I tried my hand at structured PvP during BWE3. Holy cow, was there a learning curve. It was very frustrating at first because our team kept getting curb stomped. But once we started to figure it out it was some of the most rewarding game play I’ve experienced and definitely the best PvP system in an MMO.
So, for today, let’s talk PvP.
First off, when playing WoW, for example, and you see a warrior coming at you, you probably know what’s about to happen. You know that 99% of warriors in PvP play the same spec, you know they’re certainly going to charge and stun you and unload. You also know that every warrior, no matter what their weapon, will have the same set of attacks. Same story for every warrior.
Not so in Guild Wars 2. In GW2 if you see a warrior, you have no clue what’s about to happen. Is he going to pull out a rifle and shoot you? Is he going to try and close the distance? Is he going to pull out a sword and shield and throw down war banners to buff everyone else? Is he going to use an axe to stick and move and beat you with bleeds? Is he going to use a hammer or a mace to control you? You really have no clue, and so you have to adjust on the fly rather than having your strategy for every warrior laid out ahead of time. Same goes for pretty much every class.
Second, the pacing. sPvP is fast. You’re always moving trying to counter the other team. You can move while using most abilities in GW2, so instead of parking and spamming your most powerful skills you’re darting around the battlefield being cognizant of distance from your foe and a host of other things. It’s intense.
Third, builds. Your build in PvP is very important in GW2. It’s something you’ll want to spend some time on since it determines your style. The trait system is set up so you can’t really get one thing without sacrificing another. Want to hit hard and crit a bunch? It’s going to cost you a lot of hit points. Want more survivability? You’re not going to hit nearly as hard or you’ll have to give up some control. Want to use grenades as an engineer? Then your ability with potions will suffer. This means, like I said above, that no two characters of the same class will play exactly alike (in fact, most will be quite different). It also means that you can have a character that’s unique, which is pretty cool. It also means that every player and every team will have strengths to avoid and weaknesses to exploit.
Fourth, it actually feels like battle! Dodging is important! Using the environment to your advantage is important! Because your abilities are situational instead of being based of a resource meter, you actually spend most of your time watching the battle and thinking.
I PvP’d mostly as a warrior. I started out with a rifle build that could switch to a mace and warhorn (for the speed boost to get between nodes). It worked pretty well as a support class. It didn’t do the ludicrous damage of a greatsword warrior or an elementalist, but it was very survivable.
Later I tried a banner warrior who fought with sword and shield. My goal with him was just to stay alive so my team could keep getting my sweet buffs. He specialized in helping groups win large battles or holding a node long enough for help to arrive.
I also tried a greatsword build. The strategy there was simple: close the distance and unload. Do as much damage as you can before they burn you down while your elementalist drops AoE all over your area.
They were all fun, and all very viable.
Here’s the build I’m thinking I’ll PvP with at launch.
Have you guys tried PvP? I didn’t get the chance to do WvWvW, but I’d like to. What are your thoughts?
Godless Guild facebook group.
Codex site where you can toy with profession builds.
My Guild Wars 2 review (for those wondering what all the fuss is about).