Guild Wars 2: The Separation Between PvP & PvE Widens

So you’ve spent the last few weeks grinding the same raid and finally got the epic item you’ve been dying to get.  Congratulations, too bad it sucks in PvP.

Over the last few years we’ve seen the separation between PvP and PvE grow, with developers creating gear specifically tailored for one type of combat, but much less effective in the other. It used to be that each class had that one item per slot that was ‘the best’ item possible for that character, period.  Whether it would be a sword, armor, or additional trinkets, once you got that item, you were done and could move on to obtaining the next item.

Today it seems more and more MMORPGs are having players create two complete character builds in terms of gear, one for PvP and one for PvE. While this isn’t necessarily new, even in MMORPGs where there isn’t a separation, players will still normally switch up certain items when going from PvP to PvE, or vise versa. However today theses items are specifically created for one style of combat in mind.

When looking at Guild Wars 2, this separation has taken another leap forward and one can pretty much make the argument that PvP and PvE are two separate games.

First lets take a look at PvP, which we have two types, PvP matches and World vs World PvP.  For matches, players select from pre-made, max-level characters and only have to disperse their skill points, making PvP matches entirely separate from the rest of GW2. This type of PvP match system can be completely removed from the game and not effect it in the slightest or if you want to go the other way, can be added to any current MMORPG without changing it as well.

The second is the World vs World PvP system where servers are matched up against each other in two week PvP battles. In this system the fighting doesn’t take place in the same areas that PvE does, instead it’s a custom map specifically made for PvP.

While players do enter World vs World with their skills and gear obtained from PvE, it is completely possible to level entirely within one of the systems. Now I’m not 100% sure if gear will be tailored towards PvE and PvP depending where you are, but I’m going to assume it will be since that seems to be the trend these days. So if you take a player that only participate in PvE or only in PvP, their gear will be tailored towards that combat. If they ever decided to dabble in or make the switch they’ll have to re-acquire a whole new set of gear.

One can argue that what GW2 has done is make two separate games, one for PvP and one for PvE, but allow players to use the same character in both, with PvP matches completely independent of both systems.

Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I’m very much into and excited for Guild Wars 2, but when I think of what a MMORPG is, I think of one world where everything is intertwined. What I think ArenaNet did was create two games and mashed them together.  On one side you have a PvE MMORPG and the other you have a massive multiplayer online battle arena (MMOBA). The only connection between the two would be that players use the same character.

Lord of the Rings Online has something similar to this, being a PvE centric MMORPG then having one map dedicated to PvP. Although in their system, there is no end time, no winner, so it turns into a merry-go-round where each side takes turns controlling keeps or areas. Perhaps credit should then be given to Turbine for creating the new MMOBA genre.

Being a more PvP centric player, I really don’t mind the separating that is taking place. In fact I think eventually we’ll see the emergence of a new MMOBA genre where developers eventually drop PvE all together in favor of what ArenaNet is doing with their World vs World system. Until then, I’ll be playing me some GW2.


  1. I suggest you go read what has published about PvP again, as well as listen to the interviews. It’s my understanding you won’t have to create a seperate PvP character, instead all characters will be automatically equally leveled, skills will be equal and equipment. The only deciding factor them will be the players skill in using those skills, perhaps you got the idea you’ll create a character from the demo, but I think that was only because they didn’t have a character already created(PvE).

  2. I never said you use two separate characters for PvE and PvP. In fact I acknowledged that the same character is used in both.

    My point was that PvP and PvE are separated enough that you could easily make 2 games out it. Aside from the same character, there’s almost nothing else that links the PvP and PvE aspects of GW2 together.

  3. Actually, you said that match PVP will use pre-made characters, i.e. not your character, something I’ve heard nowhere else. But I mean, that’s actually what you said.

  4. Yes, I did, but that’s because it’s not your character. I’ve heard this argument before of people saying it is, however it’s not your gear and your skill points are reset, so you can redistribute them anyway you like. You can obviously choose to redistribute them in the exact say way your character is build if you want, but really aside from race and class it’s not your character.

  5. quit your yapping mike…

    if you don’t like it go play swtor, that offers great pvp experience.

    personally i like how gw2 sets it up.

    “Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I’m very much into and excited for Guild Wars 2, but when I think of what a MMORPG is, I think of one world where everything is intertwined”

    What you think of an mmorpg, please shut your trap. you don’t have a clue, there’s obviously wide ranges of mmorpg and it DOESN’T have to have pve and pvp INTERTWINED.

    These writers…everyday they’re coming up with more garbage.

    I like to see more critical articles about games especially gw2, rather than reading and bashing the writer’s opinion paper.

  6. I wasn’t bashing the idea, just simply pointing out that these days there seems to be a growing divide between PvP content and PvE.

  7. Don’t worry Mike, not all of us are wearing our critic hats today. I agree there’s not a lot tying your PVE char to your PVP char except the name. If they are going so far as to remove all gear, skills and in-game settings from your PVE char, they may as well let you re-select a race and class too.

    Otherwise you’ll see people making alts just to play different classes in PVP, and never using them in PVE.

    Which is fine too, just.. seems pointless IMO. I’d rather become known for one name, than play as 4 different chars just because I like 4 classes.

  8. You realize that LotRO isn’t the first MMO to have a PvP zone that never resets…right? I mean… WoW wasn’t your first MMO right? Because if it was, I don’t think you should be writing about MMOs.

  9. Geez Signus take a TO – he has a point. Personally don’t like when PvP is completely separate from PvP, as it breaks the immersion when instead a separate PvP area can tie in really well with PvE and lore if done smartly (DAOC excellent example).

  10. Mike if you’ve played GW then you would know that even in it PvP and PvE are separate . Also if your gonna call PvP in Guild Wars an MMOBA then you would have to consider Alliance Battles , Jade Quarry , Fort Aspen Wood and other PvP areas of Guild Wars MMOBAs as well.

  11. @Mike It is still your character though, at it’s core. Think about it, it’s the same character you created at the character creation menu. Same name, same looks, same profession, same race etc.
    So what if your armor and gear are changed around?
    Players shed gear and armor constantly while leveling anyway. As for skills points and stuff, it’s just like respeccing.

  12. Wow, you seriously don’t know how GW2 works do you? Gear won’t be tailored for PvE or PvP, it will be the same for both…look at GW where the items are always be the same no matter what mode of play you are in. The only seperation they had between PvE and PvP in the original was with the numbers and effects in skills and thats how it will be in GW2 as well, it at all. Please research more before you post an article that contradicts how the game will actually be. Thanks.

  13. MMOBA seems overly broad imo. They way you are using it in this article, basically any game with PvP and gear swapping is just an ‘arena’.

    Doesn’t make it any less your character than swapping gear or respecing.

    Don’t see what the fuss is here.

  14. What is the point of making a pve character when you can have an instant level 80 like that? of course some like the pve but surely your character looks diffrent or has some sort of uniqueness about him if you leveled him all the way up from level 1

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