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“Watch this, it’ll be funny!” – Guild Wars 2 Unleashes Custom Arenas and Spectator Mode in Structured PVP

I may have put a picture of a girl on the cover because I couldn't find a good picture showing spectator mode. Or because I want more page views. Either works.
This article is over 11 years old and may contain outdated information

Competitive play in any game is a hard niche, coveted by it’s players with gigs of walkthroughs, advice, FAQs and guides, that change with every new patch. The need to be ‘pro’ when it comes to play is a fact that even the most casual player secretly strives for, and a game that puts this factor in, be it something as simple as a character select screen or a HEADSHOT announcer, will draw a lot of attention to itself.

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A fact that Guild Wars 2 seems to have picked up with their latest patch.


GW2’s Structured PVP arenas are, if anything, bloody good fun. Practically a separate function from the core of the game, it removes the need to grind by placing you at max level and giving you a select amount of gear to use for it, that is shared by all other players of the game. It is accessible from the very moment your character is created into the world, and a player can completely avoid the core of the game altogether if they just want to buddy up and bash some heads in.

And now, on May Day, they have introduced two new features to truly bring it up in the ranks of competitive play.


First up is Spectator Mode, where players can choose to join a match as a well… spectator. The option is available to all players who join a match either through set up, or coming into a match in progress. A little worried that your Charr Guardian (the best race by the way) might fare against a killer guild? Watch them play, see their strategies, and learn a little. Getting tired of thieves being ‘OP’? Watch how your buddy deals with them and pick up some hints. 1v1 like true gentlemen? Invite your friends to come watch you ‘Pwn this noob’.


Do people even say that anymore?

Even more of an interesting idea, battle videos will be much easier to film using spectator mode. True, it does not function as a replay mode – who knows, that may still be in the works – but now you can get footage from perspectives other than your own and show it to the world, declaring you to be the master guild of all.

Which brings me to the other addition to GW2 – Custom Arenas.

No longer are PVP players limited by the map they pick as to how the match will be. Custom Arenas now throw in a multitude of options for players to choose from, in order to fit their battle ground to a style they like. It ranges from custom names, to password protected, auto balanced, reserved slots, time limits, and the fabled Spectator Mode.


At the moment, Custom Arenas (and by that, Spectator Mode) are only available to select media sites and certain high ranking players, but when the beta ends, it will be purchasable at the market as arena kits. So get practicing, and play more Guild Wars!

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Lloyd Gyan
Just your average, fairly kooky man trying to take a different perspective when it comes to video games. And hoping to bring you along for the ride. Like, or disagree with something that I wrote? Just pop down a comment saying so!