WvW Guide For a Novice
The aim of this guide is to give advice on how to contribute your server while playing World vs World. It will cover all the main roles and how to perform them properly.
- WvW = short form for World vs World
- Matchup/MU = World vs World is split into matchups which changes every week. During a matchup you will find yourself against two other servers. The reset time is every Friday at 20.00 (GMT+1)
- Team Chat
- SM/SMC = short form for Stonemist Castle
- Garri - Garrison/Earth Keep
- Inner - Outer: this only applies to keep and SM, both have two defensive layers, the first one you meet as an attacker is the outer, the second one is the inner.
- WK/EK - West Keep (Bay, Fire)/East Keep (Hills, Air)
- T = Tower, typically seen in callouts
- Camp = short form for Supply Camp
- WG = Water Gate
- Short form for siege:
- AC - Arrow Cart
- Treb - Trebuchet
- Balli - Ballista
- Cata - Catapult
- Omega/Alpha - Omega/Alpha Golem
- Oil - Burning Oil
- Roamer/Roamers - Between 1-5 players that roam around maps looking for fights and flipping small objectives (sentries, camps, ruins)
- Havoc - A group of 5-10 players, usually focused on capturing objectives and pulling the attention of larger groups.
- Zerg - A group of 20 or more enemies.
- Blob/Map Blob - A group of 40 or more enemies, usually the only enemy force on a map or a combination of multiple zergs.
- EWP - Emergency Waypoint tactic
- EBG - Eternal Battlegrounds
- Lords - Short for Lord's Room, where the lord and capture point resides in every keep/tower.
- T1/T2/T3 - Upgrade level of an objective, 3 being highest. May also refer to matchup tiers.
- Paper - Any basic structure, not upgraded.
- Server names are usually abbreviated, for example Blackgate becomes BG or Far Shiverpeaks becomes FSP.
- Doly/Yak - Dolyak
Before following a zerg, make sure you have a decent build. Check out our builds and pick one. If you are a sPvP/PvE player, you will instantly notice that the play style and the metas are completely different; WvW builds aim to give group support and are tankier than other game builds.
Voice chat is a major tactical tool. Every server has its own TeamSpeak, Discord or Mumble server and you can easily find it by asking in team chat or visiting the server's website. There are usually channels for each map and guild. Get in the one for your commander and listen. Speaking is not required but will help. Simply by listening, you will better understand what your commander is doing and be able to react much faster with greater awareness.
There are six different commander tag colors which can mean different things depending on server and guild, however in general the Blue tag is a public commander for the map. You can join a commander's squad by right clicking their tag on the map or using the command /squadjoin NAME where NAME is the name of either the commander or a member of their squad. Some squads may be locked to prevent joining without an invite, this may because a group wants to run privately or it may be because they only accept people on voice communications in their squad. It is considered bad form to follow a group that doesn't want public players in squad.
Dodging is a matter of life and death; you have to be extremely careful not to waste any endurance. Unlike PvP and PvE, where you aim to dodge a precise animation, in WvW, when you must dodge the enemy zerg which is the main source of enemy damage, the commander may call a "double dodge", which simply means to use both your dodges. One dodge isn't enough simply because the enemy melee will often be formed by 30 or more men and the dodge will make you evade attacks for only one second. Use them only when you face the enemy melee train because that will deal the most damage and will often be accompanied by immobilizes and crowd control.
If you don't want to participate in the zerg but still want to contribute to your server on WvW there are different activities you can do:
- Harass the enemy backlines - This consists on killing enemy light classes, such as elementalists, necros and thieves, and defend your backlines. Any enemy you take down will be a big loss for the enemy zerg.
- Tour camps - You basically take all camps in the map in a circle, they will grant your server supplies and points, and prevent the enemy structures from getting supplies.
- Supply customs - Sometimes a siege on an enemy structure lasts for an extended duration, at this point you want to prevent any supply caravan from entering your siege target. Capture nearby camps to stop the flow of supply completely. You can also do this with players, especially when your zerg is inside a keep and still fighting, wait outside the structure and kill anyone who tries to enter.
- Contesting - Waypoints in structures will close as soon as the structure is attacked. After 3 minutes the waypoint will open again. By contesting it you deny the enemy a spawn point. Contesting can also be used to mislead the enemy about the location of your forces, however it is useless if an enemy scout sees through your trickery. In order to contest a structure it is sufficient to hit a gate once. Note that you as the attacker will see no difference until 30 seconds after, but for the opposing team the waypoint is disabled instantly. Note also that the guards at the gates can blind, so make sure you actually hit the gate.
Supply is the currency in WvW for building siege equipment and upgrading structures. Supply originates from supply camps and must be delivered by supply caravans to structures. Players can pick up supply from any owned camp or structure. It is generally safe to take supply from any objective, but players should take care to avoid draining supply from heavily contested objectives that need it for defense. The exception being structures that are in heavily contested areas and not expected to be held for long. Players can carry up to 10 supply by default, there are three ways to increase this amount each by up to 5 extra supply:
- The Supply Capacity WvW mastery line
- An objective claimed by a guild with the Supply Capacity upgrade unlocked.
- The Presence of the Keep tactic, when used on a keep with Supply Capacity aura.
Scouting is one of the pillars to win a matchup. The term covers both reporting intelligence in general, and also staying on a particular map or in an objective to watch for enemy movements.
