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Alongside a slew of new PvE and WvW information you'll see coming out in the April 30th patch, we have even more to talk about. That's right, folks; two of the biggest, long-awaited structured PvP (sPvP) features will be introduced at the end of this month: custom arenas and spectator mode.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with either of these features, custom arenas will allow any Guild Wars 2 player to create, host, and customize their own private sPvP matches while spectator mode, fairly self-explanatory, will allow anyone to observe those matches as they are happening.

Custom Arenas
Not only do custom arenas provide a platform for those that have been aching for smaller fights, such as 1v1 dueling, or even team scrimmages (without affecting your place on the leaderboards), you can also use custom arenas to create private and public tournaments. This by itself opens up an assortment of opportunities, but we'll touch on those later.

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New Gem Store Items
Once the limited beta ends, you will be able to purchase a starter kit from the Gem Store that will be used to create custom arenas. Another purchasable item you’ll find are time tokens. These tokens will allow you to add more time to your custom arena rental or to someone else's if you wish to help support the players you enjoy watching and/or tournaments that you enjoy playing in or watching.

As far as customization options go, here are a few that will be available to you once you start the arena creation process:
  • Ability to name your arena;
  • Ability to choose which map(s) are playable;
  • Ability to set a password;
  • Members whitelist;
  • Members blacklist (ban list).
Spectator Mode
While we haven’t had a chance to test spectator mode just yet, and therefore cannot attest to the customizable options that will be available for it, even at its basic implementation it’s not hard to grasp the importance of adding such a feature alongside custom arenas.

With spectator mode it will finally be possible to shoutcast live matches without having to rely on pre-recorded footage, which in turn opens up some interesting possibilities for those wanting to host tournaments, or perhaps for players that might be looking to produce high-quality videos for their team, guild, or the community in general.

Another great way to utilize spectator mode is that those new to the sPvP scene, or those that wish to brush up on their performance, can always pull up a custom arena from the PvP interface and observe higher ranked teams to watch an assortment of high level gameplay. This, in turn, provides the observer with the ability to learn new tactics and strategies as well as learn how they can play their profession more effectively and efficiently.

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Limited Beta
With that being said, here comes the catch: custom arenas will first roll out as a limited beta feature. Creating custom arenas will only be available to a small pool of players - specifically, those that placed in the top 50 for both NA and EU in Qualifying Points and a few chosen media sites - but anyone can play in a player-created arena and have access to spectator mode.

Unfortunately we don't know how long the beta will last, but seeing as everything tested just fine internally, ArenaNet just wants to make sure that everything is on the up-and-up before releasing custom arenas to the entire in-game populace.

In Closing
What does this mean for Guild Wars 2 and e-Sports? Well, frankly, a lot. Both of these new features are a big step in the right direction for ArenaNet and will no doubt provide a solid foundation for those who wish to build a larger competitive e-Sports scene around the game.

However, there is still a lot in the air in regards to of both of these features. If you have any specific questions on your mind that you still need answered, what are they? What are you still waiting to hear about in hopes of it being implemented with either, or both, of these features?

 
ArenaNet has since updated the official site with more detailed information about custom arenas and spectator mode. You can find that article here, but I'll be highlighting a few of the more important details.

Introducing Custom PvP Arenas and Spectator Mode Beta


Let’s say you’re an sPvP guild who wants to scrimmage a friendly guild so you can both work on your strategies. Or maybe you want to be able to watch one of your friends play so that you can see what they’re doing and how they’re using their skills. Perhaps you’re playing in a hot-join game and you just got destroyed by someone, and you want to look at how they’re playing and what skills their using. Or, better yet, let’s say I just want to set up one-on-one duels inside my guild, pitting two players against each other, while the rest of the guild watches. Or maybe all I want to do is find a place where only my friends and I can play where we can’t be interrupted by other players.


Custom Arena Permissions
  • Custom Arena Name
  • Password
  • Message of the Day
  • Team Size
  • Score Limit
  • Time Limit
  • Respawn Time
  • Respawn Type: (Wave vs. individual)
  • Minimum players
  • Reserved Slots
  • Spectators: Y/N
  • Ready Button
  • Auto Balance
  • Lock Gear
  • Lock Skills
  • No Stats
  • Map selection
  • Member players
  • Member Guilds
  • Banned Players
Spectator Mode
Anyone in a hot-join game or a custom arena game (as long as spectator is enabled in the arena’s settings) can use spectator mode.

Spectator mode will not be available for games that affect the leaderboard due to the possibility of cheating and to help foster the shoutcasting community.

How it Works
When you start a game with spectator enabled, you are given a choice as to which team you want to join:
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Spectator
When you enter as a spectator, you can click on a person to "follow" in the game, or choose to click on one of the many camera icons on the mini-map. Following a person allows you to view their choice of amulets, traits, slotted skills and weapon choice.

 

Red Posts by ArenaNet


For those that are wondering if they will be able to use the custom arena starter kits that they bought way back when the Gem Store was bugged and showing them:

Yes they will be fully functional.
Source.


Will ArenaNet staff have their own custom arenas for people to join?

Evan Lesh: Bluxgore’s House of Paincakes
Jonathan Sharp: Chaplan’s Existential Enclave
Source.
Posted in: News

Comments

#1 Impmon

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:18 PM

Sounds cool.
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#2 Lordkrall

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:25 PM

Great news!

