Just in time for the game’s 10th anniversary (most certainly not a coincidence), Guild Wars 2 will launch on Steam – on August 23, to be precise.
If you haven’t given this game a try yet but it sounds interesting to you, then this will be the perfect time to do so! You will be able to create your account through Steam or, as always, through GuildWars2.com and I bet there will be lots of other new players around then. From what I’ve seen on Twitter from current players my guess is that the community is getting ready to welcome all newcomers as best as they can.
The important bits of information from the announcement:
- Your GuildWars2.com account can’t be linked to from Steam or vice versa. So choose first if you want your account on Steam or not.
- There will be a “Complete Collection” bundle on Steam (including all expansions plus Living World Seasons 2 to 5 – Season 1 being free for everybody anyway) which will come to those who have a GuildWars2.com-account later.
- The free account through Steam will have the same restrictions as the free account through GuildWars2.com (https://help.guildwars2.com/hc/en-us/articles/115015898508-Guild-Wars-2-Free-Account-Features-)
- When the game launches on Steam, everybody will get a +30% bonus to karma, magic find, and PvP and WvW reward-track progress for one week
If you’re wondering: How bad are the restrictions for free players? I would say: Not bad at all. Because most of them are in place to avoid spammers abusing these free accounts. You can play through all of the core game’s content (but you only get two character slots). Your character will be just as strong as all the other characters and you’re not limited in levels or with your gear, etc. You cannot use any of the elite specializations (think: skill trees) because they require the respective expansion. If you care to look at builds, I can recommend MetaBattle, but please be advised that especially when you’re new to the game and also when you’re levelling and exploring (but even when you’re playing other content with friends and guild mates later), it’s more important to play a build that you enjoy playing rather than choosing one because others say it’s best! But there you can see that even the core specializations have good builds available.
Your communication with a free account will be limited as well – but that’s necessary to hinder spammers, I think. If you want to play with friends, make sure that you add each other to the friends list as mutual friends can whisper each other and even send mail to each other!
The Trading Post (the game’s auction house) seems to be limited in what it lets you buy or sell. I haven’t played with such a free acount yet, so I don’t know what it means.
If you’re wondering how you can upgrade from a free to a core account: You can’t anymore (all the content itself is free anyway!). You will instead get all the restrictions from your free account removed when you buy one of the expansions (or bundles). Steam will have its own offers including a Complete Collection Bundle. At the moment, you can buy the third expansion (End of Dragons), a bundle containing the first and the second expansion (Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire), or a bundle with all three expansions. But as I wrote above, there will be a complete collection bundle on Steam (and on GuildWars2.com at a later time, apparently) which also includes the Living World content from seasons 2 to 5 which would otherwise have to be bought separately as well).
And last but not least, if you’re new in Guild Wars 2 and have any questions, don’t be shy and ask – use the map chat for that. There are always a lot of players around who like helping newcomers!