, 02:11 PM
Want to be an elite player? Of course you do.
PVP is many things to many people. There's a lot of pride and ego involved and a ton of BS. That's where this guide comes in, it slices through it all and shows you the things that good players do consciously or unconsciously to be winners nearly every match.
This guide starts off broad and gets into more specific info toward the end. I'm going to assume you know how to play somewhat and don't need the beginners guide if you are reading this. I'm not going to cover class vs class play only specific important tips and overall strategy.
Everyone assumes big numbers and medals mean good players, right? Not entirely. PVP is team objective based and the numbers at the end only tell part of the tale of the game. Winning and losing is only objective based (except for the arenas) so your team can be on the top of the chart at the end and still lose. It happens often believe it or not. People chase medals and lose the match because of it.
In an objective based game it's not about kills (though that can help) it's about playing the correct strategy and reacting as a team, not an elite dueling force of 8 individuals.
General PVP Tips for all classes.
Increase Your Awareness
Awareness is EVERYTHING in PVP. As an elite player you know who is guarding the other side on voidstar solo and you are watching their health on your team list while you engage the enemy. Why? Because if they are stealth attacked they might not call for help in time. As soon as you see their health dropping it's time to decide where you are needed and move accordingly.
Also as an elite player you are going to macro manage the battlefield and move where you are needed without being told. Did you just cap snow in Alderraan and leave only one D mid? Well you aren't sticking around to get the killing blow on the last standing opponent or two you are already moving to your other defense point because the enemy is on their way there.
You are also watching your map at all times. This mean you are seeing how your team is deployed and calling out when they are all on a single side of voidstar. Nothing surprises you because of your awareness.
This is where the disconnect between stats and good play is apparent. Sticking around to get the killing blow or continuing to DPS while you know your team is vulnerable will make you look better stats wise to a player that doesn't know better. Moving when needed will gain you the respect of the good players and help your team win.
That's much more important.
Camera Zoom Levels And PVP
First you have to be able to see as much as possible to have decent PVP awareness. Go into your settings and increase the maximum zoom level to 100%. Now when you PVP you need to be zoomed out as far as possible this allows you to see everything going on and you should be constantly rotating the camera to see everything. There's no excuse for letting someone cap the node behind you because you couldn't see it.
Zoom out your mini map to its max setting and make it slightly bigger on your screen. This is important because it is your quick overview of the battle. Do not overlook it.
Know Your Class And Your Opponent
In order to be able to multitask the actual fighting mechanics of the game and the big picture you need to be able to handle the fighting itself easily. It seems simple but you need to understand all of your abilities and how they work in PVP. That's huge and required to be competent.
To be elite you need to know not only your own abilities but that of all the classes you face. This allows you to anticipate their moves and counter them. Observation is good for this or actually playing the class yourself will give you a greater understanding of the capabilities.
Knowing your own weakness is important to gauge if you should be attacking someone solo or waiting for assistance.
Find, Mark, Harass The Healer
I believe one of the surest ways to know you are playing a good team is when your own healer complains in chat they are getting destroyed. Identify and mark the healers immediately after starting the warzone. I prefer using the star and target symbols as they are very distinct and will help even the most braindead players get the message.
The healer is always a priority target. This means that as soon as they respawn they have to be the first one to die again. If they are being guarded use stuns and knockbacks to separate them from the guard. This is important because as the healer takes damage their role shifts from group support to survival. Either way they aren't healing and it's allowing your group to dictate the fight.
Interrupts And Stuns Are Everything In PVP
In the warzone section I'll detail when to use them for maximum effect in each WZ but they are essential to excellent PVP play. Often times we hear people complain there are too many stuns in the game and it means the opposing team is using them correctly.
Specifically any casting class, healers, mando/mercs, sorcs/sages, can and should be interrupted as often as possible. When attacking a healer interrupting their heals is essential. You can easily shut down a bad player with interrupts and stun because they will freeze and not move to their next ability as they can't recognize the interrupt.
Don't waste your stuns! Learn how to use them offensively and defensively but avoid using them wastefully. I'll explain more in the huttball section.
