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Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads

The countdown timer on the Guild Wars 2 Website is ticking off the minute to the launch of the MMORPG sequel, showing the game's early access period will begin in under 48 hours. This post has details on how players of the original Guild Wars can claim their "Hall of Monuments" rewards in the new game. To avoid confusion of how the head start and launch will work, ArenaNet provides the following schedule:

The information below will give you specific details about times and dates based on whether you pre-purchased, pre-ordered, or are picking up a copy of the game on release day. For those players who have not pre-purchased or pre-ordered the game, Guild Wars 2 will officially launch at 0:00 AM Pacific time (GMT -7:00) on August 28th.

  • Pre-Purchase with 3-Day Headstart: Everyone who pre-purchased Guild Wars 2 will enjoy three full days of Headstart Access. The three-day Headstart Access will officially begin at 0:00 AM Pacific time (GMT -7:00) on August 25th. However, please note that in order to ensure we’re fully prepared for that fateful hour we may bring servers online up to 3 hours prior. If you’re a player committed to getting in first to grab that character name of your dreams you’ll want to be keeping an eye on things during that time period.
  • Pre-Order with 1-Day Headstart: Those who pre-ordered Guild Wars 2 will be able to participate in one day of Headstart Access. The one-day Headstart Access will begin at 0:00 AM Pacific time (GMT -7:00) on August 27th. NOTE - Pre-Order code registration is now enabled.

Download the Client today: If you’ve registered your pre-purchase or pre-order and created your Guild Wars 2 account you can go to account management today and download the client. Be sure to update the client periodically to minimize your download at launch. We look forward to seeing you in-game very soon!

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19. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 13:42 Agent.X7
 
Beelzebud wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 13:01:
Haven't seen people so hyped for a game since Diablo 3.

It will be interesting to see what the reactions are.

Well, a lot of us have already been playing in the betas. I already know I love the game, because I have played it. And I cannot wait to get my game on Friday night. (I scheduled my part-time employee for all day Saturday so I can sit in the office and play.)
 
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18. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 13:33 Bucky
 
Despoiler wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 13:17:
-The explorer gamer that I used to know has found its way back into MMOs. Anet has packed so much love, polish, and attention to detail into Tyria. The world is gorgeous and unique everywhere. There are so many things that make you go "wow that is cool."

-There is no holy trinity. You don't need a tank, a healer, and a dps. If you want to run a dungeon just group up with anyone and go do it. There is a way to accomplish anything with any class makeup. All classes have a self heal and can rez. Some classes are tankier or have a couple AoE heals, but there is no such thing as a dedicated X. Everyone can change their traits to add survivability, dps, or healing as they see fit, but they will be playing all roles.

These two points are huge for me. During the stress test last night I decided to explore a bit, walked through a waterfall where a 'mini' event spawned and gave me a low level zone boss to tackle. Just as I was starting to lose the fight a few other people joined in, and I welcomed the help. The best part? That area isn't shown on the map, even after I explored it. I'm going to lose a lot of time just exploring.

The death of the trinity is also fantastic. I actually intend to build my Warrior with a focus on banners to help support the group, and I love that I have the ability to focus any class how I want to.
 
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17. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 13:25 Cutter
 
So Friday night midnight, eh? Sweet!
 
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16. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 13:17 Despoiler
 
I haven't been this excited for an MMO in a very very long time. I've been playing MMOs since UO. I'm a PvP junkie and have raided with some of the best PvE raid guilds in the US. I've alpha, beta tested, and played post launch pretty much every MMO that has come out. GW2 is the real deal. It's a seminal MMO that will change a lot of things in the industry. UO broke open the genre, EQ brought 3D and massive raiding, DAoC broke EQ's dominance by reducing the grinds and introduced conquest PvP, WoW raised the bar for quality and polish in MMOs, and GW2 reexamines why it is we play MMOs and fixes so many things that are wrong with modern MMOs.

-Combat is easy to pick up, but also has a very high skill cap. It is active and dynamic unlike your stand and hit a skill rotation MMOs. PvP is quick to get into, there is no gear grind, and you can have fun at any skill level. This is very, very hard to do and Anet pulled it off.

-Leveling is open. This is not a theme park where you are on rails moving from one quest hub to the next. You can go anywhere you want. There is no grind. Just start doing stuff where you are. Believe me, I have no issues grinding mobs to level, but it's just enjoyable to have so much content anywhere you walk to.

-The explorer gamer that I used to know has found its way back into MMOs. Anet has packed so much love, polish, and attention to detail into Tyria. The world is gorgeous and unique everywhere. There are so many things that make you go "wow that is cool."

-There is no holy trinity. You don't need a tank, a healer, and a dps. If you want to run a dungeon just group up with anyone and go do it. There is a way to accomplish anything with any class makeup. All classes have a self heal and can rez. Some classes are tankier or have a couple AoE heals, but there is no such thing as a dedicated X. Everyone can change their traits to add survivability, dps, or healing as they see fit, but they will be playing all roles.

