There's been a lot of speculation about the date Guild Wars 2 would release, and for that matter, even when an open beta would arrive for fans of the game. The popular MMO has been creating a lot of buzz, reaching our 25 Most Anticipated Games of 2012 list in a respectable position.
Today, ArenaNet President Mike O'Brien was happy to welcome gamers to the 'Year of the Dragon', announcing that an open beta will take place around April this year - leading right into the full retail release of the upcoming MMO.
Some lucky Guild Wars 2 fans have already been in the closed beta which took place last month, but there are plenty of gamers still clamoring to play - as more details about changes and improvements to the land of Tyria have trickled out. Press officials will be invited to try out the game starting in February, and in March and April ArenaNet will be 'aggressively expanding' the amount of players - so that public fans of the game can offer feedback before the game goes gold.
If you're interested in joining up for the beta when it rolls around, O'Brien recommends you follow their Facebook Page so you'll hear about chances to sign up as soon as they become available. He seems pretty excited to invite gamers into the world of Tyria, and we've got to say, we like his outlook on how the Year of the Dragon will treat players:
According to tradition, the dragon embodies passion, independence, and ambition. We think it’s a perfect analogy for what we’re trying to accomplish with Guild Wars 2. We’re a company full of MMO and RPG fans, and we’ve set out to fundamentally rethink how you deliver an RPG experience online. So this year, the Year of the Dragon, let’s usher out old thinking — the tired old quest model, stiff repetitive combat, and monthly fees — and usher in the new.
Last year, we went hands on Guild Wars 2 during PAX East, and the work-in-progress was certainly impressive. With no monthly fees, a new 'skill progression' system, dodges, dynamic quests and the like, we're excited to see what Guild Wars 2 can truly do.
If you're eagerly awaiting the game, but haven't decided on a character species yet, you can find race videos for the Charr, Norn and Humans. They're not your only options, and certainly only the beginning in defining how you'll play the game. Either way, we look forward to fighting with you - or against you - later on in 2012.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @Makelevi.