Today we have ten things for you that you can do to prepare for Guild Wars 2.
1. Reserve your name on Guild Wars, if possible.
One of the most stressful things about a game's release and during the headstart is the rush to getting that perfect name. While you won't be able to reserve 1-word names in Guild Wars, if you have a perfect 2-word (or more) name that you really want, then you can reserve it in Guild Wars already. All you have to do is link it to your Guild Wars 2 account, and log on some time between January 1, 2012 and a few weeks before release, and your name will be reserved during the Headstart.
If it's already taken, then you'll just have to take note of it and pray that person doesn't log on and get their name reserved, or don't pick up Guild Wars 2 by the release. Because if they don't, that baby's yours! That is, if you're fast enough... ;)
Of course, if you don't have Guild Wars then this isn't really an option, and while it isn't necessarily a requirement to playing Guild Wars 2, Guild Wars is a great game in its own right, and if you need something to do to pass the time until release, or just want to check out some of the lore and back story, then it may not be a bad idea to check it out. You can probably even find it for pretty cheap. I remember getting several copies of Guild Wars: Prophecies for just $5 during a Black Friday sale, and the entire series for just $15. So, if you haven't tried it yet... look around, maybe you can luck out, and who knows... maybe you can get that name you want.
2. Max out your Hall of Monuments.
Speaking of the original Guild Wars, if you have it, then you're definitely going to want to max out your Hall of Monuments so that you can get some extra goodies for free. A linked Hall of Monuments from Guild Wars gives all sorts of rewards in Guild Wars 2.
You don't have to fill it up completely to get all of the rewards - you only need to get to 30. But if you want to for the sake of completion or bragging rights, then you're most definitely able to, and you'll have the titles to show for it when Guild Wars 2 comes out.
And if you're new to Guild Wars, you shouldn't worry too much. You can fill up quite a bit of the Hall of Monuments and get a lot of great rewards with relatively little effort. It's a great way to get a lot of extra digital fluff for free. So even if you're not really interested in the original Guild Wars, it may be something you might want to check out for the unique rewards alone.
3. Try out all the classes!
That's right, all of them, even the ones that you don't want to play. I dare say the ones that you want to try out the least may be one that surprises you the most.
Before I'd tried it, I'd watched the videos and I thought Mesmer just looked completely lame, like some fail joke of a pet class, weak and boring. Oh how I was wrong... I tried it on an absolute whim, and not only were my preconceptions completely wrong, but it was the funnest class out of all of them I'd tried! Every single weapon set felt fun, and everything just felt 'right'. Now Mesmer is the class that I want to play as my main. If I'd stuck with my initial impression and not actually tried it, I may had really missed out on something great. So, don't make my mistake. Try them all!
4. Plan your appearance.
Appearance may not be crucial to some, but if you're anything like me then you may spend hours in the character creator making your character perfect. Mess with the character creation now, and screenshot the sliders or memorize them so that you won't have to mess with it during the headstart. You can save yourself hours during that critical time by doing this now.
5. Decide your classes and story choices, come up with names for your characters, and plan backup names for your characters!
As with the appearance, you should also take note of which story options you're going to choose. Plan out which ones you want for which classes and characters. If you have four human nobles, you may not want every single one of them to have a missing sister. Perhaps one of them will have wanted to have been in the circus. Plan ahead of time, and save yourself time later when that time is much more important.
Now... I realize that some of you may spend all of 5 seconds during the headstart coming up with Xx Narutoblade Xx, but for some others... names may be an extremely important element to you, and you may have a really hard time coming up with them and end up spending hours staring at that blinking cursor in that character creation screen trying to think of a name.
This is not something you want to be doing when the headstart begins and all of the good names are quickly disappearing. Prepare ahead of time! Come up with your names now. If you've already planned out your appearance, then you have a good basis for being able to name them. So come up with the names that you want, and then come up with backup names in case those names are taken. Doing this can really save you a lot of stress and headache during a game's headstart.
6. Check out the skill tool, read up on traits, read all utility skills.
Have you seen the Guild Wars 2 Skills tool? If not, you should definitely check it out. You can check out all the combinations of main hands and offhands, all of the utility skills and elites, and you can even set your traits. It's a great tool for learning more about the classes and really getting a handle on what the classes are all about.
Make sure those classes that you tried out are really going to be the thing for you, and checking out what all they can do in the skill tool is a great place to do that.
You may spend hours exploring skill combinations and traits, so it's best to do it in the downtime between BWE's (Beta Weekend Events), that way you don't have to waste your precious time during those events. You can try them out later during the next one and then come to your real conclusions about the classes. But it's just a great way to learn more and better prepare yourself for Guild Wars 2.
If it's items you're interested in, then be sure to check out our Guild Wars 2 Database right here on Guru. There's skills, traits, achievements, and all kinds of other things there too. So be sure to check it out!
7. Connect with friends or make new ones.
Find old friends and guildmates and get back together for Guild Wars 2! Or if you want to start fresh, then start making friends or find a nice group to play with now so that you're not all alone when the game releases.
If you're looking for a guild, be sure to check out our Guild Recruitment section!
8. Check your hardware.
Make sure your gaming rig can actually run Guild Wars 2. You can find the system requirements here.
If it can't, you had better start saving, bucko! You don't have much time now, better get that gaming system in tip-top shape before Guild Wars 2 hits the shelves!
9. Update your drivers and install system updates.
Now that you've determined that your gaming rig can handle it, it's a good idea to update your drivers and install your operating system updates.
While always a generally good idea to keep up-to-date, the difference between having updated graphics drivers and not could be the difference between spending hours pulling your hair out trying to troubleshoot a problem in-game, and actually having fun playing the game.
While it may be something you rolls your eyes at, a lot of times it really can make the difference.
10. Buy Guild Wars 2!
Buy the game! With Guild Wars 2's release date set at August 28th and headstart beginning on August 25th, this one may seem like a no brainer - but there are actually some people out there that haven't purchased it yet. Do we even have to tell you? What, you haven't bought it yet?! Why are you reading this? Hurry up and go buy the game! Throw money at your screen, whatever it takes! You're gonna want this game.
Are you already preparing yourself like I am, or are you preparing in other ways? Let us know how you're preparing, we'd love to hear!