As part of our upcoming update for Guild Wars 2, we’re going to be releasing the beta version of our streaming client feature. Our goal with streaming content is to get new and veteran players alike playing the game faster by reducing the up-front download size when you first download the game or when a patch is released. This beta feature will only be available to players on North American and European servers; we will be extending the streaming client beta to China at a later date.
To try out content streaming, add -StreamingClient to the end of the target line on your Guild Wars 2 shortcut. When you next launch and patch the game, there will be a marker on the progress bar that shows you how much you’ll need to download before the game will be playable. Once the progress bar reaches that marker, you’ll be able to jump right in and start playing.
If you’re a new player, you’ll experience a seamless game through character creation, your tutorial instance, and any of the five level 1–15 starting zones. If you go to an area you haven’t downloaded yet, you can prioritize downloading that area while continuing to play or you can wait at the map loading screen.
As a returning player, you’ll experience the same short download time prior to the character select screen, but you may need to download the map your character was last in before you start playing.
Download Caps and Slower Connections
Many players worldwide have experienced having to download the Guild Wars 2 client with a download cap. For these players, we have added some options to limit the amount of content that the game will download at any given time. Content streaming options can be set in the general options (F11) menu to turn background streaming off, to use it only when your connection is idle, or to download content as fast as possible.
While the streaming client feature is in beta, we’ll have a thread on our forums dedicated to gathering feedback. Once we’re confident that the streaming client is providing the right experience to players, we’ll turn it on as the default option for everybody.