The 10 Commandments Of Conquest - A Comprehensive Tutorial For Guild Wars 2 Spvp Conquest
1. Understand the meta
2. Use proper builds & team compositions
3. Understand rotations
4. Hone combat skills
6. Get a gaming mouse & use key-binds
9. Do not grief
10. Do not cheat
-- Abide by the commandments or God shalt deliver unto thee a packet of salt as often as thou did break them --
What does all of this mean? Well, for those who do not understand the sacred teachings & terminology of Guild Wars 2 Conquest, you've come to the right thread.
1. Understanding The Meta - This is the most crucial aspect to understand about Conquest gameplay. A player's ability to understand and utilize the next 9 aspects is entirely dependent around their knowledge of the current meta.
- What is the meta? In gamer terminology, "the meta" is the best or strongest tactic to be used. In Guild Wars 2 spvp, this translates directly in to which builds on each class are the most effective while paired together in a conquest team, given the current game patching. Meta builds are generally discovered by the stronger players in the game who excel at the highest levels. A player will hear other players complain about the meta, as if it were something to against "I hate elite meta mentality" "I do just fine playing out of meta" "My build is better than meta builds" but truth be told, these players are not playing at the highest levels. When a player hears this and notices as much, it will occur to him that the meta is meta for a reason, after all. Sometimes very experienced players can analyze the meta and devise very specific out-of-meta builds that are designed to counter the current meta. This falls into the realm of playing out-of-meta custom builds and sometimes those builds end up becoming meta, but more often than not they flop and don't work out well. In other words, it is not advised for anyone to run out-of-meta custom builds unless they possess a high level of understanding and very functional purpose within a team for doing so.
- What does it mean to understand the meta? It means to understand what classes counter other classes, when to engage a class in combat, when to avoid it, what the job roles are of those classes, how the builds function mechanically, what they are good at doing, and what they are bad at doing. The greater this understanding, the greater a player's ability will be to mechanically combat the meta, to rotate against the meta, and to form plays full of synergy with the metas on his team. It is a standard expectation that a player should understand his class & build, the job role of the class he is playing, and at least know enough about other classes that he knows how to engage them or when to avoid them. But if a player truly wants to excel at the highest levels, it will be necessary to play and gain experience on all classes. Players will notice that the classes they have the easiest fights against are the same classes that they play the most. This is due to possessing the knowledge of traits/builds/skills, exactly how they work, being able to gauge rough estimates on the cool-downs of skills used, being able to gauge what skills they will use next, how to effectively bait out skills/dodges, every single strength of the build and every single weakness, ect.. ect.. The more classes/builds that a player becomes proficient on or possibly masters, the greater his ability to play against them.
- How can a player become up to date on the current meta? There are plenty of websites, streamers, and youtube channels that explain and show what builds are currently being used. Finding them is as easy as opening your website browser and typing in: "Guild Wars 2 pvp builds." They usually come attached with written or recorded advice on how to run the builds, which is a great to place to start. There is however, no substitute for raw experience playing the game. Once a player has a relatively basic understanding of the class he wants to play, he should head into the game to begin learning from experience. It is also critically important that a player is able to humbly identify & accept when a build he is playing is not effective and that it's time to learn something new.
2. Using Proper Builds & Team Compositions - This is understanding the meta in application. When forming a team or even while playing solo que, players must consider what classes & job roles to bring or swap to, so that the team is functional and effective.
There are four main job roles or main archetypes. Many sub-archetypes could be placed under the main four, but every build that has ever existed, will fall under one of these main four job role archetypes. This is likely to never change unless Arenanet seriously overhauls Guild Wars 2. These are the four main job role archetypes: (Bruiser) (Support) (Roamer) (Bunker). It is important for players to identify what type of archetype they are playing so that they understand how to play the build correctly. For players who are designing a custom build, it is important that they design the build to function as one the four job roles. If they do not, the custom build will inherently have little to no purpose and likely be ineffective during Conquest play.
- (Bruisers) are specs with average level mobility who do not excel in 1v1 situations. What they are designed for, are team fights. Bruisers have lots of AoE "Area Of Effect" damage, AoE CCs "Crowd Control Skills", moderate sustain that is greatly bolstered when paired with a Support, and lots of synergy when paired with other Bruisers. In other words, they are designed in such fashion so that when multiple Bruisers begin stacking together on a single node, there is too much AoE damage/CCs being thrown around for the opponents to avoid, and when they are stacked with a Support on top of that, they become difficult to down and their moderate AoE damage becomes high AoE damage with boon support such as might stacking & fury buffing. And that's not to mention the other secondary AoE effects they bring to the team fight, light boon splashing, non damage condi pressure such as vuln stacking, and things like boon removal. Bruisers are notoriously viewed as "the easy specs to play" "the least important job that has the least impact" "the most expendable" "not able to carry matches". This couldn't be further from the truth. The reality is that the Bruisers are leading most of the team's rotations, the entire match. The Supports must follow the Bruisers in almost all situations, even if they make bad decisions. The Roamers must wait to see where the Bruisers and Supports are going before they can design a play around it. And the Bunkers are evaluating the play in the same way that the Roamers are doing. This is why it is important for the Bruisers to choose wisely, where they direct the team fight presence, because the positioning of the entire play is dependent upon where they choose to take the team fight. Bruisers must know when it is safe to stay & defend, and when it is necessary to fallback from a bad team fight and defend/regroup at a node their team already owns. Staying and wiping in a bad team fight is the worst decision possible during a Conquest match, which will be explained a bit later.
