Guild Wars 2 at Gamescom looks great but I’m really worried about the PvP

GW2 has made quite a splash (underwater combat pun, see what I did there) at Gamescom.  There’s a 40 minute video with a lot of gameplay (available at the bottom of this entry) for you to watch.  I just finished the whole thing and wanted to comment on what I saw as well as comment on a few things about GW2 in general that we’ve heard about from Gamescom.

Chris Lye, during the video presentation, clearly mentions the use of instanced play as well as the open “persistent” world.  As long as the instanced play is not even close to GW1’s instanced play, where players essentially sat in lobbies and anywhere they went was instanced, then I won’t worry too much about it.  SWTOR is in the same situation.  How much of SWTOR will be instanced to tell a story?  Both games will hopefully find a balance that works.  Too much and the “world” feel of playing a persistent game with others is gone.  Chris spent the first few minutes saying why GW2 is a “fully persistent MMO” and not just a “Online RPG” like GW1.

Dynamic events really are like public quests.  Mark Jacobs, Mythic at the time, said to me in an interview at E3 2008: PQ’s are something developers are going to copy for many years to come.  He also said that this is what developers do — they copy each other.  It’s true, and it’s not a bad thing.  If something works and adds to a game’s playable value, why ignore it?  I think it’s overzealous to say that GW2’s dynamic events are unique, revolutionary, or even truly dynamic, though.  They are, however, looking much more polished in theory and will probably be the best implementation of the idea yet.

One of the biggest let downs from GW2 is definitely the PvP shown.  A few months ago their PvP talk was all about this World vs. World vs. World combat in a persistent open-world zone where you would gain benefits for your whole world by holding certain key objectives. They say outright that it’s like DAoC.  [Quotes in a blog entry I made.]  At Gamescom this mode is entirely missing.  In fact, WvWvW is not mentioned in the “PvP overview” entry on their main website, either.  The PvP shown is really an Arathi Basin (hold the point) instanced map with 10v10.  There are also more competitive tournament modes for 5v5 like arenas.  You access them by a server-browser-like interface and they really are no different from battlegrounds/arenas.  Huge disappointment if these take priority over the open-world 3 faction persistent battle.

If all I wanted from PvP was instanced arcade-like fights then I would be ecstatic over Hutt Ball in SWTOR. /gag  I think of Guild Wars as a PvP franchise.  It needs to shine in that area;  it needs to innovate in that area.  I cringe when I see small-scale instanced fights that resemble Counterstrike more than they do “fully persistent MMO” PvP.     Hopefully this quote from one of their devs is alluding to the PvP they talked about before.  Without it, my excitement for the game dies 50%.

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. Smiley

Random likes:
– Skill gains by use to unlock more abilities.  Use a gun more to unlock more gun stuff.
– World map looks stylish
– Graphics, animations, ability effects, and races in general all look amazing.  I want to be an Asura thief after watching the video.
– Underwater combat looks really cool.  Probably the most innovative idea I’ve seen showcased for GW2 yet.

Update: This warrants an update.  No where in this entry did I say WvWvW was out of the game.   No where did I express any malcontent towards GW2 or Arenanet.  No where did I make any claims that I have done research into the game so far as to check leak sites to see that WvWvW is in the game (see comments for the map link), so I reserve the right to be ignorant on what is not officially shown.  To some of you I say welcome to a blog, a place where the author makes statements of opinion more often than statements of fact.  I reserve the right to be wrong and I reserve the right to change my mind.  This should go without saying.  Now, I want to make it very clear that the content of this particular blog entry looks upon GW2 favorably.  The frothing hatred that some of you displayed towards me for whatever reason makes me feel sorry for you — my heart goes out to your families.   All I did, and continue to do at the time of this writing, was point out the interesting and quite unfortunate focus on arenas and battlegrounds and express my dislike for those particular forms of PvP in almost all MMO’s all the while wishing that we saw more of a PvP form I like.  I would like to make it clear that I enjoy persistent open-world PvP with dynamic objectives and far-reaching consequences.  I am likely preaching to the choir since the flames are likely coming from those who did not read a word of this entry anyway.

Update #2: Lots of links in the comments (scroll down to the late 50’s and 60’s) to TTH articles updated as of Sunday.  The information there was not available when this original entry went up days ago.  A lot of info alleviates my concern that World pvp is being neglected.  However, I still fear for the overall feel of WvWvW given how detrimental the instanced ‘scenario/arena/battleground’ PvP can be if it is too rewarding.  I hope there are incentives great enough in world pvp to make it the most popular.

  • It is a pvp game and not a pve game and still we only get tiny glimpses of the pvp stuff :/

    But game looks good.

  • @Verus: I thought the same thing. Was I the only one wishing they would have stayed with the dragon and not shown the empty Arath Basin-like church window breaking battleground?

  • Don’t fear! Here’s what the same developer you quoted said about the World vs World PvP just yesterday on the Guru forums:

    “In case people are concerned whether World vs. World is still in the game: yes, it is. We are focusing on other aspects of PvP game types with this set of information releases, which is why Jon’s article doesn’t discuss WvW.”


    So it’s still completely in, they just weren’t ready to talk about it at Gamescom. I agree that it’s the most compelling aspect of their PvP system, too.

  • The original Guild Wars was heavily promoted as a PvP game but when it launched it became much more PvE focused. GW2 looks like it’s going the same way, which suits me as I found the PvP in the original game pretty much impossible.

  • No, no, no – you got it wrong!

    What was shown on Gamescom and detailed in that blog post is not the whole of the pvp, but rather the Steuctured PvP.

