Guild Wars 2 – The best Guild Wars 2 WvW experience is on a PvE map
For a long time, Guild Wars 2 maintained the status quo. With each update, players were looking for updates to the WvW experience, or even a unique PvE experience that shies away from the status quo of outdated story seasons. Finally, ArenaNet hit the mark, but did they learn?
Earlier this year, ArenaNet added Drizzlewood Coast to the map and then expanded it as the Season 4 Icebrood saga continued on its way, with Jormag Rising. Adding new zones is nothing new for Guild Wars 2 as new areas are added with such frequency these days, that’s pretty much expected. The difference in Drizzlewood Coast, however, is that it basically mixes up something we’ve only really seen in World vs World. The addition of siege warfare. But this time, it has been linked with an ambitious, all-encompassing meta-event.
In World vs. World, the ebb and flow of combat has been reduced to a thick, sticky base that hasn’t changed much after the recipe was created years ago. Running around the map, taking control of the same ramparts – in a game mode that should provide a generous dose of uncertainty, the gameplay and overall difficulty have lost their luster and become obsolete. That’s why I’m surprised to see how in Drizzlewood Coast, which is an immutable map, with a very predetermined outcome, somehow offers such a different feel and experience to the mundane offerings of World vs World.
The Drizzlewood Coast map is constructed as a World vs.World map. You have areas that you have to control, enemies that you have to defeat, and siege equipment that you have to build. You have two events that are roughly dependent on each other, and a timer to complete them, otherwise you run the risk of failing the event. Attendance at these events is often quite large, not only because the events themselves require good coordination, but also because the rewards are plentiful. While it takes such a large number of players to coordinate attacks and get the map ready for meta-events, it also seems a lot easier for people to get in when they’re ready and participate, even if they don’t. “don’t know” what they’re supposed to do.
The map, in that sense, feels more alive. In WvW, you can access any map, and for the most part, if you can’t find a Commander that’s marked you’re pretty much lost. You really can’t do anything. Taking a supply line doesn’t really matter, as the opposing factions will likely be in a large group to retake it immediately. Your rewards are irrelevant. Your time doesn’t seem well spent there. In case you find yourself in a large group, you can waste an entire day trying to scour the map and bypass opposing factions, only to take a tower that you lose less than 30 minutes later. Your best bet for a lasting or meaningful change in a WvW map is to take Stonemist’s Castle in the center, and that rarely happens unless you have a lot of players and a commander organized enough to do so.
At Drizzlewood Coast, you can enter and experience siege equipment construction, territory control, and participate in events with your party whether or not you are yourself in a party. You can choose to join a huge team of players, or you can go it alone and participate in events with other like-minded players. The idea of merging a PvE map with the WvW experience significantly shows that ArenaNet is capable of creating interesting group content and a true-to-fashion war experience. The real question is, will Drizzlewood Coast be an exception or set a new bar for future content to measure?