Hey all–sorry that I’ve been quiet the last couple of weeks. I’ve been really busy, and I expect that this will continue to be the case. I know I won’t be able to play in the upcoming BWE (aside from a few minutes to play with the Asura and Sylvari character creators) and won’t be able to start regular updates again until August. However, since I have a free moment I thought I’d poke my head in and talk about the details of BWE3. Also, for those of you who have not pre-purchased, I have a beta code to give away! Read on for details on that too.
First off: a mid-beta character wipe that we were all fearing, but sorely expecting, is finally upon us. I believed this was coming back before BWE2 and was wrong, and briefly speculated whether there would be a character wipe at all. Now that ArenaNet has announced a progress wipe both before and after this beta weekend, those questions can be laid to rest. There is one nice touch though–your friends list will be preserved through the character wipes so you don’t lose touch with anyone you met during the beta. That’s pretty great, and shows the strength of ArenaNet’s self-image as a community-building company.
Vistas sound pretty cool–as someone who loves exploring PvE zones and taking screenshots, it seems like a perfect addition for my interests. At first I thought I could see many people thinking of this as “meh, just another cutscene to sit through” but then I realized that only pretty cynical gamers will think that. The game is gorgeous and I think a completion reward for looking at panoramas of the maps is a nice touch.
The rest: Keg Brawl–it will be cool to finally try out one of these minigames that we heard about awhile ago. I haven’t been hotly anticipating them but I’m curious to hear what people think. We also got a new map for PvE, Brisban Wildlands, which will be swarming with Asura and Sylvari (at least if anyone ever leaves the Grove!) There’s some new PvP stuff too, and I told myself I’d try and care about it, but I just don’t. I’m a co-op PvE person at heart–I want to work together with you, not stab you and light you on fire. Finally, they’re pushing the Gem Store into full production and you’ll be able to spend real money if you so choose. If you do, any gems you bought will be refunded to your account for headstart/launch.
At this point I can only think of two key pieces of info that are missing: the first is server guesting–lots of servers are full now and I couldn’t play with a friend because of no guesting during BWE2. Secondly, we haven’t heard anything about the extended experience apps and website in quite awhile. It would be great to have some kind of confirmation that the extended experience still exists–interacting with maps, friends, guilds, and especially chatting sounds totally awesome and I would be sad if EE got scrapped. Other than that, it would have been a cool thing to test out in a beta environment.
Right, let’s talk about the beta code giveaway! I think at this point we know a lot of the big, important reasons to try out GW2–the dynamic event system, actiony combat, no-trinity class system, true cooperative gameplay, and more–but there are a lot of little details that make the game great too. For a chance to win a beta code, either leave a comment or follow me on Twitter or Facebook and tell me your favorite little detail about Guild Wars 2. Some examples might include: the Asura’s floppy ears, the fact you can talk to frog-people who’ll turn you into a toad, or how totally awesome necromancers are (ahem.) Entering will give you a random chance to win the beta code. In addition, if you’re looking for help with your Hall of Monuments, I will give 100k of Guild Wars 1 gold to my favorite entry! I’ll post my top 10ish entries in a follow-up post tomorrow night or Wednesday. Good luck!