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What is Anet's Vision for WvW?


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In the latest blog post, there's mention of systems being reworked to ensure the WvW experience reflects their vision...but I'm not sure we know what that vision is?

It may have changed recently with the recent new (old?) blood coming in.  Here's the last time that I know of that they spoke somewhat directly on their vision for WvW: https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/devon-carver-on-the-future-of-world-vs-world/

It's a blog post from 2013 by someone who, to my knowledge, no longer works at Anet.  There's also ample reason to believe that this is outdated since the vision they lay out doesn't seem to have come to pass.

-It talks about how 'support' roles are not rewarded well and specifically says that players who repair walls are not compensated well for their service...but that hasn't changed?

-Commanders were supposed to get more tools.  Squads definitely fit here, so maybe this one is legit.

-Guilds were supposed to be rewarded for taking an active, positive role.  I don't think this has happened, but maybe some guild-focused players can comment?

-They wanted dynamic match-ups.  I don't know if this has happened, but I do think they've consistently tried to make it happen so this is probably part of the vision.

-They speak of player 'roles,' specifically Commanders, Scouts, Siege Masters and Defenders.  They say they want to "introduce more systems that encourage play within a wide variety of roles" and reward players who do those tasks so that they feel properly valued.  I don't get any sense of recognized roles in WvW outside of commanders.  Rewards have improved drastically since 2013, though.


-On PPT, they say this: "Right now our game rewards you for holding an objective, not necessarily for taking it, and overwhelmingly favors the last server to log out for the day. We have some ideas in the pipeline to try to increase scoring when people are playing the game and to make it much more difficult to keep your territory without actively guarding it."  Since then, they've given some points for taking structures but also increased points for holding an objective.  Skirmishes were added to reduce the effectiveness of being the last server to log out.  In a general sense, I think their updates have made it more difficult to keep territory without actively guarding it, but those updates (like increasing map size) were generally reverted in some way.


-On siege, they say this: "We are going to take a much closer look at all of the siege in the game to bring it in line with where we want it to be. Arrow carts should be deadly for players who get caught beneath their hail of arrows, but there should be a viable way to counter them with other siege — we don’t think that “MOAR arrow carts!” should be the answer to every situation. WvW is a mix of players fighting other players and players fighting against the various weapons of war, so we’ll be introducing balance changes that will give you a reason to use every piece of siege at the proper time."  That doesn't sound familiar at all.  Trebuchets are still mostly pointless as offensive siege because distance isn't much of an advantage because walls are not scary for attackers.  Ballistae are mostly worthless as well.  They can technically do damage, but realistically aren't going to accomplish much.  ACs are pretty hard to counter with other siege, but technically shield gens can do that...technically.  I don't know if they ever took a closer look at siege but this doesn't seem to have been their vision.


-On zergs, they say this: "The zerg is an important part of the game, but it shouldn’t be the best strategy for victory."  They further clarify: "

An important distinction should be made between large, organized groups of players making strategic strikes and mindless groups of players running around in a mob. The former are deadly and effective. The latter can be deadly at times but tend to be sorely lacking in strategy. Our goal is to continue to encourage organized large groups while giving small, tactical groups the necessary tools to put a dent into larger mobs of less-skilled players. We think that it can be fun to run around in a zerg — but we also think that the game should be about tactical acumen and skill more than sheer numbers.

In order to achieve that, we will continue to make tweaks to the scoring system to properly reward smart play and to make it possible for a server to prevail over superior numbers with superior tactics. We will also continue to make changes to siege weapons and introduce new siege weaponry to throw the balance in favor of well-organized groups while retaining the joy of jumping right into things for more casual WvW players."


I don't think the direction the game has gone in since 2013 has stressed tactical acumen and skill more than sheer numbers.  It seems harder than before for a small, skilled group to beat a mindless zerg.  Also, I have no idea what changes they were making to siege weapons to throw the balance in favor of well-organized groups.  Maybe this was the plan when buffing ACs...but then nerfing them?  It's possible that this is still their vision, but it doesn't seem that way?

