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WvW Timeline: Situation Explained

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Posted by: Ragnar.4257


So I see alot of people asking “what happened?” and I see alot of other people trying to explain things who clearly haven’t been around since the start and don’t understand the context. For instance, many players think the stability change is what killed-off hammer-trains, when the reality is that most top-end guilds had shifted away from hammers more than a year before this.

I will try to explain here the history of WvW and show the major changes that had a material impact on how WvW is played, to give some proper context to how we have ended up where we are. I don’t think I’ve missed anything important (obviously plenty of insignificant things missing) but shout if you think I have.

It is important to understand the timing of events, as this is what explains why HoT changes have been poorly received. For instance, the Desert BLs are not inherently bad maps, however the series of events from 2012 to 2015 resulted in a player-base which was conditioned to not like them.

August 2012:
GW2 Launched

Obvious hype at new game, massive queues for WvW. “Turtle” meta emerges, abusing unlimited AoE heals, bundling together, and nuking from ranged.

November 2012:
Ascended Trinkets introduced.
Orbs of Power removed due to hacking.
AoE Heal skills limited to 5 targets.

Meta shifts from turtling to maximising abuse of culling through portal-bombs and chaining veils.

January 2013:
Gem-cost for transferring server introduced.

Feb 2013:
First organised GvGs take place in EU.

March 2013:
Culling removed.
WXP Ranks and Masteries introduced.

Emergence of the “hammer-train” meta, making heavy use of guardian stability uptime, warrior warhorn cleanses, elementalist water-fields, and hammer-stuns.

April 2013:
Confusion and Retaliation adjusted to match PvP values. The “confusion-bomb” tactic dies out.
Siege randomly despawning fixed.
Arrow-cart damage buffed by 80%.

May 2013:
Obsidian Sanctum moved out of EB into its own map instance.
Supply/Stealth Traps introduced.

July 2013:
Siege blueprints become trade-able, significantly increasing availability of superior siege.

September 2013:
Lake in borderlands replaced with Bloodlust Ruins.
Ascended weapons introduced.
“Violate my game-mode” incident where an ANet employee deliberately trolls an organised GvG, producing significant backlash on forums.

Bloodlust Ruins were controversial when first introduced, but quickly became totally irrelevant to most people. Generally only used by people to do daily’s.

“Violate my game-mode” incident severely damaged the relationship between ANet and hardcore WvW guilds.

October 2013:
First WvW Tournament Season
Boons and heals adjusted to prioritise party members.

Tournament sees highest participation in WvW since initial release.
There is extreme disappointment at the lack-luster rewards given at the end of the tournament. Bug (which was never fixed) means many players receive nothing at all, and those who do generally just get a few blues/greens.

At this point many players become dis-illusioned with “PPT” play and server-rankings, as tournaments highlight how dominant coverage/population is, and the poor rewards. “Fights” over-take “Points” as the most popular reason for playing.

November 2013:
Arena added to Obsidian Sanctum, assumed to be a consequence of “violate-gate”.
Toys and town-clothes disabled in WvW.

GvGs mainly move into OS, reducing some of the tension between hardcore PPTers and GvG guilds.
Move to OS sees the emergence of the focus-party meta, as OS has significantly more space than old windmill site.
Dis-abling toys in WvW means there is little reason for WvW players to buy things from the gem-store.

December 2013:
Ascended armour introduced.

Meta among guilds shifts from hard-CC to soft-CC. Warriors become most valuable for Flurry rather than Hammer-stun. Flurry+WellBomb becomes dominant guild meta. Pug-blobs still follow hammer-train meta.

February 2014:
Edge of the Mists map added.
Queues fixed to show your queue position.

Introduction of EoTM sees a significant population shift, as the more casual WvW players move there permanently, enticed by the significantly higher badge/karma/XP rewards. New players no longer need to enter “proper” WvW in order to earn badges for legendary.
This is initially received as a good thing, as now “true” WvW players don’t have to compete for queue-spaces with “PvErs”. Long-term result is significant drain of WvW population.

March 2014:
Second WvW Tournament Season begins.

Once again the tournament rewards are bugged, with many players not receiving the reward tickets.

April 2014:
Megaservers introduced in PvE
WXP changed from soul-bound to account-bound.
Ferocity stat replaces Crit-%
Major re-work of runes, sigils, and method for unlocking traits.

WXP change well received. Megaservers in PvE sever any link between WvW and PvE, and makes it much harder for WvW to recruit players from PvE. Decline of WvW population accelerates.

Ferocity change sees shift in roaming from power builds to condi builds.

