This week in Guild Wars 2

The waiting is nearly over … which makes this last week before the first Beta Weekend Event starts that much harder to endure. We’ve got the broad outlines thanks to yesterday’s ArenaNet blog post: the event starts next Friday (see here for exactly when it starts in your time zone) and runs until the end of Sunday (60 hours after it starts). We’ll have the option of playing human, charr, and norn characters and all eight professions. In addition to the areas we saw in the last press beta event, we’ll also get to explore Lion’s Arch.

This and all following beta events are not under a non-disclosure agreement, so you can save screencaps, record video, and write about your experiences to your heart’s content. However, earlier beta event participants are still bound by the NDAs they signed for those events (and also note that there may be some non-BWE activities that would have their own NDAs). The GuildMag staff will be covering as much as we can during the event and afterwards, limited only by our absolute minimum food, water, and sleep requirements.

Don’t get too attached to your beta characters: they will be wiped at the end of the event (that is, you’ll be starting all over again at the beginning of each beta weekend event). This means, unless it’s critically important to you, you shouldn’t spend too much time on the aesthetics of your character: you’ll be taking away time from experiencing all the rest of the content. The same probably goes for crafting: try it out, but don’t spend a lot of extra time working there unless that’s something you absolutely love.

While WvW is definitely one of the things I’m most interested in trying, I probably won’t do much of it during this event — my top priority is learning the UI and getting familiar with how to make my character(s) effective. It’ll be fun to jump all the way to level 80, but I’d end up just being an easy kill target if I’m not able to use my character’s skills properly.

I’d been playing Guild Wars for about six weeks when ArenaNet announced plans for Guild Wars 2. I assumed that I’d completely missed all the fun, since GW2 was, metaphorically speaking, just around the corner. I thought it was a strong possibility that I might not finish any of the campaigns before GW2 arrived. My Hall of Monuments now sits at 49 points (thanks to lots of help from my guild and particularly from my guild leader), and I need another three titles to get that final point (and two more after that to get GWAMM). I think ArenaNet has kindly paced their development schedule to allow me to get the very most out of my initial Guild Wars investment…

Official Guild Wars 2 news

  • On the official Guild Wars 2 Facebook page: “We’re closing in quickly on 500,000 Facebook followers for Guild Wars 2. That’s a half-million, and we want to thank you all with some special gifts along the home stretch. Beginning with 460,000 followers, we’re going to share some new GW2 art with you for every 10,000 new followers. When we hit the half-million mark, we’ll unveil a final epic piece of art that we guarantee you’ll love!”
  • The Beta Weekend Event is Coming! “As you can see, there’s a ton of stuff to do in the upcoming Beta Weekend Event on April 27-29. It’s honestly way more content than one person can experience in 60 hours of playing—and we haven’t even included the asura and sylvari in this beta! Fortunately, this will not be the last Beta Weekend Event before launch—stay tuned for more news regarding the next event.”

Recent GuildMag posts

  • Kind Hearts of the Sea – The Quaggan. “In our most recent article and over the past few months, we’ve explored the fiercer side of the aquatic civilizations, from krait to naga, and finally to the elusive Elder Dragon of the sea. However, there is a more benevolent and peaceful side to this otherwise harsh environment. A side which is to be found amongst the soft-spoken and mild-mannered quaggan.”
  • GWEN Toga Party for Multiple Sclerosis. “The Toga party started in 2009 as just a regular party to get together, have fun, and win prizes. In 2010 it shifted its focus to helping raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. They moved the party to April to coincide with the Canadian MS walk which was two weeks after the party. This gave them plenty of time to promote and raise money for the cause. So you might be wondering why GWEN and Rhonda are so passionate about MS. The answer is that this is a disease that has affected Rhonda personally. I asked her to share her story and I don’t think I could do it justice just by paraphrasing it so here it is in its entirety”
  • Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Event 27-29 April. “Good news everyone! ArenaNet just officially announced that the first Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Event (BWE) will start on April 27 and will last until April 29!”
  • Beta Weekend Event (27-29 April) Detailed! “Are you as excited to play Guild Wars 2 in the upcoming Beta Weekend Event as we are? ArenaNet released the details of the first Beta Weekend Event, you can check out a list of available features in the upcoming Beta Weekend Event below! We here at GuildMag will bring you coverage during the event here and via our twitter, so be sure to check us out on both mediums! As a note, the Guild Wars 2 client download will be e-mailed to all participants somewhere early next week!”

