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Trailer: Seeds of Truth Begins December 2

Category: farrier's blog

Next Tuesday, December 2, the story of Living World season 2 continues in the Seeds of Truth release!



You’ll have two weeks while the release is live to log in to unlock free, permanent access to the story of Seeds of Truth.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay on top of our latest video releases!

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Join us on Wednesday this week for a special edition of Ready Up

Category: farrier's blog
Do you remember the teaser we put out on the episode 25 of Ready Up? It’s time to find out what it was all about! Join Competitive Events Manager Joshua “Grouch” Davis and PvP Gameplay programmer Evan Lesh as they talk about (and show off) the upcoming changes to PvP.

You can find us on the Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel this Wednesday, November 26, at 12:00pm PST (19:00 UTC). Note the date change because of Thanksgiving holidays: Wednesday instead of Friday!

Points of Interest

Last week’s episode of Points of Interest featured a visit from Teddy Nguyen and Peter Fries to dig into the making of Tangled Paths, and our first official edition of PvP 101 from Hugh Norfolk. We also shared some insight into the character of Canach straight from John DiMaggio, the voice of Canach. If you missed the live show, we’ve got it available now on YouTube!



Subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay on top of our latest video releases!

We’ll see you on Twitch!

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Mine-r-Tron and Mini Chickenado in the Gem Store!

Category: farrier's blog
With our new Mine-r-Tron permanent mining tool, you won’t miss out on any precious ore nodes while adventuring in the Silverwastes! Be sure to check out our ongoing Pre-Black Friday sales with 30% off Character Slot Expansions, Storage Expanders, and Upgrade Extractors, available only through November 27. Read on for details about this week’s offerings.



  • Mine-r-Tron

    I’m excited to offer our latest and greatest talking-golem gathering tool: Mine-r-Tron, the most enthusiastic gathering golem yet! This little vocal assistant can’t wait to mine ore of every type for you.

  • Mini Chickenado

    Don’t ask how we turned this swirling chaotic mess into a mini-just appreciate that we did! Back by popular demand, this Mini Chickenado may cause a mess but it’s sure to turn some heads. Grab it today and stand out from the crowd.

  • Available Now in the Gem Store!

    Log into Guild Wars 2 and press 'O' to access the Black Lion Trading Company for these great offers and more!

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Go with the Flow

Category: farrier's blog
Match flow in PvP is affected by everything from team formation and arena queuing to the way players actually enter matches. I’m happy to announce that the process players use to enter PvP arenas has been completely revamped to improve match flow!



Rosters


The concept of PvP rosters has been completely removed. Players queueing by themselves will no longer need to create and submit a roster to play, and the days of teams forming parties just to invite them to a PvP roster are over. Instead, players can simply queue with their party or queue alone. This change means that anyone can queue their party for ranked or unranked arenas, which will prompt the other party members to confirm. Since parties stick together through the match flow process, they can easily queue over and over with no need to recreate rosters for every match! To accommodate these changes, the PvP UI has had a major overhaul.

Rosters


Match Prompts


We’ve heard loud and clear from the community that AFK players are mucking up matches. We’ve taken the most popular suggestions from the community and added them to the match flow, including prematch ready checks and match-start alerts.

When a match has been found, a distinct sound will alert players who have the game minimized or are looking away from their screens. The game will also flash on the task bar if sound is muted. For the players who have walked away from their computers, or for players who simply forgot they were in queue and no longer want to play, the ready check finds and replaces them before the match even starts.

Match Prompts
These changes to match flow will help prevent players from going AFK and provide a better overall experience by requiring players to actively accept a match. Players will no longer be automatically pulled into PvP matches when the queue pops. To ensure players are ready to accept, they will now be asked to be in the Heart of the Mists and ready to play when they queue. This also means that when a player sends or accepts an invite to queue up for PvP, they will also be prompted to go to the Heart of the Mists.

