Wednesday, April 1, 2020

All Hail The King Of The Cats: GW2

Guild Wars 2 has something of a checkered history when it comes to April Fools Day. There was the mega-popular Super Adventure Box in 2013 but then, two years later, there was the fixed wing fiasco that led many people to stop playing for the duration.

Since then, SAB has become an annual holiday in its own right and ArenaNet have become much more circumspect about pissing people off for the sake of a gag. This year they've come up with something that's likely to amuse most, delight some and irritate only a few - ailurophobes.

I was setting my Overseer missions in EverQuest II this morning when Mrs Bhagpuss came in to tell me there was something happening in Tyria. I finished up what I was doing and logged in to find I had mail.

Opening the envelope revealed a communication - of sorts - from His Royal Majesty, First Claw of the Realms and Conqueror of the Sunbeam Throne, the King of All Cats. That's some title for a cat that can't even speak English.

The directions sent me to Lion's Arch, appropriately, where a lot of people were running around in a frenzy, talking across each other in map chat and generally behaving like something big was happening.

Which it really wasn't. Mrs Bhagpuss popped up a party invite and I went to join her. She was treading water at the edge of the L.A. harbor, staring up at the biggest cat ever seen in Tyria.

We looked at it for a while. I took some screenshots. Various people wondered in map chat what the cat might want or what we might do to get its attention. I swam down to find that the King of of All Cats wears a collar and name tag, which suggests he might have an owner even more extraordinarly oversized than himself. And that he might not be quite as all-powerful as his title implies.

I went to check the forums to see if anyone had any information about what to do next. No-one did. For about the thousandth time I wished Dulfy was still in the game guide business.

Back in L.A. the general feeling seemed to be that the event was purely for the fun of seeing a very big cat. Which is plenty of fun for a lot of people, myself included.

Also, when you drink the tonic that comes with the mail, something I should have mentioned you need to do before you can see the King of the Cats at all, you also find intangible cats of regular size appearing all around you, wherever you go.

The tonics last an hour and you get nine of them, which is likely to be eight more than most people are going to need, although there are those for whom infinity tonics wouldn't be enough. According to the description they only work on April Fools Day so if you want to get your kitty fix on there's no time to waste.

Word was the King of the Cats could be seen from Gendarran Fields so I went to take a look. It took a little longer than expected because the character I was playing, my foremost Elementalist and primary World vs World character, has apparently never set foot in that map before today.

Once I'd worked out how to zone into Gendarran Fields from Lion's Arch, under somewhat unecessary instruction from Mrs Bhagpuss, there he was, a giant cat looming over the city wall. Most... impressive. Not to say disturbing.

I took a trip to a couple of other starter cities on a rumor that the big cat was visible in all of them but if he was, I couldn't find him. I settled for a few more selfies and that was pretty much that. [Edit - the rumor is true, as confirmed in this forum thread].

As April Fool events go it's quite low key but also well-judged. It's funny, surprising and doesn't ruin your day, which is more than I can say for 99% of practical jokes.

If it turns out there's anything more to it I'll come back with an update but for now, all hail our new overlord, the King of the Cats!


  1. Simply Ameowsing! It's the purrfect April Fool's gag.

  2. Thanks so much for this :D

  3. have not found the 'king of all cats' yet.

    1. I thought the one in LA was the king but who knows? None of them communicate as far as I can tell.


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