Pre-Purchasing Guarantees Access To Guild Wars 2 Beta

Like everyone else, I’m eager to set foot into Guild Wars 2 as early as possible. I wastched from the outside as people enjoyed the first closed beta weekend and I’m determined to not be left out again. Now I can’t tell if this is manipulative or extremely nice, but ArenaNet have announced that those who pre-order the game from April 10th will be given access to the game’s weekend beta events, as well as a three-day head start when the game eventually launches. That exact date is still under wraps. What’s not still a secret is what you get when you pre-purchase, and now I have an expensive decision to make.

EDIT: there’s a difference between pre-purchasing and pre-ordering. Pre-orders, ie: putting money down, will only get you one-day headstart. To get the three days and beta access you need to buy it outright.

All pre-purchasers revive access to all Guild Wars 2 Beta weekenders, three day headstart, and the Hero’s Band (+2 on loads of stats). Beyond that there are three delicious flavours to imbibe. The vanilla in the trio is just the game for… £50! Wow, that’s a steep initial outlay, but I guess for a content rich subscription-free MMO it’s reasonable. I can’t remember the last time I forked out so much for a game that wasn’t a special edition, and even then I felt taken for a ride. GW2 has one of those as well, but before that on the sundae is the strawberry Digital Deluxe version, at £64.99. I’ve never spent that much on game outright. I’m starting to feel dizzy thinking about it. At least is comes with some in-game effects and items: a one time guild boost, PvP rewards, a personal Golem to tote stuff (but only for a week), a temporary MistFire Wolf that’ll join you in combat, and a miniature pet version of Rytlock Brimstone. But those additions are all digital, anyway. Hmmph!

The chocolate in this tortured metaphorical dessert is the physical CE: for £129 there’s all that’s come before ans well as a hand-painted 25 centimetre statue of the Rytlock Brimstone a custom frame with five Guild Wars 2 art prints, a 112-page Making of Guild Wars 2 book, and Soundtrack CD. Which looks like.


I’d never dream of buying that. It’s hugely expensive, and all the game-specific changes come with the Digital Deluxe edition anyway. My choice is vanilla or strawberry.
Are the extras with the DD worth the additional cost of £15? I’m a bit perturbed, because I’ve yet to play it so I’m unsure of how wide ranging those additions are. Only two have any degree of permanence, the summonable battle wolf and the pet, with the other boosts being one-time only. I’m slowly edging towards the bland edition: at this time it has what I want, and as I don’t know the sort of character I’m choosing, or how I’ll play, those other additions are sort of superfluous. The only thing that’s nudging me towards it is an innate envy of those that would have them, which is tediously pathetic of me.


  1. db1331 says:

    Horseshit. The Beta was finished months ago. We shouldn’t have to pre-order to get access to it. They should give it to everyone who buys the game.

    • SquareWheel says:

      The beta is also about stress testing their servers, which this large influx of players would guarantee.

    • Unaco says:

      But… Everyone who buys the game, while the Beta is on, is pre-ordering, right? People who don’t pre-order, but do buy the game, won’t get access to the Beta, because the game will be out by then.

    • Salt says:

      Maybe I’m missing something but as the beta ends before the game is released, “everyone who buys the game” while the beta is still available is necessarily pre-ordering, and so they do get access to the beta.
      Or was it a clever joke about?

      • Smarag says:

        He is making fun of all the complains about ME3 first day DLC.

        • Phantoon says:

          Which is odd, because there’s plenty of legitimate complaints about things on the disc being locked.

          • Smarag says:

            I definitely agree. Trolls gonna troll, fanboys gonna fanboy, I guess.

          • SF Legend says:

            People seem to feel the need to jump to the defense of large corporations. Very often bleating that “they’re a business” as if that makes everything ok.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Blaming a large corporation for wanting to make money from you is a bit like blaming a lion for wanting to eat you – you might not like it, but there’s no point in trying to change it.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            @ Sheng-ji: True, but there’s some ways to go about it that don’t foster as much resentment. Valve is a good example of this. They’re a business in it for the dough, no doubt. But they do take customer loyalty and brand loyalty very seriously and they have a very consumer-friendly ethos. Would you rather buy from people who treat you well or people who treat you like dirt? Thank Lord Ao we have choices.

