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We have a GW2 dev blog describing the upcoming WvW changes which are far from a massive overhaul of something that seems far from broken (based on the fact that almost seven months after launch plenty of people are still happily playing in there… unlike, say, SWTOR’s Ilum). The updates at this point aren’t anything massive like new maps, revamped siege mechanics or objectives or a move away from the server ladder system. They boil down to an alternate advancement system that’s earned through completing events and killing enemies in WvW (and penalises farming the same poor sap repeatedly), titles that can be seen by the enemy faction even though your character name can’t so they at least have some idea how experienced their foe is, and a UI revamp to support these features and give a better overview of how the war’s going.

In other words, minus the UI change we’ve got DAoC’s realm ranks and realm abilities.


The almost is that as far as I can see, the WvW ability points give abilities that are only useful in WvW. The examples given are things like being able to carry more supply to build siege engines, or an increased resistance to siege weapon damage. None of these will make even the slightest difference in PvE (absent some horrific coding error that applies the siege resistance to certain PvE damage sources), unlike DAoC’s realm abilities which were far too useful not to have even if RvR wasn’t really your thing. So there’s no incentive for PvE players to feel “forced” into WvW to optimise their character.

On the whole, I’m cautiously optimistic that these changes will be for the good. They’re nothing like what a lot of voices on the forums have called for – but then, no sane dev should EVER be swayed by most of the voices on a PvP forum. My only concern is that they move the balance of incentives in WvW away from the objectives of your server as a whole (take/defend keeps and make sure your supplies flow while denying them to the enemy, all of which are rewarded as dynamic events) and give a personal incentive to engage in mindless slaughter whether it supports your side or not, which is what RIFT’s Conquest matches rapidly devolved into and spawned the endless zergs of Emain Macha in classic DAoC. This is mitigated somewhat because at least you can also advance by doing the events, but if people decide they can level faster by just forming zergs and slaughtering each other repeatedly whilst their server’s score falls into the crapper then people, being the self-centred min-maxing little assholes so many of them are, will do just that.

Note to Mark Jacobs – watch how this one plays out when you’re designing the incentives in Camelot Unchained.

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