Guild Wars 2 is the highly anticipated sequel to ArenaNets flagship title. Due to launch sometime in 2012, GW2 aims to fix a lot of whats wrong in the MMO world. With reworked combat mechanics, a focus on Dynamic Events, voiced quest dialog, several new professions, fan-favorite races, and the massive open world of Tyria, Guild Wars 2 is on track to be far more epic in scope than the original while still retaining the F2P business model. The reliance on a holy trinity of class-roles is gone too, with every profession in GW2 being able to take on several roles, including that of a healer. On top of it all, there will also be several unique forms of PVP for the competitive gamer: from match-made contests that any gamer will be familiar with to massive World vs. World vs. World wars that pitch entire servers against one another. ArenaNet hopes there will be something for everyone in Guild Wars 2.
Dynamic Events | Aimed at making questing more interesting than killing ten rats, Dynamic Events are area-wide quests that scale based on the amount of people participating and can set in motion a chain reaction that spans an entire zone. Players will always have something new and exciting to do when they log in, from stopping a band of invading centaurs, to hunting down a massive ice wyrm with the Nords.
Unique Combat Mechanics | Each profession has both weapons and spells to use, and each weapon has its own skills as well. Players will be able to blend their skills to create powerful interactions (fire arrows throw a wall of fire to create flaming arrows), and every class is capable of being a healer, ensuring that youre never waiting around for a priest to complete content.
Personal Story | At character creation, players will set up their personal biography for their hero, which will inform their entire story throughout the scope of GW2, maximizing replay value and ensuring that your character feels like a character, and not just an avatar with shiny armor.
WvWvW PVP | A part of the Endgame, we dont know much about WvWvW PVP yet, other than the fact that it will allow hundreds of players from three different servers to compete against one another in a massive battle with siege weapons and destructible environments for some pretty extreme server-wide bonuses that are bestowed upon the winner.
Free to Play | Guild Wars 2 will continue the tradition of its forebear by being completely free beyond the retail purchase of the game. There will be an Item Shop in the game, but ArenaNet insists that it will only be for cosmetic and convenience items, never for anything that would give one player a competitive edge.
Warrior | Your sword and board master, the Warrior prefers to be in the thick of battle.
Ranger | The ranged specialist capable of splitting an ant in two from three hundred yards away.
Necromancer | Master of the undead and dark arts, you do not want to tick the Necromancer off.
Elementalist | The magical architect of fire, air, earth, and water. Basically, a raging pyro with a few other tricks as well. But come on fire.
Guardian | This profession is hell-bent on protecting his mates, and he does it through causing pain to his enemies as well as warding his allies.
Thief | Fancy yourself a spry little pickpocket? Or do you just want to get all stabby on someone? This may be the class for you.
Engineer | Guns, traps, bombs more guns. The engineer is all about the mechanics (literally) of battle.
Mesmer | A fan favorite, the Mesmers skills involve the manipulation and destruction of its enemies minds. He will make you think youre on fire while you fight mirror images of him and watch him teleport across the battlefield in the blink of an eye.
Asura | Little, genius, and damned cute, the Asura are technological marvels with an passion for technology.
Charr | Primal, tribal, and obsessed with warring as a part of their main existence, the Charr are new allies to the people of Tyria but ferocious ones at that.
Norn - These massive 9-foot tall Northerners value the spirits of nature more than anything else.
Sylvari | The Sylvari are a young botanical plant-like race, whose inquisitive nature has brought them to the forefront of the conflict in Tyria.
God I hope this game is good enough to keep me addicted for years. As Huey Lewis would say: "I want a new drug"
SWTOR lasted only a few months before servers started to die. I really REALLY hope that isn't the fate waiting for GW2. The fan base certainly seems pumped.
This, I was all about TOR but that turned out to be a short term game. Hoping GW2 will be my next big long term fix. I enjoyed the first beta, looking forward to the beta this weekend for more play time
What was your opinion of the game Shatter if you don't mind asking.
Also, looks like there is a 5 gig update for those playing this weekend.
I enjoyed it. Combat was fun, the events system vs standard questing was really nice. I did not get a chance to try WvWvW though which is really what I want to do so I plan to do more of that this weekend.
Its almost hereâthe second Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Event begins this Friday! For three days, players from all over the world will experience the wonders and dangers of Tyriaâand a ton of cool new content!
Keep Your Characters!
Or create new human, norn, or charr characters and start a whole new story. Since players will be able to play with their existing characters from the first Beta Weekend Event, they can experience some of the new higher level content.
Enter the Catacombs (Explorable Mode)
Looking for a real challenge? Try out the explorable mode of the Ascalonian Catacombs dungeon for groups of ambitious level 35+ players. The tough explorable mode of the Catacombs presents a party with three different paths through the dungeon, each with its own dangers and rewards. Enter if you dare!