    • DiTH says:

      I would like to see Blizzard releasing Diablo3 as it is without the PvP arena saying they just couldnt make it in time.And release it as a paid DLC on Day1 saying the last month the game went Gold they managed to finish it or instead of this just release an extra class they managed to finish the last month for paid DLC.

      • mopnvbxee says:

        You made a terribly sloppy mistake in the headline Craig, it should obviously read: link to

        • seventhrib says:

          This spambot got me – and I really thought I would never click on one of those links. Damn.

  2. Shooop says:

    I learned my lesson about pre-ordering from Bad Company 2.

  3. Timthos says:

    Highly doubtful

  4. Speedbump says:

    Arenanet has said that Guild wars will not be shut down at the launch of guild wars 2, but will be open as long as there is an active community.

  5. Smarag says:

    >The only thing that’s nudging me towards it is an innate envy of those that would have them, which is >tediously pathetic of me.

    There’s no way I will be able to bear the envy if I don’t buy the deluxe edition.

  6. Screwie says:

    Attention Craig:

    Pre-PURCHASING (paying the full game price upfront) guarantees beta access and a 3-day headstart.

    Pre-ORDERING (paying a deposit, presumably) does not guarantee beta access and comes only with a 1-day headstart.

    Annoying use of language I know, but according to ArenaNet there is a deliberate difference.

    Source: link to

  7. Seafort says:

    It is pretty damn expensive for a digital release.

    I’ll still be pre purchasing it in April, reluctantly though. I was hoping for £40 for the normal digital edition.

    • SpaceMadness says:

      One thing to consider is that it’s an MMO with no subscription fee. Some of the cheaper MMOs charge a yearly fee beyond the price of the digital deluxe edition of GW2.

      • Seafort says:

        Yeah I know all about GW2 but it’s still a bit pricey. If it was any other MMO I would’ve just passed on it and played something else. For instance, if funcom were charging £50 for the secret world I wouldn’t even contemplate buying the game as it has a monthly sub as well.

        I think this is going to affect how many people play the game if they don’t revise the pricing or have retail shops have a cheaper boxed copy for the casual MMO customers. The fanbase will buy the game regardless of price but not all will see it that way.

        • sneetch says:

          I don’t think it’ll have all that huge an effect. Amazon and other dealers will offer the usual deals on the retail version and it’s only really anyway more expensive in the UK (where it’s £5 more expensive than SWTOR). In the Eurozone and in the States it’s the same price as SWTOR and that’s not that huge a difference over most releases.

          • Seafort says:

            I bought SWTOR for £35 so £15 difference is a big deal :) but I quit that game after the 2nd month as it’s really not a good game.

            I’ve been disappointed so many times pre ordering MMOs over the last few years but GW2 seems to be on the right track. I hope I’m not wrong.

            I’ll pre purchase and see what happens :)

  8. Valvarexart says:

    So how do you get your beta access if you pre-order? Do you have to pre-order it directly from arena-net and pay before you get? Because pre-order as I know it means ordering from something like amazon and then paying just before it ships. How does arenanet keep track of all those amazon pre-orders?

  9. Cryo says:

    I wonder if it’s going to be on Steam. I doubt it, but first GW is there…

  10. jimmm25 says:

    That £50 seems even higher when you go on the site and notice the normal edition is $60/€55. I’d be more annoyed but I noticed the minimum specs say my laptop can run it.

    • Nevard says:

      I complained about this elsewhere and got some excuses about different levels of taxation, all I know is that I’ve bought plenty of digital products with the same price in pounds as dollars so it leaves me slightly confused and annoyed
      Hopefully it’ll let me connect with an American proxy to preorder but not relegate me to an American server ;)

  11. djbriandamage says:

    The Digital Deluxe edition doesn’t seem compelling whatsoever, but that’s what I said about the original Guild Wars collectors edition and I was eternally, superficially jealous of all the people whose emotes gave them glowey hands.