Does anyone know of a more recent time where they laid out their vision?  I've seen bits and pieces of it here and there--mostly in livestreams with like 400 views--but not enough that I have a clear picture of what it is.

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Here's the rationale for Desert BL (2015):
(note the beta for it did not have as much of a lagfest on the laser event that was removed)

2015 squads/subgroups added: https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/introducing-enhanced-squad-ui/

2016 we had a portable cannon for a short time.

Skirmish tracks were added in 2017.https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/updates-to-world-vs-world-skirmishing-and-rewards/

Warclaw (2019) which most people were opposed to:

Conflux was added in 2020.

Edited by Infusion.7149
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The DBL post is a good reference, though it talks about a few new dimensions ("giving players the opportunity to make intelligent—or foolish—tactical plays in nuanced terrain") without addressing the majority of what the first post did.  It makes an allusion to zergs here: "We want to give players solid reasons to keep their keeps, so you might find that running up to knock on your enemy’s front door with a big group isn’t the most efficient path to victory."  But subsequent changes have ensured that zergs are still the most efficient path to victory so...which is it?  Given that DBL was almost entirely reverted, I don't know if this is a good indication of what their vision is right now.


Skirmish tracks seem like a realization of wanting to give more rewards regardless of how people make their contribution.  That's why the rewards part of their vision seems to have endured.

Warclaw...I don't see how that fits.  It felt and feels like a random addition that wasn't thought through ahead of time rather than part of some larger vision for the game.

I had to google Conflux to find out what it was, but maybe that also fits into rewards?

This is a puzzle with a billion pieces, though, so all of these get us a little closer I hope.

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DBL was a step in the wrong direction as the original iteration was completely closed off between towers and keeps. You had to kill rock walls in order to transverse the territory ("towers now wall off larger sections of the map and create real choke points"). After those barriers were removed the towers didn't have much strategic value, which is why map design is important. On Alpine BL you can siege a keep from a tower and vice versa and the same goes for EBG.

Skirmish tracks put an emphasis on gameplay every 5 minutes, sieging a keep constantly but not actually using siege or not killing players was penalized. Hiding in keeps as a thief or mesmer was penalized. If you like roaming or not playing in a large squad it is penalized unless you obtain outnumbered pips. It also put a tangible reason to level WVW rank beyond ~1K.

Warclaw was released for people to "get back in the fight". The initial iteration had 3 dodges (which was nerfed thankfully), no lance skill, and msot people consider the chain pull a waste of supplies to this day. At its inception the engage skill also hit 10 people so there were full groups of warclaws engaging on people and instakilling them.

Conflux legendary ring showed that the reward design is such that captures are as important as kills , if not more important.

Edited by Infusion.7149
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I'm not sure the Warclaw was originally meant for getting back in the fight.  If we look at the announcement (https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/the-warclaw-is-here/), they say:


Because of WvW’s unique design, we took a different approach to designing the warclaw’s skills. Rather than focusing on game-changing movement mechanics, which would have been broken in WvW, we focused on giving the warclaw unique skills that would enhance the existing WvW mechanics.

They then list Evade, Battle Maul and Chain Pull.  The Evade part was later massively nerfed (thank god...), Battle Maul was also nerfed and Chain Pull has always been irrelevant.  Thus, if their vision for the Warclaw had anything to do with its skills...that vision isn't really in the game any longer.

Meanwhile, the Warclaw is mostly used for running around as a zerg.  It does let people more easily get back into fights, but the addition of the lance and removal of the dodges diminished that aspect.  If we recall that their stated vision was to avoid "game-changing movement mechanics" as those would be "broken," it seems very strange that the Warclaw is now used exclusively for it's game-changing movement mechanics.


On top of that, one of the design choices they made on DBL (per multiple player requests over the years) was to increase how long it took for a zerg to cross the map.  The idea was that this would make mono-blobbing less effective as it would be harder to respond to multiple attacks without splitting up.  However, adding the Warclaw effectively reverted this change by making zergs faster.  So is their vision to encourage splitting up or not?


