[GW2] WuvWuv Combat

I came back from vacation just in time for a rise and shiny blog post from ArenaNet discussing the particulars of their World vs. World vs. World system (a.k.a. WvW pronounced WuvWuv [says my cold-addled brain]) in Guild Wars 2. To recap: three servers are pitted against each other to fight over objectives on 3 Borderlands maps spoked out from a central Eternal Battlegrounds map. Points accumulate for your server to create server-wide bonuses. Every two-weeks servers are re-ranked and pitted against servers of like rank. So yes, all the RP servers will have the chance to /emote battle since they will all be ranked together. The whole article is great, and really in-depth. It is a must read for any RvR, or the like, fan.

There are a few interesting points. The first is that the WvW holds some “absolutely gigantic” maps capable of holding over 300 players each. It appears that over 400 players can fight for their same server at a time, which gives a hint to possible server sizes. Between all the ways to play in Guild Wars 2, such as PvE, PvP, and WvW, it will be interesting to see what a “healthy” server size will be.

Second, I am not as familiar with Dark Age of Camelot, but so many problems from Warhammer Online seemed to have been taken in to account for Guild Wars 2 WvW. One of the things I hated in Warhammer Online was the Ouroboros effect where it was better for the groups of players (the snake heads) to keep attacking the tail of the other group. It was much better to take objectives than to fight unless the objective was a big one, which meant that one snake took all the objectives.

WvW appears not to have any “gating” of objectives, but it also has the Orbs of Power, which are one of the bigger objectives in the Borderlands maps. I am hoping that the fact that the “prize” is always in danger make it so a snake will not have to weave it’s way through the Borderlands in cyclical fashion until it builds enough momentum to leap for the map win. Of course, simply having three opposing teams ensures that streamlined snakes are going to be the minority.

The other thing I really like is supply, which is the WvW resource. The resource is gained from supply camps, where players can pick up supply or an NPC dolyak train is sent out to allied keeps and towers. Supply is used to fortify the big objectives and also siege the big objectives. This is great compared to the smaller objectives in Warhammer Online because it will actually matter during the quiet hours if a small band of players can control the supply camps. If supply can be accumulated at major supply depots during off-times then the server with a lot of supply coming in during prime time will be in a better defensive and offensive position.

The supply mechanic also means that a determined server can bleed out a well-defended keep. If the supply trains stop coming to help fortifications, but supply is added to the attacking force to build more siege engines the keep will fall. It appears that skirmishes on secondary objectives will be critical while the siege continues. I like, at least on paper, this “soft” gating as compared to Warhammer Online‘s hard gating using minor objectives.

Another interesting objective is gaining NPC allies. Mike Ferguson gives the example of fighting off harpies assaulting an ogre camp to gain the ogres as allies. The mercenary ogres will then send out NPCs to attack enemy objectives as well as patrol the area for enemies. This mechanic is a lot harder to envision on paper because there are many more unknowns. Are the mercenary NPCs going to be mere speedbumps to enemy servers, or is it really going to add to the turning of the tides where enemy servers really take notice if a mercenary camp becomes allied? I think it could be neat, and it appears it is again more activity for smaller groups of people.

I feel as if ArenaNet took time to ensure a battleground with constant activity. Three opposing servers is going to really ensure there is no two-week absolute beatdown by one well-organized server. Yet, it seems that a smart, embattled server could do many things to cripple a winning server. Hopefully this leads to a system where if a small band gets together they can do something. Sometimes it feels good to just harry and harass the winner.

Finally, siege golems are objectively cooler than any battering ram.

our hubris was our downfall

29 thoughts on “[GW2] WuvWuv Combat”

  1. “Points accumulate for your server to create server-wide bonuses.”

    Ugh. Here’s hoping that’s actually just bonuses for your Borderland and not actually server-wide bonuses. Having those participating in the PvP game affecting those in the PvE game in any way is NOT a good thing. Hell, that can be seen in GW1 with the shifting border between the Luxon & Kurzick territories (which only has negative PvE effects) thanks to the PvP Alliance Battles…

    1. What kinds of bonuses are you referring to that would be negative for PvE? We will have to wait on info from ANet to know what the details on that actually are, but if it is something like character buffs I don’t see it being a negative for the server as a whole.

      1. If there are only bonuses, and they are server-wide rather than just being in the server’s Borderland, then it is a negative for the servers that *don’t* get them.

