NCsoft has detailed plans for a Guild Wars: Eye of the North pre-release bonus pack, due out on 20th July.
It will let you get your hands on exclusive in-game goodies that Guild Wars fans designed as part of a fancy competition: the Glacial Blade, Hourglass Staff, and Darksteel Longbow. A special DVD is in there, too, which will let you trial-play all of the previous campaigns for a total of 10 in-game hours or 14 real-life days - whichever expires first.
You'll also be able to join the pre-order crowd in the Sneak Peak Weekend on 24th - 26th August, where all progress your character makes and all items you gain will be saved for when Eye of the North launches on 31st August.
But the best thing about all this is that theoretically you could get the bonus pack for absolutely nothing - its price is to be determined by each retailer. And if one of them does decide to charge you, then that amount will be taken off the GBP 24.99 asking price of Eye of the North when you buy it. From the same place, obviously.
Eye of the North is billed as the first expansion in the Guild Wars series, despite being the third paid-for update. Factions and Nightfall were campaigns, you see, so Eye of the North is the start of a new direction for developer ArenaNet.
It's all about rewarding the existing fan-base by heaping new dungeons, skills, armour, weapons and items on them. It will also act as a bridge to the sequel, Guild Wars 2, via the Hall of Monuments where you'll be able to carry over titles and accomplishments.
Head over to our Guild Wars: Eye of the North gallery for the latest screenshots.
We recently cornered lead designers Ben Miller and Eric Flannum to talk about Eye of the North, Guild Wars 2, and rewarding loyalty. Head over to our interview to find out more.