Guild Wars opens doors on second beta weekend
Sneak peek for those with keys; characters from first beta weekend remain intact and playable.
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ArenaNet's second Beta Weekend Event for its massively multiplayer online role-playing title Guild Wars gets under way tonight and continues through Sunday evening. The last beta event, which concluded on Halloween, gave gamers a sneak peek at the title (and it gave the developer a chance to spit and polish the game), which is tentatively scheduled for a February 1 release.To gain access to the event, adventurers must have a key, which can be attained in one of four ways. Those who preorder the title receive a key that grants access to all beta events until the game's release. In addition, single-weekend keys can be obtained from gamers who already have access keys, from publications that teamed with ArenaNet to distribute keys, and from several Web sites and fan sites that offered the keys as parts of contests. Characters from the first beta weekend event have been preserved, and those who have created characters or create characters during this event will have their names (not stats) preserved upon the game's launch. The developer reminds gamers that characters from the beta events will have all their stats erased at "some point in the future." Guild Wars lets adventurers from across the globe band together or go solo with non-player characters on various quests. The title also features player-versus-player combat that lets adventurers earn respect and guild prestige in a number of arenas. The combat is real-time, is based on a skill system, and implores strategic teamwork for success. ArenaNet plans more beta events for January 8 and February 5, which is an obvious conflict with the originally scheduled release date, possibly hinting at a delay of Guild Wars' release.