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Guild Wars 2 PvP preview

ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2 marches to the beat of a slightly different drummer, as we discussed in a preview earlier this where we discussed all of the ways Guild Wars 2 is different from other MMOs. One way in particular is in the player-versus-player combat, which is unique for a number of reasons.

Above: Check out our video preview of the game's PvP offerings

The first is sort of utility: everyone’s fighting on the same side in Guild Wars 2. There are no factions, no rival races, and no giant war going on between two playable armies. This means that there’s no open-world PvP. Instead, Guild Wars 2 has two different types of PvP.

The first should be immediately recognizable to anyone who has ever played an MMO. At any time, players can queue up for a PvP battleground, jumping into a game of Capture Point and battling against other players. In this mode, every player is stripped of their items and given equalized stats, completely leveling the playing field. ArenaNet described it as being more akin to Counter-Strike than other MMO combat, with levels build for competitive play. We definitely understood this comparison; removing any benefits of items or levels makes it so everyone is even, and if no one goes into the game with a bonus it puts every player on an even playing field.

The second game mode, World versus World, is much more unique. Players are still leveled up to 80 when they join, but their skills and items remain the same. This mode factors in character progression, and for good reason: it’s an all-out war between rival servers. In World versus World, players join a giant open, persistent world and fight against players from other servers, all while trying to capture territory across the map. It’s like the best part of Warhammer Online thrown into its own, seprate game mode, and it’s a great time.

Above: More PvP gameplay goodness

The battle resets every two weeks, too, and servers are reassigned to fight more balanced opponents every time to keep things fair. Lose and you’ll be placed against other servers that couldn’t compete at as high of a level – win and your server is given a buff, and put against harder difficulties. It’s crazy ambitious, and we can’t wait to try it out more as the game’s release approaches.

Hollander Cooper was the Lead Features Editor of GamesRadar+ between 2011 and 2014. After that lengthy stint managing GR's editorial calendar he moved behind the curtain and into the video game industry itself, working as social media manager for EA and as a communications lead at Riot Games. Hollander is currently stationed at Apple as an organic social lead for the App Store and Apple Arcade.