Guild Wars 2 sPvP Beginner’s Guide

Guild Wars 2 Structured PvP Beginner’s Guide by Frozire

This article is designed to present new players with enough information that will bring them from knowing nothing about the game to doing PvP in Guild Wars 2!

The decisions to get started
When you start playing the game you will be presented with a couple of choices, none of these choices are really vital as they can easily be altered even after you start playing.

Picking a Server
When entering the game one of the very first choices you will have to make is which server will be your home server. If you are used to playing other MMO’s this choice is often important to your experience but Guild Wars 2 modernized how servers work!

When picking server you are only deciding which server that you will represent when playing WvWvW. This decision might get you some benefits depending how successful your server is in these fights but it will not affect you in PvP. The bonus does not provide any benefit to the strength of characters so you will not be seeing people who are stronger then you due to it. For everything else in the game you are still able to play with and against people from other and different servers

Picking the character Profession and Race
Picking the races is completely up to you as it has no impact on the PvP game play. Although each race has race-specific spells none of these spells are useable in PvP. There are also 8 different professions, or more commonly phrased ‘classes’, upon picking these you are deciding what sort of specialty you want your character to have.

Below are a couple of short descriptions, to give you a general idea of the profession, I do still suggest you go to YouTube some gameplay videos.

Guardian –
Guardians excel at defensive and supportive plays best put in a team to support their allies where they are capable of taking heavy amounts of damage. They rely on building up resources that enhance their powers and defensives and then later using these resources by unleashing them to support and buff allies in battle.

Warrior –
Warriors are pure damage dealers who work by aggression and being up-front dealing lethal damage to enemies. They are the profession who master the most weapons ranging from a wide-array of melee weapons to ranged weapons allowing you to play any role you want on a team. Warrior is a deadly threat in any fight as their massive weaponry allows them to inflict massive damage, control their enemies or strengthen their allies!

Engineer –
Engineer is a fearful fighter who outshines in premeditated fights. The engineer can place powerful mechanical constructions ranging from device kits, weapon kits and turrets to assist your allies or inflict devastating damage to your enemies. The Engineer is great for bringing into any fights, no matter the situation the Engineer has a weapon kit that gets the job done! A good fight for an engineer is a fight that comes to him and his mechanical constructions!

Ranger –
Rangers are deadly marksmen who have expertise in tracking, hunting and using powerful pets to gain an advantage on the battlefield. They are mobile and deadly and will inflict heavy damage from a safe distance using range to suppress and avoid enemy fire while having creatures inflict heavy melee damage. When a ranger is cornered he can still put up a close combat fight inflicting melee damage and utilizing powerful spirits and traps to support allies and obstruct the enemies!

Thief –
Thieves are the masters of the shadow and sudden ambushes. They live by unexpectedly attacking enemies from the shadows dealing heavy damage and stealing enemy weapons to use against themselves. The thief’s’ goal is to inflict heavy damage, confuse and leave behind a stunned and exposed enemy as they slip into the shadows and prepare for their next ambush.

Elementalist –
Elementalists are the master of the elements they use powerful magic to harm their enemies. By combining Earth, Water, Fire and Air they are capable of producing high damage and controlling the outcome of a battle. They are feared for their high damage and with little defensive utility they aim for slaying their enemies before they get in trouble!

Mesmer –
Mesmer is the masters of illusions. They create phantasms to fight by their side and illusions to trick their enemies causing anyone who engage in a fight with a Mesmer to be guaranteed for a game of the minds. The Mesmer relies on inflicting damage while the enemy is left confused trying to find the Mesmer between its clones and phantasm.

Necromancer –
Necromancers are the servants of death; they excel at leeching the life from the living. With powerful magic the necromancer can spread diseases and death to all of its enemies all while fuelling his own resources with their misery. Necromancers are feared for their dark spells and possesses powerful magic that allows them to take on the face of death as they annihilate their foes!

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Structured PvP
The primary pvp mode is Conquest where players are split up into two teams and battle each other in a race for being the first to gain 500 points. A team is rewarded a point every two second for every objective currently captured and held by the team and every team is also rewarded 10 points for every enemy player kill. There is also a secondary mechanic that is unique to each map, I will be mentioning and going into detail in a more advanced article later.

When you sign up for a battle your character will automatically be boosted to max level, dressed in appropriate gear and given access to all available abilities for your profession. This makes structured PvP a very attractive part of the game for players that seek to be competitive as it puts everyone on the same level and does not give any advantage besides the individual player’s capabilities. As I mentioned earlier your server will not have any impact on which people you face in PvP and combining that with not needing to level you are set for a very competitive environment!

