Guild Wars 2 PvP

One of the greatest improvements Guild Wars 2 PvP players will find over their previous experiences is that right from the start, all PvP characters are set to the maximum level, with access to all the necessary skills, armor, weapons and items, ensuring everyone is playing on an even battlefield. As you can save build templates, when you return to PvE with your character, you'll return with the skills, armor, weapons and items you had there, but the game will save your last PvP setup.

When you first start PvPing, your character will have a starter template loaded that gives new players a competent build without them needing to mess around with detailed skill selection, item selection, etc. This can come later, as there are many more detailed customization options available to players once they are more comfortable with the GW2 PvP system.

When you defeat a player, your opponent will go into the "downed" state. This works a bit differently in PvP as, while you can still kill a downed player just by attacking them, when you are near a downed enemy, you will also see a prompt: "F - Finish Them!" Hitting F at this point starts the animation for a finishing move that sends your opponent straight to their defeated state. Guild Wars 2 pvp player versus player.

Systems Designer Jonathon Sharp and Environment Artist Tirzah Bauer explain how PvP works in GW2.

Guild Wars 2 PvP uses a Conquest game type, where teams do battle for control of a number of capture points, strategic areas on the map that are captured by standing within them. By controlling a capture point and killing your enemies, your team's score will increase. The first team to reach the score limit, or the team with the highest score when the countdown timer expires, wins the match.

To control a capture point, you must first neutralize it, which stops it from scoring points for either team. Only when there are no enemies around can a capture point be captured. The speed at which the points are neutralized and captured increases with the number of allies you have at that point.

Along with capture points, there are important secondary objectives including trebuchets, repair kits, destructible environments, or even a giant dragon which flies overhead, blasting areas of the map and killing players who are fighting below.

GW2 PvP guru Jon Peters talks about the player versus player aspect of Guild Wars 2 in this 14-minute video interview.

Competitive PvP Groups in Guild Wars 2

One of the most anticipated parts of Guild Wars 2, competitive PvP will be in the form of 5 versus 5 Tournaments with matches taking place on the same maps that are used for hot join play. (For returning Guild Wars players, these focused 5v5 tournaments are the true replacement for Guild versus Guild contests in the original game.) These Tournaments will run with different reward levels and at varying intervals, to give players the chance to build their proficiency in the smaller tournaments while the more organized teams do battle in the larger tournaments.
Tournaments come in the following flavors:

  • Pickup Tournaments: These single-elimination tournaments wait for 8 teams to join before starting. Once they start, they go through 3 rounds of eliminations, with winners receiving qualifier points.
  • Monthly Tournaments: For monthly tournaments, you'll need a certain amount of qualifier points to join.
  • Yearly Tournaments: These grand tournaments feature the winners from the monthly tournaments slugging it out for the right to call themselves the best PvP players of the year.
  • Player-Run Tournaments: These tournaments will be customized by players, allowing for great flexibility and unique bragging rights.
As an example, one of the first GW2 PvP maps open to players is a Conquest type map called "The Battle of Khylo". This map has three capture points, two trebuchets, a variety of choke points, and destructible objects.

There are two bases at opposite side of the map where player's from each team will begin the game and, if they aren't resurrected by an ally, where they will re-spawn after being killed.

Isaiah Cartwright gives a guided tour of the map, with a 1v1 PvP demonstration in the video below.

Each team will have a long-range trebuchet that fires giant, molten boulders at your target that can be used to bombard enemies anywhere on the map, including the three capture points. The trebuchet's attacks have a huge area of damage and can knock enemies back, interrupting their actions in the process, so learning to use them well can be vital to your chances of winning a game. If your trebuchet is destroyed by the opposition, a repair kit will spawn, which you can carry back to your trebuchet and use it to restore the weapon back to working condition.

While you can't destroy or interact with the other team's repair kit, you CAN attack any foes who are carrying the kit. As the weapons and skills of the player carrying the kit are disabled, they're an easy target who are going to need some protection.
The main features of this map :

  • Red team's base.

  • Red team's trebuchet.

  • The Windmill capture point.

  • The Clocktower capture point.

  • The Mansion capture point.

  • Blue team's base.

  • Blue team's trebuchet.
GW2 PvP map Battle of Khylo image
The key to success on this map will depend on how well each team control the capture points, as every two seconds, teams will be awarded one point for each capture point they control. The winner will be the first team to reach 500 points.

A terrific (6:30) video walkthrough, with commentary, of the Battle of Khylo PvP map
from the Guild Wars 2 demo at gamescom 2011.

