So much has happened since I last wrote something, but my studies have been holding me back. At least I have been able to follow all of the developments and was able to comment on a few thing.
First of all, it’s the year of the Dragon, and Mike O’Brien has confirmed that Guild Wars 2 will be released this year. That, and the fact that by now, the press is playing Guild Wars 2 and that most of us will get the chance to play the beta in March and April, and perhaps after that.
There has been a lot of speculation at Guild Wars 2 Guru about whether or not the Beta Events will continue after April.
You heard that right, Beta Events. If you get invited to the beta, you will have the opportunity to play in an event, which will last from Friday and until the following Sunday. So you’ll have more than a week of Guild Wars 2-fun.
Now, keeping everything in mind, this is what I think is going to happen; and I’m going to explain why.
After thinking a lot about it; it seems absurd to release the game to the press without including the public (or a big part of it as ArenaNet is planning to do).
1 – There won’t be as much people running around in the world; and isn’t that what GW2 is all about?
2 – We would get a more polished version of the game than the press; but wouldn’t it be best to let the press have the most polished version after all? Aren’t they the one who have the most influence over gamers?
I know there is an NDA so they can’t immediately start saying: this game is so bad, I can’t believe it, …; the fact that ArenaNet probably said load and clear “This is a beta”; and that those reviewers know it is not completely finished and have experience with that
3 – In any case; if the game is polished enough for press; then why wouldn’t it be polished enough for us? If they’re gonna put us under NDA in any case; why bother to let us wait; just let us play it for a moment.
A selection process would clear put all the noobs (please not me). And they’re going to do all of that anyway. So why not now? We fill up the world for the press and some of us will help you with bugs.
Now, the current situation is so illogical, ArenaNet just seems to be torturing us and is beginning to take the appearance of the devil.
I think that by letting the press play it first and letting us know but not letting us see anything is the start of the final hype train (I will miss them…kinda) and is leading up to an ASAP release date.
I see something along these lines (as most of you probably do)
During February; we’ll get some blog post(s) about WvW and perhaps guilds and other general topics. Not something specific like specific PvP maps.
At the end of February (20th), some gaming sites will get permission to release some information about their experience of the demo. I don’t think they will be allowed to show footage; at best footage ArenaNet allowed them to share. Nothing like WvW.
This way; they’ll start up the hype for us again and start the marketing for Guild Wars 2 by letting the press gradually release their previews.
At the end of February or beginning of March, the Beta Event selection process will kick of; and starting in March, the first of us (including people like Seven and Totally Biscuit; if they didn’t get in during February) will get their hand on the polished demo of Guild Wars 2.
I don’t think we’re meant to report bugs but, at the most, stress test the servers and speed up the hype and marketing for the game.
The press will be allowed to share more information and even more footage; maybe give a first glimpse at WvWW.
We, mere mortals, may or may not be under (limited) NDA.
At the start of or during March; pre-orders of Guild Wars 2 will start and ArenaNet will give us the release date.
During March; more and more people will be allowed in the Beta Events; while the full-scale marketing of Guild Wars 2 kicks in (banners, site backgrounds, maybe commercials, press interview, I don’t know what else comes with marketing a game).
This leads us up to April; where almost everyone will be able to participate in the Beta Events.
Marketing is peaking; press has no NDA anymore and footage is leaking and spreading all over the place.
Guild Wars 2 is the best, Guild Wars 2 is coming, I’m peeing my pants, and so on.
April ends; and there is nothing. Marketing goes on, people are fainting, Maya’s are predicting the end of the world and mid or end May or at the beginning of June; Guild Wars 2 gets released and we all scream like little girls watching the minimalistic/artistic launch screen take us to our game; THE game we have been waiting for for over 5 years.
If you paid attention, letting the press start the hype and giving it to them first might be the strategy they put in place to be able to release the game as fast as possible.
