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Arena Net have updated their official FAQ with some exciting information that helps to shed some light on the timescales and current progress of the game:

"We will be conducting small closed alpha and beta tests in 2011. The feedback from these tests will determine when we will do public beta tests and ship the game. Guild Wars 2 is a very large and ambitious game, and Guild Wars players rightfully have very high expectations. We want players to be absolutely blown away by the game the first time they experience it."

Martin Kerstein and Regina Buenaobra from Arena Net are quick to emphasise that this does not mean that they have any defined time frame for the release of the game, however:

"The existence of friends and family closed alpha and closed beta this year has changed nothing about the release date. The release date continues to be: when the game is ready."

Additionally, there have been reports of an increase in alpha/beta key related scams, so everyone should be vigilant and be careful to never give any details to unofficial sites.  There is currently no sign up for any form of beta and when there is, it will be announced on the official Guild Wars 2 site. But still, it's reassuring to know that the completion of the game is on the horizon with a very real chance of a firm release date announcement within the year. (comments)
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