Changes are coming to PvP and ArenaNet is letting the information out early.
In a new blog post, ArenaNet's PvP team lead John Corpening outlined the PvP reward changes coming to Guild Wars 2. Unlike many reveals by ArenaNet, these changes are not all coming soon, but will slowly be implemented a piece at a time for these long term plans. This early release of information is so that players will know why each individual change is being done, as some of the changes would have been hard to understand without knowing the overall vision.
Match Glory Rewards
The first reward change is actually already implemented into the game. The last patch in October changed the way that glory is earned, giving a set amount based on the length of a match as well as whether the player was on the winning or losing team. This change was made to allow expansion and equalization. Playing a support build before was valuable to a team but didn't earn the player much in the way of rewards. Now you win and lose as a team and are rewarded justly for it. The change also opened the door for balanced rewards when new game types and mechanics are introduced.
Match Gold Rewards
Starting with next week's patch, players will be able to earn gold in addition to glory from PvP matches. Along with this, a new merchant is being added to the Mists that will trade items for a combination of glory and gold. The big highlight of this new merchant is the ability to buy account-bound Tomes of Knowledge, which level a character up one level. If you are thinking of starting PvP just to level up alts, however, you might want to reconsider as previously leaked information points to reaching level 80 requiring a major investment of glory.
New Skills now require Skill Points
Next week's patch will also introduce new healing skills to the game. With these skills and all new skills going forward, players will need to unlock them with skill points. This includes PvP where new skills will not be automatically unlocked like the current core skills.
Arena Dailies and Achievement Expansion
The December 10th patch will also bring new daily achievements for winning in Solo and Team Arenas. These new dailies will give PvP players an additional four achievement points to strive for as well as giving more incentive to join Arenas over hot-join PvP matches to finish daily achievements. Along with the dailies, the Slayer (killing players in PvP) and Conqueror (winning matches in PvP) will be expanded to spread out the achievement points as well as add new tiers to each achievement.
Further down the road, ArenaNet will be making changes to gear to allow players to carry over their characters' looks from PvE to PvP and vice versa. Stats, traits, skills, runes and sigils will all remain the same in each area allowing separate PvP and PvE builds, but the appearance will carry over.
New Reward System
Along with gear unification, a new reward system will go into place that will allow players to set goals for rewards in PvP. This update is too far down the road for ArenaNet to delve into details, but the did say that glory will be retired as a currency with gold becoming a game wide currency. ArenaNet did say they will give advanced warning before glory is removed from the game as well as teasing that filling out your PvP locker before the changes will be beneficial.
Ladders and Season
Ranks and Leaderboards are going to be retired in place of the new Ladders and Seasons. This is supposed to be the final stop on this road trip, so don't expect it any time too soon. The old rank finishers will remain in the game, but players won't be able to acquire new rank finishers after ranks are retired. The ladder system instead will award PvP-specific rewards for ladder standing and level of participation at the end of each season, including variants on the existing rank finishers.
So to recap what is coming in next week's patch, we will be getting gold from PvP matches, new healing skills for all areas of the game and new PvP daily achievements. Next week's patch will also be bringing the next wave of balance changes as well as the return of Wintersday to Tyria. Check back tomorrow for next week's release teaser to see if it has any other goodies to offer.
Matt "Mattsta" Adams
Follow me @MattstaNinja