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The Future of Competitive Guild Wars is Here


Automated Tournaments
What we've already said
Instead of spending hours to climb the GvG ladder, true success now hinges on how well your guild does in actual tournament play.

Automated tournaments mean we can schedule and run hundreds, if not thousands, of tournaments at all levels every year. Each of these tournaments offers the opportunity to seize fame, glory, in-game prizes, and to participate in global championships (explained below).

Automated tournaments run two or three times a day starting at beneficial times for players in all times zones. In addition, these tournaments accommodate any number of participants, automatically determine match start times (and countdown times until the next round), announce pairings, and report results of each event for publication on the Guild Wars web site.

Free play GvG matches will persist in their current form BUT with a greatly reduced ELO rating (5k to be exact). Guilds can, of course, enter free play matches for fun and practice, but doing so has little effect on overall ladder standing.

One important change is that you MUST be a member of a guild for 14 days before your account is eligible to enter an automated tournament for that guild (note: after testing this has been lowered from the previously announced 30 days). Just as we required long term membership in a guild for previous tournaments, it is again required for automated tournaments. Guests are NOT allowed for tournament play (thus, the end of smurf and tank guilds). We recommend creating or joining the guild you want to compete in NOW so you are eligible for the first automated tournaments when they are tested in April and commence for the big prizes in May 2007.

The New Stuff
Automated tournaments roll out in April for everyone to start testing and playing. Because we want to make absolutely sure everything works before the big prizes start, automated tournaments initially have no entry fee or prizes (though they will have a higher K rating). When we are sure everything is perfect, entering a tournament will cost tournament tokens (a new in-game item sold for Balthazar faction points) and will reward in-game prizes. After that, in May, the Guild Wars $100,000 tournament series begins with real-world prizes.

Schedule
Each month will consist of dozens of online tournaments that guilds (for GvG) and individual players (for 1v1) can enter. Entering a 1v1 tournament will cost 1 tournament token and entering a GvG tournament will cost 5 tournament tokens. These tournament tokens can be purchased from the Tournament NPC for 1,000 Balthazar Faction points.

Daily tournaments will begin every 8 hours every day. Each of these tournaments rewards guilds and players that finish well with virtual, in-game prizes and points towards qualifying for the monthly championship.

These monthly championships will offer exciting, real-world valuable prizes to the victors, as well as increased in-game virtual prize support. In addition, these monthly championships provide similar virtual prize opportunities for PvP fans through the Xunlai Tournament House.

These tournaments will consist of a number of Swiss rounds (based upon number of participants) that lead to Single Elimination playoffs. After all players or guilds have signed up for a tournament and that event begins, competitors are randomly divided into instanced versions of that tournament. There is a maximum cap of 32 individual players or guilds, meaning there will be, at most, 5 rounds of Swiss competition played for each daily tournament.

At the end of the rounds of Swiss competition, the top finishers (top 8) are invited to continue playing in the Single Elimination playoffs to determine the final results of each instanced tournament.

In addition to earning in-game prizes, high finishing guilds and players earn monthly qualifier points ("QP"). The number of monthly QP awarded in these daily tournaments is as follows:

Tournament Result QP Awarded Daily Tourney
1st 8
2nd 7
3rd 6
4th 5
5th 4
6th 3
7th 2
8th 1

At this point all Swiss and Single Elimination GvG and 1v1 rounds consist of single battle matches.

At the end of each season, guilds that have earned sufficient QP will earn invitations to compete in the monthly championship tournament as follows:

Number of monthly QP Rewards earned
20 Invitation to monthly playoff

In this championship tournament, these monthly qualifier points will be used as the third tie-breaker (after opponent’s match win % but before ladder rank). This is slightly different than the tie-breaker rules for the regular daily tournaments, which are described below.

Monthly qualifier points are only good for the month they are earned. They do not carry over into the following month.

Schedule
The first month's daily tournaments will begin sometime in April. Additional tournaments are held online up until approximately 8 hours prior to the monthly championship.