Since players will now queue directly from the Heart of the Mists, some core services (e.g., bank, trading post, laurel vendor) have been added there to provide more tools to manage your character between matches as well as help make the Heart of the Mists a more enjoyable social hub for PvP players.



Dishonor


The Dishonor system exists to make players think twice about leaving games or going AFK in a match.

Each instance of undesired behavior will immediately result in a timeout and increase the player’s dishonor stat. During a timeout, both unranked and ranked arena matches are unavailable. Dishonor is now a long-term effect that wears off slowly. The purpose of dishonor is to increase timeout durations. The more players misbehave and the higher dishonor they accumulate, the longer their timeouts become. First-time offenders with no previous dishonor will have short timeouts, but the severity of timeouts ramps up quickly as dishonor lingers on an account.

Leaving matches at any time or declining a match-ready prompt will result in a timeout and an increase of dishonor on an account. Dishonor does not apply in custom arenas.

Dishonor


Map Voting


We’re giving power to the players with a brand-new map selection system! Each time a match starts, all ten players will each get to choose their favorite map from a random subset. Once players finish voting, the final map is picked by a weighted roll. The more a map is chosen, the more likely it is to be picked. For example, if six players choose Battle of Kyhlo and four choose Legacy of the Foefire, there is a 60 percent chance that Kyhlo will be selected and a 40 percent chance that Foefire will be selected. This means players will always have a chance to play on their favorite maps.

Map Voting
All these features and upgrades will lead to an even better PvP gameplay experience.

I look forward to seeing you all in the Mists!

Evan

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Introducing the World Tournament Series finalists

Category: farrier's blog
On December 5, the top four PvP teams in Guild Wars 2 will go head-to-head at the World Tournament Series Championship event in Beijing, China, all vying for the lion’s share of the $50,000 prize pool. This event represents the first of three championship events occurring in 2014 and 2015, and it’s the culmination of months of competition that began with an open-enrollment tournament with thousands of players participating. The field was whittled down to four finalists after the WTS Invitational Qualifiers in October: two teams from the host region, China, and one team each from North America and Europe. The event in Beijing marks the second time that an international Guild Wars 2 tournament has taken place, but it’s the first occasion with a cash prize on the line. North America vs. Europe vs. China-who do you stand behind?

The English-language broadcast of the event will begin at 1:00 a.m. PST (10 a.m. CET) on Friday, December 5, on the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel. ArenaNet’s own Joshua “Grouch” Davis will be joined at the desk in Beijing by shoutcaster John “Blu” Mullen. More information on the event will be released over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

WTS-Cup
Without further ado, we are proud to announce the following team members of the World Tournament Series finalist teams:

The Abjured (North American Team)

True to the meaning of the word, the Abjured was originally founded by players who counted themselves as forsaken or lost, all having been left behind from their previous teams in various circumstances. With a roster that boasts three former members of Team Good Fights, the Abjured already have a strong foundation on which they can stand. Their damage-focused team composition should prove to be quite the challenge for the Civilized Gentlemen.

Phantaram – Elementalist – Having previously played for European powerhouses such as Team Paradigm and The Civilized Gentlemen, Phantaram is the Abjured’s inside man with the knowledge and experience needed to dethrone the competition. Widely considered to be one of the best dueling elementalists in Guild Wars 2, expect Phantaram to hold his own in one-on-one situations, be a key player in skirmishes, and help dominate team fights by both supporting his allies and dishing out tons of damage.

Wakkey – Elementalist – A solid multi-classer, Wakkey is always willing to adjust his play style to meet the needs of his team. His versatility will allow him to roam the field with impunity, always becoming a strong presence in the heat of battle. A self-described “swag master,” Wakkey’s confidence and jovial personality will help his team stay upbeat through the trials of the World Tournament Series Finals.

