GW2: On Preparations…

August 24, 2012

For those of us who have prepurchased Guild Wars 2, tonight’s the big night. As I’ve been repeatedly reminded all this week by Arenanet emails, Headstart Access begins officially at midnight Pacific time. I know there have been reports that they might be bringing up the servers earlier than planned, up to three hours prior, but whether that means we get to play three hours earlier or just that we can make our characters and lock in our names, I don’t know; I’ve heard all kinds of conflicting information.

East Coaster that I am, it won’t matter much — I’ll have to head to bed and conk out at my usual time. It’s funny, really. If you’d asked me what my plans were for an eagerly anticipated game launch even just two years ago, my answer probably would have involved something along the lines of stockpiling the Red Bull, staying up late and burning the midnight oil in front of my computer going all night until well after the dawn rises over the horizon. But what can I say, the times have changed and I’m pretty sure my all-nighter days are over, as the idea of a few more hours of sleep has become such a magical, beautiful thing! Geez, sometimes I feel so old.

In light of this, I feel fortunate that I’ve already been approached by many helpful friends with offers to reserve any names I might want, since realistically I might not be able to play GW2 until late in the day Saturday. Grateful as I am, it’s unnecessary. Coincidentally, I had a conversation about MMO character naming a few days ago, and while I know some like to stick with the same handles across multiple games, one of my personal idiosyncrasies actually involves giving each of my characters different names — and usually on the spot.

You know how sometimes you make a character, get them just right, and a random name pops into your head that just fits perfectly? That’s generally how I roll.

I’m prepared.

And yet, this doesn’t mean I don’t consider possible names beforehand, especially if I feel like observing the naming conventions of a game’s world or lore. For the rest of today, I know I’ll be contemplating and studying up on the ones for GW2. I’m a giant sucker for that stuff. Just to give you an idea, simply thinking about giving my Asura the “wrong” kind of name and her having been “teased horribly in Asuran primary studies schools” as a result of it is enough to break my heart. I mean, just look at her! Wouldn’t it break yours?! If you say no, you have no soul.

I’ve also spent the last few stress tests deciding on race/class combos and fiddling with the character creator. I already know I’ll be playing a Sylvari Guardian, and though I have yet to step foot in her starting lands, I have a general idea of what she’ll look like. I’ve gotten even further with my Asura Thief, as I’m pretty sure she won’t be deviating too much from what you see in the image above. Big blue eyes? Check. Long floppy ears? Check. Pink dreads? Check.

Will the servers will be up by the time I turn in tonight? Ah, that remains the big question, but regardless I believe I’m as ready as I can be. How prepared are you feeling? Are the names/races/classes decided? Are you staying up late, sleeping early to wake up early, or just playing it completely by ear? To my fellow headstarters, whatever your plans may be for GW2, I say here’s to smooth sailing tonight…and never mess with an Asura!


  1. I’ve actually been thinking of doing exactly what you don’t want to, and naming my Asura something like “W. K. Oppenheimer III” just for the heck of it.

    • Teased. MERCILESSLY. In. Asuran. Primary. Studies. Schools. Heck, that might even get him teased in human schools.

      • It’ll just make him all the more bitter, edging him toward the madness that is Necromancy!

      • A bitter and mad necromancer? Along with Rakuno’s brute warrior or mischievous thief driven to their callings by a horrific childhood full of teasing? What is up with you guys and your damaged Asuras? 😛

  2. I used to be the same as names go as my philosophy usually was “New character, new name as each one of them is unique to me”. But as I grow older I grow lazier and less patient to come up with names so I am going to ignore that philosophy with Guild Wars 2 just so I don’t spend a half an hour in the character creation screen trying to figure out a good name.

    The drawback of this is that my asura will end up with a name that would have caused him to be teased horribly in Asuran primary studies schools. Which might also explain his choice of profession whichever that may be when he is created (still torn between warrior and thief for him).