        But, positive or negative, it is NOT good to have PvP affect the PvE world in any way.

        1. That’s like saying it is a negative for players that choose not to say fill hearts and get access to the renown person’s offerings. Games don’t work by everything unaccomplished being a negative.

          Anyway, we need to know more about the bonuses, but I disagree that PvP affecting PvE in any way is a bad thing. I think that a good reward system can build a sort of server pride for the local WvW team.

          1. I see an example of pvp affecting pve in GW:Factions’ Kurzick-Luxon line, it doesn’t put a lot of stress on pvp-ers and it still connects them a bit, but considering WvW i believe that what they mean with Server-wide bonuses only refers to “server” as the players currently playing for your server in the WvW map, not the PvE server in general.

            1. luxon vs kurzick in the first 6’ish months after faction release was partly crazy I’d say

          2. I had to jump in with a view of how people benefit in PvE from those fighting in WvW. I think this is a good comparison. (Factions had the implementation of splitting the playerbase a little).

            So, think of the servers as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Each of these cities field a team ( Cubs, Mets, Dodgers) and they battle it out in WvW. When the Cubs do well, the city of chiago gets some perks!! YEA!! Our team is winning, we get discounts of beer at the Cubby bear or maybe we get more sun in winter lol. Just that there is something that everyone in Chicago can benefit from. But the good thing is that, anyone in Chicago can jump on the Cubs team to play in WvW. I do not see a down side at all, except for the players that feel entitled to the benefits and should not benefit those that did not help or play in WvW. But that does and can build realm pride, to where it could attract a good % of a server to at least try to help out in the ‘war’ effort. Hope this makes sense.

        2. I also disagree entirely that PvP having an impact on the PvE world is a bad thing. I think it’s terrific that they interact in this way. I think it would also be fun if progress in certain PvE DEs influenced the mists as well. Why not?

          Sure, when other player’s success or failure influences your gameplay it can be frustrating – though it was popular enough in DAOC. But this is a pretty soft implementation of it. I just don’t understand what your problem with this system is, other than being nervous you’ll be stuck on a poorly performing server and will miss out on the bonuses…

          We’ll appreciate these bonuses that much more because they’re special – because we know having they means our server is winning in the mists, or because we went there ourselves to help earn them. Seems good to me.

        3. “But, positive or negative, it is NOT good to have PvP affect the PvE world in any way.”

          WoW has created an entitlement culture in gamers these days and its sad. This mechanic of success on end of the gameplay spectrum offering benefits to the other has been used before successfully and helps draw a server together as a whole community. Even in WoW wasn’t there a server-wide announcement when Annyxia was killed or something and a buff? Was this rage-quit worthy for non-raiders? No its something worth cheering for.

          1. If server A always wins and has bonuses everybody moves to server A thus making server A win even more.

            That is the problem I see.

            1. Well there is that! At least Anet is rotating the servers so that your server isn’t always fighting the same other servers so it won’t nearly be as bad as fixed faction v faction games that do see totally lopsided wins vs losses.

            2. Actually even further on this point, according to the blog post each server gets a rating based on its performance so that servers can be more evenly matched.

          2. Funny you should mention WoW; the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, when the game was at its peak, introduced an in-world battleground that fired every few hours and gave the winners’ faction a continent-wide experience boost and PvP reward tokens when that faction cleared PvE dungeons on the same continent.

            The Mists sound honestly pretty similar, particularly in encouraging players to attack smaller, more spread-out targets to influence the more exciting keep siege. (It also sounds similar to Alterac Valley, a flawed take on the same concept.)

    2. Any announcement as to the size of the bonuses?

      In Lotro, controlling artifacts in PvMP gives people in PvE something like a +3% bonus to health, and makes repairs on armour cost less.

      Marginal benefits, but still a little something for the effort. One assumes GW2 bonuses will be along the same lines.

  2. I just hope they’re prepared to resolve any issues involved with large que times and hot joinables if people leave the match.

    1. People are meant to be entering and leaving these games over the course of the two-week games. If they feel confident right now about how well it’s working, I would assume that much has been handled.

  3. Very insightful point about the supply system allowing sieges to wear down defenders, Ravious – I hadn’t realized how clever that aspect of the system was before now.

    On some level, I’m disappointed there aren’t at least a couple different resources – like lumber and stone – to play up the RTS aspect of the battle. But I understand why that would probably become unwieldy.

