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Guild Wars 2 Announces Beta Plans

It’s the first day of the Year of the Dragon, and ArenaNet president Mike O’Brien has also labeled it the Year of Guild Wars 2. In development for five years, Guild Wars 2 is finally ramping up for launch, and O’Brien announced the studio’s beta plans for the game this morning.
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It’s the first day of the Year of the Dragon, and ArenaNet president Mike O’Brien has also labeled it the Year of Guild Wars 2. In development for five years, Guild Wars 2 is finally ramping up for launch, and O’Brien announced the studio’s beta plans for the game this morning.

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Posting on the ArenaNet blog, O’Brien said the first closed beta test for Guild Wars 2 is complete, and the studio is now ready to hold “progressively larger events.” The first of those events will take place in February, with invites being sent out to select press to participate in beta testing. And in March and April, O’Brien said ArenaNet will “aggressively ramp up the size” of the beta.

The race and profession of the player will determine the skills they can access. Guild Wars 2, like Guild Wars, uses a skill-based combat system, whereby players must select only 10 skills from a much larger pool, introducing an element of strategy. However, unlike Guild Wars, skill slots have predefined roles: the first five are determined by player’s weapon and profession, the sixth is for healing, the seventh through ninth will be skills with no defined roles that are unlocked as the game progresses, and the tenth slot will be for an “elite” skill, which is also initially locked. In a departure from the high number of skills present in Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2 will focus on quality of skills over quantity and will also reduce the overall number of game modes to reduce balancing complexity — one of the most common issues present in MMORPGs.

No specific dates were provided and the official release date remains TBA, but if we were a betting website, we’d put our money on a June launch for Guild Wars 2. 

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