Since the Warclaw's stated vision was an immediate bust and it's eventual vision went against previous updates and even the Warclaw announcement itself, it seems to me like it was thrown out just to have a mount in WvW.  The skills were quickly slapped together with little thought and it was released without even rudimentary testing on if it could jump over objective walls and completely break the game.  Thus, I don't think it's very useful for determining Anet's vision.

At the same time, I think we have to understand that they may not really be able to give vision statements on specific aspects of WvW.  Everything is on the chopping block per their last blog, so any vision statements they make may end up changing in the near future.  It might be easier to just remain vague to avoid having to backtrack.  Even general statements may be impossible.  For example, in their last blog they say:


WvW is a complicated game mode that’s played in numerous ways. Some players enjoy fights, some enjoy taking objectives, and some enjoy running away from fights (he-he). Experiences can even vary wildly between shards (we’re looking at you, Maguuma). Finding the best solution for population balance that considers these differing playstyles is a challenging proposition and not something that we can do without your input.

This might suggest they're trying to please everyone, but they also say they are just 'considering' these playstyles so...maybe not?  I don't think there's any path forward that pleases both the people who do objective-based play and the people who abhor objectives in WvW.  You can't satisfy someone that wants to eliminate objectives and PPT to have an open-field team deathmatch while also satisfying someone that wants a robust territory control game.  If you waffle back and forth or try to skate in the middle, you satisfy no one.  It seems like their plan is to try and convince the Team Deathmatch crowd to care about objectives by offering better rewards...but I don't think that's going to work.

Making a statement to that effect would get them crucified.  Whichever side they didn't choose would likely abandon the game as well.  This may be ultimately unavoidable, but going the slow route may let them retain a few more players.

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I need to find the place it was written or said, but warclaw was definitely for people to get back in the fight. It might have been a let's play WvW stream from Arenanet.
edit: probably this one

The fact of the matter is the "fights" guilds that GvG in a corner of the map and don't do anything else have the EotM arena. In addition , if they deliver on the  15v15 PvP format that could satisfy some but not all GvG players.

Edited by Infusion.7149
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Here's a summary of that video:


-Ben P. was given a prototype and then worked on the skills.
12:40 - They considered how the Warclaw might break the game.  Such as how it might be able to get into objectives over walls.  They had one person (Cal, who also tested gliding) do the testing and acknowledged that they were going to miss some (they did catch many).  One of the reasons they chose to do a WvW specific mount was because they wanted to be able to make changes without worrying about its PvE use.
16:20 - They didn't want the dash to be too high or too long.
19:00 - They experimented with many things for the evade.
20:00 - Considered that it might be too powerful in fights.
22:30 - They say many new players have entered for Warclaw and decided to stick around.  They designed the unlocking to be a tour of WvW to teach new people how to play.
24:45 - They say people came back to them and said 'the Warclaw is fine, I was wrong.'
25:45 - Ben says it doesn't break the game like people thought it would.  So far, absolutely no mention of shorter travel times.
~30:00 - They considered having a mount rental and were still considering at the time of the stream.
-The rest is narrative and sound design stuff.

Based on this video, they seem to have made more of a good faith effort than what the end product suggested to me.   I was probably too harsh on them earlier.

They didn't say anything about what they actually hoped the Warclaw would do, however.  There's plenty of talk about how cool it will be and a general sense that adding mounts to WvW was of course going to happen eventually, but they don't actually discuss why they chose these particular skills and why they gave it this hp pool and these evades, etc.  There isn't any mention of wanting players to get back into fights faster.  There's also no mention of the impact of making every player on the map move faster (except for a few comments about how being left behind by the zerg actually isn't a huge issue).

That means we're left to guess as what they were going for based on what they did.  It's possible that none of the things I mentioned above were a concern--perhaps they just wanted a cool mount to bring new players into WvW and share some of the non-WvW updates with the WvW population.  On that front, they seem to have succeeded.  I don't think it was worth the cost if that was the only goal.

It doesn't bring us any closer to knowing if they want to increase or decrease travel times either.


