Armed with Dual Pistols, Guardians Rain Down Bullets of Justice!

Armed with Dual Pistols, Guardians Rain Down Bullets of Justice!

Hello, Tyrians! My name is Chun-Hong Fung, and I’m a game designer on the Systems Team here at ArenaNet. The expanded weapon proficiencies are coming in 2024 during the second major update for Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure™. Today, we’ll be taking a look at yet another new set of weapons that will be first playable during the Expanded Weapon Proficiency beta event, starting on November 28 at 9 a.m. Pacific Time (UTC-8).

It’s the guardian’s turn to step into the limelight, wielding not one, but two pistols as their new weapons to combat the growing threat of the hostile Kryptis. The pistols are a pair of ranged weapons that specialize in dealing condition damage, allowing the guardian to inflict bleeding and burning on their enemies from a distance with ease.

First let’s look at the cornerstone of any weapon, the autoattack. The pistol’s basic attack, Through the Heart, fires a single, fast projectile that damages and inflicts bleeding on those struck. Notably, this projectile pierces through enemies, allowing it to hit up to five targets. Many of the other skills on this weapon set act in a similar way, allowing users to attack multiple enemies with the correct positioning.

Now, let’s check out one of the more vital skills on the main-hand pistol, Symbol of Ignition. Positioned in the third slot, this skill plants a symbol on the ground below you that damages enemies. Striking an enemy within the symbol or firing a projectile through it causes the symbol to also inflict burning when it pulses. In addition, firing projectiles through the symbol causes them to ignite, allowing them to inflict extra burning on the targets they hit in addition to their original effects.

As an example of how you might possibly use Symbol of Ignition, let’s look at another skill on the off-hand pistol, Hail of Justice. As you may have surmised from the name, this skill fires a volley of piercing projectiles at your targeted foe, each one inflicting bleeding and cripple on up to five enemies. Combining Hall of Justice and Symbol of Ignition allows you to apply a plethora of damaging conditions to your enemy in a short period of time!

There are some other surprises in store for you, and I’m particularly excited about the fifth and final skill…but you’ll have to join us for the Expanded Weapon Preview livestream on November 27 at 12 p.m. Pacific Time to find out what it does!

Finally, as mentioned above, you’ll be able to try out all the upcoming new weapon and profession combos during the Expanded Weapon Proficiency beta event starting at 9 a.m. Pacific Time on November 28 and ending at 10 p.m. Pacific Time on December 3. Please note that since this is a beta event, there will be placeholder UI, art, and audio for some of the weapon skills.

Until next time! Read More

WvW Update: Guild Hall Arenas and World Restructuring Beta

WvW Update: Guild Hall Arenas and World Restructuring Beta

Greetings, Mist warriors!

We’re here to go into a little more detail about some of the upcoming World vs. World (and WvW-adjacent) changes. These are part of the overall schedule of content coming to the game over the next couple of months, which you can learn more about in our recent studio update.

Guild Hall Arena Update

Guild halls have long been a space where players can gather together and craft their own unique gameplay experiences—roller beetle racecourses, jumping puzzles, asura football, and more! We are always thrilled to see the creativity of our community at work, and we want to give creators a few new tools for their toolbox.

Currently, guild halls are limited to using PvE game balance rules, creating a very different combat experience than what’s found in WvW or PvP. In January, we’ll be adding a new option that allows you to choose whether your guild hall arena uses PvE, WvW, or PvP game-mode balance for play. Additionally, we’ll be introducing options to allow you to extend PvP combat outside the confines of the guild arena, meaning you can battle your friends across the entire map. Skyscale aerial duels, anyone? We look forward to seeing what you do with your new battlefields when this feature goes live in late January!

World Restructuring News

As a refresher, we’re in the process of making some big changes to how teams are structured in the World vs. World game mode. Currently, players choose a world (e.g., Blackgate and Desolation) to play on, and each week they are matched up against other worlds based on their performance in the previous match. This system has one critical flaw: seasonal player population fluctuations and world transfers can result in some teams feeling very empty and others feeling unbearably full. To address this, we sometimes link worlds together as a single team, but the relatively small pool of worlds makes it difficult to create balanced matches from a player population standpoint.

World Restructuring is a feature that aims to address player population imbalances and create great matches. It achieves this by deprecating the current concept of shards (a.k.a. worlds or servers) and introducing a team-building system to the game mode in which players and guilds are programmatically redistributed to new teams (previously known as shards) on a set schedule. This gives us more flexibility and granularity when creating new teams and helps address natural fluctuations in population over time. It’ll also give players more agency in choosing who they want to play with on an ongoing basis and allows long-standing communities to continue playing together.

In a previous studio update, we talked about adjusting our priorities to focus on releasing a live, always-on version of World Restructuring as soon as possible, rather than waiting for the complete version of World Restructuring. This moved up our timeline for releasing the first version of the World Restructuring system, and we’re now approaching what we hope is the final beta test before we enable the system 24/7. That beta will include bug fixes for WvW guild-selection visual issues, several queue failure bugs, incorrect map names being shown in the contact list and guild panel, players being redirected to the wrong map, and various UI issues at reset. We’ve also added some new metrics to our team-building algorithm to help create more balanced matches, taking into account commanders, time zones, and more.

What’s Been Postponed?

To achieve our goal of getting World Restructuring into a 24/7 beta state, we’re postponing development on the following features for the initial release of World Restructuring, although they’re on our list for possible future improvements.

Alliances: Alliances refers to an additional group-management system on top of World Restructuring that would allow multiple smaller WvW guilds to band together as a single entity for team creation. For now, we are focused on developing the best version of the team-building algorithm and maximizing the player experience at the WvW guild level. It’s worth noting that the current planned player cap for an alliance is 500, which is identical to the current max roster size for a single guild. In other words, guilds as they currently exist can be used as a proxy for alliances.

Team Transfers: Once a match has started, there will not be a way for a player to initiate a transfer between teams. Players will need to wait until the next team-creation event or season to be placed with a different guild. To help mitigate this in the short term, we’ll be reducing the duration of a season from eight weeks to four weeks.

Where Do We Go from Here?

This is just the beginning of the World Restructuring system. We have several features that we are discussing for future implementation, depending on what player feedback looks like after the first version of the system is live. Some examples include:

Additional WvW guild information and management in the guild panel
Team-building algorithm adjustments and improvements
Scoring adjustments

Until Next Time

To recap: In Q1 2024, we’ll be running a World Restructuring beta. This beta helps us approach our goal of releasing a live version of the guild-based World Restructuring system by testing our new team builder, UI updates, and bug fixes. If the beta goes well, we’ll be able to move forward with turning the system on full time, which will allow us to get consistent live data and community feedback to inform future development.

We’ll continue to share development information for World vs. World and other game systems here, although we won’t have much in the way of news until after the start of the new year.

We’ll see you in the game! Read More