[GW2] PvP Unveiled

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.


19 thoughts on “[GW2] PvP Unveiled”

  1. IMO one gametype will hurt the competitive side as usually (and i mark usually) competitive gametypes in other MMOS are plain Team Deathmatch. I do not see the problem with that game type. Its action packed and its very coordinated, whereas capping points can be a very “headless chicken”-type gamemode where everyone runs around and has boring-to-watch 1v1’s on random occassions.
    Just my 0.02$

  2. an e-sport? Please tell me ArenaNet isnt throwing money into that black hole…the big leagues? ugg..if your take on this is true it would be GW2 first miss-step. GW2 needs to pick up wows MMORPG subscriber base not troll the internet cafes for 14yo koreans in trying to compete with diablo/starcrat/lol

    1. I think you’re wrong, A-net never strived to “steal” WoWs audience forever. They’ve openly said GW2 is a side dish to whatever you’re playing right now. Also, while that “MMORPG subscriber base” is big, I can see a lot of people quitting the game in a long run, while people who do e-sport usually stay with the game for their whole e-sport career.

  3. What do people who played GW1 competitively think?

    To me it rather looks like a battleground or alliance battle and while I personally quite like this it seems to be more a casual mass gangbang than the rather sophisticated Guild vs Guild of GW1. I think it is going to be very popular with the masses, but for the most dedicated pvp players I think it is rather a step back.

    I personally got rather the impression GW2 PvP takes a backseat behind PvE design this time.

  4. They look like a ton of fun. But what point is there to taking part in these? I like that your PvE skills don’t affect how strong your PvP toon is, but still like some sort of carrot to PvP (aside from qualifying for higher levels of competetive play). Does your PvP toon level up or improve in some way? Is there a coin/token/title reward that I can apply to my PvE toon? I assume W v W v W is where you use your PvE toon, and gain rewards of some sort. But those scenario-type PvP matches are great guild activities – just wondering, character progression being key to enjoying MMOs, ‘whats in it for me’.

    1. Fun, I guess?
      The thrill of a battle, I guess?
      You’ll either like structured PvP or not and never touch it again, that’s how I see it.
      Structured PvP is totally separate from the PvE side of the game. Like you noted yourself, it’s WvWvW which adds a little PvP flavour to your daily PvEs ;)

    2. “What is in it for you” is to realised having a fair and even ground is crucial for the competitive scene to grow.

      Character progression will take the form of refining your own skill in pvp, without aid of better gear.

      That, or stay in the pve habitat.

    3. first of all there are no pvp characters. you always play your pve character, the gear gets normalized and all skills get unlocked, when inside a competitive pvp format. in WvWvW you stay whatever lvl you are, and use whatever armor and skills you actually own.

      whats the reward? in WvWvW you can gain experience and will have ways to gear your character. so you could choose to progress a character only in WvWvW. secondly, competitive pvp will probably feature its own reward system (much like balthasar points in gw1, although i expect a lot more tradeoff). titles and pvp emotes could of course return from gw1, nothing confirmed there though.

      the high end pvp rewards will probably focus around prestige and exclusivity. they talked about monthly and yearly tournaments, winners of those will probably gain an exclusive reward. in gw1 the monthly tournament winning guild got a permanent gold trim around their cloak, i would guess big successes could “upgrade” your guild emblem again.

      not much released on those subjects, but fear not, i think its safe to say we shall have our carrots!

  5. Hey all, in case you didn’t read it yet, here is an update from Regina, found on guildwars2guru.com

    Originally Posted by Regina Buenaobra
    Just to clarify: Conquest is not the only PvP game type. We have other formats that we are not ready to talk about, so for gamescom we are focusing our information releases on formats that we are ready to talk about. We’ll talk more about other PvP game types in the future. :)

    Secondly, as I mentioned in another thread and on our social networks, the World vs. World format is still in the game. Again, for this set of information releases at gamescom/PAX, we’re focusing on stuff we’re ready to talk about in public. We’ll have more about that in the future when we’re ready to share more information about it. :)

  6. had the pleasure of playing the game for quite a few games today. having played gw1 at the highest level all the way from alpha to a bit after the second world championship – it was fun but lots of adjusting needed. Sure, there were a couple of familiar skills (think hamstring, signets, pin down…) but way more keys and skills overall (f.e. b for evade roll or f1 for frenzy on the warrior).

    It was also very strange to see huge numbers flying around (starting heath was 20k~ with skills doing up to 2k+) but i guess this also falls under the category of adjusting.

    In the end i missed something, cant nail it yet although its brilliance shone through in the last couple of matches of the day when i randomly met some ppl from gw1 alpha/leipzip worldchampionship 2 in the same team and we tried to coordinate and play as a team – good times!

    1. I’m always slightly concerned about “big numbers”. Only the first two or so digits are significant; the rest are just noise. So why bother with them?

      Yes, a lot of people like “big numbers”, but at some point they just add text that must be rendered, read and parsed without adding any information.

      1. Larger numbers allow for more precise tweaks to damage amounts, resulting in easier balancing.

  7. The trailer looks quite spiffy. Maybe we’re closer to release than we think. Maybe. Waiting to see more from Gamescom.

  8. Oh a couple of things that I almost forgot. One could change weapon set on the fly ingame, resulting in different skills (#1-4 and maybe ultimate). Although it seemed that after attacking a bit you received a cooldown on the switch (couldn’t figure it out for sure).

    Oh and finishing moves! Whenever u died/killed someone the victim could still used a limited amount of skills, dealing minor damage or being able to influence the fight around. To prevent that, the downed player had to be finished (no fancy animation yet).

    the different races, according to a dev, did not influence your stats in any way, so i guess we will be seeing lots of norns. The same dev could not answer my question about hit boxes.

    and elementalist is broken/op/bugged in this version, dual ultimate at the same time ftw ;)

    ps: in pvp you will have access to all skills from day one, i can still remember the grind to get all the superior runes/almost all elite skills prior to the “unlock through pvp” move. Thats pretty major and important, atleast for me

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