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.

“World Creation builds teams so they have similar predicted participation, skill, coverage, and language. Team assignment moves players onto teams by calculating the contribution value of a player and using that calculation to distribute players fairly. We plan to track stats like play hours in WvW, commander time and squad size, time of day, and participation levels. The exact stats have yet to be determined and we are open to suggestions of other stats to use in this system. This new system will expand upon the current calculation that uses play hours for linking. If a player has played WvW before, we will be able to use the statistics from their account to sort them into a new world.”

Guilds will also be able to mark themselves as WvW guilds for the system to consider. “Ideally the system will assign a new player to a world on which their friends or guild mates play, thereby making it easier than it is at present for people to play with friends in WvW,” says Anet. That’ll include a new alliance system stretching up to potentially 1000 players, so guilds can band together too.

The official forum post has the complete rundown of the seasonal schedule, details on how you can transfer if you dislike where the system put you, and the note that this is still a work-in-progress and may not roll out if people hate it.

“If the reception is not great for this system, then the other alternative is most likely to continue World Linking,” ArenaNet concludes. “Even though making a choice between the two systems might seem like too drastic a change for some people, we have been exploring other designs to deal with WvW populations for years and we believe that World Restructuring or World Linking are the only solutions that meet our requirements. Simply ‘blowing up’ worlds or removing people from the worlds on which they currently play is high risk (which is why we have avoided it for so long), and the only reason we are considering World Restructuring now is because it allows players to maintain and continue to build some of the communities they’ve created through the years.”

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kerzic
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kerzic

I spent a lot of time in GW2 WvW on a bottom-ranked server and it was a lot of fun because individuals and small groups mattered and could do gonzo commando stuff and defending was viable. I spent a lot of my time fortifying and defending, which was often viable because the zergs were usually modest enough in size to fight against and I was fine spending my game money on upgrades and time running supply dolyaks. I logged in recently and spent a few hours playing and not only did they pair the low-population servers with the top ranked servers but you need to spend guild points to upgrade anything so very little was being upgraded or fortified. It’s as if they only want a single style of play and no variety. No defense. Just an endless train of attacks and guaranteed captures, round and round.

It seems like their philosophy is that if you aren’t playing with 100 other people, it’s just not fun and they did the same thing to PvE when they switched to the megaservers. Before that, on the low population servers, we could have a nice challenge doing difficult events with a handful or maybe a few dozen people and it was challenging and everyone mattered. After the megaservers, every zone and even was always a mob where you’d stand in a mass of flashes doing DPS to an opponent that didn’t move or do much of anything and if you didn’t join a party, you’d miss the reward. It was like being thrown from the country or suburbs into a city that never sleeps by someone who thinks life outside of a city just isn’t worth living.

I’m likely a minority in those opinions, but it’s why me and all of my friends went from being regular players who spent regularly in the store for cosmetic items and such to abandoning GW2. They ruined what we did like about it.

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Mallus

Zergs are the problem, they need to come up with a way to discourage large zergs.

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Bruno Brito

Honestly, that would require artificial barriers ( Debuffs like bigger zerg numbers equals less power ), or a complete revamp of how the combat works.

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Frank White

We’ll have to agree to disagree, because for me the larger the battles the better. That’s why it’s “world” vs world. That’s the whole point of it in my book. If I wanted small group fights, I’d stick to pvp. I also think it’s kind of wasted on roamers, who aren’t really “doing wvw” in my opinion, but heh, I’m all for people playing the game how they want. Just don’t cry when you get wiped out by the big bad zerg because you want your own big personal playground to do your own thing and sometimes get caught in the crossfire. :)

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Dug From The Earth

interesting

The gameplay will remain the same though right? Because a huge part of why WvW is a flop, is the gameplay. The imbalance of population, frustrations of time zones and play times, and language differences, are only icing on the cake.

Hopefull, this is stage 1, of a 10 stage process.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

Part of why the game play is boring is because, especially if you are not a roamer, 90% of the time it is:

(a) you are part of the dominant zerg and you go from door to door mindlessly and effortlessly capping
(b) you are NOT part of the zerg and are just trampled two times by said zerg till you get pissed off and go off wvw

So having a balanced match up for the three sides is pretty important. You get fun fights more often and you get Stonemist sieges more often. Agreed that it is not the only issue, but it is quite important. It is also a prerequisite to any other development – if you do not have balance any content that might come would have the same issues – and I would also expect it to be the lowest in terms of dev cost. I do not say easiest, because if it were they would have already balanced the damn thing, they need to be smart about the strategy they will follow here.

