Guild Wars 2 State of the Game May (Part 2)
Welcome to part two of the latest State of the Game for Guild Wars 2.
Arenanet is going to be updating the rating system for their matchmaking system, specifically regarding new players. There have been cases of brand new players inexplicably being matched up with experienced players, making for some obviously lop-sided matches.
They will also be stabilizing the leaderboards so losing or winning single matches will have less serious of an impact on a player's ranking, no longer dropping or rising quite so wildly. The leaderboard rankings will, however, be subject to decay due to inactivity. While it was discussed before in previous State of the Game chats, the combination of these two have led to a couple of players having a winning streak early and simply staying in their upper-tier ranking by not playing any other games.
Arenanet is currently running internal tests to determine the appropriate decay rate and length of time before the decay begins to eat away at a player's ranking.
Sharp brought up the upcoming map, which he says Arenanet has nicknamed Skyhammer. He hints the map as having jump pads to give players huge amounts of height, as well as floors that can be activated to fall away underneath a player to drop them and an extremely powerful cannon.
While the map will not start as a part of tournament rotation, they will consider adding it to the rotation based on player feedback.
The secondary mechanics for the various maps are one of the things the devs have been paying attention to on the various maps. Specifically they have been and will continue to be watching the player reactions to them, which ones allow the best comeback potential, which ones are the most dynamic overall, and which ones are the most frustrating.
One example given was the lord on Legacy of the Foefire, potentially giving his NPC allies buffs or new abilities to make it necessary to deal with them before fighting the lord himself instead of simply getting all five players together and charging for his throat.
One example brought up by Phantaram was the water in Temple of the Silent Storm. He mentioned the example of a player being able to heal twice in rapid succession by entering and exiting the water mid-fight. Sharp confirmed they will not be removing the water from the map but will be going back over such issues as double-healing on a case by case basis.
More Underwater Issues
Sharp was asked very clearly how Arenanet feels about the underwater combat in PvP. He acknowledged that most of the Guild Wars 2 playerbase does not like it, and while they do not have plans to drastically revamp the system or remove it, neither will underwater combat feature heavily in tournament maps. It will instead be kept to 'fun' maps.
Another point brought up by Phantaram is the amount of time it takes to actually finish someone off underwater. As an elementalist, if downed on land he mentions he will always use mistform to get far enough into the water to ensure anyone wishing to finish him has to follow, causing them to waste significantly more time than they would have had to on land if they even bother at all.
The Arenanet team is planning to look over that aspect of underwater combat, potentially incorporating a stomping mechanic like what they have for land combat. Part of the issue with underwater combat having such things is being able to move while downed, but it is something they are looking at.
Solo Queue and Wipes
One of the most wanted features of the players of Guild Wars 2's sPvP is a solo queue option with a separate matchmaking rating. The capability is confirmed as being on the way, complete with its own leaderboard, but Arenanet is still hesitant to try and offer a direct ETA on when it will go live.
When the new leaderboard do finally go live, whether or not player rankings will be wiped is something still under consideration and likely internal testing. Also uncertain is whether or not Arenanet will wipe its leaderboards each season to give players a clean slate to play with, though Sharp did point out a rankings wipe is something many long term e-sports fans and players are already used to from other games.
Part three linked below!