Magic Toker – Thief – A former member of Good Fights, Magic Toker’s skirmishing ability is second to none, allowing him to pull off impressive feats such as winning two-on-ones, even in high-level tournaments such as the ESL Go4GuildWars2 Cups. His strong map awareness and keen sense of player rotations will help him keep track of players all across the map, knowing exactly where he needs to be to help his team out with maximum efficiency.

Ostrich Eggs – Engineer – A living definition of “loose cannon” if there ever was one. Ostrich’s volatility is matched only by his genius; he can pull off unfathomable plays possible only through the uncalculated, rogue, and spontaneous yet instinctual gameplay that has become his trademark. If the Abjured can manage to point this rocket in the right direction, they just might take home the win.

Five Gauge – Engineer – One of the main advantages that the Abjured gain by having Five Gauge on their roster is his acutely analytical mindset – a critical component in their ability to breakdown matches, identify weaknesses, and then rectify those issues quickly. Otherwise, in his own words, he goes “ham.”

The Civilized Gentlemen (European Team)

One of the longest standing teams in Guild Wars 2, the Civilized Gentlemen have flown many different banners during their time together. Whether they’re Team Curse, Team Mist, or the Civilized Gentlemen, one thing always remains the same – their dominance. The Civilized Gentlemen played flawlessly at the Guild Wars 2 International All-Stars tournament, giving Europe a 2-0 record against North American teams in international competitions – can they make it 3-0?

Helseth – Mesmer – As the captain of Team Mist, Helseth is charged with determining the overall strategy for his team as well as calling the shots in the heat of battle. Helseth has spent the past two years perfecting his mesmer play and you could certainly say that he is reaping the rewards of his efforts. His superior positioning and precise mechanical skill make him a deadly adversary, spiking down enemies in a split second with the help of his teammate Sizer. Looking for big plays? Keep your eye on this one.

Tage – Guardian – At one time believed by many to be unbeatable, the Civilized Gentlemen’s bunker guardian Tage has long served as the backbone of the team, often helping his team conquer insurmountable odds to secure a victory. The North American team consists of some of the strongest damage dealers in the competitive side of Guild Wars 2 – but what will happen when they match up against this immovable object? Don’t expect anything out of the ordinary from Tage – he’s already extraordinary.

Sizer – Thief – The quintessential thief, Sizer’s strong map awareness and sense of player rotation will allow him to create opportunities to capture the enemy team’s unprotected capture points, forcing them to split up to compensate. Additionally, Sizer’s high mobility will allow him to quickly rotate into team fights, always giving his team the upper hand.

R O M – Warrior – ROM is no stranger to extreme competition, having played for multiple top teams such as Cheese Mode, Made in Meta, Chieftan Ninjas, and most recently Team Mist. As a devout theory-crafter, ROM prides himself in having creating multiple builds and playstyles that are now used by players across Guild Wars 2.

Denshee – Elementalist – Denshee has tested his mettle in both North America and Europe, having played at the highest competitive levels in both regions. Perhaps Denshee’s greatest contribution to the Civilized Gentlemen is his ability to play multiple professions, allowing him to shore up weak points of his team’s composition. This flexibility will help his team adapt to the differences in playstyle between each region.

Team Prime (Chinese Team)

The word Prime can be literally translated as “the young and the best’, and that’s the perfect definition to Team Prime, whose teammates are all young, energetic, and extremely talented in Guild Wars 2 PvP.

Fuctin – Engineer – Fuctin is a professional engineer with wild playstyle, having been winning various top places in all kinds nation-wide tournaments since the launch of Guild Wars 2 in China.

Maw – Ranger and Necromancer – Maw’s calmness and stable playstyle make him one of the toughest foes on the battlefield.

Red- Thief – This skillful thief master has an aggressive playstyle and has achieved many awards from weekly and WTS online tournaments.

Elf – Engineer – Elf is extremely good at playing engineer and is known as one of the star players of Guild Wars 2 in China. Elf played professionally in previous weekly tournaments in China.