    The WvWvW is still in and it even got leaked (there’s a thread on NeoGAF about it with screens of the central zone with 3 keeps and all)

    But you need to give the devs at ANet some air to breath – you’re approaching GW from the perspective of a world pvp fan and all u care is this, but GW 1 had a strong player base gathered around structured competitive pvp that has been neglected for too long in the name of the casual and pve aspects of GW 2 that we almost thought GW2 has nothing to do with competitive pvp any more.

    This update is for us 🙂 so be patient – the open world casual pvp will come afterwards and you’ll get what u wanted. Gamescon with its 40 mi ute sessions and limited workstations running the gamr is not suitable to demonstrate large scale open pvp with participants in the 100ths.

  • @Bhagpuss: Hopefully the PvE is good and not all instanced away for the individual/small group. GW is still being promoted as a PvP franchise, though.

    @Ffox: I sure hope that World vs. World vs. World persistent pvp is not “casual” and underplayed as you imply. Seems the most dynamic and impactful form of pvp that GW2 can offer. E-Sport Arena based combat is individually competitive, but not any more hardcore than a competitive server wanting to win in PvP.

  • Actually. In one of the interviews their lead content designer said that “at it’s core, GW2 is a PvE game”, and than continued that it will also have a strong PvP.

  • lol 🙂 and now u got offended

    i didn’t mean to diminish world PvP by calling it casual! not at all!

    ah, how did that one go in The Little Prince – “Language is the source of misunderstandings.”


  • I didn’t see any classes I wouldn’t want to try and play, which is definitely nice. I also like the thought of not needing a dedicated healer.

    As for WvWvW, a quick search finds talk of it all over the internet and widely spoken of for GW2. If they don’t implement that correctly, then I would have to agree with Keen that the game will lose it’s attraction to me by 50% since I’ve been looking for some WvWvW (or RvRvR if you will) to replace the fun times I had in DaoC.

    Still, I do think I’ve stayed away from mmo’s long enough and I will believe I will be giving this one a try.

    My only worry as to WHEN I’ll be giving GW2 a try is what kind of hardware will be required to prevent any horrible lagging.

  • I’m starting to lose faith in any game that mixed PvP and PvE. I’m starting to believe that combining both modes in a single MMO is untenable. I’m starting to lose interest in a lot of MMOs as a result (including TOR).

    At the same time …

    I’m starting to think that Prime Online will be the MMO of choice for serious PvP.

    I’m starting to think that Darkfall v2.0 will be the MMO of choice for hardcore PvP.

    I’m starting to think that EVE Online will continue to dominate as the MMO of choice for strategic PvP.

    Forget everything else. WOW, WAR, GW2, TOR. Prime, Darkfall, and EVE are the only serious choices for PvP.

    /rant off

  • Keen
    They even named one of the Keeps after you. “East Keen Vale.” You have to like that. Leaked map looks like it was lifted directly from DAOC BG’s which is fine with me.

  • @ffox: Don’t mistake me being direct as taking offense. My words are fairly literal if only a bit defensive of the type of PvP I enjoy.

    @Steeldragoon: I’m worried about system reqs too because the game looks so nice.

    @Jay P. It does look similar. And stay off my Keep’s grass.

  • Sysreqs should be fairly low. They’ve said in previous interview that they are developing the games on gfx cards that you can no longer buy cos they are too outdated, because they want to make sure it can run on low end computers as well. Ofc you won’t get all the bells and whistles, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to run it just fine.

  • ok, i had the opportunity to play the games a couple of times and chat with the devs (was exhibitors day) =)

    i should add that i played gw1 from alpha on at the highest level for quite some time (gvg).

    It was definetly a different experience which I am not totaly convinced of yet, sure i only played about 10 games and its good, but I hadnt had the same great feeling as i had when i played gw1 for the first time. But its still some time away and i have faith in izzy & rest 🙂

    ive written more on kill ten rats but too lazy to c/p 🙂

  • I’m seriously still not seeing anything that makes me *want* to play this game, or makes it seem revolutionary.

    Raid mechanics in a solo setting? Neat, but not really revolutionary.
    Cutscenes and voice-overs? TOR will probably do them better.
    No healers or tanks? Those are the roles I prefer, so I’m not really buying it as game-changing. And jsut giving everyone a self-heal doesn’t really change everything, it just means more stupid people will die and more competent people will live.
    Destructible scenery? By the first month (or week even) there’ll be a cookie-cutter route you take that with the trebuchet.
    Outdoor raids? I’m sorry, but there’s a reason they’re instanced. So that good players don’t have to play with absolute morons who can’t move out of the fire and ruin the attempt. Either a) it’ll be a wipefest all the time and be nerfed because the poor, down-trodden casual player doesn’t have time for srs bznes such as, you know, saving the engineers or b) it’ll be a zerg and the mechanics will be ignored as the boss dies in a fiery maelstrom of death.

    The combat mechanics looked exactly the same as other MMOs, but with less buttons and moar random rolling.

    I have no doubt it’ll be fun. But it isn’t going to push the boundaries much (and, let’s be frank here, they’re designing it as a game, not an MMO. Things have to be heroic, fun an action-oriented all the time, not challenging, deep engaging and massive.)

  • Dril: let me first state this, if you dont like it dont play, simple as that.

    There are a slew of MMO’s out now and coming out in the future that parlays that hardcore raiding mentality as the only source of end game content. GW2 simply isnt that type of game. GW2 is designed as the ultimate pick up and go MMO where by everyone will be on equal footing given enough time and commitment, unlike the ToR?WoW clones that cate to the hardcore “6 O’CLOCK ON THE DOT, DKP HEROES” that litter the raid environment.

    Cutscene from what Ive seen is not quite as in depth as ToR’s, for sure, but seeing as story elements is usually the last thing most gamers care about its not game breaking.

