If you were a WvW developer for a year, in what order would you solve problems?
Imagine that you were apart of a small team assigned to work on WvW or to work on "competetive" (PvP in general). How would you prioritize your workload knowing that you have somehwat limited resources? Here is mine (the ideas are old but now it considers order, timeframe and resources):
1. I would make EBG maps and rotate them in
I would make small alterations to the existing map. I would follow the reactions of the playerbase and be ready to follow up and iterate on my changes in a timely fashion in line with the relink/restructure cadence of 8 weeks or so (2-3 months). The first "new" map I would introduce is a version of EBG where SM is replaced by an open space with a camp. That's all I would do and then look at how the players adapt. The second map I would rotate in would be a version of EBG with one feature of EotM and DBL that was implemented poorly on those maps. I would keep the large open space in the middle that is easily captured by anything but I would make walls with lines of defense around each "home" cut of the map. The first layer would be a wall with camps behind. The second layer would be a line of interconnected towers. The keep would be the third layer. I would leave a large open space in the middle accessible to everyone for equal fights and roaming. The middle space would have the middle camp but could also have additional camps. If the players like a map I continue to test iterations of it, if the players dislike a map I may roll back to a better-liked map for a cycle to manage expectations.
2. I would replace the queue system with the overflow system
This is a big change but I am listing it as #2 to mark the start of work on it. The idea is to have a long term project that can be linked with #1. While I make low-effort changes to the EBG map every few months to follow player reactions and build up a battery of good maps (and a reserve of less appreciated maps) I would also begin working on a system that does not have homeborders, it only has overflows of the different EBG maps that are populated as maps fill up. It doesn't matter if this takes a year to complete, or two years like Alliances, as I will be producing bi-monthly "content" that I can later re-use when the larger underlying system is finished. The players will see the system come in piece by piece with a sense of getting continous development or attention and I can follow the feedback as the project progresses.
3. I would make a proper GvG map
Since we have a competetive team now that oversees both sPvP and WvW now and since we have limited time and resource I would probably opt to co-opt sPvP and WvW for GvG. While WvW players may prefer a map that uses WvW itemization, physics and balance I would probably look to save time by making the swiss tournament system appealing to GvG players in WvW. This would create a long-term perspective on balance being split between PvP and PvE rather than what now seems to be a split between "General", sPvP and WvW. I would balance things for PvP but keep scalability in mind. That makes things a bit more difficult but still only involves two PvP modes. It should not be impossible to balance well. I would then introduce support and maps for 5v5, 10v10, 15v15, 25v25 and 50v50 to the 2v2 swiss tournament system and the custom maps system.
4. I would solve population balance by balancing scoring to my overflow system with the outnumbered buff
Once the larger #2 project is finished and I can rotate maps (that I have already made) into EBG, remove the borders and have an overflow system in place so people don't have to wait in queues to get onto maps. I would then use a more sensitive version of the outnumbered buff to dictate score and value on the maps. For example: If one of the three sides falls more than 25% under the population of any other side the buff will appear but the map will also not generate score for the "servers". It will continue to generate personal rewards and continue to play as usual but as long as the buff is up for any side the map will not tally score to the weekly ladder system. That's how you create a ladder with some meaning, a ladder that only considers score that is being scored under relative population balance (a 25% margin). Everything else will just continue to play on as usual. People will get personal progression and rewards, they can form alliances, move and stack however they want but in terms of population and coverage score will only count when numbers are relatively balanced. It doesn't matter if maps are full or empty, score will count when they are relatively balanced (the buff). This will encourage stacking quality and spreading quantity out and it will balance out timezone coverage without punishing players outside primetime. I can do iterative work on refining the calculations for the outnumbered buff later on.
Now, what would you do?