Everything I hear from Arenanet about Guild Wars 2 just baffles me. The scale of what they're trying to achieve is so big all I can do is stare confusedly. I'm making a face right now, my eyebrows are trying to pinch the top my nose and my eyes are wide open, because I've been reading about their server vs server battlegrounds: two-week long fights between three servers (hundreds of people), on the biggest maps Guild Wars has. There will be siege weapons, alliances, and boss fights, and I'll in the middle going "huh?"
It's not even an incremental update on a standard MMO template, as ArenaNet's Mike Ferguson points out, it's a completely different take on traditional battlefields.
We dreamed of a game where players could work together to capture objectives on the battlefield, like keeps and towers, claiming them for their guilds, then fortifications before defending them against hordes of attackers. With players from three different servers fighting each other, we knew that we would need a lot of different areas for them to fight over, and we wanted to have plenty of locations for guilds of all sizes to claim as their own. With this in mind, we created a number of different objectives that are designed to be captured and contested by large groups, small groups, or even just a few players.
Each world gets their own home map, the Borderlands, with keeps and smaller towers and objectives to overcome and fortify, and there's a central battleground called Eternal Battlegrounds with its own massive keep. As keeps are taken, either from epically powered NPCs, human enemies, or a mixture of the two, the points are tallied up and added to the server's War Score. Ferguson describes the scale of the action.
Whether you’re fighting your way though ancient ruins to assault a keep built atop the rubble, climbing up the side of a mountain to reach a tower on a peak that looms over a village below, or testing your amphibious infiltration skills with an underwater assault on an island castle in the middle of a lake teeming with hostile krait, you’ll agree that these fortresses are some seriously epic structures that guarantee some seriously epic fights.
I hope it will. The blog post below has a huge amount of info on the different siege weapons you can build, trebuchets, catapults, arrow carts, ballistae and golems, and the smaller objectives that'll chew up your server's patriotic fighters. The open beta is out in March: shall we all gather in a keep together and sing songs of the motherland?
Via ArenaNet's blog.