- (Supports) are designed to keep team mates alive in larger team fights and buff them with boons. They don't have many options in terms of rotations aside from following the Bruisers and whomever else is leading the next team fight rotation, as they usually rotate slower than any other job role, usually have the least amount of disengage and aren't as capable of solo bunking a node as an actual Bunker. But they are ridiculously important to have in any team for being able to win those team fights and hold down a central location on the map. The more players that stack around them, the more powerful an asset they become. This also means they become less effective and lose their purpose, if they are rotating around alone. A Support's effectiveness/importance may vary from patch to patch and meta to meta, but historically, Supports have always maintained an important job role within any team. Supports have the best synergy when paired Bruisers in team fights. The Support's goal is mainly to assist the Bruisers and/or whomever is present, hold down and win team fights on whichever node is currently the central priority of the rotation. Supports typically have perma-cycled party heals, party condi cleanses, and various party boons/buffs.
- (Roamers) are highly mobile builds with lots of direct single target damage that excel in 1v1 situations, but not so much in team fights due to lack of AoE damage and lack of ability to sustain vs. constant AoE damage from opponents. They are quick to move around maps, decap nodes, and +1 fights. +1ing a fight means that the Roamer shows up to a node to create an number advantage situation for his team. It was a 1v1 before he arrived, now it is a 2v1. The Roamer uses his large damage burst to quickly end fights. As soon as he sees that his team has control over that fight, he leaves and goes to decap/+1 elsewhere. Even though the Roamer excels in 1v1 situations due to the virtue of it's mobility, disengage, and very high damage bursting, it often has difficulty holding a node cap and loses it before it can down it's opponent. This is because the Roamer is not made to tank damage while standing on a node, this is the job of Bruisers/Supports/Bunkers. The Roamer must play evasively to avoid damage, which often means using skills that stall contribution towards node capping, or playing off node completely while downing the opponent. It is up to the Roamer to gauge how long he should stay at a node in a 1v1 if he loses the node cap. Can he down the opponent and recap the node in a reasonable time frame? Is the 1v1 taking too long, should he leave? Does his team need his help elsewhere? It's all about looking two steps ahead and identifying which decision will grant his team the greatest chance of maintaining control of rotations. It is important to note for Roamers that Conquest matches are generally best won by capping and defending two nodes, then using the third node for decap only. Be careful trying to full cap and defend three nodes, as it is rarely advantageous to allocate team positioning in this way.
- (Bunkers) are entirely designed to hold node caps in 1v2 outmanned situations so that its team can benefit 4v3 number advantage on the other two nodes that the Bunker is not at. If it can't 1v2 and survive, it isn't a Bunker. The Bunker's job is extremely similar to the Roamer's job, in terms of creating number advantage situations for its team, but rather than doing it offensively, it is doing defensively. The Bunker also strives to full cap and defend nodes rather than decap and leave. He wants to bait opponents to his node and engage them 1v2 if possible. They also typically excel at being able to decap and full cap nodes right out from under an opponent, without actually needing to down it. This is achieved through the use of frequent CC skills that repeatedly push an opponent of its node. Most Bunkers come with a significant amount of mobility/disengage and despite their very low damage outputs, they are very capable of winning 1v1s simply by out sustaining the opponent. Bunker specs are harder to down than Supports, but unlike Supports who are designed to sustain all team mates in a team fight, Bunkers have selfish sustain directed towards themselves and not towards their team mates. All Bunkers should understand when it is important to stay & bunk and when it is important to leave and reposition so that he is fulfilling his job role. It is important to note that engaging too many 1v1s is a waste of a Bunker and not useful in a match. If the player is not good at 1v2ing or is not good at baiting 1v2s, this means he is not fulfilling the purpose of his job role, which is granting the 4v3s. If this is the case, the Bunker should consider learning to play a different job role.
