Ho-hum. Another matchup with the same three home worlds in Guild Wars 2 WvW. Oh, look, we’re out to an early lead. Oh look, the other two home worlds have no chance or have given up. Yawn.
That seems to be how things have been going on my home world for the past month, at least, where it’s been Blackgate vs. Sanctum of Rall vs. Tarnished Coast, with TC occasionally being replaced by Isle of Janthir – and it seems unlikely that this stalemate is ever likely to be broken. Not only does losing every week probably demoralize the losing worlds, it also leads to a serious case of “blahs” for the winners.
What can be done? I don’t mind playing against the same opponents every week – the idea is to match up worlds with similar ratings and skill levels, after all, and if our matchup of the fourth, fifth, and sixth best WvW worlds was interrupted by an appearance from #8 or #12, that one would probably get ROFL-stomped into submission on the first day.
So how can we make the current matchups more exciting while also introducing the possibility of mixing up the rankings and providing other, possibly competitive matchups?
Right now, it’s fairly easy for a home world to win (or lose) its matchup within the first day or two. One world gets out to an early lead, or two of them outpace the third, and it’s essentially over for at least one HW. It’s like your baseball team being down 8-0 in the first inning or your football team being down 24-0 after one quarter. Sure, there’s a very miniscule chance you can come back, but, realistically, it ain’t going to happen.
But what if your baseball team is down 8-0 in the first game of the World Series? Sure, you’ll probably lose that first game, but you’ll only be down one game to none in a seven-game series. That’s something you can totally come back from, and many baseball teams have.
I propose that, instead of simply accumulating points that are totaled up as the week goes on, each day is scored individually, and the sum total of those “scores” determines weekly winners. In other words, instead of the score being something like 250,000 to 120,000 to 65,000, it would be more like 4 to 2 to 1, with each day’s “win” scoring one point. ArenaNet could also consider awarding “points” for each of the three placements per day: 2 for first, 1 for second, 0 for third. At the end of the week, ties could be broken by total points, or whatever other means seems fair.
Now consider the possibilities: Unless one server completely blows away the other two every single day, there will almost always be some kind of competition after six days. With the “one point per day” method, it might be 3-3-0, 3-2-1 or – we might hope – 2-2-2. Even if it’s 6-0-0 or 4-1-1 the two trailing worlds might try to give it a little more to avoid that dreaded third-place finish, providing some meaningful drama even in a blowout.
With each individual day being potentially important – regardless of how poorly you might have done on a previous day – interest could be kept longer into the week. Right now, being down 100,000 to 10,000 to 10,000 after two days means your world simply isn’t going to win the week’s matchup, even if you “win” the next five days by a slim margin. Under the new system, you’d be down 2-0-0 and slim daily victories would keep you in the hunt.
And here’s the best reason to do this: Guild WvW Nights.
Suppose your guild would like to organize a weekly WvW night. You might decide that Tuesday is your night, the time when you’re going to dominate WvW and “win it for your team.” Under the current format, even a few hours in prime time on one night is likely to have little overall impact, especially if you’re far behind or far ahead in the weekly scoring. With a daily format, you could very well win the day for your home world and have a very significant impact on the weekly score.
And imagine if several guilds on a single world decided to coordinate their actions to these ends. One guild takes lead on Sundays, another on Tuesdays, another on Wednesdays…
Of course, this won’t completely prevent blowouts, like the 4-1-1 or 6-0-0 situations mentioned above. But it would at least make things seem a little more attainable by “compacting” the scores, even if only from a psychological standpoint. Being down by 50,000 points seems insurmountable; being down by one or two doesn’t.
And would this mix up the rankings a little bit more? I would think that having different home worlds win every now and then would have that effect, and this system would conceivably make it so that lower-ranked worlds stand a chance against higher-ranked ones, if they time their daily surges properly.
Note that none of this fixes mechanical issues with WvW, from abusive powers, OP classes, ease/difficulty of sieges; I’ll leave that for others to pontificate on. This is simply a possible amendment to scoring that I think would provide for better, more interesting matchups – and, most importantly, keep people interested in WvW.