This launch diary installment will share ArenaNet’s responses to my PoF questions: Mounts, elite specializations, and the new maps were huge topics of discussion aside from the more general launch and development questions I had. Read on!
If you’re playing Guild Wars 2, chances are you’re quite aware that this month’s update will be all about the “competitive” game — namely, PvP and WvW improvements. One of the big features comes in the form of skirmishes, which are meant to make the world-vs-world scene more accessible to the average player.
“Skirmishes are intended to make two-hour chunks of playtime within a much longer WvW matchup feel meaningful,” ArenaNet explained, “and the new Skirmish reward track lets combatants earn pips toward rewards for their efforts on the battlefield […] The team is also scaling down the time required, so players will start earning the bonus pip after one week instead of three.”
Among the many rewards that players can work toward in their competitive career is a new WvW-exclusive legendary backpack called Warbringer. The “intimidating” backpack is themed around siege weaponry.
“Automated tournaments are the new peak of player vs. player competition in Guild Wars 2,” said ArenaNet. “You’ll be able to compete in three different daily single-elimination tournaments as part of a five-person team to earn gold and qualifying points — the latter of which can land you a spot in the monthly tournament.”
Prizes for these tournaments include mystic coins, llama minis, and the Glorious Hero’s armor set.
Between bouts, players can hang out in the redesigned PvP lobby. The studio was quick to stress that the new lobby will have all of the same vendors as the old one but with an updated look and a “few surprises.” There will even be a special lounge for the best-of-the-best in the PvP community.
I’ve been asked several times for my opinion on how best to handle the influx of non-WvW Guild Wars 2 players to the game mode in the wake of the reward system update. As you’ll all know, I am not a committed WvW player and tend to play the mode only when I have a specific need to or when I’m helping out a friend, but nevertheless, I have compiled some helpful advice for those who wish to start skirmishing now. Make no mistake about it: WvW can be as entertaining as it is intimidating when you get into the groove, though to get the best out of the game mode you’ll need to pick up on WvW etiquette fairly quickly.
In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll help you navigate the rapid-fire world of WvW, giving you advice on keeping commanders happy, getting the best out of your efforts, chatting strategically, and setting your toon up for WvW success.
As with previous PvE events such as the Crimson Harvest and Operation Frostline, event sites are spawning all throughout the game and appear on everyone’s overview. Rather than the sites themselves dropping rare loot, the challenges awards points and three special reward containers are unlocked once you hit the 10,000, 25,000, and 50,000 point marks. The idea was to have a game-wide inclusive event that would encourage players to co-operate to complete sites, and in that sense it has been a success. Unfortunately, the event has been hampered by a lack of direct rewards, and its long grind has been condemned by players.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at what went wrong with the Shadow of the Serpent event, how CCP can avoid the same fate for future events, and what can be learned from Guild Wars 2‘s similar approach to group PvE.
In a forum post yesterday, the studio explained why it wants to shore up the scoring system and how it plans to do just that. One of the big reasons for the changes is to break WvW out of situations where there’s no chance of a comeback or where there are runaway matches.
The WvW week-long matches will be further divided into two-hour segments called skirmishes that will award victory points at the end of each. “This keeps the winning and losing scores closer together, allowing the losing worlds a fighting chance,” ArenaNet said. “Teams will still want to win as many time slices as possible, off-hours coverage is still important, but less dominant.”
The studio is also considering a victory point multiplier based on populations and time of the day, a “last stand” multiplier, and other ways to rack up points for your team that should be quicker than before.
Guilds… assemble! Because there’s nothing like logging into a vast virtual world and then plunking your virtual butt down in a room, am I right?
“This one was at a guild meeting in Asheron’s Call,” Zulika Mi Nam posted. “I’m not sure if those still happen in game like this or not. The first shots I have is AC are bad and boring, but this is the oldest one that that made me think of anything other than blah.”
Zulika suggested that we put out a call for guild screenshots, so I’ll spend the rest of the column contemplating that and get back to you at the end. In the meantime, check out these non-moving moving pictures!
