[GW2] Reducing PvP in WvW

Judging decisions based on their foreseeable consequences, I presume the intent of the WvW seasons is to discourage players from fighting each other in WvW. The structure is stacked to reward players for fighting NPCs and creates punitive disincentives for fighting other players.

Of the 19 achievements, you get 2 from killing other players, one of which is set trivially low as a freebie. All the others are more efficiently achieved by avoiding players: play during the off-hours, ninja supply camps, but avoid fights because those will slow you down except for the couple of achievements you are certainly going to get just from the PvP fights you cannot avoid. There are no rewards for defending and 1 for repairing, which again is a one week (or one long night) achievement.

More so, you are trained to avoid other players because of the crushing population differences. When you have the “outnumbered” buff in your own borderlands, you can work out your odds of fighting the enemy head-on. After pre-season transfers, our server has one of the lowest WvW populations in the league, so we are continuously outnumbered even after concentrating our WvW forces on one map. It took less than a week for most of our WvWers to adapt and most of our PvEers to just give up on WvW, further exacerbating the downward spiral in WvW population. They have not given up on WvW entirely, but they should be able to get the meta-achievement around the halfway point of the season, and our Saturday morning “EB zerg” was already 9 players by the time I logged off. On the plus side, the remaining people we have are getting really good at siege placement while the big teams are getting sloppy.

To strengthen my previous whining, if the goal is to turn WvW into PvE, where small teams are trying to fight undefended towers and large teams are just hoping to find the small teams, pitting the #7 team against the #15 team is a great plan. This is also great for gaining WvW ranks and achievements, because you have a constant stream of mostly undefended towers and camps flipping.

As someone who thinks of himself as primarily a PvE player, this should be an unmitigated win for me, but it presently feels more like one part of the game has just been ruined.

: Zubon

Again, the picture will differ where the weight range is smaller.

8 thoughts on “[GW2] Reducing PvP in WvW”

  1. I very much agree on the lack of Defense achievements. My favorite part of WvW has always been keep or tower defense and this past week has seen some absolutely heroic saves, as well as some magnificent failures. I do absolutely believe that fun is its own reward and I was personally entirely happy with the warm glow of pride as YB saved the unsaveable once again, but given that we *have* these achievements there really should be some for defending.

    Mrs Bhagpuss and I played more hours of WvW last week than we’ve played for months. Indeed we both did little else all week. Although the scoreline suggests we had an easy run that wasn’t the in-game experience at all. Both EBay and BP brought large zergs out consistently in the early par of the week and although BP faded a little towards the end, EBay were giving it everything right up to the wire.

    There is very definitely a change of emphasis with the PvE-based achievements, but in this first match I haven’t seen it manifest in the kind of manipulation I was half-expecting. Mostly we’ve just had the same kind of trains running that used to be called Karma, then got re-named WXP and now are Achievement oriented. That’s a practice that’s been around since before last Christmas as I recall.

    The influx of PvE players has been very interesting. Because we were winning, and because we have a number of Commanders who are highly pro-active in encouraging PVE players to try WVW and very good at managing them when they do, the newcomers were a clear asset. Whether they will stick around this week, when we play FA who are thought to be significantly stronger than us, we will have to wait and see.

    I do agree with you that with nine servers in a League there are likely to be some that will be on the end of a drubbing week after week. Is it a significantly worse experience than they would have had under the previous system, though? Or the one before that (which was the worst by far, in my opinion).

    Do you think the whole concept of the Leagues is a mistake, or just the current implementation? Either way, what would improve it?

    Personally I always wanted a League system and I’m happy with this one (although I’m sure it can be improved). I have always thought, however, that a week is far too long for Matches. I’d like shorter matches. Three days would be plenty. Or we could have a Weekend League (Fri-Sun) and a Midweek League (Sun-Thur) running concurrently using separate rankings.

    There seems to be room for a lot more creativity and flexibility in the process to me. Every iteration so far has been too long-winded and prone to stagnation, which doesn’t serve either the stronger or the weaker servers well.

