Hyperion Overlords: Banner Party

Occasionally on this blog I will share with you some of the highlights from the activities that my guild partakes in. I will try to keep these articles separate from my original articles that I am posting once per day. Think of this as a bonus post. My guild is the Hyperion Overlords and we are based on the Gate of Madness server.

Last nights event comes at a good time considering my last article on LotR:O's music system touched on building community and creating atmosphere in the cities of Tyria. Last night my guild met up in Lion's Arch and we had a little party. During this time we utilized the various fun items Arena Net has introduced into the game since launch. In this article I will be discussing these items and the good times my guild had last night.

Guildies together around banner for final group shot.  We failed at syncing a /wave.

Lets have a Party!

Several times per week my guild tries to get together in large numbers to do a group activity and recruit new members. The large swarm of players all with the tag [HPV] does wonders for recruiting. People ask us how they can join! Last night we gathered in Lion's Arch just outside the trading post for a "Banner Party". The idea of the banner party is to drop one of each of the guild banners which offer a free public buff then hang out around them and recruit new members.

Now we weren't just standing around as a group. We were actively taking part in the community activities that are offered in Guild Wars 2. The highlight of the evening for me were the "costume brawls". Spontaneously we organized into matches of 1 on 1. Two people would enter the ring, (a square area on the ground marked out by a change in textures) approach each other, bow, back away, and then start fighting. At some point two players even started providing colour commentary in the chat window while everyone else placed bets and cheered on the fighters. It was an absolute blast!

In the ring are fellow guildies Trelos (Front Left), and Gurzgut (Center) while Xona (Back Left) and Flor (Back Right) look on providing colour commentary.
Throughout the night guild members were bringing out their potions and transforming into all sorts of different creatures, including the Mad King. Apparently, while dressed as the Mad King, you can tell jokes and drop an item that allows people to have food fights. I will hand it to Arena Net. There are a lot of things you can transform into such that with over twenty people present no one was transformed into the same thing.

Another highlight, is the Box of Fun. Basically a user drops the box of fun then everyone around can use it. Upon using it you get a random transformation, a snowball to throw at someone, or perhaps fireworks. I think the best thing to get out of the box is a snowball, because when you hit another player with on they fall over. I think a box of snowballs would be more fun than a box of fun. 

Our guild leader was constantly handing out fireworks to people, and people were constantly firing them off. This had the effect of drawing people over to our area and adding to the party atmosphere. Along with all our banners we also had a number of public food buffs. Both the banners and the food buffs display our guild tag and offer a public buff to anyone that wishes to use the item. The banners also have our guild emblem on them, helping raise our profile and make people take notice. 

I made a run to the local pub and brought back flasks of firewater and blood whisky to share. It would have been nice to have been able to pass those to people in game without breaking immersion   Instead I had to split the stacks and mail them to people that wanted them. It would have been fun to play the roll of bar tender. In the end it was fun, because I introduced a bunch of people to the effects of alcohol in Guild Wars 2.

I may have had too much too drink!

It's time to go!

Like all good things this party eventually came to an end. And it didn't end because we were done or out of time, but simply because people got bored and started wandering away. This is where my criticisms towards Arena Net will be levelled. There just does not seem to be a reason to hang around in town. We did everything that was offered in the game, and then even made some stuff up, and we were still bored within  an hour.

Arena Net offers a system of town clothes that one can wear for cosmetic appearances yet last night I do not remember seeing anyone wearing their town clothes besides the one person that had the Mad King's outfit. Hopefully this area of the game will expand as time goes one; however, for the moment there are not enough outfits or are they interesting enough to justify the cost.

While we are on the topic I will mention the elephant in the room; duels. Why on earth can't you duel someone in town in Guild Wars 2. Not only that, why can't you duel anyone anywhere? For a game that is all about PvP this seems very strange. I can not remember the last MMO I played that did not have a duel system of some sort. If this was implemented I think you would see people duelling all over town and these places would be much more entertaining. There would be fights to watch, and inevitable post fight build discussions.


Last night my guild had a lot of fun. We created most of the fun ourselves using the limited supplies that Arena Net provides to use in town. It is not enough variety to keep a group entertained for long periods of time though. Arena Net should and could add a number of small games that could make this kind of event a lot more fun. For example, imagine a bomb you pick up that lets you and a group play hot potato, or a chest that you can spawn that starts a scavenger hunt, or a cape that lets you start a game of hide and go seek.

I do need to keep in mind that Guild Wars 2 has only been out for three months. They are still working on fixing bugs, balancing the game, etc. There has not been time to add these kinds of niceties. I can only hope that they do soon as it is these kinds of things that I imagined being in the game at launch based on the mantra of Arena Net and the goals of the game. The game will hopefully get more fun as time goes on. I have faith that Arena Net will deliver.

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