Another Beta In March

February 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 16 Comments
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Guild Wars 2 announced this morning, in my case via Twitter but most peopled linked me to, that the next beta phase would begin at the end of March.

Guild Wars 2’s next closed beta test is scheduled for late-March and will provide players with an opportunity to experience its deep RPG game elements, epic World v.. World battles and inviting social gameplay while helping the team load test the servers.

This is pretty great news. I think a lot of people really wanted to get into the beta as soon as possible after the recent frenzy of sign-ups. Sign-ups which by the way netted 1 million potential beta testers.

I think SWTOR allowed sign-ups for two years before they began heavy testing, eventually signing up far more than one million. Guild Wars however did it in about 50 hours, about 2 hours longer than promised to nab that last 10 thousand or so testers.

They even let us see their metrics on this page, live, from about 990k onwards.

The question now is, who will get into the beta?

Typically one of the most important tests is stress testing. It’s sometimes one of the last things you’ll do before release, seeing how many players can be on a server at once.

Guild Wars had different architecture than most MMOs but without any information as to how many people a Guild Wars 2 server can hold we’ll have to go by other games which typically house several thousand players.

One of the main things I think they’ll really want to test is World versus World. As such they’ll probably want enough people for 3 servers.

So the number of people I think will come down to how many people they can handle on each server. At least 5k seems to be a safe number, 10k being pretty optimistic.

So perhaps about 15k people will have access to the beta.

Of course March is just the next beta event. Arenanet has hinted that more events will follow.



  1. I seem to recall Mike Ferguson commenting, I think in that Reddit interview, that they would need “hundreds of thousands” of beta testers. If that really is the case, that would bump the chances up to around 20%. They must have some pretty serious load balancing tests in mind!

    • I went to check the reddit thread and saw this quote.
      “Don’t be too discouraged, we’re going to need tend of thousands of people to help test :)”
      Is that the quote you recall? Sorry to fact check you, I know I hate it when I get fact checked.

      • Very likely – looks like I got it just slightly out, like only an order of magnitude :).

        Anyway, just to speculate, I sort of reckon that ANet wouldn’t just recruit 1M players for no reason, so maybe they have something in mind. After all if they are confident of their product and hook us up in beta, then we are pretty sure to buy the product. They won’t want to leave their most comitted fans dissatisfied.

        • I’m just speculating here but the 1 million thing may just be a ploy to get that headline, publicity and whatnot. I highly doubt a large percentage of people will get to test the game.

          • I think the main reason is two fold. One, publicity. Two, get peoples machine specifications so they can judge just how much optimization they need.
            My PC performance is one of the main interests in a beta. In this case I am happy to upgrade. That’s not my normal position however. I am also interested in which tunneling services are going to work for me. What I’ve seen so fr indicates that I’ll be needing tunneling to get a good ping from over here.

            • I’ve heard that people with lesser machines have a better chance of getting in for this reason, but I imagine they have a rough idea of how accessible the game will be. Kind of nerve wracking as someone who isn’t in a position to upgrade. Even if a system with my specs can’t support it, I hope they at least pick testers with similar specs to see without dismissing it offhand.

              I know I supposedly can’t play the EotN expansion but have no significant problems. I just find it interesting that ANet has said they are testing with older machines to make the game as accessible as possible yet most predictions have them pretty high. Seems like Rift would be a good baseline for predictions (also strange that I pass for Rift but not an older GW expansion.) Guess we can only wait and see.

              It’s just a buzz kill in the mean time.

            • on an economic level it only makes sense to make it available to as many people as possible. at one point, over a year ago, they were saying they were designing the game around hardware that wasn’t even for sale anymore.

  2. I would assume there will be an absolutely massive stress-test beta at some point close to release.

    Almost everyone does it, really just for marketing purposes as much as stress-testing. And I would say ArenaNet have more reason than most to do one, given how overwhelmingly positive the feedback has been so far from everyone who has been in the press beta or previously played the game at conventions.

    Hundreds of thousands people into a weekend-long final beta will propel GW2’s launch into the stratosphere, imho.

    • That sounds overly optimistic to me, I don’t think even Rift had hundreds of thousands of beta players.

  3. Not to mention this gives them and more importantly their investors a pretty good picture of just how much interest there is for this game. Lets them estimate how many units they should have ready for sale come release. All I can say is if I were invested in ArenaNet I would probably have a pretty big grin right about now.

    • I don’t know about that.
      NCSoft has a lot of other aging games, that make Anet more a need than a nice to have. Aion was disappointing, they are going backwards in terms of net profits on a yearly basis. GW2, you would think would help; but a lot of people don’t want to see the one time buy thing. If it’s so good why can’t they charge monthly? tough eh?

      • Aion was a huge hit in korea, its not like they’re in dire straights.

    • I think they already had a good idea but I’m sure having the stats is comforting.

  4. One thing I’ve noticed (not necessarily here but elsewhere) is that people assume that once they get an invite for beta, that’s it…they’re in for the duration. But even the sign up explicitly said that being invited to one beta weekend event does not guarantee entrance into all subsequent beta events. If it’s a different group each time, the odds improve a little.

    • Ah well that is a good point. However on a practical level it does seem likely that they’d invite back people who’ve already downloaded 12.5 gigs of the game and already tested the lower level areas.
      but you may be right. if they use their beta events as promotional events rather than actual testing this might be one way of going about it.

  5. […] Hunter’s Insight — Another Beta In March. “Guild Wars 2 announced this morning, in my case via Twitter but most peopled linked me to, that the next beta phase would begin at the end of March.” […]

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