ArenaNet has announced its plans for the first beta weekend for the upcoming expansion to its successful MMO Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. Access to the beta will be restricted to those who have pre-purchased the game as well as those attending Gamescom.
Beginning on August 7 at 12 p.m. PDT and running through August 10 12 p.m., Heart of Thorns will take players to the Heart of Maguuma Jungle, a new area from the expansion. The beta will contain only a portion of the final content planned for release. Within the beta, players will have the option to build a max level, fully-geared character — including the new Revenant class — and explore the expansions earliest instances. End-game specializations will be available as well as the Masteries system, which replaces traditional leveling in favor of varying skill trees.
ArenaNet is allowing beta characters to persist into future beta weekends, so progress made with characters will be saved. Heart of Thorns expects to release later in 2015.