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Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon

The ArenaNet Blog marks the Year of the Dragon with details on plans to expand the beta testing of Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet's upcoming MMORPG sequel, saying: "this all leads to the release of Guild Wars 2 later this year." They announce plans to hold progressively larger events following the conclusion of the game's recentl closed beta, and that more and more players will be invited to check out the game in March and April:

This year, you’ll finally be able to immerse yourself in the vast, diverse world of Tyria.

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.

So stay tuned to our official Guild Wars 2 website, our Facebook page, and this blog for more information about how to participate in an upcoming beta event.

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42. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 24, 2012, 20:31 Endo
 
I hope you're right Fion, but I remain skeptical.

Being able to transfer stats from one piece of gear to another is not at all the same thing as not having a gear grind, and the simple fact they're putting that feature in at all is another big warning sign that reads "GEAR GRIND AHEAD!" You didn't need to transfer stats from one set of gear to another in GW because aside from the handful of newbie gear, all gear had the same stats anyhow (well, once they released Nightfall anyway, and even before then stat differences were minor). And most newbie gear styles also had a set with max stats.

I really really liked the starting setup in Nightfall, where you could literally go pick up a set of max gear about 30 minutes after creating a new character.
 
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41. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 24, 2012, 17:47 Fion
 
The cool thing Agent.X7 is that the harder mode dungeons are called explorable mode specifically because they have varying paths and dynamic events. So even if you do run it 6 times for the entire outfit or what not, it'll be different each time even if it's only a small way.  
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40. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 24, 2012, 15:33 Agent.X7
 
I'm really looking forward to the dungeon token system. Nothing was worse in WoW than running the same dungeon 20 times on heroic and never once having anything for your class drop. By the time you collected the 3 or 4 items from that dungeon, you never wanted to go there again. In GW2, everybody gets rewarded for completing the dungeon.  
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39. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 24, 2012, 13:36 Fion
 
Only thing Creston is that GW had lateral progression, unlike most MMOGs that have a linear, level based progression. In GW you can cap in hours pretty easily based upon the campaign you start with. But that's not where things end when it comes to gaining new skills, but only the beginning. The best skills all come from activities you have to complete that have nothing to do with your level (though many require you to be 20). The beauty of the game was that progression really had nothing to do with the level cap. For example there are locations in GW you can only go when you hit 20, however the difficulty of them meant that a new 20 would simply get destroyed there. They are more meant for those who have gained some of the better skills, elite skills and had good builds.

I think GW2 largely will be the same. While the game has a cap of 80, and you certainly gain things as you level, skills, weapon unlocks, etc. You don't 'stop' getting those things when you hit cap. There are still plenty of elite skills, traits, etc that you have to 'unlock' that have nothing really to do with leveling itself. Add to that the 'soft' aspect of levels, that you can participate in nearly every activity in the game at any level and you have another laterally progressive MMOG.

To add a reply to Endo, I think there is a level cap of 80 simply because the game is oriented toward a mass market appeal. Just like GW the gear in the game does not measure your skill and has a much smaller footprint in the game than most other MMOGs. So GW2 will have no real 'gear grind' to it. We know for example that the 'hard mode' explorable dungeons reward players with a token that they can then turn in for a piece of gear tied to that dungeon. We also know you can transfer item stats to gear you find more visually pleasing. Likewise the games lateral progression means it probably won't even have the 'gear grind' that Guild Wars 1 had.

In the end we'll have to wait and see on specifics, but I wouldn't worry about a major gear grind in the game. The games 80 levels help people who are used to a linear progression style accept the game, those same people who thought 20 levels in GW1 was to few, because they didn't understand how progression worked in the game.

This comment was edited on Jan 24, 2012, 13:44.
 
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38. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 24, 2012, 12:02 Creston
 
Endo wrote on Jan 24, 2012, 09:11:
But that was the thing with GW, there was still plenty of character building to be done once you hit cap. Just not in the same way as most MMOs. Also, if you think about it, continued character building via levels really only means something if there's NO level cap. Otherwise, you're expected to hit the cap, and that's that. More levels just means the increments between 1 and cap are smaller. Doesn't mean you actually get to make more choices or anything. Of course it can seem like you do, but that's just a placebo effect.

I don't agree. If you can make one interesting choice per level (either a skill, or a perk, or whatever) that genuinely has an effect on the way your character plays (so not just upping attributes which causes you to do 1.2% extra damage and evade 0.47% more attacks), then it's not that hard to see that if you can make 50 of those choices, it'll be more interesting that if you can make 20 of them?

