Hotjoins, Spectating, and the Community — Guild Wars 2 Forums
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Hotjoins, Spectating, and the Community

bethekey.8314bethekey.8314 Member ✭✭✭

There is an increasingly apparent divide between veteran and novice players in the PvP community.

  • Veterans know how to play their class and conquest, but are so few in number that matchmaking cannot give them the high level games they want.
  • Novices have the numbers, but struggle to learn their class and conquest at the level to compete with veterans.
  • Veterans need the novices to improve for high quality matches, and novices need veterans to learn from.

How do we bridge this gap between veteran and novice players? I believe that an answer is already implemented in the game: Hotjoin.

Some people might not know what hotjoins are. There is a game browser at the bottom of the PvP window that has constantly running, public servers that rotate through maps. There is no queue to wait for, no matchmaking to segregate the playerbase, no biased moderation, and no pressure to succeed while learning. If there’s a player you enjoy playing with/against, you can easily jump into their server and it allows spectating. You’ll notice that they are almost all empty, mostly due to the free-for-all and unranked arenas.

Spectator mode is perhaps the greatest, yet least used feature in this game for learning. Simply watching without having the pressure to play lets players see how conquest works at a high level. It allows you to inspect someone’s build and see them play it, from their perspective, in real time. This is invaluable and most importantly, easy. If someone beats you, in a few clicks you can hop into spectate, see how they did it, and how they play their build in a conquest setting. Then you can plan how to counter it and hop right back in to try your strategy. Through trial-and-error we develop a deeper understanding of what works and why.

Seeing from others’ perspectives and trial-and-error learning is lost in the free-for-all arena and queues. That player you can’t seem to beat and want to try a new strategy against? No guarantee you’ll be matched up against them again. Maybe that “OP” build really struggles in certain settings, but you’ll never see it from their perspective. Maybe that player is amazing, but you can’t tell because you’ve never played that class/build and don’t know how hard it is to play. Mastering a new build/class when you’re still a novice at your first one is simply too much to ask.

Consistently playing against players of all skill levels and gaining an appreciation for their perspective is how you build community. Communities build knowledge bases (i.e skill, veterans), friendships, and competitive teams. Competitive teams draw big events. Big events draw interest, new players, more development etc. Guild Wars 2 PvP lacks community and I think hotjoins foster it the best of all game modes. However, they don’t work with a population divided among game modes.

So remove free-for-all and unranked then? It’s clear that dividing the population among four modes (including ranked) isn’t a good strategy, but there are arguments to be made for keeping each. Free-for-all is probably the least useful. Unranked is more structured than hotjoin, but people don’t take it seriously enough for this structure to matter. Team queues are the biggest issue in my opinion. However, serious team queues are better done in private server scrims and casual ones are more about playing with friends, regardless of which team they’re on.

Any thoughts on this? How do you feel about reviving hotjoins?

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Comments

  • Ovark.2514Ovark.2514 Member ✭✭✭

    Having many many thousands of games in Hotjoin, I am all for it. Anet should never have dis-incentivized it in the first place. The relaxed atmosphere was something I really treasured which you just don't get in free-for-all or Unranked. You never have the time in either of those settings to just spectate and chat (as you pointed out). I know a lot of Vets who jumped into HJ in the early years of GW2 just to be curb-stomped repeatedly, abandoned the mode for unranked or ranked and never looked back. The thing is, most vets who play HJ are just there to have fun and maybe have good 1v1 challenges. These people are likely to willingly change teams if it means having a better fight. I wish I could remember what kept me playing HJ while I was a novice. I think it had to do with how accessible it was. There was barely any waiting involved. If the going got tough and you didn't feel like putting in the effort or your build clearly wasn't there, you could quit with no repercussions. This turned into kinda a ramble, but I already laid out my thoughts on HJ in this post if anyone's interested https://old.reddit.com/r/Guildwars2/comments/9u6k6r/the_sobering_tale_of_hotjoin/

  • Stand The Wall.6987Stand The Wall.6987 Member ✭✭✭✭

    there is no reason to bring hotjoin back. not only are there probably not enough people, but the fact that people can join whatever side they want is backwards. peeps stacked one side game after game and farmed the other team. that's all it was, a farm. I bet that is part of the reason it died out. so you might as well just let people spectate unranked and ranked, that would make more sense.

    Te lazla otstara.

  • bethekey.8314bethekey.8314 Member ✭✭✭

    @Ovark.2514 said:
    Having many many thousands of games in Hotjoin, I am all for it. Anet should never have dis-incentivized it in the first place. The relaxed atmosphere was something I really treasured which you just don't get in free-for-all or Unranked. You never have the time in either of those settings to just spectate and chat (as you pointed out). I know a lot of Vets who jumped into HJ in the early years of GW2 just to be curb-stomped repeatedly, abandoned the mode for unranked or ranked and never looked back. The thing is, most vets who play HJ are just there to have fun and maybe have good 1v1 challenges. These people are likely to willingly change teams if it means having a better fight. I wish I could remember what kept me playing HJ while I was a novice. I think it had to do with how accessible it was. There was barely any waiting involved. If the going got tough and you didn't feel like putting in the effort or your build clearly wasn't there, you could quit with no repercussions. This turned into kinda a ramble, but I already laid out my thoughts on HJ in this post if anyone's interested https://old.reddit.com/r/Guildwars2/comments/9u6k6r/the_sobering_tale_of_hotjoin/

    Nice post! I was looking for something similar on here, but couldn't find anything recent through search.

    In order to ensure our forums are pleasant and safe for all forum members, we expect all contributors to be respectful of one another. Posts that are rude towards or attack another member, single out a player for ridicule, or that accuse someone of inappropriate behavior will be removed.