Are you a dedicated WvW player in Guild Wars 2 with strong views about what project the developers should be working on next to improve the game? It’s so hard to communicate that sometimes; forum posts can only be in all capital letters, not some form of super-capital letters, and there are never enough angry emoji available in any forum. Fortunately, you have your chance to express your viewpoints to the team with the first WvW poll being held by the developers.
To be fair, the poll in question is just asking players to vote on the next project the team will take on, so you might still want to offer up some angry emoji. Still, it’s a chance for the community to determine what’s next on the team’s agenda:
ArenaNet is kicking off the first stage of Guild Wars 2’s WvW World Linking beta tonight beginning at 10 p.m. EDT for North American servers; Europe’s began earlier this afternoon. The goal? To even out the populations in the mass-scale WvW battlegrounds.
“We used factors like the world’s current rank and population numbers to define pairings,” writes ArenaNet. “For NA we will be able to divide the total number of worlds in half, and give every world a partner. However, pairings for EU are a lot trickier, both because there is an odd number of total worlds, and because there is an odd number of specific language worlds. EU also has a greater number of well populated worlds, so it makes sense to link fewer worlds. The result is that a number of worlds in EU will not be linked.”
The studio says that as populations “drift” in the future, it may link more than two worlds together for WvW purposes.
If you haven’t done any raiding in Guild Wars 2, you also haven’t seen any of the story involved in the game’s raiding scene. The developers have released a trailer for the Salvation Pass raid wing, and if you’re a veteran of the original Guild Wars it will look familiar. Which is all we can say without spoiling it; the whole thing is only a minute long.
On the other hand, maybe you’re not interested in PvE at all, but you know that WvW needs some work. There’s good news for that, too, as a forum thread has been given an official response by Mike O’Brien acknowledging the several issues that players have found with WvW and promising that developers are considering the issues in question. O’Brien even has a hit list for the issues in question:
From this thread, your top five priorities are, in order:
1. Stability & skill balance
2. Fix or revert DBL
4. Population balance
Yes, we will take the feedback and make stability, general skill balance, and fixing/reverting DBL our top priorities.
You can still watch the cinematic just below, though, if you’d like.
Guild Wars 2’s winter patch is now live, complete with the promised gliding in vanilla Tyria and the start of the Lunar New Year event, the latter of which runs through February 9th. Players can also look forward to the enhanced squad UI, tweaks to support class rewards, Fractals bug fixes, and a crapton of class adjustments. SPvP matchmaking and WvWvW have also been heavily updated.
Enjoy the new pics and video below.
- Objectives upgrades will no longer be automatic based on time. They will upgrade based on dolyaks that reach them. Smaller groups can now prevent an objective from upgrading by preventing dolyaks from reaching that objective.
- Supply cost for all catapults are being reduced by ten supply. The layout of the Desert Borderlands map has increased the number of catapults required to take some objectives. We agree with your feedback that also increasing the cost of catapults pushed the balance too far towards defense so we are tuning that more towards offense.
- Points per kill will be turned on and kept on. This is to more directly recognize the contribution that fighting other players adds to the success of the world.
- The number of players who can rally off a single kill has been reduced from five to one. Players will also no longer be able to revive defeated players while in combat. You still will be able to revive downed players while in combat. Both of these changes are designed to help fights resolve and to give smaller, more skilled groups a better chance against larger groups.
The studio stresses that these changes are not to be mistaken for the major WvW overhaul. “This update is the first of what we hope are more regular updates to the existing core of World vs. World,” says Anet. “We are looking forward to sharing the details of the bigger World vs World project with you in the future, but we’re not quite ready yet.”
Johanson was responding to a query about possible Engineer legendaries, to which he said that the team has had bigger projects on its plate: “The reality is we need the bulk of our own internal engineers (coders!) to continue to focus on stuff like our major WvW overhaul right now we’ve been working on for over a year that’s much higher priority for the game overall.”