Of course, like I said, providing there actually ARE interesting choices that you can keep making, and it doesn't turn into Fallout 3 where you always pick the 13 or so best perks, and after that you're just putting stuff into perks that really don't do anything.

Creston
 
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37. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 24, 2012, 11:40 Endo
 
PHJF wrote on Jan 24, 2012, 11:19:
I like leveling up. It's not a Pavlovian thing, I just like feeling my characters get stronger. You fight enemies... you level... and the same enemies become a little easier to fight. It's simple, effective character progression and it's why leveling up has been a video game staple for decades.

The only benefit to having an arbitrarily low cap (as in Guild Wars) is that balancing becomes far less work.
I don't mind level progression either, as long as it doesn't include perpetual gear progression as well. The problem is the two usually go hand-in-hand in MMOs, and the former is often just there to enable the latter.
 
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36. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 24, 2012, 11:19 PHJF
 
I like leveling up. It's not a Pavlovian thing, I just like feeling my characters get stronger. You fight enemies... you level... and the same enemies become a little easier to fight. It's simple, effective character progression and it's why leveling up has been a video game staple for decades.

The only benefit to having an arbitrarily low cap (as in Guild Wars) is that balancing becomes far less work.
 
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35. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 24, 2012, 09:11 Endo
 
Creston wrote on Jan 24, 2012, 02:18:
Endo wrote on Jan 24, 2012, 00:29:
Second, there's a much higher level cap. Why? A low level cap works just fine. Unless, of course, you're putting in a gear grind, where many levels help drag out the process. I personally am sick and tired of gear grinds.

Speaking purely for myself, I was disappointed when my character was "maxed out" at level 20. I played with him/her for quite awhile more, and would have enjoyed being able to alter / add to him during that time.

It's not guaranteed that a higher level cap does that, of course, as most of the time it just turns into the pavlov's "ding" design that was talked about earlier, but if done well, with interesting character choices to be made, allowing you to build your character longer could be very interesting.

Creston
But that was the thing with GW, there was still plenty of character building to be done once you hit cap. Just not in the same way as most MMOs. Also, if you think about it, continued character building via levels really only means something if there's NO level cap. Otherwise, you're expected to hit the cap, and that's that. More levels just means the increments between 1 and cap are smaller. Doesn't mean you actually get to make more choices or anything. Of course it can seem like you do, but that's just a placebo effect.
 
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34. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 24, 2012, 02:18 Creston
 
Endo wrote on Jan 24, 2012, 00:29:
Second, there's a much higher level cap. Why? A low level cap works just fine. Unless, of course, you're putting in a gear grind, where many levels help drag out the process. I personally am sick and tired of gear grinds.

Speaking purely for myself, I was disappointed when my character was "maxed out" at level 20. I played with him/her for quite awhile more, and would have enjoyed being able to alter / add to him during that time.

It's not guaranteed that a higher level cap does that, of course, as most of the time it just turns into the pavlov's "ding" design that was talked about earlier, but if done well, with interesting character choices to be made, allowing you to build your character longer could be very interesting.

Creston
 
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33. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 24, 2012, 00:29 Endo
 
I have mixed feelings about GW2 after the first one, mainly because I think they're getting rid of some things that set the first one apart from most MMOs, and made it better.

First, we already know they're getting rid of primary/secondary classes. That's a very bad thing, because it greatly reduces the number of unique builds you can do. We also know you have a lot less control over the skills you can take, because half your skill bar is entirely dependent on what weapon you're holding. Sounds a lot more like the skill systems in most MMOs rather than the one in GW, which makes it an altogether different game than GW, and not in a good way.

Second, there's a much higher level cap. Why? A low level cap works just fine. Unless, of course, you're putting in a gear grind, where many levels help drag out the process. I personally am sick and tired of gear grinds.

I don't care so much about "sandbox" vs. "themepark". What I care about is having content because it's fun to play through, not content you have to run over and over and over because you need to get this or that gear or faction so you can progress and do the next bit of content over and over and over.

Also, they're going to have to find a way to pull in more money faster from the cash shop than they did with GW. The original GW was (relatively) cheap to operate because of how it was designed using instancing. That's gone in GW2, which means it's going to take the same server hardware and bandwidth as every other MMO out there... and that ain't cheap. I fully expect there to be skills or other useful (if not necessary) items you really can't get except by buying them from the cash shop, or by investing insane amounts of time as in most current F2P MMOs.
 
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32. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 23, 2012, 23:57 Fion
 
Agent.X7 wrote on Jan 23, 2012, 22:49:

I was max level half-way through Prophesies. Then I played Factions, Nightfall, and Eye of the North too. You forget about the leveling treadmill and just enjoy the story and the gameplay. I know, Pavlov's game design has been used for so long that some people forget how to just enjoy something without hearing that DING! every so often, but it's true.

