In a surprise twist on ArenaNet's move to make its E3 demo playable online by the general public, the Guild Wars demo went live this evening, more than a day earlier than the announced May 12 debut. The small E3 demo client has been available on GameSpot DLX since May 1, but while those who downloaded it early to get ready were stopped at the title screen, those logging in now can create a character and can join the game after downloading a modest amount of additional assets from the developer.
To explain the early release, ArenaNet representative Gaile Gray said, "There was such overwhelming response to this opportunity that we felt it would be a great gift to give gamers everywhere a little extra time to play Guild Wars."
Since the game is still months from release, the demo limits players to a portion of the game available in the closed alpha test. As specified in one of the demo's loading screens, characters are limited to level 15, the number of quests and missions is limited, some professions lack a full range of abilities, and guild and trading features are not yet implemented.
The demo is scheduled to run through May 15. To join in the demo, download the E3 demo client now.