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Non-religious holiday discussion


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#1 sty0pa

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:49 AM

Holidays - why does the game have some and not others?

The fact is that holidays in the real world have national, religious, or cultural implications that aren't universal. Obviously, even the WORD "holiday" has a religiously-loaded etymology. Even New Year (the most secular holiday I can think of) isn't necessarily shared by the Chinese (well they have it, just at a different time).
Ergo, if you're going to have holidays in a game (which I think is fun) you have to pick SOME arbitrary dates. Generally, since Anet is an AMERICAN company, it would be reasonable to assume that they are going to be American/Western holidates.

But since this is a FANTASY world, let's look at it from a less ethnocentric view, then.

TYPICALLY, every culture has festivals for:
1) year-change
2) midwinter
3) midsummer
4) "spring is here"
5) "harvest time"
...plus usually some other specific ones that are special days of cultural, religious, national, or other significance.

Of course, many places 'map' their holidays onto these primaries. Christianity was incredibly successful in doing so - in the US they "own" Christmas and Easter. (Sorry Kwanzaa, it's just too forced.) In the US it's: 1) New Year 2) Christmas 3) 4th of July 4) Easter and Spring Break and Memorial Day...sort of. 5) Labor Day?
So there's a solid logical basis for Anet having world-wide festivals on these 5 points, AS WELL AS a good argument for them implementing narrow, smaller local festivals "just for Hoelbrak" or even an occasional local festival, like the "Garenhoff Fish Fest", a weekend where (only in Garenhoff) there's a special surplus of local foods and beverages, karma bonuses (everyone's in a good mood, right?), minigames, contests, etc. The Charr certainly would have a special day for the fall of Ascalon (probably celebratory, as Charr don't seem the type to mourn much at all), Sylvari would likely have a festival commemorating the day the first-born became aware. Etc.

Edited by Ethereal, 04 November 2012 - 06:00 AM.
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#2 justf0rnow

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 06:51 AM

mardi gras in LA, please!
That would be the first one in any MMO history!

#3 Ca|sifer

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 06:57 AM

Really, having holiday events in the game for the 4th of July and Labor day? I'm sorry, but not everyone in the game is from the US. We don't want to be showered by American patriotism. Just keep it the way it was in GW1. Wintersday, Halloween, Dragon festival, and Easter(? I don't recall if there was one.) I do agree, however, with having localized, lore based events like festivals and things like that. I don't think celebrating the Fall of Ascalon would be a good one because of the treaty and stuff like that. But I guess my main point in this post is NO HOLIDAYS THAT ARE NOT WIDELY RECOGNIZED. THAT MEANS NO 4TH OF JULY, NO LABOR DAY. Only universal events like the New Year, Christmas/Hanukkah (Wintersday), and Halloween etc.

EDIT, sorry re-read and I realised you were using the US holiday schedule as an example but I still disagree. Keep it with the 3/4 main events to let them stay fresh and exciting. The rest of the months can be the standard content patches which we are starting to see.

Edited by Ca|sifer, 04 November 2012 - 07:00 AM.


#4 Haishao

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:00 AM

They should make event for Eid al-Fitr so we could mine baklava and stuff

#5 Flaming_Foxx

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:00 AM

Keep in mind that any holidays GW does have come from GW1 and while they use dates/times with real world associations they exist as in-game lore.

For example. There is no Christmas in Tyria. But there is Wintersday which has traditionally centred around Dwayna and Grenth.

I don't see them adding in smaller area specific type holidays simply because it would take too many resources for what it would amount to.

But you can definitely expect more holidays as Cantha and Elona are re-opened. Cantha has the Dragon Festival and Canthan New Year (Which I believe coincides with Chinese new year) and Elona has the Festival of Lyss etc.

-Edit- Also, don't try and use American holidays as a justification, because they aren't American Holidays, they're predominantly Western Holidays, as in, celebrated in a whole lot of countries, like England, New Zealand and Australia etc etc etc. SO NO 4TH OF JULY. That is pretty much America day.... Nobody from any other country wants that. Period.

