This week, The Scrying Pool turns its sight on sPvP with the topic of new game types.
In each article of The Scrying Pool, I look at what is and what could be. After taking a look at what is present in Guild Wars 2 now, be that lore or game mechanics, I then ask What If? What if this happened in the lore or this feature was added in a future patch.
In Guild Wars 2, PvP is pretty limited. While there have been additional maps added since launch, there has only been the Conquest game mode.
ArenaNet has said that the reason for not creating more game modes is to make it easier for the PvP community to build. New players only have one game type they need to learn and the community isn’t fractured across multiple game types. The latter was a lesson that ANet learned from the original Guild Wars, which sported seven different arenas with Random Arenas randomly selecting a game type for each match.
While I like the focus on just Conquest to build a base for Guild Wars 2 PvP, I think it is time to start moving forward, to expand PvP. This August, Guild Wars 2 saw both its 1 year anniversary as well as its first major scale tournament with the finals taking place at PAX.
So now that the game is in a place to start expanding the game types for PvP, should ArenaNet just start pumping new game types out? I don’t think so. While the game has been out for a while, there will always be someone new coming into the game and having 7 game types for them to walk into is just not good.
In The Scrying Pool: Get It While It’s Hot, I first brought up the idea of implementing a daily rotation for activities, an idea that was implemented (albeit not exactly as I had suggested) two months later in the first August patch. I really like the daily rotation for activities, and so I would like to see a rotation for game types in PvP.
The biggest problem I see with having too many game types is spreading the community thin. In GW1, there were many times you could go into Alliance Battles and see the lobby completely empty. When were Alliance Battles always populated? When the weekend event rotation included bonuses to participating in Alliance Battles. As conquest mode is the staple of Guild Wars 2 PvP, I don’t think that it should be included in the rotation. Instead, each rotation would include Conquest plus an additional game type.
What I like about how ArenaNet set up PvP in Guild Wars 2, is that even with this rotation players would be able to play their favorite game type through custom arenas. If the daily for that day is for Conquest and Jade Quarry and you don’t like either of those, you could still play the Fort Aspenwood game type in a custom arena. So what is the incentive for participating in the daily? Maybe the PvP daily only completes for those specific game types as well as rewarding the daily types with +50% Glory and Rank points.
With this setup, players are focused into certain game types (limiting the fracturing of the community as more game types are added) and are rewarded for grouping into those game types, but players are not forced into playing something they don’t want to play. This then gives custom arenas a bonus usefulness, as they would be able to play a game type that isn’t available on the official arenas that day.
Now what is an article about expanding PvP game types without throwing out an idea for a new one? First off I will say I don’t think Deathmatch would work in Guild Wars 2. Large scale devolves into a lack of skill zerg and I would imagine free-for-all just becomes a stealth thief cluster…mob. While it could work in 1v1 and 2v2 dueling setups (as can be witnessed in some of the custom arenas), these are duelers and should get their own spot light possibly outside of structured PvP.