  2. I winced when I heard a few people suggest: “Let them take Stonemist. We will take it back again so that we get our SM achieve.” Purely out of defensive habit.

    But the Achiever part of me snarled at the TFC engineer in me and ultimately I had to agree that I did -dearly- want the SM stuff done and over with before things got serious. So I pretty much shrugged and followed the commander’s lead – comm says defend? We run there and defend. If we are too late in getting there, oh well, there is a -big- silver lining. Comm says no defend? Follow the blue dorito to wherever we’re going next, look forward to the upcoming cap later.

    I also dug into my bank kitty and used up half of it (some 25g) redoing my thief’s build into something more acceptably stealthy and backstabby, so that I could at least roam during the off-hours… looking…not for fights, but for defenseless dolyaks because I’m a dirty PvEr when I go achievement hunting. (225 dolyaks, sheesh.) I am sure I made some SoS and Mag very very mad by stealthing and escaping (once or twice running in desperate circles trying to give someone with a no doubt gimmick condition build the slip) without even trying to hit them once.

    On the bright side, when I went back into WvW mode during less off-peak hours, the same thief did rather nicely in a 2 vs 3 (which was amazing since I tend to play thief like a guardian, with expected unfortunate results) and managed to stay alive on the sidelines of zerg clashes, so the build was indeed rather presentable and functional for my playstyle.

    I dunno. Achievements motivate players to play in some really strange ways, but at least they motivate players to play. If only for a little while.

  3. This ‘season’ thing with its corresponding achievements has been active for a few days now, and outside of checking my Achievements tab every once in awhile, haven\’t seen anything like your trying to presume is happening in WvW.

    Actually what we really need is more PvE enticements for success in WvW. This was a huge part of the success with DAOC RvR, where if you owned a certain percentage of the map components, an entrance into a dungeon was opened up to your faction, immediately closing the entrance to the previous owner faction. This dungeon was a primo farming spot, so what happened in PvP was of interest to EVERYONE!

  4. I do not think either the season mechanic or the achivements are to blame for WvW’s current troubles they just bring a lot of the issues front and center.

    The big issue is that with smaller groups it is near impossible to fight and win against other servers, hold objectives, and do much more than ninja other objectives.

    The prevaling strategy is still to stack as many players on a commander as possible and zerg around the map. Everything from AoE caps, siege cost / placement, small map design, and the rally system really support this play style, and the crippling lag that this causes works in the favor of the larger group, they have more 1 abilities to spam, and more players to soak damage.

    Until ANet makes WvW more about fighting and player skill and makes some serious changes, which does not seem likely, it’s not going to change.

    The general feeling you get from the dev’s right now though is that they generally like the more causual nature of WvW, and the way it is right now.

    I like WvW and I like open world fighting but I realized the way I want to see the game progress is far different than the direction ANet seems to be taking it, and this seems to ring true for a lot of people.

    1. “The general feeling you get from the dev’s right now though is that they generally like the more causual nature of WvW, and the way it is right now.”

      So true. On one hand you have NPCs trying to rally you to the Mist war as if it’s an essential part of the “living world”, and on the other you have devs introducing Gank Island as a lobby for those in queue for WvW.

  5. I’d guess that as long as the devs see massive queues for WvW (and on YB we had the biggest queues I’ve seen for months) they will be confident they are headed in the right direction. If the changes they are making are attracting so many more people to WvW that they need to build a lobby to give those people something to do while they wait, other than the costs involved in building the lobby I’d imagine they’d see that as an unalloyed positive.

    I always supposed the direction of travel for WvW development would be away from direct PvP and toward PvE in a PvP environment because, after all, GW2 already has direct PvP. They haven’t done much so far to counter that supposition.

    (As an aside to the KTR team, you might want to know that something in the “Jetpack” add-on you’re currently using throws up a “potential cross-site scripting” warning in NoScript. It seems to be related to “parsing the background image”, whatever that means).

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