Guild Wars 2 WvW March patch will "turn off culling completely"

It’s a good day to be a WvW’er over in Guild Wars 2, as Habib Loew confirms that the next patch will banish the “culling phenomenon” from the world of Tyria for good. Also in are a new ranks and achievements especially for WvW which unlock new WvW abilities. Habib also promised that they’re not done with WvW, with plenty more planned for future patches to come.

In an interview with MMORPG, Habib Loew a gameplay programmer who focuses on the WvW aspect of Guild Wars 2, discussed the new additions. 

First up was by far the most debated and controversial topic: culling:

“Culling is essentially a process by which the server chooses to not tell players about certain other players. It was all about limiting the breakdown of resources from a client to server standpoint. The issue with it was that a huge battle would erupt and you would not see other players. It definitely had its drawbacks.

The change in March will turn off Culling completely. You will now see every character within range of you. There will be several different options for how other players are presented to you, on the client side that you can choose from so you can control how it works for you.”

That should mean that you won’t die to the invisible zergs that rampage across the battlefield. By the sounds of it, you can select and prioritise certain effects/players to suit your needs, but more will be revealed in March,

Next up is a new sense of advancement in WvW with ranks and abilities: 

“There are two ways to earn what we are calling World XP right now. Those are joining WvW Events and killing other players. As you earn more World XP your rank will go up. Every sum of World XP with give you a rank and that will give you a new title in WvW. For example right now you only see the “Invader” title. These titles will change with your rank. With each rank you will earn points to cash in on WVW abilities. The abilities are general passive in the beginning with skills like doing more damage to guards or taking less damage from siege.”

Sounds interesting, and more importantly doesn’t deviate from what’s fun in a WvW.

“Right now there are mostly passive abilties going in with this patch. We have abilities like: being able to carry more supply, being more effective against certain types of NPCs, being able to do more siege damage, or being more resistent to siege damage. Again this is our first patch so as we go further there will be more active abilities added. Those are a very careful balancing act to add and we want to get them right for the players. Not only is it about balance, but there are design concerns as well, like where do we put the buttons on the UI? We have to take all of that into account.

With the initial release there are no class or guild restrictions. These skills should be available to everyone. We definitely want players to think of the abilities as specializing your role in WvW not your class. Maybe you play more in the siege role or in the close combat role. These abilities are there to enhance those. It is all about your role in WvW regardless of the class you play.”

It all sounds pretty promising, with more to accomplish and the threat of culling purged, WvW is looking as healthy as ever. It doesn’t stop here however, as Habib echoes with this statement:

“The biggest message I have for WvW players is that this is not the last patch we are doing. We have a lot more planned. Plenty of stuff is queued up for future patches. We are really taking the time to make sure we get things right before we release them. Also, we do not want to make the mistake of making too many changes at one time which could break parts of WvW.”

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