As you can see in the schedule below, once they begin GvG and 1v1 tournaments will alternately fill out each day, so there will always be competitive opportunities running. We also rotate the starting times of the tournaments throughout the week so that players in each time zone will have days where the tournaments start at a great time for them.

Time (GMT) Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday
00:00 GvG       1v1    
01:00       1v1      
02:00     1v1       GvG
03:00   1v1       GvG  
04:00 1v1       GvG    
05:00       GvG      
06:00     GvG       1v1
07:00   GvG       1v1  
08:00 GvG       1v1    
09:00       1v1      
10:00     1v1       GvG
11:00   1v1       GvG  
12:00 1v1       GvG    
13:00       GvG      
14:00     GvG       1v1
15:00   GvG       1v1  
16:00 GvG       1v1    
17:00       1v1     GvG
18:00     1v1     GvG  
19:00   1v1     GvG    
20:00 1v1     GvG      
21:00     GvG       1v1
22:00   GvG       1v1  
23:00 GvG       1v1    

This schedule will continue from week to week with occasional special events and monthly championships added in.

Monthly Playoff matches take place during the last weekend of each month as listed below. Daily tournaments for the next monthly season begin at 07:00 GMT on the following Monday.

Season Start Date Playoff Date Playoff Start Time*
May May 1 May 26 & 27 19:00 GMT
June May 28 June 23 & 24 20:00 GMT
July June 25 July 28 & 29 21:00 GMT
August July 30 August 25 & 26 22:00 GMT
September August 27 September 29 & 30 23:00 GMT
October October 1 October 27 & 28 18:00 GMT
November October 29 November 24 & 25 19:00 GMT
December November 26 December 15 & 16 20:00 GMT

Entering GvG Automated Tournaments
As previously mentioned, entering your guild into an automated tournament will, after the testing phase, cost you 5 tournament tokens. These are tradable, so any player in your guild will be able to purchase them for your guild's entry. Each tournament token costs 1,000 Balthazar Faction points.

You may purchase these tournament tokens from the Tournament NPC who appears in every guild hall as well as in the Temple of Balthazar and Hero Battles arena.

To register your guild for an automated tournament, any officer can use the Guild Battle button, much as they would for a regular guild battle, and simply select the Register for Tournament option from the list of possible guild battle types. The officer's inventory will need to include the appropriate number of tournament tokens.

After the guild is registered, a tournament countdown will appear for everyone in the guild hall. Before the first round of the tournament begins, a guild officer must form a party and "Join" the battle.

Players can check out the standings of current tournaments and the final results of recently completed tournaments by talking to the Tournament NPC.

Playing GvG Automated Tournaments
The 8 players competing in the registered tournament should be available in their guild hall at least 15 minutes before the start of the tournament so the guild officers can be sure which 8 players are available to compete.

All selected players must have been continuous members of the guild for 14 days or more. The tournament mechanism checks this, and bars entry to any disqualified players.

A countdown clock will appear in the guild hall giving the amount of time remaining before the tournament starts and shows when later rounds will begin once the tournament has started. It is the responsibility of each tournament team to get all players together and click 'Join' BEFORE time is up on this timer. If you don't hit 'Join' in time, you forfeit that round to your opponent and are dropped from the tournament.

Joining this first battle defines the tournament roster for the guild. For all other battles in the tournament, at least 6 party members must be from this original tournament roster. Keep in mind that, for guilds that make it to the final single elimination round, the tournament will last up to 4+ hours. Choose your tournament roster with this commitment in mind.

Don't worry, though. You may select an entirely different tournament roster for the next tournament, so, if you like; everyone in your guild has a chance to compete.

Similar to previous events, the tournament consists of up to 5 rounds of Swiss competition (depending on the number of entrants in your instanced tournament). Swiss competition allows your guild to compete in every round, regardless of wins and losses, and pairs you with guilds of similar win/loss records to keep it interesting for everyone. Swiss rounds use the match point system described below.

Match points are used for pairing and tie-breakers. Each guild earns 3 match points for every match they win, 1 point for any draws, and 0 points for any matches lost. Each guild is assigned an additional 0 to 0.999 match points based on their opponent's match win percentage.

