From time to time MMO developers will add little nods to real life into their games. In Guild Wars 2 you can see this with NPCs like Dulfy and the barefoot Queen Jennah, amongst others, and now we can add Mini Springer Ramona to that list. A loving tribute to a gorgeous bunny named Ramona.
Mini Springer Ramona first appeared in the API and in the miniatures panel in the August 28th’s update. Her addition went by without any comment from ArenaNet and aside from the description in the miniatures panel which read “This miniature can only be crafted in the Mystic Forge” there were no hints on how to make her.
Almost an entire month went by before the topic came up on the forums. At that time player, Malediktus noted that the mini should be in the game because two GW2efficiency users have it unlocked, but they also pointed out that with there being 10 Mini Springer variants available, plus all the other possible combinations of items, finding exactly what it took to unlock Ramona would be difficult and potentially quite expensive. For the next few days there was a bit of discussion and speculation, but at that time no one could even work out who Ramona was or why she might be in the game, let alone how to unlock her.
On October 2nd the plot thickened as the wiki entry for Ramona noted that she had been removed from the Miniatures Panel. The Awakened Asura mini was removed at the same time, leading some to believe that Ramona was never meant to actually be released. It was at that point the trail went cold and the forum users who were so curious went silent.
Then on October 10th, there was a breakthrough and the origin of Ramona the Mini Springer was finally revealed. It was found in a blog post on Tumblr made by a GW2 fan who just happened to run into an ArenaNet developer with Ramona. The developer, later revealed to be Chelsea Mills, explained that the Springer Mini Ramona was a tribute to her sister’s bunny named Ramona who had recently passed away. Chelsea was the artist who had painstakingly worked to recreate Ramona in Guild Wars 2, paying special attention to the fur to get Ramona’s pattern just right. The two people in the game who owned the mini were, in fact, Chelsea and her sister.
Ramona is such a special tribute to a special bun you would understand if they had made Ramona unobtainable by players, but Chelsea and her sister wanted Ramona to be within reach of any player who wanted her, and they also wanted the players to find her recipe on their own. As soon as the blog post was linked on the forums the hunt was on once again.
By the next day, progress was already being made on unlocking Ramona. Malediktus had discovered three of the four items used but with thousands of possible options, help was needed. It was decided that it was most likely a very cheap item since the three that they had discovered already were themselves quite cheap. And then, on October 12th Haleydawn became the third owner of the Mini Ramona but, she wouldn’t give away what the fourth item needed was. Later that day though the complete recipe was added to the wiki and the mystery was solved. Now anyone could get Ramona, even me.
Then Nanya, the original owner of Ramona chimed in on the forums.
“Hello everyone, I thought I would chime in here now that the recipe has been discovered and is out in the wild.
Ramona was my rabbit. She was my best friend and I had her for a wonderful 10 and a half years. She would have been 11 years old in 2 days. She was an enormous 12 lb bun (I think a New Zealand/Flemish mix) and was the absolute sweetest, most goofy girl ever with the best personality. A total snugglebug. I’ve had lots of pets in my life and it’s never easy losing them, but she has been the most difficult to say goodbye to. I miss her dearly. Being able to have her with me on my adventures has really helped me cope with the loss.
The heart shaped cookie in the recipe is a nod toward one of her favorite treats. She went absolutely bonkers for them; she couldn’t get enough of them or oats.
Here are some pictures of her: https://imgur.com/a/YEFII1x
I’m so glad you guys have been so excited and determined to figure out how to get her in game, and I’m amazed how quickly the recipe was figured out! I hope that you too enjoy having my sweet girl as a companion on your quests.”
Chelsea also left a comment on the forums thanking the players. “Thank you so much to all of you who are being so respectful and loving toward Ramona, and to me and my sister. I’m super glad I had the opportunity to create a tribute to such a great bun and it warms my heart that other people will continue to love her as a pet in game.”
And that is the story of how a bunny who loved by one particular family came to be loved by an entire community of players around the world. As of writing this, there are 1,678 people who use GW2Efficiency who have unlocked Ramona, which is less than 1% of the playerbase who also use the site. Making her the rarest mini I have. On my account, Ramona is going to live with Inga Östberg, my Norn Ranger who has always had a soft spot for the spirit of Hare and followers of Bunny. And though Inga may make her home in the Wayfarer Foothills she will always be happy to take Ramona to Queensdale, which without a doubt is the best place for a grass loving bunny to roam.
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