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Struggle to perform well on Support Fb - searching for ways to improve

So I started playing support Firebrand again after a 6+ month hiatus. I realized, especially after getting feedback from my parties, that I sometimes struggle to support them properly. Stability is a big issue for me. I tend to use big stab (Stand your Ground) a little too late if the commander isn't calling it or isn't on voice. Which, to be honest, is easily fixed with practice due to me already being aware of that issue. Another stability issue I have is that I struggle to see when a party member needs a small stab/stun break of my elite. I already have large HP bars for my party and use the party view of the squad to have a better overview of my party. Still, especially in keeps or clustered situations, I struggle to use my elite helpfully. Additionally, I have a couple of other smaller things that I am not doing right or correctly. But listing them would be too much.
Now I started to search for sites/Youtubers/Streamers etc. that I can get tips from or overall can watch them play and learn. But so far I haven't found much that helps. Do you guys know any good Fb players that stream, do youtube videos (maybe even guides), or websites where I can gather information and overall learn from? Additionally, do you have any general tips on how I can improve, other than playing, reviewing my recorded gameplay, and learning from other, better players?

Thanks for your advice.

Comments

  • God.2708God.2708 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 19, 2020

    Where am I when tag calls for push in relation to tag and rest of group?
    When do I hit SYG? Is that a good time or bad time for it?
    When do I enter tome 3?
    What happens when I get caught in a bomb?
    Where does my camera swivel after getting through an enemy bomb?
    Pause at random times, what's in the center of my screen? Is it important?

    Is a list of questions I ask myself while reviewing my firebrand footage. The goal is to ensure timely and effective stab usage and courage tome usage, and maintaining camera focus on tag.

    The other thing to do is grab a scourge and/or damage spellbreaker friend (start with one, then do a 1v2) and practice kiting and staying alive against them. The arena in armstice bastion is preferred but open world or guild hall works. The intent is to practice recognizing strips and getting CCed and improving your reaction time to getting out of it and re-booning up. Pause every few fights and think about you were doing that didn't seem to work and what does. In the 2v1 you WILL die if the scourge and SB are any good, but you should be able to make it fairly difficult for them. You shouldn't die at all 1v1.

    Edit: I also strongly advocate for having a focus and hammer in your inventory and practicing swap blasting with them. (Staff 2, take out focus use focus 5, take out hammer use hammer 2, take staff back out). It adds a lot of oopmh to stealth openers.

  • Threather.9354Threather.9354 Member ✭✭✭✭

    From my experience, PvP is the key to getting good at the game.

    If you don't care about your PvP rating, you can play a similar build there and learn. Getting 5 or 6 big fights every 15 min is much higher frequency than what you would get in WvW.

    Riformed - On break from commanding
    Diamond Legend
    ~Waiting for them to fix WvW~

  • Arete.7019Arete.7019 Member ✭✭




    All of those are good FB gameplay.
    Don't stress about using your elite mantra to stunbreak for your party, watch the flow of the fight and stunbreak anyone that gets caught out, because of the way mantra aims its very easy to hit people outside your group. do use it for your party to cover stab against pulls before engages or if you run out of other stab.
    Your methods of improving are good, but you should have someone else review your footage as well, there are mistakes that are difficult to notice alone. If you want to DM me your footage on discord I'll give you feedback (Arete#6845)

  • Sovereign.1093Sovereign.1093 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 23, 2020

    @DayLeeKnight.6398 said:
    So I started playing support Firebrand again after a 6+ month hiatus. I realized, especially after getting feedback from my parties, that I sometimes struggle to support them properly. Stability is a big issue for me. I tend to use big stab (Stand your Ground) a little too late if the commander isn't calling it or isn't on voice. Which, to be honest, is easily fixed with practice due to me already being aware of that issue. Another stability issue I have is that I struggle to see when a party member needs a small stab/stun break of my elite. I already have large HP bars for my party and use the party view of the squad to have a better overview of my party. Still, especially in keeps or clustered situations, I struggle to use my elite helpfully. Additionally, I have a couple of other smaller things that I am not doing right or correctly. But listing them would be too much.
    Now I started to search for sites/Youtubers/Streamers etc. that I can get tips from or overall can watch them play and learn. But so far I haven't found much that helps. Do you guys know any good Fb players that stream, do youtube videos (maybe even guides), or websites where I can gather information and overall learn from? Additionally, do you have any general tips on how I can improve, other than playing, reviewing my recorded gameplay, and learning from other, better players?