Hopefull, this is stage 1, of a 10 stage process.

Totally agree on that, balancing is a necessary first step but is not enough by itself.

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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

(a) you are part of the dominant zerg and you go from door to door mindlessly capping
(b) you are NOT part of the zerg and are just trampled two times by said zerg till you get pissed off and go off wvw

Sadly accurate. Although I find that if your zerg is jumping from map to map and knows its business it can at least make losing a fun time.

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Dug From The Earth

ive been in balanced zerg fights.

Nothing fun about 2 large forces that seemingly cant gain or lose ground. Its rather frustrating actually.

Even with siege weapons. Ive sat on walls with arrows carts with multiple other people using arrow carts, and we dont even make a dent in the attacking zerg. It feels at most like its a speed bump to them.

Yes, being rolled sucks. And steam rolling everyone gets dull fast….. it seems that the middle ground however, is being ineffectual in both directions, which is just as, if not more, dull.

People used to say a zerg only had to worry about a bigger zerg… which isnt really true either, because a well organized and run small zerg, will still win vs an unorganized large zerg.

Anet isnt going to come up with a decent counter to zerg gameplay at this point, because its a major selling feature for the games WvW. Mostly from a “Look at all these players at one time!” Makes the game look special. Siege weapons will continue to be limited to bursting down walls or gates from 5 feet away so that the zerg can quickly swarm in and roll over the keep commander.

The meta isnt about tactics in WvW and how it applies to attack and defending keeps, taking and holding ground, etc etc. The meta is about zerg composition and complimenting the rest of the zerg. All for the optimal zerg performance and capability, especially vs another zerg. Its why they shun classes that dont enhance this meta. Rangers, thieves, etc… does nothing to strengthen the evolved style of WvW zerg gameplay. If the zerg is strong, organized, and well put together, then none of the inherent challenges of WvW (keeps, guards, etc) are a challenge anymore.

And thats a core problem. When the designed challenges of WvW, are no longer a challenge, you have a flawed system.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

Nothing fun about 2 large forces that seemingly cant gain or lose ground.

Agreed, those infinite big fights tend to be meaningless, but at least I find them fun.

The meta isnt about tactics in WvW and how it applies to attack and defending keeps, taking and holding ground, etc etc. The meta is about zerg composition and complimenting the rest of the zerg. ..And thats a core problem. When the designed challenges of WvW, are no longer a challenge, you have a flawed system.

Spot on!! When you see videos of organized guild raids just being a compact flashy zergball rolling like an avalanche, you know that the combat system is not good for this game mode. I like the GW2 combat system overall, but the stacking mechanisms and the field synergies don’t play well with WvW. Amendments can be made, possibly by introducing many more (and/or more meaningful) objectives that encourage spreading the zerg along the map? Making siege harder to build and at the same time more powerful? Dunno.

Although after all these years I think one of the biggest problems of the WvW crowd, even for those who claim it is not a high priority, is lack of variety and scope. Just playing in the same maps over and over again for 5 years gets old. I would still put player number match-up balance as a close second.

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Frank White

Well, in theory, tactics COULD play a bigger part, even in very large zerg vs zerg battles. The real problems are you first need competent leaders who know what they’re doing and can effectively delegate responsibilities to others, who in turn can help to clearly communicate the leader’s wishes to the mob. This is helped, of course, by getting everyone in chat, but unfortunately you usually have a horde of hangers-on who aren’t, and even if they are… well, the bottom line is it’s just very hard to pull off a lot of fancy maneuvers with that many people involved, and more often than not it’s all just a big mess in the end, with people sprawled all over – which isn’t helped when you have lots of people dying and having to run back. I honestly don’t know if there ever will be a way to “fix” wvw so that all sides are always roughly equal in numbers or zergs don’t get too big (or too small), etc. I suspect it’s an inherent problem with the game mode that one just has to accept to get any joy out of it. Not to say it can’t be improved in some ways, mind you, but I don’t foresee there ever being a time when you won’t have people making pretty much the same complaints about any game with wvw or rvr or whatever they’re calling it.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

Agree with the beginning of the post, but:

I honestly don’t know if there ever will be a way to “fix” wvw so that all sides are always roughly equal in numbers or zergs don’t get too big (or too small), etc.

