[GW2] Within Reach

With this Author Exchange, we’ve paired with Guild Wars 2 Hub to bring you an original editorial from outside of our regular authorship. The Author Exchange is intended to bridge the gap between existing Guild Wars 2 communities and websites to bring a new set of opinions, ideas and content to readerships that might not necessarily know one another. In this Author Exchange Lewis B from Guild Wars 2 Hub brings you an editorial on how he will miss the buzz and excitement of the Guild Wars 2 beta.

After nearly fives years of waiting, it’s surreal to think that I’ll soon be playing Guild
Wars 2 on a permanent basis. The Beta weekends that have formed the back bone
of my months will become a thing of the past and yet I can’t help but feel a pang of
sadness that the Beta experience will in fact come to an end.

I wrestled for some time about whether or not I would even play the Guild Wars 2
Beta after being invited to take part quite some time before the pre-purchase access.
Walking the fine line between spoiling content and attempting to experience it, so I
could write about it, proved incredibly difficult. By taking part in World versus World
and Structured PvP, almost exclusively, it allowed me to insulate myself away from
most of Guild Wars 2’s content and still provided enough of a foundation to know that
this game was something truly special.

Where my pang of sadness stems from is the thought that I’ll no longer get the
buzz I’ve had for all these months, waiting for the announcement of the next Beta
weekend date or those minutes before the servers open where you and friends
excitedly chat about what you’re about to do over the next three days.

Over the past few months, I’ve spent the entire build up to each impending Beta
weekend event theorycrafting, researching and writing, eagerly anticipating the
changes ahead. Yet all this will be lost, in some form, when the game finally
launches, only to be replaced with a more personal experience as all the games
content lies within reach.

I’m making no suggestion to prolong the Beta experience, as like every other avid
Guild Wars 2 fan I’m desperate for the chance to be able to log in every day. But
there is something unquestionably attractive and special about a product you can
only play once a month in such a rigid and controlled environment, knowing that
once that 72 hour period has elapsed you have to wait once more before you can
return to Tyria.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, or so they say, and this couldn’t be more
fitting of the Beta weekends. They’ve served to whet the appetite of hundreds of
thousands of players in such a way that the anticaptionometer burst several phases
back. Unlike other Beta events I have taken part in for countless other MMOG’s,
where developers choose to leave servers open 24 hours a day, Guild Wars 2 is the
first that I have experienced so little and yet adored every single moment of it.

When the final Beta weekend draws to a close later this month I’ll be sad to know
that the level of excitement will only be replicated on the day Guild Wars 2 launches
and in future expansions. Everything either side of this will unquestionably be fun
and will see me revel in all that Guild Wars 2 has to offer, but I know I’ll secretly
miss the agony of waiting, randomly loading the game client to stare at the moving
background or leaving the office early on a Friday to do nothing but wait for the
servers to open. I can’t be the only one who feels like this, can I?

–Lewis B

11 thoughts on “[GW2] Within Reach”

  1. “I can’t be the only one who feels like this, can I?”

    You certainly are not.

    I was thinking about this the other day, and I’m right there with you. We waited for so long with *nothing*, and then we got the Manifesto with the very first sight of GW2 in 2009, and it’s been a magnificent roller coaster ride over the last three years. And as much as I’m looking forward to release, nothing will ever recreate the anticipation my guildies and I felt the day of the very first BWE.

    In a way, I’ll miss this beta period, too. There’s really something to be said for the experience, as awesome and agonizing as it’s been.

    1. The Manifesto was in 2010, the first video was the gamescom reveal trailer in 2009.

  2. Don’t worry, I’m sure there will be plenty of big live updates in between expansions to string us all along.

  3. I partially agree, in that I’ll miss hearing my wife ask me “when is the next weekend you get to play your game?” in her effort to let me have a pass on some chores and such we share. That said, it’s by far outweighed by the option to play an hour or two each evening at my leisure rather than hunting for some other game to play while I bide my time.

    The avoidance of some spoilers has also tempered my BWE activity, saving the storylines for full release and instead just trying to get a feel for how a few professions play.

  4. Another thing I find with betas is a weird sense of foreboding for the character. I know that this character is going to die in the time between the last beta and when the servers go live. It’s like she has a terminal illness or something. Everything she collects will be lost, everything she does will have to be done again on the new character. It doesn’t make it less fun, it just gives me pause.

  5. Very good article and excellent feature to cross blog! I agree with Kristakis in that it’s almost sad to know I’ll lose my “main” beta character and in part makes me wonder if I should roll something new next time because I’m just going to have to repeat it all when it goes live. It’s not a complaint, just an odd feeling.

    It has been interesting to only be able to play for 72 hours and then anticipate a nibble of news to tell us when we can next feast on the game. I hope I don’t take it for granted when I can log in whenever. Playing LOTRO seems silly. I find myself saying “If this was GW2 I wouldn’t be standing here letting this bear trade blows with me!”. Something so simple as, oh I don’t know, moving out of the line of fire, becomes this “duh” moment, of why didn’t someone think of that before?! Good times GW2, good times! Bring on August!!

  6. I’m with you, Lewis. I was wondering the other day what it might be like to have a game which you could only play for 3 days every fortnight – or only at the weekends. I think I’d certainly value my game time a lot more, and I wouldn’t get bored nearly as fast.

    On a side note: I’ve booked the day after the bank holiday after the release off work – 4 day weekend baby!

  7. Great work, cross-blogging. I hope it solidifies the sense of community even further.

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if an online game released content almost like movies? Where you have a 3-hour segment of story released that can only be played during certain ‘showings’? It’s certainly a bizarre concept, deliberately limiting when players can play in order to enhance the experience.

    Probably wouldn’t fly in a commercial context, and I’d fear the tendency for people to cancel all real-world obligations in order to attend these live events if they happened too often.

    But then again, this can probably be accomplished just as well through short, live, in-game events. A persistent world that has periodical, time-limited content thrown into it. Hm…

  8. I’m glad you all liked it :) Don’t forget to go read Ravious’ post over at Guild Wars 2 Hub, it really is rather excellent :)

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