Wow. It’s been almost two whole weeks since the pre-release of Guild Wars 2, and so much has happened. Any of you who normally see me around have possibly noticed almost a complete absence over the past two weeks, and I think we all know the reason. It seems an appropriate amount of time to wait before giving my thoughts on everything that has happened. It’s been a pretty amazing ride so far, with a few ups and downs, and it amazes me still how much there is to this game.
Five years is a long time. A lot can change in a person’s life, and thinking back on everything that has happened is both amazing and humbling. I wrote about the excitement of each announcement relating to GW2 leading up to the final release date announcement about a month ago now, but GuildMag decided to run one more Blog Carnival about our personal experiences and growth in the last five years. I originally wasn’t going to write anything, because I feel that I’ve probably already covered it in the past, but then I read this. Ravious really got me thinking about all the emotions I’ve had, especially personal experiences that I haven’t often shared, so I think this is the perfect time to do so.
In 42 days, we will have our hands on the game. It seems so close, and so far away! On top of that, we get to play in one last pre-launch hurrah with BWE3 next week. Personally, I’m having a hard time knowing what to do with myself. I have however found a few things that have kept me occupied and entertained in the mean time, and am making some plans for how to spend BWE3 to maximize my experience. This is going to be a shorter than most, but mostly I just wanted to give a shout-out to a few community members that are doing some neat things.
It’s finally here. I’m going to say that again, just to get the tingles that accompany it: it’s finally here. We have a concrete release date for GW2. No longer will we have to speculate, dissect every piece of information, and feel like we are taking shots in the dark. It’s finally here. I just can’t stop saying it. We’ve come a really long way together as a community. We’ve seen huge swings in information, excitement, and numbers throughout the past 5 years. Just thinking about the history of GW and GW2 combined is staggering. A total of 7 years, 4 months, and a few days separated the release of GW1 and GW2. For those of you still in primary/secondary school, that is over half the time you will spend in your pre-college years. For those who are/were in university, that’s almost 2 full degrees worth. To put it in terms for those of us die-hard GW1-ers, we’ve been waiting for GW2 for almost three times as long as new content was being released for GW1. And our wait is finally coming to an end. I’m just going to take another minute to let this feeling sink in.
What a weekend! For the first time, we as a community have gotten our hands on this game for more than one hour at conventions. 60 hours of play time, hundreds of thousands of players, and lots of feedback. I’ve written a huge amount of positive text about this game over the past year or so, and most of it has held up under the test of experience. I had a great time, but I certainly have several things I would like to discuss that seem to be on many people’s minds, and most of them include suggestions for improvement. This post will be long, as I will be discussing a huge range of topics befitting of this momentous occasion.
A lot has happened in the past month since my previous post. We’ve had another closed beta, this time including a much larger sample size, we’ve had pre-purchase sign-ups, and now we’re coming up on a real, honest to god, “open beta”. Yes, I know, it’s not technically “open”, but it is open to everyone that has purchased it now. For many members of our community, this is going to be the very first foray into the new world of Tyria. Between the press beta coverage outlets, there has been a ton of really great information about the game. Ravious over at KTR detailed a great list of 10 things to remember when you first step foot into GW2, so instead of talking directly about the game, I’m going to take a few minutes to talk about us, the prospective players.
Oh boy. So the new post from ANet is out about their microtransaction system. If you haven’t read that yet, go do that first. Anyway, I knew that this was going to be a hot topic when we were preemptively warned on Guru to read the post carefully and “not jump to conclusions”. If you have to warn people to not jump to conclusions, you have to know that what you are about to say is going to cause controversy. Given that clear understanding, I’m not quite sure why they then proceeded to make as many vague statements as they did. Vagueness will always beget debates that can’t really be resolved because by definition, both sides have only vague evidence. Regardless, we do know (at least officially now) more than we knew before about how the microtransaction system will work. It has some obvious pros and cons, and some of that will hinge on the specifics that we sadly do not have.