Let's talk about... everything else
Ask literally anyone who plays any online game with a competitive mode what they despise most about the solo online experience and more likely than not they'll give you one of ten-quintillion possible variations on a single answer:
Who can blame them? Most online games are team-based, if not class-based, and many times is the beleaguered gamer forced to watch as his or her own hard work is nullified by some feckless moron who doesn't seem to have a clue what in Tzeentch's name is going on - or worse, a whole team of them. Someone you personally know and like may even fall into this category; they seem like an intelligent human being capable of simultaneous ambulation and gum-chewing, but stick them on a team and they play like all of their inputs have been reversed and set on a thirty second delay. You might even be one yourself. I know I sure was, at least at one point, but being awful at something is the first step to getting good at something and everyone has to start somewhere.
That somewhere is this guide, or at least I hope it will be. I'm not going to cover advanced PvP tactics, talk about assisting, or give particularly specific class advice. I'm going to discuss basic scenario-based PvP and map strategy from a 'solo queue' standpoint for those folks who just hit 'Join All' like their lives depend on it, focusing particularly on those early scenarios where people pick up the habits that inform their playstyle for the rest of their online career. I'm also going to do it in as concise a manner as I can so folks can check the guide while the map's loading, get a little reminder of what they're supposed to be doing, and then get back to the killing fields.
Before we even get to map-specific strategy, there's some basic stuff to keep track of. While all of this applies to scenario PvP in Warhammer Online, almost all of it can be applied to just about any competitive online game. It might seem like a lot at first, but walking seemed like a lot at first when you were a baby and look at you now. I've expounded on the points considerably, but they all boil down to the bold letters:
- Communicate With Your Team: Communication is arguably the most powerful weapon in any player's arsenal; half the reason premades are so effective is because they let each other know what's what. Your team can't react to something they don't know is happening, so if you're guarding the Stag and you see some shady characters heading your way, say something about it in chat instead of trying to hold it yourself.
- Stick With The Tour Group: If your team makes a risky/bad play - charging in outnumbered or getting caught flanking and attacking anyway - they still have a better chance of success with you participating rather than sitting on the backline complaining about how boneheaded a move it was. Sometimes a wild charge can surprise the enemy but you won't know unless you try. In Warhammer Online you can win together and lose together, but you can't win alone. However...
- Change the Game: Recognize when your team is figuratively banging their heads against a wall, then do something to change the circumstances as best you can. Playing Nordenwatch and struggling to hold Barracks/Lighthouse? Try ninja-ing the opposite point to put pressure on the enemy team to pull back. Enemy team dug in good at the Temple of Isha? Skip the grinder and go around the back where they can't use line-of-sight to pick you off. You won't always be successful but sometimes all it takes is a little push to tip the scales back in your team's favor. At the end of the match, at least you can say you gave it your best shot.
- Focus on Objectives: Farming XP and Renown from kills is fun, but it's rarely constructive (unless you're playing Murderball, but we'll get to that later). It may suck sitting on The Crypt while you watch your team battle across the cemetery towards The Stag, but you'll be glad you stuck around when you catch that wretched little Witch Hunter trying to steal it out from under your nose. You'll get more XP/Renown from winning a game than trying to farm kills in a losing match.
- Know When To Fold'em: The somewhat depressing cousin of Don't Get Greedy (see below), knowing when an objective, a situation, or even a match is lost is important not just to winning, but to having a good time as a player. If you see a big enemy force moving in your direction and you've got no reinforcements coming, get out of there; depending on how squishy you are, you may not even slow them down. Retreat, regroup, and try again. Sometimes your team will do something completely dead from the neck up, like focusing a single Knight of the Blazing Sun with two pocket healers camping outside your spawn. Ignore them and go for an objective; you'll waste more time by trying to kill those sods or convincing your teammates that it's just a distraction than you will taking the objective that can win you the game. I'm a firm believer that a game isn't over until you see the score screen, but if it's 30-465 on Nordenwatch and the enemy has all three control points, only an act of the Ruinous Powers themselves will save you from defeat so just roll with it. Pick off greedy enemy players, soak some XP/Renown, etc. Enjoy the ride, requeue, and give it another shot.
