WvW Requires 3 Servers

Glumshanks in front of Stonemist
Glumshanks (my ranger) standing in front of Stonemist Keep in the Eternal Battlegrounds after claiming it for our guild.

Despite being shortened to “WvW”, there are three worlds fighting each other in Guild Wars 2.  Though, at times, you wouldn’t know it.  We’ve had several days on Ehmry Bay where one server completely dominates the entire map — completely.  There is always a second place server that is at least trying, though unable to make any real progress.  Then there’s a third server that appears to be doing absolutely nothing. That third server is largely at fault for the one server dominating.

WvW has population caps.  There are no number advantages to be had by one side over another.  Unless a server is completely void of any WvW interest, chances are there is at least a queue of one (if not, ANet needs to merge servers).  Given the even playing field for numbers, players need to realize the power of ganging up on the winner.  A little coordination could mean making a huge push against the server on multiple fronts in multiple borderlands.  For a server to overcome a battle on multiple fronts against 2x the numbers, they would need an enormous skill advantage.  A  good WvW map should look fairly balanced with all three servers holding key positions.

ArenaNet changing the match-ups every 24 hours, and allowing free server transfers, doesn’t help.  When things settle down and we start to see matches lasting two weeks, players might actually care.

So next time you see one server completely dominating, take a look and see if that third server is doing anything at all.  WvW is as good as broken if you’re playing a 1v1.

  • Well, can’t this be because of the free server transfers? People who want to do WvW switch/pick servers that does this or switch to winning servers? If I join a server that doesn’t do any WvW i’ll switch in a heartbeat

  • Why would a server on which there’s no interest in WvW need to merge? What if it was full, but full of people who actively dislike PvP, who’d gone there to create an unofficial pure PvE server, the way people create unofficial RP servers or Oceanic servers etc etc?

    In this hypothetical situation, shouldn’t the minority who want to do WvW move off the server to join like-minded people elsewhere?

    Not that I think it’s very likely to happen, just that merging an unwilling WvW server with a more aggressive one seems an odd solution. Or maybe I misunderstood what you were proposing?

  • @Bhagpuss: Because that server not interested in WvW is ruining the experience for two other servers.

    WvW is a THREE WAY battle. Two way battles DO NOT WORK for territory control like this. That’s the entire point I’m trying to make.

    The last thing we need are a handful of servers declaring themselves uninterested in WvW. The entire system of WvW would be broken, and ArenaNet would have to take serious action.

  • Comparing this to DAOC – here are a couple differences that could cause this disinterest in WvW.

    – The “Frontier” is totally separate from the PvE zone. In fact, the whole world is discontinuous and just a collection of separate instances. The feeling that the “Frontier” is part of YOUR world is missing.

    – In DAOC, you had three very distinct races fight each other which added to the fun. In GW2, you just fight copies of yourself. It takes out the immersion and the “I hate Midgard, Albion, Hibernia” feeling

    – The matchups are not persistent or at least seriously long term. Realm pride and a dislike for another world grows over time. If server x dominates the world…so what…they will be gone in a few days or a week and there will be a new world.

    – The previous three points kind of relate to realm pride and are “soft” reasons. The obvious “hard” reason is that if people dont go out, it isnt worth their time. Let’s say, if you were to level in WvW at a ridiculous rate (you can level in it and it is decent) then people would swarm WvW (ugh..possibly trade keeps etc. which would be bad) and you would have plenty of participation. There isn’t any realm pride yet and maybe it will be difficult to develop realm pride but besides that, a lack of participation could simply mean that there are not enough consequences (rewards, punishments etc.)

    So far, I have no realm pride as of now, but I did enjoy WvW and I did think it was cool that I gained 1 1/2 levels while in RvR for a while.

  • WvW should not be, nor is, a deciding factor in server mergers. If a server is high population, but the majority of its people focus on PvE and sPvP, then it’s just going to do poorly in WvW. It shouldn’t be even more overloaded because of this. What will likely happen is that it’ll be placed in battles with other servers that either have as little interest or filled with poor players. Once Anet is finished running the day long battles, ranks should settle down and things should not only start getting more serious but also the match ups should be more fair.

  • Given the fact its a match style setup wouldnt those few non WvW servers just fall to the bottom of the pack and likely not be that big of a problem for anyone? Also even if they do suck it would only be for a two week period. I can see this being a problem, but not a huge seriously game killing problem unless your super ADD and two weeks of subpar WvW will make you quit the game.