September 2014:
Coloured Commander-tags added for 300g.
Siege-Disabler introduced.
Third (and final) WvW Season Tournament begins.
Banners no longer revive dead Keep/Tower Lords.

Significant backlash against the proposed cost for commander-tag colours. Cost is eventually removed.

March 2015:
WvW maps no longer required for Map Completion.
Stability changed from stacking duration to stacking intensity.

WvW no longer required for map completion removes the last incentive for new players to try WvW.

Stability change does not affect roaming or GvG, but has major impact on large-scale fights. “Pirate-ship” becomes dominant zerg meta. Warrior is effectively removed from the meta. Ability of smaller guilds to fight larger groups significantly damaged.

June 2015:
Major re-work of traits (removal of “points”, forced to choose 3 trait-lines).

July 2015:
Golem-Rush Event

August 2015:
Change to arrow-cart line of sight.

October 2015:
Heart of Thorns launched.
Alpine map replaced with Desert map.
Revenant + Elite specializations introduced.
Changes to guild upgrades.
Guild Halls and Arenas.
Shield Generator introduced.
Guild banners and tactivators introduced.
Changes to how buildings upgrade.
WvW achievement requirements adjusted.
Badge gear now salvageable.
EoTM rewards reduced.
Waypoint availability between repel events fixed.
Fortified Gates.
Condi-food nerfed.

Many positive changes, but unfortunately many negative changes also. Major problems of WvW remain un-addressed (particularly population and stability). New PvE content, and requirement to PvE for new specializations and gear drains WvW population even further.

Revenant and and elite-specs reinforce the pirate-ship meta. Roaming becomes almost impossible for all non-elite builds.

Desert BLs not well received. Lag from Oasis event makes it almost unplayable for many. Majority of remaining population shifts to only playing EB if possible.

Changes to guild upgrades universally disliked.
Poor design of guild-arenas results in many GvG guilds giving up.

November 2015:
New squad UI.
Desert BL waypoints moved from spawn-towers to keeps.

January 2016:
PPK introduced.
Can no longer revive fully-dead while in combat.
Rallying reduced from 5 to 1.
Banners nerfed.

All changes generally well received, but do not address major issues.

March 2016:
Oasis event disabled.

If there was one period I would point to as sending WvW into decline, it would be the introduction of EoTM, abysmal tournament rewards, the removal of WvW requirement for legendary, and introduction of megasever cutting off the supply of new players into WvW. No matter how good or bad the updates to the game are, veterans will always leave eventually. Without new-blood the death of the game-mode is only a matter of when, not if.


(edited by Ragnar.4257)

Strongest 1 vs. 1 class?

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Posted by: Ragnar.4257


Rock is strongest. It absolutely demolishes scissors.


It's not about the bloodlust.....

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Posted by: Ragnar.4257


So, the forums have been on fire with the bloodlust debate for several weeks now, and I see some folks saying “why get so worked up about a +50/150 stat buff? It’s not much different to food buffs”.

There’s some truth in that argument; I don’t like the buff, and can think of a dozen ways it could’ve been done better, but it’s not as game-breaking as some are making out.

But the reason the underlying discontent has boiled over into outright hostility isn’t just the buff. It’s just the straw that broke the camel’s back, it’s just another thing on a long list of mad decisions, and people have finally given up on waiting patiently and hoping it’ll get better eventually.

Now bare with me here…..

You’ve sat at your desk at work, at 9 in the morning, falling asleep. You could really use a coffee to freshen yourself up, give you some focus and help you work smoothly. Then the office admin person wanders past and offers to get you a drink. You gladly accept and ask for a coffee. Ten minutes later, they come back with a tea.

You don’t mention it, because they went to the effort and probably just forgot, and anyway tea is better than nothing. But the next day, when they offer again, you make sure to put special emphasis on the word “coffee”. But again they come back with tea.

The next day, you spell it out for them “coffee not tea please”, and they come back with a hot chocolate. NOT what you need to stay awake!

The next day, you say wearily “coffee, nothing else, just coffee please”. And they come back with a friggin margarita. You actually quite like margaritas, and in other circumstances it’d be pretty funny and you’d appreciate it. But not at 9 in the morning. And given their behaviour up to now, you start to wonder whether they’re purposefully trying to wind you up. If they’d got you coffee every day and then brought the margarita out of the blue, that’d be pretty funny. But they haven’t.

And if you try to go and make your own coffee, half the office starts screaming at you, and the admin-person refuses to ever speak to you again.

Bloodlust is ANet bringing us a margarita when we need a coffee. On it’s own, we wouldn’t be too bothered, it’d actually be kinda awesome. But given everything that’s come up to now, instead of going “lol what? oh, you so whacky” we’re going “oh for kitten sake, why are you doing this??”

