Hello, Dak here, Verene’s boyfriend! I’m doing a guest post here, after the recent announcement detailing GW2′s World vs. World (WvW) mode.
First, some background. I’m not an expert on GW1, having played it little and relatively recently, though I’ve enjoyed what I have played. I have a grip on how the various classes are played, but I don’t have all the best skill sets memorized or anything like that. So this is from the perspective of someone who hasn’t really played GW, which should give a refreshing point of view from the rest of us who are merely waiting to be fanatics.
Second, I haven’t touched GW1′s PvP, at all. While I like how GW handles PvP from a design perspective, beating up other people in a hectic battle isn’t my cup of tea. I haven’t played PvP in other MMOs either, and as far as the other genres go… same deal, not a fan of deathmatches, capture the flag, and the like (the sole exception being Assassin’s Creed, for myriad reasons that are not the point of this post).
So what’s my view on GW2′s WvW, as a non-fanatic non-PvP upcoming player? Simply put, I’m really intrigued!
The first thing that catches my attention is the scope of it all. Massive maps designed to support 300 people at a time, filled with majestic castles, keeps, and camps awaiting worthy adventurers to swarm into them swords and staves swinging. Battles so prodigious they’ll take two weeks to play out. Just the prospect of being a part of something so colossal is alluring in its own way. Even if I am a tad squeamish at the thought of joining a group of adventurers and thus having to cooperate with people I don’t know, the size of the undertaking in this case – combined with GW2′s simple and painless grouping system – reverses that worry: in a group of 100, I can work with the force as if they were much smarter AI NPCs in dynamic events. Thank you ArenaNet, for developing a style of PvP that suits those of us who don’t like the pressure of close-knit teamwork.
Second, the freedom. Gw2′s philosophy of freeing the player extends to WvW just as much as every other facet of the game, and as a result the things you can do to support your world in its fight are numerous. Join the frontal assault and crush an enemy’s defensive lines directly! Aid the battle by erecting any of a handful of siege engines, and decimate enemy forces or shatter their walls! Or defend incoming supply caravans, to ensure your front line’s steady flow of resources! Roam the countryside to recruit mercenaries to your side, the better to defend your keeps or charge in for a surprise assault! Establish your guild in a specific keep, to harden its defenses and give bonuses to your side! The possibilities are vast, and with such varied objectives you’ll always have something to do, or switch to if you need a fresh approach to the conflict.
Third, balance. Like the standard PvP, WvW adjusts everyone playing so that their power is roughly the same as it would be at level 80. Players who have reached 80 will of course have access to many more bonuses on their weapons, and a plethora of elite skills that lower level players won’t have, but the fight won’t be a completely one-sided curbstomp either. Leveling the field in this way means that playing experience counts, but newer players won’t be scared off by capped players decimating them at every turn. And since you earn xp even while playing WvW, those newer players are leveling up and closing the gap as they learn the ropes! Everybody wins!
WvW is an exciting concept unlike anything I’ve seen before. Its accommodation for all kinds and all levels of players is very inviting, and its immense scope draws attention for the sheer sense of size and ability to influence the world. All in all, World vs. World is just another facet to GW2 that causes this relative newcomer to await its release with growing anticipation.