- Don't Get Greedy: Proper greed management is the second most important part of being a useful team player in a pub scenario. Running off and trying to be a hero by yourself (instead of guarding the objective) can start what's called a "trickle": Player A runs off after an enemy and gets in over his/her head, so Player B runs off to help Player A. Player A is dead by the time Player B arrives and now the enemy is attacking Player B, so Player C runs off to help Player B. Player B is dead by the time Player C, etc. The end result is that people get picked off one by one, weakening the team's hold on the objective(s) and allowing the enemy team, who are sticking together, the opportunity to sweep in and clean up - especially disastrous on single-objective scenarios. Greed loses games.
- Don't Be A Jerk: If you can't say anything helpful, don't say anything at all. Enemy movements/field orders should be neutral - "INC CRYPT" "barracks need help" etc. - but if someone's making mistakes/acting like a moron, yelling at them isn't going to improve the situation. AxeBeardChin, the world's most overzealous Slayer, is a lot more likely to respond and learn from "If you dive in before the tanks, I can't keep you alive," than he is to respond and learn from "Hey idiot, how about you stop charging like a #[email protected]#$ing &*@$head?" even if you'd rather say the latter than the former.
- Don't AFK: If you don't want to play, then leave the match. Period. "But I won't get any renown or--" Don't care. You're in the match, make an effort no matter how hopeless it looks. The match may not be going the way you want it to, but every player not participating increases the chance of defeat exponentially and makes a potential comeback that much harder to achieve. I just spent the previous bullet point talking about how you shouldn't be a jerk, but if you see someone camping out in spawn, feel free to abuse them to your heart's content. They've earned it.
- Don't Give Up: Some scenarios (like the aforementioned Nordenwatch 3-cap) may be a lost cause, but there's still a fairly large window where most games can be turned around. Unless the game is a completely one-sided stompfest, it takes a fair amount of focus and teamwork to gain a significant lead early on, and it's surprising how easily that focus can be broken by an unexpected setback or two. Just a day ago I played a Highpass Cemetery match where we were down something like 30-300 halfway through the time limit but we ended up winning 500-410 with like 30 seconds to spare because we fought tooth and nail to get back in the game. Comebacks are real. Never give up.
- Don't Play Angry: A little fire in your blood can be beneficial; a competitive level of aggression can spur you to make big plays or do something so crazy it just might work, but once you've passed the 'Khorne threshold,' it's time to take a break. Do some PvE, play something else, stand up and walk around, relax for a bit, etc. 'Tilt' is a poker term for when a player gets so frustrated that he or she stops thinking (and thus, playing) clearly, but it's applicable here, too. If you have an awful match that gets you ready to collect some skulls for the Skull Throne, chances are you're not going to be playing well in the next match - which in turn will just make you angrier, sending you into a subsequent match with an even WORSE state of mind, and so on. You'll get your win back, trust me.
Now that that's out of the way, let's get to the actual scenario strategy!
Ah, Domination. If you've played any competitive game online, you probably know how it works: 3 control points that add to the score of whichever team's currently controlling them, whoever hits 500 points first wins, etc. Simple to grasp, fun to play. Just don't forget that you have to stand next to the objective to capture it; pushing the enemy off isn't enough.
The Majority Rule
When you're in a Domination scenario, always keep this in mind: you don't need all objectives to win, only more objectives than the other team. Taking and holding 2 objectives is a lot easier than taking and holding 3, and while you won't win as fast, it's a lot safer and ensures your team isn't spread too thin across the map. Even if you're down on points, it's better to hold 2 objectives and make up the difference in kills as the other team throws themselves at you trying to take one of them back.
It was the first scenario I ever played and it's still one of my favorites. The Barracks and the Lighthouse both give 15 points when they're initially captured, while the Fortress gives 30. It's a pretty simple map, so there's not a great deal of cover or alternate routes, but it's a great map for learning how to use terrain and line of sight to your advantage. It's also an asymmetrical layout, but the strategies for either side remain similar.
