The wait has been nearly unbearable for Guild Wars fans, but the release of the long anticipated sequel is finally in sight. In just over a month, Guild Wars 2 will open up its servers to the hundreds of thousands of players who have pre-purchased the game, along with gamers around the world who will pick up the game upon its release. In celebration of the impending launch, ArenaNet has added a slew of new content to the final beta weekend event, which begins this coming Friday, June 20th.
The first addition was actually announced several days ago: both the sylvari and the asura will be playable for the very first time. Although the asura did make an appearance in the final Guild Wars expansion, Eye of the North, this will be the very first introduction to the sylvari, a race shrouded in mystery with origins dating back only a few decades before Guild Wars 2 begins.
For any players who have managed to explore every area that the PvE section of the betas have had to offer, ArenaNet has some more good news. They will be opening up a region for players between the levels of 17-20 called the Brisban Wildlands. Kim Kirsch, one of the game’s designers, had the following to say about the map:
“Brisban Wildlands is a remote jungle adjacent to the lands of the asura, sylvari, and humans. For decades the only inhabitants have been a few asura labs too secretive or volatile to occupy space near Rata Sum, and an ever-multiplying population of skritt. Protected by the secluded jungle, the skritt built the city of Skrittsburgh, and have attained an order of civility little seen in other areas of Tyria.”
Of course, in Tyria, peace never lasts long, so by the time players reach the Brisban Wildlands, it will be their mission to hunt down the evil groups that have taken a foothold in the area.
One exciting announcement that appeared on the ArenaNet blog months ago was the addition of minigames to Guild Wars 2. Guild Wars holiday events were always popular not only for their exclusive hats, but the abundance of minigames and challenges to compete in. With the sequel, there will be certain minigames accessible at all times for players who may have tired of adventuring or PvP combat.
The minigame on show this weekend will be the Keg Brawl. The Keg Brawl is described as a “wildly popular, incredibly macho norn pastime” and can be accessed from the large norn city of Hoelbrak. A Brewer NPC will be stationed at the northwest corner of the city to send players into a match, where two teams attempt to carry the most full kegs of ale back to their Ale Collector, scoring points with every successful trip. Players can “tackle, pummel, kick, and otherwise rough up” members of the opposing team to gain control of the keg for themselves. Just the kind of violent, drunken rampage Guild Wars 2 fans have been waiting for!
Not many gamers would argue the fact that Guild Wars 2 is a good looking game (just look at the screenshots from our preview). Unsurprisingly, the men and women who built it feel that way too, which led to the creation of vistas. Vistas allow explorers to sit back and watch a panoramic, panning cinematic of some of Tyria’s most beautiful views. Check out the video of Hoelbrak’s vista below:
In case you were thinking they may have forgotten about the PvP players, worry not! Both Structured PvP and World vs. World will see improvements and additions for BWE3. In Structured PvP, ArenaNet will be introducing a new map called Legacy of the Foefire. The map’s description should excite any Guild Wars players looking for a more traditional style of PvP:
“We’re introducing a brand-new player-versus-player map this weekend that we call “Legacy of the Foefire,” which draws some inspiration from the lore and design of the original Guild Wars. As with all PvP maps, players will battle over three capture points, but this new map includes NPC guards and team “guild lords,” powerful NPCs that are worth a lot of points… if you can manage to kill them.”
Finally, the wars waging on the WvW maps have not failed to impress, but ArenaNet wants to make this mode of player vs. player even more immersive and dynamic for solo players who want to take on an objective by themselves. Sentries, solitary NPC guards, will now be guarding new capture points on the map, and although they will not be easy to take down, a single player will be capable of doing so.
Keep in mind that all character information will be deleted before and after this final BWE. Up until now, each beta event and stress test has carried over characters from their last appearance in-game, complete with items, skills, and levels. This time around, everyone will start fresh. I hope you said goodbye to your old beta characters!
Guild Wars 2 will be out for the PC on August 28th.
Follow me on Twitter @JacobSiegal.
Source: ArenaNet Blog