    I just don’t know. My wife (girlfriend at the time) and I went on countless virtual dates in the worlds of Guild Wars and we adore the series. I have 100% faith in ArenaNet to craft something I’ll love, and for that reason alone I might just plunk down the extra $20.

    • Phantoon says:

      Glowy hands?

      Jazz hands is a collector’s emote?

      • djbriandamage says:

        Yeah, owners of the Guild Wars collectors edition had gold sparkly trails following their hands when they did any emote. 2 years ago those collectors edition boxes and codes were on ebay for about $600 USD. A sensible purchase, yes?

  12. serioussgtstu says:

    Giving +2 to all your stats does sound like you’ll have an advantage over other players who didn’t pre purchas the game. That seems like a u-turn on ANets policy of only giving cosmetic benefits to those who spend more.

    • djbriandamage says:

      You don’t have to spend more to get the +2 ring – you just have to preorder. Not having played the game I can only speculate that +2 is a small increase that would only benefit low-level characters.

      • serioussgtstu says:

        Yeah I doubt it’ll make much of a difference, It’s just people who are big into pvp would have a problem with any inherent stat boost. Also its more the principle of making the game easier because you’ve pre ordered it that I’m againced.

        I’m still gonna be there day one, regardless though!

        • meloncrab says:

          IIRC at max level your gear gives you boni of about 70-100, the +2 items are just a nice kickstart for your first steps in the game.

        • djbriandamage says:

          Unless I’m mistaken, PVP is only conducted between max level characters. Guild Wars 2 lets you create max level PVP arena characters that have access to all skills and high level gear. I suspect this +2 ring won’t be the gear of choice for headknockers.

          I LOVE that in Guild Wars 1 they forked the skill sets so that a nerf to PVP skills wouldn’t carry over to PVE. I don’t know whether they’ll do that again in the sequel but I greatly appreciate the extra work they took on to effectively make PVP and PVE two separate games (especially since I’m a carebear who wants no part in PVP).

          • meloncrab says:

            PvP exclusive characters were part of Guild Wars 1 but will not be in Guild Wars 2. AFAIK if you create a character in GW2 you will instantly have access to organized PVP (as in Arenas) and Open World PvP as in WvWvW. I’m fairly certain you’ll have access to all abilities in organized PvP but I’m not sure if that is the case in WvWvW. I have once both read that your character will be able to progress in WvWvW from level 1, but I’ve also read that character progression is limited to the PvE world. Maybe that only means that character progression does not exist in organized PvP but does so in WvWvW. I also read that when playing WvWvW and killing players you will not only be able to loot gear, but it will also be for your character specifically, as in level and class. Gear and attributes will be scaled up to maximum level, but players with high attribute gear will have an advantage (again not sure about arena PvP).

  13. Neurotic says:

    Fifty quid, blue blistering barnacles! Going to be a wee while before I get my paws on that then.

  14. aircool says:

    Aaaaagh! Not more pre-order shenanigans. *Sigh* Where do I pay (admittedly excited about this game).

    • aircool says:

      …and after reading the rest of the article, it looks like I’ll be shelling out over a ton for the CE… I do love a good CE. They look so much nicer on the shelves than those horrible DVD cases.

      I bet you’ll be able to pre-order the vanilla game at a lower price. It does look like it will be worth the money though.

  15. The Malkavian Bear says:

    Don’t think i’ll be pre-ordering. So many MMOs hyped up to be amazing, yet fall flat on their faces. Not to mention that the original GW was hardly the pinnacle of MMO gaming. It does look very good, but i’m still wary.

    • Davee says:

      Seconded. Well, at least I feel I need to give it a go before putting down the money.

    • djbriandamage says:

      Couldn’t disagree with you more. Not only did I feel that GW was the best MMO, I felt it was the best multiplayer PC game ever made. It’s still very playable, very attractive, and has unique features and concepts never duplicated to this day.

    • jjujubird says:

      Yeah GW1 was/is pretty great. WoW is a bit more polished, but the gameplay in GW1 is much more compelling and requires a lot more skill.