Those are just a few reasons why GW2 is great. I know not everyone will like it. There are a lot of people out there that are stuck in current MMO tradition. As I said, I have seen it all and this is a game to play.

 
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15. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 13:01 Beelzebud
 
Haven't seen people so hyped for a game since Diablo 3.

It will be interesting to see what the reactions are.
 
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14. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 12:34 Agent.X7
 
LesCaster wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 10:39:
For those of you that have tried the beta and are also WoW players, how do the two compare? Does GW2 improve upon WoW or is simply a different approach to the genre? If you could only play one, which would it be?

GW2.

I like WoW, but it is so stale after 7 years. The things that really bother me they never change, but they are constantly "fixing" things like skill trees. GW2 takes the formula and gives it a nice polish. They add in a bunch of things from other MMOs that were good, and it makes for a fun game. Couple that with no subscription - so I don't feel guilty for putting it down for months to play other games - and you have a winner.
 
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13. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 12:00 Verno
 
Alamar wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 11:56:
The fact that GW2 isn't a subscription based model helps this... Even with only $15 a month, many feel the need to 'justify' that expense every month by putting in a given amount of time/effort... For GW2, you can drop the game for 6 months and (outside of the inevitable expansions), pick right up where you left off and, most importantly, still be competitive...

Yeah that's a good point. I don't know how the overall MMO landscape is looking these days though, maybe players really want and expect to have grindy shit like raids and gear escalator/resets every six months. It certainly was like that when I was playing WoW awhile ago. Maybe people are ready for something different though, who knows. Thankfully the "investment" into the game isn't much so hopefully people give it a chance. It would be interesting to get Blizzards spin on some of ArenaNet's ideas too, the MMO space needs some real competition going on. Right now bloody League of Legends is more of a competitor to WoW than TOR is.
 
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12. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 11:56 Alamar
 
Verno wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 11:43:
But it lacks an endgame outside of pvp (3 faction/server bigass battlegrounds).

In the betas sure but there are dungeons and stuff to run plus supposedly some world events in the retail game. I agree though the gear stuff isn't as compelling but for better or worse that was a design intention. More of a focus on individual player contribution as opposed to items themselves. It's not the traditional "raid for 2-4 hours" endgame that many people might expect however and that turned out to be a big problem for The Old Republic. It worked for the first GW so maybe they will be fine, who knows.

The fact that GW2 isn't a subscription based model helps this... Even with only $15 a month, many feel the need to 'justify' that expense every month by putting in a given amount of time/effort... For GW2, you can drop the game for 6 months and (outside of the inevitable expansions), pick right up where you left off and, most importantly, still be competitive...

-Alamar
 
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11. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 11:43 Verno
 
But it lacks an endgame outside of pvp (3 faction/server bigass battlegrounds).

In the betas sure but there are dungeons and stuff to run plus supposedly some world events in the retail game. I agree though the gear stuff isn't as compelling but for better or worse that was a design intention. More of a focus on individual player contribution as opposed to items themselves. It's not the traditional "raid for 2-4 hours" endgame that many people might expect however and that turned out to be a big problem for The Old Republic. It worked for the first GW so maybe they will be fine, who knows.

I try to be careful with comparisons to WoW personally, they are very different games in their approach to many traditional MMO systems. I think players who want a very guided experience should probably stick with WoW. Guild Wars 2 is a more open ended game where you are expected to participate/create some activities for yourself out of the overall world. That will seem very refreshing to some people and drive others crazy.

Also, their design isn't based on the 'holy trinity' (tank, healer, dps) of massives, so more focus is on each player to avoid damage, and heal themselves, which could turn out to be a lot of fun, but I imagine will result in a lot of bitching (mostly from people 'set in their ways').

Yeah I think this is a bigger obstacle than they realize. Many people are very conditioned to that traditional EQ style MMO, particularly more casual users. The game can be pretty unforgiving at times too which is refreshing to many MMO veterans but might put off Joe Blow Walmart or whatever.

This comment was edited on Aug 23, 2012, 11:51.
 
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10. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 11:31 Alamar
 
LesCaster wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 10:39:
For those of you that have tried the beta and are also WoW players, how do the two compare? Does GW2 improve upon WoW or is simply a different approach to the genre? If you could only play one, which would it be?

In short, GW2 got me re-interested in WoW : )

However, GW2 does add a few improvements to the genre... Cooperation is probably the highest... WoW originally added a good deal of cooperation with McGrouping, but you don't even need to bother with dealing with other people in GW2... The default is that everything is coop... So if you see a group of people, likely not friends, tackling a giant spud, run over and attack it... Gone are the days of ninja-tagging and the like, though I imagine it'll still take time for people to adjust, and not be pissy when you attack 'their' mob : )

For me, I have little interest in GW2, and mostly, that's because it doesn't change enough of the formula... Like a highly hyped movie, I went in with much excitement, and was thoroughly disappointed... Going in without that hype however, I likely would have enjoyed the experience a good deal more... It has some of the things I want; lots of content/starting areas/stories/etc, the aforementioned coop focus, etc... But it lacks an endgame outside of pvp (3 faction/server bigass battlegrounds).

