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Fansite Friday #41
The April Beta Weekend Special Edition

14 April 2005

What’s new in this BWE?

We’re finishing up the BWE’s with a bang! Let’s focus on a just four things from a virtual plethora of new goodies for the Beta Weekend Event:
 
  1. Interface Improvements

    One of the most visible things that you’ll notice in Guild Wars this month will be the interface. The refinements have continued, and the GUI doesn’t just look different, it performs differently, as well. Just about every day, we open up the game and think “Oh, now, that’s a nice change.” Little things appear, like mouse-overs that tell you the capacity of the inventory bags and backpacks, or improved icons, or better lighting on the screens. And some larger things have been put in place, too, like chat filtering.

    One of the most requested UI changes was an option that would allow you to filter what you see on your screen. And now, filtering is available. You will be able to manage your on-screen experience to allow or disallow the appearance of the following:

    • Local chat: Find out all that’s happening in town
       
    • Guild: Get in touch with your guildmates, anywhere in Tyria
       
    • Team: Very nice during PvP – ever so much less embarrassing than yelling “Kill the #*%^ Elementalist!” in open chat ;)
       
    • Trade: Are you a seller? A buyer? Just shopping the prices? Check this box and see what’s on offer in your town or outpost
       
    • Emotes: We all love dancing. But for those times when there is such a thing as too much of a good time, you can uncheck this option and experience your town or outpost as an Emote-Free Zone.

    Best of all, your UI setup is account-based, and not character based. So once you get things set just as you like them, you won’t need to tweak them again. Your settings are recorded across all your characters, and you’ll find transitioning from one character to another is easier than ever.
     

  2. Henchmen Helpers

    Due to popular demand, your world will not be filled with just four types of Henchmen any longer. At higher levels, you may find yourself hiring hirelings of a totally new flavour. What would you say to an Enchanter to help you out? How about a Blood Mage? In short, more options for henchmen have been added to the later game and many of the hirelings will use different skills. This means that you’ll probably find your old friends hanging around in outposts or by town portals, but you’ll have the chance to make a few new ones, too. Some henchman armor has been improved so that they are heartier, and there are improvements in their functionality, as well. All in all, these helpmates are even more helpful.
     

  3. Pluses for Pets

    You can imagine reading the advertisement in the Tyrian Times: “New pets! Improved! Now with 15% more IQ and with a +2 to Chance of Greater Loyalty.” As we mentioned last week in Fansite Friday #40, all non-player characters, including pets, are far less likely to wander off and get themselves into trouble. They’ll remain at your side, assist with your called targets, and generally prove themselves more worthy of their Pet Chow.

    More importantly, there should be no more confusion about which of the pets in the party menu belongs to you. Now, each pet can be given a name, with a simple command that look like this: /namepet. If I see you this weekend, you can meet George XVI for yourself.
     

  4. Awesome Area

    No doubt you saw the April Gameplay Movie. Now you get to step into a whole new region of Tyria. This area is, in a word, hot! ;)
     

Are there any special things going on in this month’s event?

We have an exciting opportunity for Guild Wars guilds. As you know, Guild Wars players are offered the opportunity to create a ready-made or template character instead of a custom or RPG character. Well, this weekend, we are offering the opportunity for guilds to achieve a bit of Guild Wars immortality. We will be resetting the Guild Wars Ladder prior to the start of this Beta Weekend Event; every guild will start on a level playing field. The five guilds that place highest on the ladder at the end of the Beta Weekend Event will have the opportunity to submit a guild-designed character template for inclusion in Guild Wars. Each special template will be given the name of the guild, so all who play the game will know of the guild’s noteworthy achievements during this memorable weekend. We hope that guilds will enjoy this challenge, and we look forward to adding these custom, player-designed templates to the game.
 

I take my Beta Weekend Events seriously. Are there any particular things we should report, to help the team?

Sure, always. This BWE might be called our polishing event. Aside from the brand new maps that are being presented in their newer form, and which we know might need a bit more refinement, we’re moving in on release (just 14 days and counting!) and we’d really like things to be just perfect on April 28th. Things are really in great shape, but in the event that you experience a bug or glitch, do take the time to hit /bug and report it. For instance, if you come across a pathing error, please stop, type /bug and write a brief description. You might say “I’m stuck on this spot (we can tell where you are from your report).” Or “The NPC’s have me trapped on this ledge” or “I just walked through a wall that I’m pretty sure is supposed to be solid” or “There’s a tiny bush that I’m having to walk around” (most small things don’t have collision, so you shouldn’t have to circumvent the smaller things). If you see a “disconnected” piece of art, type /bug and tell us “There’s a floating tree here” or “There is a tree branch sticking out through a rock.” If you find you have bugs of any type – from equipping an item to combat to trading to chat – please let us know.

Remember that we do read fan forum posts, so you’re welcome to report your findings on a bug thread in the forums. If you should get a crash, please fill out the pop-up form and provide us the best and most detailed info that you’re able to give. If you need in-game support, visit the Support button from www.guildwars.com and our trusty team members will assist you. And lastly, yes, we’ll always listen to your suggestions. After all, the game isn’t out yet, and we do have those new chapters to be thinking about as well!

Have a great Beta Weekend Event, everyone!