Guild Wars 2 Official Release Date Announced!
Typically in a written setting, an opening paragraph will appear to give the links following it some context and solidified meaning. This is not one of those settings. With the 6/27 stress test behind us, and a comfortably numb demeanor about the game's delay setting in to reduce the magnitude of late release anxiety attacks, the A(net)-bomb was dropped this morning by Mike O'Brien, the President of ArenaNet, announcing the official release date for Guild Wars 2.
Given the project's monolithic nature and glorious purpose, ArenaNet opted to completely shrug off any and all constraints pertaining to an official release date until now. Some predicted September, late October, maybe even a Thanksgiving release due to the apparent amount of unfinished content that was presented in the Open Beta Weekends, but August? You can officially, with a royal seal of the queen, slap my backside and call my skippy, because I did not see that coming.
Every indicator leading up to the official release date, the unfinished Asuran and Sylvari classes in Closed Beta, the unspoiled and untouched bonus PvP maps, and ArenaNet's general attitude about shrugging off any unnecessary project restraints that would inhibit the games development, led just about everyone to believe that the game would truly "Be finished when it's finished" with very few exceptions.
Brain splitting shock aside, Mike also announced with the release date the date of the final Beta Weekend preceding the games subsequent 3 day head start, July 20-22. Somehow, anticipation just doesn't quite cover it. Will ArenaNet meet the almost insurmountable challenges ahead of them, breaking convention entirely in the MMO genre? Will they be able to polish a game that is both tailored to the casual weekend warrior and eSports fanatic alike? And moreover, who will take Guild Wars 2 under it's wing as the second competitive MMO in the history of eSports since World of Warcraft? MLG? IPL? ESEA?
In a giant cloud of uncertainty, one thing is apparent: The communities of both casual and competitive gaming have been united, and they are currently backing Guild Wars 2 development entirely. Has this ever truly happened in an MMO in the past? Be honest with yourself. MMO's in the past have tilted to one side or the other, sacrificing content and letting the grease drip into the competitive side, while trying to make it look like intuitive content was produced for both. But crashing the traditional corporate feel of MMO development into the ground entirely and creating a free form dynamic environment molded to the players decisions, whilst implementing the desired provisions required for success in a standalone tournament scene? Pinch me.
I could go on for days, but I'll allow all of this information to wash over the masses as we take a single massive step towards the release of what is sure to be one of the greatest pieces of game development ever seen. Keep your pants on for the time being, until release that is, and as always, fight for the user.