Welcome, everyone, to another week of The Structure! I’m sure you all know by now, but ArenaNet announced to us yesterday that Guild Wars 2 will launch on August 28! That means head-start access for pre-purchasers beings August 25. Also, the final BWE will be July 20-22. Now with that out of the way, I figured I would go with another “for new players” topic this week and give everyone the lay of the land — literally! This week I’m going to cover the important points of the two SPvP maps we have thusfar: Battle of Kyhlo and Forest of Niflhel!
All SPvP maps at launch will have the same primary objective: “conquest” or capture point. Every map has three objectives. To claim them, simply stand inside and the meter will fill up. To take one from an enemy, stand in the enemy’s objective with more of your team than the enemy team. The meter will empty and then refill. Roughly every two seconds (slightly less), each team gets a point for each objective they hold. In addition, teams earn ten points whenever they kill an enemy player.
Battle of Kyhlo
The first map we got to see in GW2 is an “urban”-themed map named Battle of Kyhlo. The names of the three primary objectives are the mansion (blue objective), windmill (red objective), and clocktower (neutral objective). The windmill and mansion have an access path facing the clocktower and one facing the nearest team base as well as an exit onto a roof path. The clocktower has window entrances along the north and south sides which are accessible via ramps that wrap around the outside of the building. It also can be accessed by two staircases via an archway that runs east-west underneath the building.
In addition to the capture points, there are also trebuchets on the map (one for each team) that act as a secondary objective. Trebuchets can be used used to destroy buildings, kill or knockback enemy players, and even destroy the other trebuchet! If a trebuchet is destroyed, a repair kit will spawn in its team’s base which can be taken to the trebuchet to repair it.
The map itself is full of many buildings and pathways, including paths along the rooftops (pictured in yellow in the map above). There are many small archways (anywhere a path goes under a building) that act as choke points. The clocktower’s archway and the ends of both staircases form choke points to the objective. Both accesses to the mansion and windmill are each natural choke points. Many of the choke points can be avoided by taking alternate routes (e.g., using the roof-top paths for travel or the ramps to enter the clocktower).
There are three major notes I’d like to make for this map. While using the trebuchet, you cannot see the path in front of you or anyone on it until they’re up right beside you. When firing the trebuchet, you have to hold the button to fire further than simply flopping in front of you. There is an excellent hiding point outside both the windmill and mansion objectives to the right of the path facing the clocktower as you’re approaching them.
Forest of Niflhel
Forest of Niflhel was the second map we were shown (and the only other map we’ve seen thusfar) in GW2. The three primary objectives are named the henge (blue objective), the mine (red objective), and the keep (neutral objective). The henge and mine have two access points, one pointing directly inwards, adn the other pointing up at an angle toward the keep. The keep itself can be accessed from ramps on both the eastern and western ends, as well as ramps approaching from the northeast and northwest.
Beyond the primary objectives, there are two NPC bosses, referred to as “forest creatures”, that spawn at the beginning of the game. Whichever player scores the killing blow on a forest creature earns 40 points for his or her team. Once killed, the forest creatures will respawn three minutes after their death.
Unlike the Battle for Kyhlo map, the layout of Forest of Niflhel is very simple. There are no paths along high roof tops and tiny archway choke points. Instead, there are many wide paths that converge on narrower choke points at certain places. There is a major choke point at each entrance to the mine and windmill, and the keep itself is one big choke point. There is also a choke point near each end of the path between the mine and henge. There are also choke points on the paths leading from the mine and henge to the “loop” around the keep.
This map has four little tidbits that I would like to illuminate. The rear-access ramps to the keep are one-way paths: they end in platforms that you cannot climb back onto. Killing forest creatures quickly is very important, as letting the enemy have 40 points a few seconds before you can cost you the match. Additionally, as it is the killing blow that earns the points, one player with a single hard-hitting ability can easily attempt to steal the kill if they can find a decent hiding spot. The henge and mine each have a hiding spot behind the objectives (behind the pillars and behind the mine structure).
There are two more maps that we have been promised at launch. One of these maps is a mostly underwater map and the other is supposed to be nostalgic for Guild Wars players of the past. Mini-maps of these two were posted on Reddit a while back that essentially showed a ship-theme for the underwater map with an underwater objective and another map that looked very similar to the Warrior Isle GvG map from GW.