    No healers and no tanks in the traditional sense, however every class being able to do anything is what appeals to thousands of old school skill based MMO’s, EQ and all their clones afterwards are just a total bore for most because you enevitably spend half youyr gaming time looking for a certain class, and if you say you’ve never set in a queue in any MMO for any length of time waiting on a tank or a healer then you sir are a bald faced liar. Besides what is more fantasy esque then the notion that a group of indviduals tackle a tough monster and use all their assorted skills.

    You never seen 1 battle scene in any of the LoTR Films with someone in the background casting a heal spell lol. You saw organized mass conflict and the better and more skilled usually won, and GW2 adds to this traditional sense of fantasy. get to the front take a couple licks, pull back and let someone else move up, its all about tic tacs, err tactics.

    No other MMO on the market except for maybe AoC has this style of combat, and even then it isnt no where near as in depth. The other thing I despise about most MMO’s is that why do you need 398586587 gazillion spells/skills to swing a sword, or cast spells to kill a monster. Simplicity is ideal for any type of movement based, situational awareness fight. Every single MMO I played I always played the class that could get by with the least amount of skills, and keybinds so I could focus on the action and not on when cooldows where up, GW2 jsut iterates on this simple philosophy and moves it forward much like GW1.

    Its going to puch the boundries every which way but loose, no other game since Asherons Call has a game devoted to fundamentally transforming the way in which MMO’s ought to be played and Anet will no doubt move the genre full steam ahead with every ounce of their core design changes that isnt found anywhere else in another MMO. Mark my words, 4 or 5 years from now the next generation will copy more of GW2 then of WoW or ToR lol.

  • wvwvw is there. There really should be no question about it being implemented. Its a pretty mute point. But how well they do it can be asked though.

    Dynamics events and where they differ from public quest is the flow aspects. They also have a continuation aspect involved with them. Yes they repeat but they do so in an immersible manner. PQ were 1-2-3 finish

  • I’m concerned about what I’ve seen but for different reasons.

    The ticket drain/territory control model they’ve used is a real downer for me. I much prefer attack/defend or tug-of-war style capture point maps, for a number of reasons.

    I’m afraid that if this is what they think good PvP is about, WvW will wind up being one giant ticket drain that just grinds on and on after one team has captured every point.

    Though I dunno, on that large a scale maybe it’ll work out better. It worked fine in Battlefield, after all…

  • TO be honest i never found this blog to cynical. Mostly just a clash information and opinions. Some negative some positive. This blogs largest asset though is how closely its opinions are related towards the average vet MMO player. Any developer could easily look at this blog and get a decent understanding of the general feel of his game months after release.

  • If something isn’t officially presented it doesn’t mean it’s there. Tbh, i’m a bit annoyed by this “i don’t believe until it’s thrown in my face” attitude. It’s applied to even the most mundane things like “is it persistent ?”. It’s like Arenanet (and Bioware) are retarded and don’t know how to make a persistent game so they lie to hide it until release. We are talking about the game built on an engine created by WoW lead programmer (Jeff Strein) and which uses networking system created by an author of Battlenet (Mike O’Brien).

  • Made a typo.

    “If something isn’t officially presented it doesn’t mean it’s there.”

    should be:

    “If something isn’t officially presented it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

  • WvWvW can be everything from very casual to extremely hardcore, much due to the rating system. After each ~2-week match, servers are rematched based on performance. This means that there WILL be a server that is the best in the world each round. I imagine that server (and the two it plays against) will have some seriously skilled players and organised guilds.

  • Loving all the morons trying to bash the blog for something but being absolute tools themselves.

    Keep it up, I’m /popcorning

  • I deleted 4 posts of trolls stating that I am bashing GW2 or being too cynical. All that I said was I am worried about the lack of open-world PvP being discussed. ArenaNet went out of their way to show an EMPTY ZONE that functioned just like WoW’s Arathi basin rather than show the remainder of a Dragon fight.

    Obviously I’m not alone nor was my concern invalid. The developers had to come out and make statements like “Don’t worry it’s still in the game”. An official PvP overview article should have had -some- mention of it. Additionally, I did mention multiple times, as well as a followup in the comments, that the devs did mention it ex post facto. My bases are covered.

    I thought I was actually giving GW2 some praise in my entry while simply highlighting a concern about the PvP. Focusing on one particular point and using it to dismiss everything else is a logical fallacy. Trolls are not welcome here.

  • On Dynamic Quests: You do realize the Dynamic Quests can affect other Dynamic Quests and their stages, right? Moreover, failure of Dynamic Quests can result in temporary loss of vendors and other NPCs. I wouldn’t say revolutionary, but with those additions I’d say GW2 is closer to Public Quests v2.0 than PQ v1.0.

    On WvWvW: God forbid they talk about PVP that is most similar to GW1 first so that loyal GW1 players can learn about that first. These instanced “arcade” fights are what Guild Wars players have been playing for 6 years, so of course ArenaNet is going to talk about it first. It’s probably the most polished mode at the moment, too, given the developer’s experience with GW1.

  • @Mangoose: That’s why I said dynamic events are “looking much more polished in theory and will probably be the best implementation of the idea yet.” They’re “better” public quests. That’s not a bad thing.

    As for the PvP they showed (or did not show but talked about), I do not like that type of PvP. I have valid reasons why that type of PvP hurts the other kind of PvP they’re adding (persistent, open-world PvP. Chris Lye said it himself: Guild Wars 1 was not a MMO. If ArenaNet wants to make a MMO — a persistent open world MMO — and maintain their heavy PvP approach, then my concern is quite valid. At least I think so. It’s obviously just my opinion.

  • I’d love to hear your valid reasons on why that type of “BG” PvP hurts open world PvP in the Mists. (I honestly do, no malicious intent in my question).

