This week in Guild Wars 2

If you somehow didn’t hear the news, you’ve been able to pre-purchase Guild Wars 2 since Tuesday. Some people probably need to buy new keyboards because they’ve worn out their F5 key through refreshing over and over and over again until the site went live. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can still do so: in fact, you’ll probably have an easier time of it as the servers won’t be on the verge of melting under the opening day crush.

For everyone who has pre-purchased, the next date circled on your gaming calendar will be the upcoming beta weekend event (if you’ve pre-purchased your license, you also get to take part in all beta events* from now until release). We know it will be at the end of April, but ArenaNet has not told us what will be in the beta we’ll be testing.

That brings up a point that someone mentioned in guild chat the other night … she wasn’t going to pre-purchase GW2 because she’d heard that the beta client was “buggy”. I hope that she was just kidding, but I did point out that anything with a “beta” designation will have bugs, sometimes lots of bugs. Beta weekend is our opportunity to try playing a not-yet-ready-for-release game. Expect bugs. In fact, expect and report bugs!

The more bugs you report, the sooner ArenaNet’s developers can fix ’em, and the sooner we’ll get to a released game. The beta event is a trade: ArenaNet gives you the opportunity to play the game, but in return expects you to fill in the convenient bug report forms and to give them your appraisals of dynamic events, boss fights, and anything else you think they could improve. Having fun is only a side-benefit. If we all do a good job as beta testers, ArenaNet will provide us with a better game at release.

* Note that on Thursday, some players were contacted to take part in a stress test this weekend. This is not considered part of the beta program and therefore is under a non-disclosure agreement. If you’re taking part, don’t risk your access to the beta (and possibly even the released game) by blabbing about it.

Official Guild Wars 2 news

  • ESRB rating for Guild Wars 2 — “This is a massively multiplayer online (MMO) role-playing game in which players perform quests while exploring the fantastical world of Tyria. Players interact with numerous creatures and characters, perform various tasks, and engage in meele-style combat. Players use swords, firearms, explosives, and magic attacks to battle soldiers and enemy creatures (e.g., minotaurs, giant insects, golems). Skirmishes depict enemies getting shot by arrows, slashed by swords, lit on fire, or struck down by lightning bolts; some underwater attacks result in blood-cloud effects, and stylized blood effects are sometimes depicted in cutscenes. Some sequence depict alcohol use: players can earn achievements by consuming alcoholic drinks — the screen appears blurry to denote drunkenness; in a “drinking competition
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