- Proper Team Compositions - What it all boils down to is what builds are currently in the meta. The current meta is undoubtedly formed through the recognition of which build structures are currently the best at performing the above four job roles. Why do they have to be these job roles? Because that is just how Conquest is played, similar to an American football game that requires quarterbacks, defensive lines, and wide receivers to catch the ball and run. Conquest is no different. It should be pointed out again, that attempting to play custom non-meta builds is at one's own risk. It often results in a situation where although the custom build may be well balanced, it does not excel enough at a single job role to be able to function properly within a Conquest team. It can't bruise against Bruisers, it can't match the support of a Support, it can't out roam a Roamer, and it can't out bunk a Bunker. So what is a proper team comp you ask? Very simple, it is a team comprised of builds that are very effective within the current meta, that perform the above four job roles. A good template to start with would be something like this: p1-(Bruiser) p2-(Bruiser) p3-(Support) p4-(Roamer) p5-(Bunker). Depending on what is strengthened and what has been weakened for a current given patching/meta, or simply what is on the opposing team, the template could be adjusted for what job roles and how many are in play. This doesn't only apply to forming five man teams, it also applies while playing solo que. Say a player was to join a game as a solo que while playing a Roamer. When he joins the game, he sees that his team comp consists of: p1-(Bruiser) p2-(Bruiser) p3-(Roamer) p4-(Roamer) p5-(Roamer) and it is against the first template mentioned as an opposing team. This is a problem because the first template mentioned has much more team fight presence and ability to hold node caps. Having three Roamers on a team that are not good at holding nodes, and no Support role to help them stay on-node, is going to hurt the second template's chances of winning. It would be a good idea for the player who joined as a solo Roamer, to log out and log back in "if he still can", as a Support role, a Bunker role, or at least as another Bruiser, so his team can better defend the nodes from gradual decaps. It's all about knowing how to balance a team comp vs. a given meta and matches with lopsided job role/class distributions. It is highly advised that any player learns to main different job roles for this purpose.
3. Understanding Rotations - This is all about knowing where to go, where not to go, if a position or action is advantageous or not, and why.
Rotations are absolutely the most difficult aspect of Guild Wars 2 spvp to explain. There are no shortcuts in learning rotations. It amounts down to a player's raw experience, his ability to identify cause & effect, and his speed of thought in application. Understanding rotations is something that players either get, or they don't. So to keep things simple, here is a short "Rules Of Thumb List", followed by an examination of the decision making process behind Initial Splits "the first play when a match begins". This will help players begin to recognize rotations.
- Have map awareness - Use the mini-map, look at it, use its functions. Pay attention to where team mates are, where they are going and if they are on respawn. Pay attention to where opponents are, where they are going and if they are on respawn. Use this intelligence to calculate more accurate rotations/plays and to defend nodes. The most classic example of poor map awareness would be players allowing their nodes to be back-capped for no other reason than the fact that they weren't paying attention to where the opponents were at. This often goes hand in hand with players doing what is referred to as "over rotating", where they win a combat and blindly move to the next combat, with absolutely no regard for actually defending nodes.
- Weight team numbers wisely - Considering that no players from either team are on respawn, when two team mates are 2v1ing an opponent for advantage on a node, that means their team is at 3v4 disadvantage on the other two nodes. Sometimes there are practical reasons for such allocations in numbers, such as a Bunker purposely engaging two opponents so his team can benefit number advantage elsewhere, or a Roamer goes to + a side node because his Bruiser & Support at mid are effectively holding the node in a 2v3 and don't seem to need his assistance. Sometimes there are situations where a player is just rotating incorrectly, such as a Roamer camping the home node all game, despite that the opponents are ignoring him. He likely believes that he is doing a great job defending the home node, but the truth is that he is allowing the opponents to easily hold the other two cap nodes in an advantage 5v4 against his team. Conquest games are easily won by holding two nodes, not three. He is directly responsible for the loss, even though he held the home node all game. Other classic examples of poor rotations are: Three guys fighting one Bunker, leaving their team 2v4 on the other two nodes. A Roamer +ing a 1v1 that his team mate is already winning, while a team fight is being lost on a different node. Players standing and double capping a node, when one of them should have left to keep numbers even elsewhere. During a match, players should always be asking themselves "Are we weighting team numbers wisely?" If not, then rotate so they are weighted wisely.
- Fallback from bad combat engagements - The #1 most important thing that any player can do in a Conquest match, is not die. Any time that a team mate goes on respawn, it puts that team in a 4v5 situation or worse and grants the opponent's team immediate control of the current rotation. It is always better to fallback and regroup at a different defensive position, than for a player to martyr himself and render his team in a 4v5 or worse situation. Example: A match has just started and both teams had decided to launch a 1/3/1 initial split "this means 1 is going to the home node, 3 are going to the mid node, 1 is pushing the far node." Both teams engage each other 1/3/1 vs. 1/3/1 and all three nodes are still neutral. The three players at mid on the RED team notice they are losing the mid fight. They have to make a decision: (A) Stay in a losing fight where three players will go into respawn, resulting in the BLUE team full capping mid and then sending BLUE players to + the side nodes, likely resulting in a double cap or potentially a triple cap "this is otherwise known as getting snowballed", or (B) Fallback off mid and allocate numbers to the side nodes, granting the ability to maintain defense of those nodes and the possibility of full capping them in the end. Choosing B is the only way the RED team has a chance of saving and regaining control of the rotation. If they choose (A), three players will go into respawn and by the time those three players come off respawn, the two other RED team mates who were on the side nodes will likely be being sent into respawn. This is often referred to as being "staggered", a situations where it is unrealistic to launch an effective rotation because the RED team is 3v5 on the map. When and if this happens, it is often wise to wait for the party to regroup for a 5v5 rotation. If a team continues to play on stagger, they risk snowballing themselves and losing outmanned fights, one after another.
