Once upon a time, a great man made an excellent quote. He even wrote into a book, and in fact the message was embossed on the front cover. The man was Douglas Adams, not the famous politician, but the science fiction writer, and his famous words were simple – “Don’t Panic.” Taking this notice to heart, it can provide the most basic of rules for surviving your first foray into Warhammer Online’s robust PvP scenarios.
Not panicking is first and foremost, the supreme PvP rule – if there was a PvP version of the Ten Commandments, this would be the first thing etched in stone. When you lose your cool, strategy breaks down along with ability, coherence, and communication. Such a catastrophic failure has only one end – your smoldering husk littering the battlefield (possibly in several large chunks.) Luckily, there are two key factors to avoid getting your dignity stomped upon – realization and experience. Realization is easy; just remember you’re playing a game. When your guy dies, gets taunted, or even gets drunk, all these actions have no effect on you, the player. Often, dying numerous times combined with taunting can lead to a frivolous waste of your character’s life and a seat in the front row of watching a spawn timer. So above all, staying cool by realizing it’s just a game will drastically help your team succeed. As for experience, this can only be gained with… experience. No matter how many times one can read a guide to this or that, or even have someone explain the objective to you, there is just no substitute for good old fashioned experience. That being said, the best way to learn the mission objectives, along with the snipe spots, best healing range, and shortcuts, will come with time. It’s great to read up on something, don’t frown upon knowledge, just remember that practice makes perfect.
Beyond these things, it’s important to remember the fundamentals of any team based game – teamwork, teamwork, teamwork. Like the cog in a great machine, your actions affect those around you, and will ultimately lead to a rousing victory, or an abashed defeat. The easiest way to do this is to remember what your class was designed to do. If you are a long range DPS, like a Squig Herder, keep in the back and let those arrows fly instead of trying to get close. Or perhaps your class can heal – go ahead and do so. All of the classes in WAR are designed by their very nature to fight hard, even healers, and some even require you to be in the thick of the action. The important thing to remember is that while you can heal, many others can’t, making the first priority for you keeping your friends up and at ‘em; the more friends on the field, the better the chance of your team winning.
Remember that teamwork also means following the rules. PvP in Warhammer Online is scenario based, objective maps – some require you to hold points, some to hold items, etc. Simply running around and beating any opponent to death won’t get much accomplished – save for a large amount of red stains and some odd sense of self satisfaction. Objective is the word of the day here, and it’s important to retain that thought. Not to say that slaughter isn’t required to win, it most certainly is, but a necessary degree of control is needed to direct your mayhem in a constructive (albeit violent) manner. If the slaughtering bug visits your brain, don’t just attack random people; direct your assault toward an area out of your control. There have been numerous times that teams have lost because one person goes on a berserker rampage, then the rest of the team follows suit. Berserk, rampage, go ballistic - but do so for the greater good.
Above all, do not get discouraged after a loss, especially if you happened to be a lot lower in level. While Warhammer does offer an excellent level bolstering mechanic to even out the playing field, there is no replacement of the benefits of a higher rank. Missing certain skills and gear will indeed dramatically impact your survivability and usefulness, but will not make you a liability as in some other PvP games. If you happen to be a much lower level, there a few things you can do to make your first forays more enjoyable. First is simply a reminder to keep at it. When playing PvP scenarios, you gain XP, RP, and money, allowing you to purchase better gear and access to more skills all in one fell swoop. If you are nervous about rolling with the big dogs, simply guard a point. In the Nordenwatch scenario for example, there are 3 points required to gain resources – making the small number of nodes highly sought after. Guard one of them, this allows you to get experience from the battle, and also provides a useful service to the group as a whole. If attack suits your style more, then make friends with a high level tank or healer, and follow them around like a lost puppy. While your damage against a higher level opponent might be minuscule at best, any backup you can provide will be immensely helpful – and all classes have some sort of debuff to utilize. For example, the Chosen could pop on an aura no one around has, lowering the enemy’s strength or toughness. While providing a very useful service, it also puts you into the thick of the action, reaping large amounts of XP, RP, and money.
While this is an incredibly generic list of seemingly obvious “do’s and don’ts”, it’s surprising the number of people that wander into a PvP match and simply just have no idea what to do. Hopefully after reading this some of the worry has been alleviated, and you are interested in what Warhammer PvP brings to the table. This is obviously not a definitive answer, but more along the idea of a set of simple guidelines for new PvPers. Make no mistake though, PvP in Warhammer is brutal and fast - more often than not when starting out you will assuredly find your corpse decorating the battlefield like some sort of twisted Picasso art piece. So get to practicing, to leveling, and to gearing, so when the time comes to raid cities, the walls shall be your canvas, and the blood of your enemies the paint.