Hello hello all,
After roaming for a little while in World versus World, you'll notice that every time you kill red dots or capture things, there are blue numbers floating around. This is what we call World versus World Experience Points (WXP for short), and these funny numbers are the topic of todays blog.
First off, the amount of WXP you collected determines how you show up to enemy players, if you have a total of zero, you will be an Aurora Glade Invader to them. When you reach 5000 of the funny blue points, your 'title' will change to Aurora Glade Assaulter. More importantly, in the beginning you will get a world rank every 1000 points, which gives you a loot chest (yay, goodies!) and an upgrade point. The chest tends to contain simple junk and a few silver, and the points are auto-collected in the WvW menu ("B") under the 3rd tab. You can spend them there on various nifty tricks and boosts in WvW, but the amount of options is quite large, and once spent, you cannot take them back. (Anet occasionally gives a full reset of them, but that's only a few times per year on random times)
Since after the first quick ranks, points only come in every 5000 WXP (and titles even slower), the complete filling of all bars will probably take the casual player forever. So where to put the points you got? I've tried to make a nice list, with the basics, some good things (worth it) and nice things (worth it if you can pay for it). Note that I'm mostly focussed on siege, and to me the 5% bonus or so you get when killing guards is not worth the 20 points you pay for it, and the levels after that are even worse.
In the overview below, I give the required points in [brackets], and the level you get as L, and I count from the previously suggested level to the current.
-  Arrow Cart L1: Increases the range from 2500 to 2800. May not seem useful, but in most cases that's the difference between hitting the other wall or missing enemies.
-  Flame Ram L2: L1 halves the damage on you while using a ram, and L2 gives up to 10% extra damage (for everyone!) with ram skill 2. Pretty much needed when using rams.
-  Build Mastery L2: makes you use your supply a lot faster, and for the cost it's a no-brainer. Rams are up in a jiffy! Oh and you do not have to build twice if you have more than 10 supply... which can be rather annoying.
-  Repair Mastery L2: another cheap upgrade, makes you fix a broken gate faster.
-  Supply Mastery L4: Have a chance to recover spent supply, which means better use of what you have. Picking up supply faster may mean you get it, and not the guy next to you. A bit cheeky, but you get it for 'free' :P The speedboost isn't much, only a few seconds, but it comes with the deal.
TOTAL 39 WXP points so far.
The Good Things
-  Catapult L1: 20% damage to walls... what's not to like?
-  Trebuchet L2: extra damage, and most importantly, your mad cows now drain supply (very quick and over a long range) from enemy players. Deadly for a blob trying to bash down gates.
-  Flame Ram L3: extra speed, say 20% extra damage. It might go to Basic, but I think it's too expensive for that. Still, good to have.
-  Cannon Mastery L1: your cannon 1 skill removes boons, such as might, healing etc. Defensive and nice.
-  Ballista L1: Why not fire more stuff? Now your blista is suddenly useful to keep players annoyed as well. Normal blista use is mostly to kill enemy siege by the way.
TOTAL 45 + 39 = 84 points spent...
The nice stuff (warning: expensive!)
-  Supply Master L5: The most expensive upgrade you can get, but the higher levels are worth it. Suddenly you only have to walk twice to build an arrow cart, effectively you are 1.5 person with supply. Warning: being able to carry 'only' 14 supply still means 3 building trips! :P Since the lower levels are not really worth it, it's only under 'nice'.
-  Catapult L5: Actually all cata skills (except L2) are a nice upgrade, but they become progressively more expensive. The Cata L5 bubble is the bright white dome you suddenly see popping up over catas under enemy fire, and 3 bubbles after another (recharge time!) can negate an enemy treb completely...
-  Arrow Cart L4: Extra dangerous now, and over a larger area. L5 isn't really worth it because of its slow fire rate (once every minute)...
-  Ballista L4: For extra range, damage and easier hitting. Decent upgrades, the 5th is nice too but a tad expensive.
-  Build Mastery L5: Let's get this up before spending on useless things ;)
-  Repair Mastery L5: same as above...
TOTAL 501 + 84 = 585 points spent...
By this time... you've learned more about WvW than I can tell, and... well... probably we're somewhere into 2015. Oh and you're almost on Silver ranks :P
Welcome to edition 3 of this series, where we'll be looking at a nice place in the middle of the map... the garrison. I could just post the pic below, and be done with it (it should be good for a thousand words, they say ;) ) but there is a lot more to tell about it.
First off: the garri (as it is often called) is a keep, which means that it has 2 layers of defense, and can sport a waypoint, if it's upgraded far enough. This waypoint explains its importance, since it allows you to start right in the middle of the action instead of somewhere in the north at the citadel. Secondly, it is the end point of 4 dolyak routes, which means that as long as Bessie can walk freely, it will be well-supplied, and easily upgraded. Because of this importance, a shout that the garri is under attack, is about the fastest way to cause alarm on a map. Loosing a garrison is a major problem if you intent to defend the rest of the map, so generally, all available troops will storm there as soon as a major attack is spotted. One does not simply rock into garri, and even if you're in, a huge fight will break out in the lordsroom more often than not. Groups looking for a fight (hello TUP :D) will thus poke a bit at this hornets nest, and wait for the red dots to fly out.
The ways of entrance vary a bit, I'll try to treat them here.
