Now that the Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Event (BWE) has been announced for April 27-29, I decided to make a small guide for those coming in to a fresh Tyrian world.
1. Welcome to IN MEDIAS RES, SOLDIER!
I have seen a lot of comments about the opening scene in Guild Wars 2. Basically for 2 of the 3 racial starting areas we’ve seen, it is chaos. Ghosts popping out of nowhere in the charr area, centaurs running amok throughout a human starting area, and norn standing around their forest picking their ears while players hunt. Don’t fret! Players are practically given god mode in the opening area. There will be plenty of time and safety to fiddle with dye colors and key bindings after the opening scene. Press “W”+Mouse 1 should get you through the area. Try and learn what you can during this time, but you will get a chance to go more “at your own pace” afterwards.
2. Always Be Movin’
That is the golden rule for Guild Wars 2 combat. Don’t stop moving! Seriously, I don’t care whether you are a rifle-toting warrior or a greatsword-wielding ranger; don’t stop. If you find yourself in a red circle, then move faster. A stationary soldier is a dead soldier. Your #1 skill for each weapon will be an auto-attack so you can concentrate on moving while your character will keep trying to swing away. Make sure to use Mouse 2, or whatever, to face the enemy while you are circle-strafing. If you don’t like auto-attack then CTRL+click the skill to disable it. Be prepared to press “1″ a lot after that. I would also suggest keybinding dodge instead of double-tapping movement or mouse-clicking the button.
3. “I was in a queue?”
There is a queue in Guild Wars 2, but players are actually playing in it. Once a player gets through the queue a popup will invite the player to the “main” zone to get out of the “overflow” zone. Normally players would want to press yes to get to a higher populated zone, but if a player is having fun in the middle of an event, the player can press no to head back in to the queue.
4. Getting to PvP
After the starting area, to get to PvP open up the “H”ero menu (hint: press “h”) and there should be a tab on the left to get to PvP. You can enter a random match at will, but this is not recommended at first. Entering the Mists will change you to a level 80 character complete with traits and skills. It can be jarring to all of the sudden get 10 skills, weapon swapping, and all the rest. Take some time in this hub area to check out all the new things. Entering World v. World (WvW) will strip you of all the level 80 everything unlocked hotness and return you to your normal leveling career (sidekicked to level 80).
5. XP From Onions
Everybody can gather materials lying around the world which are identified by icons on the minimap (log, rock, and plant). Regardless of whether you check out crafting, you do want to gather materials. They provide significant XP, as much as a couple enemy kills, for simply pressing “f”. Then sell the onions to the chumps below.
6. Next Iron Chef
Crafting can be fun, and if you like to craft definitely check it out. I would recommend taking one of the “armor” professions, such as Leatherworking, so that you can craft bags for yourself. Anyway, cooking which make consumable buffs and the like is going to suck the time out of beta. Be forewarned, cooking can be a lot of fun, but it is hardcore. Also make sure to look for tabs from the merchants near the crafting areas.
7. Jump Around, Jump Around
Possibly one of the most fun side excursions built in to the PvE zones are the “jumping puzzles”. These small areas are a bit off the beaten path, and they will push your skill to the limits. The Demongrub Pits are in southeast Queensdale (human 1-15), the Shaman’s Rookery is on the west side of central Wayfarer’s Foothills (norn 1-15), and the charr have theirs at the Loreclaw Expanse in the Plains of Ashford (charr 1-15). They are amazing, and should not be missed. They give decent loot too.
8. WvW Together, Die Alone
World vs. World (WvW) can be a source for some constant activity. Hours can just bleed away fighting in the Mists for your world. A few tips. Find a group, and stick with them. If you go exploring all alone, don’t be surprised when 10 enemies run over the hill, trample you, and move on. Seriously, finding just a few other people can be enough to start grabbing objectives for your world. Also, always grab “supply” which is the lifeblood of WvW, wherever and whenever you can. Supply creates siege weapons from merchant-sold plans and heals your structures. And, guerrilla tactics are critical if you are outnumbered. Hit the enemy elsewhere if you can’t confront them directly. Taking down their supply chain can really shake things up.
9. Inverse Mass Effect
The greatest thing about Guild Wars 2 is simply playing together with random strangers and it being a positive, helpful experience. Unfortunately, when a mob of players hits some critical mass things can get a little unfun. The population seems to spread out quickly enough, but I would recommend that you take the time to get away from 40 players fighting an overgrown spider at level 4 to check out some of the other sights. Exploring the racial city almost nets enough experience for a whole level. There are hidden nooks and crannies everywhere. In other words, break from the herd if it feels too strong.
10. So, I Met This Norn
I’ve already suggested exploring the capital cities, and you should. If you later find out that your favorite new best friend (since they also pre-purchased and are as cool as you) rolled a different race than you, there are asura gates (purple portals on your city map) in each capital city that will warp you to the other race’s capital cities. ArenaNet also seems to lock out non-beta content at the warps, so for beta purposes you can sometimes warp to other races’ areas by hitting the warp at the edge of a zone. Either way you should be able to meet up with friends pretty quickly.
Have Fun! I can’t wait to hear all the stories from everybody.