Ah, another beta weekend come and gone, and the last one before Guild Wars 2 goes live in August. What a long time it seems from now! Of course, that’s more than likely because I’m incredibly impatient. I thought I’d name some of my favorite things that I’ve discovered about Guild Wars 2 so far. Keep in mind I’ve been reading very little about the game, and while these things may not be new to you, they were for me (and brought about a lot of joy). Hopefully some of these things will also be news to others out there, and they’ll bring you just as much pleasure.

1. Vistas. These are Super Mario-esc jumping puzzles that players have to figure out how to reach and I think they’re brilliant. How many times a day in your average MMO do you see people jumping all over the place for no reason what so ever. People love to jump! These vistas are marked on the world map by a set of triangles, and what you’re looking for in game is a hovering map surrounded in white light, typically way up high some place. You’ll have to figure out how to reach it, and then jump to it without falling. Once you’re up there you’ll be granted some experience for finding it, as well as the achievement for finding it, and a remarkable video depicting the area you happen to be in. Beautiful AND fun!

2. Guilds. I learned this weekend no longer are we tied down to one guild! Have a guild of RL friends? A guild of roleplayers? A guild of hardcore raiders that only meet once a week? Now you can be a member of ALL of those guilds at once. You can only ‘represent’ one guild at a time, that is, talk in guild chat – but I still think this idea is fabulous.

3. Dye. I mentioned this before, but I love the way dye works in GW2. You’re no longer collecting bottles that stay infinitely in your inventory or in your bank, but you’re collecting bottles and then unlocking a colour. It does work per character and isn’t account wide, but you can trade / sell the bottles so your alts can unlock them. You can customize colour from the get go with the default palate, and I think that’s fantastic.

4. Crafting. In specific the ‘collections’ tab which holds all of your crafting supplies (well, the raw materials in any rate). This tab will also hold all gems you find (gems are used to socket your gear, basically) and miniatures. I love that my inventory is rarely ever full, because I can just instantly send all my crafting supplies to the collections tab no matter where I’m at. Thank you ArenaNet for letting me play and have fun without the hassle that comes from a full inventory!

I had a blast this weekend, logging in almost 15 hours of game time between Friday and Sunday (I decided not to play Sunday because I knew it would be shutting down in a few hours). I still haven’t decided what I’m going to play at launch, but the beta weekends (the two I’ve participated in) have been an absolute blast. I can’t wait for it to go live! I hope everyone else had a great time playing too.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

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