What I Want To Beta

November 17, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 20 Comments
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Arenanet has made no secret of the fact that they are going to have a closed beta before the end of the year. It was first mentioned in an investor’s conference call at the beginning of the year and has been in their FAQ for ages.

Considering we’re halfway through November I would have to say the beta is imminent.

I’m sure the demo has provided them with a lot of information on how the game runs, what isn’t working for them, feedback on game systems and all of that mostly from just people watching videos of people at game conventions.

Nothing beats a real beta though, so I guess I’ve just been thinking about, if I was so blessed, what in Guild Wars 2 I would most like to beta test. Not play, not what I most want to experience, but test.

Obviously most peoples response would be, “the whole game” but I’m referring to that one specific thing we’ve all been wondering about. Is that really going to work?

There are scores of options.

I know some people will be obsessed with clipping issues and testing out armours. Not to mention dying those armours and making sure everything looks just so.

Underwater combat and weapons intrigue me. At times during the demo it seemed like all that movement inherent in Guild Wars 2 just caused loads of aggro. I wonder if that’s been looked at.

The personality system could be fun to test. Moving my personality through the various options and back again.

Saying “dynamic events!” might be a little too general for the purposes of this post, but I do want to see if I can get the events to hiccup in some way and crash. That would be interesting.

I don’t think I care too much about character creation but you know someone is just going to sit in it and create avatar after avatar checking out every little detail.

And testing systems like attributes doesn’t really interest me but I’m sure someone will be in there crunching the math on damage, health, criticals, whatever.

No I think what I most want to test is probably the activities. Mini-games. All the mini-games in all the cities. Test out the rewards, see if I can get it to glitch, mess with AI if there is any, and see if there is anyway to exploit the system.

That sounds like fun to me.

So what have you readers? What do you want to test?



  1. I want to test the combat, traits, and the new skill acquisition system.

    Although I can’t promise I wouldn’t just run circles around the starting cities, dragging my jaw behind me.

    • Yeah, I think a lot of people might be just too overjoyed to finally be playing to test much, at least at first. They’ll just be playing.

  2. First and foremost: professions. I want to see how combat “feels”, and how each profession works. Not the number crunching part, but just seeing if combat feels rights, if all skills feel useful and interesting, and so on. I’m already getting myself a list of all professions I’m interested in playing, one for each race, and I plan on testing them in reverse order, so I’ll only touch my #1 favorite profession/race combo if I feel I’m done with the others.

    I’m also really interested on crafting. As I mentioned on another post’s comment, this is the single part of the game that from the already revealed information doesn’t really feel right to me. I tend to enjoy crafting more for the fun I get out of it than as a money making mechanic, so I want to check if my worries are unfounded or not.

    Beyond that… I just want to check everything, not just because I want to see everything, but my main interest on the game design front is on how each system works in tandem with each other. So I want to observe the relationship between different events, how they affect the economy, and so on.

    • Have you played minecraft? The crafting in gw2 is very similar to it, and while that breaks tradition with other MMOs I don’t think i’ve ever met anyone in minecraft who has a problem with the crafting. Sure, the 2 games are different but I think it might turn out great. But yeah, I guess thats what testing is for.

  3. I want to see if it runs at the resolution I have (2560 by 1440) nicely without killing my PC, I’d like to see my friends PC which has 3d, and see if its good.
    I want to see if it’s too violent; its worried me a bit since the warrior reveal, the death and dying sounds of the humans were too much for me at the start.
    I want to see if I can cope with all the tumbling about, does it make me sick?
    Does Australian lag make the game unplayable; much like the current wow instances and pvping. Not standing in poo for a second or so is dam impossible without having done (and died) 3-4 times before I can start pre-empting the boss. Do I need to memorise every skill, and boss movement in order to win (i.e. do it many times) or can I do it without having to die just play well?
    Does this event system seem to go on its merry way with/or without me, or am I really a part of it? What if a heap of others are around, am I irrelevant?
    Does the auto sidekick system make levelling feel pointless, does my character actually develop at all or is it just a mark of how far I am into the story? Am I really a hero, and how does the game treat me as I progress? Am I still just another dude?
    How does it make me want to go around and do events? I haven’t seen a lot outside the personal story that makes me go somewhere.
    I want to visit places in the books I have read and see where these events took place, and feel what it feels like to be in Tyria again… I want to see what Melski The Previous did and see what was passed into history.
    I want to see how I take having char on my side, can I increase their chances of death somehow?
    Can I find Gwen in the mists? How I miss her.
    Is this game going to entertain me for another 5 years? Does it have the legs?
    Did Cynn ever get married? OK, so most of the last bits can wait for the game but still, I have a bit to look into.
    I also just want to see it, know that it’s coming, and that my faith in Anet has been placed with trust not blind hope.

