[GW2] With Beta’d Breath

A more open beta weekend is coming. Of course it appears that this is not the first beta event, but it appears to be the first one that can be discussed by the players. Or rather press, only select press are “in general” being let talk about their beta experience. While Martin Kerstein did say that invitations were only getting started late last week, I have not [yet] received a “press beta pass.” I have, graciously, received one in the past from NC Soft, so you never know.

Regardless, the more I think about this, the more excited I get. Yet I feel like I am walking down a path of no return. It is becoming clearer to me that playing the game in my head is no longer an option. I love all the developer interviews, like the latest PvP roundtable because the passion of the developers is still overwhelming. Yet, I feel that there are relatively no more slots to fill in my brain.

I have been pounding the pavement for this game for who knows how long, and the amount of time I’ve played it in my head probably beats the /age off any other MMO. I was also incredibly lucky to get to have played Guild Wars 2 at PAX East and Fan Day. One would think that the actual game could never live up to the “perfect” game in my head, but it was the opposite. The actual game was much better.

Following Zubon’s posts about persistence, part of me is a bit sad that Guild Wars 2 is coming closer to launch. The community, the articles, the interviews had a certain cultural element built around them. I felt like each and every one of us, including the developers, were explorers. We were all finding the game pottery shard by pottery shard, even if the developers were equally creating and throwing away certain shards. It’s going to be such a different place when the whole game is revealed as this pre-release culture will no longer exist.

We all throw about the term “slippery slope” a lot, especially with regards to greedy cash shops, but I feel ArenaNet is ready to slide down the slipperiest one. They’ve been trudging up the mountain for years, and now they are ready to start sliding down. This is not a safe demo bunny slope. This is the Jormag’s skiing death trail! And the speed is going to continue to build up.

So, what I can say with my swilled wordsh of wishdum, is to enjoy this one last pause. This is that last moment when a skier is staring down the long mountainslope thinking about all the perils down the snow. Yet, there is still that one last chance to look up at the majesty surrounding the summit because once the skier starts barreling down, there won’t be that chance anymore.

Good luck to all the lot of media, lot of people that aren’t media, and “real fans.” I hope I get a chance to play with you guys. If not, I’ll start barreling down the peak with ya’ll on the 20th!


p.s. I heard insider information that if anybody rezzes a player named after a specific gemstone in a beta event, they get to invite their whole guild into beta.

p.p.s. All post-script on this site consists of lies.

19 thoughts on “[GW2] With Beta’d Breath”

  1. I know what you mean, we’ve ask had this platonic relationship with the game up until now. The game has been relatively unspoiled by us actually playing it. But just to throw another metaphor into the mix; we’re done with the fantasizing, time to hop in bed.

  2. I do know what you mean actually. This is the first time I’ve followed a game pre-release, and there does seem to be a change in the atmosphere. It’s tense where it used to be (comparatively) relaxed. Everyone knows that change is in the air.

    I have found myself wishing the days away, thinking: “Oh, not long now till X information is released, and after that comes Y test and Z test which leads to the big day!”

    It is all too easy to take it all for granted, to rush in and then want to rush through. I’ve noticed the community change, and I’m getting a little wistful. Remembering the days when it wasn’t about when they would give beta info, but when they would give information to quell the naysayers crying “vapourwear”. It’s silly really – I don’t want to go back to that, but there’s no denying that it was simpler then, and the community was easier to understand, because you basically knew everyone. When we knew so little, we couldn’t really disagree on all that much either. And as things stand, so close to it and yet so ignorant, all that people can do is speculate on what it will be like, with added frenzy because they’re so excited.

    I find myself wanting it to all be over (much as I felt before my wedding actually). I know where I’ll be when the launch rush dies down, the same as I knew where I was when there was no end in sight. But that last frenzied rush before the big day (and for the first week or two after it) is just full of anticipated excitement and chaos. It’ll be fun, but it’s certainly not going to be calm.

    1. Comparing the GW2 launch to your wedding day? I hope your wife doesn’t read this.

      I like MMOs quite a bit, but good grief, some of you guys sound ridiculous.

