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.
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.
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.