Edited by Flaming_Foxx, 04 November 2012 - 07:02 AM.


#6 Ardeni

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:02 AM

I think that Arenanet is trying to find a balance between different cultures. They can't prefer one culture to other, which is why they don't have some holidays in game while they have some others. Unlike you (the OP) seem to think, they can't have an event for every single festivity that exists in some culture since otherwise we would have events all the time and thus they wouldn't feel like events.

Your list of American holidays is very American, like you said. In Finland our top 5 holidays are the following: 1) Christmas 2) New year 3) Midsummer 4) Easter and 5) Independence day (6th of December). Even though both our cultures can be described as western, we only have three major holidays in common. And oh, we don't have halloween here, apart from few people who celebrate it being inspired by American Halloween. Honestly, before checking on the internet I had no idea what Memorial day and Labor day are for.

This holiday thing is not really an issue for me. I don't care how they name their events and I don't care how unlikely it is that they'd celebrate holidays in a Finnish manner. In fact, it seems likely that none of the major Finnish holidays apart from the New Year will be introduced. I don't mind this since I understand that Arenanet can't please everyone in their decisions. I can also understand why Americans could except to have their holidays as in game events (since Arenanet is an American company after all) but really celebrating a very nation-specific holiday such as the 4th of July could really annoy some people.

#7 Ca|sifer

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:02 AM

Guys! No! No events which are only recognised in a very select part of the world! That's just a stupid idea.

@Haishao, do you realise how much of a shitstorm celebrating Eid al-Fitr would cause?

Keep your standard three/four, so everything stays religiously and culturally (for the most part) neutral. Content patches for the other 9 months. I'd also be REALLY open to charity events. Like making Pink Day in L.A. more of a thing and having all event item Gem purchases contribute to a donation.

Edited by Ca|sifer, 04 November 2012 - 07:04 AM.


#8 Haishao

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:10 AM

That would be great.

They should sell mustaches (for as many gems you want to pay) on Gemstore for Movember and give 100% profit to cancer organization. and they better not forget the girl mustache too or it'll be completely unfair.

Edited by Haishao, 04 November 2012 - 07:10 AM.


#9 Merryham

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:23 AM

I don't know if it's in the GW-universe, but Walpurgis should be added! :)
http://en.wikipedia....Walpurgis_Night

"It is exactly six months from All Hallows' Eve."

#10 Minami Kaori

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:33 AM

I just wish there was a holiday that bridges the time between the Chinese New Year (not sure if GW2 will have that one, since it was Cantha specific), and Halloween.
We practically have no awesome holidays from late spring til probably Halloween (unless Anet plans to throw a big game release day celebration in-game as well).
With all this said, I can't wait for Wintersday!!

#11 Valkaire

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:37 AM

View PostMinami Kaori, on 04 November 2012 - 07:33 AM, said:

I just wish there was a holiday that bridges the time between the Chinese New Year (not sure if GW2 will have that one, since it was Cantha specific), and Halloween.
We practically have no awesome holidays from late spring til probably Halloween (unless Anet plans to throw a big game release day celebration in-game as well).
With all this said, I can't wait for Wintersday!!

Wintersday in July and the Dragon Festival? =[

#12 Minami Kaori

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:46 AM

View PostValkaire, on 04 November 2012 - 07:37 AM, said:



Wintersday in July and the Dragon Festival? =[

The Dragon Festival was also in Cantha only, and the Wintersday in July is not nearly as fantastic as it is when it's properly held: during winter / Christmas.  
In fact, I think the whole Christmas (or in this case, Wintersday) in July thing is something American, I've never seen it being done in any other country.

#13 WinterSnowblind

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:21 AM

For those that don't know, the holidays in the original GW were:
Canthan New Year (January/February)
Dragon Festival (July)
Halloween (October)
Wintersday (December)

There were also minor events like the "lucky weekend" where you could randomly find four leaf clovers and shamrock ale, but they didn't have any town decorations or new quests, etc.

