Guild Wars 2's World vs. World system is by far the biggest thing that drew me in to, and keeps me involved with the game. As a hardcore PvP'er, this has a lot of things I look forward to when it comes to fighting against other players. Throughout this article I will be looking at what I like, as well as explaining why. Hopefully this will help out some of you that are just getting in to the game or those that are still thinking about jumping in! First off we will take a look at my beginnings and what led me to Guild Wars 2 in the first place.

Lineage II's Sieges

The first Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game I remember really getting in to was Lineage II. This was years ago, but I remember it pretty well still. What I found the most interesting was the prospect of having castle sieges, where different clans would face off against one another, as well as against the castle in the hopes that they could take it over. The castle defenders, on the other hand, were also against everyone but had the help of hired NPC's to help them take down enemy players. What this led to was massive battles with often times hundreds of players all out on the field together battling it out. Alliances were formed and broken while on the battlefield, and those who were once friends became enemies. All of this led to one thing: massive amounts of PvP.

What really dragged me in to this was the fact that despite having a lot of people, we were all going for one thing: the control over the castle. Past that, nothing else really mattered. All that was important was making it in to the lords room and spending five minutes uninterrupted while taking control.

The rush of these sieges was unspeakable. You could never know what was going to happen in each one, even when you already knew who all was going to be taking part. Each battle was this massive slaughter fest, but it posed a true challenge. Going in group vs. group combat was easy. Taking on massive numbers of enemy players in an organized combat was completely different. The numbers, while they were awesome, also created some big problems. Keeping up with who was who and ensuring you did not attack the wrong people was like being in a war. Thinking too fast would cause you to take down an ally (and possibly make them turn on you), and thinking too slow could cause you to lose the battle. For anyone who wants a rush and a true challenge, this was the best thing we could get.

Age of Conan

The next game I came across that had sieges was Age of Conan. While nothing like the ones in Lineage II in terms of their scale, it brought about something else that was new: the ability to build and destroy the castles. This meant that instead of just trying to get inside the castle and take over, we were able to do some serious destruction. And if your castle was the one that was destroyed, it meant you had to go get materials in order to build it back up. This act of giving true penalties to the sieges made them all the more fun. The down side is that the number of players allowed in a siege was limited, and the castles were all instanced.

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (often called WAR) was the third game I came in to contact with that had sieges. It was a lot like Lineage II's in that there was no real destruction, but it also had a slightly smaller scale that was somewhere in between Lineage II and AoC's. I felt that the sieging was adequate, although after experiencing the other two games there was a bit to look for. Above all else was the ability to see massive numbers of players. Do not get me wrong; even without having a lot of people the sieges were fun. But if the choice was between big and small sieges, big would win hands down.

Now: Guild Wars 2

Now we bring on Guild Wars 2, my fourth MMO that has sieging in it. It actually took me a while to get in to because of how intimidating it is at first. There is a lot of stuff going on in it, and the population is almost always booming. Because of this, jumping in to WvW as a complete newbie is something that turns a lot of people away. I was caught in this myself at first.

After I started to get more used to the way Guild Wars 2 works and became a lot more comfortable with both fighting and defending mobs, I made my move in to structured PvP. This is instanced and allows you to practice your skills against other players, so it was a huge help in understanding how each of the classes worked. I, unlike many people, would rather level up one character to the maximum level before I move on to an alt. As a result, I picked the class that looked the most interesting and stuck with it. My choice was the Engineer.

The Engineer was surprisingly easy to figure out in PvP. Throwing down turrets to attack and debuff enemies while healing myself made things extremely easy. This also sort of spoiled me, in that it made PvP a little too easy. Until I started joining free tournaments and realized against more experienced players my tactics were no longer working.

It was at this point that I started to learn about Mesmers (by fighting against them a lot) and figured it was about time I give one a try. I created one and took it straight in to structured PvP to analyze its skills. I planned and created strategies to test out, and ended up falling in love with the class. They are annoying to fight, but once they are played right they are awesome for PvP. Even today I hate fighting them, but I still love playing one!

As I got more and more comfortable, I took the Mesmer out in to PvE to level up, followed by WvW to try it out again. This was a little while after Guild Wars 2 was released so many people were much more experienced at this time, and they made learning a lot easier. Just by asking questions and following people around, it was possible to get at least a basic understanding as to how everything worked and what the goal was. This is when I realized WvW was like a second home to me. I was amazed at how the sieges work.

Siege Weapons

There are many different siege weapons available in WvW, but my favorite one, by far, is the trebuchet. I hate manning it, but I love standing somewhere and watching the large rocks fly over my head and hit a structure near me. Seeing how far they can shoot is a great thing for me, like watching asteroids or something. The idea of being in the safety of your tower and still being able to lob a rock over to an enemy keep or castle is awesome. It creates a lot of new strategy in both protecting and attacking, and I like puzzles! Oh, I forgot to mention that flying cows that land in a green, poisonous gas are also pretty entertaining!