    I know I love both types of PvP. The organized, instanced, small map small groups, objevtive based BG type of PvP is prob my favorite of them, since it revolves much more around the individuals contribution to the battlefield than the open world PvP does. If people have the opportunity to zerg you can be damn sure they will zerg, and that was the biggest reason I left WAR, I really don’t like zerg PvP, it’s mindless boring AoE nuking.
    That said WAR had little to no incentives to go solo or in smaller groups, while in GW2 they seem to have this in mind and try to offer us “anti-zergers” something meaningful to do on the battlefield.

  • Jacobs is (and has always been) an arrogant idiot. “Public Quests” existed in MMORPGs before Warhammer, and even before DAoC was a dream in the developer’s mind. Asheron’s Call had them.

  • No mention of Structured PvP having an exhibition match, which IMO looked pretty damn good and also dispelling that “BG” concern; or the different tournaments players can enter…

    WvW not being on display at Gamescon wasn’t unexpected either. They released a schedule of events ahead of time.

    The game looks polished to me, so far the exhibition matches have displayed a need of individual skill and teamwork to do well in. It’s not perfect but it’s articles like these that knock it down and spread bad information.

  • Your worried because they didn’t show part of the game that you hoped they would show…. I’d say the word you should use is Disappointed. Arena-net would have their own reasons to not show it. They still haven’t made a release date… which means the game is still developing, there-for not everything is finished, Hence they wouldn’t show Part of the game that isn’t finished.

    Of course they talked about WvW pvp a month ago…. Any company (in any business) tries to talk about every feature in relation to their product, in order to sell it.

    I also don’t really see Guild wars (2 especially) as a PvP game anymore, while it loves it’s PvP it has had a rapid growth in PvE.

    Patience Keen, you’ll get your WvWvW PvP =p

  • wow I made a post referring to how people act on the comment section and keen deleted it because he looked unfavorable in it. WoW am I never coming back here!

  • Doesn’t matter if he is pompous or douchebag, but i can’t stand stupidity and ignorance. NExt time you post trash at least get the fucking info before making idiot out of yourself.

  • I like most others could not wait for Warhammer to come out for 3 way PvP action. When I heard in beta, that the Devs could not get the third realm to work properly, I was upset but I understood why they decided against it. It was however their downfall.

    Now here comes GW2. I start hearing about 3 way PvP. I always get pumped for 3 way PvP action. It would have been nice to see some 3 way PvP action in the video, if only to prove that it will be in the game.

    I did not see what was posted and then removed by Keen. It is their site and they can do what they want. I am a believer that posts should be allowed to be viewed and allow the community to decide if the post has any merit.

    After reading douchebag, etc, etc, I will give Keen the benefit of the doubt that whatever was posted was not worth viewing.

  • 19min 45 secs into that video you linked, if you look at the characters he has, there is one that the location is “The Mists” which is the open world pvp 3 servers agaisnt each other. So they have it, and they are testing it.
    Again one more post based on assumptions and misinformation.

  • @Alex I went through the video again and viewed the area you recommended. If you would not have said anything I sure would have missed it.

  • The developers said that Arena PvP will have no effect on the PvE world but WvW will.

    And you deleted my post, but to clarify i was defending your blog from the statements.

  • The post deleting does seem excessive and undermines the integrity of this blog (yes it also has been done to me in a questionable manner). Trolls will be seen for what they are. I do understand that it is difficult to not take someone’s vigorous disagreement with your POV personally. Of course name calling without content (or even with if mean-spirited enough) is another thing.

    I think people need to remember that Keen provides good information, and his own stated opinions. He doesn’t claim to have omnipotent information on every game out there. If he misses a bit of information or gets something wrong, there is no need to go on the attack. The blog format allows everyone to contribute and add to the community information base, which is a good thing.

  • TotalBiscuit uploaded a PvP walkthrough for that arena map. It looks really nice so i don’t see what’s the problem.

  • @Alex: I’m still not seeing anything at 19:45 but a loading screen. It’s not misinformation to express concern that WvWvW has taken a back seat at this time.

    @Gankatron: Not at all difficult when people disagree with me. I delete posts that are trolling, flaming, harassing, or that I feel add nothing to the topic at hand whether in agreement with me or not. One of my biggest pet peeves is being accused of something I did not do.

    @High Life: I despise arenas and WoW-style battlegrounds. What’s not to get?

    I think it’s obvious that most people taking huge offense at what I’m saying and calling it misinformation either did not read my entry at all or love battleground/small arcade fights and took my opinion as an attack on your way of gaming. Read the entry. I’ve reread it a dozen times and can’t see where the misinformation claims are coming from. I say right away that I don’t like what was -shown- and that i hope WvWvW is not going to be minimized by any emphasis on conquest mode.

  • @Wufiavelli: I just went down the list and fried 5 in a row. Yours was caught in there by accident and restored. Sorry about that.

    @Chaffy: Yep, someone pointed it out above. Looks good. I’m thinking DAOC Thidranki style. There’s a west and east portal hill, but not a north or south (looking for the third, assuming portal hills are for different “worlds” to use.) Additionally the ‘off map’ stuff in the fog makes me think the zone (or zones) are numerous or larger than the map itself. All good stuff. Admittedly, I do not always seek out leaks to write about on my blog. I like to look at what the developers themselves speak about and then share my opinion. The entirety of this post is simply about how I like what I see from GW2, except for the stuff about arenas and battlegrounds without much talk of WvWvW.

    I just deleted 4 more trolls that were mostly “I hate you this blog sucks” and one even had a diary entry in my honor. After the IP’s were banned it was only two people making all of them. The frothing hatred some people have against me for simply not liking a particular form of PvP is truly sad. My heart goes out to them. The original entry has receive and update to clarify and enlighten.

