Guild Wars 2 PVP Video: Badass Looking Gear, Not Faceroll Advantage


In Guild Wars 2, when you do well in PVP, you earn gear that looks badass but that does not confer any statistical advantage over opponents. That is exactly how it should be. Cosmetic rewards are fun and maintain a level playing field.

In most MMORPGs I’ve played, the upper tier of PVP gear provides a faceroll advantage over lesser-geared players. The gear scaling creates a lousy customer experience for those players who just reached endgame, are casual, or have not yet raised their gameplay to a level sufficient to earn the best gear. And it creates a situation where I become increasingly bored, because the challenge diminishes as I gear up.

GW2 gets it right. Skill and coordination between players should be the driving factors for PVP outcomes, not gear.

Let me know what you think.

P.S. I have lots of awesome footage to sift through from BWE3, include my 1st look at Mesmer and two full tourneys (we won both). If you watch the outro at the end of the video, you can see me soloing an Engineer at the enemy trebuchet in a tournament match by smacking him around with my Axe. Stay tuned, more compelling content to follow.

P.P.S. I’ll be updating my “Run and Gun” and “Captain Hammer” Warrior specs per the changes in BWE3. I’m glad to report that both specs continue to be fully viable. But then again I never emphasized any of the broken mechanics before BWE3.

For more Guild Wars 2 content, subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Twitter.

UPDATE (2012/07/23): people have been asking about the gear system in PVE. Read this awesome post by Sotuken on Reddit:

This video was meant only towards Player versus Player (PvP) gear, that is totally separate from the Player versus Environment (PvE) gear.

In PvE the gear gets better as you play along. The only time you use your PvE gear in a PvP format is when you hop into the World versus World (WvW), where you fight in specific maps for objectives and bonus for your server.

I hope that helps. If you want to know something else, let me know.

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Posted in Game Design, Guild Wars 2, PVP, Video
22 comments on “Guild Wars 2 PVP Video: Badass Looking Gear, Not Faceroll Advantage
  1. I love this concept so much.

  2. I absolutely agree. Now if only I enjoyed GW2 PvP :-/

    • Edon/Jedon says:

      I haven’t gotten to try it. What don’t you like about it?

    • taugrim says:

      Jan Bloxham (@Gnug315) :

      I absolutely agree. Now if only I enjoyed GW2 PvP :-/

      I didn’t like it at first, it felt so foreign.

      But the more I played GW2, the more I grew to appreciate the subtleties of the combat system, especially how you have to target some abilities to land, and that you can counter attacks by dodge rolling and using defensive abilities.

  3. Aranan says:

    Hey, Taugrim, did you by any chance get some time in with the thief? They just seem to play so differently than the other classes since they’re initiative based instead of cooldowns–it feels even more different from the other seven than elementalist and its attunement swapping does to me.

    • taugrim says:

      Aranan :

      Hey, Taugrim, did you by any chance get some time in with the thief? They just seem to play so differently than the other classes since they’re initiative based instead of cooldowns–it feels even more different from the other seven than elementalist and its attunement swapping does to me.

      Nope. Was too busy trying Mesmer then testing the impact of changes to my “Run and Gun” and “Captain Hammer” builds.

  4. Aurum says:

    Hey Tau, realy enjoyed your video on the business perspective of SWToR.
    Any ways wondering if you have stoped streaming completly or if its just temporarly? Followed you alot when SWToR launched so was hoping you would stream now when GW2 goes live to!?
    Doesnt seem to be mutch new content on your twitch-site..!!??

    • taugrim says:

      Aurum :

      Hey Tau, realy enjoyed your video on the business perspective of SWToR.
      Any ways wondering if you have stoped streaming completly or if its just temporarly? Followed you alot when SWToR launched so was hoping you would stream now when GW2 goes live to!?
      Doesnt seem to be mutch new content on your twitch-site..!!??

      I haven’t had much time to play games.

      This past weekend was the only time I’ve been able to play any online game, because I’ve been mad busy with RL work.

      If I’m not playing games much, obviously I can’t stream.

      Maybe in a month or so when work slows down I’ll be able to stream. TBD.

  5. Fel says:

    Gratz on doing well in the tourny’s, and yes that gear does look badass. This was my first BWE and I started off by running your “Run and Gun” spec. It was very easy to pickup from your guide and I found myself doing very well in sPVP after a few hours of play. Didn’t even realize until later that I didn’t even have sigils added to my weapons. :)

    Also, curious to see how this build now looks with the Muskateer trait changes. Thanks.

