Guild Wars 2

Developer: ArenaNet
Release date: TBA, 2012

Guild Wars 2 MMO beta 2012

ArenaNet disrupted the MMO scene seven years ago by requiring no monthly subscription to play and heavily focusing on skill-based player-versus-player combat. Since then, the MMO landscape has changed just as much as it’s stood still, and ArenaNet is looking to make their mark yet again with Guild Wars 2.

The key to Guild Wars 2 seems to be an emphasis on keeping the fun factor high without ever punishing the player as many other MMOs do. When players are defeated, for instance, they’re put into a downed state where they can still fight for their lives and revive themselves by killing an enemy a la Borderlands. ArenaNet has completely removed a focused healer role from the game; instead, each class has unique abilities to heal themselves or their allies.

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And once again, Guild Wars 2 will not require a monthly subscription, though, there will be optional microtransactions and the cost of buying the actual game. “We think players should have the opportunity to spend money on items that offer more ways to express themselves on account services and on time-saving convenience items,” says ArenaNet President Mike O’Brien. “But it’s never OK for players who spend money to have an unfair advantage over players who spend time.”

Star Wars: The Old Republic was deemed a World of Warcraft killer, but the game imitated its adversary too closely to dethrone it. Perhaps ArenaNet, founded by former World of Warcraft developers, will have better luck distinguishing itself and making a difference in the genre with Guild Wars 2.

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What’s unique?
“Guild Wars 2 reimagines the forgotten promise of online worlds,” says O’Brien. “It tosses out the tired MMO clichés — quest grinding and static, unchanging worlds — and replaces them with a living world filled with dynamic events where your actions really change the world around you. Add to this a personalized storyline that branches according to the decisions you make and a fun, action-oriented combat system, and it opens up online gaming to a much broader audience.”

Guild Wars 2 Collector's Edition 2012 MMO beta pre-order bonus

Pre-purchase bonuses:

  • Access to all beta weekend events
  • Three days of head start access
  • Hero’s Band

Collector’s Edition ($149.99):

  • Summon Mistfire Wolf Elite Skill
  • Miniature Rytlock
  • Golem Banker
  • Chalice of Glory
  • Tome of Influence
  • 10-inch figurine of Rytlock
  • 112-page making of Guild Wars 2 book
  • Custom art frame
  • Art portfolio and five art prints
  • Best of Guild Wars 2 soundtrack CD

Minimum system requirements:

  • Windows® XP Service Pack 2 or better
  • Intel® Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz, Core i3, AMD Athlon 64 X2, or better
  • 2 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800, ATI X1800, Intel HD 3000, or better
  • 256MB of video RAM and shader model 3.0 or better
  • 25 GB available HDD space
  • Broadband Internet connection
  • Keyboard and mouse
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