World vs. World: 31 January Update Preview

Hi, World vs. World community,

I’m Cecil Armstrong, WvW Team Lead and Producer, and I’m joined by Senior Game Designer Floyd Grubb. We’re here today to share a preview of some WvW changes coming in the 31 January update and the months following it.

Before we dig in, we wanted to remind the community of our current team priorities:

  1. Address player population balance issues through the World Restructuring and Alliances features.
  2. Make WvW more rewarding to play with a focus on active participation.
  3. Refine and iterate on core WvW systems like scoring, siege, upgrades, etc.

While World Restructuring and Alliances are still our primary focus, we were able to carve out some time in our schedule to make progress toward the second and third priorities on our list.

January 31 WvW Update Preview

In addition to improved rewards, this update includes changes that are designed to encourage direct player vs. player conflict in fights over objectives while taking care to not take the fun (or the teeth) out of objective defense. We’ll be keeping a close eye on these changes—both the player feedback and quantitative data—and will make follow-up adjustments as needed.

New Weekly Achievements

We’re adding a set of weekly achievements that reward players for active and positive contribution to World vs. World—for example, capturing objectives, taking down dolyaks, and defeating enemy players. Completing these achievements each week will reward players with 8 gold and up to 35 additional WvW Skirmish Claim Tickets (a ~10% increase in max weekly tickets). The weekly gold reward will only require completion of six out of seven of the achievements to give players flexibility in how they complete the weekly meta-achievement. These achievements will reset every Monday at 7:30 p.m. UTC (11:30 p.m. Pacific Time).

Siege

On the siege side of things, we’re making flame rams and ballistae more durable. The duration and range on the flame ram’s Iron Will skill are both also being increased to help relieve pressure on assaulters, while the range on the ballista’s Reinforcing Shot is being increased to improve its ability to destroy siege weapons on objectives. We’d like to see the warclaw used a bit more frequently in objective assaults, so we’re doubling the damage that its Chain Pull inflicts on gates.

Ram enjoyers, rejoice! We’re fixing a long-standing issue that caused players to be kicked off siege weapons when hit by certain crowd-control abilities, even when under the effects of stability. This bug has become a key part of the WvW meta, resulting in defense strategies like double-stacking catapults behind gates to chain crowd control on flame ram users. All the changes above combined should help improve the success rate of gate assaults, even while they’re being heavily defended.

Objectives

The base maximum supply limit for keeps and Stonemist Castle, as well as the supply limit increases granted from the T1/T3 upgrades, are being reduced. These changes are intended to cut down on the time that objective assaulters spend chipping away at an objective’s supply reserves during wall and gate sieges without directly lowering the active defensive capabilities of the defending team.

To compensate, we’ve increased the health of all supply dolyaks to make them easier to defend, and we increased the amount of supply that each successful delivery gives to Stonemist Castle and keeps. The base maximum supply levels for camps have also been increased, as well as the amount of supply that camps generate every 30 seconds, making them a more reliable supply source.

What’s Next?

All the changes listed above will be live in just a few days, and we have more in the hopper for the first part of this year. We’re currently working on improving rewards for active participation in fights over key objectives, making towers, keeps, and Stonemist Castle bigger player activity hotspots.

On the World Restructuring and Alliances front, we’re still diligently working on bringing those features to life. As we mentioned last year, we’re going to hold off on running additional betas until the Alliances feature is ready for live testing. We’re not ready to commit to a date for the first Alliances beta quite yet, but you’ll get a more comprehensive update on this from us in Q1.

As we mentioned earlier in this post, we’re planning to release iterative WvW changes more frequently this year, like the update coming next Tuesday. There’s a lot of room for addressing low-hanging fruit in WvW systems, but we need to be careful not to disrupt the game mode too much all at once.

Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you in the Mists!
—Floyd Grubb, Cecil Armstrong, and the WvW Team


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