Wednesday 8 December 2010

Having impact as a player below RR80

One of the things I’ve been experimenting a bit with lately was comparing the impact of a couple of my alts versus my RR80 Chosen. I was thinking about this as I’ve quite often seen people say that characters below RR80 are now useless because of the huge gear and renown ability gulf. I think that in reality “useless” is far too strong a word and whilst they are obviously less effective, that doesn’t mean players can’t use for them in beneficial ways, particularly in a group/warband setting. Before I move on though, I will say that soloing will often not work out very well against all those high RR players. I solo roam on all my lowbie alts because I’m a glutton for punishment and I like to learn new characters in as brutal a fashion as possible, I’m not expecting to win fights, I’m learning how to survive them… If you ding 40 and start solo roaming expecting to compete with your server’s RR80+ solo roaming heroes, then unless you’re bloody awesome (or your server is crap) you’re going to end up frustrated.

Having said all of that, I really do think Mythic should urgently look at improving the armour sets below 80. I know it’s not a quick thing for them to do, but why leave it as a frustration for new players playing catch up? Now that the RvR Pack has given us high RR players some new carrots to chase, some serious thought should be given to making those below us not feel too far behind. The best way of doing that is levelling out the gear gulf a little.

Anyways, back on topic obviously better gear makes everything easier and life will be tough, but you are not useless. At low RR it’s all about being a team player, which leads me to...

The main preconception you need to throw away is the idea that being useful is defined by the number of kills you get or your personal result on scenario scoreboards. It’s not. That kind of thinking is just leaning towards the solo mindset and is asking for trouble when you’re a low renown ranked player. It’s all about the overall performance of your group and contributing to it. So if your character is lacking in damage or healing output compared with high RR players, how do you contribute?

It’s all about the decent application of buffs, debuffs and crowd control. A great many players regardless of their renown rank will build their character about being as killy as possible; they are obsessed with personal glory. Quite often they won’t concentrate on those abilities that benefit their group more than them. So why not help them get that glory by improving their potency or survivability and as a result earn a share of their renown?

Rather than go through every class I’ll just give a few examples of the sort of thing I mean.

Chopa Fasta!
It lasts 20 seconds and reduces cooldowns on your groups abilities by 5 seconds. This is incredibly potent when combined with the right abilities from other careers that with a no cooldown buff become spammable for 20 seconds.

Can’t Stop Da Chop combined with No More Helpin’
50% Debuffs for both incoming and outgoing healing. These can be used to effectively shuts down an enemy healer or ensure the groups target dies. You can even mix in Tired Already? To make life worse for them by adding 5 seconds to their ability cooldowns.

Git To Da Choppa and Wot’s Da Rush
One ability that pulls enemies in and another that AoE snares them, both a pain in the arse for the enemy and can compliment your warband’s AoE nukers.

As a lowbie Choppa you cannot compete DPS wise with the high RR players, but applying those abilities at the right time can have a massive impact.

Black Orc
Save Da Runts (Guard)
Forget killing, make yourself as tough to be killed as possible, put your guard on the right group mate (who depends on what is required), stick to them like glue and keep them alive. Now if we combine this with your other abilities to buff, debuff and crowd control the enemy…

AoE that reduces enemy damage by 30% for up to 15 seconds.

Big Slash, Down Ya Go and Where You Going?
AoE knockback, a knockdown and an AoE root provide excellent crowd control if used at the right times.

Shut yer Face
Silence that Bright Wizard or Rune Priest, stop them casting and watch them die.

Saving Me Hide
Reduces incoming magic damage by 20% on your whole group. It might only last 4 seconds, but it can be kept active quite easily.

Not in Da Face!
Like the Choppa ability “Tired Already?” this increases enemy cooldowns by 5 seconds. It also gives your group the unstoppable buff for 4 seconds making them immune to pretty much everything.

Hold the Line!
Massively increased disrupt chance to mess up enemy spells and it buffs your allies dodge and disrupt.

These are just a few examples of abilities that can have great impact regardless of what armour you are wearing. Every career has things like this. So I would suggest for any new 40, put aside concerns about your damage output and look at how you can support those around you. Being an effective teamplayer can make you of great value to your guild, regardless of your rank.


  1. Nice post Boots. It's important for low RRs to remember that their buffs and debuffs are exactly the same as RR80s, e.g. Challenge is a 30% reduction to incoming DPS whether you are RR80 or RR20.

  2. It would be nice if there was some way of quantitatively measuring this kind of assisting behaviour, it would make playing like that far more rewarding, in the same way as seeing big damage numbers is rewarding.

  3. I haven't found myself to be worthless, and I'm only RR37. I just find a warband and run where I'm told to run =D. I HAVE found that I'm a bastard child when it comes to city seiges though (was planning a write up about this).

    The only way I can solo, and I did this last night, was to go in as a Gutter Runner. It can be great running as a scout for the warbands and even picking off people who stray too far from their packs.

  4. Thanks for the post. I am RR70 now, so I know how it can feel sometimes. While not having Sov or better gear, it's not only the items that make a character worthful or less, but also the way you play it.

