10 Helpful Hints for the Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Event

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.


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.



EDIT: For more info check out the Guild Wars 2 official site, Guild Wars 2 wiki, Guild Wars 2 Guru, and GuildMag has a ton of great links on the left side.

45 thoughts on “10 Helpful Hints for the Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Event”

  1. Tip 9 is going to be the biggest thing for me. I don’t want to be doing events with tons of other people, so I may venture off with some friends if things get too hectic. It appears there is always stuff to do elsewhere, so sticking around isn’t entirely important. Unless of course it’s an elite event or something of the sort. That may be worth enduring the mobs of players :)

  2. #9… From all the vids I’ve seen, I think I could pinpoint all the really hot starting events. Deff gunna avoid them at first.

  3. Sad that I won’t be able to join the BWEs thanks to the region lock (which is preventing me from buying the game – even though there is no chance of it ever actually affecting me, I can’t in good conscience support such anti-consumer behavior). :(

    1. Sorry to hear that. Hopefully they have an answer to your liking soon. They’ve said that they will address that.

      With the pricing difference, etc. I wonder if they hit some corporate BS or EU trade thing or something that caused them to walk on eggshells or something. It’s also a Korean-owned corporation…. I dunno, just seems weird how they’ve done things. Almost too careful.

      1. Europe has some tough restrictions on blood and violence, so there are always going to be some differences or restrictions there.

        Not really sure why Asia is being excluded. Gold farming?

        1. The regions are Europe plus a few other select countries, and the rest of the world. The rest of the world includes Asia. :P

          (For those unaware of the region locking… Basically, if you have to move or travel to or from Europe, *as things currently stand*, you will have to buy a second copy of the game, one that matches your new region, if you wish to be able to log in and play.)

          1. Actually Ogre that is Tosh. They have said they will address it after the release because they are working on how they are going to do it. Personally if you don’t have faith in Anet to do the right thing then you are right, you shouldn’t buy the game or even bother following it any further.

            1. Hence why I specified “as things currently stand.” And, they said they are looking into a solution, but that doesn’t mean there will actually BE one.

              And customer service responses are sticking to the line that you’ll have to buy a second copy, except for one that said that (after you change locations) you could contact support and they MIGHT be able to help switch you.

        2. Asia has not been excluded from GW2. You can buy a digital copy of the game from anywhere in the world and play from anywhere. Asia does not have dedicated datacenters at the moment that’s about it.
          So yes technically gold farmers could be potential customers. I say “technically” because if anyone knows enough about GW2, they know that it is not a farming game. You simply cannot farm in the traditional mmo sense of “farming X items to achieve something be it leveling or gold”. As I understand by what I have absorbed so far, of all the feedback from the game, is that it is a game that encourages community play. Leveling by only killing mobs is discouraged because it will take much longer to do it that way than when one participates in events or helps the game world in general. Helping the community in GW2 gives you more rewards. I personnally think that this is a brilliant detterent to gold farming in itself. Unfortunately it may not be a 100% proof model but only time will tell as we are very much in the dark right now.

  4. Just to clarify, all the armor crafting professions, not just leather working, can craft bags? That will be nice. I totally forgot about crafting bags…although they aren’t BoP so it still wouldn’t be an issue for me personally, but nice to know none-the-less especially for people who may not be leveling up a lot of characters/professions and don’t feel like paying to switch.

    1. Yup, heavy armor makes boxes, and I’m not sure what tailors make… maybe potpourri satchels? I kid, I kid.

      1. Are you sure about that? I highly doubt cooking or jewelery will craft bags of any kind.

        1. Always remember the good old chicken pie armor. Or the diamond chain mail.
          (armor crafting -> bags, non armor crafing -> no bags is what they said.)

  5. My plan is to try out everything I don’t like first to see how bad it is.

    This means trying out the ranger and its skills, which look pretty lousy. I mean, Traps and Spirits? Half of the utilities are stationary. My suspicion is that people don’t like the pets or think they have bad AI because the pet skills are actually on long cooldowns, so it looks like they’re unresponsive, when in reality the pets are bored waiting for their skills to recharge.

    Second, I want to try to test the AI and solo in the beta, and the Ranger shortbow seems like one of the worst soloing weapons since its skills do more damage while flanking and backstabbing. This way i can test out the autoturn on the mobs and how much of a problem that is, as well as see if the pet can keep the bad guys from looking at me.

