Guild Wars




Guild Wars Fansite Friday #59
16 September 2005

This week's Fansite Friday interview involves nearly 20 Guild Wars fansites. Each site staff collected dozens, sometimes hundreds of questions, and then submitted what they felt were the best and most pressing questions to us for our response. We in turn sorted the questions for popularity and immediacy, and in some cases, we combined several into a single question. We hope you'll enjoy!

When will the Guild Wars Ladder be reset? Will the ladder reset also involve the resetting of Fame and Rank for individual players?

The ladder will be reset in order to establish a level playing field for significant Guild Wars events such as tournaments. That is to say, we don’t plan to simply randomly reset the ladder. Instead we will make sure that the timing is appropriate and the reasoning sound, which would be the case when the resets are made in connection with these major events. You may have noted that we haven’t yet announced the details of a global Guild Wars tournament, but you can be sure we’re going to be supplying those details in a formal announcement in the near future. As to Fame and Rank, they are both marks of personal achievement and will not be affected by a guild ladder reset.

A "runner" is someone who helps lower-level players skip through major parts of the game. Guild Wars doesn't prohibit players from taking short-cuts, but the concept of an even playing field for PvP flies out the window when low-level players acquire and use high-end armor or gear in PvP matches. Naturally it gives them a significant advantage. What is ArenaNet's position on "running" and on the perception that the lower-level tournaments are being adversely affected by it?

There are a few ways to handle this problem. The most obvious is to set level restrictions on items. This would immediately block the use of items not intended for low-level players, so that even if players had done a "run" to acquire the higher-level items or armor, they would not be allowed to equip them. But there are negative factors in doing that, principal amongst them the facts that setting level restrictions and closing off "running" options would make it difficult for players to level up their 2nd and 3rd characters in cases where they wish to do so without playing through the game. And of course it would mean that players could not get cool stuff they want in their own timeframe or might need to tote it for a while before using it.

An additional way to solve this problem is to make running more challenging. This has already been accomplished to a very limited degree with a few modest map modifications. We do not intend to make short cuts impossible—they are a legitimate part of Guild Wars. But we have made it a bit more challenging to accomplish, which will potentially reduce the number of those who do it over and over again for reasons of a less-than-positive nature.

You've seen a corrective measure taken with the restoration of XP in the arena. When players acquire XP, they level. When they level, they soon "outgrow" the low-level arena. This means that players who are intent on abuse would have to spend a lot of time and a lot of effort to create a new character exclusively for that purpose.

And finally, we are considering adjustments to the design of future installments of the game that will also reduce or eliminate the perceived need for running.

Is a "Rejoin Mission" option going to be incorporated into the game?

The "Rejoin Mission" function is probably one of the most difficult things to program into a game. And yet, we know it’s a popular request with fans, for a variety of reasons. In the long-run, some sort of functionality of this sort will be added to Guild Wars. We'll continue to investigate the possibilities and will weigh the merits and drawbacks in the context of several ideas we have on the table. It seems nearly certain that we will incorporate this option in the long term, although we can't provide a timeline right now.

Should there be penalties for leaving a PvP party?

The feeling amongst the Designers is that having penalties for leaving PvP will harm more players than it helps. We believe that it is incumbent on us to try to fix the problem that causes the leaving, rather than penalize the leaver.

Some players suggest that we should somehow arrange so that random parties are a little less random. They propose that perhaps it should not be possible to have a party that consists exclusively of four Rangers or four Mesmers, or that each party should be set up to assure that each employs a Monk. With party creation programming changes, the thinking goes, we might be able to cut down on the number of "leavers." However, this solution has been resoundingly rejected by a large number of players who say "random means random" and who enjoy the varied choices that the current setup affords. Some players' most memorable battles involve the teams that didn't have a Monk or that were fully configured with a single player type. In other words, sometimes we remember best the matches we win against the odds. The present random party formation process can make for some epic battles.

The designers feel that there shouldn't be penalties for leaving at this juncture, because at present, players often leave for reasons over which they have no control. We need to remove the frustrating elements in the game that give players legitimate reasons for leaving. We can, for instance, implement a "Resign" feature so that players can end stalemate matches and move on to a more productive battle.

Making significant changes to this setup is a long-term process, but we are working on it. Once we fix the source of frustrations and eliminate the legitimate reasons for leaving a party, then it will be possible and appropriate to penalize those who leave only to grief other players. In short, we are opposed to a penalty when it may be unjust, but won't hesitate to put one in place when it affects only those who truly deserve to be penalized.

Why does Guild Wars guild-versus-guild combat involve a "Kill the Guild Lord" mechanic instead of a "Destroy the Other Team" system?

We believe that supplying great PvP gameplay involves presenting a variety of different objectives. Different and sometimes multiple objectives afford you opportunities for various kinds of tactical combat. Some types of PvP combat in Guild Wars do simply require the smiting of the enemy team for a successful outcome. But making Guild Lord elimination the focal point of GvG battles places a totally different emphasis on the matches and allows a very different gameplay experience.

Tombs of the Primeval Kings is one kind of battleground. There, when you eliminate the other team, it's all over. The Tombs map set has a gateway that prevents the use of degenerate builds, such as all-healer/no-damage teams. GvG does not have a gateway, but with the Guild Lord as the target, such single-dimensional builds aren't viable. And awarding victory to the team whose Guild Lord survives allows us to offer the large GvG maps of Guild Wars, because stalling moves, like running away or hiding, simply aren't the viable option that they can be in team elimination combat.

In guild-versus-guild battles, there is a different look and feel to combat, since it involves many unique things that you have to worry about and control, such as locked gates, flag stands, catapults, a variety of NPCs, and the opportunity, even the necessity, to adjust and adapt during combat. Guild Lord targeting creates another point on the map that you must control and allows a back and forth battle that affords the chance for great comebacks. Guild-versus-guild combat is longer-lasting and more elaborate, in part because of the mechanic that calls for the elimination of the Guild Lord.

Thank you to the following fansites for their participation in this Fansite Friday interview:

Members of the Design Team who participated in this week's Q&A included the following:

  • Mike O'Brien
  • James Phinney
  • Curtis Johnson
  • Isaiah Cartwright

Please check back next week when we offer FF#60, which will contain additional collected fansite questions.