- Take the Barracks, then take the Fortress by charging straight up the hill (not using the footpath)
- Use the bridge to as a choke-point
- Hold both points until you win
- Only go for the Lighthouse if you can't get Order out of the Fortress*
- Take the Lighthouse, then take the Fortress
- Use the hill above Barracks to get a line-of-sight advantage
- Hold both points until you win
- Only go for the Barracks if you can't get Destruction out of the Fortress*
The Rocks And How To Use Them
There's some big boulders and outcroppings separating the Barracks and the Lighthouse; each side can use them to their own advantage:
- If you're Order, these rocks break up your straight shot to the Barracks. Use them instead to ambush sneaky Destruction players trying to grab the Lighthouse. They'll be traveling uphill, so you'll have a height/line-of-sight advantage, too.
- If you're Destruction, use these rocks to hide from Order players on their way to the Fortress while you get ready to nip the Lighthouse. Most eyes are going to be forward when there's a melee at the Fortress, so the rocks are your friends.
GATES OF EKRUND
If Nordenwatch is all about terrain control, Gates of Ekrund is about close combat fundamentals. The small map is symmetrical and all three objectives are situated very close to one another; the area around the central objective in particular is set up to let both sides tear each other apart. Because of the Gates' small area, teams can afford to get very aggressive because they can get from one objective to the other in a short amount of time; the combination of high fortifications and really exposed, linear entrances to the gates also makes it very easy for a high-aggression team to almost completely shut out the opposition.
- Head up the leftmost ramp to take the Ammunition Cache, then head out across the broken bridge to take the Gate Switch
- Try to keep Order confined to the Supply Room area/opposite side of the bridge
- Watch for Order players flanking up the A route
- Avoid the areas under the broken center path as much as you can, they're line-of-sight death traps
- If Order gives up the Supply Room, punish them by camping out above and in the choke points to prevent them from even getting into the gate
- Head up the leftmost ramp to take the Supply Room, then head out across the broken bridge to take the Gate Switch
- Try to keep Destruction confined to the Supply Room area/opposite side of the bridge
- Watch for Destruction players flanking up the C route
- Avoid the areas under the broken center path as much as you can, they're line-of-sight death traps
- If Destruction gives up the Ammunition Cache, punish them by camping out above and in the choke points to prevent them from even getting into the gate
When To Flank And When To Fight:
Because of the Gates of Ekrund's compact space, it's tempting to constantly try to ninja the other team's home objective; however, it can ultimately be pretty risky. The small map size guarantees a pretty steady stream of reinforcements from spawn, and there's a big chance they'll pass by the objective you're trying to take, which will end poorly for you - even moreso if you uncapture the objective but don't take it completely, since they'll get a free 15 points out of retaking it. It's a risky move at any time in the game, but it's safest to try when the enemy team is pushed up close to your own base; they're probably having too much fun farming your team to watch their backs, so punish that hubris. Otherwise, use the flanking routes to clear out the bridge area above the Gate Switch where the ranged DPS/healers will probably be hanging out, thinking they're safe; once the bombardment area's been cleared, your team can push onto the Gate Switch.
Using the Chokepoints:
If your team can pummel the opposition into submission, the narrow ramps and hallways leading into the Gates are prime 'farmland.' Coming up from spawn they'll be completely exposed to ranged DPS standing on top of the Gates above, and tank/healer teams can close off both of the entrances quite easily. If the enemy team is doing this to yours, go for the flanking objective immediately, as they'll be harder to dislodge than an arrow through an eyesocket. On principle I'm not a huge fan of spawncamping, but if one team keeps running into the damage of the other instead of trying an alternate route, they deserve whatever they get.
Reikland Factory is all about spacial awareness; the two outer objectives are flat level affairs, but the Steam Tank Plant is a vertical grindhouse where most of the battle will be fought. Although the devs probably wouldn't admit this, Order has a slight map advantage over Destruction because of a ramp on their side that leads up to the rafter area of the Plant where ranged classes can safely snipe and heal while above the melee below. The Plant is also a bit of a nightmare because every entrance is a potential chokepoint where everyone loses line of sight, requiring all-in tactics to achieve victory.
- Rush the Steam Tank Plant.
- As soon as your team establishes a hold in the Plant, send someone back (probably you) to the Warehouse and take it; one or two people is enough.
- Do not, under any circumstances, let Order draw you out of the Plant. Make them come in and fight for it.
- Move back and forth between the objectives as you need to in order to hold off Order until you win.
- If you weren't able to take the Plant, immediately withdraw and take the Warehouse.
