I’m tired as hell, but here’s what I think about this weekend’s beta and the changes that have been made.
Hey everyone! Just a reminder that for anyone that hasn’t chosen their server or wants to leave their server, I’m going to be on Darkhaven with the Gamebreaker TV community! Either way, my elementalist that I’ll be playing a lot is named Yoshi Gwtwo, and you’re all more than welcome to pm me during the day and ask me questions. I’ll answer you as soon as I’m not in the middle of recording!
Hello everyone, and welcome to the special Beta Weekend Event 2 edition of The Structure! While TS is a column dedicated to SPvP, this week we’re talking about both SPvP and WvW. I’ve got some helpful tips for everyone regarding both, but first we’ve got big news on both fronts. Earlier this week, ArenaNet posted on the official blog what we would be seeing added to the game for this weekend, and everyone’s excited about it. What do us PvP nerds get to geek out over this weekend?
For everyone that’s into SPvP, we get to finally see automated tournaments! We don’t yet have player-defined matches or tournaments yet (something we have been promised at launch), but this is a big step up from having just a “Join a Match” button. They’re also drastically expanding the WvW experience. Things to be excited about include skill challenges to help WvW as a viable leveling method, dynamic events to provide more PvE components, and a PvP mini-dungeon that includes a chest and loot!
Now, on to business as usual. I know a lot of people in the last beta that did virtually (or literally) nothing except play WvW. I know a lot of people that did only SPvP and no WvW. Some of you reading this are probably in one of those two groups. Sure, there are going to be new things on both sides to go back and check out, but this weekend I hope that you’ll give the other a chance as well. That’s why for this pre-beta edition of TS, I’m coming up with a list of tips to take with you as you go from one into the other.
For Going From WvW Into SPvP
If you’ve played WvW and are going to try SPvP for the first time, follow these few tips to make yourself more successful in your new endeavor:
- Big fights over an objective are actually not helpful. If three of the enemy team are at one objective, that’s the last place you want to be. That means there are two other objectives with one player each (where you can simply fight them off) or no players at all simply waiting to be captured.
- The objectives in SPvP are small. While you can stand anywhere and nuke things in WvW to help break into a keep in WvW, nothing you’re doing actually helps win in SPvP if you’re not in the circles.
- SPvP matches are short. It takes very little time to go from winning to losing in SPvP. Even if you have every objective in SPvP, it takes less than 30 seconds for the enemy team to run in and take over two objectives very quickly and suddenly be gaining the lead on you.
- Killing off the defense actually helps take the objective. Kill enemy siege weapons quickly, and stop new ones from being built. Since it takes very few players to erect a siege weapon and wreak havoc on your team, all enemy players are a significant threat.
- There are four maps to choose from. It sounds like it should be obvious, but a lot of people don’t understand that there are other maps aside from the Eternal Battlegrounds. If your side is getting completely demolished in EB, grab a bunch of guildies/friends, pick a Borderlands map you don’t have much of, and you can often ROFLstomp your way through most of the map before other players figure out what’s how to stop you.
- Figure out who you’re running with. While you’re not going to want to get everyone on your team into Skype like you will for SPvP tournaments, it’s very important to know who the people on your side are. If there’s one large guild running together, talk to them. Chances are someone in that guild may be running a stream to help coordinate people. If no one’s running a stream and you can, offer to do so. It may seem insignificant, but that tiny amount of coordination is all it takes to decimate the unorganized masses.
Lastly, everyone have a ton of fun this weekend! As usual, I will be with the Gamebreaker TV folks on Darkhaven (unless they announce a server transfer, in which case I will follow them), and you can add me as Yoshi Gwtwo. For more beginner’s tips for WvW and SPvP, read my guide for each (link: WvW, SPvP). Happy pwning!
Yay servers! With them doubling the number of servers for this weekend, we’ve got plenty to choose from. If you’ve got friends on another server, don’t worry. We’ll have free transfers for the first 18 hours of the beta. After that, it’s 1800 gems. Remember, you get 2000 gems if you put your card information into the system (there’s no charge, it’s just for them testing their authorization system) and 500 free gems just because.
So I’m a couple hours late on this (what I get for sleeping in), but here’s what we can expect this weekend! It’s nice to see the expanded leveling area for us (that’s where you’ll find me Friday) as well as the explorable mode dungeon. Can’t wait to see some of the new systems in place with SPvP tournaments and the gem store. WvW is going to be even more epic, which means I’ll definitely be there. So many things to get to.
As a last thing, interesting to note, I don’t see any mention of traits being tiered. Skills are mentioned, but no traits. This makes me hopeful.
So, here’s big news on Gamebreaker TV earlier today: our skills and traits are now going to be tiered off. What does this mean? It means that your utility skills and major traits are divided into tiers. You now have to buy a certain number of one tier before you can move on to another tier. I’m not sure how this will work with major traits (do you have to pick lower ones first or simply spend so many trait points), but it’s certainly going to drive some people up the wall with the skills.
