Thursday, August 23, 2012

Launch Checklist

So, depending on your time zone you have just a little over a day before Guild Wars 2 launches.  While the planned start is 3:00 AM Saturday morning EST, ArenaNet has made clear that the servers may be up at most three hours early.  So for many of us, that means waiting around the login screen for three hours.  And the moment that server lights up, all bets are off, and the race is on.  Your heart is pounding, blood is flowing, and you might even be a little light-headed from the excitement.

However, before your heart gets to racing, you need to make sure you are ready.

1.  Names.  Many two word names will already be taken from many players of the original Guild Wars.  That being said, all one word names are fair game.   If you want one of the more popular names, you will have to fight for it.  Personally, I will be creating 5 random characters with in the first 5 minutes to reserve my favorite names. I've never been around for the launch of an MMO, so I almost salivating to get my greedy hands on my names.

2.  Servers.  While we will be allowed free transfers for a limited time after launch, it's much easier if you get this squared away now.  If you are trying to land on one of the more popular servers, make sure your friends/guildies are on tomorrow around launch time.  The most popular servers will fill up extremely quickly, so you need to be ready to grab a spot.  However, if you really are okay with a low-to-mid population server, than just choose one.  If your server get's too populated for your tastes, you will have a limited time to switch freely. Over the first two-to-three days, the populations are going to be changing rapidly.  Just know that once a server becomes locked, you will have a very hard time getting into that server ever again.

3.  Relax.  This is probably the most unexpected argument I will make in this article.  There's simply no need to rush in Guild Wars 2.  End game sPvP and tournaments can begin day one, immediately out of the tutorial.  End game PvE will be waiting for you.  For many of the meta events, and especially Orr, you will need other players to beat them.  There's no sense in getting there first if you are stuck on the beaches of Orr, unable to breach into Zhaitan's inner sanctums.  For WvW, yes, there is some incentive to leveling fast.  If you are a higher level, you will undoubtedly have an advantage over other players, but know that this is temporary benefit.  In a week, you will be just a speck of sand on the roaring beach of WvW.  If that benefit is that important to you, than rush, but I expect that it is not that large of an incentive for most of us.

I can't emphasize this enough.  Take your time, enjoy the world.  Take a breath between events and appreciate the nooks and crannies of Tyria.  That two hour jumping puzzle is calling for you.  Or your lower level friend is struggling in a zone, maybe you could head back and give them a helping hand.  Make friends, join some more guilds.  Create the community you want to see.

The impact you make during the first day will have lasting effects for many years.  Make sure you do it right.

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