A man is covered with ash, reaching for a television. Someone in a hoodie runs from helicopters in an alleyway and spraypaints the wall. And a woman swims in a sunken apartment building. This is…Guild Wars 2?
Over the weekend Arenanet’s latest entry into the Guild Wars franchise was so popular that to maintain quality on its servers, Arenanet decided to halt sales on the game for a short period of time. According to Chart-Track, the game is the 2nd highest-grossing, non-Warcraft MMO of all time, right behind Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Despite a bit of a rough start to the game which includes shutting down the in-game auction house and a large amount of phishing attempts on player accounts, the game has otherwise been seen as a huge success. This “sold out” status is similar to what had happened months ago when the game first entered its closed beta phase and allowed all pre-orders of the game access to the beta.
Issues such as the password and e-mail resets by phishing are currently being dealt with as well as looking to reduce the need for overflow servers and getting the trading post back up and running. More details can be found on the reddit post by Arenanet staff.
Here’s my brief synopsis of Guild Wars 2 thus far:
Fantastic game all-around. Laughable security settings that can easily be circumvented.
For the first time in memory, my online account has been hacked and exploited. Up to this point I was cruising along pretty well if I do say so myself, but stopped completely short yesterday after finding an empty in-game wallet.
Betas can be a 2-edged sword. While there’s a lot of great things associated with them, such as stress testing servers, tweaking gameplay and finding copious amounts of bugs to fix, there’s also a lot of problems with them, like previewing too much of the game early and turning players away with an unfinished product.
The problem with MMO betas is that they need you to level up your character at the early stages of the game for some time, so you get to see a lot of the early game, but typically the late game is what is actually interesting. Plus, the fact that you are usually reset in progression when the retail game releases means that there will be a lot of retreading over the same material. Those are the actual problems I have with betas and I wish there were some way around it, but honestly this is the best way to vet a game before its ready to make a debut.
The gaming world this week is awash in MMO news. Star Wars: The Old Republic lost close to 25% of its player base and the newly announced Elder Scrolls MMO was kind of a disappointment. TERA also released to positive fanfare and Guild Wars 2 recently hosted a weekend-long beta for pre-orders. And, should we say it? Diablo 3, while not an MMO, is right around the corner, sure to steal away the attention of the grinding hordes for at least some time.
But something more interesting is beginning to bubble up to the top of gamer’s interests. Is WoW-style gameplay finally stale? A lot of people seem to think so, a lot of other people completely disagree. For a game-type that’s been around for nearly a decade (and really now, longer than that if you want to include some of the pre-WoW era MMOs), its not surprising to consider the idea that maybe people are getting a little bored of it, or they want something that just feels fresher.
In maybe one of the more…curious twists of the pre-order business, Guild Wars 2 sold out of digital copies on Friday in the moments leading up to its open beta weekend event. Note the word digital, as in, no physical copies. Oh, did I mention this is also a pre-order?
Not much needs to be said on this, other than “go go go!” If you’d like to get into the Guild Wars 2 beta you should head over to their beta sign-up page and register as soon as you can, because the registration time will only be open for a short while (2 days). This will not guarantee that you get into the beta per-se, but it will get you on the queue for it. So hop on over and get signed up!
I’ve been saying it for a couple years now and I finally vented my frustrations at the “way-too-early-to-announce” announcement. These companies who announce their products so early and then turn around and expect us to get super hyped about their product 3 years later really have another thing coming. Perhaps I’m still a sucker for press releases and flashy trailers though, because it looks like a long-awaited game finally gets its just rewards this year.