Basically, there was a big event every season and (aside from the dragon festival being centred around an ingame event) they were fairly obviously based on major holidays that are celebrated across the world though.  Even if you don't personally celebrate them, there's in-game reasons for them existing too.  I think we all just saw how Halloween is handled, but even Wintersday is more of a celebration of winter in general, even if there's a lot of Christmassy elements there, there's nothing overly religious or themes that are country specific that people should take offence to.

Adding something like the 4th of July would be crossing a line, it wouldn't have much relevance to most of the player base, making about as much sense to the rest of the world as a 5th of November festival (which is only meaningful to those in the UK).  It's too select an audience, even if it were given an in-game alternative.

The Dragon Festival has little reason to still exist, unless we somehow return to Cantha before then, but it could easily be modified to celebrate the defeat of Zhaitan, which I think would be pretty fun to see.

Edited by WinterSnowblind, 04 November 2012 - 09:26 AM.


#14 Valkaire

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:30 AM

I don't think the canthan new year/dragon festival would be totally unprecedented. Divinity's Reach does have a large gathering of all human nations. I believe the Great Collapse happened in the Canthan District. Sure, it might not be as big as it was/is in Cantha but I'm sure the celebration still happens :P

#15 Gruunz

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:29 AM

They should have mini celebrations for each race. Some lore thing based e.g.

Norn ## day - I forgot what it was called but 'The Gathering' essentially it's reliving the beginning of your personal storyline but this time it's a global dynamic celebration. Every year around ## it's a large celebration focused around the "I am legend" thing.

Asura - no idea what they do, haven't played them much or given much interest
Charr - same as above, not sure what they would do.
Sylvari - Same as above.

Humans - Stuff like Grenth Day or something "yea! let's all slaughter ourselves for Grenth, take my BLOO..D.."

It would add a little more to the home cities of each race.

#16 dd790

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:13 PM

There are no single nation, or single religion events ingame. The events ingame are all celebrated by a number of countries, most are no longer religious on Earth, let alone Tyria and there is no IRL religious symbolism anywhere in Tyria.

The Halloween ingame is the modern social and commercial imagining of Halloween and has little to do with the religious origin

The Wintersday ingame is the modern social and commercial imagining of Christmas and has little to do with the religious origin

Canthan New Year is probably the one closest to it's spiritual origins as it mirrors the Chinese Zodiac

Lucky Day is the "let's go get blind drunk and were a pint of Guinness on our heads" version of St Patrick's Day, people who know nothing about Ireland celebrate that and I bet some couldn't even point to Ireland on a map.

Easter is the chocolate egg version not the Christian version and rabbits and chicks and such are not Christian but a symbol of innocence and new life associated with Spring.

There was Thanksgiving in GW1 and not sure I really liked that as it is an American day, sure Americans could argue that the Irish had their day so why not America? but that sets us along the path of, so why not St Georges Day? Why not all the National Days? Why not Zoidberg?

I wouldn't mind a few days being added for the other races, there were no racial celebrations in GW1 other than Human ones so there is room for them to be added, Lore wise, as they probably do exist we just never bothered to find out about the other races before the Alliance.

Norn would probably have something from Northern Europe such as http://en.wikipedia....Walpurgis_Night

Sylvari with their Bhangra who probably celebrate around a Buddhist event. Buddha means "awakened one" and Sylvari are always dreaming and awakening more enlightened, and share many philosophies and views with Buddhism

Asura would probably have some sort of Science Fare, Stark Expo style to show off their technological prowess, probably involving them trying to out do each other causing problems and a few experiments gone wrong showing up. Maybe such a collection of energy would warp reality in some way which gives plenty of options for things to add as anything could be added and blamed on this for Lore purposes. Plenty of room for cheesy Sci-fi and horror pop-culture references

Charr are a little tougher really as they killed their Gods so don't really do religion. They are a warrior race and probably the greatest fighters remembered in popular culture were the Spartans. Sure the team at Anet could put some pretty good stuff together for something like this, plus a 300 style battle at the Hot Gates could be a nice way to introduce the Arena Survival mode people have been asking for.

Edited by dd790, 04 November 2012 - 12:39 PM.