- Once you have the Warehouse, either move to take the Machine Shop or head up the ramps to get rid of Ranged Order so you can take the Plant without getting bombarded.
- Rush the Steam Tank Plant.
- As soon as your team establishes a hold in the Plant, send someone back (probably you) back to the Machine Shop and take it; one or two people is enough.
- Do not, under any circumstances, let Destruction draw you out of the Plant. Make them come in and fight for it.
- Move back and forth between the objectives as you need to in order to hold off Destruction until you win.
- If you weren't able to take the Plant, immediately withdraw and take the Machine Shop.
- Once you have the Machine Shop, either move to take the Warehouse or head up the ramps to get rid of Ranged Destruction in the Plant so you can move in without getting bombarded.
The Steam Tank Rush:
I said I wasn't going into class specifics (and I'm NOT) but I AM going to get a bit into role specifics.
- Melee DPS/tanks should head in whichever entrance is closest to your spawn
- Ranged DPS/heals should head up the ramps to the rafters
- If your team has more melee than ranged, consider heading up with the ranged DPS/heals to help them take/protect the upper walkways
Because of the unique layout of the map, taking the Steam Tank Plant is absolutely imperative to victory not just from a points perspective, but from a territory control perspective. Having a good hold on the Steam Tank Plant means that enemies are forced to enter through small doorways that can easily break line of sight between healers and damage/tanks, it means you have a relatively safe route to both the Warhouse and the Machine Shop, and it means plenty of safe spots for your healers and DPS to stay out of trouble when the enemy tries to push in. Remember that Order will be able to get a foothold first because of the ramps, but Destruction (HINT HINT) can sweep in behind and clear them out if they're smart about where to attack.
The Basement And How To Use It:
The Basement is the best-kept secret about the Reikland Factory scenario; it lets you get from one side of the map to the other (completely unseen, if Order is entrenched in the Plant) and it lets you ambush the Plant floor while bypassing the doors. Note that flanking from the basement is pretty risky; it leaves you wide open if there are ranged camped out on the rafters, but if it's just a small force camping the door, your team can crush them from both sides.
Back on Live, the Landing was a fourth objective that essentially joined both teams' spawns in one big brawl. If the other team is starting to push into the Plant, use the bridge to flank them and take some pressure off of the defenders inside. If the enemy's taken the Plant, you can also cross the Landing in order to head off any potential reinforcements coming from their spawn.
One Last Word About Domination:
One thing I've seen since the beta on Live is whenever a match starts, some tactical genius suggests backdooring/ninja-ing/stealthily taking the other team's objective at the start of the match.
I cannot possibly over-stress how terrible of an idea this is.
"But I stole the Lighthouse this one time and it--" Shut up. You got lucky. PvP is as much a numbers game as it is about military strategy; the more people you bring to a fight, the better your chances of winning it; when you sneak off by yourself, you're willingly decreasing your team's chances of winning an all-in fight. Sometimes you don't have a choice - grabbing the enemy's objective is oftentimes the only thing you can do to get them away from your spawn point - but trying to steal the other team's objective at the start of the match is an extremely risky move - the rewards of which aren't even worth it - on any map. Don't believe me? Here's the math:
- Best Case Scenario: You steal the other point and your team takes the Fortress. This nets you 60 points in total (15 from your first capture, 15 from the ninja capture, 30 from the Fortress capture) compared to the enemy's 15 (from their first capture) but this is also exceptionally unlikely because if there's no one at the enemy's objective, it means they're at the Fortress. If the entire enemy team is at the Fortress but YOUR team is shorthanded, it's pretty darn likely your team is going to lose the Fortress AND take heavy losses in the process.
- Most Likely Case Scenario: You steal the other point, but your team loses the Fortress. This nets you 30 points (15 from your first capture, 15 from the ninja capture), but the enemy team has 45 points (15 from their first capture, 30 from the Fortress) and you can bet they'll send someone back to their first objective to recapture it. Your team will also take more losses because they're shorthanded, so the enemy team will have an even bigger advantage.
- Worst Case Scenario: You fail to steal the other point entirely and your team loses the Fortress. Now you only have 15 points (15 from your first capture), but the other team has 45 points (15 from their first capture, 30 from the Fortress) not counting any kills they're likely to rack up as a result of your absence. It's even possible they could bump that up to 60 if you uncapture their point but die before you can take it completely, letting them score another 15 when it flips back to their control.
