In Guild Wars 2 PVP, you will never come up against someone who has statistically stronger equipment than you, developer ArenaNet has stressed - it will always be a level playing field.
Unlike, say, in World of Warcraft, where chasing the dangling equipment carrot forms the basis of the endgame.
"We feel it's crucial to the success of Guild Wars 2's PVP," systems designer Jonathan Sharp and programmer John Corpening told Guild Wars 2 Guru.
"We want new players to come into the community and be able to focus on learning the game, not grinding in an effort to 'prepare to have fun.' We want you having fun as soon as possible in PVP!
"We offer aesthetic rewards, but never power rewards. You will never be at a statistical disadvantage when playing PVP. If anything, being a new player will get even easier down the road as we add more features."
In Guild Wars 1, PVP was the endgame. Serious teams had players select hotbar skills depending on the team's tactic, which would vary from battle to battle. Lots of skills were situational, and became stronger if, for example, an opponent was knocked down. So, if one player could knock people over, another person on the team could exploit that. That's the gist of it on a very basic level.
"We offer aesthetic rewards, but never power rewards. You will never be at a statistical disadvantage when playing PVP. If anything, being a new player will get even easier down the road as we add more features."Johnathan Sharp and John Corpening, ArenaNet
Guild Wars 1 attracted dedicated PVP fans as a result, and ArenaNet wants the same to be true of Guild Wars 2. The hope is that there will even be professional Guild Wars 2 players and a bustling eSports scene around the game.
"[eSports mechanics have] been a concern the entire time PVP has been in development," the ArenaNet duo added, "as far back as day one, meeting one.
"We've learned a lot from watching other eSports (walk through the design room on any given day and you will see eSport streams running), and having combined that with the lessons we learned from the original Guild Wars, we tried to balance spectator, announcer, and player needs.
"We wanted it to be easy to get into, but we also wanted a skill gap that would allow pro players to show their mastery. In addition to this, we wanted to make sure the game was exciting from a spectator's standpoint, while ensuring that announcers easily understand the action well enough to communicate to the spectators.
"The global PC gaming community decides which games are played at the highest levels," Sharp and Corpening added, "be it FPS, RTS, fighter, or MOBA. Guild Wars 2 combines aspects of those games, so we hope that players enjoy it, both as players and as spectators. "
Tournaments will be a part of Guild Wars 2, but they will be restricted by region for "technical reasons". Worldwide tournaments will be handled "in a manner outside of the online tournament system".
Guild Wars 2 launches at the end of this month - all those years in development and it's nearly, very nearly here.
All of the Beta Weekend Events have been and gone now, but there's another beta stress test happening tonight from 8pm UK time until midnight.