    • taugrim says:

      Fel :

      Gratz on doing well in the tourny’s, and yes that gear does look badass. This was my first BWE and I started off by running your “Run and Gun” spec. It was very easy to pickup from your guide and I found myself doing very well in sPVP after a few hours of play. Didn’t even realize until later that I didn’t even have sigils added to my weapons. :)

      Also, curious to see how this build now looks with the Muskateer trait changes. Thanks.

      I had to make several tweaks to the spec to account for changes to traits and the nerf to Melandru Runes, which IMO are now borderline useless.

      http://www.gw2build.com/builds/taugrims-run-and-gun-warrior-build-rifle-axe-warrior-taugrim-796.html

      Run and Gun rocked in 5v5 tourneys. Stay tuned for awesome footage.

  6. n+1 says:

    What you say is just flat out wrong for everything outside of spvp. If you do well in wvw you get xp, money, karma, loot. If you get stomped in wvw you lose money and get no xp, karma or loot.
    Gear maters in wvw, your lvl matters in wvw, your race matters in wvw(sylvari imba roots ftw!). Money also matters to some degree(siege, potions/food, dmg buffs from mystic chests, etc.).

    If I look at the things I wrote above i come to the following conclusions:
    1) Arenanet thinks vertical progressions is good for pvp
    2) Arenanet thinks if you lose in pvp you should lose power, if you win you should gain power
    3) Arenanet thinks racial choices should have an impact on pvp

    If 1) were false, they would just let you take your setup from the mists to wvw
    If 2) were false, you would not incur damage to your gear when you die in wvw and you would not be rewared with xp, karma, money or loot for kills/taking objectives
    If 3) were false, they would not let you use the racial abilities in wvw

    I don’t want to bash anything, but what I listed above is the game I experienced.

    As far as I am aware, you are pretty much against every single point I listed here. Am i right in assuming this?
    Also why do you think Arenanet implemented such a huge difference between spvp and wvw?
    What do you think about this design choice?
    Do you have/see an issue with not advancing your wvw part of your character when doing spvp while at the same time you can advance the wvw part by doing pve?

  7. Davidnewski says:

    At this rate, GW2 will most likely become the new e-sport.

  8. duras t says:

    Taugrim, i generally always agree with you and i do about skill should be the deciding factor in pvp and not gear. however, i think GW2 is only a so-so game. the pvp is pretty meh imo. i know this is the ‘next big thing’ in gaming / MMOs so naturally u are going to cover it.

    ok so u get vanity gear. cool, but that isnt much of a carrot imo for gamers. how long u think that is going to hold people’s interest? i dunno either. i mean, what is there for people to do for the long run for pvp? u have spvp and u have WvW. the guy above me made a few good points too about WvW. gear matters, lvl matters. thus its vertical. so say u are a player running WvW and ur lvl 10, u will just get stomped. so then maybe u decide to go into spvp. ok…now u run game after game and u get glory aka honor aka comms whatever u want to call them. now u can just buy stuff that looks different. i wouldnt say it looks “bad ass”, but to each their own.

    i can hear gamers now ‘finally GW2 is out and we have real PVP!. But there’s no PVP gear? No ladder system? No “ranked” pvp at launch? What’s this glory and rank? the game matches u with other players based on how much glory u have and not ur wins?”
    essentially glory IS a rank. so say u get 5 glory for losing and 10 glory for winning. a person who does, say 100 sPvP games and loses them all will still “go up” in ranks and be placed against higher “ranked” people even though the player is terrible.

    so maybe u say “ok enough pvp. im getting owned in WvW and i dont feel like running anymore sPvP just for a different looking helmet. i will just pve and level up. wait, what do you mean GW2 has no raids… and less than half the number of flashpoints / instance as other games… oh and the world has 1/3 the number of quests? At least the zones are huge right! That’s awesome! Oh wait, there aren’t any mounts? None, zero mounts? I have to walk everywhere?