Entering the Mists
The mists works as a PvP lobby much in recognition to the lobby in FPS games where you are able to join specific servers and have an overview of things. The mists is not just an interface but rather a full environment where you are able to hang out with other like-minded people, setup your character, look at rewards and sign up for the different PvP types. To enter the Mists you must navigate to your in-game interface and find the Hero Panel (H), select the PvP tab and click the ‘Go to the Heart of the Mists’-button

There are two modes of structured PvP, hot join for casual PvPers and tournament mode for more competitive PvPers.

To access Structured PvP, you first need to go to the Mists by opening your Hero panel and select the PvP tab. Then you need to click on Go to the Heart of the Mists button to be teleported instantly to the PvP lobby. Also note that this button does not appear until you have completed the starting quest line which shouldn’t take much longer than 5 minutes leaving you at level 2!

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Once inside the Mists you will be able to find a lot different NPC’s. These include NPC’s Dummies for damage testing, NPC’s Vendors with free PvP gear and NPC’s with PvP reward bags. These items are not better than the regular items you receive by simply joining the mists but allow for players to customize and change weapons and thus acquire a different array of skills. The bags contain items and can be bought for glory that you gain through participating in PvP battles. The items in these bags are purely for different looks you will be able to take out sigils from previous gear, or place new sigils, in these new obtained items to give them the same powers as previous gear..

Most importantly you will be able to find two NPCs to sign up for two different pvp modes, the ‘Hot Join’ and ‘Tournaments’.

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Hot Join
Hot Join games is the casual side of Structured PvP, this allows casual players to enter an unorganized battle containing anything from 1v1 to 10v10. You are able to enter these by speaking to the NPC acting as a PvP Browser shown above.

Tournaments are the organized part of Structured PvP. This mode allows for both teams and solo players to queue up in a competitive environment and play organized 5v5 matches. Below are the different kinds of tournaments available in game:

  • Pick-Up Tournaments: This tournament works as single-elimination tournament where people can sign up with a full roster or a partial roster and wait for the system to match 8 full teams or create them with the partial rosters. This tournament has 3 rounds of elimination where the last round is the finals and the winners will be rewarded with qualifier points that they can use for the monthly tournaments.
  • ArenaNet’s Monthly Tournaments.
    This tournament will be on a monthly basis and presented to you ingame by ArenaNet, participating will be those teams that have gotten enough qualifier points in the month leading up to.
  • ArenaNet’s Yearly Tournaments.
    This Tournament will be on a yearly basis and presented by to you by ArenaNet, participating will be the teams who won the monthly tournament in the year leading up to it. These players will battle out for the right to call themselves the PvP champions of the given year.
  • Player Created Tournaments.
    This tournament will be presented to you by players or whole communities who can get together and customize their own tournaments.

Understanding Basic Game Mechanics

The Interface:
Button 1-5: Weapon Skills: These spells differ depending on the currently equipped weapon.
Button 6: Healing Skills: This slot contains your healing ability.
Button 7-9: Utility Skills: These slots contains your characters utility skills.
Button 0: Elite Skills: This slot contains your elite skill.

Below each button is a bar indicating when a spell is in range a red bar indicates the spell is out of range of your target.

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The Endurance Bar:
Indicated above the health globe with a beige semi-circle this bar shows the amount of endurance a character has available. Endurance is used for one of the new interesting mechanics that Guild Wars 2 introduces: Dodge.

The functionality of Dodge can be used by double tapping in a direction or binding a dodge key (original: V) and clicking in a direction to effectively make your character take a leap in the given direction and dodging incoming spells and attacks. One dodge consumes 50% of the available endurance thus allowing you to dodge twice before having to wait for it to regain at a slow rate.

Boons and Conditions:
Boons are positive effects that can increase the strength or defense of yourself and your allies.
Conditions are the negative effects that can decrease the strength or defense of yourself and your allies.

The Maps
All of the maps consist of the same format: Conquest. In Conquest every team is fighting to be the first team to reach 500 points and claim victory. This can be done through a number of resources, in all the maps there are 3 objectives. Each team is meant to seek out these objectives and capture them before the enemy and defend these objectives throughout the fight. Each of these objectives provides 1 point every two second so keeping them and trying to take them from the enemy is preeminent.

On-top of the objectives each map also has it very own mechanics that is unique to that particular map. These mechanics consist of Guild Lords (NPC), Trebuchets (Siege) and Beasts (NPC) I will not mention their functions now but will mention them as I go through each of the three currently released maps below.

Battle of Kyhlo
This map consist of three primary objective points that each team must seek out to capture, the Mansion, the Clocktower and the Windmill. As the secondary mechanic this map contains two Trebuchets, each positioned close to the relevant teams spawning location.

