A Look at Upcoming PvP Changes

by The Guild Wars 2 Team on 06th August, 2013

Hey all! In addition to working on a major tournament, The PvP team has been working hard to bring some new features to PvP. A lot of feedback from the community has been taken into account with our priorities, and we’re grateful for all the feedback we’ve seen in game and on the forums!

So let’s get to some of the new features and changes!


Solo Arena

Greetings and salutations. It’s Evan Lesh again!

Rated PvP is being split into two new formats: Solo Arena and Team Arena.

Solo Arena will allow solo players to queue up to go into games against other solo players. Team sizes will still be five-on-five, but it now means that if you play as a solo player, you’re guaranteed to play against other teams that are totally composed of other solo-queued players. You will not be able to queue with a friend in Solo Arena; if you want to play with your friends, you’ll want to queue up for Team Arena instead.

Team Arena is our format for players who want to compete in organized teams, and will function much like the current rated play format, just without all of the solo players mixed in. Initially, we’ll continue to allow partial rosters of fewer than five players to queue for Team Arena, but once the Looking For Group system is live, we may change the Team Arena to require a five-person roster to enter.


We’ve implemented a system that hurts leavers and makes them cry! It’s called the dishonored system and it works like this:

  • Not being present when victory is declared will qualify for match abandonment.
  • Not moving for 3 or more minutes once the match has started will qualify as match abandonment.
  • Each match abandonment gives you one stack of the Dishonorable buff.
  • You can only get punished once per match.
  • Each Dishonorable stack lasts for 72 hours.
  • Players with five Dishonorable stacks cannot join ranked matches.

We’ll watch for feedback on the system, but we want to make sure we’re ensuring that all players have a fun place to play where abandoning teammates is discouraged.

Character Locking in Tournament Games

This is a feature we wanted to implement due to all of the tournament games that are starting up. Players in a tournament game will no longer be able to log off of one character and swap to another one after a game has started. This means that you can’t play halfway through a game and then swap out some of your professions to better counter your opponents. We may change the timing on when this restriction starts, but for now it won’t take place until a “game begin” countdown starts.


Map Randomization

Hey guys, it’s me, Steve Bikun!

We also wanted to add some map randomization to the solo and team arenas. Now the maps will be randomized every time a game starts between two teams.

We wanted to do this to vary up the battlefield. A benefit of this is that players will need to develop versatile builds that will work regardless of map, rather than rotating through builds on a weekly basis to play to a single map. Also of note is the fact that solo queue can have a different map rotation than team queue. At this time, Skyhammer and Spirit Watch will appear in the solo queue, but not in our team queues.


Permanent Finishers

Hey guys I’m Randy Knapp, and I’m really excited to talk about Permanent Finishers. We will now have a system that allows you to more easily control which Finisher you are using! Not only that, but we’re also releasing brand-new Finishers into the Gem Store, and will be releasing more in the future.

With this change, we’ll be making a distinction between two types of Finishers: limited-use Finishers (which are like the Finishers you’re used to now, but useable for a certain number of times rather than a temporary length of time), and Permanent Finishers. Once you unlock a Permanent Finisher, you can always use that Finisher whenever you want. We will still be giving out some of the temporary Finishers as rewards (they never expire). Plus, the Finishers you’ve earned by ranking up in PvP will now be unlocked permanently and automatically.

Target of Target in Spectator Mode

When watching a player in Spectator Mode, you will be able to see who they have targeted. We’ll be making more changes and improvements to our spectator system, so we’ll update you when those are ready!

PvP Map Update

Designer Tyler Bearce and our map artist Darrin Claypool have been working on some changes to the current maps we have in the game. In Temple of the Silent Storm, we’ve made the Meditations on Ferocity last longer but respawn less often. In the Battle of Kyhlo map, the crates which lead to the small jumping puzzle for the Clocktower on the Windmill side of the map are indestructible.

Solo Arena Leaderboards

With the addition of Solo Arena, we wanted to reward the players who are great players but may not have time to play with a full team. Because of that, the old PvP leaderboard will become the leaderboard for Team Arena rankings, and there will be a new leaderboard for tracking Solo Arena play.

We’re really excited to be able to get these features out to you and to continue to support PvP in Guild Wars 2. See you in the arena!