    Thanks for your advice.

    Sustain is nerfed. So if your team is far from you or stands on the cross fire, you will have a hard time.

    Constantly remind your team to move with you but don't move too fast so they get your boons .

    If melee team it's preferable to have the 3 toons fb scrap spell healers

    If pirate ship your team will be self sufficient and all you need to focus on is speed and stab and reflects :)

    Not Even Coverage is the Only broken thing in WVW.

  • shiri.4257shiri.4257 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Would definitely recommend doing GvGs. It's a more controlled environment. There's less to worry about and you can just tunnel vision on the circle with your rotations. There's not a map queue trying to snipe you, only 15 dudes if that, nor a second squad trying to ajam, or a squad stealth bombing out of a blind corner. You can just focus on your rotations and reactions. There's also more downtime in gvgs too. The intros to gvg vids tend to be longer than the whole gvg and you get some dank music to go along with it.

    more likely the issue, is you need to ask the party that's complaining about your performance. What is their position relative to you? Most of the time when someone in a party complains about no stab, is because they're squirrelling in la la land and blows all their cds prior to a push. So video footage is better for review than taking said party member's advice.

    Spectre [VII] - Wood League Champion. Making "fight guilds" stack on higher tiers since 2013.
    Michelin rated WvW guild since 2015. The gold standard. Never transferred, never reformed, adapting and reloading with or without Anet.

  • ArchonWing.9480ArchonWing.9480 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 28, 2020

    In general, you should hit Stand Your Ground a little sooner before you make contact (~1400 range), because if your party members get hit by a stray CC, it will be for nothing as Stand Your Ground does not break stuns on your party. It's also a good idea to use one charge of your heal to provide aegis before the fight to prevent this from happening as well.

    There are of course cases where your group is hesitant or things change so your stand your ground will run out. In this case, you want to use 1 charge of liberation, shield 4, and enter tome 3 for a little bit more stability for your push. For the most part you shouldn't casually use your elite unless it goes back to 3. If you get hit by a warrior bubble, you want to expend 2 charges of the elite and ideally tell your party you are doing it. This is because under a bubble, you do not give stab, but you do break stuns. But if your allies do not dodge in the meantime, it is completely useless. Note that you should NOT do this if it's a solo warrior pushing into it; it can be safely ignored. Also note that deadliest thing about Winds of Disenchantment is that it prevents boon application but your currently applied boons will still apply though some will be lost if you stand in it.

    If your stability is regularly spotty, this means that you are just spamming it off without looking at your party boons (use party view, never use grid view), cycling through your tomes too fast, or simply panicking and overreacting, Do not make up excuses about being corrupted or being sniped or w/e; this really is your fault and you're not important enough for anyone to snipe you. Nobody cares. I mean, just read these forums and you will note that a huge chunk of it is just people making excuses for dying. Yes, people make mistakes, and the servers are awful. We don't need a novel every time. Do not be those people if you want to win fights every now and then.

    Anything less than an all out bomb from the enemy should not require more than one charge of anything unless you are playing with some dried potatoes. It's also your party members responsibility to stay near the group; if they regularly squirrel off, then they're just rallybots that are better off dead at the start of the fight.

    In general, you want to maximize the use of skill 5 and 4 on your tomes, and not 1 and 2. 4 is especially useful for the pulsing resist, because immob (the real killer) is a condi, making tome 3 better against conditions than 2 in a lot of cases. If you are inexperienced, you shouldn't even use tome 1 at all except to refresh your stamina via energy sigils. Remember that entering and exiting a tome counts as weapon swap, and works with on swap sigils. Because each dodge is a heal, dodging more will result in more healing and obviously more sustain for your party.

    Tome 2 is mostly for general sustain and water fields, as well as condi clear. Note that it has a significantly smaller cooldown than tome 3, so you should treat it as more expendable.

    Because of the February Patch greatly nerfing the heal skill (the lesser charges basically don't heal for anything on their own), it is probably the mantra on which you are most likely to give up all 3 charges in an emergency. Your other mantras should remain on 2 charges, unless you are going to die.

