The Daily Grind: What’s your favorite PvPvE MMO or experience?

It feels like I’ve been dealing with a bit of a theme lately: PvPvE games. PvPvE usually seems to mean simple PvE mechanics that get complicated by other people. The simplest example would be open-world bosses. In a single-player or co-op game, a boss encounter is easy enough. Add in teams, and even without being able to directly attack each other, some people will sabotage a rival’s raid attempt if they think they can beat the boss before getting their just desserts. Thus, PvPvE.

World of Warcraft’s Doom Lord Kazzak always struck me as a good specific example. Simply spinning him around and keeping his back to the raid makes him terribly easy. Having a rival player jump in and taunt him so he’s hurting the raid and possibly healing up makes the encounter tense, as even without direct PvP, a failure to burn down the boss fast enough leaves you open to griefing.

However, that’s not my favorite kind of PvPvE. Sea of Thieves‘ simple quests and boss encounters are a blast because knowing someone else might take my crew’s treasure by force adds tension that I can’t get from a pure PvE experience. WoW’s battlegrounds that rely on defeating or saving NPCs were fun, as was its iconic disease-themed event. But maybe you’re more about taking a rival faction’s capital city, tearing down walls so dinosaurs can invade your rival’s home, or just spreading/curing plagues. What PvPvE game or mechanic are you fondest of? And how could future PvPvE games do it better?

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Guild Wars 2 proposes massive overhaul of WvW with world restructuring and creation

World vs. world content has long been a sore spot for Guild Wars 2, at least as far as world PvPers are concerned, which is why the upcoming world restructure for that game mode will probably be a welcome one.

As explained on the forums yesterday, ArenaNet is apparently aiming to fix WvW by rejiggering the arbitary server boundaries that lock WvW players onto one server or another. That’s not worked properly in years, given that each server operates with different population loads in different time zones, and allowing players to choose hasn’t helped. The solution is to go through a “world creation” generation round at the beginning of every season, meaning the game will pick your side for you in a way that actually balances the teams based on your history, language, affiliations, and skill.

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Exclusive Guild Wars 2 interview on Path of Fire’s launch and philosophy

Spurred on by my excitement for Guild Wars 2‘s second expansion, Path of Fire, I reached out to ArenaNet shortly before release to secure a post-launch interview to ensure all my most burning questions could be answered. I drafted my questions not long after launch, and while I most definitely wished to discover whether the initial launch hiccups affected the immediate uptake of the expansion, beyond that I sought more information on the development of such a decisively different expansion than Heart of Thorns was.

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!

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Guild Wars 2 opens an avenue for casual WvW with skirmishes

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.

Source: Guild Wars 2


Guild Wars 2 preps automated tournaments

Guild Wars 2 seems to never lack in assigning players a long list of activities to be completed on any given day. With the June 20th, there will be a new one: 5v5 automated tournaments.

“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.

Source: Guild Wars 2


Flameseeker Chronicles: Surviving the Guild Wars 2 WvW invasion

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.

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EVE Evolved: What went wrong with the Shadow of the Serpent event?

Last week’s EVE Online patch added the massive Shadow of the Serpent event, a game-wide storyline arc that pits players against the Serpentis and Angel Cartel pirate factions. The pirate factions of EVE are engaged in a dangerous arms race as each attempts to design and build its own custom capital ships, and player capsuleers are caught in the middle of it. A new in-game service from The Scope news corporation shows players a variety of different challenges associated with the event, from destroying Angel and Serpentis outposts and looting Angel shipyards to clearing NPC guards from stargates or even just mining ore inside a pirate site.

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.

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How Guild Wars 2 will improve WvW scoring

The Guild Wars 2 community has been asking for improvements to scoring in the game’s world-vs-world battles, and ArenaNet is moving swiftly to bring these changes to the game.

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.


One Shots: Guild meeting

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!

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Guild Wars 2 kicks off its first World vs. World poll

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:

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Guild Wars 2 begins testing WvW world linking today

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.


Guild Wars 2’s Mike O’Brien promises improvements for WvW play

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
3. Rewards
4. Population balance
5. Scoring
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.

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Guild Wars 2’s gliding patch is live alongside Lunar New Year festivities

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.

And don’t forget the overhauled Shatterer world boss! Massively OP’s Tina Lauro published her detailed hands-on with that event earlier today.

Enjoy the new pics and video below.

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