Creating matchups with guilds and alliances does not sound too bad as a fix to me:

(1) You can always create matchups with guilds or alliances of the same size. Then the group gameplay immediately also gains a LOT more context.

(2) This also means that you will not be joining a WvW guild with absolutely no sense of commitment. If you want an organized group, get into a WvW guild, commit to it and play in a structured way.

(3) This does not even have to condemn casual game play in this game mode since they could still have more instances spawned, where players join a random side in a “fill” fashion (which will also be balanced) and the same can be done for EotM. I assume some more thought should go in this one to avoid the obvious instinctive “my side is losing, I will go out and in again” behaviour …

… but I don’t foresee there ever being a time when you won’t have people making pretty much the same complaints about any game with wvw or rvr or whatever they’re calling it.

Regardless of its other (many) problems, there were zerg fights, and specific zergs, in Albion Online, where team discipline, good composition, and tactics all played their part in the outcome of the fights.

Even more so for EVE online. And I heard that DaoC had pretty good RvR as well.

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Frank White

I started playing MMO’s with DAoC and it was the most fun I ever had with RvR/WvW, but even there you had the same kinds of complaints about realm inbalance, etc. You always have more people wanting to flock to the side of the winner than the underdog. And as soon as you introduce a third realm, it obviously becomes even more difficult to balance than a two faction system like WoW and most other MMO’s have.

Creating matchups with guilds and alliances sounds good in theory, but I suspect much harder to do in practice. And doesn’t GW2 kind of have an avenue for that now with the arenas that guilds can set up? I honestly don’t know exactly how those work, because when I came back to the game after a long hiatus I mainly did casual solo pve stuff with the expansions and stories and never even joined another guild. So I haven’t paid attention to any of that. (I’m looking at returning to wvw now if I can find a good guild and a server where wvw isn’t dead 75% of the time.) Anyway, I’m dubious about the prospects of them doing something like that within the wvw framework, for the simple reason that it would take away from the current wvw gameplay. I guess we’ll see, though. Who knows what they might try if these most recent changes don’t get the desired results.

I’m also really looking forward to Crowfall and Camelot Unchained to see what they do with RvR, but I’m not expecting that either of them will completely put an end to the problem of population imbalance.

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Matt Cramp

I’ve been playing recently after not having played it for like 3 years, and maybe it’s the server I’m on (it’s probably the server I’m on), but it seems way more interesting now. I’ve been in several zerg fights where siege has been deployed, because they’re much easier to protect now, and there seems to be some kind of area denial power I’ve seen a lot that seems to help cover retreats. They have new reward systems that encourage doing something, even if it’s small, and trying to actually take and hold objectives to keep your score up.

I mean, there still is ‘deploy siege to bust down this wall and take the keep before the defence arrives’ but it seems like actual tactics can come into play these days, where they never really have before – ‘let’s try and take this keep and maybe we’ll be able to pull people off that castle attack’.

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Yaner

I’m just glad to see WvW finally getting some damn attention. The way it is now there is just one server zerging while the other ones lose all their stuff. This proposed system looks good on paper, we will have to see how it plays out in game.

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Knox Harrington

This is either going to turn out just okay or really horrible, and I really don’t think that either outcome is worth the death of my server’s identity. That’s okay though. Camelot Unchained is well underway.

phaedrux
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phaedrux

Any change in any game in history:

“Oh well, [NewGame] is coming out soon!”

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Knox Harrington

And thank the Gods for that too! It would really suck if the last game with RvR was GW2 because it has been riddled with unaddressed issues for years and it’s clearly not one of ANet’s top priorities. Even if this coming change solves any of the problems it intends to, it’s just going to create new problems that will go unaddressed because in the end, GW2 is not an WvW-centric game. It is more of an after-thought.

The reason I mentioned Camelot Unchained is because it is only one kind of game. It does one thing and that’s its sole focus. If all you want to do is that one thing, you’re much better off praying for Camelot Unchained to not suck instead of continuing to wish ANet would pull its head out of its ass when it comes to WvW despite their track record proving otherwise.

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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

I’m not overly concerned about how complicated it sounds in design. Does it work effectively, and is it intuitive to use? Those are the measures for the average player.

