Exclusive Interview About the WvW Skirmish Changes and Rewards
Today, ArenaNet announced some sweeping changes to World vs. World in Guild Wars 2. We caught up with GG (Grant Gertz – Producer) and MB (Mckenna Berdrow - Game Designer) to chat about all the new stuff coming in the update (which was blogged about here), and beyond. Read and enjoy!
MMORPG: Some squads are Guild raids, and although a guild might have multiple commanders, only one is ever tagged up. Will there be any way for them to gain the commander bonus as well, whilst retaining the benefits like targeting and visibility that come from being in a squad together?
MB: We don’t have any plans for providing alternate ways of acquiring the commander bonus aside from actually commanding a squad. Squads and commanders are both great tools to organize a world for total domination in WvW. Both provide an important and positive influence, but being a great commander was something that we wanted to reinforce. Commanders are a critical part of the world bond that other players rally around and usually know by in-game name. With the commander bonus, we hope this brings out more commanders and that their positive impact is felt across WvW.
MMORPG: The question on everyone's mind- with this update- the most important way to get your rewards is to win. Besides a short term lock out from rewards, are there any long term incentives to stop bandwagoning and server stacking?
GG: Winning will always help, but with the personal skirmish rewards, the important part is being active in World vs World. There are ways to earn additional progress regardless of your team’s War Score.
MB: We incentivize winning by awarding pips for victory, you can also earn pips in other ways, like commanding, playing on an outnumbered map (which is less likely to happen if you are on a stacked server), or having a high WvW rank.
However, it’s also important to keep in mind that you get the pips every tick and the winning pips are awarded based on War Score and not Skirmish Points. Every two hours, everyone’s War Score is set back to zero, and who is winning could change every tick, making a stacked world less likely to constantly win.
We want to make the moment-to-moment score feel exciting and important as a balance to the overall match score, so that players can focus on doing their best during their play session and over the course of the match. Since the rewards aren’t for winning matchups but instead focus on winning moment-to-moment, being on a stacked server is not as beneficial.
MMORPG: Will players who have transferred, either to be with new guilds or friends before this update, be locked out from rewards? On that note, what about players who transfer after this blog post but before the update hits the servers?
MB: You have to be on a world for an entire match to be eligible for skirmish rewards. That means if you transferred on Thursday, you would have to remain on that world the next day, Friday, and the entirety of the match that started on Friday to start earning skirmish rewards in the match after that. Therefore, any players who have transferred after the 26th will not be eligible for Skirmish rewards until they have been on that world for an entire match.
These transfer restrictions are important because we want to incentivize world loyalty and community.
MMORPG: If a player feels that there is just no way for them to win a skirmish, they might simple log out and come back for the next one. Are there any plans for a 'comeback' or 'close match' reward to encourage players to fight to the very end?
GG: Currently, there are no ‘come back’ or ‘close match’ incentives. It is important to remember that the new system is based on War Score, which resets every two hours. Therefore, even if your team is behind in match you can still end up with top War Score for the current tick. The new system also gives a significant bonus to players when fighting outnumbered. This provides servers, with lower populations than their opponents, an opportunity to stay on par or, in some cases, even get ahead of their opponents with respect to their skirmish reward progress.
MMORPG: Will this update feature any new changes to participation that prevents a player from simply tagging one capture or kill and then walking away from the skirmish?
MB: Players have to earn tier 3 participation to start earning pips, which would not be possible to obtain by just capturing 1 objective and then walking away. We also increased the decay time on things like ruins in an earlier release, so players could no longer just go capture a ruin every few minutes. Also, actively participating in WvW will always grant significantly more rewards and will allow you to earn WvW ranks, which is important since some of the new rewards require you to be a specific rank.
With all the different voices that come to you about World versus World, and the diverse community, is it challenging to design updates that please the majority of players? Does this effect your release schedule much for World versus World?
GG: There are many different ways to play and enjoy World vs World. Many times that means focusing on various systems in World vs World, which can lead to longer development times, to improve the game mode as a whole. Our goal is to try to make changes that improve everyone’s World vs World experience regardless of playstyle.
MMORPG: With such a long gap since the last big update, a lot of people are extremely excited to know what’s on the table. What are the future plans for World versus World now that rewards are here? How will you be keeping it fresh on a regular basis?
GG: Keeping World vs World fresh is important to us, and we have been talking internally about what is next. While we can’t share any info with you just yet, we’ll keep everyone posted when we’re ready to tell you more!