  • bethekey.8314bethekey.8314 Member ✭✭✭

    @Stand The Wall.6987 said:
    there is no reason to bring hotjoin back. not only are there probably not enough people, but the fact that people can join whatever side they want is backwards. peeps stacked one side game after game and farmed the other team. that's all it was, a farm. I bet that is part of the reason it died out. so you might as well just let people spectate unranked and ranked, that would make more sense.

    If there are enough people for unranked, there are enough people for hotjoin.

    I understand that teams could be stacked for farming, but I believe there are remedies for that. Randomized teams, rewards for joining losing sides etc. There isn't just one server either. If a server is constantly one sided, people will leave for another, more balanced one.

    Spectating unranked/ranked would maybe help, but a large part of the learning benefit (imo) is playing against AND spectating the same people. Matchmaking doesn't always allow that.

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  • Luthan.5236Luthan.5236 Member ✭✭✭✭

    The farming thing ... is a bit sad. Especially that there are only few custom arenas left ... and they are advertising it even. And it is allowed by ArenaNet.
    Maybe they could remove all rewards (no glory/PvP rank gain) from the custom arenas. Might make them die completely. But then agin stacking migh be less of a problem - unless people cared for roflstomping the others and still stacked because of it.

    But I guess with people mainly playing for rewards, rank, etc. ... without all of that disabled there could quality matches happen.

  • fumcheg.1936fumcheg.1936 Member ✭✭
    edited May 20, 2020

    I think Anet has to remove HJ completely. There is a lot of more important things for them to work on.

  • Trevor Boyer.6524Trevor Boyer.6524 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @bethekey.8314 said:
    Any thoughts on this? How do you feel about reviving hotjoins?

    Form a guild and use a custom arena.

    • Recruit players who like to hang in hotjoins
    • Kick out or ban players who are trolling
    • Make the sever public so anyone can join
    • Use admin functions to tailor the experience

    Custom Arenas are in every way superior for your purposes over public hotjoin servers.

  • I met most of my spvp friends from hot join back in the day, including @Ovark.2514 , (I’m Levy Twohands btw hi)

    Like he said, it was such a relaxing atmosphere which even had playful rivalries and the occasional drama which was great.

    Then when you see your friends in ranked it was more fun because you developed an innate respect for people you know. And the community was overall way less toxic.

    It’s so sad that today hot joins are dead as dirt. Starting to see 1v1 arenas join the same status unfortunately. Not enough people anymore. Can’t explain why this is the case but I feel it’s for a multitude of compounding reasons.

  • I'm only agree with the spectating part, rankeds games and tournaments should add spectator mode for everybody.

  • Ovark.2514Ovark.2514 Member ✭✭✭

    @JusticeRetroHunter.7684 said:
    I met most of my spvp friends from hot join back in the day, including @Ovark.2514 , (I’m Levy Twohands btw hi)

    hey-o! :D

  • Azure The Heartless.3261Azure The Heartless.3261 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 22, 2020

    @Vamp Rook.7835 said:
    I'm only agree with the spectating part, rankeds games and tournaments should add spectator mode for everybody.

    @bethekey.8314 said:
    Spectator mode is perhaps the greatest, yet least used feature in this game for learning. Simply watching without having the pressure to play lets players see how conquest works at a high level. It allows you to inspect someone’s build and see them play it, from their perspective, in real time. This is invaluable and most importantly, easy. If someone beats you, in a few clicks you can hop into spectate, see how they did it, and how they play their build in a conquest setting. Then you can plan how to counter it and hop right back in to try your strategy. Through trial-and-error we develop a deeper understanding of what works and why.

    Hard disagree. Don't need people examining anything I'm using in a tournament or ranked setting. I'd even opt out of it in hotjoin if I could. This is part of the reason I avoid custom arenas as well.

    Thats how trivial things get bandwagoned and nerfed.

    [Charr Noises]
    [I play every class!]
    [I don't share builds!]
    [Fight me in the arena anytime!]

  • bethekey.8314bethekey.8314 Member ✭✭✭

    @Azure The Heartless.3261 said:
    Hard disagree. Don't need people examining anything I'm using in a tournament or ranked setting. I'd even opt out of it in hotjoin if I could. This is part of the reason I avoid custom arenas as well.

    Thats how trivial things get bandwagoned and nerfed.

    So let me get this straight...

    You're not disagreeing with spectator mode being a good learning tool.

    You're disagreeing with spectator mode because you want to be special and think it would accelerate balance? :joy:

    In order to ensure our forums are pleasant and safe for all forum members, we expect all contributors to be respectful of one another. Posts that are rude towards or attack another member, single out a player for ridicule, or that accuse someone of inappropriate behavior will be removed.

  • Azure The Heartless.3261Azure The Heartless.3261 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 24, 2020

    @bethekey.8314 said:
    So let me get this straight...

    You're not disagreeing with spectator mode being a good learning tool.

    I'm not.

    You're disagreeing with spectator mode because you want to be special-

    Yes and no. People have this weird habit of bandwagoning builds the moment they're proven to work, then when that happens another group of people assume that because they see it everywhere it must be OP.

    Also putting together builds is a complicated process. You shouldn't be able to see exactly how it's put together unless someone explicitly allows you, Imo.

    and think it would accelerate balance? :joy:

    It would focus balance on things that are overperforming objectively, instead of making it easier for every recently-balanced class main to flood the game with prebuilt builds because they spectated someone once.

    I'm fine with spectator mode, but inspection of gear/amulet/trait combination should be hidden. Skillbar is fine. Make people exercise their brain trying to figure out why X works, instead of going "oh X works I guess I'll use X since it's all spoon fed to me" then getting specific skills or specs nerfed to the ground because of it.

    [Charr Noises]
    [I play every class!]
    [I don't share builds!]
    [Fight me in the arena anytime!]