- Know when to leave a node - Sometimes it is best for a player to bail a node and leave. This isn't always because he is losing a fight. Example: Two players are 1v1'ing on a neutral node and neither player can down the other. The 1v1 has become a test of CCs where each player is trying to knock the other player off the node for small gains towards the node cap. Slowly but surely, one of the players finally wins the node cap and turns it his color. At this point there is no reason for the player who lost the node cap to stay in a 1v1 on that node because he cannot down the opposing player and he cannot decap it out from under him. He should leave and contribute his efforts elsewhere. It is also important to note that the sooner he leaves that node, the sooner the opponent must follow him, and the sooner that node opens up for back-capping. Staying and fighting on an opponent colored node denies the Roamers of their job role.
- Fighting off-node can be good - Players will often be scorned for fighting off-node and usually it is for good reason. But the popular belief of "never fight off-node" is not true. There are many situations where more experienced players are choosing to fight off-node for advantageous reasons. Example 1: One player is capping mid and he notices that a team mate is trying to reach the mid node but there are two opponents on him. He is being bursted, CC'd and appears that he likely won't make it to the mid node. The player capping must make a decision: (A) Stay and cap the node, while watching his team mate get stomped, likely resulting in being snowballed off the mid node and losing his cap anyway, when those two opponents come to him, or (B) Temporarily leave the mid node without finishing the cap and go help the team mate survive off-node. This way he has a chance of allowing the team mate to recover while escorting him to mid so they can continue to defend the node together. At the worst, they lose the 2v2 and lose the mid node anyway, but it will take much longer to lose the mid node in this way than it would with choice A. At the best, they win the 2v2 and full cap mid after sending two opponents on stagger. Example 2: A player just finished capping his home node and notices an opponent Bunker coming to contest the node. The player on the home node knows that he cannot down the Bunker and that the Bunker will decap him over time with CC play. So he chooses to run off node and engage the Bunker some 3000 range away from the home node. This way, he can slow down the Bunker by making it enter combat and utilizing movement impairing skills against it. This is buying the player time before the Bunker even reaches the home node. This allows his team more time to send a player to the home node that can deal with the Bunker or simply + against it so it can be downed. At the worst, it buys the player time before needing to fallback and leave the node. Example 3: There is a team fight happening on some given node. A Roamer who is currently in that team fight notices a powerful opponent Bruiser is approaching. He knows that if that Bruiser joins the team fight, his team won't be able to hold the node. So the Roamer leaves the team fight, to engage the Bruiser off-node where he can counter the Bruiser 1v1 and potentially down it before it reaches the team fight, or at least put its skills on cool-down and make it waste a heal on the way there. The moral of the story is that defending nodes does not necessarily mean that the player needs to be standing on them. But the player needs to use his common sense and know if what he is doing is actually defending nodes or if it is losing them.
- Never push objectives in vain - Objectives go hand in hand with rotations. Even though they are secondary objectives compared to node capping which is the primary, they often can make or break matches. Players must understand when to push objectives and when not to push objectives. Most players believe there are things they should always do and things that they should never do, such as "just ignore the beasts" or "never push lord before 350". Although these tidbits of advice are in the right direction, they are not always true. Rather than write out an overly elongated summary on each individual objective, I'll cut straight to point that applies to all objectives: Players must understand exactly how all of the objectives work numerically. How exactly are they contributing points for the win? Will it be worth it to push an objective at some given time? If the player succeeds, will the numeric gain in score outweigh the numeric losses that are being accrued while that player is not on the nodes helping team mates defend? What are the chances of even succeeding while pushing the objective? Is it a clear shot or are there gambles involved? Is it worth it to engage in those gambles? In other words, stop and think about it. Think two steps ahead about the cause & effect of pushing an objective. A successful objective push can turn a losing game in to a winning game. A failed objective push can create a detrimentally failed map rotation, placing a team in an irrecoverable state of losing. And even a successful objective push can often turn out to have been the wrong decision in the end, concerning overall score gain.