Gates of Ekrund:
The math is the same, but failure is even more likely because of the small size of the map. The other team can easily turn around and end your little expedition before you can capture the point because they'll be so close to the Gate Switch at that time of the game.
Even using the basement to get to the other team's point is a bit like going around your elbow to get to your nose. The early Plant rush is so vital to controlling the map that the potential 15 points you might score are negligible.
As you can see, backdooring the enemy objective is not only risky, it pays off poorly. Even if all three scenarios were as statistically likely as each other, that's still a 2/3rds chance that things are going to go badly for your team. Do you really want to stake that crucial early game momentum on a 1/3rd chance? I sure don't. Make the safe bet: stick with your team. And if you still try to ninja the enemy point after reading all of this and continue to lose games, just know you've brought it on yourself.
Murderball is a deathmatch-style gametype where two teams fight over a single objective, the titular Murderball. Players can pick up and hold the Murderball (it takes a few seconds and it IS interrupted by taking damage), which does three things:
- The Murderball periodically adds points to the score of whichever team holds it
- The Murderball makes kills scored by its holder count for more points
- The Murderball does periodic, increasing damage to whoever holds it
Murderball is quite different from Domination in that there's very little map-specific strategy, but lots of blanket strategies depending on whether your team currently has the Murderball or not. So here we go!
If You Are Personally Holding The Murderball:
- Run back to your spawn immediately. This is not up for discussion. Keeping the Murderball at your spawn means the other team has to run across the map to get to you, it means if people die defending you/the Murderball that they can immediately respawn and get back in the fight, and it means that the Murderball will be very difficult for the enemy team to pick up under a constant stream of fresh reinforcements.
- Play defensively. The closer to the enemy spawn you move, the easier you make it for the other team to reclaim the Murderball when you die - and you will die; eventually the Murderball's damage will be higher than your total health and all the healing in the world won't save you. The enemy team will come to you, trust me. They have to, if they want to win.
If Someone On Your Team Is Holding The Murderball:
- Wherever the Murderball goes, so do you, even if that person decides to run suicidally into the enemy team. Ideally they should run back to spawn, but some people (read: morons) decide to get overly aggressive when they get the Murderball, as if the giant shaft of light around them doesn't make them the biggest target in the world. Whoever currently has the Murderball, for better or worse, is the one calling the shots, and if you want to maximize your chances of winning, you have to go with it.
- If you're a healer, whoever has the Murderball needs to be your top priority, no exceptions. The Murderball's damage starts off almost nonexistent, but it ramps up real bloody quick; the longer your team holds the Murderball, the more points you'll accumulate, so it's common sense to keep the ball holder topped off. You shouldn't neglect the rest of your team, but chances are the bloke with the giant shaft of light over their head will be attracting the most damage one way or the other.
- If you're a tank/damage dealer, you don't need to form a defensive perimeter around the ball holder or anything that organized, but you should keep an eye on him/her as often as you can spare one. You want to score your kills close to the ball holder so they'll count for more AND the ball holder is a prime target for assassins, so as soon as they're in trouble, you'll need to swoop in and play the hero.
If The Other Team Has The Murderball:
- Kill the ball holder at any cost. This doesn't mean you should trickle in one by one and get yourselves killed, it means that the ball holder should be EVERYONE's primary target when the two teams are fighting. Ignore healers, ignore damage dealers, ignore everyone. Kill the ball holder. Between the massive onslaught of damage and the Murderball's damage tics, the carrier will go down fast. Once the holder is dead you can worry about fighting, but the important thing is to get the Murderball out of the other team's hands. When the Murderball is neutral, nobody gets extra points for kills and nobody's score goes up periodically.
- Pick them off. If the enemy team is smart, they'll pull back to spawn and turtle up. A full assault can be a crap shoot in terms of success, but if you bait the greedy members of the enemy team to their deaths, the rest will be easier to kill.
- If the team holding the Murderball is playing aggressively, retreat back to your own spawn and overwhelm them with reinforcements. The closer they are to your spawn, the more of a favor they're doing you.