Really looking forward to this patch.
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#3 BuddhaKeks

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:34 PM

So you can only make a Custom Arena if you buy a kit in the shop or will we be able to win it ingame?
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#4 Lordkrall

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:38 PM

So you can only make a Custom Arena if you buy a kit in the shop or will we be able to win it ingame?


As far as we have heard earlier you will need a store-only item to create Custom Arenas yeah.
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#5 BuddhaKeks

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:53 PM

And there goes the philosophy that only cosmetic items will be sold in the shop...
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#6 Lordkrall

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:55 PM

And there goes the philosophy that only cosmetic items will be sold in the shop...


So, how do you suggest they pay for the extra servers needed for custom arenas then?

As for only cosmetic that have never been the case, nor have it ever been said to be the case.
They have said that the store will contain cosmetic and CONVENIENT items, and this item will be considered a convenient item.
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#7 TheBandicoot

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:57 PM

Why? This doesnt provide anyone any kind of ingame-advantage, thus actually is entirely cosmetic, just not in the typical matter. It will cause additional strain on the servers and i am fine with them selling the arena creator or whatever it´ll be called in the shop. Remember, you can still by these with ingame currency and i doubt they will come at a overly hefty pricetag.

We will have to see how this plays out, what will be possible and so on before making prematured assumptions.
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#8 Phadde

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:57 PM

... And they're slowly picking up the ball that was dropped.

So, how do you suggest they pay for the extra servers needed for custom arenas then?

As for only cosmetic that have never been the case, nor have it ever been said to be the case.
They have said that the store will contain cosmetic and CONVENIENT items, and this item will be considered a convenient item.


I would actually say that Custom Arenas are a bit more than "convenient". Although, I think it isn't a bad idea to put it into the gem store and see how it works.
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#9 El Duderino

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:07 PM

I simply cannot believe you need to spend gems to use custom arenas. That's the final straw for me. ANet has completely lost their minds.
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#10 FoxBat

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:11 PM

The shop has had buffs forever, I don't see why selling another limited advantage is new.

Also that custom arenas would cost money has been mentioned forever, it should not surprise.
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#11 Lydeck

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:11 PM

Depends on how long the rent time is, honeslty. Hopefully it's like a week or so.
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#12 Lordkrall

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:11 PM

I would actually say that Custom Arenas are a bit more than "convenient". Although, I think it isn't a bad idea to put it into the gem store and see how it works.


Why though? You can still sPvP all you like, you can still join custom arenas. You simply need to pay a bit if you want the convenience of making the server the exact way you want.


I simply cannot believe you need to spend gems to use custom arenas. That's the final straw for me. ANet has completely lost their minds.

So.. how would you finance the extra servers needed for custom arenas then?
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#13 davadude

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:14 PM

I simply cannot believe you need to spend gems to use custom arenas. That's the final straw for me. ANet has completely lost their minds.


Were you seriously expecting to see free customized games in a server based game?
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#14 El Duderino

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:16 PM

I, as a customer, don't care how they finance the servers. I was under the impression I would pay $60 for a game with good PvP. I honestly don't give a shit about their business model. If they think making people pay to play is going to win back PvP players then that's their choice. I'm not going to be one of them.

Were you seriously expecting to see free customized games in a server based game?


I dunno? I played GW1 PvP for free and had custom matches - it was called a guild hall.
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#15 Lordkrall

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:17 PM

I, as a customer, don't care how they finance the servers. I was under the impression I would pay $60 for a game with good PvP. I honestly don't give a shit about their business model. If they think making people pay to play is going to win back PvP players then that's their choice. I'm not going to be one of them.


So, you can't PvP now that the new custom arenas are coming?
I must have missed that part of the information. As far as I understand it you only need to pay to CREATE a custom arena, after that everyone can join and play as much as they want. You can also keep playing tPvP and regular sPvP without paying anything.
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#16 Takato

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:18 PM

Were you seriously expecting to see free customized games in a server based game?


No, but they did state it would effectively replace our current "hot join" set up.
So once that's out, no more hot join.
And if no one likes custom arenas because they don't have 231790$ to keep it up, then no one will be playing.
Implying we have a lot of people playing pvp to begin with.
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#17 El Duderino

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:18 PM

So, you can't PvP now that the new custom arenas are coming?
I must have missed that part of the information. As far as I understand it you only need to pay to CREATE a custom arena, after that everyone can join and play as much as they want. You can also keep playing tPvP and regular sPvP without paying anything.


You can sugar coat it all you want in your head. It doesn't mean it's going to make people like having to pay for custom arenas.
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#18 Dirame

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:20 PM

I think to alleviate some of the "problems" that people will bring up, Anet have keep hosting their own servers with the normal rulesets so people who don't have money can still hop in and do their thing. This way, having a custom arena is really just a convenience thing.
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#19 El Duderino

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:22 PM

This Pay to Play model with cash shops is starting to look really bad IMO. I'd rather pay a sub than get nickel and dimed everytime I want to play a game that is supposed to be free after you buy it.
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#20 Lordkrall

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:24 PM

This Pay to Play model with cash shops is starting to look really bad IMO. I'd rather pay a sub than get nickel and dimed everytime I want to play a game that is supposed to be free after you buy it.


So, what parts of the current game are you locked out from if you don't pay?
Funnily enough even sub-based games requires extra money for certain stuff.

Oh kitten it, you only want a reason to hate ArenaNet and will not see reason, I give up.
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