After some questions to help new players get ready and in the mindset of WvW, we shifted gears and focused more on philosophical discussions of WvW. I wanted to get their feelings of this game, and how they felt it was going. As before we spoke with Commander Jadon [NOPE], Kyle the Savage [ESP], Xandra [RoT]/[CERN] and Kamikaze [DIVA].
"Now what we've covered the basics, let's dig a bit deeper into WvW. How do you feel about the current meta-game?"
Commander Jadon: The meta right now is unfortunately a very big... I guess you could say drag?
Kyle the Savage: I personally don't really enjoy the current meta, or at least the Tier 1 meta. Tier 1 tends to put every single person on the map into a single zerg and just run over everyone which I understand is effective but I just don't understand how it's fun, for us or for Tier 1. I prefer smaller groups of maybe 30 tops that are coordinated and where your contribution actually makes a difference.
Xandra: The current meta is large blobs of people banging into each other and seeing who survives. OK, maybe there's a little more to it than that. There is positioning, abusing stealth mechanics and line-based AOE fields (Veil, Spectral Wall, Line of Warding.) I would prefer the game shifted to smaller (20-man) group play, instead of server (or map-queue) blobs all running together.
Commander Jadon: Yes, quite that. While it can be fun, the same back and forth over and over on the same maps gets old. And those that can still enjoy WvW in that state still lose mativation through the fact that many of their efforts are undone when they are not there. It's like watching the project you worked so hard on get stepped on and ripped up then you end up getting an F that isn't your fault.
Kamikaze: I was once playing for PPT (Points Per Tick) and got very frustrated by losing Towers and Keeps that were so heavily sieged up that you would need a tank to get in, but enemy still managed to get in and take it. Thankfully it's not just what the game should be about; you should focus on having fun and fight your enemies. Although the Towers, Keeps and Camps give us something to do you should never take it too seriously.
"How do you feel about the current rankings? Beyond just your servers, but as a whole?"
Kyle the Savage: The ranking system is tough at the moment. Tier 1 is very competitive. The top three servers are very comparable and seem to have a close matchup every week they are all in the same group. However, after those top three there is quite a large drop-off to the 4th server (TC), and then in my opinion an even larger drop-off to the 5th and 6th servers (FA and DB).
Xandra: Generally pretty good, the disparity between Tier 1 and everyone else is huge, and TC is in a hard position in that it's kind of between T1 and T2 in terms of numbers and coverage. Coverage wins games, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If you can queue every map 24/7, you'll win.
Commander Jadon: Anyone who WvWs often enough understands that the winners at the end of the day are the servers with mass dedicated population but superior coverage. With the random factor, the match ups do not last long enough and battles are not fought long enough to determine true rank. Lower ranked servers can have better players then we will ever be, and the highest tier servers can be the worst players individually the world has ever known.
Kamikaze: The Current ranking system feels broken; it will give your server some weird matchups. You gain points by meeting a higher ranking server and you lose points by meeting lower ranking servers. Random matchups can be fun because you always get to meet a new server every week, but it can also make some weeks very demoralizing for a server and makes it very boring for the World vs. World players.
"What about map changes? Do you feel like they effect the rankings? Any complaints or praises?"
Commander Jadon: I personally like them. They are refreshing if not a bit unfortunately late.
Kyle the Savage: The map changes in my opinion are terrible. Firstly, the separation of the servers further increases with the bloodlust buff. Now not only are weaker servers fighting servers they couldn't beat before but they are fighting those same servers with +Stats. It doesn't make any sense to me.
Kamikaze: The changes they made feels very copy/paste with not a lot of effort put into it. I would have honestly wanted to see entirely new borderlands and ones that are a lot bigger. If they made the maps the same size as Eternal Battlegrounds that would have punished the larger groups a lot more. My reasoning to this argument is that if the maps are big and 1 server wants to run as 1 gigantic group then the other server that splits up more has a greater chance to attack multiple targets. It would take that big group some time to run to one of the objectives and they would not be able to run to all objectives. Therefore, they have to split up to counter enemies, but since all objectives are fairly close to each other now it's possible to take one big group from objective to another. I think we would see less blobbing (group of 60+) if the maps were bigger.
Back on topic, I don't particularly love the revamped maps but I don't hate them either. At the moment as I see it, they aren't being used as Anet planned. People go for the Bloodlust buff but leave it entirely after they’ve done and not many people bother with it. Nothing has really changed.
"How do you feel about the developers direction for WvW?"
Commander Jadon: Developers are doing exactly what was a problem with Warhammer Online... they had an amazing realm vs realm system that they did not really ever expand on, but ended up being the sole activity that kept the game popular in any sense. It could have been so much more, and while the devs of GW2 are working on WvW now, it is far too slow.
Xandra: Fights of even numbers, requiring co-ordination, communication and skill, have effectively been pushed to the wayside in favor of the returning Orb mechanic (which was removed for being overpowered in the first place) and coverage wars. I hope that the devs have plans in place to split zergs up, make roaming groups more effective, and keep the playing field level.
Kamikaze: I feel the WvW community is being neglected by the developers, there has been a lot of good suggestions and a lot of feedback but at times it feels like talking to a wall.
World Experience, in my eyes, has ruined a lot of quality sieging. Before they added world experience it could take hours to siege a keep. People cared about their structure and people would spend hours to defend and hours to attack. Now if it takes more than an hour to attack something people give up on it and go to an easier objective or leave completely. It also feels like ArenaNet did not prepare enough or test things before they release these things into WvW. They need to do full-scale tests and not only with a small sample pool.
"With those feelings on development, what would be the one things you would change?"
Xandra: The Commander icon effectiveness and utility. Currently it's just a blue dot that hovers over your head, and a buff that makes it easy for the enemy to see you and focus you down.
Kamikaze: I’d like to see a change in developer's eyes on how things work in World vs. World and not what it should be like. In the end it's the customers they should try to please.
If you forced my hand, I would say Remove World Experience, even though I would lose a total of 700 ranks. They game was fine before WXP and in a lot of ways it was more fun when people weren't too focused about their ranks.
Commander Jadon: The random variable in match ups went away and it went back to the tier system.
"Finally what are some last thoughts on WvW?"
Commander Jadon and Kamikaze both agreed that it is all about having fun.
Kamikaze: Don't be afraid of dying as it will only cost you a few silvers. You will get this back when you get your revenge on your enemy.
I'd also like to thanks Red Guard for putting a different view on the game, that 13 people can beat 30 people. They changed how I feel about WvW today and motivated me to become a greater player every day and also help my mates to improve because you are as strong as your weakest link.
Guild Wars 2 Hub would like to thank the Commanders for their time in answering these questions and giving tips to newer players. We wish them all the best in the coming Season which begins October 4th!