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Mixing PvP with the PvE

David North Posted:
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The countdown to the release of Guild Wars 2 continues, and my anticipation for ArenaNet’s MMO just grows and grows.  Last week the announcement of the release date got a lot of attention, both from fans and critics.  The news was so big that it kind of overshadowed the stress test that happened the day before, so let’s back track a bit and talk about the stress test.

For those of you who don’t know, the stress test was a small event that ArenaNet held to let players, those of us who pre-purchased the game, log into Guild Wars 2 for a few hours.  The players would help test the game’s servers while having some fun, to help get everything running smoothly for launch.  Now this stress test was just like the one before it, except for one major detail 

At the end of the stress test, and the previous BWE before it, ArenaNet threw in a huge in-world event in the land of the Charr.  Some players that were in the area were turned into corrupted, or branded, creatures.  When you became a creature you’re look drastically changed, and you gained a new skill set to try to defeat other players. The ability to cast spells, while running, was also taken away, to balance out the massive amount of damage your new skills caused.

The best part about the event was that it occurred in the PvE area of the game.  This was really interesting, and I think it’s a taste of things to come.  Well, I hope anyways.  Up till just recently in the BEW, all PvP action has happened on separated maps, either in a structured PvP format, or the massive WvW.  One thing I really enjoyed in other MMOs was the ability to engage in some PvP while running around in the PvE area.  Now that I have actually seen it in action in Guild Wars 2, I want it back! 

I can understand why ArenaNet hasn’t shown any real interest in having every area open to PvP.  The major reasoning is that it just doesn’t fit in the game’s world. All the major races are actually banding together, rather than fighting and going to war like they did in the past.  To have players who are on the same team attacking each other randomly just doesn’t really fit.  Now, if you look at what the event did by having the players split into two teams in one area map, and giving each team a set of goals to complete like in a dynamic event, PvP in a PvE area now makes sense.   

I can't remember what my branded form actually looked like, but here is a quick sketch to show the basic idea. This character use to be a Charr.

What really made sense of things, was that he event had a story. The dragon’s corruption turned several players into monstrous creatures.  The creature team must do the dragon’s bidding by finding ways to spread the corruption.  The unaffected players were tasked with stopping the corruption, and getting things back to normal.  Sadly I don’t know what happens if one team wins, as the stress test ended before a team could be called the victor.  When I think of how massive the event is, it should have some huge effects on the area, and the players.

Another thing that this event did was bring all the players together.  It creates a way for PvE and PvP players to play together, and to learn a bit about each other’s way of playing the game.   This goes really well with the new elements that have been added to the WvW maps that not only have massive PvP gameplay, but also mix in the feeling of exploration and teamwork that you find in PvE.  By seamlessly integrating the two different play types together, you allow players to try something new, without throwing them into it and being completely clueless on what to do. 

This stress test event was really fun, and makes me wonder if ArenaNet is hiding some sweet features for Guild Wars 2.  There’s a ton of possibilities with this idea, and I can’t wait to see what ArenaNet actually does.  I would love to see this event actually take place again during the last BWE, but chances are I will just have to wait.  Oh well, it will be worth it. At least we’ll get to play the Asura and Sylvari before launch!


David North