Welcome to the Desert of the Real

March 14, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, WvW | 2 Comments
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The new WvW Borderlands map, showcased on Twitch during EGX Rezzed, look incredible. So much so that it kind of makes the old Borderlands map and the Eternal Battlegrounds map look generic and boring. What they’re now capable of creating in WvW is very impressive and I find myself thinking it will be a long time after Heart of Thorns hits before I venture back to EB or Edge of the Mists even after the new car smell wears off. Obviously the art is what first catches the eye, spectacularly good looking settings and visuals, but what really makes the map interesting are a lot of potential game changing…. changes… to layouts and terrain.

Hopefully the towers will channel players past them, forcing them to stop and take the tower or spend extra time getting around them instead of just breezing by ignoring them. While I still feel zergs will do exactly that, skip towers where possible if they’re inconvenient or to gain the element of surprise, at least there will be consequences, at least it seems possible that it will be as equally inconvenient to go around.

If you own a tower or a keep you can move past and get to areas a lot faster than say the enemy team who has to walk all the way around. – Tirzah Bauer


Where we start to run into trouble is with defending. Ravious points out that there was simply no mention of rewarding defenders, or rewarding scouts for… scouting. That’s been a big gripe with players from the beginning and has fostered an environment where zergs will actually avoid each other and concentrate on taking objectives instead of defending them.

I don’t think that’s the whole story though, the bonuses to keeping… keeps… are quite interesting. Over powered even. Highly seductive in some respects to taking on enemy zergs through ambush, front line bonuses, and terrain use. While I don’t think that’s enough, it’s a big step in the right direction in encouraging people to actually fight with each other more.

What I don’t think is a step in the right direction is the super weapon event that happens every 3 hours. After completing the event a team can destroy the outer defenses of every enemy objective. While that seems great for teams that aren’t doing well (if they manage to complete it) to me it only seems like a punishment for people who have been successfully defending up until that point. Why bother defending if in 20 minutes or in an hour somebody’s going to be able to take the objective you’ve devoted yourself to? As well, Arenanet describes it as a comeback mechanic, but what if the team that is already doing really well wins the event? They just get to walk over what little resistance remains? I would bet this happens far more often than its supposed goal of turning the tables.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for defenders because I think the new siege weapon is going to be one of my favourites, while also perhaps being one of the hardest to master. Figuring out where and when to properly place walls and using the knockdowns at just the right time should be difficult. I’m honestly quite curious if there will be serious differences between how it’s used on the new map versus the old maps. The shield generator is great for defending…. defenders… and I can easily see more of these on walls than ballistas or catapults. Hopefully the supply requirements aren’t too bad.

I guess what I’m most looking forward to aside from the shiny new map is the diversity of play. It seems like there are a lot more goals, more options, more things to look out for, avoid, or pursue. I’m sure that there will still be that eleement of PlayersVsDoor but with more encouragement to break out of just being penned up inside a wall or knocking it down. There is going to be a steep learning curve for casual WvW players like myself when we go up against pro players looking to capitalize on the unknown new mechanics.

The Desert Borderlands map is a definitive example of how Arenanet learns and evolves. Not content to just reskin a map and move things around, they’ve attempted to fix some of the problems with WvW and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.


  1. “Why bother defending if in 20 minutes or in an hour somebody’s going to be able to take the objective you’ve devoted yourself to?”

    I think this whole paragraph is a pretty good point, but the way I see it, it’s that you can’t just win by turtling with what you got.

    I think there are so many unknown variables. For instance, if the winning time applies enough forces to quash the Oasis event, will it be enough time that a losing team could use that misallocation of resources to take a few objectives since the winning team are all gleefully slaughtering dinos in the Oasis?

    I hope like in HotS there is a choice between fighting for the secondary objective or pushing the primary while the enemy’s attention is elsewhere.

    However, it is a good point with the winning team. Why would I go fight a losing battle in the Oasis? Now, if I could diminish the “laser power”, that might be incentive. If we can hold the winning team to only 66% of the dino cores, that should be a loser’s victory over letting them take 90%.

    Of all the things to hopefully be beta tested, I hope this one has the most dev-manueverability.

    • Yeah thats a good idea, there have to be motivations even for losing. I think my biggest worry essentially is that the oasis ends up being broken, perhaps another bloodlust/ruins situation where nobody really bothers, or more likely in my opinion, a situation where an already overwhelming force simply continues to overwhelm.

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