People will wait inside an objective to scout it because it takes 30 seconds after an attack on an objective before the "crossed swords" contested indicator will appear on the map however a "Defend the objective" event will pop immediately when an objective is contested. The extra time can be the difference between being able to reach an objective to defend and losing it without a fight. Scouts can delay the enemy with defensive siege, traps, and siege disablers.
One thing you want to do if you see any enemy movement that could become a threat (do not report single players unless they are killing dolyaks or otherwise having an impact) is to report it in map or team chat. Team chat broadcasts to all four maps, EBG and Borderlands, map chat will only broadcast to the map you are on. Use team chat if a critical objective is under attack and the map is not queued (If you aren't sure, just use team chat, better safe than sorry.). Critical objectives are: North Towers on Home Borderland, Inner Towers on EBG, any keep on Home Borderland, EBG keep and Reinforced or Fortified SMC.
Good communication requires concise information: do not write in chat "2 rangers, 10 warriors, 4 guardians and 7 necromancers from blue server are coming to our keep from the right". A skeleton for a proper callout is:
- [Number] [Server] [Guild Tag] [Objective] [Borderland] (Except for Map Chat) [Siege] [Objective %].
For example this could translate to:
- 5 FA [VAC] @ SWT, 1 Ram, Gate 80%.
- 70+ YB [FoW] @ Garri WG Inner 10 Rams 15 Omegas Gate 5%
- ~15 DB [JOY] Trebbing Garri on SoSBL from NCamp, 3 trebs outer 45%
It is OK to exclude or estimate some of this information, for example if there isn't one or more guilds filling a significant portion of the enemy force then leave out the guild tag. You can also add relevant information such as Siege Disabled or EWP ready. Not all things are worth defending, you do not want to report someone capturing a sentry or a ruin.
Directions are always given using cardinal directions ("north", "south", "east", "west", etc.). Do not use "left", "right", "up", or "down", because they are relative to your own position. Towers and camps in borderlands are referred to by their position on the map; SE tower (SET), N camp, etc. while in Eternal Battlegrounds tower and camp names are used. While in Eternal Battlegrounds you can say Keep (In map chat only, not team chat) because your server only has one, while on borderlands always use a more descriptive keep name: Garri, Bay (west keep), or Hills (east keep). Some places have their own names:
- Watergate: Garrison's south central gate, accessed from the water, the inner gate has the particularity to not upgrade along with keep upgrades.
- Bay/Hills cataspot: The strength of these places is that you can hit both inner and outer walls by placing catapults on one place.
- Lord Room: Where the lord and capture point resides in every keep/tower.
Even while an objective is under attack, stay for as long as possible, reporting what siege the enemy is using and the health of gates/walls as a percentage.
ContestingCommanders may ask you to "hold, contest, and stay in the circle". This mean you have to contest the capturing of the keep by standing on the circle that will appear once the lord dies. While you're doing this your commander will move the zerg to your position to save the objective. Use all your dodges and your defensive skills such as
Sieging up means to place siege on a structure to be used to repel attackers. There are three kinds of siege:
Normal siege can be acquired via Badges of Honor or at the Trading Post and are cheap. Superior is more expensive, deals 50% more damage and also costs more supply to build. Guild siege is the most expensive and deals the damage of Superior with the supply cost of Normal siege.
While every tower has its special spots, they all share a common way to be sieged up.
- Trebuchet straight behind the door, as far as possible from it. This will destroy rams with 3-4 shots, also Fire Bloated Putrid Cow, if traited, will drain supplies from players. Your role at a trebuchet is to throw a Cow as the enemy comes, fire a couple of Fire (Trebuchet), and switch back to Fire Bloated Putrid Cow.
- Arrow carts on the walls: this provides effective area denial and is lethal against infantry. In a zerg fight, you should aim at your commander's tag.
- Ram/Ballista on the Lord Room: even if this might seem useless to many players, if traited, rams and balistas can give a huge advantage in static fights. If your commander is stacking on the Lord Room for the last defense, use Iron Will to give an area 50% damage reduction. Also
Objectives automatically upgrade as Dolyaks reach them. Objectives require a different amount of dolyaks to upgrade for each tier: 20 for T1, 40 for T2 and 80 for T3 for a total of 140 dolyaks to take a structure from paper to fortified. There are three different tiers of upgrades used to describe the status of a structure:
- Wooden/paper: this mean the tower/keep has no upgrades at all.
- Tier 1 (T1)/Secured: the objective has cannons and oil.
- Tier 2 (T2)/Reinforced: the objective has reinforced walls, gates and mortars.
- Tier 3 (T3)/Fortified: the objective has fortified walls, gates and for keeps/SMC, a Waypoint.
Tactics are divided into two types, Passive and Active, and three tiers. The tactics available are dependent on the type of objective. Tactics can be slotted into an objective once it has been claimed by the same guild for a period of time; 10min for T1, 30min for T2 and 1hr for T3. Active tactics are activated with tactivators, usually nearby the lord's room on an objective.
Standard loadouts are:
- T1: Supply Drop, Hardened Gates
- T2: Dragon Banner, Iron Guards
- T3: Emergency Waypoint, Presence of the Keep
- T1: Chilling Fog, Hardened Gates
- T2: Dragon Banner, Iron Guards
- T3: Emergency Waypoint, Watchtower
- Camp (Typically only upgraded with one of the two)
- T1: Dune Roller, Speedy Dolyaks
A frequent request is to "escort dollies", this is a really easy role and it basically consists of defending a supply caravan from enemies (every dolyak gets attacked by NPC enemies on its path which will slow it down), giving it Swiftness, and taking sentries on its route.