The first Guild Wars 2 beta weekend event is done, and here are my thoughts after spending an obscene amount of time playing this weekend.
Structured PvP feels like a misnomer, as it’s really hard to tell just what this style of play is trying to achieve. There are capture points and per-map gimmick mechanics like NPCs or trebuchets. The capture mode may be simple for an audience to grasp, but it wasn’t fun to play; structured PvP tries to borrow elements like how players fight each other from Dota without any real thought. Elite skills that will maybe be used every couple minutes or so are interesting in longer games that may last 30 or more minutes, but in a condensed 15 minute gameplay mode where the losers don’t have anything at stake in the fight beyond a 15 second respawn this concept doesn’t hold up as well. Resource management is a key to having fun in any competitive game or sport, be it actual resources from a RTS or weapon and power-up spawns from the most simple FPS; elite skills alone won’t cover up the lack of any other resources to be used and managed in GW2 structured PvP.
Unlike structured PvP, World vs. World is complex and forces players to make interesting choices that will have lasting repercussions; it’s not the system’s fault that most of the time people will just swarm an objective with the least amount of resistance and trade losable objectives. WvW suffers from being too big, which isn’t a problem per se as long as players are having fun, but something at a smaller scale with the same complexity of the resource mechanics and multiple ways to attack and harass the opposing teams with a decisive victory after a period of time (30-60 minutes) might be a good replacement or complement to structured PvP.