My least favorite siege weapon would be the Ballista or the Arrow Cart. I like them when I am manning one, but being on the receiving end is not fun. When you are standing in the heat of a major battle, sometimes you will not even notice that you are being hit by one of these siege weapons, and once you do it is too late. This is especially true when your enemies have up multiple of them, as they can overlap their attacks and the damage is increased considerably as a result. Most of the time when this happens you die before there is even a chance to react.

Jumping Puzzle

Alright, I have mixed feelings on this one. After doing the jumping puzzle, I thought it was a cool little challenge (or long one… it took around 45 minutes) but my thought when I ended was “I liked it but I am never doing that again.” You can do it enough to learn it front and back, but there are some issues I had. One is a dark room where you have to keep throwing torches to see a little light, and then jump the right amount to get from one small platform to another and across the room. While this presented a big challenge, and I like challenges, I ended up annoyed soon before I finally made it across.

What I would like to give the developer of the jumping puzzle credit for, though, is the principle behind it. While the path alone was difficult enough, there are traps that are inactive by default. These are controlled by players, and are created to allow you to stop enemies from being able to complete the puzzle. While I have not been caught on the receiving end of this, I can understand the frustration it must cause if it is used as intended. But when it really comes down to it, giving the players more control over situations is something I can really admire. Not to mention it adds on a lot more skill and strategy requirement for those that enjoy running the puzzle day after day.

Two Champion Events

There are two champion events I like. One of these deals with an Overgrown Grub and the other deals with a big tree. Both of these are pretty tough in that they take quite a while to take down (usually 10 minutes or so) even with a large party. And what makes it even more tough is that while you are fighting your champion, you also have to fend off enemies that may come and try to stop you (and potentially steal your kill). This has led to some very heated battles, some of which I have won and some that I have lost. Sadly there are not fights near them as often as I would like (as the rewards for finally taking down the mobs is seen as worthless most of the time) but I love the rush.

The big tree adds an interesting side to the battle because he uses AoE roots. If you are in the middle of a PvP battle while you are working on taking down the tree, you can probably imagine how much more difficult everything becomes. Being rooted by one player is bad enough. Wait until everyone is rooted! And because the battle gets so heated, you can not just attack the players and leave the mob in a state where it will not attack you; through all of your attacking you are bound to hit it at least once, adding more aggression towards you.

The Overgrown Grub does not require nearly as much strategy, although it does often burrow itself under the ground and spawn a lot of minions. When this happens there are a lot of targets that can be used for bringing yourself out of a downed state, so it can add another edge to the PvP (which happens often during this fight, as it is right between a tower and a keep).

The rewards you get from the two champions are not too good. There have been a few people claim that they got exotic items, but I have gotten nothing but blueprints and Badges of Honor. Many others confirm the same for them, so it is hard to tell if a few people are trolling or if it really is possible to get better items. In my case, I do the bosses for the rush, rather than the rewards. Of course when you get Alpha Siege Golem blueprints that is also nice, but I enjoy the battle so regardless of my rewards I feel like I am still satisfied.

World Battlegrounds Layout

A cool part of the world battlegrounds (the ones named with the world first, such as Anvil Rock Battlegrounds) is that while there are three, they are all essentially the same. Once you have fully explored your own, you know the layout well enough that working your way through the enemy ones is pretty simple as well. There are a few differences here and there, but it is a lot like going to a new grocery store – although there may be some changes, you can still find your way around.

Because of how they are set up, the battlegrounds are all fair. It does not matter what color you end up with, you have just as good of a chance of being able to hold yours as anyone else does. The fairness does end up swayed depending on population and skill level of the players, but the layout itself does not pose any handicap for one side or another.

Eternal Battlegrounds Layout

Much like the world specific battlegrounds, the Eternal Battlegrounds also contains an awesome layout. It could be argued that it is swayed a little in the favor of one side than another due to the NPC helper events, but in the midst of a battle their benefit is usually small enough to be negligible. Of course if the populations are low at the time they become more dependent on NPC's to help, but for the most part this is kind of rare in the Eternal Battlegrounds, as it is the central hot spot for combat.

If you were to take and cut the Eternal Battlegrounds map in to a pie shape, each side would have the same number of structures, as well as the same distance to get to the castle. On the Friday reset period, this is important as the first thing each of the worlds usually tries to do is beat each other to the castle, as it is owned by the NPC's and is much easier to take over than when it is owned by players.

There is a downside to the layout though. The more population a server has after the WvW ranking reset on Fridays, the better chance they have of quickly taking the castle over. While this is not a big problem for things like towers, the castle is tough enough as it is. Allowing one world to pretty much have it without even trying is a little on the unfair side. I am not sure how to combat this though, short of adding a handicap of some type to worlds with less population, but that in itself would bring on even more complications.

Four Separate Battlegrounds...

