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Guild Wars 2 Weekly Reset Opinions

Introduction

The siege warfare that is seen in Guild Wars 2 takes place in battlegrounds, and is collectively called WvW (although technically it is really world vs. world vs. world). To help create some balance, since only three servers are in each bracket and there are many more than that total, there is a system in place to calculate each server's ranking compared to all others and then see if any of them should be moved up or down in a bracket to face new enemies. This happens on every Friday, after the battleground system is taken down for a few minutes and goes through a full reset of the zones. But how efficient is the system that is in place now, and is there anything that could be done to make it even better than it is already? This is what we are going to be looking at through this article, so stick around!

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The Rankings

There is a lot of complex math behind how the servers are ranked, but it essentially boils down to comparing the servers to one another as a whole. For example, you can be in the lowest tier possible but you are still being compared to the highest tier. This is needed because otherwise a server may move up in a tier, when really they should stay in the one they were in (and the server just above them would be moving down to an easier tier when they should not be, causing even more imbalance).

What this can cause is a sort of limbo, where some servers are stuck against one another for an extended period of time. Although the resets happen on Friday, for example, at one point Anvil Rock had the same two teams (one of which was dominating everyone each week) for a period of over a month. After the second week people started not joining WvW nearly as much from Anvil Rock, and it only got worse each day from there. This issue lasted all the way until the reset happened, at which some people ended up coming back and giving it a try but many others did not.

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This is really something that is hard to give a solid fix for. Different servers have different populations, and this is the biggest thing that determines who is going to do the best in WvW. Even if you have an elite group of, say thirty players, if another server has hundreds, you are still going to face problems. The only real way I can see to combat this would be to implement some type of handicap system, where the weaker servers are bolstered in some way or another. Things like increased damage and defense comes to mind, but then you run in to even more problems in that it would not be fair if two teams of equal size clashed, with one being boosted in power and the other not. Even so, this does seem like the only option at this point unless the population problems are somehow resolved.

Population Matters Too Much

The weekly reset is based on each server's relative position to all of the other servers, but populations of the servers are the biggest determinant as to where each is going to rank. For example, a server that has a high population all day and night is going to do significantly better than one that is mostly on in the day or mostly at night. No matter how good one server is at PvP and sieging, none of this matters if they do not have a constantly high population; the weaker servers will just end up taking over everything when they go to sleep.

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This leads to a host of new problems, and the only real fix would be to try and even out the number of players in each world's side in WvW itself. There are two methods that come to mind for doing this, although I am not quite sure either of these would be preferable to the other players.

The first method would be to limit the number of people that can join WvW at any given time to that of the lowest population server's current WvW population. For example, if a server has only thirty players in one of the battlegrounds, only allow thirty to join from the other two servers as well. Of course this is really not something that would work too well, though, as there are going to be people that are AFK or are off wandering on their own, in which the populations will seem a little skewed regardless. Along with this, the only way to keep the populations balanced like this would be to constantly let new players in and kick others out, which would be annoying to say the least. As you might guess, this system is definitely not going to work (but it could be used as a sort of building block to coming up with another plan).

The other method I came up with is to run battlegrounds just like war fronts. Instead of having players set on a team statically, they could be dynamic. As one server was to increase its WvW population, players would be sent to help defend the other servers. This does go against the whole concept of having the servers being loyal and fighting against one another, but it would solve the population issues pretty easily. The only real issue I see here is people being forced to change over when they are trying to do something, like work on their world completion or when they are with their guild doing some guild sieging.

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In essence, the population of the worlds matters way too much for WvW to be considered as stable in its current state, but fixing the problem would end up causing a lot of things players would prefer to stay away from. Sadly, however, because of how everything works there is always a constant amount of players trying out WvW and then quitting out of annoyance as to how it works.

The Bonuses Are Removed

As you take part in WvW, you will notice that the scores each team has are increasing and with each increase unlocks a lot of passive bonuses for everyone of that world. One of the things that happens with each reset is that all of these points are dropped to zero, and therefore all of the bonuses are also lost.

When the reset occurs and those skills are lost, they have to be gained yet again through the next week's WvW. What makes this a somewhat bad thing is that most of the bonuses are never even gained (as there just is not enough time to earn that many points), and the ones that are worth having end up being knocked out before players actually get a chance to use them. In other words, for all intents and purposes the world bonuses are not as helpful as a lot of players are led to believe.

The way to resolve this would be to change the number of points that are required to earn each reward. Instead of having it static, for example, the top server could be considered as the limiter. So what would happen here is, let us say that the top server earned eleven thousand points the last round, that would be the number of points required for the top rewards in the next round. All of the other point requirements for other rewards would be altered proportional to the top one, so it would be easier for the lower end servers to still get at least some benefit, and then the top rewards are not being wasted since nobody is reaching a high enough point amount to even get them. Along with this, the new system would help keep things more stable for when WvW populations drop and other things, in that the dynamic points would always keep changing relative to each week's progress.

Conclusion

I love the WvW system in Guild Wars 2, but that does not mean that it does not have flaws. It does definitely have some, and Arena Net has been doing a good job at paying attention to the input of their players and trying to work around problems to keep everyone happy. With that said, the system still has a lot of work that needs to be done on it, because as of its current state it is not nearly as beneficial as it could be to take part!

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