Visit Lovely Gendarran Fields
Weve opened up a new map, Gendarran Fields, for players to explore. A level 25 to 35 map just outside Lions Arch, Gendarran Fields is a picturesque area of pine trees and rolling hills, teeming with wild beasts and bandit gangs.
Unlock the Mysteries of the Mystic Forge
On a less dangerous note, the Mystic Forge has arrived in Lions Arch. This strange forge actually holds the imprisoned djinn Zommoros, who hails from distant Elona. If you offer the Mystic Forge gifts (like unneeded items and weapons), you will receive a gift in return. Got a pair of pistols that you dont need? Drop them in the Mystic Forge and see what Zommoros gives you in exchange!
Expanded World vs. World
Once again, the Mists will echo with the sound of combat as we open up World vs. World for the weekend. As usual, massive armies of players from different servers will battle for supremacy on four huge maps, but this time weve added a couple of interesting new twists.
Players can now take their WvW battle underground in a new mini dungeon beneath the central map. This brand-new subterranean level is full of tricks and traps that can be used against enemy players, and is home to the aptly named Dark Room, which players will have to see (or not) to believe.
Weve also added skill challenges, dynamic events, and even jump puzzles to the WvW maps. Why are these PvE elements being integrated into WvW gameplay? We want to make the transition from PvE to World vs. World easy and natural for players, says developer Matt Witter. We always wanted additional meaningful content on the WvW maps so that players will always have something to do, even if the frontline of battle is far away.
New Automated Player vs. Player Tournaments and More
For this beta, were introducing Automated PvP Tournaments. Each tournament pits eight teams of five players against each other. Teams that excel during the three-round, single-elimination tournament are rewarded with tournament chests full of valuable loot.
The PvP reward system has also been greatly improved with the creation of a two-tier reward structure that involves Glory and Rank. Put simply, Glory is a currency that players can spend to unlock reward chests stuffed with useful loot, while Rank is a measurement of your success in PvP. Youll receive valuable reward chests as you climb in Rank.
Combatâ A Sense of Hitting
Combat in Guild Wars 2 is more visceral than ever. Were constantly making improvements to the entire combat experienceâbetter timing, enhanced sound design, subtle camera shakesâto enhance what designer Jon Peters likes to call the sense of hitting.
Improved Overflow Servers
We listened to a lot of the input we received from players regarding their experience with overflow servers in the first Beta Weekend Event, and weve implemented a new party UI that tells you when party members are on a different overflow world. Weve also given party members the ability to fast travel to overflow worlds where other members of their party are located, and weve made it easier to keep party members together when moving between maps. Its all designed to give you as smooth an experience as possible.
Communication in general has been greatly improved, as well. Were adding the much-requested chat bubbles, as well as map chat and an updated local chat function, both of which make it easier to communicate with other players.
New Key-Binding Feature
This is one of our most requested features. For those who want to customize their gameplay experience, were introducing a new, easy-to-use key-binding interface, which now allows you to bind modifier keys.
MMO players are often very particular about their user interface, and were no exception. Weve listened to your feedback and have refined our UI to make it even easier to use. Weve revamped the mini-map in the bottom-right corner of the screen. The formerly round mini-map is now square and can easily be resized for better navigation.
UI Artist Vicki Ebberts says, Little adjustments, like making the map resizable or wrapping the dodge meter around the top of the health bubble, may not seem like a big deal at first, but over the course of many hours spent playing a game, you start to appreciate a well-designed interface.
Tiers for Skills
Weve organized each professions elite and utility skills into three different tiers, or levels. When you get enough skills in one tier, you unlock the next level of skills. Why the change from the previous model, which let players choose from all the available skills at once?
The tier system gives players both a sense of progression and accomplishment, says Lead Designer Eric Flannum. It encourages them to experiment with different skills as they increase in power, and it avoids overwhelming new players with a huge list of skills to choose from.
Plus, Flannum adds, the tier system is more scalable and expandable. We can more easily add new skills in the future with this system.
The Gem Store is under New Management
The Black Lion Trading Company out of Lions Arch has officially taken over operation of the Gem Store, Currency Exchange, and Trading Post. Its new owners first action was to completely overhaul the Gem Store.
As a result, the all-new Gem Store is easier to use and has a greater variety of items, from the decorativeâlike dye packs and costumesâto the whimsicalâlike the Box o Fun, which spawns a chest that applies random crazy effects to everyone who touches it. Each beta player will receive 500 free gems on their account, so do a little shopping on us!
Theres no shortage of things to see and do during our second Beta Weekend Event, and this is just a small sample of what awaits you when you log in.
Well see you in-game from Friday, June 8th, at noon PDT (GMT-7) until Sunday, June 10th, at 11:59 p.m. PDT (GMT-7).