    • derbefrier says:

      I am with ya the more I see and read about this game the more I see this game is more overhyped than tor was. I forsee a lot of sad faces when they realize this is just another MMO with a few things to seperate it from those other mmos It looks good and all but I don’t think its really gonna be the second comming its being hyped up to be. And 60 bucks seems a bit expensive I know people raged at the prices of tor but mysteriously that’s absent here.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      GW1 wasn’t an MMO so you can’t really use it to judge this one.

    • Nevard says:

      GW2 is a continuation of the lore of GW1 but uses few of the mechanics
      Go watch some gameplay videos, it is much more of an action game than most MMOs out right now

  16. Davee says:

    Damn it, I promised myself not to pre-purchase anything this pricy ever again, but GW2 is looking/sounding so promising! If I only knew I could get into the Beta before release… But no, it looks like I’ll have to pay to even try it (’cause the chances of getting a free ticket seems pretty slim, even when I happen to be one of the 1mil who signed up earlier). Gah!

    Is it possible to get a refund on a pre-purchase before the release, but after participating in the beta (using the code that comes with the purchase)?
    If not, I’ll just wait and hope for an invite. Or an Open Beta if they are still planning one. Or try to get a friend to buy it and tell me all about it (*cough* what NDA?).

    • Speedbump says:

      There will be NDA for the public beta at the end of march. There will not be an NDA for the betas where you are allowed in due to prepurchasing. Arenanet announced that on their twitter.

      • Davee says:

        I wasn’t too worried about the NDA, but thanks for relaying the info. :)

        “Public Beta” = free-for-all Open Beta? Or is it sign-up and hope for an invite only? Couldn’t find a clear answer on their blog or FAQ.

        • j3w3l says:

          From what I read they won’t actually be having an open beta as such but merely increasing the amount allowed in with each “public” beta.
          Seems arenanet love wordplay

    • Sheng-ji says:

      “Damn it, I promised myself not to pre-purchase anything this pricy ever again”

      Hehe, if you ever want to buy a brand new car without getting ripped off with some credit scheme, be prepared to test drive a “similar” model (the best model, with all the toys) and lay out the full price of the car, having to wait months praying the dealership doesn’t go bankrupt in that time!!!

  17. ColonelClaw says:

    As someone who is very much looking forward to playing this game, I have no intention of playing the beta whatsoever. I would far rather play the completed product than plow through bugs and incomplete content only to have my character erased at release.

    • ninestories says:

      It’s refreshing to hear someone else say that. I’m even trying to avoid non-official gameplay videos & press commentary. The 3-day headstart will be good enough for me. :)

  18. jjujubird says:

    I’m usually one of the first on the “omg, it’s [insert price here] bucks?!?!” bandwagon (looking at you, ME3 and Skyrim), but in this case I don’t know if it’s justified. Would you rather pay a slightly smaller fee (say $30 or $40) and have monthly fees, or pay a few bucks more and never have to pay again? Buying WoW and playing for just a few months is more expensive than buying GW2 and playing forever, lol.

    • JackShandy says:

      Especially what with how much gamers are saying they want to pay one fee and get the entire package nowadays.

  19. sneetch says:

    You made a terribly sloppy mistake in the headline Craig, it should obviously read:

    “Access To Guild Wars 2 Beta Guarantees Pre-Purchasing”

    Seriously, you guys are getting so sloppy recently.

  20. Jayson82 says:

    I’m worried about the the in game shop, after reading about that golum banker and you getting it for 5 days only I looked into it and it seams that they will have in game items that you can buy with real cash from the in game store yet they also want you to buy the game as well.

    Untill I learn more about what kind of store is in game and what they are selling I am staying away its looking to me to be a very nice looking free to play game with in store cash items but with out the free to play bit.

    I was looking forward to this as well :(

    • sneetch says:

      It’s not a free to play game. The deal is that you buy the game and can play it without paying a monthly subscription.

