Just a Wintersday Wish

Just a few more days till Wintersday! Oh, how much do I love this time of year! My Wintersday tree in Divinity’s Reach is looking all shiny and snowy, my Shoulder Snowflakes refilled with fresh Shiverpeaks snow and some nice Wintersday gifts are sitting in my bank already.

I really like what happened to us last year, a really enjoyable Season 3, the new expansion Path of Fire that took us back to Elona and the Crystal Desert, and the kick-off for the Living Story Season 4 (probably my favorite patch so far in-game). Going back to Istan and visiting Fahranur again, fun and repeatable meta events and all these books at the Astralarium and other small lore things. Amazing job there!

They even added some new things to World vs World. I’ve always wanted exclusive WvW weapon and armor skins, and maybe even legendaries, but nothing too easily obtainable. And they did a good job here. Different tiers of the Triumphant armor and weapon sets, requiring Skirmish Tickets and time dedication, while for the 2nd and 3rd tier even just a very low World vs World rank will do (although the Mistforged Triumphant Hero’s chest requires a rank of 2000, which makes it definitely not that easy to get and qualifies for a good reward for the veteran player). The only thing that I’m not happy with is how they’ve implemented the Legendary Armor in WvW. It is a legendary upgrade, requiring lots of dedication and cost in materials, a long term goal. At first I was glad to see that they were treating the three game modes the same, with a legendary armor set specific to the Raids, PvP or WvW. Until I started comparing the three sets.

PVE Raids Max per week Needed per piece Full set Weeks of
playing
Legendary
Insights
13 LI 25 LI 150 LI 11,5 weeks
Provisioner
Tokens
84 50 300 4 weeks

In PvE, the time you need to invest in order to get all of the time-gated stuff is around 3-4 hours (with a good group) per week for the Legendary Insights and maybe a few hours in total for the Tokens. After 12 weeks, playing around 48 hours in total, you would have a full shiny legendary set.

PvP

Completing Byzantium Tier

Repeating Byzantium Tier

Needed per piece

Full set

Per season

PvP League
Tickets

100

0

50

300

100

Ascended
Shard of Glory

400

100

400

2400

Variable

In order to achieve the PvP legendary armor (technically just an upgrade) you will need to complete the final tier in three seasons. This already shows the first problem. There are roughly four seasons in a year, so this will take you three quarters of a year to get a full legendary set. The amount of time needed per season is not that bad though. You will have to play roughly 22 hours to reach the Byzantium tier and finish it around four more times (around 6 hours each), ending in a total of 46 hours that you need to invest in each season. This means that you need to be playing PvP for about 5-7 hours per week.

WvW

Pips per tick
(5 minutes)

Pips/hour

War score of your server

+3/4/5

+36/48/60

WvW Rank

+0 to +7

+0 to +84

Commitment

+1

+12

Commander

+1

+12

Outnumbered

+5

+60

Max pips per week needed

Max Skirmish Claim Tickets
per week

Needed per piece

Full set

1450

365

1095

6570

Now, in WvW, things start to get a bit complicated because the number of pips you can get varies a lot. Best case scenario, would have a max ranked player playing for around 9 hours to complete the diamond chest (while not taking the outnumbered buff into consideration because that one is tricky).  Repeat this three weeks in a row and he could have the time-gated stuff for one legendary piece. 18 weeks away and there’s a full set. This doesn’t sound that bad, a bit longer than the PvE gear, but a lot faster than the PvP one, all of that while playing a healthy amount of time.

Don’t get fooled tho.

If you are a new player with terrible luck, it would take you roughly 30 hours per week to finish the diamond chest. That’s over four hours per day or almost a full time job.

And just to put this into perspective, let’s take a look at the average player. First of all, let’s take a look at the characteristics of an average player. Are they someone that plays WvW only or is it the GW2 player-base in general? I can only look at this from my POV. I joined my first WvW guild in 2013 and, back then, I had months of only playing WvW, followed by months of PvE/PvP and pugging. I have participated in karma training, blob farming, skrimming, wiping, GvG’s and everything in-between and I’ve ended up being an impressive silver rank (so that’s a +2 there for me). What’s even more telling is that I’m higher in the rankings than 94% of the accounts. So 94% of the player-base will have a rank that will give you a +2 pip maximum. That includes those people that have been playing WvW regularly and are experienced players.

