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Getting started in RvR, from character creation to cities

In this section, you will find some advices and basics to start quietly ingame. Question like " I'm lvl 1, what shall i do?", "What class shall i pick?", will find some answers in this place.
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Getting started in RvR, from character creation to cities

Post#1 » Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:11 am

Guide to Realm vs Realm

Two important things before we begin:

1) Return of Reckoning is in alpha stage. Remember that boring terms of use thing you skipped reading before account creation? Of course you don't, you skipped it. But point is, game is alpha. You may not have played a game in alpha before, but you've played games in beta, and surely alpha is better than beta, right? Wrong. Alpha comes before beta and basically means the game is not a stable release. You will lose items due to no fault of your own and not have them replaced, you will crash at the most inconvenient times and miss out on rewards that you worked an entire evening for, and the developerswill implement changes that obviously have nothing to do with testing and only proves their bias towards one side, and proves they're either power-tripping sadists or have lost contact with reality and don't even play their own game. Well, them's the breaks. If you can't deal with the game in its current state, feel free to hold off playing it until it is more stable.

2) Follow the rules. Remember that boring rules thing you skipped reading before account creation? Of course you don't, you skipped it. But the staff takes a pretty unique stance on edgelording and crappy behaviour in general - so don't do it. They don't want your money, and thus they won't give you a slap on the wrist so you won't cancel your sub. You will get punished more harshly than in any other game you played. If you don't think you can manage to behave as a decent human being, then stay away from this game. Yeah, adrenaline runs high, feelings get hurt and salt excreted, but be chill about it. This guy flinging racist slurs? Report him, don't respond in kind. And if you think to yourself, "hey, I wonder if I can get away with X. The rules doesn't explicitly forbid X, so what's the harm in trying?" - don't do it. You will get detected, and you will get punished - ignorance is not an excuse. (Don't believe me? Go to the ban appeals section in forum and see for yourself. Bring peanuts. Don't tell Wargrimnir I told you to.)

Rules and TOS: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13607

With that out of the way, let's the started.

Starting out

Which Realm should I choose? Does it matter? Yes, it matters, up to a point. The entire focus of the game is realm versus realm (RvR), so it's much more than a flavor choice. But then again, you can create characters on both realms.

Here's the rub:

You think to yourself, "Ooh, what's this? A shadow warrior? Hey, I wanna play Legolas and pew-pew from a safe distance while I learn the game and maybe roleplay some." Or maybe you go, "I can play evil? Heck yeah, sign me up, that chosen look badass, hulk smash!". With me so far? Good. Now imagine everyone else on the server has had the same idea as you, because you're actually not the very special snowflake your parents always told you you were.

So what we've got right now is order having an abundance of ranged damage dealers who like kittens and playing it safe, and destruction having an abundance of melee characters who like to vent their repressed anger in online games. Remember the opening scene in Saving Private Ryan? That's how the game plays right now. Germans pew-pew-pewing the beaches, but when the yanks break through the Germans are having a real bad time. Does that mean one side is better? Not really, but imagine how that scene would've played out if the Germans had put their tank reserves on the frontlines instead.

"Well, screw that, I'm gonna play the game how I want to." And that's fine, you should! It's your time, after all. Just be prepared for the fact that all the organized play resolves around balanced group compositions, and there's a chance you'll miss out on that if you play an overpopulated class.

So what career should I choose? Well, taking into account what I wrote about, there are 2 criteria. You need to like the playstyle, and you need to like how the character looks. Ironbreaker is a fantastic class, but you hate how dwarves look? I'm with you friend, but trust me, you won't enjoy playing one if you don't like looking like a tincan with feet. Magi look fantastic, but can't get into the gameplay of static turrets? Yeah, same deal.

No, but seriously, what class should I choose? Okay, here's the deal, you can't go wrong with Empire. They look the best, and all careers are top tier in their role. The exception is Witch Hunter, which is very specialized, and you should instead pick Slayer if you want to play mDPS. Also, you can't go wrong with Greenskins, but if you don't like their look Chaos is a good alternative. If you want to play rDPS, you should however not go SQ (SQuig herder, often confusingly referred to as SH, but SH always used to mean SHaman) or Magus, but go with Sorcerer instead.

So you made your character, what next?

Let's go through a couple of concepts first. There are two kinds of level in this game. Career rank (CR or just R) which has a cap of 40 which is kind of a traditional MMORPG level, and Renown rank (RR), with a softcap of 80 (at which point your character stop gaining power) and a hard cap of 255, which is a PvP level.

CR unlocks class specific abilities and most of your talents points, whereas RR unlocks renown abilities (available for all classes) and gives a few extra talent points (up to 4 at RR70, compared to 25 from reaching CR40). You will reach CR40 weeks or even months before RR80, and normally when other players are looking for new members to a group or warband ("LFM Gunbad, 60+"), a CR of 40 is implied and character level is equated with renown rank.

