ArenaNet's Jonathan Sharp gives a walk through of the new sPvP Map hours before it hits live.
Jonathan Sharp, Systems Designer at ArenaNet, hosted a livestream to show off the new sPvP just hours before it went up on the live servers. The new map, called Temple of the Silent Storm, is all about the Kodan.
The Kodan is a non-playable, polar bear race in Guild Wars 2 that is all about obtaining and maintaining balance with the world around them. The map is set atop an iceberg with the architecture matching what can be found in the Kodan settlements found on big icebergs. Even the architecture in the map reflects the Kodans believe in balance, balancing wooden structures with open areas of ice.
Every sPvP map in GW2 has a secondary mechanic: from trebuchets to NPC enemies and bosses. Temple's secondary mechanic also reflects the Kodan, having the player meditate at temples to gain a buff for your team. These buffs don't improve a players stats or abilities, but instead affect the acquisition of points.
Two buffs will each give an additional 3 points for player kills, which would make the original 5 points per kill give 11 points if the team has both meditation buffs. Another two meditation buffs will each give an addtional 1 point every tick of captured control points.
Control points in all conquest maps give 1 point every two seconds, which means having one buff will double the rate acquired from the control points. To give perspective: a team can hold only one of the three control points but have both of these buffs and be getting more points per tick than their opponents.
Then there is the last meditation. This meditation doesn't give a buff, instead it will neutralize all three of the control points and give all three of them to your team. This could potentially be a game changer. As such, ArenaNet has a belltower in the middle of the map that will glow either blue or red depending on which team has taken control of this meditation.
The layout of the map itself is very open and very vertical. There are a lot of stairs and even a couple of very deep holes to kick, push and otherwise knock players into. At the bottom of this very deep hole is another level of the map. Sharp jumped down one of these holes and landed in swimmable water right next to the control flipping meditation point, which means that falling down them may not be all bad.
The openness and verticality of the map make it look very big. Combined with the five meditations that are important enough to almost be additional control points (taking the control point count up to 8) makes the map look almost too much for a 5v5 tournament team to come to terms with. Tournament teams won't have to worry just yet, as the map is in "beta" (only available in hot-join games) where players will be able to see if it is really too much to handle or a synchronized scramble to control the map.
Matt "Mattsta" Adams