We talked with Devon Carver from ArenaNet about some of the changes coming with Edge of the Mists.
Next week, the Edge of the Mists comes to Guild Wars 2. This new map will allow players to participate in WvW without any wait due to its ability to create overflows. Today, ArenaNet released a blog post detailing some of the other quality of life updates that will be part of next week's update.
The biggest change players will notice is the new queue system. A new WvW UI screen will show players the number of players in queue for each map, or that a map is ready for players to enter immediately when there isn't a queue. If players queue up for a map, the UI will change to show the player's position in the queue. With this players will be able to tell how far from joining the WvW maps they are and which maps will have the shortest queue times.
Along with the major queue and UI update, a few other quality of life updates were added to WvW. Currently, the WvW window will only show your world's status when the player is in non-overflow, open-world maps. After next week's update however, players will be able to see their world's WvW status from anywhere in the game including overflow maps, dungeons, structured PvP and even while guesting on other servers. Players will now also be able to tell which specific WvW map other players are currently playing on.
In anticipation of today's blog post, we had the chance to talk with Devon Carver of the WvW team. Next week's patch will not be the first time that players have seen the Edge of the Mists map, as it had been in beta up until a couple weeks ago that allowed testers to freely disclose information about the map. The first thing we asked Devon was what has changed to the map since players had last played it, and the answer was that not much has changed.
Devon commented that the beta for the map was a good chance for them to see the map played out in a live environment and allowed them to slowly make updates during the course of the beta. So when the beta ended, there wasn't much that needed changing. The one major thing that has changed was that the art team went back and added some more boundaries to the floating islands. This included adding natural-looking rock formations around the edge of the islands to give an extra level of safety from falling off.
Devon had said that players were falling off edges pretty frequently, either by accident or as a deliberate action by an enemy. While the team wants to keep the danger of falling—or being pushed—off the edge of an island, the team found that getting players to take a tumble off the edge was too common a strategy instead of players battling to their deaths on solid ground.
The next thing we wanted to talk with Devon about was the promise of account-wide WvW ranks, which we had noticed were missing from the quality of life changes mentioned in the blog post. Account-wide WvW ranks will not be coming in next week's patch, but Devon assured us that they are still working hard on getting account-wide ranks into the game.
Lastly, we asked Devon what servers will gain for winning a round in the Edge of the Mists. One of the big worries for the team is making the server reward too great for winning the Edge of the Mists, as the last thing they want is to give an advantage to servers with a greater population to earn a greater reward. As such they are starting small, but they have already built the back-end so that the rewards can be expanded at a later date.
At the map's launch next week, winning in the Edge of the Mists will give a supply drop in the server's Citadel on their home borderland. This boost in supply will help servers that may have been pushed back on their home borderland while not being too much help for dominating servers. Even if a server is being dominated, they won't need to worry about losing the supply like they would a Keep since the Citadel serves as the home server's uncontestable spawn point. This supply drop will only appear on the home borderland for now, but the team might expand this to include the other borderlands and Eternal Battlegrounds if the team feels it makes sense to do so.
In keeping with the desire to not give higher population servers a bigger advantage, the amount of supply in the drop doesn't matter on the number of Edge of the Mists match-ups that are won at once, just that one of the instance was won at all. So a server will get as much supply for winning one instance of EotM as they would for winning 3 instances of the map. If blue wins one overflow and red wins another, then both servers will get the supply drops in their home borderlands.
As we learned when we talked with Devon back in December, this new map allows them to try out a lot of new things that they couldn't try out without possibly upsetting the competitive match-ups in WvW. Things that they try out on the Edge of the Mists might then one day filter into the existing maps.
Edge of the Mists will be added to WvW and Guild Wars 2 in next Tuesday's content patch. Also, keep an eye out on ZAM Tuesday morning to see the answers to the community questions we had for ArenaNet.
Matt "Mattsta" Adams
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