Hey Tyria, this is John Corpening, PvP team lead. There are a lot reward changes in store for PvP. It will take many months to roll out everything that’s coming, so I’d like to offer you a roadmap to our plans to help put together the bigger picture as you start to see these changes hit.
Before we get started, I want to make sure it is understood that these are long term plans and that plans can change or get delayed for any number of reasons. We are sharing this information because we feel that without knowing the overall vision, some of the changes along the way will be hard to understand.
The goals of these changes are to make PvP a more integral part of the overall Guild Wars 2 experience, to lay the foundation for new game modes, to give PvP players ways to set goals and work towards them, to create PvP rewards that can be used game wide, and to create a platform for delivering those rewards.
PvP Match Rewards
Up until October 29, PvP glory rewards were based on personal score in each match. Now, you earn rewards based on whether you win or lose, as well as a few contributing factors such as top stats. Rewards are also now scaled based on the duration of the match.
The primary purpose behind this change was to simplify balance of rewards for playing PvP. This allows us to widen acceptable ranges for Custom Arena settings and lay the groundwork for new game types and map mechanics.
In addition, we saw that some types of builds, such as bunkers, were not scoring as much as other types of builds. PvP is a team effort, and a team should win or lose together. If you serve a vital role that tends not to score as much, you should still get your share of victory.
Working harder for a win should result in higher rewards. With this change, we will not only reward winning in PvP more than losing, but formats where the competition is higher will receive greater rewards.
Gold and Experience in PvP
In the December 10th update, you’ll be able to earn gold in PvP as a match reward. As an extension of that, you’ll also be able to spend glory and gold to purchase account-bound Tomes of Knowledge, which grant a level each and will allow you to level up any of your characters. The Tome of Knowledge will be found on a new glory vendor that has several items available for purchase with both glory and gold.
Also in this update, the Skills and Balance team will introduce new healing skills to the game. To acquire new skills, in both PvP and PvE, players will need to spend skill points to unlock them. Unlocking the skill unlocks it for all parts of the game. Going forward newly added skills will require skill points. Existing skills will remain unlocked for PvP.
Another thing to look forward to in the December 10th update will be new daily achievements for wins in Solo and Team Arenas. These will give players the chance to earn up to four additional total achievement points per day. Along with this change we will be rebalancing the Slayer and Conqueror. The points will be spread out more and additional tiers will be added.
In the months that follow, we will be working to eliminate the difference between PvP and PvE gear. Players will be able to earn gear in PvP that can be carried over to PvE and vice versa. This means that players who have carefully crafted their appearance in one area of the game will have a way to carry that look over to other areas of the game.
Even though we will be eliminating the distinction between PvP and PvE gear, gear in PvP will continue to not have stats. The armor and weapons you carry into PvP will be, like they are now, just for looks. Traits, skills, runes and sigils will still be different for PvP so you will continue to be able to have different builds in PvP and PvE.
Existing PvP skins will still have value with upcoming changes, so it benefits you greatly to continue filling out your collection.
Updated Reward System
With gear unification we will also introduce a system that allows players to set goals for rewards in PvP and work towards them. We are not ready to discuss this system in detail yet, as it is still being developed, but more information will come as we get closer to being able to release this system.
Once this new system is in place, glory will be retired as a currency, and gold will be the standard currency across the game. All existing glory vendors will be removed at this time. We will give advance warning when this is coming so you can spend all of your existing glory before that happens.
Ladders and Seasons
The final stage of our rewards overhaul will be ladders. Players will be divided into divisions and will earn points for playing to work their way up the ladder. At the end of a season, players will earn PvP-specific rewards both for their ladder standings and for their level of participation. Ladders will replace existing leaderboards.
Once ladders are implemented, ranks will be retired. To honor the effort that players have put into the rank system, existing players will be able to keep all unlocked rank finishers and will earn a special title based on your rank to show that you were there from the start. Variants of existing rank finishers will move to the ladder system and will be used to show your current standings on the ladder from season to season. The original finishers will not be earnable again.
UPDATE: Due to overwhelming player response, we have decided to keep ranks in PvP. We will be looking at rebalancing later tiers to make them more achievable. Because we will be keeping the rank system, at this time we are no longer planning to move rank finishers to ladders, create alternate rank finishers, or award special legacy titles. Thank you to all the players who provided their feedback and came out in favor of keeping ranks.
Ladders are the final step on our rewards road trip, and as such, they are a long-term project. Infrastructure needs to be built, new rewards need to be created, and other pieces need to be in place before we get there.
Well, there you have it. At a high level, these are the long-term plans for PvP rewards. As a roadmap, we will be taking this one step at a time. I want to reiterate that these plans may change as we iterate and develop; we shared them early with you so that you can understand where we are going as we move forward.
Of course, rewards is just one aspect of the projects we’re working on over on the PvP team. We’ll go into detail with other projects like new game types as we get closer to having those further along in production.
To learn more about the rewards changes please join us this Friday at 2:00 PM PST for our first episode of “Ready Up”, a new bi-weekly show on the Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel covering all things SPvP. This week join members of the PvP team as they discuss the short term projects and explain how they fit into the bigger picture of where we’re going with PvP.
Thanks, and I’ll see you in the game!