While the Grand Theft Auto 5 gameplay trailer has taken the gaming world by storm — at least console gamers — Guild Wars 2 players have a new PvP battleground to look forward to. According to a post on the game's official site by ArenaNet's David Campbell, the new battleground is Skyhammer — an airborne map full of jump pads, shattering floor panels, and a gigantic mega cannon. You'll battle for control of three capture points, while hoping to turn the mega cannon's power against your opponents. Oh, and you can push your opponents to their death.
The Skyhammer map has been worked on on-and-off for four months now. Game Designer Tyler Bearce explained that "We've been working on it for four months on and off, doing a lot of iteration, trying to get it right. Of course, we work on multiple maps at a time — but this one is special. I think players are really going to respond well to Skyhammer."
There's a lot of diversity in the map. As mentioned, jump pads enable players to hop up to ledges and over walls. And the shattering floors can send players plunging to their death. Environment artist Darrin Claypool said of the map, "From a design perspective, the PvP team really wanted to create a super-weapon map where your team fights to control it so they can control the map. We settled on a high, vertical map with a canon. Tyler had the awesome idea to add jump pads to the map (at the time jump pads had only been used in Super Adventure Box) — as soon as we added those, it took the map to a different level." Jump pads trigger an explosion that propel a player into the air, twice or three times their normal height.
As for the Skyhammer weapon, Bearce said, "When a team controls the Skyhammer weapon, it's similar to controlling the trebuchet on the Battle of Kyhlo map. It charges up, and then releases a huge bolt of lightning. it's a 600 radius AoE attack — you can dodge as it charges up, but you don't want to get caught in the blast radius."
Bearce also said that they noticed players building their characters with a lot more control and stability skills.