In this situation it will take you 17 hours per week to reach that diamond chest. 17 hours of playing WvW only, alongside work, family, friends and of course sleep. If you compare this data to the time needed per week for the PvE and PvP armor, this looks definitely imbalanced. Say you would play around 5 hours per week (comparable to PvE) on a average server (+4), a silver rank (+2) and with the commitment tick of +1, you will end up with a staggering amount of around 100 Skirmish tickets per week. For one piece of legendary armor you would need to play almost 11 weeks, which is about the same time that PvE player would need to get his full legendary armor set. Meaning that it would take a low level skilled WvW player 55 WEEKS longer!

As you can see the balance between the three game modes is lost. PvE players can achieve that legendary so much faster than in PvP and WvW and by spending a normal amount of time (next to real life, or simply playing PvP or WvW instead of PvE only).

A solution for the PvP armor might be adding some bonus tickets, for instance, when you reach a new division, so players can get three instead of two pieces per season.

As for WvW, I would suggest just completely removing the Skirmish Claim Tickets or reducing the number greatly. In order to keep that time-gated component intact I suggest adding a new item called, for example, “Proof of commitment” that you will receive when you open your final Wooden Chest, with a maximum of 1 per week and keeping the time-gating system intact.

And this is what I wish for under my Wintersday tree, a rebalance of the legendary armor acquisition in-game, so that players across all three game modes can reach their set in the same amount of time. Having fun in real life matters as much as it does in this amazing game.

As for now I wish for  everyone to have an amazing Wintersday and I hope the year 1331AE (aka 2018) will be a good one for all.

Happy Wintersday!

Fearan

2 thoughts on “Just a Wintersday Wish

  1. This was a great write-up! Short, informative, easy to follow, scrub-friendly 🙂
    It also made me decide to stop working on my ‘legendary’ wvw armor until the process of acquiring it becomes fair, i.e. on par with its two counterparts -.-

    In addition, i would like to offer a possible method of making it such. Clearly, the amount of WvW Skirmish Claim Tickets required for each stage are the issue here, for the majority of players (i.e. non-hardcore WvW-ers). Seing as this currency is used elsewhere too, I’d rather not mess with it. Instead, I propose the use of a new currency (it’s not like we don’t have a zillion already…), obtainable through the Chest of the Mists. Every time you rank up, you get 1 such token in your Chest. Number crunching:

    In my experience (I tested it over a 2 week period), a casual WvW player (such as myself: I play 3 nights/week, for ~3 hours per session), can level up 6 times, i.e. gain 6 WvW ranks. This will earn me 6 tokens/week.

    Assuming 15 tokens are required per armor piece, one would need 90 tokens (6×15) for the entire set. In my case, it would take me 90/6=15 weeks to acquire the entire set, which is fairly on par with the PvE one (11,5 weeks) and the PvP one (9 months, but with much fewer play time). Naturally, Anet could decide to make the acquisition of each specific armor piece vary in token number, e.g. chest piece could require more than the gloves piece etc.

    So that’s my two cents there. If Anet can’t reduce, significantly too, the number of WvW Skirmish Claim Tickets required for the acquisition of each armor piece, they could easily adopt the solution I’m offering. I can only keep my fingers crossed my (our) prayers are heard 🙂

    N.B. Alternatively, the Testimony of Heroics or Proof of Heroics could be employed instead of a new currency. The Chest of the Mists awards “2-10” of those, according to the wiki. By setting this to a fixed 1 of either, per chest, the process I outlined above can be implemented as is.

  2. Nice write up. Now I see it in writing it is a huge difference in game modes.

    I guess ANet are trying to balance the fact that with WvW and PvP you don’t have to be good or win, you can still get the bits needed if you lose or are bad. However with raids you have to actually kill a boss to get the LI, and yes arguably some are easy to get, but for an average player it might take a lot longer to get Li if they are limited to a few a week.

    I think ANet have maybe tried to compensate for the rewards while you lose a little too much in PvP and WvW and maybe they could hurry it along a little 🙂

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