At the end of the rounds of Swiss competition, the top 8 guilds advance to the Single Elimination playoffs. The top guilds are those with the most Match Points. If necessary, a guild's ladder rank (at the start of the tournament) is used as a tie-breaker.

Each guild's match win percentage is that guild's accumulated match points divided by 3, times the number of rounds in which they competed, or 0.33, whichever is greater. (Establishing a minimum match-win percentage of 0.33 limits the effect low performances have when calculating and comparing Opponent's Match Win Percentages).

For example, a guild's record is 2-1-1 (2 wins, 1 loss, and 1 draw) after 4 rounds of Swiss play. It is has earned 7 match points and its match win percentage is: 7/(4*3) = .583

A guild's Opponent's Match Win Percentage is the average match-win percentage of each opponent that guild faced (ignoring any rounds for which the guild received a bye or forfeit).

For example, using the above example, a guild finished 2-1-1 and its opponents' match records were 2-2-0, 1-2-1, 3-1-0, and 0-4-0 so the guild's Opponent's Match Win Percentage is

(6/12 + 4/12 + 9/12 + 0/12)


4 opponents

Replacing the 0/12 with 0.33 (see above minimum) and translating to the decimal system we get:

(0.50 + 0.33 + 0.67 + 0.33)


4

This equation becomes 1.83
4
or 0.46.

This number, which ranges from 0.33 to 1.0 is then scaled to range from 0.0 to 0.999 (for readability) and then added to the guild's score.

The scaled number is calculated as follows:

(Opponent Win Percentage-0.33) * (0.999/0.67)

So when all was said and done, in our example above, the guild would have 7.19 points. (7 from its 2 wins and 1 draw, and 0.19 based on an Opponent Win Percentage of 0.46.)

While this may seem a bit complicated, it basically comes down to using the strength of your schedule as the tie-breaker. The guild that defeats guilds with better records ends up with a slightly higher score than a guild that defeated weaker opponents.

Further, each guild's ladder rank is captured at the start of a tournament. In the event that any ties remain after accounting for Match Points Earned, then the ladder rank at the start of the tournament is used to break ties, with better ranked guilds beating worse ranked guilds (example: a guild ranked 5th on the ladder beats a guild ranked 12th on the ladder).

Finally, automated tournaments offer a higher K rating for competition. This means that every match you win or lose is likely to increase or decrease your guild's overall rating more than free play matches. This is done to reward guilds willing to compete in more balanced competition in the tournaments than in ladder free play. Daily tournaments have a K rating of 30, and monthly championships have a K rating of 50 (in comparison, ladder free play matches have a k rating of 5).

Guilds are allowed to drop out of tournaments for any reason. However, tournament tokens are not refunded and they may limit their chance to collect prizes in that tournament.

Once the tournament is complete, winning players will receive their earned rewards. The details on which players win, and the rewards, are being finalized and will be announced soon.

Once the tournament series begins in May, guilds also earn monthly qualifier points (as explained above) towards an invitation to the monthly championship as well.

Entering 1v1 Automated Tournaments
For 1v1, you can purchase tournament tokens from the Tournament NPC who appears in the Hero Battles Isle, in the Temple of Balthazar, and in every Guild Hall.

Each tournament token will cost 1,000 Balthazar Faction points and will be tradable.

To register for an automated tournament use the Hero Battle button (only available in the Hero Battles outpost), much as you would for a regular Hero Battle and simply select the Register for Tournament option from the list of possible Hero Battle types. Your inventory needs to include the appropriate number of tournament tokens.

After you are registered, a tournament countdown appears for you while you are in the Hero Battles outpost. Before the first round of the tournament begins, you must select your skills, set up your Heroes, and "Join" the battle.

You can also check the standings of current tournaments and the final results of recently completed tournaments with the Tournament NPC.

Playing 1v1 Automated Tournaments
If you are registered for a 1v1 tournament, you should show up in the Hero Battles area at least 10 minutes before the start of the event as there could be slight differences between your clock and the official tournament start clock.

