Guild Wars 2 is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game from ArenaNet, and while most of the game will focus on player versus environment aspects like leveling and dungeon crawling, many players are seriously getting hyped up for the player vs player (PvP) aspect of the game. Both pickup and competitive PvP were huge driving factors in Guild Wars, and each featured formats with varying degrees of organization.
According to Guild Wars 2 Game Designer Jon Peters, ArenaNet's goal is to create the best MMO PvP experience. They plan to do that by organizing the PvP formats more clearly and simply than they did with the first game.
With the way Guild Wars 2 handles structured PvP, players will automatically be set to the maximum level and will get access to all of the necessary skills, items, etc., that they need in order to put everyone on an even playing field. "This makes player skill more important than time invested in a particular character," said Peters. When you leave the PvP environment, your character will go back to the skill and gear it had in the PvE area of the game, but the game will automatically save your last PvP setup so that you don't have to reconfigure everything each time you play. Guild Wars 2 will also let you store templates for builds so that you can try out new builds or return to the builds which you like the most.
Each profession will come with a starter PvP template. Players who have never stepped in to a PvP arena before won't be doomed to failure from the beginning. For the more hardcore players, detailed customization options will be available.
Check after the break to learn more about Guild Wars 2's Conquest game type and the MMO's two different PvP styles.
For pickup PvP play, they've developed one place where all pickup players can go. According to Peters, it's a server browser where "Hot Join" games are constantly running. They've also created a central location for competitive, automatic tournaments. These two types of play, pickup and competitive, allow players to easily transition from casual to organized PvP. Whether you're playing a pickup or tournament game, all GW2 PvP players will be in the same PvP game, Conquest, and not segregated.
The universal PvP game type in Guild Wars 2 is called Conquest. Conquest follows the tried and true capture and hold multiplayer system, where teams must capture a point and kill enemies in order to improve their score. The first team to reach score limit, or the team with the highest score when the time runs out, will win the match.
Control points will be strategic areas on a map which players can capture by standing around them. A point can only be captured if there are no enemies around it, and it has to be neutralized before it can be captured. As is standard with Conquest type maps, the more players standing at the point, the faster you'll be able to capture it.
In order to add variety to Conquest, ArenaNet is adding important secondary objectives that will give players different advantages. The advantages vary from trebuchets, repair kits, and destructible environments, like those in the Battle of Kyhlo map, all the way to a giant flying dragon flying which will blast portions of the map, killing players who are fighting below. How awesome is that?
According to Peters, "Secondary objectives allow us to create an environment where you always understand the basic objectives no matter which map you’re playing," he said. "But they also let us create radically different high-level strategies through the unique mechanics of each map."
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"The Conquest game type lets us polish that one format to the point where players can find depth in emerging strategies, and it allows our entire player base to play together. At the end of the day, Guild Wars 2 is a social MMO, and structured PvP is as much a part of that as anything else."
There are two different structured ways in which players will be able to play Conquest: through Hot Join, and with Tournaments.
Hot Join PvP
"Hot Join" games sway on the casual side of structured PvP in Guild Wars 2. They can be played 1 player versus 1 player all the way up to 10 vs. 10. This style is for those who want to experiment with different builds, learn maps, and basically just try playing against other players on an unranked scale.
When entering the Hot Join PvP, you'll be able to browse through a list of all of the available games, see which maps are being played, and how many other people are playing on that map. You'll be able to sort these servers by population, or even through your friends' lists. Plus, even if a game is in progress, players are free to join or leave at any time.
The developers have even made the servers auto-balance the number of players on the teams if one side loses because of balance issues. It's a bit like a first-person shooter where the server will load a new map after the current one ends, and players can move around teams before the fighting begins again. This will allow players to find their favorite servers and build their own personal online communities by playing the same game type with the same settings and people.
While Hot Join is slated for casual players, Tournament Play is for the hardcore fans, and it's where you'll head if you want more organized and structured PvP. Tournament play is 5 vs. 5, and the matches are played on the same maps that you'll use in Hot Join games. Different types of Tournaments games will offer different rewards based on how difficult they are:
- Pickup Tournaments—These single-elimination tournaments wait for 8 teams to join before starting. Once they start, they go through 3 rounds of eliminations, with winners receiving qualifier points.
- Monthly Tournaments—For monthly tournaments, you’ll need a certain amount of qualifier points to join.
- Yearly Tournaments—These grand tournaments feature the winners from the monthly tournaments slugging it out for the right to call themselves the best PvP players of the year.
- Player-Run Tournaments— These tournaments will be customized by players, allowing for flexibility and unique bragging rights.
Finally, Peters explains that Downed Mode will work differently in PvP than it does in PvE. Downed Mode is basically what happens when your character dies in Guild Wars 2. Instead of instantly dying, you get a few skills to use and if you kill another character while you're downed, you'll get revived. If you can't kill another character or NPC while you're downed, you'll be defeated and have to resurrect at a graveyard. In PvP however, you can still kill downed players by attacking them, or you can use a prompt called "Finish Them!" If you hit the "F" button, you'll start the animation for a finishing move that will instantly kill your opponent. I can't wait to see an Asura's finishing move. Cute and deadly, I'm sure.
With persistent Hot Join servers, instant access to items, skills, and levels, and a common game type with the goal of community building, Guild Wars 2 structured PvP sounds like it's off to a great start.
Keep in mind that along with structured PvP, Guild Wars 2 is also offering Server vs. Server PVP. When we get more info on the SvS we'll let you know all of the details.