GW2 WvW Alliance Restructuring Update
Arenanet is giving an update on the status of the WvW alliance update.
July 2018 Update
I have been meaning to give everyone a World Restructuring update for a while now and I finally have a bit of down time to spend doing just that. Back in January, we posted a tentative design that would balance world populations and allow for continued balancing as time goes on. Since that post, we have reviewed a lot of community feedback in many forms (Gw2 Official Forum discussions, Reddit, in game interactions, etc.) and have started moving forward with that system. As we stated in the original document, this large task requires work from multiple disciplines and is going to take some time to fully complete. Add to that live game support and, as you can guess, our task lists are full.
At this time, we do not have a date to share with the community but we are actively working toward internal milestones. We plan to post periodic updates when we have interesting or relevant information to share.
Where are they now?
We currently have in place some of the backend systems that will track, store, and handle changes to the alliance structure of guilds. The current iteration does not include front-end systems or UI for creating, joining, or otherwise dealing with alliances. However, it gives us some structure and the ability to start field-testing how alliances/WvW guilds would look. From here, we can run simulations and get a sense for how the system might function under load.
What is next?
The next major things to develop are the front-end systems and the back-end matchmaking. The front-end takes time and iteration, and the matchmaking itself is sort of the whole point and needs to be undertaken with care, since it involves assigning every WvW player to a new world all at once!
Why is this taking so long?
This project is not small in scale. As we said when we began, we are changing and adding a bunch of major systems with this change. We are moving along at a pace that tracks with our goals but, as is the nature of our jobs, things can come up involving either unforeseen complications with the World Restructuring system or issues with the live game that need to be addressed first.
Updates, Clarifications and FAQ
What makes up a world?
We will build a world from any number of Alliances, Guilds, and Solo Players. This means a single alliance will not necessarily dominate the population of a world. The goal is to create even worlds, so the matchmaker builds the worlds out of whatever pieces makes sense to fulfill that goal.
Will you build hard-core and casual worlds?
No. The goal is to balance worlds by population. The matchmaker, at this time, is unconcerned with trying to match skill.
We are currently leaning toward alliance size being 500. This is technically easier, as we already support groups of this size (guilds), and it gives us more flexibility to make the worlds even.
Minimum Guild Size
The original plan was to count a guild within the alliance at some rounded-up size rather than exact size when calculating how full an alliance was. The benefit of this method was it would give more autonomy to the individual guilds to control WvW members, i.e., recruit new members or if current guild members decide they want to start playing WvW.
If—and that is a big if—we do add/change rewards to be tied more directly to World success in matches, those changes would come later. The plan is to ship the core system and get all the kinks worked out and the teams balanced before we start trying to find new ways to give rewards or do tournaments or anything of that kind.
Player Play Hours
In the original post and discussion, we talked about using player hours (the current method we use for calculating world sizes for links and “full” status) and then adjusting those hours by other metrics like command hours, etc. We subsequently have decided to, at least at the start, use only play hours and not adjust using other metrics. This will allow us to compare apples to apples so to speak once the system is in place. From there we can simulate how certain adjustments would change the matchups. This will make it easier to determine if an adjustment will have a positive impact.
Alliance Tags on the Name Plate
As of right now, changes to the nameplate that add an Alliance Tag is in the “Would Like to Have” column.
How is the alliance system going to affect queues?
It depends on where you normally play. If you are used to playing on a large world then I imagine the queue times will seem better. If you are used to playing on a smaller world then the queue times may seem to increase somewhat. This also is dependent on how big we let the worlds get. We can potentially adjust the number of worlds to help with this.
This is something we have on our list. With the exception of a technical limitation that prevents us from doing it this, we believe it should be something that gets in eventually.