The Arena.net crew have revealed all the details for Beta Weekend 2. This time they’ve added a new area, a new random item mechanic (the Mystic Forge), more World versus World, PvP tournaments, and a whole bunch of new features. Read on for more.
The new area is targetted at level 25-35 characters. As the in-game description has it, “The Gendarran Fields is an area of contrasts. The Shiverpeaks rise in the east, farms dominate its southern hills, and to the west, Krytans fight centaurs in a centuries-old war. Meanwhile, at the heart of the region, pirates gallivant upon Lake Gendarr and raid surrounding communities.”
Players can explore this with their existing Human, Charr and Norn characters - meaning you might get a chance to explore the higher-level content. Sadly, there’s no mention of the Asura or Sylvari. Players will notice that they have to change their skill load-outs though, as Arena.net have introduced a tiering system, meaning you have to buy prerequisites to access many skills.
Alternatively, players can enter World vs World, or take part in PvP Tournaments, or try one of the three explorable paths through the Catacombs. The WvW has even more content than last time, with new a subterranean dungeon under the central map, containing an intriguingly named ‘Dark Room’ - presumably for not developing your holiday snaps - and a bunch of new PvE content. The PvP tournaments, meanwhile, are automated 5v5 battles taking place over three rounds with prizes at the end.
And if the prizes are useless, you can swap them at the Mystic Forge - a randomised smelter containing an imprisoned genie, which will take your items and give you... something... in return. Or sell them and buy some crap at the new Gem Store, which is under new management and is behaving quite oddly...
Apart from that, the devs have made lots of technical improvements - adding key binding, combat and UI tweaks, back-up servers - but we’ll see how these pan out before we comment on them more.
The servers are up from Friday, June 8th, at noon PDT (7PM GMT) until Sunday, June 10th, at 11:59 p.m. PDT (6.59AM GMT).