    If you still have trouble, I would suggest taking Magnanimous Maintenance Oil (or the crappier peppermint oil if you can't make it) in order to fix uptime on your smaller stabs and regen; there are better healers than you usually, but your party will not survive without protection and stability. You should also work on keybinds; the default 0 is rather hard to press, so at least put that somewhere closer.

    Finally, you should not leave the tag for any reason. I see Firebrands going off to chase randoms, spike enemies, or empower and get left behind. If the group moves, you move with it and drop w/e you're doing as you are no use being far away from your party. When I am following an enemy zerg and not in a group of my own, I often like to punt the straggling FBs away, because even if I can't kill them, I know they're not doing their job and will make their group weaker as a result. Don't be that FB.

  • How to get better with FB:

    1. Stay on tag
    2. Stay on tag
    3. Stay on tag
  • Svarty.8019Svarty.8019 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 28, 2020

    @DayLeeKnight.6398 said:
    So I started playing support Firebrand again after a 6+ month hiatus. I realized, especially after getting feedback from my parties, that I sometimes struggle to support them properly. Stability is a big issue for me. I tend to use big stab (Stand your Ground) a little too late if the commander isn't calling it or isn't on voice. Which, to be honest, is easily fixed with practice due to me already being aware of that issue. Another stability issue I have is that I struggle to see when a party member needs a small stab/stun break of my elite. I already have large HP bars for my party and use the party view of the squad to have a better overview of my party. Still, especially in keeps or clustered situations, I struggle to use my elite helpfully. Additionally, I have a couple of other smaller things that I am not doing right or correctly. But listing them would be too much.
    Now I started to search for sites/Youtubers/Streamers etc. that I can get tips from or overall can watch them play and learn. But so far I haven't found much that helps. Do you guys know any good Fb players that stream, do youtube videos (maybe even guides), or websites where I can gather information and overall learn from? Additionally, do you have any general tips on how I can improve, other than playing, reviewing my recorded gameplay, and learning from other, better players?

    Thanks for your advice.

    I like to play like this;
    I'd bang out the first 2 elite stabs first with a short delay for the enemy to remove/convert the first one.
    Then I'd be into book3 stabs. I'd not look to do much more than #4 and #5 in book 3, and make sure you're randomly hitting your heal aegis & condi removal mantras whenever you have more than 1.
    That'll cover most fights, ignore commander's orders to switch books if you've got lots of pages left.
    Use book 2 when book3 is on cooldown, spam #4 and nothing else from book2.

    If your party are too far away, that's their bad. If you can't stay on tag, that could be you or the commander - you know which. Never give feedback to the commander, they might ask for it, but they don't want it.

    Thief OP? Better nerf Scourge ... again.
    Hashtag BlameMcLain

  • ArchonWing.9480ArchonWing.9480 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 28, 2020

    @Svarty.8019 said:
    If you can't stay on tag, that could be you or the commander - you know which.

    It's on you unless:

    1.) The commander is new or just can't stay alive
    2.) They abuse mobility skills and leave their whole zerg behind
    3.) Lag
    4.) Occasionally you get pulled or CC'd or fall off a cliff before the fight but you should know how to recover, and this shouldn't be the norm.

    For the first two cases, I would imagine said commander probably won't get many followers.

    Any other case is strictly user error, especially if other firebrands can stick on tag.

  • Svarty.8019Svarty.8019 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @ArchonWing.9480 said:

    @Svarty.8019 said:
    If you can't stay on tag, that could be you or the commander - you know which.

    It's on you unless:

    1.) The commander is new or just can't stay alive
    2.) They abuse mobility skills
    3.) Lag

    For the first two cases, I would imagine said commander probably won't get many followers.

    Any other case is strictly user error, especially if other firebrands can stick on tag.

    I don't agree, but that's cool. I work very much on audio - if the comm isn't giving directions, I'm all over the place. If the commands are late (could be lag I guess), I'm at the other side of the bomb (usually).

    Thief OP? Better nerf Scourge ... again.
    Hashtag BlameMcLain

  • ArchonWing.9480ArchonWing.9480 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 28, 2020

    @Svarty.8019 said:

    @ArchonWing.9480 said:

    @Svarty.8019 said:
    If you can't stay on tag, that could be you or the commander - you know which.

