This has been an amazing week for WvW combat as this match up between IoJ, JQ, and SBI has been rather close considering our newbie status to tier 1. I think everyone including ourselves expected to be absolutely stomped but It was non stop action on the weekend with very little dominance showing between either team, very balanced population spread, excellent team battles, and utter all round carnage. Although we have eventually fallen behind during the week I still get home looking forward to our apparent night sieging.
The forums are alive with chatter to fully christen our debut into the tier, oh the rage, qq, tears and trolls are absolutely delightful and a wonderful morning read on the bus. Guru has to be the best though as it seems a lot less censored, I understand the need for Anet to provide a professional front on the forums and their quest for some decency is admirable but leave our WvW threads alone. Part of the fun is the tension and animosity it creates, it fuels people in a way giving them the purest reason of all for wanting to play which is to rub their smarmy noses in defeat. I can see the beginnings of long rivalries and strong allies on all servers and this should be supported. Us Isle of Janqueers may even have found our arch nemesis in Blackgate whom if the rumors tell true have had guilds switching over to JQ and SBI just to try stomping on us even further to knock us out of tier 1… THOSE SCALLYWAGS.
Sometimes even I want to have a little forum pvp but getting a thread locked because of my actions is a little much. It honestly is part of the fun in open world pvp, maybe they could just limit the rage to the WvW part and having a warning upon entering saying “BEWARE assholes ahead”… Yep that seems pretty apt.
Unbalanced Fights but Balanced Gameplay
At the start of the week I wished we could just stay in this tier for good and have thoroughly enjoyable PvP and competition round the clock with interesting forum drama but then I came to my senses. Not that I care about other servers having a right to challenge the top teams, no I’m more self centered then that, its because I don’t think I could handle it. When its a close match it is just so compelling, I want, no need to be in that battleground as much as possible.. I want to win but I also want us to be as competitive as possible, to show the opposition how good we are. It leaves no time for other pursuits or PvE goals, no time for fooling around on low level alts, or even just idle exploration time. It is a playstyle that just isn’t conducive to the long term and would burn you out from the pressure. I think this was probably one of the reasons HoD eventually split apart as the pressure to stay on top would have been immense and with the break those guilds now have a fresh start.
It is because of this why I don’t think we should be striving for completely balanced match ups. The way it is with servers climbing and falling on the competitive ladder is just the way it should be as it gives a far more varied style of play.
- You have the fast and non stop action of the balanced match requiring dedication, strategy, and cooperation to win. The compulsion to log on is unbelievable during these times and it requires a lot of energy to keep it up but the rewards are magnificent. Brilliant large scale battles, keep defense and assault, constant small group skirmishes around the map and along the supply lines, and a battlefield that is constantly evolving with the frontlines being ever changing… Emergent gameplay at its finest.
- Then you have those weeks of being completely dominated where the casual masses leave in droves but which makes it a perfect playground for the more serious. Without the pressure your free to try new strategies, the bad and good, practice group mechanics, and just generally fap around with guerrilla warfare type play. Weeks like this usually occur when you move up a tier but because if this it is a great learning experience. You learn better strategies when facing a superior force and you get to watch and learn from the strategies and tactics performed by these higher servers. I know just in this single foray into tier 1 we have improved our playstyle immensely.
- Lastly there are those weeks of dominating the others where the casual masses turn out in droves, it is a far more relaxed environment and perfect for the new initiates to wet their feet in open world and slowly learn how to pvp…being in a zerg is very forgiving for them. These weeks also give the more rabid pvpers a much needed week off, and as much as we kick and squeal about the terrible zergy pvp it provides some time to relax and refuel.
I think the system in place will do well over the coming months especially after the server populations settle down and guesting is enacted so people can’t bunny hop around to the better servers in WvW. The match ups are never going to be always balanced, that is an impossible and idiotic though as each and every server has different strengths and weaknesses but this is a great thing as we can rise and fall accordingly to get the most variable gameplay over our long term play. I want those great matches, and crave that action but even I admit that I should have a break now and then or just a time without the pressure. Being below on the ladder or on the top also gives us something to strive for and when server pride becomes more prevalent this will be a far more important thing that will drive groups and whole servers.