When The Murderball Has Been Dropped:
- If your team is closest to where the Murderball spawns at the start of the game, all you need to worry about is making sure the other team doesn't pick it back up. If the Murderball isn't picked up after a certain period of time (it's about 15-30 seconds, I'm not sure how long precisely), it will reset to its original position; this can save your team a lot of death and time because they can just retreat back to the Murderball's spawn point, then continue to pull back to your own spawn instead of trying to pick it up outside of the enemy's spawn. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try to pick it up if the opportunity arises, however.
- If your team is farthest away from where the Murderball spawns at the start of the game, you have to push the enemy back so you can pick it up. The Murderball will reset if it isn't picked up, placing the other team squarely between you and the objective. Obviously, this is bad. Luckily you don't need to push the enemy team back across the map, just get them far enough away from the ball for someone on your own team to pick it up. As soon as your team reclaims it, retreat back to the holder and turtle up again.
Hoo boy, that was a lot, wasn't it. To the maps!
Mourkain Temple is pretty simple; it's not completely symmetrical, but it's close enough. Here's what both teams need to do:
- Rush the central room where the Murderball is located.
- Grab the ball, head back to spawn and shore up defenses.
- If your team lost the fight for the ball room, pull back and flank around one of the sides because otherwise you'll just get farmed to death in the narrow entrances.
That's pretty much it. No secret routes, no advanced strategies, just snatch and grab. Don't get bogged down in teamfights, focus on taking (or defending) the Murderball. Destruction players, be aware you won't have as much natural cover around your spawn as Order does. Yes, it's a load of bollocks, but if we wanted the easy way out, we'd bow down like the rest of Sigmar's dogs.
The map is lava! No, literally. There's very little cover at all, and the map is quite big; turtling is even more effective here because killing an enemy at your spawn means they're going to have a longer walk to get back to you than on most other maps. It plays pretty similar to Mourkain Temple, but there are a few more things to keep track off.
- Rush the Murderball at the beginning. The Murderball is on an elevated plateau, so ranged DPS and healers will need to run up with melee DPS and tanks so they don't lose line of sight.
- Run the ball back to your spawn, etc.
- If you didn't get the ball, keep harassing the enemy team; most of the map is wide open, so there aren't many places to hide.
- If you have any sort of knockback abilities, use them to smack enemies into the lava. If the falling damage doesn't kill them, the magma certainly will.
- Once you're back at your spawn, use the rocks around the area as cover to hold off the enemy and protect your healers.
Keep in mind that if the person holding the Murderball dies in the lava, the Murderball WILL reset!
King of the Hill is a very similar gamemode to Domination, except instead of controlling three objectives, you only control one. The centrally-located objective means the entire match is going to be one gigantic slugfest, so get ready for a bloodbath.
LOST TEMPLE OF ISHA
The Lost Temple of Isha is shaped like a gigantic funnel, directing combatants towards the lone objective at the temple itself. The open plains between the two spawn areas are prime combat terrain, but what you really want to do is grab the temple and then never, ever leave. The Temple accumulates points very, very quickly, so control of it is paramount to victory. Because of the symmetrical layout of the map, strategies are the same for both sides:
- Rush the Temple.
- If you're able to take it, set up camp and don't let anyone or anything draw you out.
- If you're not able to take it, try to bait the enemy team outside where you can kill them, or use the flanking routes to bypass the entrance.
- Ignore the Murderball completely.
I call this section of the map the Grinder because it chews up and spits out both teams. It's made up of a series of high walls that block line of sight completely; if you're trying to fight your way into the Temple, these walls will prevent your healers from doing their jobs and you'll be dead before you even get inside; if you're stuck outside the Temple, you can also use this area to potentially cut off reinforcements from getting inside. If you're in control the Temple, going out means breaking line of sight with your own healers, so you'll get melted as soon as you step outside. In any case, it's an area you want to avoid trying to traverse once one team has control of the Temple.
Once a team is entrenched in the Temple, they're almost impossible to get out; you'll either have to take advantage of their own hubris to draw them out and pick them off, or you'll need to go around the side/back in order to attack them from a much more advantageous position. Coming in through the sides of the Temple provides more cover, but means you'll have to fight through several narrow doorways as well as potentially get stuck in the map geometry. Attacking from the rear leaves you exposed, but their healers/ranged DPS will often be standing at the back of the Temple, so you can potentially cut their legs out from under them if they're not watching their backs. If your team is in control of the Temple but you get killed and have to respawn, you should definitely use the flanking routes to get back in; chances are the other team is camped out at the Temple's main entrance and they're not too keen on letting you back in.
