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Guild Wars 2 Upcoming PvP Rewards Road Map Opinions

On December 2, 2013, John Corpening released a new road map for Guild Wars 2 and its PvP rewards. This is a system that has been needing an update for a while now, as the structured PvP system has been getting additions (like new maps) but no revisions on how things are handled. Through this article I will be going through the changes he mentioned, as well as how they will affect the game and what they really mean. It has been stated that it will be “many months” to roll out all of the new changes, but this helps to see what is in store for the future. I will also be covering things in more depth as the actual changes are hitting the game, being that any of these can be altered again at any point and nothing is set in stone right now.

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Scaling PvP Glory Rewards

This is a big thing to me. The amount of Glory that was earned in each match was based solely on your own contribution, as well as bonuses for things like top stats. This helped push people away from working as a team and more towards working for personal gain, leaving their team in the dust while it happened. As of the end of October, this has changed. Now, Glory rewards are based on whether you win or lose, plus bonuses for the things like top stats. On top of this, the rewards are scaled based on the duration of the match. No longer do you have to look at a ten minute match as being half as profitable as two five minute matches. Instead, they are scaling so it is at least somewhat evened out (keep in mind that two fast matches still leads to more of the bonus rewards, but past that they should be about the same).

The overall effect of this change should be that it leads to more teamwork. I can not count the number of times I had to ditch my team for my own gain, just to ensure that I would get enough points to buy whatever I wanted. This is as bad mind set to be in, but when it came down to it, there was no real choice otherwise. There was a pro to that system, though, which is that everyone had a reason to at least do something. With this new change, it limits the benefits an individual can gain and can also lead to people just not caring about the match anymore (despite being given more rewards for winning the match than losing).

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Gold and Experience Rewards

This is what is coming out in the December 10 update. Not only will gold be earned as a result of taking part in structured PvP, but also the ability to level up characters (with the normal PvE levels). Glory and gold can be used to purchase account bound Tomes of Knowledge, which are items that increase the level of your character (one level per Tome of Knowledge).

I think this part is a bit iffy. For the entire duration that Guild Wars 2 has been out, PvP and PvE have been separated, with the only real merge being the World vs. World system. Essentially if you wanted PvE you would go to the various zones. If you wanted PvP you would join the Mists and hop in a structured PvP game. And if you wanted a hybrid (think PvPvE) you would jump in the battlegrounds. This change is leading to a situation where the PvP and PvE are being somewhat merged in structured PvP as well, and I just do not like the feeling of being able to level up a character in PvE by taking part in completely risk free combat. It goes against the whole point of leveling up, and it will undoubtedly lead to some players not knowing how to play their class (which is something we already experience, though not nearly in as great a number as this will end up leading to), being that they did not actually have to level up on their own.

Being able to earn gold off the structured PvP is another thing I am somewhat against (though not nearly as much), as the gold has no use in structured PvP. Gold is only used in PvE combat or in world vs. world; there is no reason to mix the two together and allow it to be earned in situations where it is not even needed. It is almost like offering up PvP rewards for taking part in PvE content. It just does not feel right. To relate it to another game that did something similar, we have AION. In AION, there used to be PvP ranks that could only be obtained through PvP (and dying would lose ranking points if it happened in PvP). After a while, it got to where you could go in to the safety of instanced dungeons and farm the same PvP rankings, without ever even having to fight another player. The separation should be there for a reason; not so that they can be merged to make it all worthless. PvP rankings should be your way of being able to show off what you have accomplished, in much the same way that in Guild Wars 2 your gold should be a way to show off what you have farmed.

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New Healing Skills

This is something I can get behind a hundred percent. We have needed some new healing skills for a long time now, and it is great to see that it is something we can look forward to. It is not clear exactly what they will be and how well they are going to work, but any additional heals are more than welcome by me. What has been stated is that they will be available for both PvP and PvE and will use skill points to unlock (like other skills).

