I know a lot of people and devs focus on how we can improve fights which isn't a bad, but in your honest opinion, what percentage of your time in wvw do you spend engaging in combats? To me this is the biggest issue I have with WvW, it's too kitten hard to actually find a decent fight with your friends, and when I say decent I mean fights that are close and last for more than 20 seconds. What good is tweaking the balance and improving fights if you literally cannot find one.
I've been a part of many fight guilds over the past couple of years in literally every timezone and tier, and our raids are a good 2-3 hours long. Out of these three hours, I'd say we'd spend at least
50% auto running between places chasing Orange swords or looking for fights, or running back from spawn to rejoin the fight elsewhere
15% waiting in ques or rotating maps
15% using siege mechanics to break through fortifications only see 80% of their team way point out, or abandon the fortification leaving you with more of a looting run that any fight
10% brief skirmishes that end almost instantly due to us having overwhelming numbers , or the enemy having overwhelming numbers, or one side bailing.
7.5% some sort of extended fight, but nothing that would really be worth the saving on the hard disk.
1.5% merchanting, salvaging, inventory management, party and squad management, breaks, food check, random things.
1% Amazing Extended, engaging fights that last for more than 5 minutes, memorably, worthy of recording and sharing, ones that generally keep me playing or returning to the game
At the end of the day, what's the point in all this balance talk when we realistically only spend a fraction of our time in wvw actually fighting. And of that fraction of the time we spend fighting, how many of those fights can we say. "wow I can't believe we won that, what an amazing fight and everyone did so well". The truth is, you can predict the winner of a fight 99.7% of the time. There is hardly any suspense for the favored team, and the losing team generally has no incentive to even attempt to fight because you don't get jack kitten for trying to fight, and if you wipe multiple times in a row everyone else gets frustrated and leaves which means that now you really can't fight so you end up having to swap maps or hide in keeps which just pisses off the other team that legitimately wants to fight. It's a self fulfilling prophecy discourages fights or any real engagement.
One of the biggest mistakes that I think the devs made which the community more or less overlooked was the "bugged waypoint". Yes that's right, one of the best things we had in WvW to encourage and extend fights was literally an accident. Basically, every 2 minutes and 30 seconds defenders in a keep would get the "you defended a keep reward" and then the event timer would reset. But every time the event reset, the waypoint would automatically uncontest itself for 2-3 seconds (regardless of whether the keep was being attacked) and players would be ablezone back into the keep and rejoin the fight. Granted it was probably OP for the defenders, but I honestly don't think anyone had a problem with it.
Lets think about it. The defending team which was usually outnumbered, was actually encouraged to get off the walls and aggressively fight the attackers because they were guaranteed re-deployment at the objective with the rest of their team whereas the few people they killed would have to spend 4-5 minutes walking back and knocking down gate/wall to rejoin their attacking force. Secondly, the defenders actually had hope that their attacks were successful because every 2 minutes and 30 seconds, more and more people from other maps would start showing up and eventually you had a decent enough force to wipe the enemy. Sure it was OP as hell for the defending side, but those who were attacking satisfied because they were rewarded with epic fights of steadily increasing difficulty for 15+minutes.