Fighting the Witch Hunter

19 02 2009

I realize here that I might be giving away trade secrets and impeding my own success, but so be it.  A well-played fight is much more enjoyable for me, and if people learn to counter the career effectively then perhaps we won’t have as many whine posts and ensuing nerfs from Mythic’s attempts to appease the ever-outraged forum crowd.

1. Notice the Opener. You just got jumped!  Read your scrolling combat text, scan the debuff icon, create an Aura or other mod, or look at your character.  Swirly barbs will encircle you in three pretty colors: red (anti-melee), blue (anti-spell), and green (anti-movement).  Decide whether the sacrifice of action is worthwhile and act accordingly.  If jumped with green swirlies and you think you can run to help or safety, that might be best but otherwise stand still and pivot to deny the WH your flank and keep him in your frontal parry/block cone.  If jumped with red, play defensively unless you know the WH is particularly squishy and you feel confident about soaking the damage whilst eliminating the threat.  If jumped with blue and you need to cast to defend yourself, use a morale ability if possible and make your decisions carefully e.g. as a DoK, try to heal via melee instead of spells.

2. Communicate! Stealth classes have always preyed on disorganization and lack of intelligence among their opponents.  If you get jumped, make a macro to alert your teammates (not that anyone ever reads chat while fighting; I blame Mythic for making the spell animations too pretty) or speak up in Ventrilo.  If you were ambushed on your way out of a warcamp or at a choke point, announce it in region chat; chances are a Witch Elf won’t be able to resist the opportunity to duel, or there might be a zerg passing by that could steamroll your aggressor.  Conversely, keep an eye on your own rear lines in battle and be proactive if your teammates are uncommunicative.

3. Location, Location, Location. Don’t be alone if you can avoid it, don’t overextend yourself (I love punishing greedy tanks that outrange their healers), and as mentioned before don’t let a WH take potshots at your rear.  Stay close to your tanks if you have a Guard, but also keep them between yourself and where you anticipate a WH’s entry.  Use terrain to your advantage – stand with your back to the wall or in a difficult-to-reach spot.  If knockback is one of your primary defenses, take a moment to plan where you’re going to send the hapless WH flying so you don’t simply send him 2 feet backward into an incline or obstacle.

Choose wisely, young grasshopper.

Choose wisely, young grasshopper.

4. Know Your Class, Know Theirs. It’s amazing how many people will never detaunt or seem unaware that they can cleanse/remove a WH’s debuffs.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; if you’re hit with a healing debuff like Punish the False (and can’t cure it), removing DOTs might end up being more damage prevention than trying to spam heal yourself.  If I use Repel Blasphemy (and perhaps augment it with Riposte), don’t waste a Rend Soul or other melee ability with a long cooldown; DO turtle behind your shield, use attacks that are undefendable, and expect me to follow up with a Confess! If you are a caster and I just jumped you with Fanatical Zeal, popped Shroud of Magnus, and am slotting Vindication, spamming spells at me is tantamount to suicide.  Read your combat log after a death to figure out what you could have done better.

5. CC is Your Friend. A WH has three goals: DPS, harass, and/or get out alive.  He must accomplish all of these quickly; prolonged fights are his nightmare.  A disarm shuts him down almost completely; snares and movement barbs too.  And if you can counter his (very limited) escape options, remember that the WH is a cloth wearing class with typically low resists and will die very fast to focus fire.  Unless I’ve been skirmishing for a while and acquired an Unstoppable buff, it generally only takes one form of (well-applied) CC to deny me a kill and lay me out for a beating.  Look for a window of opportunity and abuse it.

(For the Order folks reading, a lot of that applies against Witch Elves as well, although they do have very different tactics and abilities despite being our mirror; do your research and don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

Copyright © 2009 Flintlocks R Fun; this Feed is for personal, non-commercial use only.

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To Zerg or Not to Zerg?

12 02 2009

When you’re low renown rank, doing pretty much anything is awesomely rewarding.  When you need ORvR influence for those frustratingly buggedlucrative item rewards, you kill two birds with one stone, reaping renown out in the lakes as well.

But the curve hits sharply.  Let me take a moment to say that I’m not trying to toot my horn, wave my epeen, or boast about the glorious virtual existence I enjoy alongside real life unemployment (although I got called in to work yesterday, woohoo!).  I’m not in the top 10 of anything for Witch Hunters on my server, nor do I particularly care to be.

Why?  Because the “best” simply zerg.

Whatever that Ironbreaker was smoking, I want some.

Whatever that Ironbreaker was smoking, I want some.

After attaining a certain renown rank, killing other players rewards poorly; the only renown gains that don’t plummet sharply as you advance are ORvR captures: keeps and battlefield objectives.  So rather than spend 15 minutes in a scenario watching both sides blindly rush the middle of the map despite the explanation on the loading screen moments before entering…

  1. Fly to contested zone
  2. Find and join open warband
  3. Kill NPCs
  4. AFK for 3 minutes
  5. profit!

And pretty soon renown rank boils down to who has more playtime, not skill in RvR.  I’ve seen some of the “best” get their faces pounded in by level 35s in quest reward gear.

So now my strategy is (although I don’t degroup and solo; perhaps I should): find the player on the enemy team worth the most and assassinate them at least once for more renown than the entire scenario or capture would be worth otherwise.

Which is actually pretty fun.  I’m making a lot of enemies, naturally, but that only makes things more interesting.  After all, if the top 10% of your players only stand to gain from slaughtering one another, it’ll weed out the keyboard turners eventually.

…I hope.

Copyright © 2009 Flintlocks R Fun; this Feed is for personal, non-commercial use only.