    I also really do not see the scenario happening. The servers are no where near that unified. Even if a large guild was unified they have no way of stopping other people on the server from WvWing.

  • I actually saw for the first time today a 3 way battle. It really does make wvw more interesting. I think one of the issues though is the 4 different wvw maps. As much as I love everything about the world of wvw, that lack of congruity, although fair as far as balancing numbers, makes for too much division of the enemies. You may never see the 3rd server because they are too busy trying to keep their own borders secure, while the owners of the castle will probably never leave the center map.

    Still having some epic fun even when its just two forces colliding.

  • A bad server sinking to the bottom will still match against 2 other servers who, even if they aren’t good at WvW, will still want a good match. I feel bad for those servers, and pray I’m not one of them, because they will be denied the true experience of a 3-way fight. Essentially the way the game of WvW was meant to be played. It’s happening right now already — the last 3 matchups have been 1v1.

    My whole point here is not to say ANet needs to merge servers. It’s to get people waking up to the idea that this isn’t a solo endeavor. WvW is a three way fight, and that means you need to utilize the other realm to overcome the odds. Get out there with a group of 10-15 and take some keeps when the enemy isn’t looking. Wake up early and steal their orbs. Be annoying and take their supply camps while the other server is attacking. Do SOMETHING other than sit in a PvE zone looking at the map and saying “We’re losing. I’m not going to bother.” Especially when the fights go to 2 weeks there will be time for comebacks.

    @Argorius: I still got the sense of realm pride defending against Tarnished Coast. I had a strong dislike for them and great pride in holding our little corner (despite being stomped).

    The borderlands are the same as they were in DAOC. We portal to them. THe only difference being we don’t have OUR borderland physically attached to our realm. IAs an avid DAOC RvR player, I’m not bothered by it.

  • Sorry to hear that matchups have been bad on Ehmry Bay. I followed IRL friends to Jade Quarry, and despite my initial concerns that WvW would be imbalanced or queues would be too long, it’s actually been a really good experience so far (though my WvW time has been limited due to a case of early onset altitis). The last few days have seen very competitive matches with constant lead changes in both territory controlled and overall points, and while the queue to get into the Eternal Battleground is pretty ridiculous, I can get into the enemy borderlands in the time it takes me to do a few events and craft around a while.

    That said, I can certainly see where a server with a less committed WvW population would have trouble finding good matches. It seems very easy for a server to lose morale and abandon the fight, leading to one side taking 2/3 of the map for free, which further demoralizes the 3rd server, allowing the dominating team to fortify their positions and farm spawn, reducing incentive to participate even further.

    Honestly I don’t know how you fix this. Maybe add some backdoor spawn points to mitigate spawn camping? Place some sort of bounty on a team when they are dominating more than 50% of the map, to nudge the two losing teams to cooperate rather than cannibalize each other?

  • In WoW, I would pvp because it gave me a thrill pve never could. But I’ve come across a problem in GW2, I’m LOVING the pve exploration. Enemies have abilities I actually need to watch out for. I can take on 5 centaur fine but also fight one, get sloppy and find myself on the ground wondering what happened.

    Caves that seemingly have no purpose do! I’m finding a lot of chests, sometimes guarded by veterans. Sometimes guarded by multiple veterans where I’ll pop thieves guild, stealth over, snag the chest and run like hell!

    In most other games, I’d be bogging down my leveling speed by pvping, but here… there’s just too much to see!

  • I’ve had pretty good luck with the WvW so far. We had one battle on my server’s boarderlands (Crystal Desert) where blue was completely gone from the map. I think we may have had all three keeps at one point. It was kind of nice to be a winner, but it got boring pretty qucick. Maybe the just need to pair the servers better? Winningest servers versus winningist servers etc. That way PvP-minded servers will not really roll over the not so hardcore servers.

    When it is a three way battle it is pretty awesome, though.

  • My only complaint about WvW so far is the queues/queueing system. I hate waiting and I hate not being able to play with friends. They need to raise the cap or make the maps larger or something.

    I waited about two hours last night before I got my first pop and I queued for every map. It also sucks when I have a scheduled time to play with RL friends and we want to do WvW. We don’t have 1-2 hours to sit around in queue hoping we all get in the same one around the same time. Why can’t you queue up as a group? We had this same issue with sPvP. I want to do it with friends, why can’t I join as a group? Why, instead, do we all have to pick a server with enough spots and all try to join simultaneously and hope we all get in and are all on the same team? This is basic stuff, I don’t understand why it is not in.