    It's on you unless:

    1.) The commander is new or just can't stay alive
    2.) They abuse mobility skills
    3.) Lag

    For the first two cases, I would imagine said commander probably won't get many followers.

    Any other case is strictly user error, especially if other firebrands can stick on tag.

    I don't agree, but that's cool. I work very much on audio - if the comm isn't giving directions, I'm all over the place. If the commands are late (could be lag I guess), I'm at the other side of the bomb (usually).

    I suppose we can add:

    5.) The commander isn't actually commanding, but is rather a "locator tag" . Which is fine, but that expectation is gone.

    Although I would say that even in these cases, you should still be on tag. IMO, even if the commander says left, and they go right, it is still on you, if you go left as being on tag is the greater directive in most cases. Most fights simply go too fast and directions can change fast.

    Edit: I think it helps if you know how a battle "should" play out. In general, most groups aren't tricky and usually move very linearly and straightforward. Of course, they don't always do that, but if you pay attention for a few fights, you may start to know where you're most likely going to end up after a push or a retreat.

  • God.2708God.2708 Member ✭✭✭

    @Svarty.8019 said:

    @ArchonWing.9480 said:

    @Svarty.8019 said:
    If you can't stay on tag, that could be you or the commander - you know which.

    It's on you unless:

    1.) The commander is new or just can't stay alive
    2.) They abuse mobility skills
    3.) Lag

    For the first two cases, I would imagine said commander probably won't get many followers.

    Any other case is strictly user error, especially if other firebrands can stick on tag.

    I don't agree, but that's cool. I work very much on audio - if the comm isn't giving directions, I'm all over the place. If the commands are late (could be lag I guess), I'm at the other side of the bomb (usually).

    That's a simple thing to practice via not being in comms with commander at all and moving with their tag. Frankly this is the better way to do it because there's always a fairly noticeable latency between when a commander says something that they hear personally and when it gets into the mic, through the internet, then comes out your headphones THEN you react to it. Between 1 to 2 seconds. Movement commands should get used to reinforce group direction pro-actively, not control group movement re-actively, and you can become less reliant on the vocal call outs with practice, it just comes down to scanning screen for tag every ~2s and adjusting camera and movement accordingly.

    Counting on tag to tell you what to do/where to be is very limiting to both the commander and the player because it prevents the commander from giving higher level tactical calls because they have to fill comms with directionals that should be implicit.

  • subversiontwo.7501subversiontwo.7501 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 31, 2020

    Here are two lessons that should not be underestimated (but tends to be underestimated today):

    1. Learn to read the situations: Small scale PvP is more about reactivity, large scale PvP is more about proactivity. You will learn to anticipate when things happen or are about to happen with experience, so just keep on playing and look at your group and your opponents' group to associate certain outcomes. In large scale, saving someone who ends up in a hot situation is often about anticipating it and already being in a position to help. A good commander will make base calls for the big cooldown things you worry about. The rest is more about what you are already thinking about: Your job is to keep your party alive and productive. That leads into...

    2. Talk to your party: If people die or can't do their intended role, then talk about what people need and why or how things are happening. If you have to blow cooldowns to save a party-mate that has come stuck, drifted off or had to do something (like a Warrior called to offensive bubbles), then communicate that in simple terms in your party chat. Things like "low stab", "no stab" etc., can help your friends to adapt. Also, like others have said, talk to your party and figure out why things happened insead of just having silence or blame, a party that openly communicates is less prone to just blaming everyone else. In most cases when people complain about stab they have had it ripped, have been caught in a situation where you normally shouldn't need to waste cooldowns for them or they have gone off to do something without communicating it.

    Overall, too many people today play WvW as if it was PvE with set progression of encounters and rotations. That leads to alot of snowballing. What is fun about WvW is that there are so many other factors and that we mostly do not just play "chinese GvG". The rotational play is often the least important, it's what you get calls for or it represents the flow you learn to do without thinking. You tend to do that "under" actively reading situations and reacting to them, which may be finer points but often more important. Don't get stuck on perfecting the basics when you can progress into the other layers.