Upgrading World vs. World Upgrades

by Tyler Bearce on May 21, 2015


Hello, my name is Tyler Bearce, and I’m here to talk about a significant change we’re making to the way that you’ll upgrade your World vs. World objectives in the Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™ expansion. This is the system that allows teams to fortify their keeps and towers with things like stronger walls and additional guards. Afterward, I’ll explain our rework to the World vs. World ability system.


These are the changes we’ve made to the WvW upgrade system:

  • We’ve removed the supply cost for upgrades.
  • Supply holds and supply shipments will be smaller.
  • We’ve removed the gold cost for upgrades.
  • Individual upgrades are now grouped into upgrade tiers.
  • Upgrading to the next tier now happens automatically over time.
  • There are two tiers for camps and three tiers for all other objectives.
  • Higher tiers take longer to upgrade than lower tiers.
  • Each shipment from a dolyak caravan will reduce the remaining time by a set amount.
  • The time it takes to fully upgrade an objective should still be roughly the same as it was before these changes.

As an example scenario, let’s say the red team captures a tower. A timer on the “Defend the tower” event immediately begins. Each time an allied dolyak caravan arrives at the tower, the timer will decrease by five minutes. The Tier 1 upgrades will automatically occur sometime between 20 and 40 minutes as long as the red team can maintain control of the tower. The time depends on how many caravans safely make it to the objective. When Tier 1 completes, the tower immediately gains stone walls, an oil pot, a merchant, and a supply-hold increase. This process repeats until all the tiers are obtained and the objective is fully upgraded.

Along with this change will come an improvement to sentries. Sentries will greatly slow down enemy dolyak caravans and thus slow down objective upgrades. This will make the payoff for controlling the route between supply camps and objectives and ensuring a successful caravan more important, further enhancing the strategic objectives in WvW.

We made these changes to streamline and improve the existing system by making it cleaner, easier to understand, and more fair for players. Players no longer have to worry about taking supply from an objective while another player is waiting to have enough supply to upgrade it. Players also won’t have to worry about making an upgrade decision that other players may not like or feel like they’re the only person spending gold to upgrade objectives. This frees up players so they can focus on holding the objective until it’s upgraded and make sure the supply caravans arrive so the objective can upgrade faster.


Now that you know the future of keep upgrades, let’s take a look at some changes that will affect how you upgrade your character in WvW. We made these changes with a couple of major goals in mind. First, we wanted to reduce the costs of ability lines to make them feel more attainable, even to the majority of WvW players with a world ranking under 300. Second, we wanted to rebalance specific ability lines that felt either too weak or too mandatory. Due to granting the powerful Applied Fortitude and Applied Strength effects, the Defense Against Guards and Guard Killer lines needed to be extremely expensive, but that meant players often felt obligated to spend their first 230 points on these lines before they could begin branching out into other ability lines. Also, those two lines—along with the Siege Might, Siege Bunker, and Mercenary’s Bane lines that simply granted single percentage increases per ability rank—felt very weak. This drove our decision to shorten the Guard Killer and Defense Against Guards lines to five, removing Applied Strength and Applied Fortitude.

These are the changes we’ve made to the WvW ability system:

  • We reduced the total number of ability ranks of Guard Killer and Defense Against Guards from 10 to 5.
  • The Applied Fortitude and Applied Strength effects have been removed.
  • Ability lines that increased percentages from 1% to 5% now increase percentages from 2% to 10%.
  • We reduced the total cost of specific siege weapon lines from 75 points to 60 points.
  • We reduced the total cost of the Supply Capacity line from 300 points to 145 points.
  • The Supply Master and Mercenary’s Bane lines remain at 15 points.
  • We normalized all ability progression tracks of five ranks per line to 35 points.
  • We normalized all ability progression tracks of four ranks per line to 15 points.

In addition, we’ll be tracking world experience progress on the experience bar once your character hits level 80 rather than on the hidden blue WXP bar at the top as it does currently.

That’s all for now. See you on the battlefield!