  • “They need to raise the cap or make the maps larger or something.”

    Yes, because crushing server/framerate lag along with lots and lots of running make for a fantastic WvWvW experience.

  • I agree they need to raise the caps, sometimes I only have an hour or 2 to play the game… and everytime this past weekend when I tried to que for WvW and was on for a couple hours it NEVER popped.

  • I get the feeling solid WvW is going to be contained to the top X servers, and all servers out of that group are going to contain far too many PvE or just bad players to make WvW interesting. When you have a pop cap, you can’t have X% of your ‘PvP’ players queuing up to explore the WvW zones, chase resources, or just run around solo for ‘fun’. It’s going to lead to stomps and poor overall gameplay.

    On the other hand, the servers who are focused on WvW have infinite queues that make getting in solo (forget as a guild) impossible, so yea…

  • @gimpThane: When they have 2+ hour ques for EVERY WvW border and the eternal battleground that is a problem

  • Keen. What you witnessed was a massive alliance move off northern shiverpeaks to a new server. We an oceanic guild(my guild is in this alliance) where then pitted against your server and another. This alliance is highly organised on team speak and communicating working 24/7 across multiple timezones. Once the rankings settle in we will probally be pitted against equal ranking servers. So sorry for that. On the flip side when one world owns all the map WvWvW is completely boring as well.

  • People complaining about caps and queues not popping need to transfer to servers with lighter populations.

    I’ve never had a single queue on Anvil Rock. Not even for the Eternal Battlegrounds.

    If you’re dealing with a WvWvW queue, it’s your own fault.

  • @Gomez: What’s unfortunate is the very next day my server is the one dominating with the third server (still Kaineg) doing nothing.

  • I am not sure merging servers right now would be a good idea. The population is still on the rise and their are still issues with overflow. The same thing could happen in a DAOC setup if one realm just did not participate. The main difference would be it’d be stuck that way forever.

    I think we kind of just have to accept the fact some matchups will be shobby.

    A tiered league system like british football might help a little. It will push those servers with no interest in WvW down to the lower leagues where they will not interfere with those who do like WvW. League sizes can always be adjusted for population.

  • @Gali: So I should have to transfer off my server and out of a guild just to not have ques?

    It’s fine now, last night or the night before (don’t remember which) was when it was bad.

  • @Drathmar

    Not to be sound rude but possibly yes. You need to decide what’s worth more to you, playing with your guild in WvWvW or having no queues. You can leave your server and still stay in your guild and play PvE cross server if you want to.

    Raising the caps so everyone doesn’t have queues on all the servers just won’t be feasible, especially if you’re on a server with a high demand. It’ll kill performance or make it so one server will just win on pure numbers alone (cap goes to 1000 per side and it ends up being 1000v500v400)

    I do wish there was more feedback regarding queue times for each front though. It would be nice to know if I’m 30 minutes or 2 hours away from getting in.

  • I think estimated waiting time is a definite must for queues now.

    During headstart me and my friend picked desolation as our home thinking we dont have a guild and a so-called unofficial uk server seemed like a good pick as we are in close time zones and finding guilds (with schedules that can fit us) would be easier.

    Now on PvE side we are mostly sitting in overflow trying to join each other (so far best way sems to wait it out to join when you exit overflow) and on WvWvW side; wait in queues to finally get bored and log off. On our server you need to either enter WvW during off-peak times and stay there or forget about it.

    I think raising cap would cause more problems than it would solve at this point in the game . Pandas are coming and we dont know how many will leave, making some servers ghost towns. Also they still have not re-opened the digital sales and we are not sure how much more people will come. And people will come. One of my friends just told me yesterday that everywhere he checked, it was delivery time 1-2 weeks; he couldnt find a box to buy.

    Merging would also be problematic for the same reasons.

    I think we either have endure it and wait it out until the population normalizes or ANet would have to come up with something innovative to solve these queue and overflow problems.

  • I’m loving WvW. Even during that first week when Jade Sea (a French server) absolutely dominated everyone else.

    I don’t think their domination was because of the other servers giving up, certainly not Aurora Glade (us), as the queues for every single map were miles long and we were constantly fighting for second place against the other server. No, Jade Sea just got organised first. Where a lot of the zerg in AG where hitting doors with swords and arrows, JS had the right siege engines coming down at the right time. They did a lot of clever stuff, and more strength to them.