Isn’t that’s what they’re all about: get us the game we want. They’re not all about “When it’s done”. They’re all about: “We want you to play the game that we think is the best game possible (and have you’re money; they ARE a corporation and a corporation is about profit) and we are doing everything to get it to you as fast as possible”.
It’s finished, it’s polished, they’re tweaking the tiniest things; or else they would never let the press have their way with it (according to me).
By mid-end May/beginning of June; we’ll have the game.
If not, I can extend my theory toward July/August with more time for each phase; but this is the time-frame I now have in mind.
As soon as my time-frame is ahead of itself; I think it’ll be June/July/August and I will admit my mistake. I am no fortune teller.
Secondly, and something you might consider a small thing, a game launcher for the beta has been leaked. It looks like the ones we saw in the demo, but with a log-in section.
There has been a lot of debate, or what I consider to be a lot of debate, surrounding whether or not the launcher should stay the same.
I for one think that it is the most beautiful launcher I’ve ever seen. It represents the artistic/minimalistic style of the game and I wouldn’t want to see the game launcher being cluttered full with unnecessary information.
A good solution would be that a game “loader” loads the screen while some information; like news and maybe some adds; is displayed in a small window; like the one of Star Wars: The Old Republic.
After the patches download, you can click play and you get taken tot the launcher with the minimalistic artwork, where you log into the game.
Thirdly, some PvP screenshots were given to us by our good people of Guild Wars 2 Insider; showing some PvP armor, a glimpse of the PvP lobby and a birds-eye view of a whole new PvP map.
The PvP armor looks less monotone than in the demos and looks polished enough to me. The different shades of red and blue makes you distinguishable without making the whole armor feel “painted in one color”. It feels like you just really like red or blue.
It is important that you can distinguish team mates from enemies without having to look at the UI; which is what Guild Wars 2 is all about: looking at your screen. This is, according to me, the perfect way to do it.
From the little part of the PvP lobby we were able to see in this pictures; we can guess that it’s very spooky, dark and represents the Mist in an other way then we have seen before. It has a, like I said, darker and magical feeling to it.
Then again, we didn’t see a lot of the Mists in the previous games.
And that looks like a very mystical Asuran gate leading into the Mists. So the Asura cracked that part of the Eternal Alchemy too, did they.
In the shots of the new PvP map, we can clearly see the fog that is an oblivious secondary mechanic; making the players above the fog unable to see what is happening down in the fog, and the players in the fog will have limited vision. That, and the believe that there are trebuchets and a mystery secondary mechanic, tied to the occupancy of a capture point.
There has also been speculation on Guild Wars 2 Guru about another mechanic, which would be that the lower part of the map floods during a part in the match, making the lower half a big underwater area.
There has been opposition from people who are saying that the map is actually on a mountain, above the clouds. This is supported by the fact that snow lies so close on the edge of the map. Snow would never reach that low.
Fourthly, we have gotten some information about WvWvW. I expected more, but I’ll have to make due.
We got the first news about Siege Suits; which are basically big Golems players can go in and use as a battering ram or to spread mayhem on the battlefield.
We also got more news about keeps and heard about towers. Keeps can be found in all kinds of terrains; like climbing up a mountain or situated near a lake so that the entrance is located under water.
Towers are a smaller version of keeps with one door and a couple of walls.
You’ll also have resource camps, which are used for gathering resources to build keeps. So actually, it’s like dynamic events in WvWvW. ArenaNet never lets you down.
In the interview about WvWvW; which you can find here; there is also talk about skill balancing, game commentary and thief support. I have no time nor interest to discuss this again, so you can go read all of that yourself of you want to.
With this, I conclude this blog post. And remember; Guild Wars 2 is coming closer to your PC every day. Remember that when your boss is screaming at you, your wife is nagging you again, your boyfriend is breaking up with you or when your teacher is giving you the task that can be compared to MI4.
The next time I’ll write something, is probably when the press is allowed to release its preview (not that I got a beta key) or when we get screenshots and/or more information about WvWvW. Let’s hope that’s soon.