During the Guild Wars 2, World Tournament Series at this year’s gamescom, ArenaNet made the announcement that PvP leagues will be released with the upcoming Heart of Thorns expansion. ArenaNet has since published a blog post further detailing the revealed leagues.
In the update, ArenaNet is basically implementing a competitive ladder system which is broken into seasons. Drawing inspiration from similar systems in other games like Starcraft 2 and League of Legends, these leagues are all about giving players a sense of progression, progression which is meaningful and will be rewarded both by items and a position in a league. When each new season begins players will be placed in the Amber division, which is the bottom of six, and are able to move up through the leagues by winning games. These divisions are broken up into tiers and each tier is broken into pips, with each win giving a pip. Once you’ve got five pips you’ll move up to the next division.
For newer players starting out in the Amber division, the punishments for a game loss are small, not having any effect on your position within that division; however, once you’ve climbed out of Amber every game lost will equal one pip lost. In divisions 2 and 3 you can lose pips but not drop down tiers, and from 4 onwards you can drop down tiers. Thankfully, even if you go on a really bad losing streak, you will never be able to drop down a division.
Every time you rank up a division in the season you’ll be awarded with items and, of course, the higher you progress in the divisions, the more prestigious the items you’re earning become. As well as the item rewards, players will also get badges to show off on their nameplates. However, these will reset on the start of a new season. Unless you manage to get into the Legendary Division; that will earn you a new title. Guild Team Leaderboards will also reward teams based on the position they finish in at the end of each PvP season.
By playing in the PvP leagues, players will also be able to work towards an item called the ‘Wings of Glory’. This is a cosmetic item which sort of acts as a progression system itself. As you win games and move up divisions you’ll earn League Tokens. These are what you’ll use to buy the wings, and then spend any more you earn on upgrading the wings in a variety of different ways. Participating in the PvP leagues also acts as a way of unlocking the precursor for the new legendary backpack item.