Arena.net has an excellent article on Guild Wars 2 PvE and PvP content. The article is incredibly in-depth and I urge you to check it out here, but if you don’t feel like reading a 3k word article, or simply don’t have the time, check below for the highlights.
“We have amazing PvE gameplay and intense competitive PvP in Guild Wars 2, but we also offer huge, open-field, server-versus-server warfare the likes of which you’ve never seen. We call it world vs. world or WvW.” – Mike Ferguson, ArenaNet systems designer
World vs. World conflicts are composed of three server-sized teams that battle for control of the battlefield.
– The reason for three teams, rather than just a one-on-one battle, is to prevent one team from constantly dominating others, allowing two smaller/weaker teams a chance against a stronger opponent.
– Each of the three teams will receive their own territory that they will have to defend, and an “Eternal Battleground” will be in the center of the map between the three teams.
– A team works to complete objectives to increase their “War Score.”
– At the close of every 2 week-long battle, the scores are tallied and servers are ranked and matched accordingly.
“Downtime between these epic battles lasts only a few minutes—just long enough for us to tally the final scores, update the server rankings, and create new matches—so there’s almost always a battle for the Mists going on.” – Ferguson
Scattered around the warzone are keeps that teams can take over and use to defend their territory against opponents. Capturing the keeps will award the capturing team with War Score points, but the feat will not be easy. Expect to find the keeps heavily defended, both structurally and with NPC defenders. For a less intimidating challenge, players can tackle a smaller single-tower fortress, or even a resource camp, such as a quarry.
In fact, it is highly advisable to try and secure these resource camps, as controlling them will enable a higher rate of income for the team supply gain. Universally termed as “supply,” this resource will allow players to build siege weapons and repair fortifications. The supply income won’t be immediate though. Players will have to protect the resource caravans that travel between resource camps and keeps, in order to secure the supply increase.
Players who choose to assault the larger keeps will find it necessary to construct siege engines to aid them in their endeavor. The construction of these engines will require supply, but attackers, and defenders, will find the benefits of having the siege engines to be higher than the cost of construction. Blueprints for Trebuchets , Arrow Carts, Catapults, Ballistae, and Siege Golems.
The Siege Golems are the most unique construct, in my opinion. They are mechanical goliaths that, while not superb at ranged combat, are more than capable of making quick work of any structure.
As well as the siege engines, players can work to recruit the local population, to side with them. To enlist the help of these locals, a team must first assist the locals with whatever they need help with.
“For instance, you might help a group of ogres protect their camp against constant harpy assaults. In return, your new ogre allies will go rampaging toward the nearest enemy objective or send out patrols to help you hold on to your territory. These factions won’t fight for you indefinitely, but they can help turn the tide of battle, so you’d be wise to recruit their aid whenever possible!” – Ferguson
For a much more detailed break-down, read the ArenaNet article that Mike Ferguson wrote up at arena.net.
Guild Wars 2 is expected to launch later this year.