      1. I agree! The release of Guild Wars 2 is far more exciting than my wedding ever was. I think my wife would agree with that (she is anticipating the release date as much as I am).

        It does sound silly, but in all honestly when I got married to my RL wife in-game, in some ways the event was more memorable than our actual wedding. We had 20 or 30 people at our real wedding. We had close to 200 guild mates at our in-game wedding. Plus, there were fireworks and dragons at our in-game wedding. Pretty sure my church would be put off by explosions and dragons in their building. :P

      2. Er, I am the wife! :D

        I don’t know. For me, the actual day of the wedding was stressful (and fun) but not what I wanted. (I wanted to be married, not to have a big fuss made about it!) I guess that’s why I can compare it – the actual wedding wasn’t such a big deal for me.

        It was obviously a more important thing to me than the launch of a game, but there’s a similarity there. The day you get married is not like being married. Likewise, the launch of an MMO is not what that MMO plays like when the initial rush dies down.

        I suppose I could have likened it to having children, but I don’t think that even long server queues can compare to childbirth!

        Also Eric, that in-game wedding sounds awesome!

        1. Now I want to start referring to my marriage with MMO terms. My husband and I had an extended beta period until we decided our marriage was feature-complete and launched it quietly with as little fuss as possible.

  3. Slightly confused when Martin Kerstein talks about sending out beta invitations. Is that purely press invites? Doesn’t read like it but I wasn’t aware there had been any public sign-up process. I don’t frequent the GW2 forums though. Are they inviting hand-picked people from there perhaps?

    1. The next beta round is press-centric (although not exclusively press apparently).

      They haven’t given any information about applying for betas yet, because so far they have been choosing people. It’s expected (by not confirmed) that the betas in March and April will be ones that people can apply for, one way or another.

      Any information will come via the official website though. That’s the only solid information we have.

      1. the 20’th there will be a beta press thingy, where the press testers will be allowed to write about the game. Plus anet will prob also make a statement about the weekend betas coming up

  4. “Jormag’s skiing death trail” made me lol.

    Personally I’m looking forward to the exquisite anticipation of this game (which has been highly enjoyable in its own right, in some ways) becoming the excitement of actually getting into the world. I’m expecting a whole new kind of awesome. It’s just this few months of in-between that could be tough :P

  5. “p.p.s. All post-script on this site consists of lies.”

    Wait, wait a minute… if that’s true, then the p.p.s. is in fact also a lie.. but then.. wait, what?

    /mind blown

    On topic: I have to totally agree with what you have written. For the past 2 months my interaction with the game was limited to checking the GW2 and Arenanet blog RSS feeds once a day hoping for some new tidbit of lore or mechanic discussion. And then Februrary happened, and now it’s a frenzy of anticipation/jealousy/renewed speculation all around.

    I wish I had thought to enjoy the lull back in January – right now it feels like I’ve already begun sliding down that slope.

  6. Its pretty cool of Anet to include bloggers in this early beta – you definately deserve it for helping to keep the community stoked about this game over the last few months (years?). Hope you get in. Everything about the devs approach to the release of this game screams integrity and quality so looking forward to that first public beta and the release itself.

  7. I got teary eyed reading this..i felt the same way back when muds turned from text into graphics..the old community was gone..replaced by the new…and the same way when i got to the end of the 6 books of the dragon lance cronicles…time to say goodbye..the journey to gw2 is over..time to play!

    1. Oh interesting – the book series analogy really puts Ravious’ thought into a perspective I understand. Thanks!

  8. (at first: sry for my bad english, it’s not my primary language)
    I don’t know if this does fit to your blogpost, but as I read this post I came up with another thought: In case there will be an (almost) open beta, wouldn’t it reduce the sense of exploration and .. you know, the feeling that everyone starts at point zero, etc. . Of course they can’t take their characters from beta to the full game (i hope so??), but, well, it wouldn’t be like everyone is on the same level anymore.

    1. *it would be like some people are ahead, though the game has just been released.

      (sry, the last half of the last sentence was a bit weird :D)

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