    Besides that, I am not too worried about the headstart. I am going to try to sleep like usual but lately my sleep pattern has been wonky so I might just end up waking up in the middle of the night with headstart just going on. If so, I might as well create my characters and play for a bit as going back to bed won’t do me much good.

    • So, your Asura was driven to a life of mischief and thievery on account of being traumatized by the teasing in his youth for having an unconventional name? I like that 😀

      I still subscribe to the “new character, new name” philosophy, though I have considered before just going with some of the names I’ve given alts that have since become inactive. I guess defunct alts shouldn’t count.

      • Exactly. Or became a brute warrior due to all the rage for being mistreat for years. Those would be his excuses anyway.

        Using names from defunct alts could work too. You could see the new characters as spiritual successors of sorts of previous characters. 🙂

  3. You talked me into it … I broke down and pre-purchased. No sub makes it worthwhile. Is there any magic to server selection? Can I still play with friends across server?

    • During launch some of these features will be temporarily disabled, but ultimately you will be able to play with friends on any server. WvW-wise though, you would have to represent your own realm. But as far as I know, when it comes to PvE you can guest anywhere and even join multiple guilds across servers.

      My guild and I will be on Fort Aspenwood. Feel free to look us up if you’re looking for a home 🙂

      • Sweet! I am glad that I will be able to play with anyone across servers. I have a small guild that I have been in since the first month of LOTRO, so I will be in that guild, but I don’t think many are playing GW2, so I will definitely be looking to be able to connect with others. The news about PVE across servers is awesome! Once things are up and running, hopefully there will be an easy way to find all my Twitter and Facebook friends!

  4. I get fussy about character names; for me, the character’s name is an important part of the “hook” that connects me to the character and lets me invest in him.

    • For sure, a lot of the time, the name is what makes the character for me too.

  5. I originally planned to be there when servers were up… but a few friends have coerced me to go out with them tonight (such arm-twisters). Depending on how late I make it back, I might make a character early in the morning hours… and then wake up some hours later and try to figure out why I have a character named Tequila Hawtpantz!

    Either that or wait till I wake up (the up-side of having a teenager, they are mainly self-sufficient and like to sleep in themselves!) and see if I can still a little time on there before the day begins.

    Now just to figure out what I will actually play…

    • How dare your friends! 😛 J/K, though if you do end up with a character named Tequila Hawtpantz I don’t know if you should blame them or thank them. It doesn’t work for everyone, but surprisingly I can picture an Asura with that name. I look at them and I just think whacky.

      I don’t expect I’ll be able to play tonight, I’m looking at around tomorrow afternoon myself.

  6. I can relate to just about everything you say here. I never imagine an rpg character of mine as me; they are always their own person in my head. I remember my dad directing a church drama group when I was very young, and soneone would always have to play the Devil so he would have to carefully explain to kids 5-17 (and their parents) that characters people may play don’t necessarily have anything to do with their real selves. Always stuck with me.

    And I know exactly what you mean about names coming to you different ways! I remember spending hours checking names on the WoW armory to see if they’d ever been used before (Rialthan, Glinpur). But then other times a name would just seem so perfect (My dwarf hunter Girta, who ironically had to become Gierta when I moved her to another server) that I didn’t care how unique it was or wasn’t.

    • That’s the essence behind roleplaying after all, and I feel the same away about a lot of my MMO characters. Er, not to mention my Sims 3 challenge, where I’m playing a male Sim trying to father as many children as possible with all the women in the neighborhood…

      LOL sure, it’s a bit twisted, but it’s a game. It’s like your dad said, “Characters people may play don’t necessarily have anything to do with their real selves.” Ain’t that the truth. 🙂

  7. I’ve got the alarm clock set and the Redbull chilling. I’ll be there for launch and will be saving some names. We plan on getting the Guild and Guild bank set up and will start collecting coin and waypoints to help friends when they get on the next day.

    • Neat! I know who I will be looking up for guild invites then!

  8. That Asura looks EVIL and looks like has some really EVIL intension working away behind those eyes.

    Have no Redbull, Have no relaunch snacks, Staying up late, well i can still hang like that depending on occasion. I got my Starbucks Coffee and that works just fine for me.

