As Guild War 2′s headstart period and official release dates near (August 25th and August 28th, respectively.), you’re probably getting awfully anxious to get started. But there’s one important decision you need to consider before you start playing. Unlike so many other MMOs, choosing your GW2 world – i.e. your server – is an important decision. Why? Because once you choose your world, all your characters will have to be created on the same world. In other words, you can’t have different characters on different servers (Unless, maybe, you buy two or more licenses of the game.).
Since this decision is pretty important, here are 5 things you need to know about choosing a home world:
1. All of your characters must go on the same world
In order to protect the integrity of Guild Wars 2 World-versus-World (WvW), all your characters must go on the same world. This will probably have the positive effect of building a strong sense of server community, too.
2.Your world’s performance in WvW and PvE grants everyone bonuses
Depending on how well your world does in WvW and PvE (player-versus-environment), your world will get Power of the Mists bonuses. These bonuses include boosts to healing, crafting and gold drops among several other things. (A complete list of Power of the Mists bonuses is here.)
3. Your world choice isn’t final
Don’t worry. You’re not locked into your server choice, forever. At launch, you’ll be able to transfer freely, at least according to ArenaNet, until “server populations have largely settled and stabilized.” Whether that’s a week or a month or more is ArenaNet’s call.
Just be aware, at some point it will cost you gems to change worlds. After “server populations have largely settled”, you’ll have to pay gems to transfer – 500 to a low population server, 1000 to a medium population server and 1800 to a high population one. Transfers will also be restricted to once a week.
4. At some point in the future, you’ll be able to “guest” on another server
Do you want to play with some friends, but they’re on another server? ArenaNet has promised that at some point in the future, you’ll be able to adventure with your friends. You won’t be able to participate in WvW, but you’ll be able to play with others in PvE through the use of a feature called guesting.
At this point, it doesn’t look like guesting will be a feature available at launch.
5. You’re not restricted to your geographical region
Depending on where you live or GW2 thinks you live, you’ll be presented with a list of either North American or European servers. You don’t have to play on those if you don’t want to. You can change your region on the world choice screen. If you live in Europe and want to play with friends in North America or vice-versa, this is a nice option.
A complete list of all your server choices can be found here.