I’ve spent more time in GW2’s WvW than I have in the “regular” game, but if you look at my ranking I’d probably get accused of being a filthy casual by the more successful zerg guilds. The biggest barrier to fun for me in WvW is when zergs won’t accept requests to join because of voice chat requirements — I loathe the inane chatter of WvW zergs. Some raid guilds are good at not being crazy, but others are gibberingly offensive and it bugs me that they dominate the same servers that I am on. If there’s some way to shake up the dominance of the Guild-to-Server equation, I’m all for it.

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Bruno Brito

Honestly, this update sounds a lot like it favors guilds and screws the casual solo wvw-er.

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connor_jones

I hear ya man. On a broader note, I’ve never liked voice chat in mmo’s. It tends to be distracting and immersion-killing, I don’t like wearing headsets for long periods of time, and my hearing isn’t that great to begin with. Whenever I hear someone yacking about real life stuff, significant others, their latest successes in and out of game, the latest star wars movie, politics, etc, it takes me right out of game and into the real world. I know the voice chat war was lost and won a long time ago, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

Yep, right there with you. I love RPing and nothing kills RP faster than voice chat. Also, I can only play regularly at late hours and there’s no way I’m going to be yakking into a headset, waking up my family.

One of the reasons I’ve been enjoying Warframe is that you can group up easily and quickly without the need for voice chat. It’s a real dream for people like myself who are very social (wanting to group with others) but a bit averse to game-talking.

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Dug From The Earth

Current WvW gameplay, in itself, is 100% anti-RP and immersion killing

At least the way that has been adopted by 99% of the people who do WvW.

Players have evolved the gameplay outside of the bounds and controls of what even Anet can manage. All they can do at this point is put people into a giant empty arena and say “Have at it”

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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

WvW is not good for RP, no. But I’ve managed to run with several guilds who do a good job of setting some fun “goals” that mimic narrative activity: themed nights/runs, roles for people that parallel their function in a siege/defense, etc. It’s hit or miss.

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Dug From The Earth

Ive done similar. Its like trying to play a board game in the middle of a pack of ravenous wolves though.

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Schmidt.Capela

Basically, forget about choosing serves. Every two months the game will delete the old servers and take all the WvW Alliances, all WvW-registered guilds, and all individual players that don’t already fall in the above two categories, and semi-randomly spread them across new servers. If you don’t like the server you ended on, you can either wait two months when you will be randomly assigned another server or pay for a transfer.

The largest group size the game will keep together when populating the new servers will be a 500-1000 players WvW guild alliance (they are still deciding the exact size). The game is supposed to prefer putting you with friends, but apart from not dividing WvW-flagged guilds and guild alliances smaller than the 500-1000 players cap, there is no guarantee two players (or guilds) will end together.

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Sayori

You don’t have to join squad or TS to run with the blob.
I do it all the time while being on the guild’s discord….
Stop being oversensitive snowflake that gets offended by everything. I play mostly roaming builds and pick up strugglers, I don’t even try to join squad because I know I’ve nothing to contribute to it. I rather the spot be taken by someone who can give boons.
No shet you will hear “offensive” things on TS. What do you expect when 50 guys gather up?

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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

Stop being oversensitive snowflake that gets offended by everything.

No. Next?

I don’t even try to join squad because I know I’ve nothing to contribute to it.

L2P

No shet you will hear “offensive” things on TS. What do you expect when 50 guys gather up?

I expect better. And so should you.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

You don’t have to join squad or TS to run with the blob.

You don’t have to but if you get a good and nice squad leader on TS it is helpful (you know where fields are going to land, where the zerg will move towards in advance, both short term and long term, etc) and if the team is decent, also more fun.

@Alex on that: not sure how the WvW situation is at the moment, but when I was playing I remember each server having a few commanders that were known to be able and also make for a fun experience. It might be worth tracking them down and only joining them (IF they still exist…)

No shet you will hear “offensive” things on TS. What do you expect when 50 guys gather up?

Depends. If they are randoms, 9 out of 10 times it won’t be great. But I have been in largesquads on TS, both in OW and in WvW, and had a blast. There is some effort involved in building up your circle, knowing which commander to follow etc.

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Bruno Brito

You don’t have to join squad or TS to run with the blob.

You do. If you wanna keep being useful, you NEED to accompany the zerg and work with it. Even by roaming.