Fan articles and blog posts

  • Guild Wars 2 JournalGuild Wars 2 EU Fan Day: Ascalonian Catacombs. “One of the most exciting features we got to play was no doubt the Ascalonian Catacombs dungeon. We started off with a run through the story mode, and our group consisted of a warrior (Tilion from Dragon Season) and 4 elementalists (Ligia from Mediavida, Tasha Darke, 4thVariety from Wartower, and myself). After we made our new Charr characters we could simply teleport to the waypoint next to the dungeon, which was unlocked for the demo. There we found two NPCs who would sell gear and weapons for tokens that you can earn in explorable mode, as well as another NPC who agreed to boost us up to level 30 after we told him that we are “members of the press, we can help you!”. This also included a whole set of items and enough skill points to play around with skills and traits while everybody gathered in front of the entrance.”
  • Reddit — Looks like someone goofed – Pre-purchasers have access to test. “For the people willing to just try for themselves, it seems hit or miss if your account can access it (or manage to even get on, stress test is stressful), this is the client” [Raphia: Do I even need to say that this is a silly thing to do? Why permanently risk your beta access and possibly your access to the released game just for boasting rights on Reddit?]
  • Reddit — Your Survey Results Are In! “Finally, the professions. Elementalist clearly won the round here, with 18% of the votes. It was followed by the Thief (14%), the Warrior (13%), the Guardian (12%), the Ranger (12%), the Necromancer (11%), the Engineer (10%), and finally, the Mesmer (10%). I’m actually very surprised that the Engineer is so far down on the list; I figured that a brand new, interesting class like that would appeal to a lot of people, but I suppose not. 27 (< 1%) people skipped this question.” [Raphia: That’s surprising, as there seemed to be Mesmer fans all over the place.]
  • Hunter’s Insight — Hard Target. “A lot of free to play games require you use the cash shop to fix purposefully broken mechanics. They need to make money so I don’t resent them for this, but I also don’t play their games. I think the most important quality of a cash shop in an MMO is that you need to make your customers feel like they’re not being forced into the cash shop. That should be Arenanet’s target in winning approval for their model. They’ll need to convince people that the gold for gems system means that you don’t have to spend real cash. That the items they sell aren’t required to play. That nothing in the shop is an unfair exploitation of the player base. That no one has a real advantage over others.”
  • Flame Throwing — Season of the Beta. “There is no specific right time for Guild Wars 2 to launch because they aren’t competing with another game. They are competing with an idea that has no release date. It will stay around until someone challenges it.”
  • Yoshi’s Guild Wars 2 Hub — A Unique Training Experience. “So, I hope by now that everyone’s gotten their pre-purchases done and registered, especially for the Collector’s Edition. Now, we’ve got at least a couple months until the game goes live and only a couple weekends that we can play GW2 before then. So, I thought I’d share with you another game that’s incredibly beautiful, beyond enjoyable, and a good way to prepare for GW2 to an extent — Mass Effect 3. If you’re confused, hold on and let me explain.”
  • Elemental Attunement — Weapon Breakdown: Staff. “Greetings all! Today I am starting a 4 part series where I break down the weapons you will be using as an elementalist. Today I will be starting off with the Staff!”
  • I Only Lied About Being A Thief — Thief Slot Skill Series: Healing. “Unlike the weapon skills, slot skills are on the standard cooldown system. Instead of being able to use the ability repeatedly while worrying about a resource pool, our resource becomes opportunity cost. In other words, we have to decide at any given moment in time if it is the best point in which to use a slot skill. Of course the other consideration is whether or not it is wise to use a slot skill sooner rather than later so that its cooldown “resource
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