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Guild Wars 2 Headstart Program Starts Saturday

By - Source: NCsoft Email | B 19 comments

Early birds will be able to enter Tyria on Saturday while everyone else can't log in until Tuesday.

Finally, the wait -- the long, long wait -- is nearly over.

NCsoft said on Friday that early access to Guild Wars 2 for those who pre-purchased the PC game will be able to start playing on Saturday, August 25, as part of the Headstart Program. Everyone else won't be able to log into the MMOG until Tuesday, August 28.

"Five years ago we set out to develop a game that finally fulfilled the promise of online worlds," said Mike O’Brien, president and co-founder of ArenaNet. "We questioned everything that had previously been taken for granted and we never settled for ‘good enough.’ Now, we’re finally ready to introduce Guild Wars 2 to gamers who are looking for the next evolution in online gaming."

Back in March, Massively posted an excellent article on the differences between Guild Wars 2 and its predecessor, breaking them down to Lore, Creation, Progression, Death, Gear, Content, Grouping, Interface, Economy, Gems, Guilds PvP and Endgame. The biggest difference is in the setting itself, taking place in Tyria 250 years later. The land is a bit more technologically advanced, introducing elements like pistols and turrets.

Another big change is how Guild Wars 2 handles death. In the original MMOG, the player is resurrected or sent to the nearest shire. In the sequel, players have a chance to return from a "downed" state using special skills. This also gives other players and NPCs time to revive the downed character.

"If you are defeated in a downed state, you're allowed to resurrect at a nearby waypoint, which is sort of a blend of a resurrection shrine and the map hubs that permit GW1-esque instant map-travel all over the world... for a small fee," Massively writes. "Defeat has a chance to break a piece of your armor, something that might shock old-timers, but I promise you: It's much preferable to repair your gear at an NPC than suffer with massive DP (death penalty) a la Guild Wars 1!"

Also one of the biggest changes is how the world is built. Instead of instanced missions, exporables and dungeons stemming from social hubs (towns), Tyria is now a persistent world spiced with dynamic and random events. And like other MMOGs on the market, there will still be instanced dungeons for the single-player story and group XP grinds. Even more, Guild Wars 2 won't require a monthly subscription.

On Friday, NCsoft pointed out four major features Guild Wars 2 has to offer including:

Dynamic Events
Guild Wars 2 is a living, breathing world where events occur naturally and in response to players’ actions. This system fosters cooperation between players -- everyone who participates is rewarded, and players begin to naturally cooperate instead of compete.

Personal Stories
Your deeply customized personal story begins when you first create your character, then twists and turns with each fateful decision you make.

Action-Oriented Combat
Guild Wars 2is an action game at heart. Survival in combat is based on timing, skill, and movement. Well-timed dodges or combo attacks are integral to any battle. Guild Wars 2 rethinks the outdated class restrictions of other games, giving players the tools and skills they need to play with friends regardless of their class.

Player vs. Player and World vs. World
Competitive multiplayer in Guild Wars 2 consists of two exciting modes. PvP serves up intense small-unit combat that focuses on skill and strategy, not gear. WvW pits entire servers of players against each other in a two-week-long war on a series of huge maps.

"Guild Wars 2 is launching at a time when players are looking for something different in an MMO: a game that offers them an innovative and unique experience without a monthly subscription,” said O’Brien. "Guild Wars 2 is that game, and we believe it will fundamentally change the way people think about online RPGs."

For more information on the game and to purchase Guild Wars 2, visit www.guildwars2.com. For those of you who will have access to the game on Saturday, be sure to eat, get some sleep, and make time for a potty break.

 

