How about some Guild Wars 2 news to justify the fact that you’re awake at the crack of dawn for this Gamescom embargo lift? Yeah! ArenaNet has just announced that the first public beta weekend event for its very first expansion will run next weekend during the Cologne con.
For the Beta Weekend Event, players around the world who purchase Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns will be able to play all of the content in the beta test using their existing Guild Wars 2 accounts starting at 12:00 p.m. PDT on Friday, August 7, and running until 12:00 p.m. PDT on Monday, August 10. ArenaNet announced access to Beta Weekend Events as one of the perks for anyone who pre-purchases Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, the upcoming expansion to Guild Wars 2.
ArenaNet’s Colin Johanson has a new dev blog out this morning that explains exactly what beta testers will be shown during the weekend events — actually, he uses the word “weekends,” so we know there will be more than one. “We’re not going to show everything in the expansion in beta weekends; we want to keep a strong sense of discovery and not spoil huge parts of the story ahead of time,” he says. “We’re going to test enough to help us broadly understand how everything works and also apply those lessons to the parts of the game we won’t be showing during beta weekends. For example, we’ll only ever be showing the first story chapter and parts of the first map of the expansion during beta weekends to ensure that an entire world of discovery and excitement awaits you on launch day when you venture deeper into the jungle.”
The Revenant with all trait lines and legends will be playable, as will the elite specs for the Mesmer, Guardian, Necromancer, and Elementalist. Johanson says that a quarter of the total playable space of the first map, Verdant Brink, will be available for play, along with Masteries and the new Stronghold PvP game mode. The studio seeks feedback on everything from how fun the elite specs are to the quality of the map reward system to whether Masteries hold up over multiple play sessions.
Guild Wars 2 is at Gamescom next week with a playable demo. Not coincidentally, we are at Gamescom next week with some writers, including our GW2 columnist. Stay tuned for a full report!