I’ve seen a lot of talk going on about the level of tactical gameplay and strategy that can be used in Warhammer Online compared to other mmorpgs. The truth to such claims is really staggering. I have been trying to discover and apply as much strategy as possible over the past couple weeks and want to share a few:
- Collision Detection can be used to Block the enemy from running away. If you can snare the enemy get your big tanks to stand in front of them. They won’t be able to retreat. Use your collision detection to block terrain, bridges, doors, etc. It’s funny and effective.
- Use the terrain to your advantage! The RvR areas are designed with valleys perfect for ambushes (I’ve fallen victim to SEVERAL.) Use trees, rocks, hills, walls, and anything you see to block line of sight.
- Position people at the postern door to catch the enemy as they come to defend their keep.
- Ping a keep to get the enemy thinking that you’re going to assault it. Scout them with stealthers to ensure the enemy is going there en masse to respond. When the majority of their troops are in transit take the opportunity to have your army attack a different keep. This will cause confusion as to which keep is under attack while giving you several minutes head start on a ‘hopefully’ undefended keep.
- Knock people off ledges, cliffs, bridges, etc with your knockbacks! Several classes have big knockbacks and these can be used to launch people. Remember, falls are deadly in this game.
That’s just a few of the strategies that can be deployed every time you log in.
Teamwork is possibly even more important than strategy and definitely a must in Warhammer Online. If you played closed beta or the preview weekend you likely encountered some classes that feel like they just don’t die or some classes that single handedly turn the tide of a battle. Teamwork and communication is a must to succeed. Ignoring a bright wizard or letting a Zealot heal unchecked are mistakes of omission that can easily be picked up on. However, the biggest teamwork in WAR lies directly in utilizing every class and member of your group/warband to their fullest potential. This type of teamwork comes with time but has such a drastic impact on the game it’s truly unbelievable.
You’ll notice the teams that work together well because they overcome the odds, blow through imbalances, and get to see results normally seen from a zerg. To break this down to the most basic level, I was playing with a group that worked very well together (Shout out to the HFG!) and we were 6/12 people in the scenario. We worked so well together compared to our enemies that we were able to overcome the enemies simple organization (they were moving as a herd and our team wasn’t) and pull out a win. Healing certain classes over others, attacking certain classes first, sacrificing yourself to draw fire, using a knockdown even though it means you won’t top the damage charts… etc. It’s the teams that use the type of strategies I listed above that will win.
WAR is not balanced for the individual. That’s a big hurdle for some people to climb over. Every class is not balanced for 1v1. Every class is not balanced in every situation. Warrior Priests are going to beat the snot out of almost anyone 1v1. Witch Elves won’t feel as powerful in big keep standoffs. (Examples, not facts) Classes are meant to work together like a well oiled machine. No matter how many times people reiterate this fact I guarantee you there will still be complaints.
The writing is on the wall. Keeps allow guilds to claim them. Keeps require groups of people. The nature of the “RvR areas” (on core servers) encourages zerg-like behavior. Some classes are designed to work in tandem with others (IB and RP anyone?) and the game just naturally flows better when working with others.
Note: I know some people are chomping at the bit to chime in saying “omg WAR is not solo/casual friendly! zomg it’s a WoW clone! Here we go again!” … save yourself the time! There are mechanics in the game, like open groups, that solve a lot of this. But if people working together seeing better results than unorganized zergs means WAR is a WoW clone then whatever.
This type of strategy and teamwork exists in some games – duh. But I have seen the difference it makes in a game like DAOC and the huge differences it already makes in WAR. Play with a group that works well together and you’ll not only see success but you’ll have more fun.