The Importance Of Staying Home:
The Temple of Isha is arguably the most defensible position in any of the PvP scenarios; the main entrance is a death trap, there's plenty of columns and walls inside to use as cover, and its only real weak spot requires the enemy team to take the long way around. There is literally no reason, once you've got a hold of the Temple, to leave. None whatsoever. I've lost count of the number of matches I've seen thrown away on this map because the team who controlled the Temple got greedy, got baited out of the Temple, and then had it stolen away. Don't make that same mistake. If you want kills, you'll get kills; the need to retake the Temple will force the enemy team into action, but you need to engage them on YOUR terms, not theirs. Stay inside, stay safe, and make the enemy come to you. I don't care if Isha herself appears outside and offers the cure for Nurgle's Rot, YOU STAY INSIDE.
Yes, there's a Murderball on this map. It activates for whichever team ISN'T holding the Temple at the moment, but it's hard enough for a pub team to dislodge the enemy from the Temple, so throwing another objective to keep track of/protect is only going to make it that much more difficult to win. Just focus on the Temple.
Some scenarios don't fit easily under labels like Domination and King of the Hill, so that's where these maps will go. The two remaining maps are my favorite...and my least favorite:
Between the unnatural mist that covers the ground, the rows of gravestones, and the ominous veil of night that blankets the sky, Highpass Cemetery is one of Warhammer Online's more atmospheric scenarios. A symmetrical octagon with two control points halfway between either side's spawn area and a wide expanse in the middle made for big battles, Highpass Cemetery might look like a Domination map, but it functions more like a Deathmatch map with optional objectives thrown in. Capturing one objective gets you no points, but holding both points simultaneously for 15 seconds will net your team 80(!) points in one go; the objectives then reset and can be captured again, etc. Because of the map's symmetrical nature, the strategy for both teams is identical.
- Rush one objective as a team. It doesn't matter which objective you go for, but you need to go together. No matter what you run into, you'll have the best chances of success as a team.
- Once you've captured one objective, head across the Cemetery to the opposite point. You'll probably run into the other team doing the same thing; you should know what to do by then.
- If you get pushed back at the first objective you try to take, immediately cut your losses and head for the other objective. Remember that the enemy team doesn't gain anything by holding one point, but they WILL get something by holding both of them.
- Never, ever, EVER leave an objective unguarded, even if it's just you sitting on it by yourself lonelier than a tumbleweed. Both teams have direct, unhindered routes to the objectives, so it's easy for someone from the other team to sneak away and steal your objective while the rest of you are trying to take the other one.
- Remember that you have to physically capture the objectives; they don't automatically change depending on who is standing near them, you have to interact with them for a few seconds and the process is interrupted by taking damage. Also remember that the objectives AND the rock walls can be used to break line of sight; every little black square on that map is a rock column that can be used to hide until the right moment.
Bypass the Stairs:
Don't piddle around the entrances to the objective areas. The rock walls on either sides of the entrances to the objective areas provide serious cover for the forces inside, so don't hang around the stairs too much: either hang back in the central area where the rest of your team can gather or charge in on the objective, but the stairs are a death trap.
If there's a place in any scenario designed to let the two teams clash, it's the center of the Cemetery. It's a flat space with no cover surrounded by gravestones, what more could you want? With that being said, don't get so caught up in the bloodshed that you lose sight of the objectives. You should always trying be pushing across to the enemy objective or holding them off from your own; if there's a constant melee going on in the center, it might be time to try and steal an objective while the other team's distracted.
BATTLE FOR PRAAG
Ugh, Battle for Praag. Aside from the Lost Temple of Isha, this is probably the map that I see the most illogical, counterintuitive play on. From start to finish, it seems like nobody has any clue what to do or where to go - at least nobody on my team. I can't blame it all on the players, though; the rules are kind of strange:
- The match starts with Destruction in control of A and B, Order in control of D and E, and C is neutral.
- The objectives take some time to activate, similar to the objectives in Highpass Cemetery, and can be interrupted by damage.
