Preparation Day

Written by Raymond

Your account may be prepared, but are you?

Prepare your house

  • Clean your house. I usually do this on Saturday, but Thursday is the day this week.
  • Run to the store. Food, toilet paper, toothpaste.
  • Move the dog’s bed into the computer room. That way the dog can sneeze in audible range to remind you he still exists and you need to feed him.
  • Move everything else into the computer room. This isn’t about walking distance, this is about having something to do to burn time until the beta.

Prepare your mind

You don’t have to lower your expectations, just be ready to change them. If you have been following the game for a long time, you rightly have some pretty high expectations. However, some aspects of the game just won’t be as good as you expect them to be. Initially at least. The first time the forums gameplay video of Guild Wars 2 many people, myself included, felt a little let down by what we saw at first. Suddenly the game was no longer a heavenly entity, it was an earthly video game. It was real, it was realistic.After a few more videos most of us regained our excitement and even passed our previous excitement on the way up.

Guild Wars 2 is going to be great, maybe even better than you think it is. The game, however, will not be exactly how it you think it is. So prepare to change your expectations, not lower them.

Prepare your plans

“I don’t want to spoil the game, should I skip the betas/PvE?”
No you should not! Not unless you plan on playing the game like a single-player campaign. MMOs can not really be spoiled. If all goes well you could spend 1000 or more hours playing the game and trying the game during the beta weekend is not going to stop that. Sure you can save the personal story for launch, but the PvP and other PvE content should not be spoilable. In a successful MMO campaign you’re bound to run into the same event twice or more, especially if you make more than one character. MMOs, even mold-breaking ones such as Guild Wars 2 are designed for this because there has to be replayability to keep the fans in the game world.

Wouldn’t you rather have been part of the beta experience and create beta memories than pass it up to not spoil something you’ll be repeating in the future anyway?

“I am going to get to level 30!” “I’m going to WvW the WHOLE time!” “I’m going to get as far in the personal story as I can!”
Setting goals is a great way to maximize your beta experience. Your character is going to be wiped so its a bit hard to enjoy leveling him/her unless you have beta goals. Try to care about your weekend, care about the loot you get and care about your build. For some people just trying the game won’t be enough, wandering around aimlessly is can make the game seem boring when it really isn’t.

However, do not limit yourself to your goals. Maybe you get caught up hanging out in LA and you don’t reach level 30 this weekend. After the beta chances are you would not have had as much fun if you just blew through LA instead and went back to leveling just so you could reach a goal.

“I will record EVERY character customization option and post it on YouTube!”
Hold it! Have you done this before? Are you sure you enjoy it? Were you in the March beta? (Don’t answer that last part out loud.) Careful that you don’t turn your beta weekend into a chore if you aren’t sure you’re going to enjoy recording hours worth of character creation.

This beta is YOU time. (I can’t believe I just said that…) ArenaNet wants you to experience the game!

Prepare your PC

  • Dust your CPU and GPU heatsinks and fans with compressed air, otherwise your PC may be in for a long hot weekend.
  • Set your CPU back to default clock speeds if you have overclocked. I know it sucks, but a beta is a beta and that’s what they want us to do.
  • Disable SLI or CrossfireX. AMD users can download RadeonPro and set CrossfireX to auto-disable when gw2.exe is running. I tried it on the login screen, it works.
  • Figure out how to disable your virus scanner if you have one. A lot of virus scanners love destroying games’ performance.
  • Put a GW2 wallpaper on your desktop. All other wallpapers are irrelevant!
  • Scan for viruses. Want to make sure there are no e-germs before you disable your scanner for the weekend.
  • Update your video drivers. Games in development tend to run better on new drivers.

Looking for further information on how to maximize your gameplay experience? Check out this handy article from Guild Wars Insider: http://www.guildwarsinsider.com/beta-weekend-event-primer/

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