Friday, December 15, 2017

The Bi-weekly Gamer: A struggle against the meta

February 3, 2016 by Adam Boyle, contributing writer

Back in November, I wrote an article on Guild Wars 2 and the then-newly released expansion pack. Since then, many fixes and updates have been dumped on the player base. Two big changes are the revamp of player-vs.-player (PvP) ranked matches and Elite Specializations, which aim to allow players to explore new ways to play their favourite class by giving them access to new skills and abilities.

Both changes have been met with praise and outrage. Specializations were seen as direct upgrades to classes, and some had ridiculously high damage or sustain that quickly became “meta” for PvP matches. The PvP overhaul was also met with mixed results, as players quickly exploited a few loopholes in the system to boost themselves past what their normal ranking should’ve been, allowing an awful player to be seen as at the top one percent.

The Bi-weekly Gamer is a column about competitive gaming that appears in every issue of Nexus.

The Bi-weekly Gamer is a column about competitive gaming that appears in every issue of Nexus.

Although both changes had negative aspects to them, they brought some fantastic changes to the game and made some less-played classes fun to play again. In addition, new rewards gave meaning to competitive PvP matches and, for the most part, made matches more fun to play with your friends.

Sadly, though, these have worn out as time has gone on and people have shied away from fun play styles, as they aren’t meta and don’t have a high win percentage for matches. Players now resort to high health and high armour play styles, which draw out games and make spectating incredibly boring.

Thankfully, the developers of the game have a solution.

January 26 was the first rollout date of their new quarterly balance patches. Among other things, loopholes in the PvP system were addressed, and matchmaking was fixed so games would be more even. On top of this, every single class had changes in some way. Some aimed at reducing damage or sustainability while others changed to open up play styles that might’ve been unused in the past. The impact of these changes will not be seen for a little while, but when they appear, hopefully they will create a better environment that helps Guild Wars 2 flourish.

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