Dong Cheng – Warrior – Dong Cheng’s focus on warrior makes him the strongest front line on the team, and he is also one of the star players of Guild Wars 2 with many warrior fans in China.

Team SALA (Chinese Team)

Nocturne – Previously known for his mastery of the guardian, Nocturne has recently branched out into damage dealer professions. He has won a lot of Guild Wars 2 nation-wide tournaments in China.

November – Guardian – November is a skilled guardian player, and like his teammates, has won many tournaments in Guild Wars 2 China.

Honeyzz – Warrior – He may be new to the arena of Guild Wars 2 international competitive play, but Honeyzz’s skill at playing warrior will soon make his foes notice what a formidable foe he is in both one-on-one and group fighting.

Crazythree – Elementalist – Another new Guild Wars 2 PvP player, Crazythree focuses on playing a deadly Elementalist. He was also a former teammate of Team Prime, having fought with them to secure their place in the World Tournament Series Finals.

Jiazi – Necromancer – Jiazi is famous for his various playstyles and flexible tactics, has a lot of fans and has performed notably at qualifiers of Guild Wars 2 in China, despite his relative newness to the game.

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Finding the perfect match

Category: farrier's blog
Hello, world! My name is Justin O’Dell, and I’m one of the server programmers on the Structured Player vs. Player (sPvP) team.

I’m here to talk to you about the upcoming changes to matchmaking and ladder ranking.

To start off, the first thing I should mention is that we’re separating matchmaking from ladder ranking. Previously, your ladder ranking was based on your matchmaking rating. Removing this link gives us far greater control over how the ladder progresses over the course of a season, as well as the hidden variability and volatility seen with the old ladder. More importantly, this change gives us much greater flexibility in both areas, without which many of the following changes would simply not be possible.

Matchmaking

Matchmaking is one of my favorite topics, and I’m proud to say that, with your help, we’ve made some really significant additions that will greatly improve the sPvP experience for everyone.

To accomplish this, we decided to move to a score-based search method that takes into consideration several metrics that we believe are important for a match to be fun. We chose a score-based system over other methods because we found that it’s a good compromise between the often competing goals of match quality and short queue times.

Ratings

At the heart of matchmaking is your Glicko2 matchmaking rating (MMR). This rating helps us match you with other players near the same skill level. Now, in addition to your core rating, we will also keep track of ratings for each profession you play.

By using more than one rating, we hope to encourage you to experiment with other professions you may not play regularly. Are you a really good mesmer? We’ll match you with other great players. Are you an engineer newbie? We’ll find you easier matches while you learn the ropes!

Rank

While we firmly believe that a player’s rank doesn’t necessarily match that player’s skill level, it is a pretty good indicator of experience. With that premise in mind, we will now prefer to place you with others near your rank.

Party Size

Since playing with your friends gives you an advantage, we’ll try to keep things fair by matching you with other parties of the same size. Playing with a full team? We’ll prefer matches with other full teams. Playing alone? We’ll prefer to match you with other lone wolves. Even if we can’t find another party of the same size within your skill level, we’ll work to get it as close as possible.

And More

In addition, we’re also taking into consideration team composition, ladder position, and dishonor. Tired of seeing matches with five ham-bow warriors? So are we! We’ll also spice up competition by matching you up with your closest ladder rivals.

Ladder Ranking

Imagine a world where everyone took the saying “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game” seriously. Wouldn’t that be great?

Ladder ranking is now based on points which are awarded by how well you play the game and how challenging that game was. To this end, we’ve come up with a scoring matrix with two dimensions: odds of victory and final score.

Final Score
0-199200-299300-399400-499500
Odds of Victory0-19%-10+1+2+3
20-39%-1-10+1+2
40-59%-1-1-10+1
60-79%-2-2-10+1
80-100%-3-2-10+1
[1] Winning will always award a minimum of one point.
[2] Deserting will always award the maximum point loss, as if the player’s team had a final score of zero.

