Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns first beta weekend begins August 7

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Guild Wars 2 will be bidding Heart of Thorns pre-purchasers welcome to the jungle next weekend. It's the upcoming expansion's first full beta weekend, and will give players a chance to explore around 25% of its first map.

You can see a full run-down of what's included in this beta over at the Guild Wars 2 official site. In addition to a quarter section of a new area, players will be able to create a "fully geared, level-80 beta character of any race" for the duration of the weekend. It means we'll be able to get a taste of the new profession, the Revenant, or one of the currently revealed specialisations—chronomancer, dragonhunter, reaper, or tempest.

Players will be able to take these characters out into non-expansion areas, such as WvW, PvP or existing PvE zones. ArenaNet will also be showing off the proposed map bonus reward system, and turning on the Strongholds PvP mode.

Access is limited to those who have pre-purchased Heart of Thorns. The beta weekend will run from August 7 to August 10.