Updated Mon, Aug 22, 2011 by Sardu
Gamescom 2010 marked the official unveiling of Guild Wars 2 to the public. Over the course of the past year, we've learned about seven of the game's eight playable professions, details on the five playable races, and spent some hands-on time with underwater combat, dynamic events, and much more. This year for gamescom 2011,, ArenaNet rolled out an entire treasure chest worth of gameplay details, and the crowning jewel of the bunch is the first look at structured PvP.
We had the chance to sit down with ArenaNet Lead Designer Eric Flannum to discuss PvP in Guild Wars 2. We discussed everything from the major departure from guild vs. guild matches, to reward systems, and everything in-between in the following interview. So grab a frosty beverage, sit back, and enjoy!
Ten Ton Hammer: In the first Guild Wars campaign, you introduced players to PvP in a very clever way early on as part of the transition from pre-sear Ascalon. How will players first be introduced to PvP in Guild Wars 2?
Eric Flannum, Lead Designer: There’s a gentle introduction. It’s not exactly the same way, like it’s not integrated with the PvE exactly. What we have is a map that’s the PvP home map.
What we do in GW1 now is we have the Zaishen Isles that is basically a little tutorial area, and there are some target dummies and when you hit them it will tell you what kind of DPS you do. And there’s a guy who runs around an area and he challenges you to beat him in running a lap around the area and that sort of thing.
So what we’re going to have is a bunch of little training things that you can do, kind of like tutorials. So we kind of do want to gradually introduce PvP, but we don’t want to integrate it with the PvE.
Ten Ton Hammer: How extensive will the differences be between the PvE and PvP versions of skills? For example, if I have a great build I use in PvE, will I need to make any kind of major adjustments to keep it viable in structured PvP?
Eric: It’s probably possible to do that. We want to try to keep the skills as close as possible. So what we don’t want to do is like, this skill shoots a fireball and sets a guy on fire in PvE, and then this skill is like an AoE targeted lava pool in PvP.
But we do have the ability to balance everything separately for PvE and PvP. So what we do want to do is try to keep them so that they start with a place where they’re the same, and then if they need to veer off a little bit from each other then we can do that. By and large we don’t want to force people that want to jump back and forth between the two to have to totally learn a different game.
Ten Ton Hammer: Will there be a system similar to GW1 that allows players to observe ranked matches?
Eric: There definitely will be. Whether that will be in at launch, we’re still not sure. We definitely want one, and right now we’re looking into how feasible it is to get one in for launch or not.
Ten Ton Hammer: In those plans then, will there be any kind of system that allow players to save, share, or automatically flag matches played by their guild members or friends list for quick reference?
Eric: So kind of like a replay system? Yeah, we totally want to do something like that too. I mean, we want the game to support competitive play as much as we can and I think you need observation, I think you need replays in order to do that. If you’re a competitive player you need to be able to look at it and dissect what you did. So we’re going to look at the feasibility of doing that. Again, it might be a feature we go to after launch.
Ten Ton Hammer: Will your PvP successes factor into your personal story in any way?
Eric: No, PvP is really separate from PvE. The most overlap we’re going to have in our PvP is World vs. World PvP which we’re not really showing yet. But in World vs. World you’re the same exact character, so you can go into World vs. World and find a cool item, and when you come back to PvE you’ve still got the cool item because you’re the exact same guy.
You can go into World vs. World and gain three levels and then go back into PvE and you’re three levels higher, and that sort of thing. So we’ve tried to keep PvP and PvE separate as far as the two affecting each other.