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Guild Wars Final Beta This Friday

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the more-wars-for-your-guilds dept.

Role Playing (Games) 39

This Friday you can get in on the Final Beta test for the hack and slash MMOG, Guild Wars. Commentary is available on Grimwell Online. From the article: " The main claim to fame of GuildWars is being the only MMORPG without a monthly fee. It will be interesting to see how that business model works out. Is it really the monthly fee that stops a MMORPG from greatness, or is it the nerdy gameplay?" Update: 01/05 22:26 GMT by H : I spoke with a representative of GuildWars; the above information is false. The beta program will be continuing as currently implemented. As well, GuildWars has not yet stated a final release date other than early 2005; that is still true, and in the meantime, development continues on the game -- and support will be continuing for the beta program.

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39 comments

Hmm.... (0, Troll)

ElectricBrain (452147) | more than 9 years ago | (#11264926)

How does this compare to WoW?

Re:Hmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11265233)

You get what you pay for...

Re:Hmm.... (1)

Diabolus777 (663144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11267759)

AC uninformed trolling. . .

There will be no monthly fee, but the game will have an initial cost. The business mmodel that is sought after by the publisher and developper is to make lots of expansions and of course charge for them. So you indeed get what you pay for : something.

It might work out as far as revenue goes, because I am part of the batch that refuses to pay a monthly fee for ANY game. I've played 2 GW betas and while it looked nice, I didnt enjoy combat. I will see if i can find some fun one last time, because from what I have played, I won't be buying it.

Re:Hmm.... (1)

Reo Strong (661900) | more than 9 years ago | (#11265430)

I'm not sure about whether parent is a troll or a legit question...

Anyway, I don't really know how it stacks up to Wow (I haven't played it) but gameplay is pretty much Diablo in real 3d and it is very pretty if you have the machine to run it at full spec. There is PVP that is fairly addictive as well as a pretty good mode for teaming up and advancing throughout the areas. I'm not sure about the long term addiction, but I'm pretty happy right now with it (played in all but one of the previews)

can I mention how hopefull I am that this business model takes off?

-hope- -hope-

Redundant gameplay is why (2, Interesting)

roche (135922) | more than 9 years ago | (#11265172)

I wouldn't say it is the "nerdy" gameplay that turns me off of these type of games. The redundancy of the gameplay is where I get bored. You can only kill so many whomp rats or orcs before you are bored to tears trying to get that last bit of experience to level up. What happens when you level up? The whole process repeats itself.

Re:Redundant gameplay is why (1)

Tanmi-Daiow (802793) | more than 9 years ago | (#11265272)

I agree, I got in on one of the earlier beta tests and found that its not much different from other MMORPGs. Im not gonna get it because i prefer games where skill is more important than time.

Re:Redundant gameplay is why (1)

Reo Strong (661900) | more than 9 years ago | (#11265492)

Actually this is one of the main selling points... the ability to pick it up and play while not having to power level to stay competative.

One of the tag lines used in the adverts is that they award skill of play, not time spent playing (kinda like an online FPS in that respect)

Re:Redundant gameplay is why (1)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 9 years ago | (#11265702)

That's sorta like saying you're going to get a motorcycle instead of a car because you prefer vehicles with 4 wheels. One of the main points of GW is that you don't have to spend 20+ hours a week playing it just so you can remain competitive. To me, that's more like a job than a game.

I imagine that this game is really going to appeal to people like me who only have a couple hours a week they can/want to devote to a game. People who would otherwise love to get into an online rpg, but couldn't afford to devote the time it would take to make it fun, or to make it worth paying $15+ a month. I see those two elements bein the biggest hurdle for many to entry into the realm of MMORPGs, and GW removes both quite well.

Re:Redundant gameplay is why (1)

uzor (787499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11266329)

Keep in mind that there are 150 skills you can obtain (75*2 professions), and being able to effectively juggle (up to) 150 skills in 8 skill slots to maximum advantage certainly sounds like skill being more important than time to me.

Re:Redundant gameplay is why (1)

Warped1 (68788) | more than 9 years ago | (#11269297)

While I haven't played it yet (I will this weekend), I remember hearing people say somewhere that it's skill in a strategy/tactical sense, and not twitch skill. Maybe twitch is what the guy above meant.

As for me, I prefer strategy & tactics over twitch skills, so this game has me interested.