It also lacks a gear treadmill, which a lot of people think they want ; ) The claim is that within an hour or two of hitting max level, you'll never need better gear... So why keep playing? Other than the feeling of superiority when you gank people in pvp, you can earn currency to pretty'fy your look (also in pve through dungeon grinding).

Also, their design isn't based on the 'holy trinity' (tank, healer, dps) of massives, so more focus is on each player to avoid damage, and heal themselves, which could turn out to be a lot of fun, but I imagine will result in a lot of bitching (mostly from people 'set in their ways').

I think that's all I have for now...

If you want new content, a new world, etc... Give it a try... I'll be taking a sha't at kung fu panda online : )

-Alamar
 
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9. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 11:30 Creston
 
Verno wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 10:20:
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Shit, it really is almost finally here, isn't it? I guess my planned Skyrim playthrough may have to wait for a bit.

Creston
 
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8. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 11:28 uhohzombies
 
LesCaster wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 10:39:
For those of you that have tried the beta and are also WoW players, how do the two compare? Does GW2 improve upon WoW or is simply a different approach to the genre? If you could only play one, which would it be?

GW2 improves upon WoW while still taking a different approach, if that makes any sense. Leveling doesn't feel like a grind because you're exploring a rich world that is truly ALIVE as you go, and you just forget about levels entirely. There is content at *every* turn and they really succeeded at making a living, breathing world to explore and adventure in. I've played pretty much every MMO that's been released since Meridian 59 in 1996. WoW used to be shoe in for my #1 all-time spot, but I really feel like GW2 has a chance at replacing it in my mind. And this is coming from someone who hated GW1 and was a complete and utter WoW fanboy from 2004 until 2010.
 
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7. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 11:00 CJ_Parker
 
InBlack wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 10:43:
I have never played GW1. I hate WoW (and most other mmos) with a passion. I got burned by Age of Conan. I really liked EvE but never had the time to play it. I love Diablo1 & 2 & I still havent decided about 3.

Will I like GW2?

I really hate the sea and getting wet. I've tried surfing, kiting and jet-skiing.

Will I like sailing?

Or am I retarded?

O RLY?

 
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6. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 10:48 Verno
 
Fibrocyte wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 10:35:
Do purchased copies get a buddy pass of some kind? I'd love to give this a try but after the past few MMO flops I'm hesitant to just drop $$ on another one. I've heard too many mixed opinions on GW2 to know for sure if its a purchase or not.

I don't think there will be one so close to launch, most MMOs do that sort of stuff post-launch these days due to potential stability/etc. No idea if you would like it or not. It is still an MMO in the sense that there is a hotbar, you hit abilities and do things. It's the variety of what you do and how it's done that is different. You aren't really expected to just grind your way to level cap for example. If you spend your time doing nothing but events you will likely be underleveled. They expect you to do a little PvP, craft some things, do your personal story and so on between activities.

I think the best way I can put it is that you don't go into Guild Wars 2 with a set of goals per se, it's the kind of game you just kind of hop in and things happen as you move about the world and explore. You can roll with them or not. It's a more freeform experience that will greatly appeal to some and really put off others. People who expect an experience like WoW should probably stay away though and while the PvE content is pretty significant, I can't imagine playing GW2 without doing PvP either.

I have never played GW1. I hate WoW (and most other mmos) with a passion. I got burned by Age of Conan. I really liked EvE but never had the time to play it. I love Diablo1 & 2 & I still havent decided about 3.

Will I like GW2?

It sounds more like you just aren't into MMOs so I would avoid GW2. I think it's a great game but like most games it's not for everyone. If you want a test drive to be sure though, I'm going on vacation with my gf in a few weeks so if you want you can hop on my account and mess around for awhile, hit me up on Steam.
 
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5. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 10:43 InBlack
 
I have never played GW1. I hate WoW (and most other mmos) with a passion. I got burned by Age of Conan. I really liked EvE but never had the time to play it. I love Diablo1 & 2 & I still havent decided about 3.

Will I like GW2?
 
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4. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 10:39 LesCaster
 
For those of you that have tried the beta and are also WoW players, how do the two compare? Does GW2 improve upon WoW or is simply a different approach to the genre? If you could only play one, which would it be?  
I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness.
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3. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 10:35 Fibrocyte
 
Do purchased copies get a buddy pass of some kind? I'd love to give this a try but after the past few MMO flops I'm hesitant to just drop $$ on another one. I've heard too many mixed opinions on GW2 to know for sure if its a purchase or not.  
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2. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 10:20 Verno
 
Starfleet Dental for life!  
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1. Re: Guild Wars 2 Launch Schedule and Client Downloads Aug 23, 2012, 10:06 Bucky
 
I managed to get into the very short stress test last night, which at least stopped my hands from shaking. I can't wait for this game. There's a good chance that I won't sleep at all until sometime Saturday night.

Also, for anyone interested in a Blue's Guild, here's the thread.
 
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