Guaranteed access to The Secret World's beta weekends can be yours, if you're already sold on Funcom's MMORPG and willing to slap your money money on a pre-order. You'll also get a smattering of in-game bonus items for your troubles.
Pre-ordering gets you into all beta weekend events, starting May 11 then running "most" weekends until The Secret World's PC launch on June 19. Characters will carry over between events, and the beta will expand to include more content each weekend.
You'll also get early access to the MMO "up to four days" prior to launch, and you'll get to secure character names early. Then there are exclusive in-game items: a pet (Ferocious Wolf, Egyptian Cat or Loyal Hound); t-shirt with a "unique monster design"; and an XP booster.
As for the rest of us plebs, we'll have to hope we get in the old-fashioned way, being picked at random or scooping an invite in giveaways. Over 750,000 people have signed up for the beta, so good luck to us all.
Funcom gave a half-hour presentation of The Secret World at the Game Developers Conference in March, explaining heaps and showing off bags of gameplay. Handily, it was all recorded for us.