A new map will be added to the existing WvW maps. Its major feature: Overflows.
Jon Peters, a game designer at ArenaNet, started off by saying that WvW was always something they wanted more players to be involved with, but that anything they do to bolster the population will result in the Achilles’ heel of WvW: the queue. The new map, Edge of the Mists, will help solve this problem by redirecting players until their queue is finished. While it is directed at solving the queue, players will also be able to join the new map directly through the same join map drop-down in the WvW window.
Players will see some of the familiar aspects of WvW on the Edge of the Mists, but there are a number of differences. First is that the Edge of the Mists will not affect the WvW score due to the map’s ability to create overflow versions of itself. It wouldn’t be very much fun to be losing because another world is able to create and fully capture multiple overflow instances of Edge of the Mists. Players, however, will still be able to earn WXP and achievement credit on this new map while playing with familiar WvW gameplay including tower objectives and siege warfare.
The biggest difference is the map itself, which exists above the Eternal Battleground map as a bunch of floating islands. These islands are where most of the fighting and objectives will take place, with bridges allowing players to navigate between, and underneath, islands. Each island has a set theme including a giant snow fortress, ruined jungle temple and a desert bazaar.
The objectives themselves will also see some changes with different wall layouts and NPCs on each tower. Some of the towers will not even have the standard kill the tower lord to take control objective and will include new unique objectives. Since this map won’t directly affect the WvW score (though they are looking at ways for it to contribute to the battles on the other maps) it allows ArenaNet to play around more freely with the default WvW experience. If something on the Edge of the Mists becomes very popular, it is possible it will then be introduced into the Eternal Battleground or Borderland maps.
So when can players get their hands on this new map? November, for some at least. ArenaNet will launch the new map in a beta capacity that they expect will run through early next year. Unlike the beta rollouts for other systems like the LFG tool, this beta will require guilds to sign up and be invited to the beta. There doesn’t appear to be any criteria for guilds who wish to be invited, save that a non-English speaking guild needs to have at least one player able to collect and translate feedback into English so that ArenaNet can easily look over all the feedback. Following their new collaborative outlook, ArenaNet will work with the beta testers to help improve Edge of the Mists before its official launch next year.
Initially, the beta tests will start in limited, concentrated tests such as a single hour time slot where the map is open for players to join. Even after the map is launched, ArenaNet is looking to keep it more focused by having the map reset every day unlike the week long matches on the other WvW maps.
Can’t wait for that official launch next year to see what Edge of the Mists is all about? There will be no NDA on the Edge of the Mists beta, so even if you don’t get in you can see and hear all the action when the beta launches next month.