#17 Wifflebottom

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:39 PM

View PostMinami Kaori, on 04 November 2012 - 07:46 AM, said:

The Dragon Festival was also in Cantha only, and the Wintersday in July is not nearly as fantastic as it is when it's properly held: during winter / Christmas.  
In fact, I think the whole Christmas (or in this case, Wintersday) in July thing is something American, I've never seen it being done in any other country.
No, America celebrates Christmas in December

#18 Psydrome

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:13 PM

What a coincidence, i just made this thread at the official forums: https://forum-en.gui...in-other-cities

Its about adding special events in the other main cities...

#19 DarkGhostGizmoXx

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:21 PM

4th July day?! Seriously? Sort of a slap in the face to other countries...
Doing an event on 4th July isn't much better, it implies that that day is special, and everyone needs to celebrate it...

#20 Clyne

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

International Community

Only shared Holidays should be included.


Nuff said.

#21 Essence Snow

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:41 PM

Festivus....for the rest of us!!!!!!

It shall start with the erecting of the Festivus Pole in LA.
Then banquet drops/consumable followed by the time honored "Airing of Grievances".
Finally Festivus will conclude with with "Feats of Strength" where it will not end till an appointed boss is defeated.

Who know's maybe you could try your hand at the black lion chest for a chance to receive a "Festivus Miracle" item!

#22 Feathermoore

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:14 PM

I am not sure what the OP is going for here... You are describing exactly what is already there?

The holidays that existed in GW1 (and likely in GW2) were holidays that would be recognized world-wide and had all of their religious/cultural sides removed when they were completely changed in game lore. There are then the "minor" holidays that just are thrown in here and there. Heck, the players added a ton of those short "holiday" events themselves with the Mursaat gatherings and the Ascalon Ball and so forth.

Are you asking for more of these little holidays to be localized in game? Or what?

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#23 Raani

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:38 PM

I personally could not care less which holidays they choose to celebrate in game as long as they have their own unique Guild Wars lore.

View PostMinami Kaori, on 04 November 2012 - 07:46 AM, said:

In fact, I think the whole Christmas (or in this case, Wintersday) in July thing is something American, I've never seen it being done in any other country.
More common in countries where it snows in July. I've never actually seen it done in America.

#24 Jetjordan

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:16 PM

As someone who has traveled to much of the world I can say that EVERYWHERE has its ups and downs kids.  Lets not argue...

That said its hard to argue with the fact that the people making this game are American.  It's just how it is, no offense.  Let's also not forget the meat of this post:

View Poststy0pa, on 04 November 2012 - 05:49 AM, said:

TYPICALLY, every culture has festivals for:
1) year-change
2) midwinter
3) midsummer
4) "spring is here"
5) "harvest time"
...plus usually some other specific ones that are special days of cultural, religious, national, or other significance.


Saying that there should be a holiday on the 4th of July is a clunky way of saying we should have one mid-summer.  It's just the only mid-summer holiday most Americans are aware of and a good point of reference for the original poster.  I'm sure most everywhere in the world has something they celebrate around the same time....  

Also, Christmas in July is more a of joke than a holiday, how did that elicit such discussion...

#25 Omedon

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:18 PM

Black lion friday!

The black lion trading company has ridiculous , insane deals, but:

1) you have to talk to a trader NPC in person to buy,  

2) All of the trader NPCs are crammed into one zone.

3) In this zone, everyone is flagged for open PvP against everyone else.

4) Only one person at a time may speak to each trader NPC.

:D

Edited by Omedon, 04 November 2012 - 04:19 PM.

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#26 The Trouble With Me

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:35 PM

I had an idea the other day that the Sylvari could celebrate a festival like Diwali but situated at the vernal equinox, because naturally the increasing light levels would be of greater significance to photosynthesizing organisms. Would love to see something like this.

#27 Minami Kaori

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:41 PM

View PostMr_Original, on 04 November 2012 - 12:39 PM, said:


No, America celebrates Christmas in December

I know that... I was talking about the whole Christmas in July thing. -.-

View PostRaani, on 04 November 2012 - 02:38 PM, said:

I personally could not care less which holidays they choose to celebrate in game as long as they have their own unique Guild Wars lore.