Unless you intend to play the game solo, and just want to enjoy the story and lore, you need to level up both ranks.

While RR can only be gained in scenarios (instanced PvP) and RvR, CR is most effectively gained by doing PvE content. Yes, I know you heard someone claim doing scenarios is fastest. They're wrong. Doing PvE with a combination of questing and grinding is fastest. That doesn't necessarily mean you should. And the reason why is that all decent gear have both CR and a RR requirements. A character with CR40 and RR30 will actually be weaker in RvR than a character with CR30 and RR40 due to the fact that they're restricted to PvE items, which are much worse.

Doesn't that mean you should hold off levelling CR until your RR is much higher than your CR? No, it does not, and don't believe the people who tell you to. The reason is that CR levels much more slowly than RR until you reach very high RR, and CR below 40 will restrict you from forts and cities [EDIT: cities doesn't actually require RR40]. You want to keep CR and RR reasonably close, with no more than 10 RR higher than CR at any given point (and definitely not RR more than 10 levels below CR). A good rule of thumb is to always use up your rested XP (XP bonus you gain while offline) in PvE, and then go do scenarios or RvR.

So what is this RvR thing?

Well, before we go to that, let's just look at how the game world is structured. Open your map (M), and switch to world map. Forget about Land of the Dead for now, and you will see 3 so-called pairings, matchups between High Elves vs Dark Elves, Dwarves vs Greenskins and Empire vs Chaos. These matchups doesn't mean that only those races are allowed to fight there, but that the environment, story and quests reflect a conflict between those races.

Now switch to the pairings map and you will see that each pairing is divided into 4 tiers.
Tiers are levels in the content based on CR, in the live game tier 1 was CR1-10, tier 2 CR11-20, tier 3 CR20-30 and tier 4 CR31+. For PvE this is still true, and if you're CR16 you will get oneshotted in tier 4 PvE content.

However, for RvR tier 1 is CR1-15, and tiers 2 to 4 have been merged, so that every character CR16+ have access to the RvR content of those tiers. Now switch to zone map. Notice the area separated by a brownish border? That's the edge of the RvR area or "lake". The lake is split between two zones, but transitioning between the zones is seamless. Step inside that area, and you'll be flagged for PvP, and is fair game for the other realm whether you like it or not.

Tier 1 RvR

So, fresh off the boat from Altdorf, how do I get started with PvP? At the top left of your minimap there's a warhammer online icon which allows you to start queueing for scenarios, but that's not the focus of this guide. Instead make your way towards the RvR lake, doing all the PvE quests on the way. Even if you hate PvE, you'll want to be at least level 2 when you get there, so you can get on your mount, preferably a little higher so you have more than one button to smash.

At the edge of the RvR lake you'll find the warcamp. Here are trainers, vendors for RvR gear, and transport to the capital of each realm. Basically everything you want. There are also quest givers for e.g. kill quests, so make sure to pick those up.

In tier 1, RvR is based on capturing (capping) battlefield objectives (BOs, "flags") and holding them. You capture them by standing near them with no enemies in the area, and hold them by staying near them, despite enemies being in the area. While your side controls a BO, it will regularly spawn supplies (brown crates on the ground). (Note: at the time of writing this, it's unclear to me if supplies can also spawn randomly from killing enemies like they can in higher tiers). Click on the supplies to pick them up, and deliver them by clicking on the flag just outside your warcamp. Each delivered supply increases your zone controlby 2%. If the zone control reaches 100%, you will win the zone. Furthermore the zone will be "locked", meaning the objectives are disabled and you need to travel to another pairing in T1 to continue RvR - at least one pairing will always be open.

While killing enemies you will gain renown (renown is to renown rank what XP is to career rank), random loot, medallions and influence. Influence and medallions can ge used to gain quite decent gear, random loot can be vendored or used for crafting (which I won't go into here), and will sometimes be better than what you currently have (this is always true for back, shoulder and head gear, which won't be available from vendors in T1). This is a good time to get acquainted with how groups and warbands work, how talents and renown abilities work, and start reading class specific guides.

Tiers 2-4

A lot of players find T1 RvR so much fun they delete their character when reaching CR16 and start over. And speaking of which, exactly what happens when you reach CR16? Well, now whenever you try to enter a T1 RvR late you'll turn into a chicken. Literally. This is to avoid high level players griefing the starting areas. It's time to pack up and move to the big leagues. "No way!I'm just level 16, I won't stand a chance!" Well, up to a point, but this is only partially true, because of bolstering.

