Guild Wars 2 Beta: what to expect

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I may be a skeptical bastard, but I’m enjoying the boundless enthusiasm in my feed reader this morning. Right now is probably as good as Guild Wars 2 will ever get — as I write this we’re 3 hours away from the first non-media beta test, so it’s a perfect storm of happy anticipation. Apparently enough people are in the beta that Arenanet has literally halted sales of the digital download until later in the weekend.

I read a post yesterday (argh, I can’t remember where — I’m sorry!) where someone talked about how to them GW2 will be a PvE game with maybe a little PvP. Although I am down with all playstyles personally, I worry that this person will be disappointed. From my hands-on experience, avoiding PvP is avoiding the creative, beating heart of Guild Wars 2. While you can earn quests in a unique fashion when NPCs run up to you and demand your help, and there are spontaneous group tasks as well, at the end of the day you’re still collecting six spider venoms or whatever. I mean, I think it’s okay, but some PvErs might be disappointed.

I will say I suspect explorer-types will be pleased. In the past I got to level 12 on one character and had apparently barely seen 1% of the world. That’s a big world!

The only thing I feel some trepidation about in GW2 is, yes, the character models. The Charr look great, and the Asura seem to have a neat design options, but if you want to be a humanoid female be prepared to look 17, gormless, and all dolled up like a night on the town. I suppose there’s a choice between sexy and tough in your race decision, which is better than some games. Hopefully it’s not to hard to find pants. (I did see a character in a giant white top hat in the last beta, which gives me much hope for the costume gear.)

Anyway, the Cats will be rolling on Sorrow’s Furnace this weekend with another friendly guild, with a plan to do WvW until our heads fall off. I’m not sure if there’s cross-server chat, but feel free to add Liore.5726 to your friends list. I think I will be trying an Engineer in particular. Enjoy the weekend, enjoy the beta, and let’s all meet back here on Monday to compare notes. ;)

Author: Jessica Cook

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