Edit: Maybe I should mention why this is so important to me.
In any RvR game, from DaoC to Fantasy Earth Zero, there is an inverse relationship between inter-objective travel times and average player group size.  If players can move quickly between objectives, their group size tends to grow as there is always power in numbers.  If it takes a while to travel, group size has to shrink or else they won't be able to control much territory despite their powerful numbers.
WvW became a zergfest on ABL precisely because the primary objectives (the keeps) were all squashed into a rectangle about a third of the size of the map.  Towers were never viable for defense since the southern towers are very biased toward the people in that corner and the northern towers took literal days to upgrade.  Zergfests greatly compound population imbalance.  I actually quit WvW (along with most people I played with) due to this.

DBL seemed like a step toward spacing the keeps out a bit more while normalizing tower upgrades and camp distance from keeps (and, therefore, yak route speeds and upgrade times).  Among other things, I returned to WvW because it seemed to be moving away from zerg supremacy (while still enabling the occasional massive fight.)  The Warclaw is a step back towards a single zerg being able to effectively control the whole map.  I don't think we're all the way there yet (on DBL) as there were other steps away than just travel times, but if that's where we're headed then I want to know so I can get off the train.  I feel like they've been yanking my chain for years.

Edited by Sviel.7493
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Okay I found the right one, sorry about that.

we wanted to do a couple
things I mean we want until to make it a
little bit easier to get back into
fights because we think there was some
room there for change oh we wanted to
actually we're hoping to bring in some
new players into world versus world as
well we know a lot of them won't stay
but a lot of them will hopefully come
and take a look and like what they find
and then just adding something new like
world versus world has been and it's
been necessary to add something new and
fresh to it for a while we've been
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The forums seem to have done something unholy to your summary, so here's another:


-Chat has a few people saying they plan to check on WvW for the Warclaw.
-This stream preceded the other by a week or so.
14:00 - Raymond says the Chain Pull is meant to accelerate gate entry alongside rams.  On stream, it does 2k damage per pull at the cost of one supply.  This is 40k damage for 20 supply which isn't much.  I don't get the impression that the skill is meant to be anything but thematic--it isn't going to have an actual effect on gameplay as it is strictly worse than building a ram and barely faster than PvD.  Maybe if Hardened Gates actually mattered...?
14:25 - Ben notes that they didn't want to remove rams from the game by introducing Chain Pull.  No word on what they did want to do, though.
14:30 - Mike Z. notes that people are concerned that the Warclaw may trivialize the time it takes to get back to zergs or travel across the map.  God Bless Mike Z.  Ben says it was a big concern.  They made the mount slower than other mounts so as not to remove attrition...however, they do not address that being slower than other mounts is still a relative speed increase.  The question is answered only in regard to attrition in zerg battles, but perhaps that was due to how it was initially framed.
16:10 - Mike Z., who is quickly becoming my favorite Anet employee, asks what the intent was behind the Warclaw.  Ben says:
    - They wanted to make it a little bit easier to get back into fights.
    -They're hoping to bring some new players in WvW.
    - Adding features available elsewhere makes WvW feel more like a part of the game.
After they move on to demonstrate the spiking feature on the pounce.
22:45 - Raymond reiterates that the mount is a "get you back into the fight" thing.
23:10 - Ben P. says the mount has low health compared to a player so it's easy to dismount people.  It has 12k health and, at the time of screening, 3 massive evades.
23:35 - Bae Mike Z. asks "what is the ideal scenario when players get their hands on a Warclaw?"  
Raymond says he wants to see how people use it as back-up cavalry.  He later turned out to be right--people used it as back-up cavalry but also as initiation and basically just the whole fight.  This led to the maul skill being nerfed a bunch.  He also says he wants to see new faces in WvW and says that bring new people is an "obvious, straightforward thing" the mount will do.  Earlier, he acknowledged that not all new faces would stay.  
Ben P. says he hopes people use the extra speed and the sniff to scout out areas.  This seems like another direct vision back-track from the lower visibility on DBL.  He notes that they have possible future plans for more skills in the future (none so far I think?)
26:10 - Raymond says Crankshaft Depot is his favorite tower.
26:30 - Mike Z. attacks a mounted Raymond.  Raymond and Ben P. say this shows that mount health is very low but...Raymond only got dismounted because he ran back to Mike Z. and galloped in circles around him while waiting to get hit.  Had he attempted to escape, he likely would have.  Someone in chat notes that you have to spend serious cooldowns to dismount a player which puts you at a major disadvantage in the following fight.
27:25 - Raymond notes they made a WvW specific mount so they can tweak it as they please.
36:45 - They mention that they considered having the Chain Pull double as a dismount for other players.  Ultimately, they didn't go with it because the skill was already complicated to pull off.  Later, a separate dismount skill was added.

