Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet is celebrating the Gamescom show with a whole host of festivities, including details on the subscription-free PC MMORPG's revamped PvP, a glorious five-minute trailer, and great gobs of new screenshots.
Characters playing PvP will be boosted to the level cap and given all the skills and items they could need, which are then taken back when you return to PvE play. ArenaNet explains, "This makes player skill more important than time invested in a particular character." Savvy PvP players can save builds for future use, while newcomers can rely upon the basic "competent" starter builds ArenaNet provides for each profession.
The mode unveiled at Gamescom is a capture & hold type by the name of 'Conquest,' where, naturally, holding control points gets you all-important score points. Each map will have "secondary objectives" that can help your team out, such as repairing a trebuchet to bombard the enemy (as in Guild Wars or blowing up bits of the environment. One map's side objective will involve, more excitingly, a giant dragon flying over to roast everything in its path.
GW2 game designer Jonathan Sharp explains a little more of Conquest in a breakdown of the map 'Battle of Kyhlo.' If you're at PAX Prime next week, you might want to read that to buff up before you get to play it for yourself.
For the PvP player seeking something casual and unstructured, Guild Wars 2 is introducing "hot join" PvP to the series. Essentially, it'll function like the multiplayer servers found in any FPS. Players can step into and out of "hot join" games as they please, with the teams auto-balancing. Once the map's won, it'll move to the next map in rotation, with all the players kept together. Hot join games will run from 1v1 all the way up to 10v10.
Hot join will have a server browser, with all the usual filters and ways to find the maps, players and servers you want.
On the more formal side of PvP, there'll be 5v5 automated tournaments. Single-elimation 'Pickup Tournaments' will kick off whenever eight teams are queued up, granting the winners qualifier points. Enough of these qualifier points will get you into monthly tournaments, then the cream of the monthly crop will get into a yearly tournament.
Plus there'll be customisable player-run tournaments, if that's more your bag.
Lastly, here's the Gamescom trailer:
BOOM video 10101