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  • 2 Hide
    Onus , August 25, 2012 5:46 AM
    I'll be logging in shortly after it goes live.
    I'm not sure what was meant by "keeping current;" although GW2 unfortunately raises the level cap dramatically (the reason for the cap in GW1 made a lot of sense), I don't believe it is possible to "fall behind" in this game. In parts of the PvP, created characters are at max level and ability, so it is player skill, not what gear you've got, that determines how well you do. PvE you go through as you have time. The non-instanced environment of GW2 meant there were always other players around for cooperative play, whether you were formally in a party with them or not.
    Being deaf in one ear means I have a real hard time with shooters, so for me this game is going to absolutely ROCK.
  • -7 Hide
    aggroboy , August 25, 2012 7:01 AM
    Dark Age of Guild Wars
  • -1 Hide
    aodknifer , August 25, 2012 7:55 AM
    I really want to start playing a MMORPG again and this draws my attention. I dont want to regret my purchase lol what do you guys/girls think?
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , August 25, 2012 8:50 AM
    This game rocks. So many fine details.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , August 25, 2012 9:00 AM
    That's pretty stupid...GW2 has a one time fee and you have full access to everything. It's not like WoW where you sink your money into a monthly fee only to get an expansion release that renders all of your gear moot after one zone. This game was built to play casually exactly for the reason you don't want to play aftcomet. Shame you are being so short sighted. GW2 is a next gen mmo. Playing right now and loving it!
  • 0 Hide
    Engima , August 25, 2012 9:55 AM
    I've played the first one for 3-4 years and I eventually got bored of it since everything after reaching max level was the same. I wonder if PvP will become something like the past in which a particular team or character build will dominate for the week and everyone copies or if people will just gank the guild leader. Farming becomes mundane after a while when you reach 1000 platinum and everyone runs a Wa/Mo, Mo/Wa, or El/Mo to farm. I think I'll wait a few months to see if those trends happen again and then see if I want to get it or not.
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , August 25, 2012 10:28 AM
    GW2 is nothing like GW1...fyi
  • 4 Hide
    zbeezz , August 25, 2012 11:33 AM
    I hope its better than Diablo 3.
  • 1 Hide
    fuzzion , August 25, 2012 12:34 PM
    The game is currently having minor crashes with the total 2.5 miilion pre-orders going thru. Also for those that dont know, most popular names are gone.
  • 0 Hide
    Onus , August 25, 2012 1:54 PM
    I got kicked off a while ago, and have not been able to reconnect. GW1 also seems to be down.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 25, 2012 2:13 PM
    There done seem to be a problem going on with it. Does anyone know what is wrong? also jtt283 glad I'm not the only one who can't get on to gw1 as well.
  • 2 Hide
    FlyingPickles , August 25, 2012 2:37 PM
    The ANet servers had an issue due to some issues that were never fully addressed in the stress tests. Apparently they had to take the servers down, GW1 and GW2 are the same server group to make the repairs it should be back up shortly they are giving updates every 15-20 minutes via Twitter @ www.twitter.com/GuildWars2

    Great game I played from launch at midnight EST last night and found that there was soooooo much to do, my guild and I spent 4 hours completing the started map to 100%...and it was one of the smaller starter maps in the game FTW....
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 25, 2012 5:06 PM
    Playing after watching Battleship on Blu-Ray, what a Sat Night:) 
  • 1 Hide
    edogawa , August 25, 2012 6:15 PM
    I'm glad they started the head start 3 hours early, didn't want to start playing at 12PM at night. The game is so fun, I love the dynamic events. It's cool because you earn a ton of experience from events.
  • 0 Hide
    Onus , August 25, 2012 7:14 PM
    Yeah, it's back up. There is obviously another Georgia Tech alumnus or student playing, as I was unable to use the name "George P Burdell" for my Engineer. Oh well.
  • 0 Hide
    snotling , August 26, 2012 1:34 PM
    EngimaI've played the first one for 3-4 years and I eventually got bored of it since everything after reaching max level was the same. I wonder if PvP will become something like the past in which a particular team or character build will dominate for the week and everyone copies or if people will just gank the guild leader. Farming becomes mundane after a while when you reach 1000 platinum and everyone runs a Wa/Mo, Mo/Wa, or El/Mo to farm. I think I'll wait a few months to see if those trends happen again and then see if I want to get it or not.

    I have played GW for years as well and we remember a very different game... first the game actually BEGINS at max level everything before that is only a tutorial of sorts where you gather your main skills before getting in the serious stuff. GW2 will probably be the same except that max level won't be 20 but 60-80... what you say about some builds being flavor of the week... well that's every MMO.

    so if one stops playing when reaching max level, he's missing on most of the content.
  • 0 Hide
    jesh4622 , August 26, 2012 9:31 PM
    I'm playing now and loving it! If you have even the slightest interest in GW2, try it. What do you have to lose? No monthly fees!
    I played GW1 since beta, and love how different GW2 is. It's great to see the new Tyria.
  • 0 Hide
    casperstouch , August 28, 2012 2:12 PM
    I have been playing since it went live. Well I also played during the Beta openings. I do not like a lot of the new game, I liked the puzzles of the first game, do this before doing that. With the new GW2 its a button smashing fest. My wife likes the additional story lines she thinks it makes it more personal. I have found that this game make our video cards run very hot even when we lowered the game graphics all the way down. I have a 250 GTS, and she has a 275 GTX. I don't know how much more of the game the video cards will handle. I have removed the sides of our computers and have a large fan blowing on both to keep them cooled off enough to play. Another issue we have been having is joining each other. Since GW1 was instance based when you left town as a party that party was put in its own instance and were together. Now if you are in a party and leave town together it is almost like rolling a dice to see if you end up in the same instance on the other side. We usually have to map travel around 6 times to see each other. The more people in the part the harder to join each other.