A thing to note is that the map is symmetric and contains a lot of choke points. Choke points is recognized by being a narrow path in which a player must go through to get to another area thus making it more likely for teams to encounter each other at those locations.

Unique Map Mechanic – Trebuchet
Earlier I mentioned a Trebuchet, it is the mechanic unique to this map and pretty much what defines and makes this map so exciting. A trebuchet allows the players to control a catapult like construction that a player can use to barrage an area with trebuchet shots. The shot has multiple purposes, it can be used to damage and as a knockback effect to put enemies in a vulnerable position or it can be used to destroy the environment. When the trebuchet is mastered it can become an effective tool that provide players additional paths and positional advantage by tearing down walls or remove barrels that was otherwise used as jumping pads, providing shortcuts, to certain areas.

The trebuchet can be destroyed but has a noticeable amount of health so sending a player to destroy it might give you a strategic disadvantage as that player will be forced away from the battlefield for a fair amount of time. The trebuchets can also shoot at each other and destroy one and another without much effort. Once a trebuchet has been destroyed a repair kit will be summoned in the base and spawning location of the respective team. This will force the team, if aspiring to use the trebuchet, to bring this repair kit and repair it using valuable time and man power.

Winning requires: 500 points (or the highest after 15 minutes)
Player kills award: 5 points
Captured points returns: 1 Point every two seconds.

Forest of Niflhel
Much like the previously mentioned map, this map consist of three primary objective points that each team must seek out to capture, the Henge, the Keep and the Mine. The secondary mechanic of this map is two potentially highly influential NPC creatures. Each of these two creatures are positioned in the far top corners of the map.

Once again we got a very symmetric map, although this contains far less choke points it also provides larger fighting grounds, forcing fights to spread a lot more. This means positioning is even more vital as fights can often be dragged out into these big open fields, leaving the objective points vulnerable for enemy team to ninja cap.

Unique Map Mechanic – The Beasts
Unlike the Trebuchet the beasts provide a direct advantage by providing 40 points to the team killing them. This allows players to strategically direct forces and man power to kill these creatures as an effective way of gaining points. However the creatures has a rather long spawning time, so merely killing these will not be sufficient to winning a match so it should only be considered an additional benefit. Neither is it risk free killing these creatures as they are rather powerful they might delay the person killing them causing the team to be outnumbered at the other objectives. But delay is not the only risk, currently the points rewarded for killing the creature is rewarded to the team of the player who gets the killing blow.

This gives situations where if a team has been spotted going to the beasts the other team could take advantage of this and only send out their player momentarily before the beast is dead, to attempt to snatch the killing blow and thus gaining the points to his team instead, with minimal effort.

Winning requires: 500 points (or the highest after 15 minutes)
Player kills award: 5 points
Captured points returns: 1 Point every two seconds.
Beast kills rewards: 25 points.

Legacy of the Foefire
This, like previously maps, consists of three primary objective points that each team must seek out to capture, Waterfall, Sanctum and Quarry. The secondary mechanic of this map is The Guild Lord, consisting of two melee, two casters and one guild lord NPC. These are positioned with one in north east and one in south eastern corner, for respectively blue and red team.

This map is by far less symmetric map then any of the previous maps. Points and objectives are still symmetric but the accessories vary from different high grounds, different position and shape of these. Choke points are as consistent here as on other maps but due to the oval shape of the map it is considerably easier to take another router and without much delay get around an enemy packed choke point.

Unique Map Mechanics – The Guild Lord
Like the beasts, the Guild Lord provides a direct advantage by providing 100 points to the team who seeks out to kill him. However in comparison to the beasts the Guild Lord is much harder to solo and is accompanied by 4 NPC’s to assist him in battle. This makes the Guild Lord very hard to kill for a single player but as players get more experienced a well-balanced build can assassinate him alone. The guild lord is inside a keep so going for him requires a moderate bit of effort and time as it is required to take down a wall with a noticeable amount of health to gain access to his keep.

Going for the Guild lord has no risk in itself, unlike the beasts the guild lord kill cannot be “snatched” as each team has its own guild lord. However as the other guild is informed once their keep has been breached it does provide a high risk as the enemy team could easily intervene, and even just one enemy can make the killing of the guild lord nearly impossible.

In many cases the Guild Lord is ignored as it is high risk for any team, even when having a point advantage, to leave the objectives. However the guild lord does provide an emergency strategy if a team is being overwhelmed or lost their objectives to go for the kill and possibly secure the last 100 points needed to victory through the guild lord

Winning requires: 500 points (or the highest after 15 minutes)
Player kills award: 5 points
Captured points returns: 1 Point every two seconds.
Killing the Guild Lord: 100 Points

Coming soon!
Explanation of Reward System
Explanation of Trait and Armor System
Explanation of Combo Fields

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