    1. Ranger sword is amazingly fun. Flinging yourself all over the battlefield. My favorite two weapons were sword/horn and shortbow, so go figure. I also hated longbow… so I really think it just comes down to personal preference.

      1. yeah, sword and shortbow looks the best, I just don’t know how easy it will be to solo with them. Sword looks like one of the more unique weapons in the game, and it also has the skill to get you behind your enemy which will pair well with the shortbow.

        Longbow looks like it could be interesting with the max range mechanic, but I’ve hated the barrage skill for almost 2 years now, and next to nothing will change that.

        As for utilities I really want to see if the traps and spirits are any fun. Ranger is probably the only profession where it looks like the physical (in this case, survival) utilities look like they could be a go-to option.

        1. It’s probably worth noting that there is a trait that allows spirits to move around and follow the ranger, as well as traits to allow traps to be ground-targeted (the range is up for grabs, however)

          It may not be what you’re looking for, but it can definitely give the spirits and traps that extra flare that people will be looking for.

          1. yes. That is another thing on the testing block. Are the spirits fun/useful, and if so, is it worth spending trait points on them? Many of them have a random/rng effect anyway, and in gw1 the spirits were modeled after slow moving druids, so there’s the added issue of whether a moving spirit can keep up with you.

            Another thing: range and cast times! I can easily see how a stationary spirit might fit with a longbow build (theoretically the spirit is further away from danger) but what about melee or shortbow?

    2. There is a trait to make ur spirits move along with you.
      I also looked at a good PvE trait setup which gives u + 10% dmg when >75% hp + 5% dmg when full endurance (dodge bar) first hit always crits, and first hit is reset after a kill. I think this would turn into a fair bit of bow dmg even front on.

    3. Actually pets have 4 Abilities (*you* only have control of one of them). You can also command them to res you when needed, attack, or just hang back (such as a white moa that has a few healing abilities)

      You also have 4 pet slots and can swap pets during play. They even take underwater/amphibious pet combat into account.

      As for the Spirits not moving; they didn’t move in gw1 either. Why? because they have an AoE about the size of your compass (most zoomed) so it wasn’t/isn’t like other “stand in this tiny circle” AoE’s. And If you do run out of their range they kinda “plop” where you are.

      Come to think of it Rit spirits didn’t move either (they were chained down) now *there’s* a profession I would’ve loved to see.

      Great write-up btw Ravious!

  6. I thouroughly enjoyed reading them but #7 annoyed me.
    The whole point of the puzzles not being on a path you’re most likely going to be exploring/leveling on is because they want you to find the puzzles and secrets. Sure eventually there’s going to be guide and walkthroughs and ”let’s play”s of them all soon enough for now I’m sure many of us wanted to discover these things on our own. Now you just spoiled 3 of them to me and it’s not like I can just try to forget it because my memory is awesome and remembers it with just 1 read. Awesome blog post but didn’t enjoy part of #7

    1. Eh. The starting zone jumping puzzles are already all over the place and are rather hard to avoid on YouTube. The 15-30 zone ones are still mostly hidden, IIRC, and I’d swear it’s been said that every zone will have at least one, so there’s still lots to find.

    2. Yeah, they are fairly easy to find if you do like exploring, especially if you are looking for all the Points of Interest. There are plenty, plenty of hidden lore, nooks, and crannies more off the radar to find otherwise.

  7. I will be in this first Beta weekend thanks to Pre-purchase of CE and I can’t wait to get started with this game. Great expectations! Anyway, thanks for this guide, sounds precious to me. :)

  8. Thanks for the post. I like it. What will your name be like? And once in game, could I like search you and contact you right away? Or only after joining same guild / being in proximity of each other?

  9. Nice write up Ravious. I’m looking forward to finding those puzzles almost as much as I’m wanting to try out the ranger and his pets. The weekend’s going to go too quickly.

  10. Personally, this first public BWE is mostly going to be about testing out trait and skill “builds” on 4 different characters in the PvP area where we will have full access to everything at level 80.
    Hopefully that will help me narrow down which characters I’m going to be creating first once the game actually launches.
    Depending on how that goes I will maybe have a little time to explore more in the PvE areas later in the weekend… if not, then those will still be there on other BWEs.

    Btw, #2 is a personal pet peeve of mine from watching the videos of press members, and I’m really looking forward to finally being able to dodge instead of watching someone else just stand there like they were still in WOW… the freedom of movement is going to be cathartic for me.

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