The Role Of Taunt
It can't be stressed enough that taunts are under utilized in PVP. They are highly effective and every class that has a taunt should be using it liberally even if they are DPS spec'd. Taunts are free enemy team damage reduction.
Area taunts and individual taunts need to be applied as soon as they are up on your ability bars especially if you are DPS as it gives you even more group utilitiy. Next time you are in a match look the taunt stats of all of the Juggs/Guardians , Shadows/Assassins, or Vanguards/Powertechs. Even high DPS players should have a decent amount of protection or they are not playing their class to its full potential and leaving the healers with a larger than necessary burden.
It's more than calling for help. Even a general direction is not enough. You must call both the number of players and the direction. Why? Because over committing to a spot on the map loses games. If the other team sends 2 to east and 5 people come to reinforce you just lost west. Gauge your response to the situation. As an elite player that mean you have to be aware and pull back if too many have responded. If number of enemies has increased you have to communicate this as well. On some maps you can directly see this from other sides, on others you have to rely on communication.
Be a leader and tell your team where to be. After you marked the healer say something. Assume the people you play with are not as aware as you. Teams made up of 6 or more exceptional players actually have less communication believe it or not because everyone understands where to be, who to attack, and just does it automatically. Once you've become a good player you have to consciously try to suck in a WZ.
Specific Warzone Strategies
As stated before there are little things that every good team does to win in each scenario. They are usually the difference between winning and losing but you'll never find them on the stat screen at the end of the match. A bad player doesn't know any better anyway.
Voidstar Specific Strategy.
My premades have always used the left/right method in here using the map as a constant. Why not east west? I've found some people have trouble with cardinal directions in an indoor setting in game. Sounds crazy but Left/Right works as long as you use the map as your point of reference. Everyone should always be watching the map anyway so they know where their teammates are.
The beginning minute of the game sets the tempo for the rest of the match and is usually the point where a warzone will start to fall apart if progress is not made. Therefore a strong start is essential.
This is an example of a bad strategy and you see it often in a game of voidstar. Someone says "All left/right and stealth to the opposite side". This will ONLY work against a completely brain dead team, meaning most of the time you've set yourself up to lose. Always assume your opponent is decent and use the overload strategy.
This involves sending everyone to a single side to bring the maximum team DPS possible. This means it's important to zerg as fast as you can before they have a chance to adjust. It has two effects; starting off they have to defend both sides and therefore are not in a position to defend as well and killing them quickly by focusing your DPS together will sap their moral. PVP is as much mental as anything and a distracted or disheartened opponent will make mistakes.
As soon as they are down to two or less defenders someone on the team has to start capping immediately. If the defender doesn't notice this it's an easy cap if they start moving towards them the group has to apply stun (cc means crowd control and is alternate word for stun; I use both).
If you are the one capping you should be standing about 5m away from the center point of the door toward the center of the warzone area. The Doors look like this: < > right inside the diagonal door support you should be able to cap. Why here instead of the middle or other side? Well because anyone dropping down will have to run farther around the corner to be able to LOS to stop you. Usually a second or fraction of a second is the difference between a cap and fail.
If multiple people are capping do not stand close to each other. A single AOE stops the cap. Stand on opposite sides of the capable area so that there's a delay between interrupts. This extra second may be the difference between a win and a loss.
Healers DO NOT HEAL the person on the door capping if the other team is still alive. This is a giant hey look over here sign to someone that might otherwise be engaged in a 1v1 battle and not paying attention. There's nothing worse than making your capper glowing with sound and huge numbers over their head when you are trying to be somewhat stealthy.
If you are not capping you need to immediately run to the point where they will drop down and get ready to area stun, slow, or knockback. Standing uselessly next to person capping or trying to cap yourself does nothing for the team.
After blowing open the first door the strategy changes from killing your opponent to stunning/slowing them. When you kill them now you have to kill them again as they spawn in front of you slowing your overall time to the datacore. Rushing and stunning them allows your team to plant in a quick manner. This is especially true after the second door. There is a large area here and using snares and roots with stuns will allow your forward attackers to get into the room and get the forcefields and doors before the defenders can set up a defense.
If you die after a door explode do not rez until one of your players has moved into the next room. Once they enter that room the spawn point changes to the more forward location. Waiting 10 seconds to rez saves you 30 seconds of running and allows you to contribute where you need to be.
