the labyrinth. There are five tiers to this achievement with totals of 1/2/3/5/10 events for the respective tiers.
It's a Mad King's World
This achievement is earned for exploring the four zones of the Mad King's Realm. You can explore three of these zones when you enter a haunted door, with the fourth found in Lion's Arch. The four zones are:
- Mad King's Labyrinth
- Reaper's Rumble
- Mad King's Clock Tower
- Ascent to Madness
When you enter a haunted door and enter the Mad King's Realm, there is a NPC called the Lunatic Boatman who will transport you to whichever zone you wish to go to. Players automatically are in the labyrinth zone, so they can be transported to the Reaper's Rumble (a PvP zone) and the Mad King's Clock Tower (a jumping puzzle). From those two zones, you can always return to the labyrinth and then exit back to Tyria.
The fourth zone, Ascent to Madness, is a quick dungeon where the players fight against the Mad King himself. The entrance is found in the center of Lion's Arch at the Grand Piazza. This is a five man dungeon.
You do not have to be successful in whatever endeavor that is required in a specific zone to get credit for exploring it. In Reaper's Rumble, you don't have to win the PvP match. Likewise, you don't have to successfully finish the jumping puzzle found at the clock tower. For Ascent to Madness, I just ran into the dungeon by myself. Even though I died pretty quickly, I got credit for exploring it. As long as you try the zone, you're good.
Attend the Party
Details on this achievement are not currently known. Obviously this event will take place in Act Four of the Halloween event, which will begin on October 31st. We'll be sure to update this guide as soon as the criteria for this particular achievement are known.
Trick or Treat Bags Opened
Players will get this achievement for opening trick or treat bags. There are five different tiers, with 1/20/30/40/100 bags needed. You will find trick or treat bags from looting Halloween creatures, mining candy corn, from chests at the clock tower, and as rewards for winning Reaper's Rumble or finishing Ascent to Madness.
Normal creatures also have a chance to drop the bags, and they can commonly be found when mining raw candy corn. Perhaps the fastest way to accumulate the 100 needed is to compete in the lunatic court PvP event where you'll be able to earn 3 or more bags depending on where you rank once the clock runs down, or all players have been converted by the court.
This achievement is completed by carving a specific number of pumpkins. There are four tiers to this achievement, with totals of 1/25/75/150 pumpkins. You can find pumpkins spread throughout Lion's Arch, the Mad King's Labyrinth, and in some in the starting areas. The best place to look for pumpkins in the starting zones and in Lion's Arch is around houses and structures.
The Mad King's Labyrinth has quite a number of pumpkins for the players to carve. A handy tip is to stay in the overflow for the labyrinth and make sure you carve all the pumpkins. When you can enter the normal instance of the labyrinth, do so and you'll be able to carve the pumpkins again. This also works in Lion's Arch. The pumpkins have a timer before they can be carved again, so it's also possible to make multiple sweeps of the same areas.
Mad King's Clock Tower
You receive this achievement for completing the jumping puzzle found at the Mad King's Clock Tower. Personally, I think they should also give you fifty gold as a reward as well if you can complete this challenge. As of yet, I have been unable to finish the clock tower despite trying way too many times for me to count. If you ever need to get into an incredibly frustrated and murderous mood, try the clock tower for a bit and you'll get there. A commenter on a youtube walkthrough summed it up perfectly, "This challenge makes me want to kick a puppy into a wood-chipper!"
That said, the name of the game here is patience and persistence. Unlike most jumping puzzles, you'll only have a very limited window of time to progress forward, and it can take a bit of time to learn each of the various jumps. You may also want to attempt to complete this during off-peak hours since you'll be doing the puzzle with a number of other players. If you're lucky, you won't be in with a group of norn and charr, both of which can make it exceedingly difficult to see where you need to jump when clustered together.
Now you know what you need to do to unlock all the achievements for the Shadow of the Mad King. The thing I love best is that you don't have to complete every single achievement to get the title. For people with sloth-like reflexes, such as myself, not having the need to complete the clock tower is an incredible boon. If you're great at jumping around, then you might not have to spend the time running around looking for pumpkins to carve. Now get out there and beat back the unholy forces of the Mad King!