Mike Z. asked a few questions on the intent behind the Warclaw so we finally have a partial answer.  Mostly, they said they wanted to make it a little easier to get back into fights and to bring new players into WvW.  They did not address the impact of the general movespeed increase outside of the specific zerg vs. zerg attrition scenario.  Not a great sign, imo.


They discussed the skills briefly as well.  Chain Pull was designed not to replace rams.  On that front, it has succeeded.  However, it doesn't actually do anything...so perhaps it's just meant to add a bit of flavor.  Maul was meant to sway fights.  It did that far too well and got nerfed.  Sniff was meant to scout.  I don't know if this worked out--I've never heard of anyone successfully scouting with it since it doesn't detect stealthed enemies, but I don't run in zergs so perhaps I'm just not in a position to know.  They also note that they considered giving Chain Pull a dismount function but decided against it due to how complex the skill already was to implement.  A separate dismount was added later.  This suggests that the primary motivation behind the skills wasn't gameplay--if a dismount was needed, that workaround should have been used from the start.  Instead, a critical part of the mount balance ecosystem was left out.


They seem to believe that players are easily dismounted via damage but...that definitely is not how anyone but rangers feels.  There was no mention of how the mount's hp or skills mesh with its stated purpose of getting players back into the fight quicker.  All the rest feels tacked on.


There's no discussion of the ramifications of making entire zergs faster.

This is similar to the time they doubled siege health to compensate for making it vulnerable to conditions, but somehow didn't notice that this doubled the time it took for siege to kill siege for years...only to finally give a double siege damage effect to one ballista skill.  I can't say for sure that the fiasco was unintentional because it was never mentioned, explained or acknowledged, but it sure doesn't inspire confidence.



Still, incomplete as it may be, this gives us a little more insight into what their vision might be.  Definitely a good find.

Edited by Sviel.7493
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Sniff is used heavily in this scrapper heavy meta, the only other thing that can be used to counter stealth gyro is detection pulse on utility goggles (a scrapper skill). It is also used to scout out if enemies are stacking behind a wall or gate to ambush you when you enter a keep.

Anyway I hope that what I linked helps you with the thought process of what has been implemented thus far. There's quite a bit I disagree with but I am just relaying what the devs have stated was the intention.

At the very least I hope now you believe me when I said they stated in the past it (warclaw) was to get back in the fight.

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On 9/11/2021 at 12:57 PM, Infusion.7149 said:

You had to kill rock walls in order to transverse the territory ("towers now wall off larger sections of the map and create real choke points"). After those barriers were removed the towers didn't have much strategic value

Don't know why they made those barrier walls destructible, and so easily.


Their EotM towers are much better and actually wall off sections to add real progression. 


The other stuff like the wormhole portals and the undermap bridges not the best but after learning the map weren't terrible.

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25 minutes ago, Infusion.7149 said:

Sniff is used heavily in this scrapper heavy meta, the only other thing that can be used to counter stealth gyro is detection pulse on utility goggles (a scrapper skill). It is also used to scout out if enemies are stacking behind a wall or gate to ambush you when you enter a keep

Sniff doesnt reveal. It has nothing to do with the scrapper.

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About support roles:

Currently, you still need to hit an enemy to get kill participation. Healing and giving boons only lowers the dmg threshold you need to overcome. 

But hitting players is not your job. You have to actively go out of your way to get bags/wxp. 

Meaning a scourge mindlessly spamming AoEs, hitting as many enemies as possible, gets the most rewards.

