Guild Wars 2 goes “mega.”
Welcome back! This is the third and final part of our coverage of the Guild Wars 2 Feature Pack, which goes live on the 15th! We’ve covered balance updates, PvP, quality of life upgrades, the new wardrobe feature, and new traits, but this part of the patch figures to be bigger than them all! Responding to the game-wide issue of certain zones and cities being barren and unpopulated, ArenaNet has seen fit to completely overhaul the way servers operate, giving birth to the “Megaserver System.”
How will it work? Well, for starters, it won’t be going entirely into effect on the 15th. It will be a deliberate process, beginning with the Heart of the Mists PvP hub and the maps with the lowest populations, and should be complete by the end of the year. The Megaserver System seeks to provide players with well-populated zones around the clock, that way there’s always someone to play with and the less populated events in the game get done more often. Instead of each server having one main copy of a given map, the Megaserver System will combine all worlds together and only have the number of copies it needs to accommodate the player population in a given map. It will also allow for players who are in the same party or guild to play together more easily, with functions dedicated to ensuring that related players are placed in the same instance of a map or can easily join friends if they’re separated.
But wait! World bosses spawn at different times on each server! How will they be affected? Fear not, players. With the rollout of the Megaserver Systems comes a standardized schedule for the various world bosses, which you can find here. Bosses that previously did not have failure mechanics or timers will be getting them, to ensure that the game remains on schedule. Also, many of the bosses will be tweaked to preserve balance, and this includes abilities, overall difficulty, or even the event chains that lead up to their encounters. Such changes were not detailed in the reveal, but will be available in the release notes next week.
Waypoints, dungeons, and temples will be slightly affected by the new changes as well. For instance, you will no longer be able to tell if a waypoint is actually uncontested until you arrive on the map that it’s in. In the Orr maps, which have many contested waypoints, this figures to be a bit of a hassle. The same goes for the three dungeons that require event chain completion to open: Citadel of Flame, Crucible of Eternity, and The Ruined City of Arah. You will now have to waypoint to Fireheart Rise, Mount Maelstrom, or Cursed Shore, respectively, to find out the status of these dungeons. As for temples, the god statues that normally have cross-map mechanics will no longer function that way, and instead will only be active when the nearest temple becomes contested.
The final aspects of the Megaserver System covered were guilds and World vs. World. Guilds will remain separate for now; they will still be server-specific until the Megaserver System is completely implemented, but once that happens guild members will earn influence towards the same total regardless of their home world. Guilds will still have a hard cap of 500 members and if a guild has chapters on multiple servers, they cannot be combined. World vs. World will remain unchanged for the time being and logically speaking, it’s unlikely to be affected by the Megaserver System at all. ArenaNet is making many ambitious changes here, so it’s nice to see that they’re preserving the identity of Guild Wars 2‘s WvW game mode for the sake of those who have made their legend on the battlefield.
With all of these imminent changes coming to Guild Wars 2, the game will never be the same again! I’m admittedly skeptical about a few things that ArenaNet is trying with this patch, but I’m also greatly excited that a number of issues that have existed since launch are finally getting the proper attention they need. If you’ve never played Guild Wars 2, now would be a great time to jump in; it really is a fantastic MMO during its high points (and it’s on sale for $24.99 until Saturday). They may not get everything right, but I have a strong feeling that ArenaNet knocked this out of the park.