Hey there, Mists-dwellers! I’m Floyd Grubb, Senior Game Designer. I joined the WvW team after the release of Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons™, and I’m excited to do my part in supporting this community! It’s been fun to dive in over the past few months and learn the complex nuances of the game mode (Josh tells me to beware of Maguuma?).
A brief introduction: I have over twenty-five years of game development experience, with over ten years in MMOs alone. Prior to joining ArenaNet, I spent some time working on a large-scale Realm vs. Realm game mode very similar to WvW—I expect that might come in handy!
In today’s post I’ll be providing some status updates on our ongoing projects.
First, an update on our efforts to improve WvW rewards. One of the first changes I’m working on is having rewards earned from attacking or defending objectives scale based on the number of enemies you interact with in a battle. Simply put: fights against other players while attacking or defending an objective will result in that objective being more rewarding than it is today. This is a step toward our goal of rewarding individuals for active participation in WvW. Flipping an undefended objective won’t be any less rewarding—but now there will be a stronger incentive to rumble.
Speaking of rewards, here’s a preview of a new WvW-exclusive full weapon set that’s in development. Once they’re ready, we plan to add them as rewards for participating in future World Restructuring betas.
As for the World Restructuring betas, our investigation into the litany of issues that manifest themselves as “queue bugs” persists. Over the last few months, we’ve resolved multiple code issues that accounted for roughly half of the occurrences of the bug. On May 31, we announced that we were increasing the length of the WvW queue “timeout” grace period, in which players must accept their invitation to join a map or be removed from the queue. We had a hunch that this might improve the situation. The good news is that the extended grace period hasn’t increased average queue times, meaning we’ll likely keep it as a nice quality of life change—more time for you to get back to your PC in time to accept the queue when you run off to grab a snack. However, the data we’ve collected so far shows that this change is less impactful than anticipated in reducing occurrences of the queue bug on its own.
We were hoping to have the queue bugs squashed by now, but just like you, we’re growing impatient and are eager to get another test event rolling. We’ve made enough progress that we’re becoming more comfortable moving forward with another beta test of the existing system. We’ll be able to verify that the bug fixes are working at scale and gather a fresh set of data using the latest version of the back end. To clarify, this test will use the same front end system that was beta tested back in January—but with fixes for the queue issue and team placement, and improved matchmaking. This is a very recent decision and we’re working on finalizing the timing. We’ll follow up as soon as we know.
But wait, what about Alliances? Work on World Restructuring and the Alliances feature—both the server infrastructure and the player-facing components—continues to move along. Recently we’ve been designing the front-end interface, which hooks into the back end that our Platform Engineering team has been working on over the last year. World Restructuring might be a complicated beast under the hood, but it shouldn’t be difficult for players to navigate.
As we stated last year, we’re approaching the development of World Restructuring and Alliances differently than other features in Guild Wars 2. We want to share early designs and beta experiences, hear your feedback, iterate, and then work towards the final implementation (not that anything is ever final in game development). This approach will help ensure that we’re delivering the right solution for the community. It’s easier (and less costly) to change course at the beginning than it is at the end.
Today, we’re excited to share some of our internal development user flows and interface mock-ups for Alliances, including creation, invitations, removing guilds, and more. Please take a look and let us know what you think!
This image shows how players will select which Guild they want to represent in WvW Alliances. This is mostly what’s in game already, with some added UX improvements.
This image shows the process a guild leader will use to create an alliance.
This image shows the process an alliance leader will use to invite a guild to their alliance.
Next, we have several screens showing various cases of leaving an alliance.
That’s it for today! We’re looking forward to reading your thoughts on the mockups above on the official Guild Wars 2 forums.
Senior Game Designer