- Rotate with team mates and not against them - Best way to explain this is with a short example: RED team consists of Support/Bruiser/Bruiser/Roamer/Bunker. Before the match, they had decided on opening their initial split with a 1/3/1 where the Roamer would go home and quickly rotate to mid after the cap, the Support/Bruiser/Bruiser would go mid to engage the team fight, and the Bunker would push far to stall the opponent's cap. But when the match starts, for some reason one of the Bruisers decides he wants to push the far node instead of letting the Bunker do it. This creates a couple problems: 1. The Bunker has no damage and only selfish sustain, not team support. So he is less effective in the mid fight than the Bruiser would have been. Likewise, the Bruiser is not as well designed for 1v1 node capturing/defending as the Bunker is, especially not against the opponent Roamer who he is about to engage at far. The actions of the Bruiser ignoring the team play has already inappropriately weighted his team's positions in the wrong places. 2. Considering the other four players on the RED team are relatively experienced and have map awareness, they all have identified that the Bruiser has ruined the play. Now they must gauge decision making: (A) Let the Bruiser go far alone, knowing the chances are high that he will be downed and then the opponent Roamer will come mid to + his team and create an advantage 5v4 for the BLUE team, while the RED Bruiser is staggered, or (B) Completely bail on the 1/3/1 initial split and reposition in attempts to avoid the 4v5 situation that is about to happen. With good communication, it is likely the RED team will tell the Roamer who capped their home, to go assist the Bruiser far, rather than come mid. If they want to send assistance to the Bruiser at far more quickly, they may declare the Bunker to stay mid for cap delay and distraction, while the mid Bruiser/Support move to the far node. Worst case scenario, the Bunker can fall off mid if he is overwhelmed and go to the Roamer on home node, to create defense there-off. Choice B is the most viable route for the RED team to avoid stagger and continue to aim for a double cap, rather than risking being double capped, due to allowing a team mate to be sent on respawn. The point being is that: The Bruiser who pushed far was rotating against his team, and in no way contributed anything to the play, outside of creating confusion and ill-placement around the map. During such situations, players much gauge if assisting a player like the far pushing Bruiser will be worth it or not. It is almost always best to avoid stagger, no matter what a player must do. But sometimes a player like the far pushing Bruiser is making so many mistakes that it isn't possible to work around him and/or keep him alive. If this is the case and a player is that much of a liability, it is actually best to ignore him completely as if he were not in the game at all. By this I mean, consider the match as a 4v5 and play it as such. This way players aren't baiting themselves into team wipes, due to relying on a liability.
Initial Splits, the gateway to understanding rotations - Over the years, I've found that getting players to really analyze the decision making and theory behind the initial split is the best way to trigger their recognition of proper rotational decision making as a whole. What is an initial split again? It is the very first play or rotation that a team decides to do, right at the beginning of a match. Here are a few key aspects to examine.
- Different kinds of splits - 1/4/0, 1/3/1, 1/2/2, 1/1/3 What does mean? The first number is the amount of players who go to contest the home node. The second number is the amount of players who go to contest the mid node. The third number is the amount of players who go to contest the far node. Many players believe there is some best or most optimal split that grants the best chances of success, but this entirely untrue. This mind frame exists because of the different divisional tiers that players play in. Lower division teams usually do not have many players that are confident to push far on an initial split and when one of them does, usually it doesn't end well. The lower division players begin noticing that 1/4/0 eliminates the chances of a bad far push and they begin regarding it as the optimal split, when really what they are experiencing is that it is the safest play, for players in their division. Middle tier players have a substantially larger pool of players who are becoming adept at far push rotations. Once a player reaches middle tiers, he will notice that the stapled 1/4/0 isn't often working as well as it used to. He will notice in many games that, if the opponents launch a 1/3/1 against his 1/4/0, it results in a situation where the opponents finish capping their home node early "because the 1/4/0 did not send anyone to contest it", but his team's home node is being contested by some opponent Bunker and is still neutral. Then he notices that the mid node is also still neutral and that despite his team having four players against the three opponents for a brief time, it is not enough time to down any of them before the opponent who free-capped it's home node is already arriving mid to + and make it an even 4v4. He ultimately notices that the opponent's team launching a 1/3/1 vs. his 1/4/0, is granting them an early lead. The now intermediate player begins suggesting 1/3/1 splits in any match he joins and begins to regard it as the optimal split, but really the 1/3/1 split is simply a split that counters the 1/4/0 specifically. In no way does that mean it is the best split. As the intermediate climbs higher in divisional tiers, better players will begin forming splits that counter the 1/3/1 split, such as 1/2/2 or 1/1/3. These are splits where an opponent team will send a hard to kill player or two to contest the mid node in an outmanned situation, so that their damage oriented players can rush the far node and quickly down the player capping it, obtaining an immediate node cap, and creating a snowball rotation. The now higher tiered player is learning that 1/2/2 and 1/1/3 is countering the 1/3/1. As soon as he begins to regard 1/2/2s & 1/1/3s as optimal high tier splits and that 1/4/0s are low tier splits, he stops himself in the realization that 1/4/0 is actually the safe counter to 1/2/2s and 1/1/3s. At that point he recognizes that there truly is no "best split". There are only splits & rotations that counter other splits & rotations. He recognizes that the "best split" lies within a team's ability to gauge what the opponent's split will be, and their ability to form a counter split against it.
