After about three years of waiting, ArenaNet is finally having their first “open beta” this weekend for Guild Wars 2! So, what does this mean? Well, in their world, to take part in the open beta, you have to pre-purchase a copy of the game (release date is still unknown), and you will receive a key to activate your account.
And what should we look for in this first “open” beta event?
That gives us a pretty good idea of some things people will be seeing for the first time.
But some of the things people are really excited to see are the skill combos this MMO is going to be offering. Many of the skills of each class will have synergism – that is, an a Ranger can work two skills together to create a rain of flaming arrows to attack multiple foes, or two different classes can work together to create some cool effects.
IGN came up with a great list of some skill combos that could knock the char back to the pre-searing. A few of my personal favorites include the smoke screen of a Thief and the stomp from a Warrior and POOF! (no pun intended, actually) everyone becomes cloaked in a fog that adds Stealth. Or, this illustration of the Lava Font + a Leaping Attack:
Sadly, there is no image or video for what sounds, to me, like the best skill coming up at all: “Crazy Arrows!” Team up a Mesmer and a Ranger for this one – Mesmer fires off a Chaos Storm, and place a ranger in the middle. Start firing off some arrows, and add Confusion to the foes!
So, yeah, that’s all awesome stuff to look forward to. What else can we expect?
Well, the beta weekend is going to provide players with 60 glorious (see what I did there, JayRain?) hours of gameplay time, in which they can try out a Human, Norn or Char character, with all the classes available. We’ll be able to spend some time within the character creator, which, from a review I read on it, should be pretty involved. More on this after Beta Event Weekend.
The various servers have been shared, and different things will happen depending on different servers. Tarnished Coast will focus on role playing. Sorry folks, as awesome as this sounds for regular play once the game comes out, I will NOT be spending a bunch of time in there on the weekend. I will definitely be putting a character or twelve or something on that server once the game launches though.
Next, there will be server vs. server battles. AWESOME! And to think, we just thought they were twiddling their thumbs over at ArenaNet for the last few years. According to Mike Ferguson,
We dreamed of a game where players could work together to capture objectives on the battlefield, like keeps and towers, claiming them for their guilds, then fortifications before defending them against hordes of attackers. With players from three different servers fighting each other, we knew that we would need a lot of different areas for them to fight over, and we wanted to have plenty of locations for guilds of all sizes to claim as their own. With this in mind, we created a number of different objectives that are designed to be captured and contested by large groups, small groups, or even just a few players.
Good times. I might play in there too, but again, not for this beta event.
All-in-all, this looks like a can’t-miss MMO, and really, how often do we hear that? I think the bulk of my time will be spent exploring, and playing with the game mechanics, as well as taking my own screen shots to share. But I think we have a lot to look forward to! More to come after the event. Anyone free to babysit?