Changes/Fixes that’ve been repeatedly asked for since last year (Coffee):

Proper Commander/Party/Guild UI and functionality. Not being able to kick offline party members.

Bug fixes for all the glitchy towers (hai Hugh “Too Vague” Norfolk)

Something to address the huge imbalances in server populations, nightcapping etc. Maybe something along the lines of cheaper transfers to lower ranked servers, adjusting PPT by population, or making the out-manned buff useful, etc.

An end to Musical Keeps and server-blobs doing laps of the map PvDing down T1 structures and not even trying to defend or fight the other server.

Skill lag.

Completely non-sensical queue system.

Fix for broken waypoint-contesting mechanics.

Changes that have come out of nowhere and don’t really help (Hot Chocolate):


WXP Ranks.

AC Buff.

Seige Masteries.

Random matchups.

Free transfers to medium-pop servers, even if they’re T1.



The thing is, the people who’ve been playing WvW every day for the last year and who are still sticking with it, have been doing so on the hope and assumption that, while WvW might not be perfect yet and still need some work, at least if we have some patience, keep supporting the game and wait long enough it’ll eventually get there.

There was a brief period back in the spring when it looked like we were finally being vindicated in that hope. With the culling fix, the fix for seige despawn timers, and EU reset being moved to a reasonable hour, there was hope that our patience was bearing fruit.

But since then it’s been all down-hill. You can say “these things take time”, and we understand that that’s true. However, they take a hell of alot longer if the developers are working on pointless stuff in the mean-time, instead of the stuff they should be working on. And they take forever if the developers have no interest in ever getting there.

Bloodlust and leagues have just spelled this out in giant neon flashing letters, which is why they’re attracting all the flak. But don’t let that fool you, the anger is way deeper than a +50 stat buff.


(edited by Ragnar.4257)

GvG Myths and Misconceptions

in WvW

Posted by: Ragnar.4257


I get slightly tired of seeing the same old arguments used to deride GvG in GW2. So in this thread I’m going to try and put them to rest so we don’t have to go through them again and again.

1. “Go do it in sPvP”

Can you do 20v20 in sPvP? No? Enough said.

If the sPvP developers were to offer some slightly larger arenas, with higher player-limits, spectator support, with greater build versatility, then I’m sure GvG players would be more than happy to move there. But as it currently stands, sPvP is not good enough.

2. “GvG is a minority interest”

Admittedly it has a greater following on some servers than others, and I have no idea what it’s like on NA servers. But just a few days ago we had a GvG gathering between Baruch Bay, Riverside and Augury Rock, not even a highly advertised gathering, just a spur-of-the-moment thing, and there were at least 100 people there, probably more like 150. We had (if I remember correctly) [BLAK] from Augury facing [VU] from Riverside at one end of the GvG area, and [Scnd] from Baruch facing [IF] from Riverside at the other end. On top of the participants, there were a good 70-80 people spectating, from all three servers. And probably more would have come if they didn’t have to contend with queues.

So the idea that the vast majority of players don’t care about GvG is false. It may be a majority, but the minority who do like it are not insignificant.

On top of that, the majority of those who do enjoy it tend to be the active, dedicated regulars who are the heart of active server communities; the people who run teamspeak channels and server forums, who spend 100s of hours commanding pugs and standing watch. I’m not saying casuals should be dis-regarded, but neither is the fact that there are more of them a good excuse to alienate the people who bring WvW servers alive.

3. “It’s a skill-less zerg-fest”

While it’s true that GvG players rely alot less on the skills and tactics that are needed in duels and sPvP, they do however depend on other skills and tactics that are not possible in 1v1s and 2v2s. You won’t see GvGers baiting condition cleanses and stun breakers like you might in a duel, but you will see them using guardian-greatsword pulls into necro-wells, dropping a ring of warding around the pulled players and then dropping half a dozen hammer-stuns within 2 seconds on the trapped cluster. Which requires more skill?

Also, just as in sPvP, there are good GvG teams and bad GvG teams. Sometimes GvGs involving bad teams can descend into mindless button-mashing. But, just as you wouldn’t judge sPvP on its worst players, neither should you judge GvG that way. Amongst competent GvG teams there is absolutely a great deal of co-ordination, timing and tactics. It may be difficult for the un-trained eye to see it, but it’s there.

If it wasn’t there, then we wouldn’t see the same teams able to win match after match. They’re obviously doing something, not relying on dumb luck. Did RedGuard simply have less lag than their opponents, in every single one of their matches, or were they playing with more skill than their opposition?


(edited by Ragnar.4257)