Tyrian Times – GW2 Week In Review
By Meredith Watson, OnRPG Tyrian Reporter
As I predicted (not so much a prediction as the inevitable), a new item has been added to the trading post recently in Guild Wars 2. Along with the Fall Colour Dye Pack, which consists of greens and oranges, are a couple discounted and improved items as well; the booster pack is 25% off until the 15th and the Black Lion key has been improved. The Black Lion Key, if you don’t know, is used to open the Black Lion Chests that drop off mobs. Certainly not earth shattering in terms of items being added but hopefully a step in the right direction. ArenaNet could really do a lot with the Trading Post and I suspect they will in time. Their focus does seem to be on working out its kinks, which is never a bad thing. It is a bit disappointing; however, that only one item has been added to date.
Interestingly, as Blizzard admits they are too slow on developing and releasing content, Colin Johanson discusses ArenaNet’s plans for developing the game. As opposed to one live team working on content as in most MMOs, ArenaNet will have eight teams for various aspects of development. Live security will be focusing on bots, farmers and spammers while the live response team are the bug squashers, game balancers and feedback analysers. The living world team concentrates on adding to and fine tuning the existing world. Other teams include Mac development, PvP, Holidays and events (Halloween!) and Commerce. While all this sounds great it doesn’t really mean much to your average gamer. It is meant to assure us that they have many able bodies on the job and will get us our content quickly. ArenaNet, however, does have a decent track record of getting out content. With Guild Wars, which was released in 2005, there were three campaigns and one expansion released within a two year period. Having played Guild Wars (although not extensively) I don’t recall it being bug addled or having major issues but again I wasn’t there for the launches of the campaigns.
(Editor’s Note: I was there for the launch of Guild Wars, Nightfall, and Factions and all 3 were some of the smoothest launches in my gaming career.)
EverQuest II, which was released in November 2004, introduced three adventure packs (mini-expansions) and eight expansion packs up to 2011. I did play EQ2 quite a bit and there seemed to be an air of indifference towards bugs and exploits by Sony. That being said, there weren’t a lot of issues with the game itself. The biggest complaint was always Sony.
Blizzard on the other hand has added four expansions in roughly eight years. All of the expansions have had some issues but Blizzard has always been quick to fix any problems. The problem is how long it takes to get new content from Blizzard. From classic WoW to The Burning Crusade it took two years. Two years!
I think it is safe to say, given what we know of content release for Guild Wars, we are in good hands with ArenaNet and will likely get content in a timely matter and hopefully with minimal issues.
The other big news this week has been the announcement concerning structured PvP. But what is structured PvP you ask?
“Structured PvP is a Player versus Player mode which allows competition on an even footing. There are two primary modes of play; tournament and hot join play. Any character used to enter structured PvP retains their profession; however any race specific skills are not accessible. The character is given a fixed maximum level, and all skills and items are available without the need to unlock them first. Scores are tracked on the scoreboard. Player statistics are tracked and used to generate a player ranking. Unlike WvW, structured PvP doesn’t grant rewards usable in PvE. Instead, players earn glory and rank which are used to obtain better looking gear for use only in structured PvP.”
So basically, structured PvP equals tournament play. The announcement this week concerns the two planned types of tournaments: free automated and paid automated tournaments. Free automated tournaments are for anyone to join. Free automated will be rather like a starter tournament learning the ins and outs of structured PvP whereas the paid automated tournament will be more intense. As the name implies, paid automated tournaments will be just that. You will need tickets for the entry fee which can be bought with gems on the Trading Post, chest rewards from free tournaments or when you rank up. Unlike the free tournament, you will need to bring a premade team if you are participating in the paid tournament. There are plenty of rewards too for the top rankers in both the free and paid tournaments.
Custom arenas will also be making an appearance in the near future. Custom arenas are rental arenas. Here you and your premade team can practice tactics, hold skirmishes, or try out builds. Custom arenas will be password protected and offer a variety of maps allowing for private tournaments. Currently, it is not known how they player will pay for the use of the custom arena but that as well as more in depth information is promised in the near future .
ArenaNet feels passionate about PvP/eSports and it shows. I can only hope they put as much effort and thought into other aspects of the game because undoubtedly there is a sizeable part of the community that does not enjoy structured PvP/WvW/eSport.