    Having an idea what you can do and what you can't, don't overestimate yourself, do what warband leaders want you to do, and then even characters with even real low RRs can participate in battles AND help your fraction WIN it :)

    Cheers, Natt

  5. I posted before that there really is too many gear sets. No new player should feel like they are worthless.

    I think WOW does it right with their tiers, and seasons. You are never more than a set behind no matter if you played since 2004 or just hit level 85 yesterday.

    It is a large uphill battle being 3-4 or more sets behind in gear. Yes you can help out in warbands and stuff, but still you have a huge grind ahead of you.

    I think it would of been better to make Sovereign buyable with money, and lower the renown requirement to 40.

    Keep the next level at 90, and the final at 100. This would drastically reduce the gear gap, and make players at least feel like they are on the same level.

    Make the RvR pack actually enable /renownrank 75 or something too. Why make someone struggle to catch up? The boost just isn't enough if you are on the losing side all the time.

  6. What about the often talked about (or it used to be) chance to freeze xp gain, but with a slight twist? That being allowing one to continue to gain renown, but not experiencing any benefit outside the maximum renown rank for that tier. Therefore it effectively organises a separate realm for those massively behind in renown to catch up whilst enjoying the game.

    This method would also allow a greater and more varied population in tier 3 which is never a bad thing whilst additionally, in my eyes would be fairly easy and low-maintenance compared to segregating the high RR players to the lowbies in tier 4 and redesigning all of the gear prior to Invader (when most classes begin to stand a chance).


  7. Mr. B,


    As an Iron Breaker, it has always been my personal mission to keep my War Priest safe and sound. He got all my buffs and 100% Guard coverage. He also got all the defensive Debuffs, snares and punts. In fact I recast myself into a Punt and Snare build so that no one could get close to my WP.

    I discovered two things.

    First, in Scenarios, that WP did record healing. Hooray! Mission accomplished! He topped the charts on healing and scored record RR points. I got little. I had no damage and little measureable contribution to the scenario. I fell behind in RR accumulation.

    Second, in Warbands, the WP was never attacked until the Destro Steamroller crushed the frontline. At that point I was an after-thought as I can only Punt and Snare so much and the WP is the prime target not the IB. Also, Punts only work when you can penetrate the armor. Same results though for success, the WP scores hundreds of RR points, I get tens for "assisting". I fall further behind.

    Perhaps I should have been up in the front lines keeping a Slayer safe instead (/facepalm, two builds), I dunno. What remains the same in Scenarios as in WBs is that I am not gaining RR because I am not killing / damaging. I am Punting and Snaring like a Champ (except against RR 80 armor), but not getting the kills. So I get secondary RR gain (tens of points...) - at best.

    So maybe this is a Tank issue? Maybe not, but if a character is not doing damage or heals (and this applies to all types) they are not gaining significant RR points. Only high level RR weapons and armor enable survivability and damage, resulting in RR point accumulation. With such a disparity between RR 4X armor and RR 7X armor, I just can't last long enough to cause damage or even Punt effectively.

    Often I feel like a syphon on the War Band, sucking up RR for doing nothing of value or being ineffective. I play to contribute, but the Armor (with requsite buffs to strength, toughness, resistances, etc) I have is a shadow of the RR 80 armor (with all those buffs and such).

    So what's a Dwarf to do?

    (thanks for a chance to post!)

  8. \shamefaced.

    I was too frustrated to offer a sincere thanks for the options you offer to those of us deep in the trenches.

    I have tried most of the ideas you suggest and endorse all of them. I guess I feel like I could be doing more and gaining more for what I am able to do.

    All of the suggestions you offer don't register in scenarios or skirmishes (to my knowledge) as worthy of RR points. So while they are helpful, they reward very little towards RR advancement.

    There I go again....

    Again, much thanks for taking a swing at offering options and solutions to the wayward RR 30s and 40s players. To my knowledge you are the only one to extend a helping hand rather than a "suck it up" retort.

    Maybe Destro isn't all that bad after all...

  9. Thanks for the replies all. I'll have to experiment with the renown gain, as mine has always gone up quite well regardless of which toon I was playing. Certainly it flew up on my Squiggie, Zealot, Shammy, Witch Elf, etc.

    It seemed to be on my Black orc too, but I've not played him much since the patch. I'll do some more toying around with him and get back to you...

  10. GSF

    Good points. I'm rr 78 now. I feel your pain.

    Firstly - a good healer is going to accumulate more rr than you. Simply by their aoe heal mechanic they will "contribute" more.

    How can you "help"?

    Guard switching. Keep ultra defensive and ultra survivable but set a hotkey for your guard (I'm wasd for movement so I use F) when you see the mdps train start to hit a target switch guard and get close.

    It's hard work but if you're focusing on snaring/punting it's a good tactic to learn.

    Also when your target is being hit don't hit the dps class. look for the tank running on their shoulder, move behind him (so you remove their parry/shield) and knock him as far away as you can with full grudge. Then cave-in the mdps and watch him melt as your colleagues stomp him into a bloody mush in the time it takes for his guard to get back into range.

    Personally I think they should remove the reknown bar and the scores from scenarios. You either win or you don't. You had fun or you didn't. Anything else is secondary imo.

    Never forget that by removing guards, removing dps and hindering movement you are invaluable. Also remember that guard on someone who is nowhere near you and not taking damage is useless. Move the guard and the guarder to where it's useful. Most solid healers can and will position themselves in such a location that the're easily defended in the event of aggro anyway.



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