Bolstering will inflate your CR and stats so that you actually stand a chance, or at least can participate in the fighting in a meaningful manner. For bolster to properly work, you need to always make sure you've upgraded your gear as best you can. If you hoard your medallions and money, and step into high tier RvR wearing those white quality level 5 pants you found, you will get deleted. Not literally, of course, but you will have a bad time. Even geared, you'll still lack most of your career abilities, renown abilities and talents so you don't expect to beat a geared level 80+. It can feel unfair and frustrating at times. But you will get better, and so will your experience.

With that out of the way, it's time to look at the pairings again. In order to progress the RvR campaign to a higher tier in a pairing, the previous pairing must be locked. This is done by capturing the enemy keep in the RvR lake, and this works very differently from the tier 1 RvR. There are still objectives here, and they still spawn supplies. Supplies can also spawn randomly from killing enemies. Deliver supplies to flag on the bottom floor of your own keep or the flag just outside your warcamp just like in T1. When supplies are turned in, your keep rank will increase. (Note: keep rank affects how many BOs you need to control for supplies to spawn, and will eventually disable the dropoff flag at your warcamp, so that you can only turn in supplies at your own keep.)

When your keep is at least rank 2 stars, you can spawn a ram. Spawning rams and other siege engines require belonging to a high ranked guild to prevent griefing from members of the other realm temporarily switching sides. Don't worry about it, as a new player you should observe how the more experienced players use these before trying to spawn them yourself. The pool of siege engines available to spawn is limited and depends on keep rank, and destroyed siege engines will return to the pool faster the higher rank your keep is.

The main doors to the enemy keep can only be hurt by siege engines, and effectively only by rams. Rams are key, so the objective of the defenders is to destroy the ram, and of the attackers to protect it while bringing down the doors. In tier 3 and 4 the keeps have outer walls and doors as well as inner, in T2 they only have "inner" doors. This is important, because when you die near the keep, you will respawn in the keep as long as the inner doors have not been hit, then you'll end up in warcamp instead. Characters belonging to the melee DPS archetype can bypass postern doors of all walls, and once the main doors to a wall is down, all characters can now also enter through the postern door of that wall, the exception being the inner postern of a rank 3 keep (which melees can still bypass). Preventing the enemy keep from reaching rank 3 by denying them supplies if often key to victory.

Once the main doors are down, the defenders will often position themselves in what's called a funnel. A funnel is a line of tanks on each or sometimes only one side of the now open main doors with DPS behind them, positioned so that they stay break line of sight of the enemy ranged DPS, but can still hit everything coming through the door.
The objective of the attackers once they are through the main outer door is trying to hit the main inner door, usually with cannons, to prevent the defenders from respawning in the keep, then overwhelm the defenders by simply breaking the funnel or flanking from the postern. Once the inner doors are down the keep's lord becomes vulnerable. The lord is essentially just a huge bag of hitpoints to slow the taking of keepto the point where the defenders can organize a charge. The same process of breaking the funnel is repeated, with the defenders often making a last stand on the top floor of the keep which only has one entrance, and from there harass the attackers.

Once the keep lord is down, the attackers must capture and hold three BOs in addition to the keep ruins to lock the zone. Technically the keep ruins can be recaptured by defenders (well, at least the ruins, supposedly reverting back to a normal keep if defenders hold all 4 BOs for a time), but usually when a keep falls the fighting in the zone more or less ends.


When a tier 2 or 3 zone locks, the campaign is moved to the next highest tier. The T4 pairing works a little differently though, with 3 zones - each with their rvr lake, unlike previous tiers where the lake is split across two zones - arranged in a sort of tug of war. E.g. if destruction wins Praag, the campaign moves to Reikland, if order wins that one it moves back to Praag and so on. When the end zone (either first or third) falls to the attacker, the campaign moves to a fort.

Forts are endgame content, and the main source of invader gear, which is a prerequisite for warlord and sovereign gear. Fort population is capped ensuring that neither the attackers or defenders face a huge influx of players just waiting for the fort to start. The attackers' player cap depends on how many players were in the previous zone, usually about 200-300 players, and the defenders' player cap is always 80% of the attackers' cap. In order to get into a fort you need a reservation. Reservations are earned by contributing in the previous zone, and players below CR40 earn much less contribution than CR40s, so don't expect to earn a reservation when first starting out. A reservation lasts 5 minutes before your spot is given to someone else. If you don't get a reservation, you can still queue by trying to enter fort (it will kick you out, but place you in the queue at the same time).

A fort is entered for both sides simply by crossing the border between the end zone and fort. This can often be difficult as defender, since the attackers are usually more and will camp this area looking for easy pickings while queueing for fort. As an alternative, defenders can recall to their capital, exit through the south edge of IC or Altdorf and end up in Reikwalk or The Maw respectively. Each of these zones have portals to the other forts, and the trek takes less than 3 minutes. The reverse, the defenders camping the border, can also happen, in which case you're better off taking the PvE route into the fort (not possible for all zones, e.g. Kadrin Valley which has no PvE route for destruction into Stonewatch).