More common in countries where it snows in July. I've never actually seen it done in America.

Been living here for 10 years, and every year in the middle of July, TV programs are nothing but The Grinch, a Christmas Story, a Night Before Christmas, etc. And the stores have eggnog, Christmas decorations up, etc.

I'm not even in the north somewhere, I'm in Texas.

#28 sty0pa

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 06:18 PM

View PostFeathermoore, on 04 November 2012 - 02:14 PM, said:

I am not sure what the OP is going for here... You are describing exactly what is already there?

The holidays that existed in GW1 (and likely in GW2) were holidays that would be recognized world-wide and had all of their religious/cultural sides removed when they were completely changed in game lore. There are then the "minor" holidays that just are thrown in here and there. Heck, the players added a ton of those short "holiday" events themselves with the Mursaat gatherings and the Ascalon Ball and so forth.

Are you asking for more of these little holidays to be localized in game? Or what?

To be clear, I see a lot of ranting on this forum and others about "why this holiday and not that" "we don't want steenkin' American holidays" etc.  My point was to try to rationally lay out the fact that ALL holidays IRL have a cultural/religious/native association/origin or (if not) have been hijacked by such.  

Nevertheless, there's a rational basis for a few holidays based purely on the seasons, which is supportable in the sense that pretty much every culture has them no matter what pastiche of nationality of spirituality (or patriotism, in the case of "Midsummer Festival" = 4th of July in the US) has come to occupy that slot in a particular culture.

Basically, in my long-winded way, I'm trying to say that this is a fantasy world, and while having (for example) the 4th of July would be pretty silly (as it celebrates an event that never happened in Tyria), having a Midsummer Festival makes perfect sense.  Further, as Anet is an American company there's nothing really inherently "wrong" with them picking the 4th of July weekend as their chosen date.  Likewise Thanksgiving - a uniquely North American holiday (albeit celebrated on 2 separate dates) which really hasn't a reason to exist in Tyria BUT there is a perfect logic to having a 'harvest festival' as any culture might do.  The "Spring" festival in Christian countries is usually Easter, but a "let's celebrate the end of winter" festival is a fairly unique concept, and I don't really see the particular harm in adopting (again, as Anet is an American company) some of the iconography of bunnies, chicks, eggs, and candy for a Tyrian Spring Revel.

Note: it's pretty clear that while I'm explaining (rationalizing) here the logic why Anet would use familiar (to them) dates and themes for otherwise-universal festivals, it's likewise clear from GW1 that Anet is hardly *exclusively* American, nor (recognizing the worldwide appeal of GW) should it be.  Heck, one might assert that a cheerful willingness to appropriate WHATEVER is enjoyable from other cultures - be it tacos, Chinese New Year, or krumkakke - is itself quintessentially American.

(That said, it occurred to me while writing that as (at least in the NA tradition) Thanksgiving is essentially a festival uniquely about eating it could even be a holiday centered on the cooking profession, leading to a rationale for a host of other festivals throughout the year that could promote/celebrate other professions.  I think particularly of a traveling "market" festival for crafters

EDIT: TL/DR: I like holiday events, and I'm sick of hearing people whine about them because they're (too culturally specific/not culturally specific enough).  I'm trying to bridge the gap between complainers, if anyone cares.

Edited by sty0pa, 04 November 2012 - 06:20 PM.


#29 Asudementio

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 06:52 PM

View Postjustf0rnow, on 04 November 2012 - 06:51 AM, said:

mardi gras in LA, please!
That would be the first one in any MMO history!

My god, mardi gras in LA would be so epic

#30 sty0pa

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:59 PM

View PostAsudementio, on 04 November 2012 - 06:52 PM, said:

My god, mardi gras in LA would be so epic

"You have attempted to activate the Asura Gate to Lion's Arch.  Your character level is 16.  Lion's Arch is rated NC17 for the duration of this holiday.  We regret to inform you that gates/portals to Lion's Arch will be nonfunctional for you until you reach level 18, or are accompanied by a party member 18 and over."




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