  • Keen, I genuinely think it’s better to avoid even questioning GW2 in any capacity whatsoever. People are so rabid about how amazing this (unreleased) game is it’s staggering; literally raising so much as a minor query is tantamount to asking people to open a floodgate of abuse on you (God forbid you tried posting something like this on a community site that wasn’t your own, every time I express doubts about the game in an open site I get everything from “you’re wrong, go back to WoW” to “you must be a fucking moron not to see that this game will be amazing in everything.”)

    Honestly, the pre-launch “community” for this game is a very big factor as to why I might not even pick it up. I’m, heartily sick of anything other than blind praise for this game being hated on into oblivion, and all the GW2 morons who infest things to do with TOR and proclaim how GW2 is much better.

  • Sorry to nag, but could you elaborate on how/why you feel that BG/instanced PvP hurts the game?

  • @Proximo: Certainly. I’ll use Warhammer Online as an example since it highlights so many different angles of this problem as well as acting as a model for many other problems (that I won’t go into, but you can read into or see yourself if you have experience with past games.)

    Warhammer Online had open-world pvp with far reaching consequences. Factions claimed keeps, keep control led to taking fortresses and those led to taking capital cities. It wasn’t easy, took coordination, and some effort.

    Instanced scenarios gave the same rewards: renown and renown ranks. Players realized within the first few weeks that scenarios were less time consuming, easier, and more rewarding in the long run than open-world pvp. It was the path of least resistance. As such, no one participated in the open-world pvp and the system became meaningless. Had there been no scenarios, open-world pvp would have been packed full of people and the battle for territory control would have been alive.

    Did you play DAOC? Imagine no one going into the frontiers. If players could be whisked away to instanced scenarios and be rewarded why would they go do open-world stuff that is harder? The average player will take the path of least resistance. I won’t. I’ll play the open-world persistent stuff with consequences (losing territory and thus bonuses, access to special dungeons, etc) but some people don’t care. Not having the alternative forces players to care — forcing is the wrong word though since it’s not forcing if an alternative does not exist.

    That was a fast explanation so hopefully it makes sense. I’ve been harping on that point for a really long time and I often don’t put all the pieces into a clear picture. If something doesn’t make sense or you need me to clarify it I’d be happy to try.

  • @Pan: Cool, thanks for the link. It’s a long one so I’ll watch it tomorrow.

    Sorry for the slow posting the past two days all. Getting lots of errands done before heading back up to school.

  • One thing i don’t like is the fact how unconnected crafting is to the economy. Given that this is a pve casual game i am not surprised. But i think they could of at least tied it into WvW to increase player involvement.

  • @Pan that video told me what I wanted to hear about the WvW PvP.

    Three servers fighting it out. Nice!!! Just think of what it will take to coordinate an entire server for PvP. Impossible if you ask me. But it would be fun to try. Does your server rotate to fight various servers?

    Now I also fully understand Keen’s stance as well. What if your server isn’t into the WvW PvP. What if people would just rather do instanced PvP how will that hurt your servers chances in the field of battle?

  • @Thomas – from what little ArenaNet has said about how WxWxW will work it seems players will be able to easily transfer between servers for grouping with friends (PvE and arena style PvP), but there will be some limits for WxWxW PvP to keep people from all moving to a few winning servers, as well as prevent the problem of being stuck on a server where nobody is interested in WxWxW PvP. Hopefully they’ll go into more detail about this when they are ready to reveal the WxWxW info.

    I’m expecting character(s) will be tied to a certain server for set periods of time before you can transfer to a new one, and (hopefully) with some type of reward system for sticking with the same server for long periods of time? Building some type of server loyalty for PvP is certainly a tricky task as it seems most people are only interested in being on “the best” server and their idea of great large scale PvP is being in a zerg, numbers over quality. That is one of the reasons most PvP in MMORPGs is a pointless waste of dev resources. If you don’t have a really well thought out design, with ways to keep players in check, it will be a total fail eventually.

    If GW2 can pull off having great PvE (which looks to be the case), along with casual small group PvP, tournament PvP, eSport PvP, and non-broken WxWxW… well, that would be pretty impressive. I wish them the best of luck! It is hard to please everyone. I’m really only interested in PvE and WxWxW, but I certainly hope those that enjoy the other PvP styles will be happy with how GW2 handles them.

  • @Thomas: Well at least someone gets it. 😉

    @Yarr: Yeah, server loyalty for pvp is important. You’re also seeing what I’m talking about.

  • @Yarr Thanks for the information and your thoughts. With so much information coming out during these conventions it can be hard to keep up with it all. I’m a SWTOR fan and it is hard enough to keep up with one major title let alone two. I will give GW2 a chance. If they can pull it off it will be epic to say the least.

  • My understanding of the GW2 plan is this: World vs World will have a distinct set of rewards and incentives (linked to character progression and server benefits/PvE) than structured PvP. This was true in GW1 as well.

    Though much of this is yet to be announced officially, I gather that the structured PvP will not really impact character progression, instead offering vanity skins for armor and weapons. Furthermore, this seems to be based mostly on winning tournaments, not grinding rep.

    Consider the sort of freedom ANet is giving players with the structured PvP “servers”: Essentially you can set up a named “server” that has a custom ruleset, almost like a dedicated server in an FPS. They gave the example that you might be able to allow freer skill swapping while in combat, or the ability to use racial skills which are normally banned from tournaments. The idea is that you could form a small sub-community that would all know each other and play under their own desired rules, just like an FPS server that might ban certain weapons or have class limits.

    Given this, though, they probably will limit the rewards available for players on these servers – it would be incredibly easy to abuse, and would undermine the idea that structured PvP is for fun and competition.