      I believe they’ve said that the shop will sell vanity and convenience items, extra character slots and so on but nothing that makes your character more powerful.

      link to

      The golem removes a little travel time you can instantly travel to waypoints that are dotted all about the world, I’m sure there’s one near the bankers in the world, you can then instantly travel back to the waypoint near where you were adventuring and so I imagine it saves you from a minor inconvenience.

      • Jayson82 says:

        Everything you said is what free to play games already do but they do not charge you to buy the game first.

        Vanity items, extra charator slots, unitlity stuff like banking anywhere, these are all the staple of free to play games. The problem I am having is that they are charging for this game first then including a free to play model i.e. item shops inside the game.

        I know they don’t charge a monthly subscription but the angle that sets guild wars and the guild wars 2 apart from other online games was that you buy the game once then there are no more fees afterword. I understand expansion packs and all stuff that adds to game every so often but adding extra game content from day one that you can only acccess after paying more money after buying the game, that just smakes of greed to me.

        Include an item shop all they want just give the game away for free or charge for the game but don’t also lock some of the content away and sell it to the players extra.

        I’m surprised more people are not fused about this.

        • GrandmaFunk says:

          ya that’s probably because referring to convenience items as “extra content” is extremely disingenuous in this case.

          as for comparing this to the f2p model and the games within that scope…name a single example of a f2p game that had this much time, effort and money put into making it.

          • Jayson82 says:

            No idea as I don’t know how long any f2p games have taken or how much they have cost and only a rough idea how long guild wars 2 took but time and money does not always make a good game, Duke Nukem forever showed us that.

            Anyhow no matter how much time and development has gone into the game does not forgive the fact that it has a free 2 play model i.e. extra content that can only be unlocked by more cash included in a commercial game.

            To me this is similar to mass effect 3’s day 0 dlc but much worse as that can be explaned away as extra work the developers did after the game was finished but this they made the game and it’s normal content includes locked away parts that you can only unlock for more cash, its not like after a half a year or a year after working on the game some more they relased new content these items have been made and been sold after selling the game.

            To me what they are doing is rude to there customers and I wonder how many will buy the game play it and get angery when they find out it includes a cash shop like any free 2 play game yet they had to buy it first. Its all about presentation and there presentation of this game to me looks like greed.

          • Xerian says:

            … Cause to keep updating an MMO you NEED A FLOW… FLOW of money. GW1 sold you costumes to wear for real money. Ingame costumes. And if you’ve got this opinion, then you should clearly never, EVER play ANY MMO whatsoever. WoW does the same thing, even though you have to purchase the base gamer there, the crapton of semi-horrible expansions, and a subscription… Your arguement is a 100% invalid, just so you know.

  21. Domothy says:

    I’ll be getting the CE. The ones for the previous games were beautiful things, and this looks even more so.

  22. Demarcate says:

    Does anyone know just how many loops does one have to jump through to get that super deluxe super-set if one does not live in the heart of western civilization?

    Because I live in South East Asia and I want it, so hard.

  23. trjp says:

    I have the Collectors Editions of Factions and Nightfall – because they were cheaper than the regular editions ;)

    My total outlay on GW1 is less than £20 (I don’t own the last expansion they did but could probably get it and STILL not have spent £20 in total)

    £50 is a LOT of money – I think I’ll leave it for a while and see what happens.

    The BETA weekends are only going to be a lot of wailing and whining anyway (see also the first month of real playtime).

  24. NegativeZero says:

    “Buy it to get access to the demo” is such a broken model.

  25. FriendlyFire says:

    I am honestly extremely sad that the CE doesn’t include the Art of Guild Wars 2 book. I truly want this book but have a hard time justifying the outrageous shipping costs that their US distributor demands for Canada (Penny Arcade, for whatever reason).

    Had it been in the CE, this would’ve probably made me spring for it. As it is, I might content myself with the normal edition and think about getting the book. $14 for shipping a $20 book, seriously, what the hell were they thinking!?

  26. pingu666 says:

    I did love gw1, and the CE editions where really nice, but 129 quid is pretty insane. the prices are high for a product you havent tried yet :/ thats the issue.

  27. GrandmaFunk says:

    I find it immensely funny that for over a year now, every single article about gw2 on any gaming site or forum resulted with loads of posts along the lines of “shut up and take my money!” or “if I throw money at the screen will it come out faster?”

