I would like to give you all a quick update about world restructuring. It has been a few months since our last update, and we are happy to let you know that progress has been good. We have overcome a few major snags and bugs and this has put a few of our big goals in sight.
I am primarily working on World Restructuring with some of my time supporting the live game. These additional tasks include improvements for some live systems, addressing bugs and a bit of internal support for the team. I have worked on some QoL tasks such as removing participation decay outside of WvW. I hope that we soon will be able to announce some of the other things we have been working on. As I have discussed before, we are working on a live game, and so there are always a lot of moving parts.
We spent some time since the July update working on breaking down the remaining backend tasks. I have been focusing on getting those things done. Presently, many of the pieces are working on their own, though some things are still outstanding. Once I have all the parts I will begin the work of stitching it all together. I want to stress that while there has been a lot of work done, and we have made some really good and exciting progress, we are still a ways out from the launch of World Restructuring and Alliances.
One of the elements that currently is functional on the backend is the concept of WvW guilds and players being able to select a WvW guild. We test this using debug commands because none of the UI is in place, but the communication layers are there as well as the storage aspects of that data. This provides us with some of the data necessary for grouping people onto teams in the matchmaker.
Speaking of the matchmaker, I have completed a very basic implementation of a matchmaker that will churn through a huge list of players grouped by WvW guild and then place them on teams while keeping team sizes even. There is still a lot to do with this to get it to something that handles all the cases we want, but the early work and numbers look very promising.
We are taking a pragmatic approach to building and testing various parts of World Restructuring. We are already testing some of these systems in isolation using live data and the live environment. Using this method, we have already identified bugs and race conditions that would have been difficult to track down and fix with the whole system in place.
There has not been a ton of work on the player front end. We continue to focus on getting the core architecture solid so we can build the frontend on a working foundation. Once work is underway and we have something more tangible on the frontend, we can start discussing how we want to show off the new shinies to everyone.
What World Restructuring update would be complete without an FAQ section?
Is there an update on the Alliance (World Restructuring) system?
Yes, here it is!
Can NA and EU players join the same Alliance and play WvW together?
No. The NA and EU still will be split and have their own teams. While it technically will be possible for a guild or alliance to have members in both NA and EU, the system places those players on teams in their own datacenter.
Will I need to buy an Expansion to get into an alliance?
What about non-WvW groups that use their shard to influence map instance selection outside of WvW?
These players will be unaffected by this change. The system that chooses map instances does not consider shard.
How does the alliance system fix anything if people still will be able to transfer?
Currently, the plan is to change where we allow people to transfer, and to be more responsive to transfer restrictions for teams that are overpopulated. Some of the details of how this will work are in the original post about World Restructuring.
Will time zone imbalance still be an issue
It is true that in the initial release of World Restructuring we are not planning to consider time zone distribution when creating worlds. Part of that is so we can get the primary aspects of the system in and gather data about how the system works given the metrics we are using for balance. We want to compare apples to apples to give us the clearest information. This also will allow us to have a new baseline to compare against modifications to the metrics used for balancing the teams. We also are discussing some other ways to address “off hours” play, so stay tuned for more info as we can share it.
Are only WvW play hours, not all play hours, considered in the population calculation?
Yes, we only use play hours in WvW when doing the population calculations.
How Many Alliances can be on a team?
There is not a clear answer here other than “however many there need to be.” The focus is on getting the population balanced and not specifically on limiting the number of alliances per team.
Are you planning to update the API?
Yes. There will need to be some updates to the API to support the new system. Beyond that, I do not have details.
Is repping a guild the same as selecting it as my WvW guild?
No, repping is independent from selecting your WvW guild. You still will be able to rep whatever guild you like in WvW without changing the world the system places you on.
What is next? What comes after World Restructuring?
Whoa now! We should not get ahead of ourselves. World Restructuring is only one of the irons we have in the fire so we are talking about things post World Restructuring. These are things we are not ready or able to discuss yet but we’ll update you when we have more things to relay.