ArenaNet announced the Guild Wars 2 megaserver system a couple of days ago, as part of the April feature pack. It matches players from the same region with the same interests – in terms of how they play Guild Wars – and chucks them all into the same map. And if a chum is on a different map, you can just jump to their version of the world and play together.
But a big, sweeping change like this naturally impacts other aspects of the game, such as world bosses, map events and guilds. ArenaNet has broken down how these features will evolve to make them fit with the megaserver system.
Right now, each world has a specific timer attached to the world bosses. ArenaNet released an API that tracked the timers, allowing players to schedule their playtime around events and boss battles. This will become increasingly obsolete from April 15th, when the megaserver system will start to be integrated into the game.
“In our new megaserver system, this use of the API won’t really make sense and would be hard to use, since maps could be starting (or closing) based on total game population at any time; as maps open and close, timers would be thrown into disarray, making it difficult to track and participate in boss events,” said ArenaNet’s Colin Johanson.
Instead, boss events and special events will occur at the same time on every world. ArenaNet has adopted a set of rotations based on the level of the event. Hardcore events that require large, organised groups will all occur within a three hour window every eight hours. Standard world events will occur on the hour and every half hour in a repeating rotation. And low level 1 – 15 events occur at 15 minutes and 45 minutes past the hour, rotating between four of them.
If the schedule for these events doesn’t provide any appropriate times for your guild, you can also activate them outside of their scheduled times. They can be activated after a guild unlocks the Guild World Events upgrade, which allows for the creation of a consumable an officer may use at the event site.
While many of the megaserver changes will start on April 15th, ArenaNet has a long term plan with extra features that won’t come into play until later this year, probably December. One of them is a shift in how guilds spread across multiple worlds work.
“Currently, a single guild with members from different home worlds has a unique chapter on each of those worlds,” Johanson said. “While members from all worlds share a common guild, these chapters unlock upgrades and earn influence and merits independently of one another, which can lead to a splintered guild community. With the new megaserver system, you’ll find it infinitely easier to play with all of your guildmates—and better yet, someday you’ll simply have one guild!”
Absent the world boundaries that separate players, each member of a guild will contribute to a single, unified chapter instead of the offshoot based in their homeworld.
ArenaNet also wanted to address concerns about World vs. World. Guild Wars 2’s PvP is built around pitting combatants from particular worlds against each other, forging a realm identity. The megaserver won’t change this. ArenaNet is saving the details for what’s happening with WvW for later, but right now it sounds a bit like how it works if you’re a guest on another world. Right now, if you’re a guest on a world, when you switch to WvW, you’re still fighting on the side of your original homeworld. So no double agents, then.