MMORPG? (3, Interesting)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11265271)

I don't really think Guild Wars is a MMOG, and here's why:

In a game like WoW or CoH, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the same zone as you. In Guild Wars, you're either running around solo or you're joining one of the raids that has a cap of 6 (I think) members per group. Is 6 Massive? If so, StarCraft has that beat with 8.

RPG? Maybe, I played in the open beta and all the new characters started with the best weapons and armor and some high level. You weren't really given a chance to role play, so I can't judge it there.

All in all, it felt like Diablo. But Diablo with less fun.

Re:MMORPG? (1)

keyne9 (567528) | more than 9 years ago | (#11265332)

Those are only the 'mission zones' (hell if I know what they're really called). The actual game, outside of the cities/gathering areas isn't instanced, so you really could have the whol server population cheering on a duel or something silly.

Re:MMORPG? (3, Insightful)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11265413)

When I played outside the "mission zones" the only people I saw were NPCs.

That's Massive in that "There's so much room you won't find other people" but not Massive in that "There are thousands of other people playing along with you"

And, as I said, the game's more like Diablo but without all the fun bits.. But if you like it, that's your opinion. And it's wrong.

Re:MMORPG? (1)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 9 years ago | (#11265509)

In a couple of the betas, yes, you started at level 15. In the last ones, you could also create a new level 1 character, or create a level 20 pre-fabbed template, pvp-only character, for purposes of trying out the pvp sections (designed for people only able to play the one weekend, I suppose).

Some missions cap the party at 6 characters, some at 8. I don't recall, but I think the Arena pvp areas where for parties of 4, while the Halls of the Dead, Guild battle, and another pvp area where for parties of 8.

Of course, they've gone a long way to making pvp balanced and fun, and IMHO, they've succeeded. That is definitely one of the big selling points of this game.

Now, one point that I haven't seen talked about all that often is that, if I recall correctly, the expansions won't be the only point for new content. They have oft hinted that they will be continually delivering various new zones as time goes by, while the expansions will deliver major new content, such as spells and realms. I imagine this myself as akin to a whole new map to explore, for those who have played a demo. I wouldn't be surprised to see a new character class in there as well.

Re:MMORPG? (2, Insightful)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11265596)

4-8 Isn't MASSIVE. Balance is all fine and dandy, but the game isn't Massive. Maybe they should call it

"A small group of people playing at the same time online slightly role playing game"

Re:MMORPG? (1)

Reo Strong (661900) | more than 9 years ago | (#11265831)

They don't actaully bill it as a MMORPG... they are very specific in not calling it that. What they do call it is a Mission Based Online Role Playing Game... the focus is away from the whole "thousands of people all online and communicating with each other" (the last massive online communication I has was mostly done in 13375[]D3ak and was unnecessarily vulger/slanderous)

Re:MMORPG? (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11267068)

From the article: "The main claim to fame of GuildWars is being the only MMORPG without a monthly fee. It will be interesting to see how that business model works out. Is it really the monthly fee that stops a MMORPG from greatness, or is it the nerdy gameplay?"

What's that you say?

Re:MMORPG? (1)

IceD'Bear (829534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11268246)

From the official game FAQ:

Is Guild Wars an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game)?

Guild Wars has some similarities to existing MMORPGs, but it also has some key differences.

Like existing MMOs, Guild Wars is played entirely online in a secure hosted environment. Thousands of players inhabit the same virtual world. Players can meet new friends in gathering places like towns and outposts where they form parties and go questing with them. Unlike many MMOs, when players form a party and embark upon a quest in Guild Wars, they get their own private copy of the area where the quest takes place. This design eliminates some of the frustrating gameplay elements commonly associated with MMOs, such as spawn camping, kill stealing, and lines to complete a quest.

Guild Wars takes place in a large virtual world made up of many different zones, and players can walk from one end of the world to the other. But Guild Wars eliminates much of the tedium of traveling through the world. Players can instantly return to any safe area (town or outpost) that they've previously visited just by clicking on it in the world overview map.

Rather than labeling Guild Wars an MMORPG, we prefer to call it a CORPG (Competitive Online Role-Playing Game). Guild Wars was designed from the ground up to create the best possible competitive role-playing experience. Success in Guild Wars is always the result of player skill, not time spent playing or the size of one's guild. As characters progress, they acquire a diverse set of skills and items, enabling them to use new strategies in combat. Players can do battle in open arenas or compete in guild-on-guild warfare or the international tournament. But engaging in combat is always the player's choice; there is no player-killing in cooperative areas of the world.