    And, of course, us two underdogs hadn’t learnt the “work together” lesson.

  • way too early to judge or second guess WvWvW wait til the free server transfers stop and when it switches to a 2 week server rotation and with similar matched servers fighting each other.

  • @Kenng: It’s never too early to remind people that for WvW to work it requires all three sides actually playing. So many — SO MANY — people are still of the mindset that it doesn’t matter who the enemy is and the goal is to just charge out there and take locations. Sometimes it is better to let a team keep some objectives to attract the ire of the third in order to come in from behind. When there are three teams, the game changes.

  • Honestly I do not see how this will work long term with queues, absolutely terrible idea. It will create divisions within the server, tons of drama. I did not buy the game since I wanted to see if the hype was justified, it sounds like answer is no so far.

    I wonder why they did it? THe stupid “fairness” argument? or is it tech limitation, if it is tech then just lol (tone down the sfx spam/shaking crap, and code a decent server. If it fairness they they are just stupid, they already have team matches..

  • Just listening to various map chats it seems there are also a large number of people hooked on leveling right now, and will try WvW when they hit 80. That and the unofficial PvE servers will form and no amount of whining will stop it. ANet certainly can’t ban people for not queuing up for WvW. The best that can be hoped for is for these servers to fall to the bottom, in groups of 3 so they will be matched with each other where it’s possible no one will control anything.

    Right now I know I’ll probably do some WvW in the future but I’ve been so hooked on so much other stuff like leveling and crafting and jumping puzzles and exploring dungeons and running events and running around reviving people that I just haven’t tried any WvW yet.

  • It’s too early to be concerned about this for multiple reasons:

    1). A vast majority of the playerbase is focused on leveling and the more hardcore PvP crowd are testing builds and team compositions via sPvP. Too many people have their attention elsewhere for there to be any kind of sustained interest in WvWvW.

    2). Server rotations occur daily so the entire WvWvW experience is in constant upheaval. What happens in WvWvW today has very little lasting impact so the incentive to “get out and fight” isn’t there yet.

    3). Free server transfers mean the player population is also in constant flux. Players/guilds that might be interested in WvWvW right now will transfer to another server if their home server doesn’t meet their needs.

    Essentially the game is still far too new and too many temporary stabilization measures are in place to really judge how things will play out. If this is still an issue when server transfers have a cost and when the average player is closer to “end game” then it will be worth discussing.

  • So discuss it AFTER it’s an issue, instead of before? Like, worry about rebuilding AFTER the earthquake instead of making the buildings capable if withstanding one. Because that’s what we’re looking at here. We’re looking at a game breaker if down the road people forget (like I’m already seeing) that this is a fight with three teams, and/or one server continually dominates every match-up. I’m not the type of person to pick up the pieces and say “How should we build it next time?” I prefer to say “I see a problem in the future. Let’s fix it now.”

  • I have played very little WvWvW. Mostly due to PvE being such a blast. The4re is so much to do I log in with the intent to do one thing and end up getting sucked into ten other things. It has also been a long time since I have not noticed the ‘ding’. I am surprised in GW2 when I level whereas other games I am constantly watching the bar. Eventually I will get into WvWvW but right now PvE is simply too much fun. Perhaps that is part of the problem as well. There is too many fun things to do in the game. WvWvW has a lot to compete against.

  • I’d give the environment at least a month to stabilise before worrying about the state of WvW.

    As others have stated, many people are busy leveling in PVE.

    I haven’t actually bothered to take a look at WvW as yet.
    Maybe I’ll log in over the weekend and check it out.

  • I am having 4 to 8 hours WWW queues and lack of participation is not something which looks like the problem now. The queues themselves though…. – we cant get a lot of our members in, and people have to sit in queue and if they crash it back to queue

    When we actually get in it usually a blast, but I am not going to bother if I have to camp the queue for 4 hours

  • I am finding this overly complex. People are yelling to go to places I can not even find on my map. Its biggest drawback is the massive learning curve. None of it makes much sense.

  • How are the queues on Ehmry Bay? My server’s (Northern Shiverpeaks) WvW went from massive queues to empty at some times of the day.

  • Hey Keen, I’m on emery bay with relics of orr and while we tend towards being a PvE guild we have several members that are chomping at the bit to do some organized WvW. Shoot me a PM (ign Shongaqu) and I’ll see what I can do about rounding up some support.