    I haven’t even purchased the game yet. I know i’ll play it, just not sure when yet. Playing at launch can be cool. I haven’t had my arm twisted enough to want to hit the Buy Now button yet. If i buy it will probably be digital download. And i’ve not even been to GW site to even see what that cost.

    I play on a MacBook and if GW2 does not play on my Mac OS thats a sure no buy, no exception there. Yes I got Bootcamp on my Mac, thats how I play TSW in Bootcamp mode, but that was only possible after deleting every other MMO that was installed in that mode just to make enough HD room to install TSW and that drive only have less than 10 GB left and cant fit another MMO there obviously and don’t want to have to fiddle to redo that Drive all over again for more space in Bootcamp mode. So…. i’d better hope Arena net made GW2 to play on a Mac as well. Still I haven’t decided I’d but it yet either. I guess I have up till launch time to ponder that.

    • Well just checked it out GW2 site and PC requirement and GW2 only plays on Windows. All that money into GW2 and no Mac client. That means Arena Net is not going to get my money and thats the end of it. I refuse to buy another game I have to play in Bootcamp mode which I despise having to reboot my PC every time I have to play a MMO in Bootcamp mode and not have access to my Mac OS stuff on my PC. I guess my arm don’t need anymore twisting.

      • Damn, what a shame. But it’s almost a blessing sometimes when things like that happen to make the decision for you. I’m really only playing GW2 to be with friends, but I figure you can’t go wrong with no sub after the initial box purchase. I’ll be playing the game pretty casually in any case, as it’s the sub games that will take up most of my attention methinks (TSW and WoW, essentially).

    • No! My Asura’s not evil! Rowan’s and Rakuno’s may be, but not mine. Never mine. 😛

      • Blizzard and EVE both makes a Mac client, thats how Blizzard got all my money for all those years. EVE was smart to make a Mac client and kinda obvious why I still play among all the other reasons. But can’t see why for such a huge game like GW2 why they wouldn’t release the game with a Mac Client. I’m sure there are quite a bit of mac users that would like to play GW2 and not have to go out and buy a Windows software to Bootcamp it or play in Windows mode.

  9. I’m in the EST time zone as well and I’m pretty sure I won’t be up at 3am. 🙂

    My plan is to have a normal evening tonight, playing whatever games I’m in the mood to play (currentlly Fallout 3 and/or Morrowind) and make my characters when I wake up on Saturday morning. Plus, I wouldn’t want to ruin my Saturday playtime by being too tired to play because I stayed up until 3am+ to make my characters.

    I’m not too worried about the names. I have a couple names already reserved through Guild Wars 1 and since we can make “two name” names, I’ll have no trouble making them unique and yet still recognizable.

    *hugs the ratonga in the comments above*

    • Yep, normal night for me too, I’ll probably play with my husband like I always do, and around bedtime I will take a look to see where things are and what’s happening. Even if the servers are playable three hours early, like midnight my time, I won’t stay up too much later beyond that. Bedtime is generally between 12:30am and 1am for me, after I check on the baby.

  10. @mmogamerchick

    To be fair the “horrible teasing at school because of the name” for my asura is an unintended side effect of me being lazy with names. The mayhem and mischief however is completely intentional and would happen anyway. 😀


    *sighs because of the hug*

    • Ah yes, Asura and mayhem go together like peanut butter and jelly. That’s why I love ’em 😀

  11. I’ll be up until 2 am on baby duty anyway so I may get some early headstart time in, if not I won’t be able to play until late Saturday night. Hopefully every single syllable Asuran name variation isn’t taken by then.

    • If the baby wakes me up at her usual time of 5am I may jump on real quick and take a look. She’s been sleeping through the night til 7:30am for a couple nights last week though, so I’ll just have to let baby call the shots!

  12. […] I do know though, is that my Asura will be getting a happy childhood and not the damaged past that my commentors seem so fond of bestowing upon their own Asuras […]

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