Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns’ first public beta weekend begins August 7th

    
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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!

Source: ArenaNet press release
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Tulerezzer
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Tulerezzer

Does “Public Beta Weekend” = “Pre-purchasers only Beta Weekend”? They seem like different things to me but I guess… semantics.

Esoteric Coyote
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Esoteric Coyote

sdyaris Two maps, and a 3rd assumed.  They moved Rata Sum south on the map so it looks like they are wedging a 3rd map in there.  The second was shown briefly in one of the live streams.  Not that disagree with you.

Muspel
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Muspel

RedrumRedrum The challenging group content is going to be a bossfight where everyone has to turn on their commander tags and change their colors in unison to match the boss’s abilities.
You heard it here first!

BryanCole
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BryanCole

Geneaux BryanCole I don’t know of any other games being exempt from this.  Many people cried havoc on Blizzard and it’s price point for WoW:WoD, but they at least offered a fully boosted level 90 character thereby making the price point make some sense.  

The truth is, charging over $40 for an expansion is a strange decision in the MMO world.  Besides WoD and now HoT expansions for games have been $40 or less and offer TONS of new content including classes and races.  Look at the history of EQ2 expansions or Lotro expansions price points.  Even WoW had better priced expansions in it’s early days.  

I don’t think it’s been long enough for inflation to be a factor so what else is it except greed?  Maybe I’m wrong and the expansion will have a ton of stuff we haven’t been shown yet, but so far…if an expansion like that were to come out for EQ2, Lotro or other MMO it would be $40 or less.

BobDobalina
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BobDobalina

I’ll definitely try out the Revenant Shiro spec and the Mesmer Chronomancer but not interested in the others. I generally main engie and thief but I think that the Revenant will probably be my next main.

Geneaux
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Geneaux

BryanCole Compared to other games, it’s price is not really hefty at all(deluxe and ultimate editions not withstanding). Yet all of the “other” games are yet somehow “exempt” from such criticism by the mass populace. Nonetheless, I think GW2 is an excellent B2P game that has paid for itself many times over by now. So in my opinion, $50 is a drop in the bucket at this point. Still. price is valid concern I suppose since Anet has revealed next to nothing in terms of the size and scope of HoT. Then again we can all just say that’s just hype because doing so would likely just spoil the expansion for everyone.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

breetoplay Nreff http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/massivelyop.com

Poland > UK > France > Germany ???

Serrenity
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Serrenity

breetoplay Nreff I get so nerdy (alright …. nerdier) when it comes to analytics data

BryanCole
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BryanCole

I still refuse to preorder this one, thanks to that hefty price point that doesn’t seem worth the cost.  I hope to be proven wrong, I do enjoy GW2, but I am speaking with my wallet this time around.  Just like I am with Blizzard as I refuse to sub until they earn it.

breetoplay
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breetoplay

Nreff breetoplay Three, if you count our tech engineer! He’s outside of London. :D And our main freelancer is still in Japan!
It’s really neat to see hits occasionally from teeny tiny countries, where it’s like… damn, they have internet and are spending it to read *us*?? :D I love that!