In this “The Art of War” update, we take a look at a pressing question everyone in the WvW game has:
Q. With the removal of the Orbs of Power on November 1st, 2012, how will this affect gameplay and what will now get player’s interested in the borderlands?
A. We just posted an article that goes into a lot in-depth detail on the change here, so I’ll skip a lot of the talk about the repercussions. Basically what’s going to happen (and is already happening) that players will filter mostly into the Eternal Battlegrounds now over the Borderlands. The reason why is that players, especially large groups of uncoordinated players, like to assault objectives. The orbs and Stonemist are the biggest, most well defined objectives in the game. Without the orbs, that leaves just Stonemist.
Then again, without the 30% buff, no realm will have the advantage (and neither will their zerg). The orbs were often taken at reset and then held, as a 30% health advantage is huge. This would lead to server transfers and, of course, apathy among the losing realms. So another big change will be general moral. There isn’t much defining who is winning or losing now, except the points and there are no big surprises.
Now, to the issue at hand, players will obviously still play the Borderlands. First, they’ll queue up whenever Eternal is full and second, the Borderlands is the preferred battleground by some because of how open and spacious it is. So worrying about attendance isn’t too big of an issue, but it can be bothersome if your world is losing hard in the Borderlands while everyone remains in Eternal. The biggest solution to the problem is to form up groups and organize.
That’s actually the advice I give the most: form up a group and organize. If you get ten to twenty players organized and into the Borderlands then you’ll have a big enough force to take anything, other than heavily defended structures. These structures, of course, shouldn’t be the focus of any assault to begin with.
The best way to accomplish this is just advertise what you want to do and the benefits it’ll bestow (such as karma and the aforementioned points for the world). You don’t need a massive zerg to do things that zergs don’t normally do (like go for towers in the enemy’s third of the map in Eternal), so it works itself out nicely.
Without the Orbs of Power, the borderlands have been seeing a bit less traffic, but it’s also made them much more competitive. Without the Orbs being the primary objective, I’ve been watching the towers and keeps flip more and it has become a more balanced fight.
This Week’s Strategy
Scouting is super important. Scouting is one of the best things players can do to help their side win. Why? Well, let’s say that world 1 and world 2 are fighting over a keep. World 3 can scout it out, wait until the wall is almost down and both forces are weak, and run in with a fresh group and roll the attackers and claim the keep for themselves (by keep I also mean towers).
Scouting can also keep surprises to a minimum. For instance, if you’re assaulting a tower and there is a huge wave of enemies coming, you can either defend the portal inside or take off before they get there. There are a lot of benefits to scouting and more players should be involved in it.
Scouting simply requires a swiftness build (a build where you can keep swiftness up). I think Elementalists make the best scouts, because Ride the Lightning (Dagger) helps them cover large amounts of distance fast. Scouting doesn’t even have to be something where a player sacrifices fun in order to do it. Keeping your eyes open while walking around can pay off big time, so can be vocal over chat.
Anytime your guild is trying to coordinate playing in WvW, assign someone to go scout ahead and report back. It lowers the potential risk of losing your entire force (say if you’re about to walk through a choke point and the entire enemy team is on the other say, just the scout would perish) and helps you be more knowledgeable about what’s going on. Say your guild wants to take a tower and claim it, have a scout run through and check the towers for upgrades, defenders, and activity to help plot which one your guild will go take.
Be sure to keep your eyes here at Guild Wars 2 Hub for more coverage of WvW. In our next The Art of War, we'll be taking a look at badge farming in WvW, so be sure to stay tuned. Email those questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.