Finally, unlike existing MMOs, all characters in Guild Wars inhabit the same virtual world -- they are not divided onto different servers or shards -- so players can always team up with or compete against any other player in the world.

Re:MMORPG? (1)

Reo Strong (661900) | more than 9 years ago | (#11279294)

Thats right, it is in the ARTICLE... not from the official site...

now-a-days anything that is online only is talked about in conjunction with the term MMORPG reguardless of the reality of what it is. Read the above post for the exact wording driectly from the Guildwars.com FAQ

Re:MMORPG? (1)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 9 years ago | (#11265919)

Now you're just arguing sematnics. Though the mission is instanced, you have cities, outposts, and other shared areas where you have thousands of others to chat and trade with, and form those "small groups of people" which somehow offend you. For that reason, I think it falls into the same category.

I've heard people say that these public areas are just a graphical version of Battle.net. I disagree, for the simple fact that these areas are also used for, in addition to the trade and chat mentioned above, story development. In other words, role playing.

I've also heard the argument "In , you can have 40 people fighting the same dragon!". I've also played FPSs where you have just as many people playing. Is that reason enough to call it a "MMOFPS"?

Look, if you don't like the game, don't play it.... I promise I won't be offended that you don't like it. But why do you keep going on about it then?

Re:MMORPG? (1)

startled (144833) | more than 9 years ago | (#11266998)

In Guild Wars, you're either running around solo or you're joining one of the raids that has a cap of 6 (I think) members per group.

Or you're in a PvP arena, which can at least go up to 12-- I think they mentioned larger? I'm not sure.

Sure, still not massive; the only "massive" areas are the starting areas, which you could argue are only glorified matchmaking lobbies. You never get the situation where you're killing zombies in a field, and some guy runs along and says, "hey, wanna kill zombies together?". And that is a loss-- chance pickup groups can be a lot of fun.

OTOH, I did enjoy the combat of this game versus a traditional MMO. So, terminology be damned, I had fun, whatever genre you want to cram this into. Since it has no monthly, I'll probably pick it up, even though I'm already addicted to WoW.

Re:MMORPG? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11267064)

Way to have a friend mod all your posts up.

Re:MMORPG? (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11267097)

Actually, I don't have any friends (Note how I'm always posting on /.) and was just as amazed as you were when I saw that someone had modded me up a whole lot.

Thanks, friendly stranger!

Re:MMORPG? (1)

steeef (98372) | more than 9 years ago | (#11268131)

RPG? Maybe, I played in the open beta and all the new characters started with the best weapons and armor and some high level. You weren't really given a chance to role play, so I can't judge it there.

Notice you were playing during a beta. They forced people to start at level 15 so they could test higher level areas. True, they're trying to introduce people to the game, but their main purpose was to stress test their servers and see if the game scaled to tens of thousands of users.

In the (semi-)closed betas, you could choose to create a character from scratch or use a level 15 character. Again, they're trying to get a feel for what it will be like once the game goes live.

Re:MMORPG? (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11268696)

Notice how I said "So I can't judge it there."

I didn't get a chance to actually roleplay, so I didn't judge it there, other than saying it reminded me a lot of Diablo.

Umm more free online gaming (1)

Kylere (846597) | more than 9 years ago | (#11265306)

http://www.knightonlineworld.com/ Decent game, better than EQ on initial release.

Who says this is the final beta? (1)

Mithrandir3791 (447811) | more than 9 years ago | (#11267138)

I can't find any announcement saying that this will be the final beta weekend. There's nothing on the official site about it, and the FAQ kind of makes it sound like it won't be.

When will Guild Wars be released? UPDATED!


Guild Wars is currently in alpha testing on a daily basis, and holds beta testing during Beta Weekend Events, the next of which begins on January 7th. We will take as much time as necessary to balance and polish the game based on feedback received during beta testing. We anticipate that we will release Guild Wars in early 2005.

I'd say it's a bit of both (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 9 years ago | (#11267815)

Assuming that by "nerdy gameplay" you're referring to the pointless treadmill basis of most MMORPGs today. I would never pay a monthly fee to play a video game that I already paid retail price for, but I quickly gave up on Anarchy Online even though I could've played it free for a year due to the boring and aimless gameplay.

