This is part four of the March State of the Game for Guild Wars 2.
Warriors are going to get improvements for their banners. Being movable buffs, they need to be powerful enough to be worth using while also being long-lasting enough to be worth carrying someplace, which is a tricky point of balance. Most banner ability score increases are going to be approximately doubled, with the exception being the condition damage banner, which already has high numbers.
Grouch points out that warriors tend to be very restricted on the options they can take viably in terms of utility skills based upon their build, which Karl confirms is one of the balance issues that Arenanet is looking at in its mission to better balance the utility skills across all the classes.
The devs also note that warrior is a tricky class to balance because most of the viable builds for PvP are vulnerable to conditions while at the same time preventing him from being literally unstoppable. Warriors are also one of the main candidates for receiving boon-punishing traits.
PvP leaderboards are coming, and will be sortable based on NA or EU, friends, server, and will show ranking within each individual category. Win/loss record is planned on being displayed, but not the specific rating of individual players.
Jon mentions that many of the upcoming improvements to PvP are not going to be patch-specific, but will be released as soon as they are ready.
Spectator mode was an example of something that may be added without waiting for a patch. Tyler explains that the mode will differ from the viewing mode of the first Guild Wars in that it will focus on one of several camera modes or, optionally, on specific characters, allowing the spectator to view the game entirely from their own perspective. This will allow watchers to see their abilities and cooldowns, including their hotbar, as well as their specific spec to give viewers a chance to see exactly what the professional players are bringing to their game.
Grouch asks what Arenanet will be doing to bring back the players who have ceased their activity on Guild Wars 2 while waiting for certain features (such as spectator mode) to be implemented. The devs are also pushing back their plans for possible e-sports until they are confident Guild Wars 2 is at a point where it is truly ready for such.
Asked directly what the PvP community can look forward to in the coming patch, Jon responds that the leaderboards will be switched on as soon as they are ready, regardless of the next patch.
The question of incentive to actually play PvP is brought up again, which Tyler answers ambiguously with the idea of adding more ranks and possibly increasing the speed at which they are gained, but admitting that other than rank itself there is little incentive to progress without giving any sort of proposed solution to the problem. This hints that it is an issue Arenanet is aware of, but that they have not decided on possible solutions to.
Nero points out that the skill tree is not optimized for min-maxing, which the devs agree is the case deliberately to grant more options as opposed to set builds.
Nero then specifically asks why the game meta allows for dedicated tanks and dedicated DPS but does not make dedicated healers possible. Jon points out that any time a dedicated healer becomes powerful enough of an option that it becomes necessary, creating a role-based meta that Arenanet does not want for Guild Wars 2.
The question is also asked about possible other game modes for players burned out on the conquest game type and Tyler confirms that with Guild Wars 2 now having a multitude of maps for its basic game mode Arenanet would be more willing to consider alternate game types. They will also be expanding on the data provided by the PvP scoreboard to give better feedback to the players.
Jon also explains how they intend to begin limiting or penalizing players for changing their class or build after entering a PvP map to prevent people from trying to counter each others builds. He also mentions that the Arenanet team is still looking at AoE damage and rez abilities very closely, aware it needs to be fixed but also aware that any change they make will drastically affect the entire game, PvP, PvE and elsewise.
And that’s the current State of the Game. Tune in next month for another update, and watch for the actual patches and hotfixes as they happen.