    My only other concerns are how the server-wide bonuses will work, and how important NPCs will be. The former because I was really hoping for a DAOC style capture-this-location for server buffs mechanic, and the latter because I’m nervous about possible exploitation of NPCs.

    Both concerns just require more information, really,

    My favorite new piece of info was definitely the bit about recruiting NPC allies. I think this is just crazy smart design, and will add a ton of flavor to battles.

    1. ditto this whole post! Didn’t see how clever the supply resource control thing was until you explained it Ravious. Also the guild claiming mechanic is huge – hopefully we’ll have guild banners flying from keeps and towers, guards in guild colors like in DAOC.

      1. Agreed about guild claims! I love that guilds can only control one keep or tower at a time – I think this is a very elegant way to make guilds think carefully about what they want to claim and why.

        Also it will prevent Goonswarm/squad from controlling every goddamn keep on whichever servers they roll on… :)

        1. If you think “one keep per guild” will prevent Goons from controlling whatever server they select, you are very naive my friend. If there are 10 worthwhile keeps, Goons will have 10 guilds to control them.

          1. That the part i am curious to see, since you can be in more than one guild at a time, me and my 4 friend could claim 5 tower ? does the bonus vary depending on the strengh of the guild ?

          2. Ah yeah, that’s a good point SynCaine. I momentarily forgot the Goons need to roll as an alliance due to numbers, anyway…

            I’ll be curious to see how often/quickly the two servers up against the Goons figure it out and ally up. Also if the combined forces of two servers will be enough to combat a tightly organized group of that size.

            It’ll be fun to see the 3-way PvP model tested in a modern setting; whether it’s really as good as we all think it is… :)

    2. The main reason I think they went with “supply” rather then gold and lumber like people normally see, is so that you have to control more area before being able to cripple a defendnig force. If you split up the supply to gold and lumber and you need both a small group could then focuse on just stopping Lumber.

      This does not mean that the Supply Camps will not take on the theme of a lumber camp or gold mine.

  4. Alliance battles has the “chasing the tail” effect also. It is invariably more profitable to conquer checkpoints – and do it faster than the other team – than to engage in direct combat. Most of the costume brawl maps work similarly.

    In one sense this is good in that it discourages camping, and prevents a team that gets an early advantage from sitting on its butt and winning. In another it is bad because it discourages actual PvP.

    Though in costume brawl it is usually best to get a checkpoint advantage, and then roll the other team using the bonuses provided. If they can work this into WvW, then that would be great. Doubly so if they can make it so that a few players whose strategic thinking doesn’t extend beyond “CHARGE!” won’t cripple an entire team.

  5. I’m more worried about what happens when you have 27 players all with the same profession abusing a certain skill. Mesmers using multiple Portals to create a mass transit system, Guardians casting Sanctuary in shifts to maintain an invincible beach head, etc.

    1. For one, teleports and shadow steps (and siege attacks) would get by a Sanctuary wall pretty easily. (In addition, you would have a group of several hundred people, or 6 times however many you need for the wall, waiting on their elite skill to recharge.)

      The mesmer portal thing has been mentioned, but it would be much more efficient for a group of mesmers to be actually in the fight. And besides that, any marauding group of enemy players could come along and take one of them out in a snap, and instantly your transit system is broken and all umpteen mesmers maintaining it are in terrible positioning.

    2. The nice thing about GW2 is that there are no factions, so no restrictions on what anyone can roll. So if 27 Mesmers on team A create this great transit system, there is nothing stopping teams B and C from getting their own mesmers and doing the same thing. So there is no balance issue in terms of A vs B vs C.

      If ANet deems the portal transit system too powerful then they’ll nerf it and all 3 sides of the battle will feel it equally.

  6. I am afraid of 2 things happening.

    In first scenario after a few weeks when win/lose ratio is established people will server jump from losing server, thus the situation where every server has a potential to win will be lost becase everybody will avoid that server.

    In second scenario having 3 teams comes out as a bad idea once the team in second place starts supporting team in first place by attacking those who are last. Or 1st and 3rd attacking 2nd. In this scenario 1st wants to stay on top while 3rd wants to climb up the ladder.

    I think server pride would be very hard to establish since it is so easy (allegedly) to hop from server to server. Who is proud of the server victory? Those who actualy participated? Those who only PvE in any case? Those that fought against this server but after losing jumped on that server? Those who jumped on this server because of the vicotry bonus?

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