Rob

Guild Wars - The Next Gen Online RPG (2, Insightful)

Troncek (659886) | more than 9 years ago | (#11268339)

I'm an alpha tester on the GW team since March and let me tell you why GW is IMHO going to be the next big thing in online gaming.

1. ArenaNet (a very talented team, some ex-Blizzard guys that worked on WoW for a while, Starcraft, Warcraft, Diablo .. you name it). They are constantly in contact with the alphas and the community, giving us access to their commands/servers, joking with us and are overall really cool people. I can't name a company that is cooler then them. ;)

2. No grind, skill matters (if you haven't played a real 8vs8vs8vs8vs8 Tombs map or GvG you don't know what GW PvP is all about). Teamplay is very important. The fast-paced PvP reminds me of FPS clan fights a little.

3. The skill system that somewhat resembles Magic: The Gathering. 450+ skills but you can only build a deck of 8 and use them in connection to your character specification and specializations. Also building a good solid team build with 64 skills that covers most of the tactics and anti-tactics requires a lot of planning.

4. Streaming tech that downloads the game assets as you play the game. Brilliant! Fast bug fixes and exploits, new material,...

5. One of the best looking online RPGs to date.

6. A great single player story that will continue with chapters / expansion packs. Jess Lebow is the author (Baldur's Gate I and II,...).

7. Great network code. Runs and plays smooth like a baby po-po. Build for people with crappy connections.

8. No downtime, since multiple instances of servers can be run. They take some down and in the mean time you can play without interruptions.

9. No shards / realms. A global PvP/GvG network. You can switch to international districts with just a few mouse clicks. Real world-wide tournaments and GvG battles.

10. No monthly fee and you can still play with friends who have bought an expansion pack you didn't.

This and the game is fun! :)

Oh and no, the January BWE event is not the final one. They just today added a new UI code (movable and customizable) so I guess they still have a lot of features to add.

Re:Guild Wars - The Next Gen Online RPG (1)

Warped1 (68788) | more than 9 years ago | (#11269384)

I hope you're right.

I thought WoW was going to be the big one for me ... but it turns out that I just can't deal with endless hours of repetative simplistic gameplay to get to the end-game any more.

GW sounds like a much needed change in design of these games to take the focus off of the time-sink aspect.

Re:Guild Wars - The Next Gen Online RPG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11273402)

Exactly! I totally agree!

The main claim to fame of GuildWars is being the only MMORPG without a monthly fee.

I dont think that guy has even played the game

Re:Guild Wars - The Next Gen Online RPG (1)

kc78 (651501) | more than 9 years ago | (#11274534)

I have just been accepted into alpha (although still not in the game yet as we're waiting on the next start date for alpha testers) but I have been following this game for over a year and played all the betas.

This game is unique.

1. There is some leveling, but it comes cheap and easily. I actually wish they'd just drop the levelling out but I guess they want you to have some attachment to your character.

2. There are battles as previously mentioned that have large numbers. Several teams of 8 fight against each other at once on the hall maps. I've heard rumors that at some point even larger battles will take place, however they're still balancing the smaller ones.

3. This game is based more on skill than time spent, although that's slightly misleading. To gain all the skills you need you either have to spend a large amount of time searching for them, or have a large connection of friends who can help you aquire them. (This is something I want to see changed)

4. It is a great game for a casual gamer as myself, I can jump on for an hour and make considerable progress either by completing a mission, levelling up, finding some skills, crafting, playing some fun PvP, etc.... It's very simple to jump in and jump out of the game.

5. Yes, most of the game world aside from the cities/lobby areas are instanced. (I think this is a great thing thought) They're balanced for your group and level you should be at while still offering some challenge, I don't have to hear some 12 year old kid babble on and on about whatever, no kill stealing, etc... You go into a mission with a group of friends and go at it. That has been some of the most fun I've had gaming in a long time. Pickup groups can annoy me, but organized groups with friends who's gaming style you know can be great fun.

5. Graphics are amazing and system specs low. This is one of the more beautiful games I've played and it looks great on a wide range of systems.

Re:Guild Wars - The Next Gen Online RPG (1)

BalbanesBeoulve (847219) | more than 9 years ago | (#11304241)

5. One of the best looking online RPGs to date.

HAHAHAHAHAHAH!

This game looks like ass. I've played free korean MMOs in Beta that look a lot better.

Where can I get an access code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11274716)

What magazines have codes right now?

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