This week in Guild Wars 2

The big news was a brief announcement on the ArenaNet blog, letting us know that they will be starting open limited beta testing in March, with early access to “select press” in February, and definite confirmation of full release later in 2012. We’ll now pause to let you all /cheer, /roar, /clap, and /dance. Everybody /catchbreath now? Everyone and their golem linked to the ArenaNet announcement, many with little more than a supersonic “Squeeeee!” as additional commentary. I’ve tried to filter out most of those, as once you’ve read the announcement, you have all the official information already. Articles which had more commentary are linked below. Also from the official site is additional information about the Jotun: big, dangerous, treacherous Shiverpeak foes.

  • ArenaNet blog — Welcome to the Year of the Dragon. “We recently finished our first closed beta test, and we’re now ready to hold progressively larger events. In February we’ll invite select press to participate in beta testing, and in March and April we’ll aggressively ramp up the size of our beta test events so that many of you will have a chance to participate. And of course, this all leads to the release of Guild Wars 2 later this year.”
  • GW2G Forums — Martin Kerstein clarifies the way ArenaNet will conduct beta testing; it’s not “open” in the way many of us were assuming. “We will do Beta Weekend Events. Those of you who played Guild Wars might already be familiar with the concept. It means that many of you (like the blogpost says) will get a chance to participate in specific Events, but access won’t be unlimited — there will be some kind of selection criteria and the beta period will usually start on a Friday and end on the following Sunday.”
  • ArenaNet blog — The Savage Pride of the Jotun. “The jotun (pronounced JŌ-tun) are the last remnants of an ancient society of giants. Once powerful, advanced, and arrogant, they proclaimed themselves rulers of the Shiverpeak Mountains and raised great monuments to themselves on the highest peaks. Their leaders, known as giant-kings, were tremendously powerful beings, as skilled in feats of strength as they were in magic and lore.”
  • IGN.comGuild Wars 2: Top Nine Skill Combos. “We’ve said it many, many times; Guild Wars 2 is the MMO to watch. With no subscription cost, a brilliant event system to replace standard quests, full-fledged (and branching) storylines and a tankless and healerless class system, Guild Wars 2 endeavors to keep what we love about MMOs and change what we don’t. One of the less talked-about aspects of Guild Wars 2 is the Combo system. In a nutshell, the Combo system allows the combination of two different abilities to result in a new or different effect — like how ice cream and hot fudge results in a hot fudge sundae. Except in Guild Wars 2, the sundae would also explode into daggers or something.”
  • — Guildcast: Endgame not necessary. “The controversy revolving around Guild Wars 2 supposed lack of endgame continues. It’s about time we had an expert on the show that has had at least as much game time as our resident expert Rubi Bayer. We introduce to you the winner of the Guild Wars 2 Ambassador video contest, Dan Workman. For the first half of the show, we place Dan in the line of fire allowing him to explain the exciting intricacies of the GW2 dungeon system and how unlike most themepark MMOs the endgame for Guild Wars 2 is pretty similar to what the player has been doing before he hit max level.”
  • Team Legacy — Guild Leadership; An In-Depth Look at Leadership in MMOs. “Of the most overused and misunderstood two words for gamers, leader and leadership are often the most confusing, simply because many people are thrust into roles in gaming without a clear definition of where they fit in the big scheme of the game. This is especially true when being part of a guild or clan in gaming, where tens to hundreds of players are interacting with each other through developer content in the guild setting. Thousands are interacting on any one server, and millions are playing the game for years. Each moment of this playtime a leader emerges whether it is expected of them or not. The purpose of this article is to explore exactly what leadership is, the types of leadership styles, gaming leadership application, the art of the follower, and the importance of training leaders at all levels. The following article is broken up by major subjects to help increase readability of the guide.”
  • — World versus World: Potential Suckfest… “As we get continue to get closer, the fanboys are starting to emerge from the depths of a Dorito bag and long benders on World of Warcraft, posting on forums and talking about how “Awesome, Amazing, and WoW Killing
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