[GW2] Predetermined Outcomes

I should be about done commenting on GW2 WvW Season One. I have been wondering all weekend why I can’t just give up, but I may be getting there. Like all seven weeks of Season One, my server of Isle of Janthir has no chance of winning this week, but this is the first week we have been up against either of the two servers that have a chance to win NA Silver. It is a ridiculous mismatch; during times when I play, Stormbluff Isle outnumbers us on every map including our borderlands, usually to the point of having the official Outnumbered buff. One night, I went to try a bit of yakslappiong in SBI BL, and there were full groups parked at all the exits from our spawn in case anyone came out to play. It’s not like they have anything better to do in WvW when they already control most of the map.

I think the weight class discussion summarizes the week-to-week matchup problems. You can argue about the fine details, but you know who the top servers are in each league, so you can pick who is going to win most weeks. The first and seventh weeks look potentially interesting, but most of the weeks for most of the servers you can pick out the winners in advance. I had said that in the abstract, but I had not taken the schedule and plotted it out. Merus told us, and folks plotted out Gold, and right now there is a very narrow range at the top of the NA leagues.

NA Gold was predicted for Jade Quarry because Gold has two weeks with AAA/BBB and five with AAB/ABB (where A beats B), and Jade Quarry is the lone A against two Bs for three weeks while the other As each get only one easy week. That should be 15 guaranteed points for JQ, while Blackgate and Sanctum of Rall must fight each other for top slots. So far, Blackgate has won twice, so if they can keep beating SoR, they could still win despite the harder schedule. JQ came in third place in the AAA matchup, so it immediately seems problematic that they could win on points while losing in head-to-head matches. I don’t think Arrow’s impossibility theorem was meant to apply here.

NA Silver has two servers competing for the top, and Fort Aspenwood beat Stormbluff Isle in their first matchup. They will meet again in week 7 and are both expected to win all five weeks in between, so really the only question is whether SBI can rally for that last week. There is some chance of an upset in those five weeks, but it would be a large upset. In this sense, Silver is somewhat more competitive, but that is in the sense of the overall winner. Of the 21 Silver matchups, the outcomes of 10 are effectively predetermined by SBI or FA alone there, just like the lone A is expected to win in each of 5 weeks in Gold. It’s not so much competitive play as waiting for the inevitable to play out. The other match of the week could be interesting, but coming from a server that will definitely be last or next-to-last after being gutted by pre-season transfers, I cannot bring myself to care much which of the other two servers we’re playing will win the week. Checking the schedule, we have FA two of the next three weeks, and Yak’s Bend will win the other week, so there are not a lot of surprises in my future.

I am told that the situation is similar in NA Bronze, but I have not read up on it. Again: 2-3 As, and the bottom tier has been gutted by transfers. The results so far show two servers unbeaten and two with no wins. Again: large weight class differences.

WvW tiers were instituted to prevent these kinds of uncompetitive mismatches. WvW Seasons were instituted because it seemed funny to have servers with constant queues fight servers that have no queues?

: Zubon

And then, for bonus fun, the Living World PvE content was copied into the WvW zones. Because the predestined winners need something to keep them occupied when they cannot find other players to fight?

6 thoughts on “[GW2] Predetermined Outcomes”

  1. I’ve found that despite the brutal match ups, with a good commander WvW still has its fun moments. SOS fought the JQ pain train last week, and despite losing (well first loser anyways), we had a commander one day that had us all coordinated and holding ground against a larger JQ Zerg in open field combat – it’s moments like that that keep me coming back for more.

  2. I agree. I had one of the best WvW sessions ever last night, following a gung-ho, never-quit kind of Commander on guerrilla raids all over YBBL. SBI owned almost everything on the map when I logged on but after a couple of hours of racing hither and yon, pulling the SBI zerg North, South, every which-way then porting back leaving them with no-one to fight, or holding them in long pitched battles while guild groups ninjaed our keeps back on the other side of the map we eventually got almost everything a nice red color again.

    Of course then SBI just brought in another zerg or three from the seemingly infinite zerg-pot they can boil up whenever they fancy and we lost it all again, but it was fantastically entertaining while it lasted.

    I’d also comment that in the fights so far this week, IoJ have clearly been much better/more skilled PvPers than SBI. I’m certain that IoJ could rip holes in the SBI zergs, but the problem is for every SBI you kill, two more seem to take his place. I’ll be happy to see the back of them. It reminds me of fighting Kaineng in their pomp and that was never much fun.

  3. There’s some talk over on my server about how the achievements associated with Season 1 are enticing some seriously meta, maybe even “selfish”, gaming. Like no one bothering to watch the keeps because the only reward you get is for capturing them. Or zergs veering off from the commander to cap a nearby sentry point. Or people repairing walls that are inevitably going down, or about to be upgraded, because they need the repair credit. Or people dropping more siege than a gate/wall calls for because they need some time on the ram for the achievement.

    Anet is rewarding people for playing dumb.

    1. Repairing walls even while they are being trebbed, staying on Sentries or Camps for the cap when there’s a Map Call on and both dropping personal siege and jumping on Commander siege and refusing to get off, all happening on YB. Much yelling and even naming and shaming in Team ensues, to little discernible effect.

      The achievements are very badly thought-through.

  4. newbie wvwer here from Ehmry Bay server aka the eternal seconds :)
    just stumped in this amazing blog and don’t want to miss the chance to express and confront some ideas buzzing in my head for a while about the problems in wvw you have so clearly exposed.
    the core of the ideas is simple and in the direction of more PvE inside WvW: leverage the dynamics event system to rebalance wvw when the matchup came to a point where the outcome is clear.
    put something like when score differences is X between A and the others things start change throwing different dynamics events in the different maps that if succesfully completed can completely flip the deck:
    – in Bs’ borderlands more NPCs defending structures or no chance for A to win NPCs support.
    – in As’ borderland or EB Bs got more ways to get the support of NPCs commanders if they succeed in capuring this camp & that tower.
    – options for the Bs that succeed in win the support of NPCs through more complex events to band with them and form a mixed zerg of PCs&NPCs.
    – Bs got some new buildable things like maybe buildable (and destructible) waypoint

    …endless possibilities with infinite aspects to unravel.
    anyhow, this way the downward spiral for the unfortunate server can be addressed:
    – strict balancing of wvw matchups while those are ongoing, making the outcome less predictable (and more challenging for As/less frustrating for Bs)
    – more allure for PvErs to make them jump in WvW
    it will bring also more tactical and strategical differences on the battlelfield diversifying the game

    ps: i apologize for my bad english and thank you guys for this wonderfull blog, keep it rolling!!! :D

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