- When C gets activated by one team, a 60 second countdown starts. When the countdown ends, C locks down in that team's control, and the next objective becomes neutral/open for capture; i.e., if Order took C, then B will open up, and if Destruction took C, then D will open up, etc.
- This means that in order to retake C, you not only have to take back B/D, but you still have to recapture C. If the enemy takes back C again, you lose B/D, and so on.
- Every objective that gets taken adds 15 points to capturing team's score.
- The match doesn't actually end when all points get taken, it just continues until one team hits 500 points.
- If all objectives are taken by one team, the central objective will eventually open up (thanks Navis for the tip!).
Yeah, I know. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me either. Anyway, since it's a symmetrical map, strategies are the same for both teams.
- When the match starts, rush C using the drop-off shortcut behind B/D.
- Once you've taken it, push up the path to B/D. Use the large tree and wreckage as cover to break the other team's line of sight.
- If you lose C at the beginning, immediately recapture your own B/D objective to open C back up.
- A and E are the hardest points to cap. Go around the back and up the stairs to ninja them while the enemy is dealing with your team fighting at B/D.
The C Rush:
Because of the map's punishing mechanics, taking C at the beginning is imperative to building early game momentum; it'll force the other team on the defensive immediately and allow your team to play very aggressively since they won't have to defend C once it locks to their control. You should always use the drop-off shortcut. Taking the footpath around the houses takes way too much time - there's zero reason to use it at the beginning. Don't worry, you won't take falling damage. Once you're down in the middle of the map, melee should fight on the objective, but ranged should take up positions in the grass. Because of Warhammer's wonky hit detection, it's actually pretty hit-or-miss for melee to hop the fence and get to you, so hang back. If you don't get C, immediately pull back and recapture your own point to keep the other team from capitalizing on the early capture.
Babysitting the Objectives
Whenever you take an objective, make sure it locks before you ride off; until the 60 seconds are up, it can still be taken back, but once it locks, it can't be re-taken until the next point is locked down by someone. However, do not preemptively camp another point and wait for it to unlock. I've lost track of the times I've seen 4+ people sitting on an enemy-controlled C, waiting for it to unlock while ignoring the fight over B, which hadn't locked in yet. Take the objectives one at a time.
At long last, we come to the end! I hope you've learned something about scenario strategy and what you as an individual can do to give your team the best chance of winning you can. When pubbing, there are plenty of factors that are out of control: team composition, the levels of the people on each team, how many people are actually in-game, etc. That sort of thing you and I as players can't affect. What we CAN affect is playing the best we can. The strategies I've outlined in the guide above aren't necessarily the be-all, end-all, you-must-only-play-this-way strategies in the game (with a few exceptions, like the stuff pertaining to backdooring at the start of a game) but they ARE the safest and most consistently successful strategies in a pub environment; I hope that if enough people learn from this guide, the quality of pub games will rise in general and we'll all have a better time, so if you see some empty-headed pillock rushing the Brimstone Bauble straight towards the enemy spawn, direct him/her to this guide.
If they read it and they keep playing like they're determined to ruin the game for everyone else on their team, then hey, at least you tried.
Thanks for reading, and I'll see you out on the battlefield!
Last edited by SaigonTimeMD on Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
I hope so. I've actually seen the Murderball be a somewhat effective counter to the Temple of Isha's score increase, but only on organized teams. It's just too risky of a decision to make in a pub since I think the other team gets points for killing the Murderball holder on that map, if I remember right.
Holy ****!! Great post!
It even has colors and stuff!
It even has colors and stuff!
"Behind every successful Man there is a Woman
Healing his a** from the backlines." - Paulo Coelho
Minevra AM -- Minervae RP -- Minervas WL
Some Secret Destro Toons
Tyriss WH -- rr90 -- Karak-Norn RIP
Healing his a** from the backlines." - Paulo Coelho
Minevra AM -- Minervae RP -- Minervas WL
Some Secret Destro Toons
Tyriss WH -- rr90 -- Karak-Norn RIP
Neat, I had no idea; usually the game's over before a 5 cap drops. I'll put that in.navis wrote:That's huge, thx..
Inn BFP if your own zone is capped all the way to you, I think you are supposed to be able to recap the middle objective - a from behind attack
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: Anfalas and 25 guests