Today was ArenaNet's announcement of the dates for the World versus World Spring Tournament slated to start on March 28th and run through May 30th for Guild Wars 2. The Tournament will pit each of the servers, known as worlds, against each other in a Swiss-style tournament to see who will reign champion of their leagues. More can be read about it at their blog post here.
We had the chance to sit down with Devon Carver, head of the World versus World design team, for a quick discussion about the tournament and the changes they have made since the last season.
Q: What encouraged you guys to change to this Swiss-style setup for the Spring Season?
It was one of the things we learned from season one from players. Having these pre-destined matches didn't really make for a huge upset in rankings. Players made it known on forums and in comments that they didn't feel like every server had a chance to shine. This system will allow for a lot more unique matches and possibly an outcome we aren't expecting.
Q: In your original blog post you mention that you had scaled down achievements for a seven week tournament. Now that the tournament is slated to be nine weeks have you scaled up the achievements at all?
Pretty much all the achievements are easier to achieve than the first season. We dialed back a lot of the numbers because we want to see a large majority of people who play in the tournament to get as many achievements they can. Last time the achievements were kind tuned too difficult.
The idea is that if you're stuck in Edge of the Mists, or if you're in the Borderlands, you can still knock these achievements out by doing what you would normally do. Players won't have to dedicate a non-stop achievement hunting weekend for it. They can focus more on doing what they would ordinarily do and still get credit.
Q: Absolutely love that WvW is getting some love with exclusive weapons. Do you roughly know the stats on these or will they just be skins?
The Mistforge Hero's weapons, which are the more expensive ones, will be exotic and the Hero's weapons will be rare. You will be able to choose what stats you want the weapons to be. Basically the idea is we want to give you a weapon that you feel like 'This is the weapon I totally want to roll with'.
Q: The world transfer changes feels like you guys are completely okay with the fact that guilds and people might shift during the season especially with the ability to transfer your world loyalty in the midst of the tournament. Are you expecting people to shift as stats and final positions become more apparent?
We wanted to give players the ability to change servers without feeling they are unable to participate in those servers. We put considerable hurdles in the way so that if players decide to change during the season it would be a significant investment. We didn't want to take away that freedom to go into WvW if they made that investment to swap over.
However with the system in place that changes world allegiance dependent on how much time you are in that world it isn't like players will be able to swap after seven weeks to Blackgate for the last two weeks and get first place credit.
Q: Will playing in Edge of the Mists count towards that "world loyalty"?
Q: So let's say four weeks pass and players are getting that feel for who is slumping behind and who the top tier servers will be. Don't you feel that at that point some players will be able to "Pay to Win" for those top slots?
Well 'Pay to Win' is a bit of a strong way to put it. Players will be able to swap during the season and there are many reasons why a player would. A player could swap after a few weeks for that reason but it is a big investment as well as having to invest a lot of time into that world to get credit.
Q: I got to ask. What servers would you put your money on to hit top three?
Devon: "Well for this Swiss-style tournament we are expecting a lot closer match-ups that may upset the current favorites for the lead. That being said, for North America I would say Jade Quarry and Blackgate have the cut for first and second, but third place is a bit more of an unknown. Tarnished Coast has the position currently, but this is the type of tournament that will encourage some heavily dedicated play. We could see Sea of Sorrows or anyone else take that spot.
For EU that is much more difficult to say. EU WvW is nothing like North America's in that there is a distinction between two Worlds and then there is everyone else. All the rankings are pretty close and we could see some really close, exciting matches for that top three spot. I really don't know who to bet on.
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