A countdown clock will appear on your screen when you are in the Hero Battles area giving the amount of time remaining before the tournament starts. This clock will also show when later rounds begin once the tournament has started. It is your responsibility to finish making all changes in your character and heroes and click 'Join' BEFORE time is up on this timer. If you don't hit 'Join' in time, you forfeit that round to your opponent and are dropped from the tournament.

As with previous events, the tournament consists of up to 5 rounds of Swiss competition (depending on the number of entrants in your instanced tournament). Swiss competition allows you to compete in every round, regardless of wins and losses, and pairs you against players with similar win/loss records to keep it interesting for everyone. Swiss rounds use the match point system described below.

Match points are used for pairing and tie-breakers. Players earn 3 match points for each match they win, 1 point for any draws, and 0 points for any matches lost. Each guild is assigned an additional 0 to 0.999 match points based on their opponent's match win percentage.

At the end of the rounds of Swiss competition, the top 8 players advance to the Single Elimination playoffs. The top players are those with the most Match Points. In daily tournaments, your 1v1 ladder rank (at the start of the tournament) is used as a tie-breaker. In the monthly championship, the number of qualifier points is used first, and then, if necessary, ladder rank (again, as captured at the start of the tournament) is used.

Each player's match win percentage is that player's accumulated match points divided by 3, times the number of rounds in which they competed, or 0.33, whichever is greater. (Establishing a minimum match-win percentage of 0.33 limits the effect low performances have when calculating and comparing Opponent's Match Win Percentages).

For example, a player's record is 2-1-1 (2 wins, 1 loss, and 1 draw) after 4 rounds of Swiss play. He or she has earned 7 match points and the match win percentage is 7/(4*3) = .583

A player's Opponent's Match Win Percentage is the average match-win percentage of each opponent that player faced (ignoring any rounds for which the player received a bye or a forfeit).

For example, using the above example, a player finished 2-1-1 and his or her opponents' match records were 2-2-0, 1-2-1, 3-1-0, and 0-4-0 so the player's Opponent's Match Win Percentage is

(6/12 + 4/12 + 9/12 + 0/12)


4 opponents

Replacing the 0/12 with 0.33 (see above minimum) and translating to the decimal system we get:

(0.50 + 0.33 + 0.67 + 0.33)


4

This equation becomes 1.83

4
or 0.46.

The number, which ranges from 0.33 to 1.0 is then scaled to range from 0.0 to 0.999 (for readability) and then added to the player's score.

The scaled number is calculated as follows:

(Opponent Win Percentage-0.33) * (0.999/0.67)

So when all was said and done, in our example above, the player would have 7.19 points. (7 from earning 2 wins and 1 draw, and 0.19 based on an Opponent Win Percentage of 0.46.)

While this may seem a bit complicated, it basically comes down to using the strength of your schedule as the tie-breaker. The player who defeats opponents with better records ends up with a slightly higher score than a player who defeated weaker opponents.

And, as stated, each player's ladder rank is captured at the start of every tournament. In daily tournaments, a player's ladder rank (at the start of the tournament) is used as a tie-breaker. In the monthly championship, the number of qualifier points is used first, and then, if necessary, 1v1 ladder rank (again, as captured at the start of the tournament) is used.

Finally, automated tournaments offer a higher K rating for competition. This means that every match you win or lose is likely to increase or decrease your 1v1 rating more than free play matches. This is done to reward the players who are willing to compete in more balanced competition in the tournaments than in ladder free play. Daily tournaments have a K rating of 30, and monthly championships have a K rating of 50 (ladder free play matches have a k rating of 5 in comparison).

Players are allowed to drop out of tournaments for any reason. However, tournament tokens are not refunded and they may limit their chance to collect prizes in that tournament.

Once the tournament is completed, winning players will receive their earned rewards. The details on which players win, and the rewards, are being finalized and will be announced soon.

Once the tournament series begins in May, players also earn qualifier points (as explained above) toward qualifying for the monthly championship as well.