While this was mentioned in the area of PvP, I am hoping that this may lead to different instanced dungeons that require healing as well. What we need, with how the instances currently work, is a way to make a dedicated healer. A lot of the dungeons at this point are more based on dying over and over and being resurrected than they are about trying to stay alive the entire time. With the addition of dedicated healers, it would lead to the ability to have a healer that keeps everyone alive, and could possibly even lead in to raid dungeons (although ArenaNet has previously said that there are no plans for any raids, this can change in the future).

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New Achievements

There are going to be new daily achievements for wins in Solo and Team Arenas that comes out in the December 10 update. While these are not super important, they allow players to earn up to four additional achievement points per day (above and beyond whatever you were already farming in the past). This allows for earning the achievement rewards faster. Slayer and Conqueror achievements are also going through some changes, where the points are going to be spread out more and additional tiers are going to be added.

Transferable Gear From PvP to PvE and Vice Versa

This is a very interesting change. Gear in PvP has never actually had stats. The only things that made your character different from another of the same class were your build, runes and sigils that you chose. The gear itself has never had any affect, regardless as to what tier it was in or anything else.

With this change, gear will be able to be taken from PvP out in to the PvE world or from the PvE world to PvP. The gear will still have no stats, but this allows you to take your awesome weapon skins from PvE in to the structured PvP matches. For example, you can now take your legendaries (although there is no true benefit, other than showing them off or enjoying the look while you go slay your enemies).

I am not really for or against this change, as it does not affect anything with the game. I personally have almost no interest in the look of my gear, but I do understand that a lot of people do and this is a big deal for them. As long as the change does not affect balance in any way (which, at least as of this point, it does not), I see no reason to be against it. What is not clear is how the PvP gear going in to the PvE world will be like (for example, since PvP gear has no stats attached to it, does that make it useless in PvE?).

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Changes in Currencies

A new system is coming out in the future (the details at this point are limited) that is going to retire Glory as a currency. At this point, gold will become the standard currency across the entire game; both PvP and PvE. This will also lead to the removal of the Glory vendors. There will be an advance warning prior to this happening so any existing Glory can be spent before the vendors take off.

I am very curious to see how this change ends up panning out. With the gold rewards being given out in structured PvP, it makes sense that the gold will be used to purchase items. What I am interested in seeing is how this affects the economy in both prices of items and the exchange rate of gold and gems.

While I am scared that this is going to lead to inflation in the game, I do like the idea of not being forced to do PvE just to be able to spend some money. Generally the PvP I do is in structured arenas, so this opens up a massive door to being able to repair in PvE without having to go around just farming gold to make it happen. Of course, this does end up leading us back full circle to the separation between PvP and PvE. So I guess it really boils down to being dependent upon how much gold is being earned per match and how much the different PvP items cost.

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Ladders and Seasons

The last thing that is going to be added is new ladders. This is going to be replacing the leader boards that we have now. It will work by dividing players in to divisions, where each player will earn points for playing structured PvP. These points will push the player up the ladder. At the end of each season, rewards will be given (PvP specific rewards) for both ladder standings and the level of participation.

This can be a great way to boost the number of players taking part in structured PvP. Having rewards for taking part pushes the idea that playing more often is better, and should lead to significantly increased activity. On the other hand, it also leads to the idea that you “have” to continue playing as much as possible, and it can end up detracting from other areas of the game, like World vs. World. This part is just speculation, though, and there is no telling what the effect is going to be until it actually happens.

Conclusion

It is hard to deny that Guild Wars 2's structured PvP system needed a big overhaul, but now we are getting one. The system is going to be bridging the gap between PvP and PvE, and it can end up causing issues. At the same time, the changes coming about should increase the activity we see there and allows more choice in how you play the game. Prior to all of this, for example, the only way to get gold from structured PvP was by doing the daily and monthly achievements. Past that, you had to do either World vs. World or PvE content.

I am highly looking forward to these changes being rolled out, and I am very optimistic about how the overall effect will become. Choices are a wonderful thing, and this also goes to show that ArenaNet is still working hard at making their players happy. I am looking forward to seeing their changes in other areas of the game over the long term as well!

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