    So, I’m confident they’re treating structured PvP as this fun side thing that takes place outside the main world – in fact, it’s even setup as such in the lore. These matches take place in the mists, a sort of Valhalla where warriors can relive famous battles over and over again.

    In contrast, ANet identifies the world vs world as the place you’d go to do PvE in a dangerous PvP environment, or to work on progression (i.e. leveling) in a PvP environment. Now, whether the players decide to take the risk of going to the World vs World area to level, rather than just soloing in PvE, is another matter…

    In short, I’m not too worried that the structured PvP will draw all the players out of the “real” world. Of course, my understanding of this could be wrong, or they could change directions before launch. Who knows!

  • In a strange quirk of timing, I just read an interview ( with the lead GW2 designer:

    Q: “Will your PvP successes factor into your personal story in any way?”

    A: “No, PvP is really separate from PvE. The most overlap we’re going to have in our PvP is World vs. World PvP which we’re not really showing yet. But in World vs. World you’re the same exact character, so you can go into World vs. World and find a cool item, and when you come back to PvE you’ve still got the cool item because you’re the exact same guy.

    You can go into World vs. World and gain three levels and then go back into PvE and you’re three levels higher, and that sort of thing. So we’ve tried to keep PvP and PvE separate as far as the two affecting each other.”

    Now, I’m not crazy about how little they’re doing to guide PvE players into the World Vs World, but at the very least they’re very clearly saying “if you want to progress your character in PvP, you go to the big open world fights with the castles and the server pride; don’t sit in the little battleground”.

  • OK, sorry, one more relevant tidbit… 🙂

    Ten Ton Hammer: “So when you speak about World PvP you’re talking about servers vs. servers going against each other, and then those matches can last for up to two weeks, correct?”

    Eric: “Right now we’re testing this so it could change, but every game is two weeks. It’s always open 24/7, it’s not like it runs at particular times, and it’s open to as many players as want to play….

    It’s basically this giant strategy game with four really big maps, keep sieges, supply lines and all kinds of strategy. At the same time there are mobs for people to kill if they want to, and you can XP up from level 1 all the way to level 80 in World vs. World.”

    Sounds a lot like Thidranki to me! 🙂

  • Hi Keen,

    Long time reader first time poster, really like your blog:)

    As for WvWvW, I think you should really read this interview as previous poster recommended, lots of good information on pvp. One particular bit you may like on page 3:

    “Now in World vs. World there are things like guild keep claiming, so you will claim a keep that your world has conquered, and your guild can claim that and fly their banners, they can upgrade it, spend resources, and do all kinds of stuff.”

    Also one developer on another interview told us that the leaked WvWvW map is really only a very small part of one map in WvWvW (the WvWvW world has 4 big maps).

    Now WvWvW information aside, I do have a question for you. One reason scenarios in Warhammer really hurt RVR is because those two formats have the same rewards. In GW2, only WvWvW can be played by your pve characters and you have to make a complete separate pvp character (automatic max level max gear) to fight in arena pvp; also the two formats have completely different rewards, given this do you think the co-existance of these two formats may still cause a similar problem as in Warhammer?

  • I don’t care that much about PvP and I could not stand GW1 but some of the recent videos of GW2 PvE (TotalBiscuit’s 40 min play session in particular) have actually made me situp and take notice of the game. This one might be creeping into my wanted list soon… early days yet.

    I have noticed the game is causing intense trolling from over-defensive fans and over-offensive foes alike and Keen you have every right to wipe trolls from your blog.

  • @Keen;
    Sadly I’ve never played DaoC, but I have indeed played WAR and in my opinion there where a good share of other reasons (than path of least resistance) that led people to not play oRvR in that game.

    Personally, my reason was that oRvR combat gave me nothing, it was a zergfest, AoE vs AoE. Brainless and boring imo.
    But reasons I’ve gathered from others who didn’t mind that has been among other things;

    Poorly designed and too small zones. If you ran a zerg you could quite easily control the entire zone and thus making small groups of people just fodder for the zerg.

    Already mentioned zone design combined with 2 faction warfare led to a situation where population was the major factor to victory, not skill.

    Lag issues in keep and foremost fortress fights led many to stop.

    Retarded cap systems, fighting could be fun, but when u had to hang around a BO or Keep for 15 mins waiting for the cap doing nothing, it’s no wonder it was called Waithammer Online.

    Poor reward system, while improved a lot later on the loot reward system for keep captures etc where piss poor and seemed totally random. People want gear, some don’t mind NOT taking the path of least resistance, but most WILL get fed up with banging their head against the wall while others are getting their 3rd, 4th or 5th armorpiece they don’t need. Doing SCs became the sure way to actually GET gear, not just run around hoping for it. (which also was an issue, gear meant too much imo)

    City sieges where so broken that people often didnt even care for doing them, which is pretty insane since it was supposed to be the pinnacle of the oRvR campaign.

    I was in a oRvR guild from closed beta and 8 months after launch. We went out every day trying to have fun in oRvR lakes. Occasionally we found it, but more often than not we found frustration. These are the reasons why WAR oRvR failed, not SCs imo. I firmly believe that both can coexist in a game, if things are done properly. Wheter ANet is able to pull it off in GW2 I have no idea, but as a developer I think they stand as good a chance as any out there as they come across as being pretty smart people to me, focusing on the most important part of their game; Making it FUN to play.

    I hope that your suspicion proves wrong, merely for the fact that I want GW2 to be my next MMO for years and PvP is a major factor to me 🙂

  • @Brise: Thank you for the info. I’m currently pouring over it. Yeah, it sounds like Thidranki. That’s the kind of stuff I like to see. Now if we can just make sure it’s not going to be lost in the mess of arenas and instanced ‘instant gratificiation’ PvP.