Remember after the first door the strategy is the same. Out DPS them and you'll get through quickly if you run into resistance and the stun/slow doesn't work.
The biggest takeaways should be the capping strategies above. Always be trying to cap when you have them outnumbered. If they ignore you, you win. If they have to focus you then your team will quickly eliminate them and you win. Controlling the fight is everything.
"Keep 2 on the doors at all times" is a fail strategy. Your group needs to move as needed and adapt to the situation. That means you are directly responsible for making sure that the team is deployed in the right place and you are constantly watching your map. You know who is solo on east and are keeping an eye on their health in case they fail to call for help. You are always counting the number of players on your side both enemies and teammates. If you have more teammates than enemies the other side of the map is outnumbered. It's simple but means you have to be able to manage this while engaging the enemy.
After a door has been lost get back as fast as possible to the next obstacle (bridge or door) fighting needless fights only hurts your team. Slow/stun the attackers but killing is much less important. If you kill an attacker in the first room they are going to spawn in front of you as soon as someone crosses into the room and now you are out of position and way behind. As a defender your life is too important because of the timer gates to get sucked into fighting. Get to the doors as soon as possible after they get the bridge/shields.
Now this is where the medals and objectives differ from your actual goal. Killing is not your mission here. You only need to stay alive - by any means possible to stop the cap. Using your escapes, stuns, staying out of combat, etc is essential as your dead teammates drop down around every 30 seconds or so. Being a hero and running into a group of 5 enemies just to immediately get killed is not what an elite player does.
Also this means hovering around the midpoint for doors 2 and 3. There are no defender points given here and not being in useless combat means your stats won't be great but you can immediately move to stop a cap and help your team win while being the insurance policy if someone is capping unnoticed.
If you are a sage/sorc or guardian/jugg then there is a special role you can play before the bridge is extended after the first door. There is an unshielded area in the center that is able to be leaped or have a player pulled across.
As a guardian/jugg you want to stand on the very edge so that if an enemy guardian or jugg jumps at you they will fall off. You are looking for an enemy player to get too close so you can jump across (works for offense or defense) or calling for a teammate to move to the center so you can jump to them (for defense). Also for defense a sorc can run there and pull a teammate over to continue to stop the bridge cap.
This is completely legal and takes a team that is able to communicate and pull it off. Done correctly with it will drive the other team insane. There's nothing better than jumping across on offense, turning around throwing the player you jumped to into the gap and then planting before the bridge is down. Again it's completely legal.
Alderaan Civil War Specific Strategy
In this WZ we use the grass/mid/snow designations. Why? Because in this case the map changes based on which side your ship is parked to start the game. Grass/Snow/Mid avoids confusion. On this map more so than any other the number of incoming players is key to avoid over committing and losing a point.
The starting strategy depends on your teams composition and skill level. As such I won't go into that here.
What is important is WHERE you fight when attempting to control or defend a point. For mid the key is to set your defensive wall on their side of the turret. This means they have to move through you to capture the point. Bad teams set up the wall on their own side and never actually get to the turret or if they had it they are allowing free access to it from the other team. Always fight on their side while watching for stealth caps. Simply moving to their side as ranged will bring their melee and everyone else with you. It's important.
When capping make sure that you are using LOS to your advantage. Always face away from their spawn point. Only one person needs to cap, everyone else should be stunning any enemies that are still alive or moving to intercept them.
If you are defending a side point there is a spot on the stairs where you can place your back against the stair wall and the zoom out your camera to see the turret, and where they would be coming from to attack. Use this to avoid allowing stealth to open up with stuns and backstabs. This will keep you alive significantly longer and allow help to get to you if you are attacked when defending solo.
Where the advanced strategy comes into play is regarding trying to cap if you have only one point. First you need your strongest duelist to defend your existing point because a smart team might send a player to try to cap it after they count the numbers of attackers. Break the group into 4 and 3. Send the group with 4 members to a point while the 3 stay back ready to move. As soon as the enemy sends reinforcements to the point being attacked the group of 3 goes to the under defended one. If you are good enough as a team you'll pull it off.
More to come...
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