Character's with strong area-of-effect skills will enjoy the variety of choke points located on the map, while the more stealthy characters will enjoy using the many structures to hide from enemies while sneaking up on them. Player versus player for Guild Wars 2 pvpers

To ensure "camping" doesn't become an issue, many of the buildings and structures can be destroyed. The major structures (buildings and massive water pipes) can only be destroyed with trebuchet shots, but smaller items, such as crates and barrels can be destroyed by various player skills. This means that choke points that were inaccessible at the start of the battle may open up during the course of the game, creating a dynamic battlefield.

Here's a charr Engineer enjoying some PvP action in the Forest of Niflhe map from the beta weekend event in April 2012.

Another player-versus-player map called "Legacy of the Foefire", draws some inspiration from the lore and design of the original Guild Wars. Players battle over three capture points, but this map includes NPC guards and team "guild lords," powerful NPCs that are worth a lot of points… IF you can manage to kill them.

There is one more PvP map that is finished but has yet to be revealed. It has a lot of underwater combat and involves a pirate ship! Over time, even more maps will be released.
Jon Peters reveals ArenaNet's eSport ambitions...

"We consider it to be one of the primary goals of Guild Wars 2 competitive PvP to make it into an eSport. We plan to have daily tournaments, monthly tourneys and a yearly world championship. GW2 is trying something new, and we're gonna try to blend the best of the old world with a new game style that asks players to employ skill sets from different genres. We want it to become a major eSport, and hope to make the right decisions that will make that happen in the long run."

PvP Ranking and Ladders

In competitive PvP individual players and teams will be ranked. Five players make up a team, and those five players are recognized as that team. You can see what guild each individual belongs to but there are no guild PvP ranks. It's entirely possible that you could get a famous team in which every single one of them is from a different guild. The flexibility of the guild system, which allows players to join any number of guilds, means that if those five individuals wanted to make a five person guild just for their team, they can go ahead and do that, and they don't need to be in their regular guilds to do that.

Pickup PvP Groups in GW2

The more casual side of PvP for GW2 players, these "Hot Joinable" games can be played on a 1 versus 1 basis all the way up to 10 versus 10. This new feature in Guild Wars 2 allows players to join and leave whenever they feel like it, regardless of whether a match has already started, as the servers can auto-balance the number of players on the teams. When the current round ends, the server loads the next map in the rotation, giving players the chance to reselect teams, before beginning the battle again.

Players can search by server population or friends list, or browse through a list of available games, each displaying the current map and the number of players. This kind of setup allows players to find favorite servers and build online communities by playing more than one game with the same settings and people.

They're a great place to get a feel for PvP, learn the maps and experiment with your builds against other players.
The player versus player selection screen in GW2.
In the 9-minute video below, Guild Wars 2 game designers Isaiah Cartwright and Jonathan Sharp
talk about the philosophy and structure of GW2 PvP

GW2 World versus World PvP

Detailed information on WvW can be found here... World versus World PvP in Guild Wars 2.

Guild Wars 2 WvW PvP is a huge battlefield consisting of four separate maps for three different servers into which you can take your PVE character at any time. This is where your server is matched up against two others and you fight over giant keeps, each with unique terrain features. One keep climbs up the side of a mountain while another is based around a lake, with underwater entrances you'll need to defend. The keeps play a tactical role in organizing groups and earning points for your side. You can form a group and try to take over a keep, or starve the enemy out by taking over all the resources.

There are also towers, which are basically like smaller versions of keeps. They have a couple of walls and a door which you can bash in so you can try and take it over.

Other strategic targets are resource camps, which are more of an "open field" style of battle. They'll have a capture point in them so you can fight for control of the resources.

You may have seen the trebuchet in the Khylo map, however the trebuchets in GW2 WvWvW are much, MUCH, larger with a far greater range. You'll know if you're in the target zone as you'll see a giant, flaming ball of death with a giant smoke trail heading your way. Deadly Trebuchets in GW2 WvWvW.

Another epic war machine is the "Siege Suit", a giant Asura Golem / Battle-MechWarrior sort of thing that you transfer the player into so they can just walk up and start pounding on the gates or punching in people's faces if you feel the urge.

Each of the maps will be capable of holding around HUNDREDS of players with the battle going on for two weeks. The server that earned the most points during that time wins a bonus for the next two weeks.

ArenaNet's goal is to allow new players to try GW2 PvP with hot join servers while still ensuring that elite PvPers will be able to find a challenge worthy of their skill. By focussing on the Conquest game type, players can find depth in emerging strategies, and it allows all players to play together. The ultimate goal of Guild Wars 2 is to build a social MMO community where players can find the people they want to play with quickly.

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