While a Support who tries their best gets next to no rewards. 

In addition to that. Healing someone gets more kill participation then boons. 

Which means that the problem above gets even worse if the enemy does no dmg, as giving boons alone do next to nothing. 


The current loot system heavily discourages effektiv support game play. 

Edited by DanAlcedo.3281
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14 minutes ago, Dawdler.8521 said:

Or in other words, GW2 isnt designed for you to be a 100% support bot.

Do you not have a weapon?

That like asking a medic why he doesn't kill people after him asking why his pay so low. 

Do I have a weapon? Yes of course. 

But it's not my job to hit people. 

A DPS player won't use a skill that's a dps lose. 

Same as a healer doesn't use Dmg skills if I have other skills off CD. 

 Best examples are Tempest and Scrapper. 

Why should I hit people with my hammer when medkit 1 is always the best choice when other support skills are on CD. 

Why switch away from Water Staff when Air/Fire don't do anything on minstrel gear and switch away means I lose soothing mist and heal multiplier. 


Yes. Pure support roles can tag. 

They just need to stop the role they play to do it AND hope that the dmg they do is high enough to count. 




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1 hour ago, DanAlcedo.3281 said:

The current loot system heavily discourages effektiv support game play. 

I can only say for support fb, but prior to the reflect-to-resolution change it was way easier to get bags.

1 hour ago, Dawdler.8521 said:

Or in other words, GW2 isnt designed for you to be a 100% support bot.

Do you not have a weapon?

For zerg fights 2 out of 5 players in a party are support, and will just not tag as many players as the necros and revs. Even if you melee train you won't tag as many players.

You can say "but but, thats how YOU play the game, it doesn't have to be played that way". But I don't think there is another answer to mass CCs and condi vomit, which is part of the game design. So I don't think its fair to say "the game is not designed for you to be a support bot", at least not when it comes to wvw large scale fights (which is the point made here, that you don't get as much loot as the rest of your zerg). The game can of course be redesigned, in theory, but gl with that.

Though personally I never joined big fights for loot bags, I join because its fun (even if repetitive). So I don't really care either way.

Edited by Hotride.2187
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4 minutes ago, displayname.8315 said:

Plenty of scrappers are good enough to switch from mortar to med kit at the appropriate times.  Some guilds are good enough they don't need to pirate ship and spam mesmer pulls.


So I'll agree "it's just how YOU play" and stop crying to anet about your lame comp

Imagine playing Mortar on Support Scrapper. 


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Per their last blog post (https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/studio-update-world-restructuring-and-the-future-of-world-vs-world/), we do know where they stand concerning the lack of rewards for support roles:


After World Restructuring, we’ll be looking to make WvW more rewarding, with a focus on active play. There’s two major parts to this. First, we’ll be looking at improving individual rewards for participation and performance. This will be a mix of adding new rewards and improving older systems. As an example, we’d like to address how support players are under rewarded.

Less clear is their stance on the lack of rewards for tactical support roles, like scouts.

Edited by Sviel.7493
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I use sniff to check areas around corners or walls from a distance, or find stragglers when you clear a zerg from your keeps, what else would you use it for. You can hear stealth pop sounds from a long distance, and most times zergs will have people that peek or show their name tags through walls and stuff, not hard to see nearby where people stack and then name tags disappear when they're trying to stealth bomb.

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21 hours ago, Sviel.7493 said:

Less clear is their stance on the lack of rewards for tactical support roles, like scouts.

Just as an aside: This is why the pips system, despite its flaws and detractors, is a far superior system for WvW. The older systems' distribution issues are not as simple as "damage gets lots, healing does not". Even among damage dealers there are notable differences between classes and builds. There are also differences between behaviours where people may opt to spread damage out in favour of personal XP and bags rather than focusing it to down opposing players. So the pips system not only deals more fairly with support contra damage, it also deals better with behaviour, damage-to-damage disparities, other forms of support like running Mesmer, other scales like running smaller and other types of subcontent like the aforementioned scouting. Overall, that would suggest that iterating on pips is superior to iterating on tagging bags or capping.

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