First off: the watergate. The entrance may be a bit hidden, but it's pointed directly to the enemy starting points, so if you're in a hurry, this is the way to go. You want to be quick as well, since this is also the easiest place to defend, with arrow carts raining death from above, with impunity. Most attacks fail here as soon as they are spotted, as long as those arrow carts (marked with a green A in the map) are in place. The topmost cannon can also reach the place before the gates, adding even more damage. The general pattern of attack involves a large blob, golems and/or rams. The second door (the inner watergate) is bugged, meaning that it will behave like a common door, but may still offer enough resistance for defense to mount. Arrow carts can and will be placed on the planking above, the oil and cannons are both dangerous (hey, it's a tight spot, and dropping down there will hurt), so generally an attacking group takes a minute or 2 to get through.
Secondly, the other south gates. These are also well-defended, but generally less guarded than the watergate, so they're worth a try if you really want to get in. The southwest gate is a murder hole, where once more arrow carts or ballistae from the bridge above it can make it very uncomfortable for those below, but once you're in, you do have an open way to the northern gates. The southeast gate is quite relaxed to break through, but the venom is in the stairs behind it. This is a nice and open space, going uphill, and as you may have found, charging uphill is quite suicidal, not only in real life, but also in GW2. Camera angles are annoying, you loose view, and once dead... you can only play dead. Oh, did I mention the arrow carts that are also spread liberally on this place?
The northern outer gates require a huge detour, which increases the chances you're spotted, and open you to charges from both sides (spawn's above you, don't forget!). Most parties who want to test the waters first will capture one of the towers, and place trebuchets in them. If you put them on the stairs (cragtop) or on the supply depot (woodhaven) you can just reach the outer walls of the garrison (marked in yellow), and demolish them at your leisure. Safe, simple, smart. Going for the gates is only interesting if you're in a hurry, and have a really good blob to back you up. But then again... take the south gates in that case ;)
The inner gates are your regular gates, dotted with defense, and by the time you reach them, you will be swarmed by the incoming defenders (or be one of those defenders, called to the place). Arrow carts can be placed at the stairs of the west inner gate, and fire through the gap above the door, allowing you to defend just that extra bit ;) (this trick works on some other gates as well, Hills north outer springs to mind) There's also the ring above the lordsroom, and the roof (since it's open, there can be arrow carts there as well) for last defense...
So... if you want a lazy job, go scouting in garri, and you're doing something very useful :) (on a busy night, it will get attacked about 20 times) Upgrades there (got money? It's expensive!) follow the common pattern for frontline stuff: cannons first, mortars are less useful, but needed for the waypoint. Walls are second, and personnel is only used to increase the supply limit so you can easily afford the next upgrade. Try to keep some supply in store, since you will have things to repair. Oh and be vocal about anything that might threaten you... The commander will thank you for it.
*Freeze checks out, refreshing all the siege a last time*
Second post on World versus World, this time I will try to make some sense of the technobabble you will encounter on the team/map chat there. Most of this has grown over the months, or is simply because it's shortest/easiest for a place.
First off: the placenames. Even though a place may be called 'Etheron Hills' on the map, everyone will refer to it as just 'Hills'. Why? Because in another borderland it will be called Askalion Hills... The only part that is actually consequent is the Hills bit. The same with Briar, Lake and Bay. Since you're already on a map, there is only 1 Bay, thus no further specification is needed. (in case someone comes and tells you about another bay being attacked, they usually tell you on which borderlands it is)
What does this map show? Placenames of course, and the paths of the dolyaks (see the first episode of the WvW set). Gates are shown as a blue dot, and if a dolyak passes a gate, it of course services that tower, provided it's owned by the colour of the yak.
Another interesting point is the GvG area, where guilds tend to duke it out. For those not in a warring guild, it's a bad place to be, but the camp itself is safe enough. The areas in the center (where the quaggan nodes were until a few weeks ago) are still so new that they have no shorthand name yet, so maybe this text needs upgrading soon.
Another bunch of shorthands comes from either guilds (generally referred to by their [tag]), or other servers. MS is Millers Sound for example, which we are fighting as I type this.
RS = RiverSide
MS = Millers Sound
AM = Abbadons Mouth, unofficially known as Blobbadon
FS = Far Shiverpeaks, et cetera.
Oh, and of course, we are from AG :)
Technobabble an sich comes from commanders, asking you to stack up (grouphug his icon), or place certain fields (water, fire or lightning usually), and blast them, so the whole group within a circle gets a nice bonus, such as a speedboost. Portalbombs are a specific tactic, where a team instead of charging into another team places a portal in their middle out of which they appear. Very effective against unexperienced groups, however the tactic can fail horribly if a few know how to handle it (as soon as you see the portal light up, blast the hell out of it ;) ). AoE (usually also pronounced as such) is Area of Effect, which means that a spell targets a certain area instead of just 1 person, is often used to scare enemies from walls or choke points (bridges, gaps etc). Pulling people off a wall can be done by mesmers by collapsing a temporal curtain. Lines of Warding (guardian staff) are used to stop enemy advance, and can cause a nice headache if you push through them ;) Stability refers to any skill that prevents you getting knocked down, grappled or frozen on site, which is useful when you are facing a large amount of enemies, who will most likely use such things to annoy the hell out of you. Last of the whole set is TS, or TS3 or just TeamSpeak. Although we use mumble as a guild, our server has its own dedicated WvW talking heads on Teamspeak (details usually on the website, as of now found on IP 188.8.131.52 ). Most commanders on peak hours will be on here, since it's a lot easier to speak than to write.
By the way, most tricks I mentioned also work wonders when fighting common monsters, especially fields and their buffs. Enjoy finding all of the possible combos!