Canthan New Year 2011: Year of the Celestial Rabbit. I’m not going to pretend I know anything about the lore behind this event because, quite frankly, I’d rather leave that to one of our lore experts here at the magazine. What I do know a lot about, however, is the event in practice, though maybe I wasn’t as dedicated this year as I should have been – I probably spent only around ten hours in-game during the finale, and around three or four hours on other days. Nevertheless, the time I did spend I thoroughly enjoyed.
For those unaware of what Canthan New Year entailed this year, it was an event that ran from Thursday 3rd February until Monday 7th February, celebrating the coming of a new year for the Canthan peoples. During the event, Shing Jea Monastery, Lion’s Arch and Kamadan were all decorated in appropriate fashion, of which screenshots of Shing Jea Monastery can be found at the bottom of this post. As with many events, there were a festival-only line of quests available; two sets in Cantha and one in Elona, which each offered a variety of rewards. Of these rewards, Lunar Tokens were the most common, which were exchangable at the Lunar Gift Keeper for a Red Gift Bag, which had the possibility of producing items such as Bottle Rockets, Red Bean Cakes etc if they were opened. On top of this, Lunar Tokens were also exchangable at the Lunar Fortune Giver, or at Fortune Tellers and they could even be used to play rock, paper, scissors against Lucky Hochei in Lion’s Arch.
Other official sections to Canthan New Year included the infamous Rollerbeetle Racing – a personal favourite of mine – where participants donned Rollerbeetle guises and raced for victory. Also adding to the competitive side of this year’s event was the Dragon Arena: a popular PvP arena set in the Imperial Isle guild hall, where players were given the opportunity to play Guild-Wars style dodgeball. This arena made for some good times, especially if you’re into teams ganging up on a single target, which was all too often the case in my time spent there. Not forgetting the Shingjea Boardwalk, however: a place for afk’ers to sit back, relax and watch their ‘Lucky’ or ‘Unlucky’ title tracks fill thanks to the Nine Rings and Rings of Fortune games; players simply stand on a ring, pay either 2 or 10 Festival Tickets per round, and hope it’s the randomly chosen one in order to win more of these delightful tickets. But we’re not here to talk about the joys of afk’ing for four days straight; what about the rest of us in all of this?
Well, good sir/madam, I’ll tell you. Throughout the entire finale – where every three hours the Celestial Rabbit would appear and demand food from the chefs of Shing Jea Monastery – Japanese districts 1-4 and Traditional Chinese districts 1-5 were hosted and sponsored by dedicated players. This meant that they’d not only provide all the ingredients everytime the finale began, but they also created fun minigames and such to keep the players of those districts entertained. GuildMag played host to Japanese district 1, the SPG guild to Japanese district 2, the TIG guild to Japanese district 3 and finally Crossing Tyria to Japanese district 4. On top of this, GW-EN sponsored the Chinese districts and generally helped to keep things organised amongst the Japanese ones. Firstly, I’d like to say a big thanks to all the staff who helped take part in the finales, but secondly, to all those who were part of any of these districts during the finale. Unfortunately, most of my time was spent in the GuildMag district, so I’m only able to commentate on what occured there, though the general ideas happened throughout each of the districts.
One of the main attractions was our very own Lunar Collectors, which required players to trade various trophies in exchange for prizes; and with every few players, one lucky one would receive an extra prize ontop of that. Another attraction, especially in the GuildMag-sponsored district, were the many minigames staff members, myself included, created to keep people entertained during the long waits between finales. Such games included ‘finish this sentence’, ‘find me for a prize’ and Malchior’s butt-whooping Dragon Nest mini-tournament, which, sadly, I disconnected from each time I attempted (he cheated anyway by consuming sweets, but don’t tell him I told you). There were also usually other staff members handing out free drinks and tonics for those who didn’t fancy moving their character around too much – but hey, we salute you all the same!
Following on from Canthan New Year, we’ve spoken to Malibu Barbie of GW-EN.com about her experiences of the event and how she thinks the sponsored districts faired this time around.
Overall, how do you think this year’s Canthan New Year went? Did everything go to plan or were there any surprises?
I thought that Canthan New Year was a great success this year! Everything went smoothly and everyone had a great time! The only surprise we ran into was having to switch up a district, but these things happen. :)
As always, there were a lot of players on ‘afk’. Do you think that this year’s event was as active as previous ones, in terms of the participants?
You know, I think more people were active this year. I often hear about how Guild Wars is dead, or is dying. As a person really involved with the Guild Wars community, I really don’t see this at all! We had some players stay up the full 24 hours with us!
Taking all things into account, will you be doing the same again next year?
I am very picky about how things are ran around me, so I am constantly taking notes on what works and what totally failed. I most likely will change how the Lunar Collector items work. Overall, though, I think this is one of the easier events to run; it’s very relaxed – the hard part is staying up for an extreme amount of time!
Now that the party’s over, what’s next for GW-EN? Any upcoming events?
Well, we have TONS of stuff coming up that we are helping out with: the Masquerade Ball on March 26th and TIG is planning a St. Patrick’s Day Party as well! We also are helping out the Power Of Bacon guild with a ‘Skill Design’ contest. As far as events go for us, even with Canthan New Year happening, we have been constantly working on the details of the upcoming Toga Party for MS. Events as large as this one coming up in April don’t just happen overnight – and trust me, you aren’t gonna want to miss out!
And finally, as the release of Guild Wars 2 draws ever closer, what will happen to GW-EN when it’s released? Will you be running events in both games?
We are still in the works of figuring out how the transition to Guild Wars 2 is going to happen. We really need to see how the districts and servers are going to be setup before we finalize where and how we are going to fit into the new format. What I believe will be happening is the DJs will have a good while to play the game and get used to it; time to gather prizes, time to get to know the new players and returning players to the community as well. We are thinking that we will be holding contests for real prizes on-air during this time. For example: copies of Guild Wars 2, computer equipment and other cool stuff we have lying, ready to give out! Of course, the music will be playing 24/7 and we will be working on creating weekly, or sometimes more often, updates about Guild Wars 2 as more information becomes available. I do have to say though….we are super pumped about it!
For all the Guild Wars 1 players out there that are afraid we are going to abandon them; don’t worry! We will be popping back into Guild Wars 1 once in a while to host ‘Nostalgia’ parties. I don’t think I could abandon lll Santa lll on Guild Wars 1 :)
It’s hard to truly convey the atmosphere of Canthan New Year and the sheer sense of enjoyment we all received from participating in it with just words. So, as one final treat, I present to you the best bits of Canthan New Year 2011 in screenshots! Happy browsing and I look forward to seeing you at the next community-driven event![imagebrowser id=6]