I do it all the time while being on the guild’s discord….

So, you do join a voicechat.

Stop being oversensitive snowflake that gets offended by everything.

Stop being a jackass.

I play mostly roaming builds and pick up strugglers, I don’t even try to join squad because I know I’ve nothing to contribute to it.

You DO have something to contribute, with information and pickoffs. If you think that’s not enough or that’s nothing, that’s a L2P on your part.

I rather the spot be taken by someone who can give boons.

Hence why GW2 ZvZ is boring.

No shet you will hear “offensive” things on TS. What do you expect when 50 guys gather up?

I expect way more. I expect people to behave accordingly. So should you. So should everyone.

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Arktouros

I honestly don’t see there being any real changes. People are just going to make GuildA, GuildB, GuildC and pile in 1500 people into an alliance and make that their home server and you’ll end up with the exact same problem as before. Once on their world of choice, after that they’ll go back to repping their normal 100-120 man guild instead. It’ll still end up with the same kinds of coverage issues and problems as before, only now it’ll be much worse.

What they needed to do since the start is have variable scoring. So you have a maximum of lets say 400 people from each server in a map at one time, that’s 1200 people. The scores of ticks and values of captures needs to scale based on that 1200 people. So if ServerA recaptures everything at night when only 200 of the 1200 people could be on, then that’s only worth 16.6% of the normal points for that tick. If 100 more people suddenly join the next tick then that’d be worth 25% etc. This way even if the other two servers don’t show up at all the points gained are only worth 33% of their value which will prevent runaway scoring during low hours.

Devs gotta learn that we, as gamers, are fantastic at ruining our own time. We love politicking, creating anti-competitive alliances, and in general are set about destroying our own competition even if that means we’ll end up with nothing left to compete against. You can’t leave the system like this in place and expect different results. The only way you can handle it is design the system to scale to the population and let things sort themselves out.

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Schmidt.Capela

You can’t pile 1500 players. ANet is still deciding the largest alliance they will allow to remain in one piece, but their current idea is somewhere between 500 and 1000 players; any larger player group should be broken apart and spread across multiple servers.

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Arktouros

My understanding it was 3 guilds, each guild is 500 people. Regardless the result will be the same even if you downscale it.

I also left out the point communities get put together for various reasons. So for example ways back there was a large number of groups who left T1 WvW scene and went down to T3 to instead do GvGs and other smaller skrimishes than the big blob of T1. They had no interest in doing the large blob vs blob warfare that ensues in T1 and ANet ruined blob busting with all their stability nerfs and condi meta support. Smooshing all the people back together is going to end up with pretty negative consequences over all I think but we’ll have to see on that part.

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Dug From The Earth

we, as gamers, are fantastic at ruining our own time. We love politicking, creating anti-competitive alliances, and in general are set about destroying our own competition even if that means we’ll end up with nothing left to compete against.

Its like players are intentionally reversing the concept of “its the journey that matters, not the destination”.

I want to do WvW for the pvp gameplay it should provide, but thanks to so many elements (many of which as you say, are results of things players do) completely bypass that gameplay for the sake of the end result.

Its ironic in itself, since “winning” in WvW means pretty much nothing. You dont get some big shiney power loot reward, you dont get a large sum of cash shop gems. However achieving the win is more drull, more grindy, and much of the time less pvp, than even the worst PvE gameplay.

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Bruno Brito

Sounds overly complicated and overly half-assed, as all things wvw related. Can we just like, chose the faction we wanna play at the start of the season, from three factions, and be done with?

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Schmidt.Capela

Nope, because people have a tendency to flock to a single faction, usually the one that won the previous season.

There are two ways to fix imbalance problems: you either make players actually want to play for the weaker faction, or you take away the ability for players to choose their own faction. ANet is taking the second approach.

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Bruno Brito

Well, that’s what i mean, you reward the weaker faction. You impede people to join said major faction because of overpop, and you make them choose between the two smaller ones, giving some rewards for the weaker.

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Bryan Turner

Looking forward to doing some WvWvW with my new Guild Spud Club; as a matter of fact this is the first time in my 4 years of playing GW2 that I’ve ever considered playing WvWvW.

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Anastasis Kontostergios

This sounds realy complicated but if they can pull it off it would be amazing and it would also put the Guild back in Guild Wars