- Sizing up team comps & choosing splits - It isn't enough to simply allocate numbers around the map. A team must take into consideration job roles, what they are good at, what they aren't so good at, and even the skill levels of the players playing those job roles. When a player first loads into a match, the first thing he should do is bring up the team vs. team panel and take a look at who & what jobs/classes are being played on each team. Let's say this player has landed in a well balanced RED team comp consisting of Support/Bruiser/Bruiser/Roamer/Bunker and they are against a BLUE team comp of Support/Bruiser/Bruiser/Bruiser/Bruiser. It is highly unlikely that the BLUE team will launch any rotation other than 1/4/0 due to lack of mobility and lack of 1v1 side node presence. The BLUE team however, has a much stronger team fight presence than the RED team. It would not be a good idea for the RED team to attempt to engage the BLUE 1/4/0 with a RED 1/4/0. Let's consider the RED Roamer is a Mesmer. The RED team has a particularly viable option, if they want to avoid that team fight at mid. They can run a 1/1/3: Send one RED Bruiser to cap home node. Send the RED Bunker mid to delay the node cap. When the RED Bunker has to fallback, he will fallback to home node with the Bruiser who has capped it, and they will defend the home node. Send the Support/Bruiser/Roamer Mesmer to push far node to quickly down the BLUE capper and take the node for RED. They can launch this rotation quickly due to the Mesmer's blink and portal entre. It is likely that BLUE players from mid will follow them to far to contest the node, which is what RED is counting on. The idea here is to split up the BLUE Support from all of his stacked Bruisers, and diminish their team fight presence, while quickly sending one BLUE on stagger, so the RED team can be 5v4 advantage and gain control of the rotation. When BLUE players begin leaving mid, the RED Bruiser and RED Bunker can then begin pushing mid for the cap, rather than just delaying the cap. No matter how it ends up working out, this is the RED team's greatest chance at quickly gaining a two cap and control of the rotation. If RED were to try and 1/4/0 BLUE, they would likely lose the mid node in time or at best, the node would stay neutral and the team fight wouldn't end. It's all about identifying & weighing the gambles, the possible success rates of actions taken, and the possible fail rates of actions taken. It's all about looking two steps ahead and countering the opponent, rather than being countered.
- Rotations after the initial split - Truth be told, every team rotation and individual rotation after the initial split uses the same logic and works exactly like sizing up the initial split. The only difference is that rather than having players walking out of the spawn point to their positions, they are scattered around the map when deciding to move to new positions. Although this does make things more complex, as there are many more factors to pay attention to and consider while forming mid-game team and individual rotations, it really isn't different at all. Players are still aiming their rotations towards the same goals: "Taking the most advantageous actions possible" "Countering opponents instead of being countered" Players need to make habit of stopping before they rotate so they may take a few seconds to think two steps ahead, and consider the cause & effect of their actions. The sooner players start doing this, the sooner they learn to do it quickly, and the sooner they become better at rotations.
4. Honing Combat Skills - Developing strong mechanical skills is every bit as important, if not more important, than understanding rotations.
Too often there are teams of players who argue amongst each other after a bad team wipe. They point fingers and blame each other for ruining the rotation, when the truth is that the team rotation was fine. The truth is that the play was not lost due to a bad rotation, it was lost due to a complete lack of combat skill on behalf of the players on that team. During bad matches like this, they will often go back and forth blaming each other's rotational decisions, as if there even were some magical rotation to be achieved, that would allow a team to bypass it's complete lack of mechanical skill, and still win the match. It is very important to note that: There are no magical rotations that make up for a team's lack of combat skill. There are only rotations that allow a team to utilize it's current level of combat skill. In other words, there is no way to rotate around an opponent team full of players who are absolutely crunching any & all players they come across. It is an inadequate learning process to point fingers and blame such a loss on rotations. Players should rather identify the truth of the loss and consider hitting the training room, if they want to improve.
- 1v1 Custom Arenas - Here a player can freely challenge other players to 1v1 situations. This is important because in a 1v1 training session, the player can put all focus on what the opponent is doing, without worrying about where team mates are, what is happening rotationally, ect.. ect.. During the 1v1 practice, it is much easier to focus on the opponent and soak up noticeable information on how a certain class or build plays. Joining these 1v1 Custom Arenas or even just sparring with friends, is a great way to brush up and get current on how to deal with certain classes/builds. It plays a large part in understanding the meta. Players can even go into spectate mode and view another player's screen. They can view the entire build structure of that player's class, and watch him to see how he plays. This is all a very important learning process towards understanding how to shut down classes/builds or at least how to survive against them, even if they are a counter to the player's archetype. Ultimately through practicing 1v1s, players will learn which classes to engage in combat and which classes to avoid. They will learn their personal strengths & limitations, which creates sound judgement of action during actual matches.
