On the latest episode of Guild Chat, host Rubi Bayer was joined by Game Designer McKenna Berdrow and Environment Artist Kyle Bash to discuss the recent updates to World vs. World as part of the June 2017 Competitive Feature Pack.
Skirmishes are intended to make two-hour chunks of playtime within a much longer WvW matchup feel meaningful, and the new Skirmish reward track lets combatants earn pips toward rewards for their efforts on the battlefield. McKenna explained the conditions for earning bonus pips, and said that these gave the development team new opportunities to reward certain behavior and activities. She also said that the current in-game description of the Loyalty bonus is unclear, and doesn’t accurately communicate the requirements for earning a bonus pip. After collecting feedback and discussing the issue, the bonus category name will be changed to Commitment to reflect that it was meant to reward players who spend a lot of time playing WvW. The team is also scaling down the time required, so players will start earning the bonus pip after one week instead of three. While this still incentivizes frequent play, it isn’t as punishing for players who go on vacation or are otherwise unable to earn all tiers of wooden chests over three consecutive weeks. The change is planned to take effect on 20 June.
In addition to implementing the reward track, the team repurposed existing WvW Tournament Claim Tickets into WvW Skirmish Claim Tickets, which players can continue earning and exchange for new armor, weapons, and other rewards. In balancing this, McKenna wanted to make sure that hardcore WvW fans have long-term rewards to work toward, while still rewarding casual players.
Kyle worked on the WvW-exclusive legendary backpack, Warbringer. The theme for the design was siege weaponry, and the team experimented with multiple ideas, including a design in which McKenna combined every siege weapon model in the game into a set of wings. Other ideas included—to varying degrees of seriousness—a backpiece covered in spikes, a baby dolyak with a jetpack strapped to it, a siege golem helicopter, and a fighter jet. Kyle said that the final design is meant to be massive and intimidating—something players can see a commander wearing at a distance and think, “That person’s going to kill me.”
You can watch a recording of the episode below!