Engineers! Welcome to another meeting of the Alchemists, Explosions, and Tinkerers Anonymous. If you haven’t heard yet, there is a date for our release into Tyria, and I couldn’t be more excited! Focusing on the now is what we need to do to be successful, though. Well, the last week might also help a little bit as well. Last week I talked about how I would equip myself to be a successful support Engineer in World versus World battle.
I’m taking that one step further this week by revealing tips that I’ve accumulated over my time within the Mists. Some of it may seem like common sense to those of you who spent a lot of time in the Mists already, but keep in mind that every tip I list here is listed with the intent of making you more successful in the role of support.
Without further ramblings, let’s switch gears and talk a bit about the WvW interface before diving into the meat of today’s content:
Reading the Interface
- Top – The score This is a reflection of how well your team has been able to hold structures since the two-week game has began. The team you’re on, if you couldn’t tell by other means, is whichever team has a little house symbol. Nifty, that.
- Middle – Your World’s Bonuses This is a list of which bonuses your server has earned so far that extends out to your adventures outside the Mists. The bar below that details how many more points your server needs to earn for the next bonus as well as which bonus it is that will be earned.
- Bottom – Current Statistics The pie chart on the left shows what percentage of the Mists each server controls (measured in number of structures controlled). The chart on the right shows how many of each structures your server currently controls and how many potential points your server can receive at the next point tally, which occurs every 5 minutes. Each structure is worth a certain number of points based on what type of structure it is.
You’re No Good to Anyone Dead
Staying alive is a support’s top goal. You aren’t handing out boons, heals, or cures for conditions while you’re dead. That being said, here’s some tips to help keep you within Tyria’s breathing population:
- Stay in a group – You’ll take less of a pounding if your name tag blends into a sea of red letters as far as the enemy can see. If the internet has taught me anything, it’s that there’s safety in numbers…specifically a large number of squishy Mesmer clones. They can be useful sometimes, I suppose. And meat shields have never been so sparkly!
- Stay in the middle of the group – People on the front lines of combat get mowed down, while people towards the back are useless as support. You need to be in the thick of things, using as many Thieves as shields as possible. Tyria can always use one less Thief! My hatred of Thieves aside, staying the middle of a group will keep you safe and useful. You can heal and revive the front line combatants while keeping boons up on the mid-to-ranged damage dealers.
- Use shields – When defending from the top of a wall, make sure to stand behind the cannons mounted up there. Most ranged attacks will hit the cannon instead of you. It may mean sacrificing a cannon sometimes, but if you do your job well, you’re worth 10 of those cannons anyway. No, really. I mean that! Oh you. Don’t be modest, you know it’s true!
So you’re alive. Good. Keep it up, as it’s rather important. While you’re busy keeping all the blood inside of your body, though, there are some other things you should watch out for to stay an asset to your team:
Interrupt/Save supply caravans
You are awarded experience for taking enemy ones down, and the supplies are absolutely priceless! As much benefit comes from destroying an enemy caravan, though, protecting one is just as important. If it comes down to defending a caravan or the supply depot that the caravan came from, choose the caravan. You’ll lose the depot, but the delivered supplies will be much more important to wherever you’ve delivered them than some depot 5 minutes away. You need supplies in the places where the action is taking place! You can retake depots!
In all of my time spent in the Mists there was always a shortage of supply, simply because people decided that defending stationary targets like towers was more important that escorting caravans. The simple fact is that towers can be retaken. When a supply caravan is lost, that’s 70 supply (minimum, depending on upgrades) that you lose and your enemy gains. You’re only awarded experience for protecting caravans every time it drops a load. Caravans only run every 10 minutes, though, so if you’re near one make it a point to get it to where it’s going. It’s less experience per hour than some other activities in the Mists, but it’s also very important to our ongoing efforts of blowing up every destructible object in Tyria because of the supply mechanic to WvW.
Be the ballista!
So what does one do with this mystical thing called supply? As most WvWers know, each person can carry 10 supply with them at a time and this supply can be used to upgrade structures or build siege equipment. In my time in the last BWE, one thing I saw very little of was the building of siege weaponry. People seemed to either be too lazy or not understand the tactical importance and level of kick-assery these machines employ. Based on my own experiences, I chose to build mostly Ballistas for the simple fact that they are equally effective against humans and walls. Don’t go hog-wild on these things, though. There’s a limit on the number of supply you’ll have access to, so you want to encourage your team to split it as evenly as possible between structure upgrades and siege equipment.
Running Around in a Mob
If you spend a lot of time running around in the Mists, you’re going to be part of a big mob, knocking down doors, kicking class and taking name. This makes your job as a support both easier and harder, so here’s a few tips for getting the most out of being part of the giant Katamari ball of death:
- Revive as many people as you can. Use Elixir R’s toolbelt skill to revive many people as possible at once, possibly turning the tide of the battle. You should be reviving primarily until the point comes where you’re spending more time reviving than anything else. At that point, the whole team needs to pitch in or face a loss.
- When you’re not using your other Elixir Gun abilities, make sure to fire the darts at enemy players. Pick your targets based on what they’re doing. If all a person is doing is running around throwing fireballs everywhere, they’re actually not that big a target. The guy you really want is the one copying you by reviving everyone on their team. The way to win a team fight is to get as many people down as possible and keep their teammates from reviving them.
- Do NOT be afraid to use Supply Crate. Three minutes may be a long time in instanced PvP, but in the Mists that’s nothing. Send it flying down as often as you feel it will help. Mists battles are decided by how many people are on each side, and how many of them make an effort to revive teammates, not by the individual skill of certain players. Having extra turrets, bandages, and a landing impact on enemies unfortunate enough to be on the front lines can turn the tide of a battle. You provide healing, distraction, and damage when you call down that beautiful flying crate of doom.
So there you have it: a list of tips for crushing the dreams of Thieves beneath your boots…and doing well in the Mists too, I suppose.
We’re not done, though. I spent a lot of time in the Mists these last few times in Tyria, and I want to share everything I’ve learned with you. That’s why next week I’m going to go into the best ways to attack and defend the various objectives inside of the Mists. Look forward to it!