Guild Wars 2 players will be able to try out one of the main features of the next expansion pack this week. ArenaNet will be holding a public beta for the new Stronghold mode in their PC MMORPG.
In Stronghold mode, each team has a fortress inhabited by an NPC lord. They must assault the enemy team's stronghold and kill their lord before their opponents can do the same to them.
Supplies are the key to victory. Players can collect supplies at a depot in the middle of the map and then bring them to their own stockpile. These supplies can be used to hire NPC siege vehicles and soldiers that will help you break through the enemy's gates and reach their lord.
"One of the goals for Stronghold was to put more gameplay in the map," ArenaNet said when they first revealed the mode. "There is always something exciting to do in a Stronghold match. Whether you’re fighting over supply, pushing or defending a lane, getting your doorbreakers to your front line, or blasting your enemies to smithereens with a trebuchet, you’ll never find a time where you’re not actively engaged.
Standard Stronghold matches have 5 players on each side. The 5v5 format, coupled with the importance of NPC minions, shows that ArenaNet clearly took inspiration from MOBAs like League of Legends and Dota 2. Considering how supremely popular MOBAs are these days, I imagine this mode will be a big draw.
The public beta for Stronghold mode will start on April 14th at 21:00 CEST (20:00 BST). During the 24-hour test, everyone in North America and Europe with GW2 accounts will be able to try out Stronghold. In fact, it'll be the only Unranked Arena mode available during that period.
"To get started in Stronghold, you’ll need to head to the Heart of the Mists, which can be accessed through the main portal in Lion’s Arch or through the PvP panel icon located at the top of your screen," said ArenaNet. "Once you’re ready, queue for an Unranked Arena match. You’ll see Battle of Champion’s Dusk as the featured map; vote for it, hit “Accept” when your queue pops, and enjoy the battle! Conquest matches can still be played in Ranked."
To celebrate the beta for Stronghold mode, ArenaNet has put Guild Wars 2 on sale. You can get the Digital Heroic and Digital Deluxe Editions for 75% off until Monday night through their online store.
Stronghold mode will be officially added to the game with expansion pack Heart of Thorns. Thorns will also introduce a new region called the Maguuma Jungle and a Revenant class. This is the first premium expansion to the game and will supplement the regular, free updates by developers.
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