Guild Wars 2 — Fixing World vs World for 2018
World vs World (vs World), the ultimate massive scale PvP of any MMO. Also one of the most neglected, most complained about game mode of Guild Wars 2. Mainly this is caused by Arenanet not giving it the love and attention that it needs. I don’t fully blame them for this; it honestly seems that they just aren’t sure what to do about the mode.
When Mo (Mike O’Brien) took over as lead of Guild Wars 2, he was extremely transparent in what he was going to do with the game. He re-managed how the teams were working with each other, creating a more streamlined release schedule, as well as making the Living Story work along with the Expansions. This was the first step in turning Guild Wars 2 away from the hole that it was falling into. I commend him for this.
The next step is reinstating teams back to managing World vs World full time, and helping the community out in the ways that are needed. This truly means that the developers need to join in a conversation with the player base, and to acknowledge the problems the community wants fixed. So, in hoping that we can achieve this goal I wanted to lay out a few of the problems that I, my guild, and server mates have felt the problem with the mode are.
Fights: Condi vs Power Balance Issues, and Stability
The biggest complaint from the core group of players relates to fighting, as it should be with a PvP game type.
So, what’s wrong with the fighting?
Condi’s have been buffed to a point that they make it the smarter choice than power, for most (if not all) classes. “But Scrub! Anet has balanced this out more in the recent patches and it’s making power a little better to use!”
While this isn’t inherently wrong, it will always be wrong until we fix one fundamental problem:
There is no downside to using a condition build.
You can get away with using full Dire armor, and still bursting somebody as hard as a player in a full glass Zerker gear, all while being insanely tanky. Condition damage, in and of itself is strong for 2 reason:
1. You only need 1 stat, Condition Damage, to do your damage. Compare that to anything in the Power family: In order to do more Power damage you need to take Crit Chance (Precision) and Crit Damage (Ferocity). Sacrificing any other stat for extra damage is inherently weaker in our current structure.
2. Toughness. Power has a stat that counters it, and makes your attacks weaker. Condition damage is NOT affected by your armor or your toughness. You will do the same amount of Condition damage to a level 20 in blue armor, that you would do to a level 80 with ascended armor.
“That’s why Arenanet made Resistance!” Yeah, a BOON that makes you unaffected by Conditions for a certain period of time. This was exactly where Arenanet went wrong with balancing. We created a temporary, capable of being removed, boon that just fully negates condition damage.
That would be the same as removing Toughness/Armor and giving us a Boon that negates all Power damage for a certain period of time. It just doesn’t makes sense.
This is extremely unbalanced, and honestly just needs to be removed and reworked into a new idea.
Instead of a Boon, Resistance should have been a new stat. Give all players a base of 0 resistance, and create an equation similar to this:
Condition Damage Reduced (percentage) = (Resistance / 3000)
Where you calculate the Condition Damage done, and then scale it back a certain percentage on a scale of 1–100%, where 100% reduction is 3000 Resitance (which would be impossible to achieve in theory).
The maximum resistance that a player would be able to get would be around 1600–1800, making it so that player took around 50–60% less Condition Damage.
The other balance issue: Stability. Just gives us back the Duration-Based Stability that we used to have. It’s stronger, better, more fun, and just makes more sense. I haven’t found a single player that thinks that Stack-Based Stability was a good choice for the game mode.
Honestly, I’m not sure where to help Arenanet here. The servers are vastly unbalanced in terms of population, and it’s mainly due to however they calculate population status of servers. You have servers in all tiers that are considered “Full,” but just don’t pull the numbers to actually carry themselves up to a higher tier, where they should be able to play.
The hardest decision is handling this in a way that won’t piss off the entire player base. The easy solution: Remove Population caps completely, and let the Queues deal with the WvW population.
Will that solve it? Probably not, but it might help us balance in a new way: People who hate siting in Queues will balance themselves to the smaller-population servers and the population would (hopefully) spread itself out, and not be so stacked to certain servers.
I don’t envy Arenanet on this issue, I’m not sure what I would do to fix it. I do believe that no matter what they do, there is no way to truly please the whole communtiy, and solve this problem. When you have a war-based game mode that’s run 24/7, you will always have population and coverage issues.
Mechanics, and Rewards
Biggest issue: It’s 2017 and we can’t have an epic 3 way fight inside of Stonemist Castle with 200+ players without having 20 second skill lag that ruins the entire point of an epic battle.
Buy new servers, optimize the game, and allow us to enjoy the most epic, large scale fights of any game I’ve ever played. Right now we just get a bunch of players running around doing about 1/20th of the APM that they should be allowed to do, and ruining the entire idea of a good fight.
Arenanet did a great job adding in the Pips reward system and adding Legendary Armor, and a Legendary Backpiece. This was one of the best changes in terms of rewards that they could have added, but it also created one of the most toxic problems for the gamemode:
It encourages everybody to AFK in the maps until they run out of participation.
Is this the players fault? No. Not even a little bit. It’s not abuse, it’s not exploiting, and it’s 100% the right thing to do from the player perspective.
I do it every single time I play WvW. It’s how I finish playing at the end of the night, because the game encourages it. Why wouldn’t I get the extra ~3 ticks worth of rewards for hanging out at spawn and just chatting with my guild?
Give us a cash-out button. Arenanet seems to think this will be abused and will create people doing something like this:
- Get Max Participation
- Cash Out
- Go back into WvW
Can’t this be solved by giving players a 15 Minute Debuff that doesn’t allow them to gain participation? That’s exactly what the players are doing, sacrificing 15 minutes of their game play to not be sitting AFK in a map.
This ended up a much longer write up than I had planned it to be. I have much more that I’d be able to talk about when it comes to WvW, but for now I’ll leave it with those main three issues that I would love to see worked on.
I would love to add a section for Guild vs Guild fights, but I’ll leave that for another day, as that’s probably an article equal to this size.
Obviously, everything that was written here is my personal opinion, and you are all more than welcome to agree or disagree with me how you see fit. In the end, I would encourage you to let me know how you feel on it, as that will make the game better for all of us if Anet chooses to listen.
Tweet at me @ImTenelen or just comment below.
— Scrub, rip