Guild Wars 2's competitive player-vs.-player combat at launch is only the tip of the iceberg, says ArenaNet Systems Designer Jonathan Sharp. The PvP team has e-sports on the mind, according to Sharp, and the system's only going to grow from here.
"We looked at sports when we were designing Guild Wars 2 from day one," Sharp said. "If you walk through the office on a given day, there are people watching streaming. We're watching and we have plans to do some of that stuff."
The game will release with free tournaments but will soon have paid versions with gem rewards as well. "It's more of a case of putting money on the line and somebody's going to get some really cool stuff," Sharp said. The e-sports aspect of the game will be expanded into daily, monthly, and yearly tournaments as well as customizable ones. And yes, spectator mode is still forthcoming, although it's not quite ready for prime time.
Even with the system expanding, ArenaNet wants to keep it simple and easy to understand for all. The team is striving to keep the rules of PvP consistent, giving players ways to express their personality during matches. The devs are hopeful that visual cues in combat will help players understand what's happening on the battlefield.