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Hands-On with PvP in Guild Wars 2

Updated Mon, Aug 29, 2011 by Sardu

When it was announced that the newest event demo build for Guild Wars 2 would feature the first public look at structured PvP, I knew it was going to be a defining moment in the development cycle of the game. The Battle of Kyhlo map being featured at gamescom and PAX Prime represents one of the last major pieces of the gameplay puzzle for GW2, and I made it a personal mission this weekend to get some hands-on time with PvP to see how the Conquest game type is shaping up.

guild wars 2

I had a golden opportunity to do exactly that last night during a trip to the ArenaNet offices where the developer hosted a party for its fans. For those fans lucky enough to attend, it gave them a chance to spend some time talking and gaming with the GW2 team in a much more relaxed setting than the show floor could ever provide.

Since I wasn’t able to attend the open house at ArenaNet’s new offices earlier in the summer, Randall Price was awesome enough to give me a personal tour of the new space. As an audio nerd it was a definite highlight to see the on-site spaces used by the audio team, and I also learned that the announcer in the newly unveiled Battle of Kyhlo map is none other than Jon St. John, known by many as the voice of Duke Nukem.

Eventually we made our way to one of the game testing spaces where ArenaNet had set up 10 systems for fans to participate in some PvP, and I jumped at the chance to play through as many matches as I was able. Over the course of the evening I played in a good dozen matches, and walked away with a good handle on how the Conquest game type is shaping up. Given my background with the necromancer profession, it was also a great opportunity to get a feel for just how badass the necro is in PvP.

guild wars 2

In terms of build, I decided to change things up for each match since our demo characters had access to all available skills and weapon sets for their profession. Likewise, the overall tactics employed by the teams I played on or against as the night progressed also changed up a fair amount for each match. In some, the trebuchets factored heavily into combat, while in others they were largely ignored.

Regardless of the specific tactical approach to the map, it was clear from the outset that the pace of combat in PvP is far more active than what you’d expect from an MMO. Matches were rarely one-sided, and I could see exactly why it was said that PvP in GW2 will easily appeal to competitive gamers of all stripes, such as hardcore FPS players.

There has been some debate amongst fans about whether the trebuchets in the Battle of Khylo are over- or underpowered for the map. To be honest I truly believe it really depends on how heavily teams opt to use them, because they can certainly help or hinder your ability to capture and hold each of the three points.

It is time to party in Guild Wars 2 with ArenaNet today as they release their new Living World update “Festival of the Found Winds”.
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