This week in Guild Wars 2

If you’ve been living in a cave, you might not have heard that ArenaNet opened the application process for beta events earlier this week. If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s too late for this time — but more than a million folks applied during that 50-hour window. Note that this is not a full open beta: they’re still referring to “beta events” which may mean concentrated weekend testing similar to what they just did for press participants last weekend. If you do get accepted into one of the events, remember that you’ll be under the terms of a non-disclosure agreement, and you won’t be allowed to discuss your experiences until after the NDA period expires. If you missed this sign-up period, we’ve been assured that there will be more opportunities to apply later.

I joked with members of our alliance last night that the only way you’ll know if someone is in the beta is if they suddenly stop talking about Guild Wars 2.

As we had a clear break-point between the start of the press beta test weekend and the Monday release of information from participants, I’ve added a category to list pre-Monday Madness posts from the deluge of posts starting on Monday. For a mind-croggling number of Monday posts, check the aggregation page that Dutch Sunshine has been maintaining throughout the week (with a bit of help from me).

Rather than duplicating what Dutch has done, I’ve just selected information that is not directly related to the beta weekend, plus a few key items that came out of the press beta experience.

Official Guild Wars 2 news

  • ArenaNet blog — Beta Development Update. “Hey, everyone, Lead Game Designer Eric Flannum here. As most of you know by now, it’s a very exciting time for all of us here at ArenaNet. We just finished a huge beta event weekend, and we’ve got beta events just around the corner. We have a lot of work to do to get the game ready, but we’re definitely up to the challenge and eager to show off the game to a larger audience. With that in mind, we’ve been adding all sorts of new things to the game, as well as revising and improving on as many aspects of the game as we think need it.”
  • Guild Wars 2 Beta. “Guild Wars 2 is redefining what is possible in online roleplaying games. We’re casting aside worn out old MMO conventions for a new kind of gaming experience where your character’s story actually matters and your actions really have an impact on the world. Bid farewell to grind and hollow, meaningless quests and enter Tyria, a land of beauty and danger filled with dynamic events that are constantly changing and evolving. With dynamic action-oriented combat, customized personal storylines, intense competitive PvP, and world vs. world battles, Guild Wars 2 has something for every kind of gamer.”
  • ArenaNet blog — Mike Ferguson Takes Your WvW Questions Here and on Reddit. “Hello again, everyone! After reading tons of fan reactions to our World vs. World blog post, there were a number of comments and questions that we wanted to touch on to hopefully clarify some things.”
  • Reddit — IAmA Guild Wars 2 Game Designer AMA About World vs. World PvP. “Good morning everyone! My name is Mike Ferguson and I’m one of the designers at ArenaNet. Thanks for joining me for this AMA about Guild Wars 2‘s world versus world gametype. […] As a quick introduction, I’ve been at ArenaNet for almost 6 years and have worked on many of the Guild Wars expansions. I’ve been concentrating on world versus world for the last year and a half, and now I’m here to answer all your questions on it!” [Raphia: If you find the full list hard to read, there’s also the summary of just Mike’s responses here. We have also created a page in which all Questions and Answers are listed for an easier read which can be found over here.]
  • Guild Wars 2 is Exploring Underwater PvP Possibilities “ did a live interview with Jonathan Sharp, Mike Z and Martin Kerstein on the recent Press Beta experiences. While talking about how PvP works in Guild Wars 2 Gary Gannon managed to grab some new information on underwater PvP.”

Recent GuildMag posts

  • A New Beginning. “Una nueva etapa comienza. As a fan site, or a site in general, there are a few things that make you proud of what you have achieved. As a project leader, I’ve always dreamt of using GuildMag to spread in depth editorials, lore articles and other fun stuff that the Guild Wars universe is rich of. We also pay great care to anything that the community creates and love to support those that show a heart for the overall community. It’s then a great pleasure to see two things collide: The sharing of knowledge and the power of the community.”
  • World vs. World: Have Fun Storming the Castle! “WvW — I’m just going to call it Wuv, because that’s how I feel about it. What is there to love about it? Oh, well let’s just take a look. Actually, let’s stop for a sec. I’m writing this knowing full well that by the time it’s posted, the non-disclosure agreement for the press beta will have lifted and there will be plenty of first-hand experiences of WvW. Still, there’s a lot I’m excited about, so here are some of the elements of WvW I’m most looking forward to.”
  • Press Closed Beta Test Aggregation Page. Dutch has been keeping this page on top of just about everything to do with last weekend’s press event. Check the page for more articles and videos than you can possibly stay on top of.
  • Guild Wars 2 Press screenshots. “Alongside the beta access, ArenaNet provided the press with a couple of jaw-dropping screenshots. These are definitely worth checking out as it shows Guild Wars 2 on its best. These screenshots include a look at combat, above and underwater environments, WvW, Characters and structures!”
  • Origins of the Norn. “In the largest mountain range upon Tyria’s surface dwells an individualistic race of fighters known as the norn. Called half-giants and standing at 9 feet tall with a very human appearance, and capable of transforming into half-animal forms, the origins of these norn have been of some debate for some time. Why do they appear similar to other races? Are there shared roots between the norn and other races, and if so which races do they share a common ancestor with and which do they not? There are quite a few theories, but three among them stand out above the rest. Each theory has deep background for complete understanding and as I cannot include all of such here, I shall list citations for those wishing to further read upon these ideas and reasons.”

Posts before the Monday Madness began

  • — Gamescom 2011 Cliffnotes #4: Little Birdy. “No Gamescom demo is ever complete without an epic set-piece moment. The task at hand was to kill a mocking bird, a giant undead death dealing mocking bird to be exact. To make sure nobody misses the giant dragon, the game abandoned all the regular MMO obfuscation and played it straight. If the final version of GW2 is missing such convenience features to direct players towards special event moments, then it will certainly not take long for fansites to come up with something to the same effect. I also expect some guides to describe min-max efforts for having the dragon reappear by meeting certain criteria. If the loot is any good, that is. Big MMO bossfights are hardly ever fought because the gameplay is so brilliant and engaging you get addicted to the encounter itself. Since that is what I am here to find out, let’s click on the button.” [Raphia: Includes a highly amusing aside about fake medieval ruins and the dangers of jumping while wearing chainmail.]
  • Nerdy bookahs and their travel guide — Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (February 18, 2012): Hype, where art thou?. “Warning! Today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch includes lots of personal opinions and rants. Do not continue reading if that’s not what you like! ;) The thing I have been looking forward to the most has finally been talked about on ArenaNet’s blog: World vs. World. Now, it might be because of stress in my “other life
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