    @Rasil: I wish that article came out before I wrote this. I wouldn’t have needed to even worry as much as I did. Thanks for the link. 🙂

    @Proximo: You touched upon several of the tangents I was hoping to avoid. Yeah, WAR has a bazillion reasons for its failure that easily cover up the problems that scenarios cause. I think the only thing I can say is imagine if those problems did not exist but scenarios were still the easiest way for people to “rank up” or progress. They’d take it over the meaningful and consequential actions of open-world.

  • “It’s basically this giant strategy game with four really big maps, keep sieges, supply lines and all kinds of strategy. At the same time there are mobs for people to kill if they want to, and you can XP up from level 1 all the way to level 80 in World vs. World.”

    “Now in World vs. World there are things like guild keep claiming, so you will claim a keep that your world has conquered, and your guild can claim that and fly their banners, they can upgrade it, spend resources, and do all kinds of stuff.”

    this is what I’ve been waiting for!!

  • @Keen;
    I see your point, but look at it this way;
    If WAR oRvR was FUN and engaging instead of frustrating and the levels/gear you got from either oRvR or SCs had miniscule impact on your performance (or even only visual impact), do you still think people would flee the lakes to queue for SCs?

    In GW2 gear will have less impact on your performance in PvP(if ANets word of mouth are anything to go by), which should mean that you can do whatever you feel like cos in the end the reward are pretty much the same.

  • I like Open world PvP but you need to have some Arena and Instanced grab and go Battlegrounds to appease the hardcore group vs group (think 8 man groups in DAoC) and the 30 min lunch break grab and go casual noob. Both of those are wildly popular population segments, and Open World PvP offers nothing to those 2 playerbases.

    The other thing I might add, as popular and as fun DAoC was, it never was a huge hit and the PvP enthusiast such as myself prefer a more 1v1 type of scenario, as opposed to the huge zergfests that places like Emain Macha Milegate fiasco represent. Those huge zergfests might be fun for the rangers and mages of the world, but the melee types usually despise them with a passion.

  • 100% agree with Keen.

    Arenas and battlegrounds do little to foster a LONG lasting, random and engaging pvp.

    Those formats are nothing but a quick fix, that inevitably dies out surprisingly quickly.

    World PVP is where all development focus should be…

  • JJ Robinson, you must be forgetting about a “small population” of gamers who have been playing CS, CoD and BF games for years and years, doing nothing but arena/BG style PvP for no rewards what so ever. I’m one of those gamers. I want just that kind of PvP. It doesn’t have to have a meaning it just has to challenge my skills. I’ve played the same three maps in Soldier of Fortune 2 over and over and over again for 2 years+ before moving on to other games.
    This type of gamer exists in MMOs nowadays as well, whether you like it or not. 🙂

    Sp just cos YOU don’t fancy it, it doesn’t necesarilly mean noone else does.
    Besides BGs in WoW seems anything but dead these days, 5-6+ years after release. BGs are actually the only thing that has me coming back to WoW occasionally.

    I’m up for discussing whether their existence in a game has a negative impact on open world PvP, but to say that they are nothing but a quick fix and don’t last in the long run is just terribly narrowminded if you don’t mind me saying so.

  • Keen you are probably bang on here. From my experience when devs stop showing or talking about a feature close to release it means it has been cut. Then when they say “oh ya its there, but were focusing on some other part of PvP” this translates to “it will be added sometime after release.”

    We all recall the classes and 4 major cities cut from Warhammer last minute “for the good of the game”. This has always been the way of developers since the invention of the internet and patching technology went full blown. Cut and patch is always the way and always a scapegoat for a dev or publisher to get out of jail on promises.

    Anyhow, this game has never been on my radar. I didn’t like the instancing game of GW1 and I don’t think this will be any different save for pretty graphics and a few “cool, now what” things.

  • @Romble;
    While you could be right and the open world PvP well could be taken out before release (ANet WILL remove it if they feel it’s not good enough for release), I need to point out a couple of things cos it won’t be for the reasons you stated.

    For starters, ANet has not been talking about open world pvp then suddenly stopped, they’ve barely mentioned it and said “this is roughly what we have in mind but we’re not ready to talk about that yet”. So that analogy is just incorrect, they’d need to START talking about it before they could stop.

    Also, close to release? Do you know when GW2 is being released? Noone outside ANet does, it can well be released late 2012 or even 2013 (though I don’t think the latter is plausible).

    Focusing on the competitive PvP at the moment makes perfect sense from my perspective. It’s what the GW1 fans are used to and most likely are most stoked to hear about, because thats what they liked about the first game.

    Lastly, if you think GW2 ain’t going to be anything but the instanced GW1 with shinier gfx then I recommend you to actually look up some info on the topic before making up your mind, because it really is not. That said I don’t say you should or will like it, but dismissing it upon a preconception based upon a almost 7 year old game sounds dumb to me. But each to his own. 🙂

    Unrelated but not;
    I try not to come across as a die-hard fanboi defending my game despite it’s obvious flaws, I did that with WAR and got burnt. I just get ticked when people make comments based upon thin air and didn’t even take the time to do some research before throwing out comments left and right.

    Aaaand lastly (again :P), I’ve got no intention in converting any of you into GW2 fans. I frankly don’t care if you like or hate the game cos it doesn’t affect me in any way, I’ll play it nonetheless. =)

  • Where are you seeing your information? ANet has went on at length at how GW2 is a true MMO and in their own words admitted that GW1 is more of an online RPG, whereas everything GW2 is as true an MMO as any other game on the market. Please do some research before you speak nonsense.

