A Whole New World Versus World Is Here
There are some big changes to WvW today. In case you didn’t know, they are removing Culling, and adding leaderboards. The removal of culling has been a long time coming. As a ranged class, I can’t tell you how glad I am to hear this. On my screen, I see myself standing sufficiently far back, only to have several enemy Invaders pop into view nearby and drop me like a bad WiFi connection. As for leaderboards, I do like to know where I stand compared to the average player. I think I will hereby dub today WvW day!
Removal Of Culling In WvW
This could end up being a bittersweet change. Good that we won’t be ‘surprised’ by 15-50 people just appearing on our screen, and bad because it lags out WvW to the point where we’re dead before we can even dodge. There are a few tools Arenanet will be giving us to help mitigate the lag.
Under the new system, characters can be rendered in three different ways:
- High resolution models – These are the high-res character models that you’re all already familiar with.
- Lower resolution fallback models – These are the models that we’ve been using as placeholders in WvW while the hi-res models load. They differ depending on race and armor class, though human, sylvari, and norn share the same model.
- Nameplates only – We don’t render the model at all and instead only show the nameplate for that character.
We’ve also added two new options to allow players to select how WvW characters are displayed:
- WvW Character Limit – This controls how many of the reported characters render with a model and how many are rendered only with nameplates.
- WvW Character Quality – This controls how many of the characters rendered with a model use the high resolution models and how many use the lower resolution fallback models.
World versus World Scoreboard
The WvW leaderboard system is called the WvW Scoreboard. I really, really can’t wait to see this implemented. Basically, it looks like there will be a whole new type of WvW experience. This is used to unlock abilities, titles, and so on. More of an achievement system to me.
When you participate in WvW events and defeat enemy players, you will earn World Experience (WXP). When you earn enough WXP you’ll unlock World Ranks. Every World Rank earned will come with a World Ability Point, and some ranks can even give you a new World Title.
The WXP works on what amounts to a bounty system. The longer a player is alive, the more they are worth. This looks like a means to diffuse camping problems, but there aren’t any camping problems in WvW. There will also be a new WvW Scoreboard integrated into the UI to give you information on your own WvW stats and more. This leaderboard integration will start today as well.
One small problem I noted was that WvW stats are per character, not per account. World of Warcraft learned this the hard way, finally merging achievements after realizing their mistake. Unfortunately Arenanet doesn’t seem to be learning from that mistake. In time things may change, but I think tracking stats per character will trend towards players sticking with one character to see how high they can climb, as opposed to spreading out and lowering their stats when trying new ones.
Big Day for WvW
Today is a turning point for WvW. I think it’s going to be for the better, and will bring back a lot of interest. Of course this means longer queue times (if you have them), but interest in WvW can be a good thing. The more people wanting to play, the more time Arenanet will spend developing new and better content for it. Before today, there was nothing like World versus World. After today, the bar is going to be set even higher. I can’t wait to throw some numbers up on my scoreboard.
What do you think of the WvW changes?