Nov 3, 2011

Early Access For Guild Wars 2?

Early access for Guild Wars 2, is it necessary?

I'm going to pause there and take a minute to introduce myself. To stop the scary stalkers from coming any closer I've decided to go under the stage name 'Jalokin', a Sylvari second-born!

Anyway, time to get to the topic. (Feel free to discuss your opinions in the comments!)

Early access I suppose can help the actual game as a whole. Ie:

Patches can be rolled out before the main players join! Meaning less downtime on launch.

However, one could argue that it would give early access players an advantage. They would of had more time with the game. Now, PvE this would not affect. The wonderful Guild Wars 2 developers have made a bold choice when it comes to designing their game.

Players Scale!

Say the early access players were level 20 by the time the main players start, it would be impossible for them to ruin the content for the levels below them. A level 20 going back to a level 1-5 area would be scaled down.

They would still have a small advantage, helping kill things a little faster but nothing that could ruin your experience! In fact, dynamic events scale too! So if that small advantage was going to affect how fast a DE could be completed then the number and strength of enemies in the DE would scale up.

PvP Advantages

Now, PvP it could affect. Early access players would be familiar with the controls, their skills and their weapons. Early access players would have a large advantage over the new players wanting to try PvP out. So much so it could actually drive new players away. A challenging PvP experience is fun. Sitting down and basically getting 'owned' as us gamers call it is usually not.

Is there a system in place to help this? We don't know. One would hope new players would get used to the game in PvE though before going on to PvP. Do you think it could cause problems? Let us know by commenting.

Could early access harm the game?

I myself am not sure how it could. Arena Net have put in plenty of systems that pretty much eliminate most problems previous MMO's have been plagued with. No early access players could ruin the experience for the launch day players.

If you think it could however, we want to know!

Make sure to share your opinions in the comments. Plenty more blogs and short stories are on the way so keep checking back!

Lets just say, if all goes to plan we have a lot of surprises coming!


  1. If Arenanet only or mostly picks top pvp players and elite guilds to have access to closed beta, example boon control. Then I could see it being a problem in pvp. They would be allowing the already top Guild Wars players to learn the new style of play, thus giving them the advantage to stay on top. I was reading a convention review where a media guy got early access and got to play the pvp demo multiple times with the staff before the convention started. Who else was there, a top pvp player in the world with no media connection. I feel if they allow them closed beta access and not general people then it will seriously hurt pvp.

    This is why I hope they do not just pick elite players and media to do closed beta. PVE won't be a problem but with the way they want to have competitive pvp then those with early access will have an advantage. Yes a lot of players will still be able to learn fast but those first crucial games will hurt the people, who could be really good, if they start off against the top GW pvpers who got beta access. It would steer me clear of pvp or at least the matches and just do WvWvW if I want pvp.

  2. Whether there is early access or not, any advantage will be short lived. Let's assume somebody has a head-start and gets 20 hours under their belt before anyone else gets to play. But then they only play 4 hours a week while some of the more eager fans who get it later play 10 hours a week. By the end of the month, the early access guy is now left in the dust.
    So, yeah, early access may offer a very short term advantage, but I think it'll be a moot point in PvP after the first week, two at most.
    Now, from a "don't swamp the servers" point of view or a "let's drive people to buy GW1" (if GW1 linked accounts were to get early access) marketing angle... then I could see it as definitely having some merits.