Feb 16, 2012

Leveling: PvE vs WvW

ArenaNet recently released an article regarding WvW, and a lengthy one at that, which has sent fan's hype meters back up to 11. With all the info the article talks about, it raises the question about leveling.

In the article, it mentions that a player is capable of leveling from 1 to 80 just in WvW alone (which a lot of us already knew). Some of the ways you're able to gain experience is through objectives. It was not directly mentioned, but one would think you could gain experience by taking control of an objective like a keep, tower, or even escorting your supply caravans. Experience can also be gained by defeating NPC's that dot the map or are in control of capture points. Lastly, players can gain experience from defeating other players, which will also yield loot as if you downed a mob in PvE (don't worry, you keep your stuff if you're the one defeated).

In short, WvW is a completely legitimate way of leveling up to 80 if PvP is your thing... but is it the most effective?

In WvW you're going to have huge maps to traverse (4 very large ones to be exact, 3 home maps for each server and a larger central contested map). When the game goes live, most everyone will be low level, spread out, and unsure what to do and where to go. Things will be slightly confusing for a while as players figure out what's going on and get used to the flow of WvW. What does this have to do with leveling? A lot. As players spend time running across these vast maps, figure out their objectives, and coordinate with fellow players, that equals a lot of downtime. Downtime translates to no experience being gained.

On the other side of the game, PvE players will be gaining their levels at a much faster and more frequent pace. Mobs will most likely be placed closer together (as we've seen in some of the demos), and Dynamic Events will be kicking off all over the place. Add in your Personal Story, and your map will constantly be updating you on where to go next.

In this sense, it would seem much more logical to level from 1 to 80 in PvE and then switch to WvW, giving yourself a slight advantage level wise. However... is it really an advantage?

Granted you'll probably be a higher level than most of those who chose to level just in WvW, but in this case, knowledge is power.

For someone who decides to level to 80 in WvW, they're going to know so much more than another player who jumps in at 80 from PvE. They'll have a strong map sense. They'll know the routes to take to get from here to there. They'll know where all the objectives are. They might even know some short cuts and ambush spots. Not only that, but they're going to have an advantage in a fight as well. Someone from PvE will be used to the computer's AI, but when you put them up against another human being, it's a completely different ball game. The fight will be much more dynamic and fast paced.

So really... what matters most? Level? Skill? Knowledge? All of the above? It's all based on you the player and your play style. What are your thoughts/plans for WvW? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. First of all, thank you for your post :)
    What matters most... I think knowledge and skill are most important. Then everybody need to find their best way to learn. For someone it could be a lot of PvP, for someone else, after a good PvE experience, the PvP is more intuitive. I think it depends a lot on the player.
    I'm not good in PvP usually, becouse I'm always overwhelmed and I tend to panic, but from what I've learn about the WvW from the official blog, it seems to me that I will have the chance to do a lot of different things in the WvW maps. In my opinion this would allow inexperienced players to settle in taking their time. I'm so grateful to ANet for their efforts to make every kind of player able to enjoy the game!

  2. You make some great points. I am torn. I will definitely pvp alot more in this game than in any MMO I have played before, but after reading some beta stuff, it seems everyone is still confused about how to play in WvW.

    I am wondering if maybe hitting pve for the first 20 levels or so maybe the way to go, just to learn cross class combos and understand your class a bit.

    Good read, thanks.