We’ve finally got our next BWE dates announced. Clear your schedule next weekend, we’ll be in there again from Noon PDT Friday afternoon to Midnight PDT Sunday night. I’ll announce my server as soon as the Gamebreaker TV crew does. Here’s the biggest news of all: We’re keeping our characters from the last beta!!!
Hey guys! As promised, here’s a little article for you all that isn’t on PvP and isn’t at GW2 WvW, either. We’re on the cusp of getting another beta weekend, and I want everyone to be well-prepared. I wrote that post a while back about enjoying the beta, but I never wrote about how to actually help test. Now that we’ve all been in there once, it’s safe to say we’ve all gotten to have our good time in the game. What’s most important about these beta weekends is that we’re helping make the game better for everyone, including the people who haven’t pre-purchased yet. This means the better we do our job as beta testers, the more fun everyone gets to have from here on out. So, here are some things everyone should do.
1. Use the Forums
ANet doesn’t have the time to reply to every single thread, but they certainly read them all. Report the bugs you see. Report anything you think might not be working as intended. Give them other feedback, too. Make sure you tell them the things you think needed adjusting, and definitely make sure you tell them the things you thought were spot-on! Tell them anything you think should be added places, or anything you think should be scrapped.
2. Fill Out the Surveys
You’re doing a lot of things in the beta. You get a ton of these little surveys. Fill them out! Stop what you’re doing for a minute and think about them. Actually give some thought to the numbers. You don’t have to just hit 5’s down the line. Also, use the comments section on them, too. Sure, they’re limited, and you have to be precise. But, you can give them a much better impression of your opinion on 256 characters than you can in 4 or 5 numbers.
3. Repeat Some Stuff
It’s easy to tell what a bug is doing wrong. It’s not easy to tell what conditions create that bug. If you’re doing something you can repeat and you get a bug, then do it again almost as exact as you can. That way, you can report two situations rather than one, which can give ANet more information about the cause of the bug you experienced.
4. Consider Your Perspective
When you’re giving feedback that isn’t simply a bug report, think about your perspective, and include that in the feedback. If it’s your first time doing the dungeon, then acknowledge that your report is from someone running it for the first time. If you loaded the character and jumped straight into match in SPvP without doing a build first, include that before you talk about what you perceive as balance. Tell them a little about your own build if you’re getting outclassed. Tell them if it’s something within the first hour or something in the last hour.
5. Seek Bugs During Peak
Part of the beta weekend events is stress testing the servers. If you’re doing something smoothly when no one’s around, try doing it again when there’s a lot of people as well. This helps not only test scaling on events but also to test the servers’ ability to handle a lot of people doing the same thing at the same time.
6. Be Specific
When you’re giving them your bug reports and feedback, be as specific as possible. “Everything hits too hard” is not as specific as “this mob was hitting for this much this often” or “it seemed as though I was frequently getting hit for this much when I had this much health”. “I fell through the world near on the right side of the stairs going up near the top” is much better than “I fell through the world on the stairs.”
7. Give Only Relevant Opinions
When you’re giving feedback on how you liked something, your opinions are great. When you’re giving a bug report, stick to the facts. If something happened once but not the second time, report what you did each time and what was different. The odds of you being as good of a programmer as the folks at ANet are slim-to-none, so telling them “this happened because I did this instead” is not going to be very helpful because you’re just guessing at the reason.
8. Communicate With Others
If you’re experiencing something that you think isn’t intended, mention it to someone else as well. Someone in your guild might know that what you’re experiencing is exactly what’s supposed to happen. Maybe they’ll tell you that they experienced something totally opposite. Maybe what they experienced was a bug. Maybe they’ll think about it and go report it as well. MMOs are social games, and so should their betas be.
Many of you have been asking about when we will have our second Beta Weekend Event. As we are approaching a long weekend in many parts of the world, we understand that some of you want to make plans for that. To help you with that we can confirm that we will NOT be running BWE2 this coming weekend.
Our BWE1 was super successful, we exceeded our expectations. As some of you might have experienced first hand, this lead to some technical issues. To make sure we are not running into the same situation for BWE2, we recently had a stress test, and we are currently deploying a lot of additional hardware in our datacenters.
We will be able to tell you exactly when BWE2 will take place as soon as all the hardware has been deployed. We are not withholding a date intentionally, we want to make sure that BWE2 will be a really great experience for all of you.
I hope this helps a bit in understanding where we are standing – you all have a really relaxing long weekend! ~MK
Good to know we’re going to get a date at least somewhat soon. I’m personally hoping next weekend, but we’ll have to see. I think I understand what cats feel like now when you dangle the little thing over their heads and keep pulling it away when they reach for it. In other news, now that I’m back from vacation, my next post for GW2 WvW this week will go live here tonight, and I’ll have another post this weekend/early next week just for you all here.