June 8th through June 10th saw the second beta weekend for Guild Wars 2. While there were many stops and starts for the weekend it has been turning out quite well. Any time there has been a game breaking or client breaking problem the Live Team for Guild Wars 2 has been right there to get it fixed as quick as possible. If only other games were as quick to get patches into there games. ArenaNet and their team should be commended for the way that they have been looking after the game and any problems that might come up. With the testing that they are doing it is sure to be one hell of an opening day when Guild Wars 2 or GW2 goes live for the world to see.
Now for some interesting facts that I found out this weekend while playing and testing in the 2nd beta weekend. First, you are going to be able to find actual landmarks from the first game GW. Remember Temple of Ages where everyone would go to get into the Underworld? Well that place still exists but now it is under a swamp. I was literally thrown up against Melandru shrine statue while in combat and was given the point of interest that it was TOA. Then I noticed on the map that you could get a skill point in the area but it was under water, so in I went to get it. On the way down I found statues from many of the shrines that are in TOA and though “Man that is so cool” and then got the point, after fighting off a bunch of drakes and barracudas down there. Interestingly enough the swamp is next to the Godslost Waypoint.
Now the swamp has claimed the temple and now instead of players trying to get into the Underworld the creatures from the Underworld including the tortured souls are coming into our world. Interesting turnaround and I even got to fight against the Shadow Behemoth and what a battle that was.
Another thing that is cool is that you are rewarded for exploration. For each waypoint and each point of interest you are awarded experience for your character. There are also hearts around and in each area that represents winning the hearts of the people of that area. Each heart filled or won will give you experience as well. It goes even further then that though for if you get all of the hearts, the waypoints and the points of interest that are in the area you will receive even more rewards. Those rewards are items, coins as well as even more experience or XP. Every single thing that you actively participate in gives you something and it doesn’t matter if you started it or came in on it near the end. You get rewarded for your level of participation. You are even rewarded with XP for helping restore or resurrect someone.
This is going to be the game of the year to be sure and possibly the game of the year next year. Doesn’t matter if you party or not, you get to have fun and get a piece of the pie without stealing it from others. No need to worry about someone stealing your kill, they are just helping you or you them and each get rewarded for their level of participation. This is going to be the MMO to play for years to come, at least till they improve it with GuildWars 3. Lets hope that ArenaNet will keep coming up with bigger and better things for us to do online together.