Legacy of the Foefire PVP
I've never been all that great at PVP, but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying it over the years. Guild Wars 2 seeks to offer up plenty of choices for the PVP enthusiast to get their jollies with, and this past beta weekend gave us our first taste of a new map: Legacy of the Foefire. I put a little time into experiencing it over the final weekend event, and this is what I've learned. Capturing points against well-organized teams hurts, and I'm thankful that the respawn timer is quick. Oh, and it's still a lot of fun even if you die a lot. I'd just suggest you bring some friends you can coordinate with if you ever want a shot at winning.
It may have been this way in past beta weekends, but the first thing I noticed is that the "Instant PVP" join button was gone from the PVP section of the Hero menu. I found this a little sad, as I loved simply clicking that button and being brought into ongoing rounds of the match-made PVP. Now instead, you enter the Mists through the PVP menu (it's worth noting that you can still instantly join the Eternal Battlegrounds through that menu) and then you have to find a Tournament PVP NPC to get into one of many ongoing matches. Check out the very beginning of the included video to see how that works. Part of me wonders if this is a preemptive strike on the behalf of ArenaNet to try and get more people into WvW because it's quicker and easier to get into the EB than just clicking some "Instant PVP" button now. But chances are, the Instant PVP was always intended to be a more "tournament" oriented PVP mode between organized teams and the Tournament NPC and ability to pick one of several "servers" for your matches is all part of their competitive plans.
Anyway, Legacy of the Foefire, like Battle of Khylo and the Forest of Niflhel is all about capturing and holding three strategic points. In this case, there are no siege weapons, you just have to get a hold of the Waterfall, Sanctum (middle objective), or the Quarry. You gain one point for each objective you hold every two seconds. You also gain points for your team with every enemy player killed. Now, it's easy to be dismayed if your team falls behind early. But organized folks will soon realize that LoF has a trick up its sleeve for those teams who need a boost: The Guild Lord.
Let's say your team is losing the battle, and they can't seem to shake the opposition and take over any points for very long. Then you have a saving throw to go for if you can get everyone together. The Guild Lord resides in the enemy keep (base) as a throwback to GW1's Guild vs. Guild PVP, and if you manage to kill him you'll net 100 points of the necessary 500 needed to win. There are lighter than normal gates on the enemy team's keep, and after knocking them in you have but a few NPC guards to tackle before approaching the Guild Lord. In my brief foray into the map, I never was fortunate enough to have a team willing to even try the Keep, but I found the below video (at about seven minutes in) which will show you how two players are enough to take him down. This isn't something you need a whole team for, and instead if your other members can really focus on holding the aggro of the opposing team, it's quite possible to sneak into the base and take 100 points for your team, making things very difficult for the enemy.
In this beta weekend, obviously there were plenty of players who just didn't know what was going on. Heck, in my attached stream video above, I didn't even know what was going on. It was later in the weekend after another round or two that I finally realized I was missing the Guild Lord part of map altogether. I'd highly recommend playing the Structured PVP with friends and guild mates, as it's quite clear that this is the intention for the system. PUGs will not do so hot in an atmosphere filled with organized teams, but it's good to know that players looking for a mercenary role can still sign up and participate if they find an open spot on one of the servers. Legacy of the Foefire may still be another conquest-type map, as that is the only sort available in GW2 right now, but the addition of the Guild Lord adds a pretty exciting new mechanic to the match. It's something that can instantly change the tide of battle, should your team be wily enough to take him down before getting caught.