- What to focus on learning during 1v1 training? - This actually gets pretty advanced depending on how high tier of a player we are talking about. Rather than trying to elaborate on an advanced level, we'll keep this section clean & comprehensive towards the essentials. When a player understands the essentials, it opens the doors towards understanding advanced levels of combat dynamics. 1. Actively Identify the opponent's strengths & weaknesses. Is it strong vs. physical? Is it strong vs. condi? Is it weak vs. CCs? Is it more or less mobile than the build being used against it? Is it using physical or condi? Where is most of it's damage? Is it's damage coming from attrition or bursting? 2. Actively Identify any & all ways to survive indefinitely when necessary, such as using superior mobility to disengage, heal and come back. Or avoiding a particular damage/skill combo that is particularly dangerous. Or devising a method of skill preservation/cycling that can adequately mitigate the opponent's skill use cycles. Or simply using CCs to disturb his actions every time he gets too close or goes to use certain skills. If there are no ways to survive indefinitely, it will become very important to focus on the effects of counter offensive pressure "a strong offensive is a good defense" 3. Actively Identify methods to quickly & accurately land damage without it being wasted on dodges/evades/blocks/invulns/clears, ect.. ect.. The idea is to keep pressure on the opponent and down him before he can down you. If this cannot be done, it is likely that the opponent is using a counter class to your class, and that it may be a good idea to focus methods of survival, disengagement and avoidance vs. him, rather than trying to figure out how to down him. 4. Learn how to gauge the cool-down timers of the skills being used by the opponent. Understanding his cool-down timers will enable much stronger application of the previous three essential factors. Practicing 1v1s is also a great time for players to log in on classes they don't well understand, to get a feel for how they work.
Understanding team fight dynamics - It isn't enough to just go in swinging. There are important factors, dos and don'ts, that must be taken into consideration. There are more advanced dynamics that could be discussed, but for the purpose of this tutorial, it will be best to keep things simple.
- Call targets - The fastest way to win team fights and gain control of rotation, is to send opponents on stagger. The fastest way to down an opponent and send him on stagger, is to call target on him and have the team focus all of its damage on that one player. Generally the most advantageous opponent to target will be the opponent with the most damage. This is advantageous for two reasons: 1. Applying offensive pressure to the high damage opponent forces him to play defensively rather than freely unload his damage. 2. A build with high damage usually means it is a build with low sustain. This means it should be easy to down that player. Sometimes the high damage opponent is an experienced player who is not so easy to down. In this case, call target and focus fire on the next most dangerous opponent. Sometimes no opponents are able to be downed because there is a powerful support defending them. In this case, target the support.
- Actively defend team mates who are being focused - If a team mate's health is dropping out quickly and the team can see him attempting to fallback, identify which player or players are focusing him and temporarily shift the team's pressure to those players. This forces the opponents applying the pressure to lessen their offense and go more defensive, if they don't want to be bursted down. This alleviates pressure from the team mate who was being focused and allows him time to "reset his resources" and re-enter the team fight in a much shorter amount of time than it would take if he had died and gone on respawn.
- When to cleave and when to let bleed? - Cleaving is when players stand over a downed body and begin finishing the player with raw damage. If the team is worried so much about the opponents reviving that player, they should always attempt stomping and cleaving to just finish the player and send him into stagger. However, sometimes it is highly advantageous to let opponents bleed out, rather than immediately finish them. There are a few reasons for this: 1. Letting an opponent bleed out greatly extends the amount of time before they can respawn and come off stagger. 2. Letting an opponent bleed out is a great way to bait other opponents in to try and revive him. When the opponents attempt to revive the downed player, the opposing team can freely unload large damage bursts on top of the players attempting the revive. This is an extremely punishing way to immediately gain large advantage in team fights.
- When to revive and when to let die? - So a team mate gets downed. Is it a good idea to try and revive him? Real simple: If it looks like the player who will be attempting the revive is going to get caught in a big cleave trap and also get downed himself, then no it isn't worth it. If the player attempting the revive has skills ready that will allow him to pull off the revive, such as stabilities, blocks, invulns, condi clears, ect.., then yes it is worth it. When sizing up a said given situation, just stop, look two steps ahead and use common sense. Remember that one player being sent into stagger is only half as bad as two players being sent into stagger.
- How to stop opponent stomping & reviving? - It is again, real simple: When a player sees it about to happen, he should shift his focus and unload as much CC & DPS "damage per second" as he possibly can against the opponent attempting the stomp or revive. Players cannot ignore this. They must learn how to quickly change targets to keep up with and prevent such actions. Stomping & reviving wins team fights.
5. Communication - Voice-Chat, /p chat, /t chat, /s chat, doesn't matter. The more communication, the better.
This is no embellishment. The more a player communicates and the stronger his communication is, the stronger his team's gameplay will become. Of course there are proper and improper ways of communicating! The proper forms of communication that enhance Conquest gameplay mainly deal with the exchange of intel. The more intel a team has collectively, the more accurate their rotations become. It also becomes easier to win team fights.
- Discussing builds & team comp before a match starts. Suggesting class/build swaps and discussing the initial split.
- Telling team mates where opponents are, how many there are, what they are, where they are headed, or if they are in respawn.
- A player should tell team mates what he is doing next and if he will need help or not.
- A player should call for a + early, before a situation turns bad.
- A player should always notify the team of any change in circumstances around the map if he notices them, if something becomes advantageous or if it becomes dangerous.