Here are some of the benefits:

  • Players are rewarded for playing well, even if they lose the game.
  • Players who play well are rewarded more often than those who have a few lucky matches.
  • Players are given a chance at success and a reason to keep fighting, even if a comeback may not be possible.
  • Players are compensated for uneven matches by increasing rewards with risk.
Now I can hear you asking, “Final score is easy, but how can you predict which team is going to win?”

After crunching some numbers and running simulations, we’ve found the two biggest factors in deciding outcomes are the difference in skill level between the two teams (based on MMR) and the difference in the teams’ maximum party sizes. So we’ve come up with an algorithm that turns those two metrics into odds of winning.

As John mentioned, we are running a test season in December, so we’re looking for your input. After this test, we’ll take another look at the data and continue to experiment, so feel free to stop by the forums and share your thoughts with us!

One More Thing…

To better coordinate with the community, I’ll be maintaining a page on the official Guild Wars 2 wiki that includes most of the technical details for matchmaking, ladders, dishonor, and server configuration, including all the knobs and levers currently in use. This should come in handy, as we now have the ability to tweak matchmaking on the fly. Keep an eye on the wiki page for more details as we make changes in search of a matchmaking sweet spot.

Also, be sure to join me on the Structured Player vs. Player forum for more in-depth discussions and answers to (almost) all of your questions.

Good luck, and have fun!

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Points of Interest is live on Twitch this week

Category: farrier's blog
Point of Interest Episode 9
Peter looks thrilled. Rubi and Teddy look frightened. With a planning session like that, this week’s Points of Interest might be the first to make Rubi wish for a mute button-which should mean an entertaining episode!

Teddy Nguyen and Peter Fries were part of the Tangled Paths team, so they’ll be on hand to talk about what went into the creation of this episode. Hugh Norfolk will be in to officially kick off PvP 101, the new Points of Interest feature that introduces Living World players to basics of Guild Wars 2 PvP-including all of the Living World rewards.

We’ll also have a few things for you to see and hear for the first time, so visit the Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel this Friday, November 21, at 12:00pm PST (19:00 UTC). We’ll see you then!

Ready Up

Last week on Ready Up, Joshua “Grouch” Davis talked with World Tournament Series Finals teams the Abjured and the Civilized Gentlmen for a discussion on the upcoming tournament in China, meta, balance, and more.



We’ll see you on Twitch!

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Announcing Improvements to PvP and the Ladder Test Season

Category: farrier's blog
Hello, Tyrians!

We’re very pleased to announce that on December 2 we will be releasing some major updates to PvP that will enhance and improve a number of areas of the PvP experience.



Matchmaking Improvements


First off is an overhaul to matchmaking in PvP. Previously, matchmaking only accounted for players’ ratings. Justin O’Dell has been busy talking to players about the information they’d like to see our matchmaking algorithm take into account, and he’s developed a system that can factor in a number of parameters. In addition to ratings, matchmaking will now consider factors such as the largest group size on a team, team composition, players’ accumulated dishonor, and more.

Justin has put together a blog post that we’ll be releasing tomorrow about all of the matchmaking changes. Make sure to check it out for all the details.



Map Selection and Match Flow


The update will include a host of other improvements to PvP. We’ve overhauled the entire flow of how a player enters PvP. Rosters are a thing of the past; now you can simply join with your party. Players now have to confirm before entering a match, so 4v5 situations can no longer occur from people going AFK. For players who do drop out, the Dishonor system has also been improved to better handle bad behavior.

One of my favorite new additions in this update is the ability to have a say in the map that you’ll play on! Evan Lesh’s upcoming blog post will give you all the information you need to know on match flow, map selection, and more. Check back for Evan’s post on November 21.



Restructuring PvP


With the overhaul to matchmaking complete, we’re now ready to begin restructuring PvP for the future. PvP is now grouped into three areas: “Practice” in hot-join, “Play” in unranked arenas, and “Compete” in ranked arenas. This change will help guide players through the stages of development toward high-level competition.