    • I recall the GW beta actually now that I think of it. What I recall from that was the bridges made the character look up into the sky and then down at their feet when you walked over the ends of the bridge. That made me insta-sick.
      I also wondered around, just to get the feel for the game, does exploring (what I like to do) get rewarded. Was the game just another fantasy with all its stereo types (ie done that) and was it fun and challanging.
      They fixed the bridge thing the next day, and the answer to everything else was it was not typical (to me), and yes it was fun and challanging (which has changed over the years but still) – and here I am today having had thousands of hours of fun. I’ll never forget the Cyrstal desert missions, nor the impossible thunderhead keep missions pre easy/hard mode – ah pugs how I loved you. Sometimes I think GW2 is doomed, how could it be better than GW?

      • I like GW, but how could gw2 be better than gw? Almost in every way. GW is a very flawed game.

  4. In the spirit of the OP, and restricting myself to just one element of the game;
    the thing I would most want to test out is Movement… specifically Combat Movement.
    This is easily one of the most intriguing aspects of the game to me. From the “snapshots” of the demos it looks like movement and positioning are going to be fundamental to combat, and how well, or poorly, you are able to maneuver is going to go a long way towards determining the “difficulty” level (subjective) of the game.
    Checking each of the classes goes without saying – determining which ones (if any) are more restrictive to movement while using their skills, and which ones are able to more easily restrict the movement of others, and by doing so control the flow of combat.
    GW2 looks like it could be the “sportscar” of the MMOverse, doing away with rigid, standing in one spot style combat, so the most important thing to me would be to test out the acceleration through the turns, the suspension system, braking, etc. Let’s see how this baby handles!

    • I imagine I will be “beta testing” the jumping and dodging quite a bit when I get into the game. Not necessarily having to do with combat.

  5. the one thing I want to test is WvWvW, simply because I was testing WAR and now just want to have the expereince of being part of something that actual will work and actual involves developers listening to feedback.

    • So did you know that WAR wouldn’t really work in the beta or have any clue?

  6. I will confess I fall into the “obsessed with clipping issues”, it just seems like the little things they could miss, I also like testing were I can go and were I get blocked by invisi-walls, I’m sure someone will test all the dialog to make sure its all spell-checked and what not.

    • Oh man, the grammar nazis. I don’t envy the job of anyone to respond to those types.

      Clipping issues don’t bother me, so it sort of seems silly to me but I understand there are loads of people who take it much more seriously.

  7. I don’t care about spoilers – I want to test the personal story. I want to watch the cinematics and make notes about mouths not moving, or awkward animations. I want to observe the frequency with which we can make story-changing choices and how they’re presented. I want to hang on every inflection and quipped aside, right up to the final battle, and then compare notes across stories.

    • This reminds me of clipping issues. I can’t imagine watching mouth movement unless I was in QA or something. If I’m in a beta, I’ll concentrate on something that wouldn’t feel like a job.

      • Nah, it’s actually no big deal; I’m watching the cutscenes anyway, so the observations really make themselves (I noticed and reported 2 or 3 subtitle failures and character failure to lipsync during the SWTOR beta weekend, and I was just passing through). But I can understand if that’s not something that catches some people’s eyes.

  8. pet AI! being a GW1 pet fanboy I’m curious to see how the changes they talked about work.

    • HAMSTORM! yeah I can see doing that, even though i’m terribly unhappy with the advancement of pets from gw1 to gw2.

  9. Having partially injured hands, I’d like to test how well the game can be played by remapping actions to a gamepad, as using a mouse/keyboard combo for very long is quite painful for me. Most gaming companies and just about all MMORPGs, totally ignore people with similar problems.
    The ground effect skills are my main concern and I’d really like to try them out. I expect they won’t be too much of a problem, being just a quick grab of the mouse to place and then click. I’m assuming ArenaNet won’t do something stupid like use GameGuard or other software that blocks remapping. Even Aion turned GG off before release as it was causing problems with everything from keyboards to standard mice, let alone gamepads.

    • Arenanet is pretty good about customization in my opinion so hopefully you’re right and there won’t be much of a problem.

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