QFT
 
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31. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 23, 2012, 22:49 Agent.X7
 
eunichron wrote on Jan 23, 2012, 14:48:
If they can make it work, it will be great. I played GW1 up to the Nightfall expansion and the only things I did not like were the instanced world, and the PvP focus (though I hear the Eye of the North expansion greatly expanded PvE), both of which look to be fixed for GW2.

The dynamic content leveling idea is neat, but my greatest fear is that it will be one of those, "I'm max level, now what?" deals.

I was max level half-way through Prophesies. Then I played Factions, Nightfall, and Eye of the North too. You forget about the leveling treadmill and just enjoy the story and the gameplay. I know, Pavlov's game design has been used for so long that some people forget how to just enjoy something without hearing that DING! every so often, but it's true.
 
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30. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 23, 2012, 22:39 Cutter
 
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 23, 2012, 21:17:
Fion doesn't hop into every other MMO post and bash it to shit like you do. There in lies the difference. GW2 may very well turn out great, personally I didn't enjoy the first game at all but hey maybe it just isn't my style of mmo.

Right, I forgot. Only you clowns are permitted to bitch about stuff you don't like. No one else is entitled to their opinion. Sieg Heil!

 
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29. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 23, 2012, 22:14 Yifes
 
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 23, 2012, 21:17:
GW2 may very well turn out great, personally I didn't enjoy the first game at all but hey maybe it just isn't my style of mmo.

It's very different from the first game.
 
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28. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 23, 2012, 21:17 RollinThundr
 
Cutter wrote on Jan 23, 2012, 17:12:
Flatline wrote on Jan 23, 2012, 12:21:
Verno wrote on Jan 23, 2012, 11:54:
nin wrote on Jan 23, 2012, 11:36:
We can take turns doing his impersonation of "OMG THIS GAME WILL SUCK DONKEY BALLS!" if you like... :)

His inherent pessimism aside, he's often right on the money in his criticisms.

Considering that 90% of everything is crap, saying a game sucks is roughly as revolutionary as saying that water is wet.

It's not just saying it sucks, but why it sucks. Hey, it's not easy being right most of the time. And hells yeah I'm a pessimist. Probably because I'm a realist, a pragmatist, and a historian with a good knowledge of the long view. Most of you guys are pessimists too, so I'm in good company. However, I think it would be fair to say most of us are optimistic pessimists which means to say 'I'm pretty positive things overall will turn out for the worst.' And hey Fion is just as stoked about this game if not more so, so don't make it out like this all me doing all the cheerleading. Hell lots of people are stoked for this game. And even you naysayers will be converted.

Anyway, woot-woot. Now the pessimist is going to be an optimist and throw his hands in the air, and party like he just doesn't care! So looks like a May or June release, eh? Rock effing on you effing effers!

Number1

Fion doesn't hop into every other MMO post and bash it to shit like you do. There in lies the difference. GW2 may very well turn out great, personally I didn't enjoy the first game at all but hey maybe it just isn't my style of mmo.


 
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27. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 23, 2012, 19:17 nin
 
That mean you have to hate GW2 out of spite?

Dude, if anyone's earned it, it's you!

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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26. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 23, 2012, 19:04 Coolone
 
Alamar wrote on Jan 23, 2012, 18:33:
F2P in 6 months... Mark my words...

Is that how it's done? : )

-Alamar

Right, with all those monthly fees and all
 
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25. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 23, 2012, 19:02 Cutter
 
nin wrote on Jan 23, 2012, 18:43:
Alamar wrote on Jan 23, 2012, 18:33:
F2P in 6 months... Mark my words...

Is that how it's done? : )

-Alamar


Perfect!

Haha! Joke is on you suckers! It's already F2P(ish). So a lot of us hate SWTOR, big deal. That mean you have to hate GW2 out of spite? It's not like its our fault you have such incredibly bad taste in MMOs. If you like the RealityTV/Disney World of MMOs you just go right ahead and enjoy it and don't let anyone tell you kids different. Not everyone has the sophisitcation it takes to appreciate a game like GW2.
 
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24. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 23, 2012, 18:43 nin
 
Alamar wrote on Jan 23, 2012, 18:33:
F2P in 6 months... Mark my words...

Is that how it's done? : )

-Alamar


Perfect!


 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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23. Re: Guild Wars 2 This Year, Beta Expanding Soon Jan 23, 2012, 18:33 Alamar
 
F2P in 6 months... Mark my words...

Is that how it's done? : )

-Alamar
 
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