Saturday 29 August 2009

Adapt or wipe

As you probably know, the keeps in WAR now have 2 ramps up to the Lord room. This has totally changed keep defence. No longer can you pile a tank wall at the top of a lone ramp and rain down AoE, to do so is a wipe waiting to happen. You can try putting up 2 tank walls, but quite often when defending you’re going to be outnumbered and even when not, it's difficult to make both walls strong enough.

The old tried and tested methods are null and void. It’s time to adapt.

I’ve seen a few keep defences where a tank wall was built at the main keep door, with mixed results. It’s a lot easier for the attackers to put a lot of AoE down on a front door, since the ranged attackers don't have the same awkward line of sight issues they faced with ramps and it’s more straight forward for the melee DPS to get stuck in. However, if the defenders keep the oil manned, have some ranged fire coming from the walls and most importantly stay organised, then this type of defence can work well.

It’s not the only way mind you. A night or two ago at a keep in Dragonwake I saw Order try out various strategies. Whilst at the time none of them completely worked, there was definitely potential to build on. And btw /salute to the Order involved (think it was Crimson and friends), you kept us on our toes and we were impressed to see you trying stuff out.

Normally when defenders sally forth from a keep, they leave the healers and ranged inside, but that night they appeared to be trying a full warband assault from the front entrance, before we’d got the door down. It was a good scrap and we did kill them, but there was a trickle of players coming out long after the main assault, so I think it didn’t hit with the full force it could have. Seemed to me that they had a lot stragglers not paying attention. I’m used to seeing (or being one of the) melee charging out of keep doors, but that was probably the first time I’ve seen an attempt at such a large scale counter attack from the front door against a greater number of attackers.

They also tried the same thing by coming out of the rear postern door. Luckily for us we had Nulfmatwo the squig herder of doom watching the side of the keep that they moved round. As they were trying to sneakily form up, thanks to Nulf's warning we managed to counter their own counter attack. After a big fight around the side of the keep we pushed them back through their postern. Had they not been spotted, then there was a good chance they would have annihilated our healers before we could stop them.

I’m sure most of us have tried these kinds of tactics before, but perhaps the difference is now they should be the focus of a defence, which will require a bit more organisation than just lining tanks up and spamming AoE. Undoubtedly defending has become harder, but I think potentially it’s got a lot more interesting too.

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Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.