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Guild Wars 2 – Making Friends Through Structured PvP

When it comes to gaming competitively, we almost all experience some social anxiety. Competitive gaming requires you to rely on other players doing their job and playing their part, and this is often pretty tough to do until you know people pretty well. In most cases, we end up having to just give people try outs and let them show their skills to us, but with Guild Wars 2 things are much more easy and casual.

Structured PvP has two settings: joining solo or as a team. Now, team queues give better rewards and allow you to join with your own party. Joining solo has worse rewards and pretty much just throws you out with random players. Since solo is so easy to get in to and you can do it alone (hence its name), this is the best place to do recruiting at. Here is the process I usually go through when I am looking for new partners for PvP (and that I have seen PvP guilds go through as well):

  • Play through a match while watching people who consistently play well. Ignore their scores; spend more time focusing on how well they do than how many points they are earning
  • Send the players you like a pm or invite them to a group after the match is over
  • Talk to them about joining your guild or joining you for some pre made groups

The important thing above is that you do not judge people based on how many points they earn through the match. The points are not based on teamwork, but rather how much a single person contributed. Someone who runs through constantly hitting players once and running off, for example, is going to earn a lot of points even though they did not really contribute that much to the match or help win. On the other hand, someone could score low but be because they defended one of the objectives the entire time and just never got any kills due to enemies running off before they die. This person would be a great catch, despite their low score, and is someone you would definitely want to talk to about joining you. Sometimes you will find people that will at least join you for a few matches, and sometimes you will be rejected.

If you manage to get someone to play some rounds with you, friend them after and invite them on future runs if you think they are good players. The more you do this, the more you build up your relationship with them, and the closer you get and the more you learn from each other. Over time, you can turn this person in to a loyal player with you, and you will be able to join them on their matches as well. This means you will presumably win more matches and have a lot more fun on your matches.

I have made a lot of friends in Guild Wars 2 through this, to the point where I can log in pretty much any time and still have someone that is willing to join me on some PvP. Even if people are not doing PvP at the time, sometimes it just takes logging in and giving them a partner to change their mind. Even so, I will also run solo a lot so I can meet new people to bring in to my circle; I use structured PvP as a way to socialize with other PvPers as well, not simply to find people that I can play with.

Once you get together a group of people you think will work together, you can then create a normal match with a password or just join one together and try to move over to the same team. This will allow you to test out your skills on specific maps, which can be invaluable for getting better at any of them that you are not too good at already. Often times, you will find that you mix very well on some maps but not on others. For those that you are not as good at, you will need to spend a lot of time getting better and practicing if you want to be competitive. But while you are doing this, you should weave in some of your good maps as well, just so you can keep your skills tuned for it; the worst thing you can do is get better at one map and get worse at another at the same time.

Last but not least, you need to be aware that making friends like this is a very active thing. You can not passively hope to make friends through this method. While I have been invited to random groups after winning a match (and doing well), it is very rare. I would estimate maybe one of out every 100 or so matches this will happen, if that. But if you are actively looking for others and throwing out the invites, you will see that it is actually pretty easy to get people to join you. And even if you can not fill up your party after a match (it is very rare to get all four to join for future ones), you can join new matches with those you got and try to fill up the remaining slots with new people from those matches. This also allows the cycling of people so you can keep upgrading as you go too. Just make sure that you are a great player as well, or you will be the bottleneck of the group and could very well be evicted!

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