The top WvW server in Guild Wars 2 for the six weeks following launch was Henge of Denravi (HoD). Our server, Blackgate (BG), faced them in September and HoD fielded a high number of players coupled with high organization, mainly due to the efforts of the Titan Alliance (TA) between PVP guilds. We couldn’t take a tower or depot without triggering a significant reaction within a short period of time. HoD dominated, and it was impressive to watch.
Unfortunately, the success of HoD brought an influx of bandwagoners via the free server transfers. Over time the original players on HoD found themselves penalized for their success – they had to compete with the bandwagoners for the same WvW map queues. Given the degrading experience and to promote better server competition, earlier this month TA disbanded and dispersed to other servers.
HoD was unable to compete without TA on the field. I didn’t realize this had happened until we faced HoD recently in the WvW matchup between the #4-6 ranked servers. The first night we crushed HoD, and by the time the matchup was finished, BG had hundreds of thousands of points compared to under 15k for HoD and the other server. I asked on Twitter what happened to HoD and heard the story from other players:
What’s the underlying issue here? Free server transfers without a meaningful cooldown.
We’re going to feel the pain of it soon on BG, as we’re in the #1-3 matchup and leading. This matchup has been the most closely contested I’ve seen in GW2 and therefore most fun WvW and World PVP that I’ve experienced in years. E.g. the score last night was ~105k BG, ~95k Jade Quarry, and ~85k Stormbluff Isle.
Last night I heard from Crescens that ArenaNet is implementing a 1-week cooldown on free server transfers starting on November 1st. That will slow the rate of bandwagoners who will transfer to Blackgate, but that will only delay the tide. As long as players can transfer for free to the top server, they will continue to do so, to the detriment of the quality of WvW experience for those players already on that server. The last few days on Blackgate we’ve had an acceptable WvW queue time during peak hours of 15 minutes or less, but that queue time will increase with an influx of bandwagoners.
I am glad to know that ArenaNet realizes that there is an issue, but I doubt the 1-week cooldown on free transfers will be enough.
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