Forts are played in 3 stages. Stage 1 is waiting for the outer wall doors to automatically fall (takes 5 minutes) while people with reservations enter, organize warbands, and so on.
Once outer walls are down, stage 2 begins with inner doors automatically being hit by a ram. The rate at which the inner door goes down depends on how many BOs the attackers control. It seems contribution in a fort is gained by capping flags rather than holding them, meaning everyone has more incentive to capture flags than defend, resulting in one huge group of attackers moving around the fort capturing one at a time, often shadowed by a defender group recapturing all flags behind them. This is often referred to as "nascar", since it appears almost as race cars on a track. Once inner doors are down, stage 3 begins.

Unlike a keep, defenders can still respawn in the keep even when inner door is hit, but not once the inner door goes down. If a defender respawns when the inner doors are down, he or she goes to jail. Literally. The jail is a small compound at the edge of the fort that can only be opened by a lever, and unless a defender pulls that lever ("jail break") the defeated defenders stay in the jail until fort is over. Putting people in jail, and preventing a jail break is crucial to the attackers, who must dedicate people for guard duty and thus can't participate in the main fight.

Speaking of the main fight, it's basically a keep defense with funnels, postern pushes and what not, with a slight twist for each keep (such as additional poison AoE for the attackers). Due to this twist (varies with fort), the defenders nearly always elect to defend the fort lord floor, since they get an extra edge here. What makes forts unique is the population cap and jail mechanic, meaning that if the defenders wipe the fort is more or less over. The attackers will organize pushes with morale abilities, and the defenders either hold or break. It can be very exciting, but is often very frustrating as attackers, since it's generally agreed that attacking is much harder.

Both sides of a fort will get 4 invader tokens, on a win attackers will get 2 extra invader tokens and defenders a royal crest. Since the rewards are so high even when losing a fort defense, so people feel they have no incentive to properly defend the preceding end zone and will willingly lose that zone to get to fort (referred to as "throwing"). A successful end zone defense will yield 1 invader token, but unfortunately this is not always enough to discourage some people throwing a zone, which can be frustrating for newer players who wont likely see fort anyway due to being below CR40.
When attackers win a fort, they lock the entire pairing, meaning no RvR zones in that pairing will be open, limiting the fighting to a smaller number of zones.

[EDIT: since writing this guide, end zone defense has been increased to 2 invader tokens, and while it is a bit too early to tell, it seems to have put an end to throwing end zones. Instead everyone seems more eager to defend their own end zone rather than attacking the opponent's end zone, resulting in the campaign flowing back and forth to a much higher degree.]


Once a realm has locked 2 forts, the other side's capital comes under siege. This opens up city scenarios, available to CR40/RR40 players only. (Note: it seems RR40 isn't actually a requirement, it's just that most people are RR40+ when reaching CR40.) City scenarios are for all intents and purposes the only source of royal crests (except successful fort defense, as mentioned above), the current endgame gear, making them highly lucrative. The scenario is played out in 3 stages but isn't technically RvR, so I won't cover it here. Suffice to say that you will probably need to learn to play well with others and join up with a city group, as solo players find it hard to get a spot.

Similarly to how defenders can throw an end zone to get to fort, defenders sometimes elect to throw a fort to get to the city, even if they'll receive slightly lower rewards for defending a city than attacking one.

Once a city is under siege (takes maybe 90 minutes in all), you can no longer enter that city and end up in refugee camp instead if you try to port. The refugee camp doesn't have access to scenario NPC or certain vendors. If all pairings are locked, you're limited to scenarios or PvE. If one pairing is still open you can still participate in RvR, but be advised that when city is resolved the campaign will be reset all the way back to T2, so you will miss out on zone lock rewards.
Last edited by stmarrow on Tue May 05, 2020 12:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Posts: 51

Re: Getting started in RvR, from character creation to cities

Post#2 » Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:19 am


Posts: 3

Re: Getting started in RvR, from character creation to cities

Post#3 » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:02 pm

Great summary, thank you much for posting!

Posts: 2

Re: Getting started in RvR, from character creation to cities

Post#4 » Sat Oct 16, 2021 10:37 pm

Just downloaded the game (last time I played was many many years ago!). Thanks so much for the writeup!

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Posts: 3

Re: Getting started in RvR, from character creation to cities

Post#5 » Mon Feb 14, 2022 10:56 pm

Outstanding reading. Its got my mouth salivating to join RVR, and I very much look forward to getting into RVR with my character now.

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