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.
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.
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
appeal to competitive gamers of all stripes, such as hardcore FPS
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.