Commander Review: as a small guild/pugmander
in WvW Desert Borderlands Stress Test
Posted by: lordvroom.1274
I actually posted this to my server’s community forums and they recommended that I put it hear if anyone feels like commenting or a rare unicorn Dev happens to read it. Yes I am aware that some of this has already been said this is just my personal opinion on it. I wrote this with as little pre-judgement as I possibly could and looked at this from both a commander and roamer standpoint. Some background, I lead a small guild with actively raids 15 + 5-10 pugs.
TLDR warning…I kindov wrote a block.
General Thoughts on Group Sizing (zerging or havok sized groups)
I am really discouraged about the total amount of supply that is needed to capture an objective. I feel like this map supports both zerging and havok. Havok for all of the smaller objectives and then a zerg for any tower or keep. Havoks would be very useful for either ganking your enemy’s shrines or maintaining your own. As a solo roamer I felt like unless there were 100+ on map you could go for minutes at a time and not see a soul. In this regard I think havoks (3-10) in size would be perfect for slipping by unnoticed and could fulfill the saboteur role.
Unless changes are made you will NOT capture a keep with <20 people in under 30 minutes. Because most of the walls/gates were immune to all but siege it required multiple superiors to make a dent and even that took ages. In my tests I found it was simpler to just make 5 omegas and break down a wall because at least then you could walk your siege to inner (not without sustaining moderate damage due to turrets/NPCs
-Example: Superior rams are needed to break gates, so I say you need 3 per + 1 ballista to take out cannons + oil = 180 sup and you need to do that at least twice! So 360 supply minimum. Being generous saying all members are running perma +5 and guild +5 means that you need 18 people with 20 supply in order to accomplish all this without a retreat to go resupply. This does not account for having any defenders and that you are able to build this all without any of it getting disabled or destroyed by the cannons/guards/turrets.
Resupply runs will be very common so a few well placed supply traps will decimate your enemy as they have to run back 5 mins to get more. I tagged up and lead a group of 10-15 and we got destroyed by 1 (thats right a single defender) and his NPC’s + auto turrets. He didn’t even build siege, he just used the cannons/oil.
I feel like the size of these maps should be combined into a single instance and have EB as the 2nd map. The population could easily be raised to 300-500 and there would still be loads of room. Now with that many people, mega-blobs would run rampant and I’m not even going to mention the skill lag that would occur but things would never get capped. I will say that I can’t imagine being able to cover multiple maps for any server below tier 2. Yes the maps can be looked at as deceivingly large or moderate in size (remember all the ~5 stories of verticality like Verdant Brink that is in this map). (PS I WANT gliders! I know it won’t happen but man that would be cool especially around the air keep)
Automatic Upgrades/Guild Claiming:
The good thing about automatic upgrades (defensively) is that once a keep gets to T3 and has the invul upgrades….its really effin hard to lose it. You could have only 5 defenders and they can easily thwart multiple attacks/golem rushes. The upgrades were really nice and the guild claiming system while a work in progress is a definite improvement. You can make the temporary buffs (tactics) able to be used by guild members only or accessible to the public. I could see a potential issue with a troll guild claiming a keep and locking the buffs so noone could use anything.
EDIT: Tyler clarified that they are adding a system in place to remove the majority of such trolls.
My favorite tactic was the temporary waypoint (when it worked). I do think that the visibility could be better to understand when defenders could pop these defensive tactics. I would do so in a similar way to Stronghold where at the top near your servers current tick was a small set of icons similar to your skill bar with timers listed (like siege decay). You could pop a WP that would remain uncontested for ~1min to let your forces pile into the map if you needed to wipe your attackers. Otherwise the buffs to gates and cannons is really nice as it prevents a blob from mindlessly PvD forever.
Turrets: (this gets its own section)
The automatic turrets are OP as kitten and broken, they are a T3 upgrade and cannot be damaged, destroyed, or removed. I brought a single omega to a gate to see how Ninja work would fair….I took the gate down to 60% after safely clearing the guards. That whole process took me ~5-10 minutes in which in a normal match someone would have come running to scout around and discovered me. The turrets type of damage range from keep to keep but basically they hit me for ~1-2k ea every 2-3 seconds (while in a golem) with whatever CC the keep corresponds to. Air was 1s stuns, Fire 1s burn, and Earth knockbacks (you literally CANNOT use rams on Earth keep with turrets because you get interrupted every other shot). I tried the same thing with 2 superior rams instead. They melted the siege in ~5 mins. With no way to block other than literally have people stand as a meatshield and try to tank/or reflect the bullet like you would a ballista it was very discouraging.
These are an interesting mechanic and were somewhat reworked after the first beta. Now in order to receive the benefits you must own all 3. These buffs only work in their respective regions.
Air – No falling damage (even on golems…yes that was fun leaping a golem down 10 stories on a roamer and spinning)
Earth – Stealth while out of combat within the canyons (can you say Thief Shadow Arts zerg)?!?
Fire – Lava chutes, able to run across lava with impunity
I did feel that they need to be tweaked because for instance there were 2 times where I leaped off a cliff and lost a shrine mid-air and promptly died upon impact. This could easy be countered by say add a perma buff while you own all 3 and as soon as you lose 1 shrine give you a 10s warning to get to safety. That way you won’t either die from lava, lose stealth, or squish against the ground.
The AC’s used the new LoS system and effectively removes most cheesy placement/camera angles. There were still a few spots that they would not be able to counter without a cata or treb but as long as its not abused I see no issue. Another thing, they reskinned all the regular and superior skins and man are they UGLY! I get that this is a new map and ANET wants to put some new life into it, but the design changes while refreshing to see something else, do not flatter me in the slightest. The only other instance I can think of was Chineese New Year when they reskinned siege to be red+gold, now that was a cool upgrade and a nice visual change. The current new siege skins look like the Zephyrite crash test salvage and I get it your group literally brought some wood and metal and is assembling rams but I think they look lame. (I can deal with it). I will say, the new system when you are placing siege A++. Getting a preview for the direction you are throwing siege with a shadow imprint (Trebs/Cata direction) is spot on, really nice to make sure you don’t accidentally place it backwards and have to spend 30 seconds turning it.
I may add more thoughts later but I think I touched up on most of the information that I observed with my 1 day of playing the beta.
This map needs some work but it is not without praise, they have done a lot of work on it but I think with some more tweaking and listening to us the playerbase (True real 99.99% WvWers that this could require a lot of new tactics and strategy.
Leader of The Backup [CREW]
(edited by lordvroom.1274)