Well, this is it, the final, third part in my series of building and playing a support Engineer in WvW. I spent a great deal of time in the Mists, and it’s definitely a whole different animal than any other part of Tyria. Today’s format is going to be a little weird; I want to present the general strategies for taking and defending WvW points, then explain how to put that information to good use as a support Engineer. That means that everyone who wants some general strategy for battling in the Mists is welcome, not just our Alchemists Explosions and Tinkerers Anonymous members! Except for Thieves. Dirty, stinky, ugly, badly dressed Thieves…who taste like chicken….Mmmmmm.
Oh right, the column! Read on for the strategies that helped my server take and defend the various structures scattered through the Mists.
Something I didn’t mention last week that is very important to the play style of a support Engineer is who to focus your healing and boon distribution. I’ll get into the details a bit, but try to spread it out to the teammates you notice being the most useful, like our friend here:
- Defense – Having no walls, Resource Camps are very difficult to defend.
- There are two schools of thought on how to deal with enemies attacking your Resource Camp. The first is to fortify choke points (if any exist) with siege weaponry.
- I suggest the Ballista, as it is equally effective against the other teams and their Siege Golems. Even if choke points do not exist, try to place the siege weapon in such a place where the enemy will funnel in. People will generally funnel into an area anyways, simply because it is the fastest path to their objective.
- The other strategy on Resource Camp defense is to simply let it be captured and re-capture it later. This strategy should really only be used with the opposition is overwhelming and reinforcements are either too far away or too busy to help.
- Attacking – Attacking a Resource camp is fairly straightforward.
- There are no gates or walls to break down, and people seldom upgrade the NPC guards, so the main objective is to defeat every Thief within spitting distance of our Elixir Gun!
- And the rest of the professions too, I suppose. Remember, though, that Thieves take priority!
- As opposed to defending a Resource Camp, you’ll want to make sure you spread out your advance to lessen any Area of Effect advantages they may have.
- What this means to a support Engineer
- When defending, if no one else has bought the blueprints and placed them – do that. After your team has two Ballistas set up, one facing each direction, encourage your team to help gather the supply to build them, and defend them as they do.
- While attacking, make sure to keep your teammates healthy and all booned up! Keep reviving them as they go down too. Remember – battles in the Mists are decided by the numbers on each force, not so much the efforts of individuals.
- Defense - Defending a Tower is all about keeping the enemy outside and preferably not breathing.
- When choosing what upgrades to spend supply on, it’s best to focus on keeping the enemy outside where they’re easier to manage. Don’t bother upgrading anything within the Tower’s walls, because if the enemy manages to get inside, it’s game over. Don’t buy any personnel for the Tower, unless all of the structural upgrades have been purchased.
- When manning the walls, make sure to destroy the enemy siege weapons first. If the enemy has to break down the door with no siege, there’s a chance they’ll get bored and leave, or retreat to get more supply for more siege weapons. Keeping the door healthy is the top priority.
- Once the enemy has breached the tower, it is time to make like a tree and split. That’s the saying, right?
- Attacking – The opposite to defending is attacking, so the number one goal when trying to take a Tower is to get the door down.
- Use either a Ballista or a Catapult to wear the door down and make sure to defend them. Set siege weapons up just outside the 1200 range of most profession’s abilities.
- If the enemy has built weapons on top, make sure to destroy them, especially the Pot of Oil. That oil is terrible for the melee trying to down the gate. As much as I enjoy seeing a Thief covered in boiling oil, we owe it to our ongoing efforts of taking the Tower to take out that pot.
- Once inside, kill anything on the path towards the head honcho of the tower, but make sure to beeline right towards him. If the enemy is chasing you to your goal, that’s less time they have to coordinate.
- What this means to a support Engineer – Whether attacking or defending, make sure to revive teammates and encourage everyone else to do the same.
- If defending the Tower, make sure to save boons and healing mainly for people who you see attacking enemy siege weapons, they’re focusing on keeping the Tower safe and not on kill counts.
- When attacking, throw boons on those people attacking the enemy who’s chosen to focus our siege weapons. Otherwise, keep boons on the melee for maximum effectiveness. Melee does more damage to doors and they’ll be all clumped up for AoE healing and boons.