    …and now that they’ve actually announced you can do just that(ie: pre-orders in less than a month AND getting early access for buying in advance)..the reaction everywhere has mostly been: “meh, too pricey, I’ll wait till the price drops”.

    I doubt there’s any other consumer group that is as impossible to please as gamers.

    as for myself, I’ll be overjoyed to buy the regular digital edition on April 10th

  28. Deccan says:

    If the stores here place a “New Zealand tax” on the CE, making it $250 instead of the $185 it should be, I will become somewhat unruly.
    It’s a wonder anyone here buys PC games from a physical shop. Buy SC2 straight from Blizz? 80 NZ shekels (plus bandwidth, because, well, Stone Age). Buy it from a shop? 130. Uh-huh…
    *begins embluntening the pelvis traumatiser, just in case*

  29. JackShandy says:

    64.99 pounds to AUD…you’ve never paid 100 bucks for a game? In your entire career as a games journalist? Are games just ludicrously cheap in Europe? Are the streets paved with Guild Wars?

    • Xerian says:

      Ah but see, games in europe are more expensive than the rest of the world. With the (possible, varying, on & off) exception of Australia.

  30. neolith says:

    Soooo… I don’t give a thing for the statue, but I really want the book that comes with the special edition. Anyone out there who is in it for the statue and willing to sell the book?

  31. Bane2087 says:

    It’s pricey no doubt but judging by all the press beta footage this game is something a bit special and I think £50 is a fair price for all the effort and care that has gone into this game, not to mention the massive amounts of content. While the stuff in the CE box looks really gorgeous I know it will just gather dust on my shelf so I will probably just go for the DDE.

    The only thing I am disappointed in Arenanet for is the fact the price difference in different currencies cannot be explained away by tax or anything else. $150 does not equal £130 unless your calculator is broken.

  32. bit_crusherrr says:


    Fuck that. The most I’ve ever paid for a game was £45 on the limited edition of Killzone 3. The most I’ve ever paid for a PC game is £35 for SC2.

    • Eynonz says:

      I thought that. But then I realised that there’s no subscription fee so in the long run i’ll be saving money by not paying WoW/SWTOR monthly fees.

      • bit_crusherrr says:

        £50 really isn’t a fair price regardless. I didn’t want to pay that much for SC2 but it was the cheapest I could find it day 1. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to find guild wars for £35 somewhere on the internet, £15 just isn’t worth 2 days extra head start and beta access.

  33. Lemming says:

    I have high hopes for this game, and I think it’ll do well but…

    I can’t bring myself to buy anything like a Collectors Edition. I wouldn’t for any game, because if it all gets forgotten in a year or two or flops then what am I left with really? Some art and a toy that I have to explain what the fuck it is every time someone clocks it.

    I realise how miserable that sounds, but that’s why I’ve never been on the CE bandwagon for games. It’s not exactly buying future antiques is it?

  34. AMonkey says:

    The cost of the game for UK customers has pissed me off significantly. Its the only thing ANet have done so far to displease me though.

  35. neofit says:

    Sure, £50 (or the equivalent, ~ 65€?) is not much if one is sure he’ll be playing the game for like forever. But personally I couldn’t manage to play past the first month in ANY of the games released past and including AoC like WAR, STO, Rift and SWTOR. I always come back to the oldies like EQ2 and LOTRO, Wurm was nice too. GW1 bored me within 10 days. I am definitely not paying 65€ for what will very likely be a 1 or 2 weeks-long honeymoon. I still have a huge games backlog, I can wait.

  36. wheresirenssleep says:

    Guys, you might want to know that for everyone overseas you’re all getting horrendously ripped off. In the US, the vanilla edition is only $60 (60 US DOLLARS.. that’s only like 40 pounds for you), so you guys are paying almost twice for it for some reason. No idea why and it’s not fair but it’s true! I know this because my boyfriend lives in the UK.. So just try to find a way to buy it in US dollars and you will be good. It’s digital anyway, unless you order the CE.