    That being said I disagree 100% with Keen and anyone else who believes that battlegrounds and Arena style PvP take away from World PvP. In fact the reason why Arenas and Battlegrounds are more popular is because of their time investment vs reward is skewed in the latters favor. If you give enough or more incentive for World PvP, of which only 1 game did so in my memory, DAoC, then you will have equal or greater numbers participating in Open World PvP.

    The main problem is almost eveyr game that features Open World PvP does little to nothing in fostering it, and what miniscule amount of content is devoted to World PvP is in the form of small PvP lakes, or 30 minute battles in Wintergrasp with a 2 hour cooldown. Both of those limit the players freedoms and all a Developer has to do is offer other rewards and free up the playerbase to make a choice. This can be done numerous ways. My most favored way to foster World PvP is to offer Darkness Falls style dungeons, higher then average loot drops on elite group mobs, greater density of resource nodes, or dungeon specific resource nodes, and PvE realm wide buffs.

    So far what we knwo about the leaked maps for WvWvW is its going to be huge. So lets just hope that the content matches the scope of the size of the zones, and barring a doomsday scenario, I just dont see ANet failing to deliver in this department. If not I guess you could jsut all go play WoW in space lol.

    *Fanboy rant off*

  • To add to Zederok;
    ANet never even labeled GW1 as a MMO themselves!
    From their FAQ on

    Q: Is Guild Wars an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game)?

    Snip from their answer: Rather than labeling Guild Wars an MMORPG, we prefer to call it a CORPG (Competitive Online Role-Playing Game).

    To read the reasons why etc head here:

  • For so many years I took so much crap from people for saying Guild Wars 1 was not a MMO. You’ll find it all over the archives of this blog. GW1 got coverage on all the MMO sites and is always covered as a MMO despite whatever ArenaNet might say in a FAQ. Now that it’s being referenced in direct context in contrast to GW2, it’s ironclad.

    @Zederok: If the existence of Arenas/Battlegrounds/Scenarios in a game contributes to the lack of ‘fostering open world pvp’, then you do not disagree with me 100%. In fact, it sounds like we actually agree. What I’m saying is, so far, in every single game with battlegrounds (not counting DAOC since the term was ripped from them), World PvP has not been supported as much. If world PvP were fostered as much as it was in DAOC, and battlegrounds still existed, then it would be a non-issue. Has that ever happened? No. I believe the two are forces acting against each other, but all I have are about 7 years of examples.

  • I see how history has had them have a negative impact on eachother, but I don’t see any reason as to why it MUST be this way. CAN ANet theoretically pull it off and have both without them impacting on eachother? I think so, but if they are able to pull it off remains to be seen.
    Personally I would prefer to have both, but if I have to choose I’ll take the BGs over open world PvP any day. Open world PvP in AoC was fun, but other than that other games have been lackluster no matter if there where BGs competing or not (just poor PvP, not fun to play).

  • @Proximo: I agree. BGs/Arenas/Scens do not automatically mean a failed open-world pvp implementation. 100% of the time, though, throughout the history of their existence in MMO’s, they have.

    I would choose open world pvp over bg’s. But that’s all personal preference.

  • I can see how theoretically scenarios could have pulled players away from open world PvP in WAR, but the main reason I stayed away was the tremendous lag that occurred during the bigger fights; it just wasn’t fun.

    I like having the choice to do BG’s and often participate when I want some quick instant PvP; having said that I think that open world PvP is less predictable (a good thing imo) and more exciting. I don’t think catering to both types of player preferences is a bad thing. I think putting too much reward emphasis into PvP that occurs a defined session (i.e. instanced BG’s) makes people start to think in terms of honor per unit time, which kills the actual game play experience at hand.

  • @Keen:
    Just reading the interview with Colin Johanson and thought about you when I read this part (I know you’re sceptic as to whether the events will have an impact on the game world or just for yourself (aka phasing)):

    In this dynamic event chain (four different parts), if you successfully manage to complete all these parts, a huge Ice Elemental is summoned by the leader of a tribe that worships a dragon totem you’ve destroyed which shoots ice shards all over, this event and fight actually changes the weather of the map. It causes a giant blizzard to cover this part of the map while the boss is there. The ice shards also turns into smaller ice elementals. If you defeat the encounter the ice storm will dissipate. This fight requires a minimum of five players, might be possible with a bit less if you’re really good. It also scales dynamically up to 100 players.

    Now it’s not a PERMANENT change to the game world, but imo it sure sounds like a awesome one!

  • “Lastly, if you think GW2 ain’t going to be anything but the instanced GW1 with shinier gfx then I recommend you to actually look up some info on the topic before making up your mind, because it really is not. ”

    This Phrase by Proximo has me confused, I count 3 negatives in that phrase and really have no idea what he is trying to say.

    Are you saying its gonna be like GW1 or not?

  • I believe:

    ‘Lastly, if you think GW2 is just instanced GW1 with shinier gfx then I recommend you to actually look up some info on the topic before making up your mind, because it really is not’

  • I think he’s just trying to say that GW2 will not be like GW1.

    GW1 used instancing exclusively for actual content – only the “quest hub” lobbies were shared. GW2 is using instancing in the same way SW:TOR is – everything’s persistent and shared except character-unique story areas and PvP.

  • I kept reading my comment over and over and it makes perfect sense to me, but then again I’m not a native english speaker 😛
    Thanks to Gankatron and Brise Bonbons for making it clearer though. 🙂

    Besides the point I was trying to make, which was that GW2 is not as instanced as GW1 (only shinier gfx), I also wanted to point out that people should take the time to do some research before completely dismissing a game. But in the end i don’t care, their loss. 🙂

    Would also add to Brise Bonbons post by saying that dungeons will also be instanced areas. But yes, there’s a massive persistent open world where you’ll meet people while playing, just like you’d expect from a MMO.