- Defense – Just like Towers, the battle for Keeps take place mainly outside the walls.
- Unlike Towers, however, Keeps are recoverable even if the enemy has broken through. There’s enough room inside the keep to direct enemy movement and mow down infantry with a well-placed siege weapon or two.
- Arrow Carts or Ballistas are great for the inside of a Keep, they’re super effective against the squishy melee of the enemy’s front line.
- Keeps’ personnel are also worth upgrading for this reason, but only after the walls and doors have been upgraded and siege weapons have been placed.
- Attacking – Same as the Tower; get the door down quickly.
- Expect resistance inside. In all my time in the Mists, people fought the hardest for the Keeps. This was probably as homage to their guild whom had claimed the Keep, and it made me very happy to relieve them of this responsibility.
- A good idea for general Keep assault is to assign someone to guard the door once your forces are inside. A well-placed siege weapon facing the door can keep enemy reinforcements outside while the Keep’s Lord falls.
- Keep the pressure on – people are surprisingly reluctant to running into a Flying Wall o’ Arrows™.
- What this means to a support Engineer – Revive people! Call me a broken record, but battling in the Mists is a numbers game more than anything else.
- Take the same tips from the Tower, add two tablespoons of oh-my-God-this-door-will-never-break-down, shake well and serve with mint as garnish.
- Patience is the key to downing a Keep and make sure to apply boons to the most productive people you see. These people are the ones performing the tasks I mention in the attack/defend sections.
- Defense – Ah, the castle. There is only one Castle in the Mists, and boy is it prestigious to own. I may have just been on a server that didn’t focus it’s efforts much, but I noticed that the Castle never changed hands in all of my time in the Mists. We made three separate attempts to take it and failed (quite miserably) all three times. My failures can be your gains, however, as everything I learned can be passed on to you!
- The main thing that helped, as far as I could tell, was that they had built a waypoint within the Castle. Now, I would like to think that it becomes unusable when we come beating on the doors, but there seemed to be a large influx of residents within the Castle whenever we made serious progress.
- The Castle’s patrons also made sure to upgrade everything about the Castle, probably a wise move.
- Patience. It’s easier to defend than attack and a lot of people will get bored in the attempt.
- Attacking – While I cannot speak from experience, as far as taking the Castle is concerned, I do have friends who have succeeded, and I’ve enlisted their help in pointing out the details.
- The strategy that worked for them was to attack from two sides equally using the strategies I listed for the Tower. It took a great deal longer to breach the doors, but the point was that the Castle’s residents had to travel from one side to the other to help repel invaders when one attack grew too strong.
- It was the travel time for the residents that crippled them. The Castle’s tenants did not communicate well enough, and a large force would travel to one side, allowing the other to make more progress and revive everyone.
- What this means to a support Engineer – Did I mention yet that reviving people was a good idea? Okay, awesome.
- Make sure to use Elixir R’s Toolbelt Skill to revive groups of friendlies.
- If defending, call down Supply Crate when the gate is breached while keeping boons up on everyone. Try to land it on some fire or something for a cross-profession combo! Supply Crate is a combo finisher.
- If the force is overwhelming, there’s not much you can do personally, but as long as others are around you can keep them healthy and dealing high damage to every Thief inside of the Castle’s walls. Even friendly Thieves. Especially friendly Thieves, because they’ll never see it coming.
I cannot wait to get back into the Mists in two months. It was the most fun I’ve had blowing things up since Gunpowderpalooza 1996. Now that was a party! I remember it like it was yesterday; no smelly Thieves in sight and that cute Warrior girl was pointing her greatsword at us! You know what they say about women with huge, sharp implements of destruction…
So do you plan on going into the Mists? Playing support is by no means the only path to success, but it’s kept my team happy and somewhat friendly through the whole thing. Do you have a more proactive approach to maiming our enemies? Let me know in the comments, or in our forums! Especially the forums! It gets so lonely in there without you. Farewell, Engineers, and see you for next week’s meeting of the AETA!