Depending on how you look at it, this can either be a good thing or a bad one. With four separate battlegrounds, you have to spread out your troops over them in order to hold as many structures as possible. If you, for example, focus only in your own battlegrounds, you are likely going to be losing all the structures in each of the other three. On the other hand, if you spread out too much you will have a tough time even holding a few.

This leads in to a battle where everyone has to work together to decide how to handle the oncoming enemies, as well as assault their structures. Sometimes the plans you make work and sometimes they do not, but that is one of the fun things about it. Every day, or even every hour, is very different from the past ones. Being able to play dynamically and learn as you go will increase the chances for success, and working as a team is essential to doing well.

The other thing having multiple different battlegrounds does is help give some change of venue. Whereas they are pretty much the same, you are dealing with different mobs and spawn placements in each of them. This lets you pick and choose where you want to play for a while, and if at any point you want to go elsewhere you can just pick up and move.


By far, one of my favorite things about the WvW system is the idea of Commanders. These are players that have tags on them that are visible to all allies both on the main map and the mini map. This lets everyone group together easily (rather than having to keep guessing or sending out notices as to where they are) and it also allows for much better movement from one area to another.

Commanders also get a cool command for checking out the total number of supplies of all nearby players, which is invaluable when assaulting enemy structures. It allows you to know ahead of time whether or not you need to go to a camp, as well as clear information on how many siege weapons (and of which type) you are able to place so you do not waste gold placing more than you can handle. While this does not mean that ever player will use their supplies (which does happen quite often), it is more helpful than having everyone constantly tell how many supplies they have left and then try to count them all up.

Commanders can also create squads of players, although it does not offer too much in the form of benefits. It opens a new chat and allows those that are in the squad to see the leader's markers, but when dealing with real sieges the population is too great for this to help, and therefore the squad system ends up being worthless (otherwise you would be leaving most people out of the planning and it would cause issues).

The downside to the commander system is that it costs 100 gold to get it. Along with this, it is only active on one character, so if you are going to be playing actively on more than one and you want to have the commander benefits on each, you will have to pay another 100 gold for each one. This adds up quick.


I like the idea behind supplies. These are used for repairing structures and building up siege weapons, creating a way that requires you to be careful not to waste them. Whereas you can carry as much gold or as many blueprints as you want, you can not have unlimited supplies. This makes being sure you are not wasting them important, as wasteful usage may leave you empty when you need them. Furthermore, this adds an edge to the battles where you can not just keep repairing structures non-stop, and instead need to balance between the repairing and building.

Dolyaks are a great part of this system because they transfer supplies from camps to structures. The only real problem with this is that even while escorting them, you get no rewards other than the completed event for the WvW achievement. Past this, there is no reason to escort them and so people often do not do it. Really it should be like other events. Even if it gave as many rewards as, say a sentry, it would still make following along side these worth the time.


One of the coolest parts about taking part in WvW is that if you are not already level 80 you can level up by capturing and defending structures, as well as pretty much everything else you do there. You can also join the battles right after leaving the newbie instance, allowing you to enter the fray at as little at level 2. Because everyone is bolstered up to level 80, you can still stand a fighting chance, which means you are not forced to level up a lot before you are able to be of any use. And since you will be leveling with everything you do, it removes the requirement of PvE altogether. There is still a lot of PvE in the battlegrounds, but it is nothing like what you experience while out in the safe areas.

Players and mobs all drop equipment you can use, so as you level up you will be able to keep gearing yourself at the same time. Once you hit level 80, you can also pick up some higher end items by using medals earned while leveling. You can purchase gear at lower levels as well, but it is usually seen as being better to just save up and wait until you are level 80 since you will out level everything way too fast otherwise and will be wasting funds by doing so.

In my case, I love PvP much more than PvE so my preferred way of leveling is solely through WvW, as long as there is action going on. When the action dies down (which is not that often) I will usually switch over to another character and find something else to do for a little while.

PvE Dailies

The normal daily quests, considered to be PvE dailies, are all doable through the battlegrounds. Even the ones that want a certain number of events completed or need you to get different types of mobs slain are easy enough to do just while sieging with your allies. And with the most recent change to how the dailies work, there are even some PvP goals to knock out while you are there!


The WvW system in Guild Wars 2 brings a lot to the table for those of us who love doing PvP. The massive battles are something that has not been seen elsewhere, and the ability to jump in at the beginning of the game makes it even more ideal. You can start new characters as often as you want and within minutes you are already set up and ready to jump in to the WvW system and start taking over enemy structures or defending your own.

The prospect of being able to not only but also earn gold and gear is also a huge one. It removes the need to subsidize PvP with a ton of PvE content just to keep on par in regards to your equipped items. And even if the items you are getting from drops are not things you can use, the Black Lion Trading Company is more than enough to get you some cheap gear. Within a few hours you should have enough for a full set of decent items that you can use while you work on getting the end game stuff from merchants.


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