- A player should always notify the team of and/or discuss a risky or complex move on an objective.
- Players should toss suggestions to other players who seem to be rotating incorrectly, but it should be done softly.
- Players in five man teams over voice-chat can even collaborate intricate and complex combat strategies during team fights.
6. Getting A Gaming Mouse & Using Key-Binds - It does matter if a player wants to excel.
Ultimately, getting a gaming mouse & using key-binds are simply options. No one is forcing anyone to go out and buy a gaming mouse, nor is it required to play Guild Wars 2. But boy oh boy is mandatory for players who are seeking to play at higher levels. Once a player takes the time to adapt his play style and key-binds around a gaming mouse, he'll never understand how he ever played the game without it. A good gaming mouse and good key-binding really does enhance a player's mechanical gameplay tremendously. While setting custom key-binds, a player should also become very familiar with all of the options available in-game. He should make sure he is utilizing all customizable features to the fullest degree, if he wants to improve.
7. Keep Learning - There is always more to learn.
Everyone can be a bit better tomorrow, than they were today. Most players reach a plateau in skill level due to not actively seeking improvement. They play one game after another and rely on sort of, absorbing things through this ambient osmosis. This is fine and there is nothing wrong with that. But for players who want to improve quickly and who want to improve in great lengths, it will require an active conscious effort to seek knowledge and experience that they are not yet familiar with. Aside from websites, streams, and thread posts like this, I suggest that a player should seek a proper tutor to learn more about advanced gameplay. At the very least, a player should take active effort to make sure he does not develop tunnel vision, doing the same things over and over during matches, but rather actively consider what he could be doing better. For those older and more experienced players out there who have already truly peaked, even they know that when a balance patch rolls around and a new meta forms, there will still always be more to learn, again.
8. Teach - Take the time to share some experience.
This is something that we don't see enough of within the community. It does a great deal to stimulate the community and helps newer players maintain a steady rate of growth. The veterans of the community need do nothing more than share their experience, from time to time. It's a great way to meet new people and helps lower the overall toxicity that develops in any competitive game environment. How is it stimulating the community and lowering toxicity? Real simple: Players have more fun and are more interested in being involved, if there are players interacting positively with them. They have more fun and are more interested in the competitive scene if they are experiencing personal growth. And the more players that are taught properly = less clueless players in games = a lot less salt for all of us.
9. Don't Toss Around Grief - It's just a real downer for anyone who has to see it or experience it.
There is of course an acceptable level of competitive smack talking. This is to be expected with any competitive game. But there is a difference between rivals talking smack to each other, and someone just being a jerk to as many people as possible, as often as he wishes. Players must understand that griefing shows nothing but negative results. Players will notice during matches that when a team mate begins griefing, there is usually a distinct shift in the team's efficiency. This is due to the team becoming unfocused and losing proper communication. Some players will outright complain and throw insults mid-match, others aren't meaning to toss grief but it feels that way to other players when they are making public /p & /t statements to or about some given player. It comes back around to that old cliché "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." In other words, griefing does nothing but make games harder to win, and it ruins the good vibe of having fun. Just relax.
10. DO NOT CHEAT - It serves no purpose other than ruining the game for everyone, including the player who is cheating.
I mean, come on now. I can't believe I actually have to post this with explanation behind it. I've been online gaming since 1996 and I can tell you it is the absolute truth that the downfall and defilement of every single game I have ever played, was 100% synonymous with players cheating and trying to find ways to game the system. Any player of any game who is reading this, should consider that a game cannot exist without rules. When those rules are broken, the game also begins to break, because it can't exist without rules. So for those players out there who are looking for ways to game the systems of the competitive modes they love to play so much, consider what will happen to those games in the long run. Consider that it is a good way to show a gaming company that the community actually cares about its game, by keeping things clean. And that's not to mention the flat out risk of being caught & banned. Just keep things clean. If a player is cheating to gain status & fame, he should also consider that when he is exposed, it all goes away. But legitimate status, fame & reputation, stands the test of time. Most importantly: Players within a community who possess considerable amounts of reputation and fame, should never cheat. When famed players cheat, it sends the message to everyone else that is an acceptable thing to do, and many more players begin cheating. However, when famed players take the stance that cheating is unacceptable and that a player should be shamed for cheating, much fewer players will ever touch the concept. This is because they cheat to gain status and acceptance amongst the higher tiered community. If the community stops giving that to them, they won't cheat.
Feel free to post videos and/or anything else written that expands on the above and gets more detailed, such as a good video the demonstrates proper play on a given class. Constructive debate about anything concerning "Guild Wars 2 Conquest" such as some given rotational theory, would also strengthen this thread's level of information provided. A considerable amount of time was invested in organizing and writing this up, so It would be greatly appreciated if everyone could help keep this thread clean so that it does not get removed. Players have been requesting a go-to tutorial for over 6 years now. I have no idea why it took 6 years and me to do it, but here it is. ~ Enjoy