EDIT: Thanks to Mr Crackers for clarification, but it appears that conquest is not the only PvP game type.. I guess even including WvWvW.
Holy NCSoft information crush coming from Germany this morning. Carbine Studios shows off their shiny new MMO with a funny trailer. Seems like an MMO worth watching with gameplay a tad more action than the vanilla norm (“don’t stand in the poop” red circles) and a theme that shares creative space with Firefly or Borderlands with more magic. More on that later. ArenaNet also joins in on the crush with a brand new Guild Wars 2 trailer with a fantastic, artistic opening. This is on top of everything else coming out of gamescom. I don’t have the mental fortitude to digest all of this so I will focus on one small offering. Guild Wars 2 PvP.
I was joking a bit the other day when I sent a meta-joke ArenaNet’s way regarding the sparse info on PvP for the new convention demo build. I figured some article was coming that would further explain the PvP we would be seeing. Usually ArenaNet clues readers in to these forthcoming offerings. Regardless, ArenaNet gives us not one, but two, PvP articles related to the PvP demo that fans can play at gamescom and PAX.
The first is the main website’s PvP overview. Unlike the original Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2 will have one game type which all levels of expertise will play. “Conquest” is reminiscent of Guild Wars Alliance Battles (or Team Fortress King of the Hill maps) where players gain team points by controlling capture points and killing enemies. The twist is that secondary objectives are more prevalent and change the gameplay on each map. Players can either hot join a random game, which auto-balances the teams, or create a team to join in tournaments ranging from pick-up to monthly to even player-run.
I think this simplification is critical for the success of Guild Wars 2 as an e-sport. In many of the popular league games, everybody, from the leet to the nubs, plays the same thing. In League of Legends the gameplay doesn’t change if I want to play on a random team against bots or if I want to play a rated match with my veteran team. The same goes for Counterstrike, Starcraft 2, and so on. This was also possibly the fatal flaw in why the original Guild Wars never really hit the big leagues outside of an ArenaNet sponsored tournament. A lot of fans will likely be disappointed by the one game type, but I see ArenaNet looking far ahead. Plus there is always the possibility of occasional other game types popping up like Guild Wars Halloween Costume Brawl.
The challenge that ArenaNet will face is using the secondary objectives in a manner that will keep each map fresh. With one game play type they can’t rely on different primary objectives, like a payload or assault, keeping things interesting. It will also be interesting to see how they handle the balance between simple secondary objectives, preferred by the high-end PvP players, versus the crazy secondary objectives that provide a ton of chaos and fun to the battlefield. I feel like ArenaNet should initially design each map to be tournament worthy.
Jonathan Sharp details in an ArenaNet blog post about the conquest map that lucky con-goers will be playing. The map, the Battle of Kyhlo, finds roots in Guild Wars lore where an Orrian guild sieged the Ascalon fortress of Kyhlo. Given that Guild Wars 2 PvP is supposed to occur in the Mists, it is unclear whether the Mists have created a pocket realm from the momentous battle, or whether players are actually battling at Kyhlo.
The secondary objective in the Battle of Kyhlo are the trebuchets each team controls. The trebuchet can be aimed to attack each capture point and has wide range across the map, but it must be defended and if necessary rebuilt as it can be destroyed by the enemy team. The entire map is filled with destructible environmental objects ranging from barrels that can be destroyed by player weapon skills or buildings that can only be destroyed by trebuchet hits. The destruction can open up new pathways and clear choke points.
Then Sharp graciously helps demo players by giving them tips for playing the various professions in the Battle of Kyhlo. I expect a lot of player commentary on this piece of the Guild Wars 2 demo as the impressions filter through the internet. Regardless it is nice to finally see the direction that ArenaNet is taking PvP.