Servers in WvW are matched up based on their ranking, so that high-ranked servers will battle other high-ranked servers, and low-ranked servers will battle other low-ranked servers. This ensures that every server has a fair chance of winning matches despite differing levels of player participation or skill.
WvW is designed to accomodate players that would not normally participate in PvP. For instance, the high player limit means a new player can get involved without immediately feeling pressured to contribute. In addition, objectives are available for a variety of group sizes, so players don't need to be members of dedicated guilds in order to be productive.
Player limits are not yet finalized, but current estimates are that each map will support up to 500 players, split across the three servers, for a total upper limit of 2,000 players across the entire WvW match.
WvW will be accessible to characters immediately after the tutorial instance and players joining WvW will have their level and attributes dynamically adjusted to level 80. Skills, traits, experience and equipment can be obtained within WvW, so character progression can be done without ever needing to switch to PvE.
Players may leave or join WvW at any time with only a few restrictions:
- Players who have recently changed their home server are restricted from entering WvW for a limited time.
- Players who are idle for a certain amount of time will be automatically removed from WvW, but can rejoin at any time.
- Players who attempt to join a map that is full can decide whether to queue for a space, or join one of the other maps instead.
Each WvW match takes place across four very large maps containing four different types of objectives. Every 5 minutes, the objectives controlled by each server are totaled and added to that server's cumulative war score. The aim of WvW is to achieve a higher war score than the opposing servers by the end of the two-week battle. The following table shows the types of objectives, their distribution on the maps, and how many points each they are worth.
As an example, if a server owns 6 resource camps (30 points), 5 towers (50 points) and 4 keeps (60 points), 140 points will be added to their war score every 5 minutes.
At the beginning of each two-week battle, these objectives are neutral and must be captured. Once an objective has been captured, a few NPCs will spawn to defend it. These NPCs can usually hold off a smaller force, but are there mostly to give a server some time to organize a defense.
In addition to the above, there are a number of smaller objectives that provider other bonuses, such as NPC mercenaries that can be recruited to join your team.
Depending on the type of objective, there are a number of obstacles that must be overcome before the objective can be captured. The following table lists the defenses that each objective type may possess:
|Resource camp||Tower||Keep||Stonemist Castle|
|Walls or door||0||1||1||1|
In addition, any objective can be defended by players from the server that owns the objective.
Once these obstacles have been overcome, there will be a capture area which players need to remain inside for a few moments to capture the objective.
The doors and walls of towers and keeps are very strong and require a concerted effort to destroy. Siege weapons are therefore an important part of any assault as they can be used to bring down obstacles much more quickly than players alone.
Siege weapons are environmental weapons that can be built to accomplish a particular purpose. For instance, arrow carts and cannons are very effective against groups of enemies, while ballistae and trebuchets are ideal for breaking down doors and walls.
To create a siege weapon, a player uses a blueprint, purchased from a siegemaster or obtained from loot, to create a build site. Construction is performed by spending supply at that site and once construction is completed, the siege weapon can be used.
The following siege weapons are available:
- Arrow cart: fires a volley of arrows, dealing significant damage to players but weak against structures.
- Ballista: fires a giant bolt, dealing heavy damage to structures and players in its path.
- Catapult: great for dealing with walls, gates, and clustered enemies.
- Siege golem: slow and short ranged but capable of dealing significant damage.
- Trebuchet: long-ranged rock thrower capable of dealing significant damage to players and structures alike.
In addition, defensive siege weapons can be constructed on walls to help defend objectives against assaults. These siege weapons do not require blueprints, but do require some supply to build. Defensive siege weapons are:
With the exception of the siege golem, all siege weapons are stationary and cannot be moved.
Killing an enemy player in WvW will result in experience and loot drops. Loot is randomly generated; the defeated player does not actually lose anything through being defeated. Aside from these individual rewards, there is no particular benefit to fighting other players. As a result, combat will usually occur when attacking or defending an objective.
The names of players from other servers are not shown. Instead, they appear as "<color> Invader" or "<color> Defender". For instance, a player from the blue server may be called simply "Blue Invader". There is also no common chat channel allowing communication with other servers.
Supply is a special resource in WvW used for the following:
- Construction of siege weapons.
- Repair of doors and walls of towers, keeps and Stonemist Castle.
- Purchase of defensive upgrades from a quartermaster.
Each objective has a stockpile of supply, which is automatically replenished by supply caravans travelling from resource camps. The stockpiled supply can be collected by players, each of whom can carry a maximum of 10 units.
A stockpile of supply will allow defenders to keep their doors and walls repaired. Therefore, it's important when assaulting a keep to destroy any supply caravans attempting to deliver supply. Likewise, when defending a keep against an assault, supply caravans should be protected.
Whenever a tower, a keep or Stonemist Castle is captured by a server, the guild that had the most participating members will have the option of claiming the keep. The claimed keep will then display the banner of that guild, and any WvW upgrades purchased by that guild will apply to nearby allies.
A good time for a guild to capture keeps may be at the very beginning of a WvW match when all objectives are still neutral.
Each Borderlands map has a single Orb of Power which is defended by a powerful NPC named the Keeper of the Orb. If the keeper is defeated, the orb can be taken to a keep and placed on an Altar of Power, which will result in bonuses for the entire team in WvW.
Power of the Mists is awarded to players in PvE and WvW based on the war score of their home server. It include bonuses to health, gathering and crafting among others. A player will receive the bonuses of their home server even when visiting other servers.
- ^ a b Mike Ferguson on Guild Wars 2 World vs. World ArenaNet Blog
- ^ Guild Wars 2 Developer AMA Ask Me Anything on Reddit
- ^ IAmA Guild Wars 2 Game Designer AMA Abount World vs. World PvP reddit.com
- ^ Mike Ferguson Takes Your WvW Questions Here and on Reddit Arena Net Blog
- ^ IncGamers’ Guild Wars 2 Interview - Part 2, IncGamers