    As someone that played the GW2 beta every weekend I can promise you that people will be disappointed. Not because GW2 is a terrible game. It’s an ok game, but because it’s not nearly as good as people want/hope/need it to be. It will be flamed. For the same reason that D3 is right now. I’m worried the cash shop is going to influence the direction of the game. Maybe most people won’t see it right away. But I can already see the structures and systems in place. Which is really too bad, too bad indeed. i know it is only supposed to be vanity stuff in the cash shop but who is to say that wont change? already people who buy the digital/collectors edition get a chalice of glory. sure its probably not a huge boost in the scheme of things but it does give them a slight edge, for real money. same with the “exp boost” from the shop.

    anyways im not trying to troll or anything. I agree Anet is doing alot of things right. But i think you and alot of people are putting this game on a high pedestal when i dont think its there yet. maybe im just cynical from playing so many failed MMOs that ive given up hoping that a company will finally make a kick ass game.

    hopefully i am wrong and the game is awesome. thanks for all the vids and post. im still ur fan even though i somewhat disagree with you on this =)

    • taugrim says:

      duras t :

      Taugrim, i generally always agree with you and i do about skill should be the deciding factor in pvp and not gear. however, i think GW2 is only a so-so game. the pvp is pretty meh imo. i know this is the ‘next big thing’ in gaming / MMOs so naturally u are going to cover it.

      My initial impression of GW2 was not that positive. The more I played in BWE1 though, the more the game quickly grew on me and the more I appreciated the game design.

      It won’t be for everyone though.

      duras t :

      anyways im not trying to troll or anything. I agree Anet is doing alot of things right. But i think you and alot of people are putting this game on a high pedestal when i dont think its there yet. maybe im just cynical from playing so many failed MMOs that ive given up hoping that a company will finally make a kick ass game.

      hopefully i am wrong and the game is awesome. thanks for all the vids and post. im still ur fan even though i somewhat disagree with you on this =)

      Not sure why you think I’m putting the game on a pedestal.

      I’ve said GW2 has some great design, but I’ve also strongly disagreed with some of the design decisions, e.g. trait tiering.

  9. Vatec says:

    In theory, you’re correct: reducing the impact of gear on PvP should make it more balanced and fun. In practice, A. people who want balanced PvP can get that from a variety of FPS and RTS games and B. games that try to limit the impact of gear (i.e., Age of Conan) seem to get large amounts of feedback that says, “I’m quitting! Gear is meaningless in this stupid game!”

    In other words, many players who choose to PvP in MMOs, as opposed to more “balanced” game formats, seem to =want= gear to matter. The only real question is, “how much?”

    • taugrim says:

      Vatec :

      In theory, you’re correct: reducing the impact of gear on PvP should make it more balanced and fun. In practice, A. people who want balanced PvP can get that from a variety of FPS and RTS games and B. games that try to limit the impact of gear (i.e., Age of Conan) seem to get large amounts of feedback that says, “I’m quitting! Gear is meaningless in this stupid game!”

      In other words, many players who choose to PvP in MMOs, as opposed to more “balanced” game formats, seem to =want= gear to matter. The only real question is, “how much?”

      You’re conflating two unrelated things.

      MMOs are about massively multiplayer online experiences. I play MMOs instead of FPS for one simply reason: the community.

      Whether or not the gear scales in PVP is a different matter entirely.

      • Vatec says:

        I believe that makes you the exception, rather than the rule. Most players who PvP in MMOs PvP for the purpose of “pwning” people, not for “balanced competition.” I could be wrong, but my PvP-related experiences in Asheron’s Call, Dark Age of Camp-a-lot, EQ2, Age of Conan, and Rift tell me otherwise. For every PvPer seeking a “challenge,” there are a dozen or more who just want to gain some sort of advantage (gear-based, character development-based, whatever), “pwn” a whole bunch of “scrubs,” and then move on to the “next big thing.”

  10. Very interesting video. I’m looking at this video from a gear balance within GW2. Getting that shiny within sPvP, WvW and PVE.

    Starting to look like entering the tourney sPvP will be the fastest way to get the best looking gear. Would not be surprised if alot of players grind the tourney hoping for some quick epic loot.

    Can you get the same type of loot from the WvW?

    How about PVE? Wonder if it will take weeks if not months to collect the same type of loot from Dungeons, that a winning tournament team gets in hours.

    Wow, looks like a serious gear imbalance within GW2.

  11. EucridEucrow says:

    I feel that the gear that was obtained from tPVP was most likely accelerated to give people a taste within the compressed time of the bwe3. The same with leveling. It seemed that I was leveling waaay faster in bwe3 than bwe1 or 2 and that may be due to it being the last bwe and Arenanet wanting people to be able to check out the two new starting areas thoroughly within the limited time. Just pure speculation but it feels right.

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