With this change, all competitive play (both solo and team) is consolidated into Ranked Arena. You can join ranked play with any party size from 1 to 5, and our new matchmaking algorithm will match players to help create games that are as balanced as possible. If you play team arena by joining with a team of 5, you’ll generally be matched against other teams of 5. You can play solo by joining alone, or join in groups of 2, 3, or 4 and have your party filled out to create balanced games. The new matchmaking algorithm will take party composition into account when determining how much a game impacts your ladder position. So, on the off chance there aren’t enough solo or small groups of players in the queue to fill two teams and you find yourself up against a fully organized team of equally skilled players, the match will have very little impact on your ladder ranking if you lose and may give you a bigger boost if you win. Justin’s upcoming blog post on matchmaking has all the details on how the quality and outcome of your matches will affect your ladder points.

Unranked Arena will give players a safe place to play solo or with their friends in any sized group without having to worry about affecting their ladder standing. If you’re ready to move on from hot-join, or if you want to test out new builds, warm up a new profession, try out new teammates, or just chill out and have fun in a structured PvP environment, Unranked Arena is for you. Unranked Arena also takes advantage of all the new matchmaking changes, so you will tend to be grouped together with players of your skill level and group size.



Ladder Formula Test Season


To test all the exciting improvements to the leaderboards and reinforce the competitive aspect of Ranked Arena, we’ll hold a test season starting on Tuesday, December 16, that will be running until Tuesday, January 13. The top 250 players on the ladder at the end of the season will receive a mini llama. The top 20 players on the ladder will also receive a piece of Glorious Hero’s armor, and the top 5 will receive two pieces of Glorious Hero’s armor. Glorious Hero’s armor is only available through skill-based play in PvP, so this is a great opportunity to acquire a look that lets everyone know you’re the best of the best.

Another feature we’ll try during our test season is map rotation for Ranked Arena. During the test season, and during future league seasons, Ranked Arena will have a limited set of maps available for more serious competition. During the periods between seasons, the ladder will be reset and all maps will be available for an unofficial and more casual ranked experience.

Because we’re transitioning how leaderboards are handled, we want to reward all the players who have fought their way to the top of the leaderboards in the old system. For your efforts, we’ll be awarding a piece of Glorious Hero’s armor to the top 20 players on both the solo and team arena leaderboards. The top 100 players on each leaderboard will also receive a mini llama. The cutoff time for the current leaderboards is December 2. At that point, the new build goes live and we transition to the new system.

While this is another step toward leagues, please understand that this test season is not the league system. Leagues are still one of our top priorities, but we’re not yet ready to reveal what we have in store for league play. However, the new features in this build are part of a much bigger overhaul to the PvP infrastructure that was undertaken to lay the foundation for leagues.



MMO PvP Is Stronger than Ever in GW2


We’re very excited to bring you all of these PvP updates because they further enhance the experience and commitment to competitive gaming that makes Guild Wars 2 stand out among MMOs.

This year, we worked with our community to bring you the Tournament of Legends as a path to legendary weapons; the Tournament of Glory to earn unique skins through skill-based play in PvP; the ESL Go4GuildWars2 tournaments, where players can earn weekly cash prizes and an even bigger monthly cash prizes; and the World Tournament Series, where the very best players of each region can become legends on the international stage.

These tournaments together with the changes coming in December are another big step in Guild Wars 2‘s dedication to supporting competitive gaming in MMOs. They follow other major steps since launch, such as Reward Tracks, Custom Arenas, Spectator Mode, new maps, and much more, on our path to grow Guild Wars 2‘s PvP for players of all types and skill levels.

Additional details on all of these changes are coming soon in Evan’s and Justin’s blog posts, as well as the next episode of Ready Up on November 26. We are really excited about this update and look forward to sharing it with you in December!

Have fun, and we’ll see you in Tyria!

John

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