Since the transfer of players from Karak Eight Peaks, my home server of Norn has seen a massive resurgence of AoE bomb tactics. That’s not to say it wasn’t there before, undoubtedly it was, but nothing like to the same extent. With the monstrous zergs now present from both factions, at least in these early days it has become rare to see a fight not based around AoE bombing. I’ve personally been on the business end of a zerg where I counted 9 Bright Wizards at the FRONT of the charge. Amongst them were a very large number of Slayers (I didn’t manage to count them) and as a result it was literally instant death for us. Likewise I’ve seen Destruction doing exactly the same thing with Sorcerers and Choppas. There are always angry debates on forums about which side has it easiest with bombing, but I’m not going to touch that with a barge pole, as most comments I’ve read were a load of biased bollocks. Let’s just say both sides are perfectly able of running very nasty bomb groups.
I’m not a fan of bombing, particularly in large-scale zergs. The lag problems when 10 warbands collide and the sheer destructive power of overlapping AoE make tactics and skill defunct. If your healers are lagging and your 9k+ hit points get removed in under a second (even with 750+ toughness and capped resists), there’s not a lot you can do. Who lags least and bombs first, wins.
To add to my distaste for zerg bombing, Kill Frenzy is not a zerg guild. When possible our groups/warband are normally found away from the zergs and doing our own thing. We of course use the Destruction command channel and work with the other guilds, but where possible we try to avoid taking part in following the zerg. As such we often have to fight larger numbers of Order, which is cool, but becomes fairly ridiculous when outnumbered by multiple good bomb groups. In that respect with the incredibly high population on Norn right now, it looks like our way of playing the game is under threat, but that’s a different subject and it’s still early days (no need to panic yet), so back on topic I go…
In small group play bombs are not so horrific and are easier to counter, but against unprepared enemies they can still be devastating. I’ve talked before about when Kill Frenzy ran rift-bomb groups for a week or so. It was insane, we were killing literally 3 times our number in oRvR and we were pretty much unbeatable in scenarios, even utterly destroying many of Order’s best. However, we stopped running those groups. Partly because of the nerf death of Magus, but far more because most of us just don’t like bombing much. In KF we are nearly all using single target specs. Yes bombing is very effective, but it isn’t exactly challenging and most importantly it’s boring.
That doesn’t mean the people doing it are in the wrong. For sure some people do it purely because it’s easy and stupidly powerful, but others started doing it because they had no choice. Bombing is a very effective tactic against an uncontrolled zerg, so for organised guilds struggling to deal with an enemy faction that hugely outnumbers them… you could perhaps argue they were forced into bombing. As we’ve seen so many times with the 2 factions, there’s normally one of them outnumbering the other. Combine that with the small RvR zones funnelling people into enclosed areas and the whole system promoting zergs. Well, it’s an obvious choice. And from there it's not a big leap for it to become the norm for many players.
How to beat the bomb?
I’ve limited experience on countering large scale bomb zergs, so I can’t give any advice there and would welcome any suggestions on the subject. However here are a few brief (and probably obvious) tips for fighting bombers in smaller scale fights. Which as I’ve got to get my own guild back on track with dealing with bombers (it has been a while since we had to do so regularly), I figured I’d post it in case anyone finds it helpful.
Ok this is assuming you’re not too outnumbered…. If you are I hear praying is good.
Organised and controlled voice communication is a must.
Assisting on 1 target is not always ideal. If there’s 3 wizards/sorcs bombing and EVERYONE attacks one of them, then the remaining 2 unmolested wizards/sorcs will kill you all. There’s no reason why you can’t have most of your DPS assist target, but have your tanks hitting different targets to shut down every bomber.
To prevent a bomb detonating you simply need to interrupt its cast. There are lots of abilities that can be used, taunts, stuns, knockbacks, knockdowns and good old fashioned interrupt spells. Just don’t have everyone use them all at once, or you end up with everyone on cooldowns. And don’t use them too early or the enemy gets immunity timers on them before they even started casting! Timing is important.
Just as a reminder… TANKS! REMEMBER YOUR SINGLE TARGET TAUNT INTERRUPTS! It’s amazing how many don’t seem to know that.
How to kill the Invincible Nuker
You don’t! If your DPS is trying to kill a bomber and they just won’t die due to heals and guards, then keep them shutdown and hit something else, or take apart the things keeping them alive. For example the guard ability alone does not make a bombing wizard invulnerable, but guard and 3 healers will do. The guard is harder to prevent than the healing, so… you work it out ;) Flexibility and focus is the key.
I’m sure to many people I just stated the obvious and others may disagree or have better ideas. If so please feel free to share! Also I'd welcome some tips on dealing with Slayer bombs, it's something I've very rarely seen before. Since the transfer I've encountered a large enemy guild that appears to be entirely based around Slayer bombs in scenarios. Harsh...
I’ve one final big tip for coping with bombing… Sometimes you’ll be in a PUG, or for whatever reason a less organised/experienced group, and then other times you'll be outnumbered or just plain outplayed. There’s no way to avoid it, sometimes these things mean you will get bombed to crap. I know plenty of Order has seen me die to their bombs of late. Shit happens. Just try not to get too stressed, it’s not done me any favours :P