Updated Tue, Sep 06, 2011 by Sardu
With the reveal of the structured PvP system in Guild Wars 2 last month, we’ve entered a new phase of anticipation for the game’s release. While ArenaNet has remained tight lipped about dates for a public beta and launch window for Guild Wars 2, hardcore fans have already begun deep discussions on team strategy, builds, skill rotations and more.
As a longtime franchise fan, it’s interesting to witness history repeating itself in that regard. Prior to the series of beta weekend events proceeding the release of Guild Wars: Prophecies, a similar period of intense theorycrafting by hardcore fans occurred, coupled with a massive groundswell of competitive-minded gamers who began to stand up and take far more notice of the game.
We now have a much more solid grasp on key components of competitive gameplay in Guild Wars 2, at least when it comes to structured PvP. In my initial impressions piece I took a look at the Battle of Kyhlo map being showcased at gamescom and PAX Prime, but also wrote a much more detailed look at competitive play for the necromancer on NecroBator.com.
Even though that site is obviously geared towards the necro community for Guild Wars 2, I thoroughly encourage fans of competitive play to check my extended look at PvP out, as I dig a bit further into the details of map strategy, and some of the foundational skills that players will want to learn before diving headlong into structured PvP. While certain core components of the necro profession, such as Death Shroud or the elite skill Lich Form may not pertain to fans of the other 6 currently known professions, many of the tips provided still translate, such as the importance of weapon swaps, active dodging, and a foundational knowledge of your chosen profession’s unique combat mechanics.
In the midst of all the new information on structured PvP in Guild Wars 2, I was also eager to learn more about how that system compares to world PvP. Randy Price, Senior VP of Global Business at ArenaNet was awesome enough to answer many of my questions on how the two systems differ during our discussions at PAX. In the following interview, Randy sheds some light on player advancement in World v. World, match balancing in PvP, and much more.
Ten Ton Hammer: You’ve done a great job of introducing fans to structured PvP in Guild Wars 2 this month. For casual players, do you anticipate that they will have an easy transition between hot join matches, and the more competitive tournament play?
Randy Price: There are a few things here. One of those is that even in the hot-joinable PvP we’re going to be keeping track of how you’re doing and we’re going to be able to match you up with players to be able to make sure matches are level. So no matter what you’re doing in that competitive environment you’re not going to be stomping time after time after time, or getting stomped so you won’t be a discouraged newbie player.
When you get into the tournaments, you can go as high level and competitive as you want. That’s where it’s going to be the passionate people vying for the top rankings and you’ll end up having these tournaments over time, and you’ll be able to do them with your consistent team where guild mates get together and play in these tournaments together.
So you’re going to be able to go as intense as you want, but we really did want to make our competitive PvP be able to have a system where anybody is able to join in and casually get into it and not feel like everything is wholly dependent upon individual performance. If I fail or fall out of it and feel like I’ve ruined it for everybody; that’s the whole nature of having it hot-joinable where the next player is able to jump right in, or at the end of the match, recalibrate and make things equalized.
Ten Ton Hammer: Do you expect that more details on guilds and character association will be revealed once you begin talking more in depth about World vs. World PvP?
Randy: Well, for now I can give you some descriptions of how World vs. World works, but we’re going to be releasing tons of new information as we go along on how those things link up.
In the competitive environment that we were just talking about, everybody is on a level playing field. Everybody is max level and you’re going to be able to choose your gear, skills, profession, and race, and you’re going to be able to play on an equal playing field with everybody else.
In World v. World you take your exact character into it. If you’re level 1, you can take that level 1 into it where your server or shard is going up against two other shards over two week long battles. So if you’re a level 80 character, a level 60 character, whatever level it is, you’re taking yourself in there and you’re going to gain experience from your time playing there. So you’re going to be able to level all the way up in World v. World if you want. You’re going to get loot and rewards and be able to take down other players, and we have it set up so that you’ll take loot as if you’ve been out in the persistent PvE world and be able to take that gear back with you to that PvE environment.
One other side to it is that this is going on in a very large – think of it almost like an RTS map - where over the two week event period you’re going to have castle sieges pop up, you’re going to have supply lines that you’re going to need to help defend. There will be places where you’re going to be able to enlist mercenaries to try to help you out, and all of these different battles are going on in real time, orchestrated over this period of two weeks.
Everybody on your shard has to be paying attention to this. The good news and the reason we do it as your shard vs. two other shards is so that nothing can get completely out of whack. It isn’t going to be a case where you’re like, that shard has everything dominated and there’s no hope for us. Instead, if that happens you can have two shards gang up on the one to help even things back out. I think that’s a very important and strategic side to this.