In this post, we will talk about the Battlegrounds. Click here for our review and list of tips.
The basic setup of the Battlegrounds is two teams trying to score 5000 points first, or get more points at the end of the approximately 30-minute round.
Points are gotten by collecting crystals, or by defeating members of the opposing team. Team members who are defeated lose points.
Because of the disparity in fighting ability due to equipment and Astrals, you will generally have a few strong characters "farming" very weak ones for Honor. This means that there are generally three types of players at any one time:
- Strong players attacking weak players
- Medium players who are too troublesome or chancy to attack
- Weak players who get attacked and lose points for the team
You should always show up for Battlegrounds because no matter what, you will get a minimum of 30 Insignias per match -- that's if you are on the losing team. If your team wins, even if you did absolutely nothing, you get 80 Insignias. The only difference your actions make is in collecting points toward a win, and in Honor Points you gain for yourself. I recommend testing the waters and seeing what type of people show up at Battlegrounds on your server, and which type of player you end up being in your level category:
- Strong: If you are in the upper end of fighting ability, you can more or less do what you like.
- If you attack too many weak players, you will probably find that the server will start to have people who "go AFK" -- They just show up but do nothing and stand idle in the initial gathering area. Too many AFK players on your team means your team will probably lose no matter what because of a lack of points.
- Attacking other players will gain you Honor faster IF you win, but generally collects points much slower than just carting crystals. Just the process of entering and exiting combat is probably enough time to make two cart runs.
- If you make the most number of kills, you get bonus honor as "MVP", but it is barely anything if your team loses. Nevertheless, people aim for this because it takes thousands of points to attain a rank, and rank is required to use the upper-level Arena sets. In the long-term, this is the fastest way to ensure you stay ahead of the competition, providing you can quickly buy those sets. As mentioned in our review of Wartune, it is a broken system of the rich getting richer (or in this case, the strong getting stronger) which encourages people to start in, or migrate to, newer servers.
- Probably the best thing to do if you dominate the BattleGround in combat ability is to cover the carts. Go for medium to stronger characters so the carts on your side can win the round (and get you an extra 30 Honor for winning). In the best case, just 2-3 strong characters covering one end of the crystal valley can keep the carts flowing for an easy and early win.
- Unless you know about the player you face, it can be tricky attacking them. Even if you are confident of winning, fighting is really only to gain Honor. However, you can gain Honor with less hassle by carting crystals. Also, winning is more important that getting Honor since you do get more Honor for being on the winning side, as well as more Insignias.
- Points for your team are gained faster by collecting crystals. You will have to put together your strategy from the Strong and Weak categories. I recommend avoiding the stronger characters and focus on carting. AFTER you collect crystals and are in transport mode, if you spot someone you can handle, you can choose to attack them. If you lose, you still have your cart and the points from that will mitigate your points loss.
- Weak: You are best off collecting crystals unless you keep getting attacked.
- If you are frequently attacked and lose, you can easily end with a net deficit of points, which hurts your team.
- Follow Champion ranked characters and let them lead to engage the enemy, then go in and get your crystals. Run from all enemies that might attack (some are just committed to doing the carts) and try to head toward your team's fighters (typically anyone who has acquired enough rank to gain a title above their name). In the extreme case, back away and try the other end of the valley that has the crystals. If someone is engaged in combat, it is typically safe to run through them given how long combat takes compared to running around with carts. Usually there will be a bunch of weak players who haven't read this blog and will blindly beeline for the crystals and hope for the best in carting. Let them go ahead and be engaged, then zip in to get your crystals and get the heck out of there.
- When you are heading to the crystals, try to preselect the crystals and just let your character path-find, instead of going in and trying to click on a crystal. If it is busy, you could accidentally click an enemy, or you might be stalled trying to click the crystal.
- When your cursor turns into a hand, you have targeted a crystal for harvesting. Try to hover your cursor at the edge of a crystal formation. No matter where you click, you will move to the centre of the crystal formation for harvesting.
- If a crystal is particularly busy with teammates harvesting or characters fighting, choose that one since you can then "hide" in the mess of overlapping characters.
- This is particularly important to do in the Level 40+ arena because horses can very easily block your cursor.
- If none of the fighters on your team are covering the carts by fighting strong opponents, and you are engaged too frequently, just AFK so you don't end with a net deficit of points and thereby lose your team points. Some players cart from start to finish, but keep getting attacked and end up with less points than they start with (everyone starts at 100).
- The 1.45 patch completed on Nov-15/2012 introduced a Daily Devotion to enter the BattleGrounds, but also a Daily Quest to win 2 fights there for a lot of XP, so we can expect a lot less carting. Go AFK if you have to until you can win a couple of fights. Use the leaderboard to look at the enemy characters -- click on their names to get the info panel and look at their Battle Rating and gear, to see if you might be able to win. However, Battle Rating is a vague metric at best and can be off by as much as 5,000 points in terms of actual comparative fighting ability.
- I deliberately made a weak character and used the techniques I have indicated here, and generally ended up in the top 10 point-earner list in the under-Level-40 Battlegrounds. The L40+ Battlegrounds are trickier since the level spread is wider.
There is a lot of complaining about people who AFK, for the reason that they do nothing. However, even if you can't do anything useful other than AFK (see above), I recommend you show up for Battlegrounds because you will otherwise not be able to collect Insignias for the gear you need to actually compete and be productive. The Group Arena is the only other place to get Insignias, but that takes longer, and whenever you lose, the stronger opponents gain more Insignias. In Battlegrounds, if you lose or AFK, at least you are not helping the opponent win.
Your teammates can be expected to not coordinate as a team and generally do nothing to help. Everyone is typically too selfish to do anything except attack weak players for Honor points, or just go about their business collecting crystals. Therefore, since no one is helping you, you really owe them nothing either -- certainly not going out to get killed, thereby lose points for your team, and in the process support the selfish goals of others.
Collecting crystals will also get you shards that can be synthesized into Battleground Treasure Chests. However, it will take 60 shards to make one chest, AND you will have to pay 20,000 gold to do it. The chest will definitely NOT always contain something worth 20,000 gold. You can instead do approximately just as well at the Guild Altar, and with more convenience, for the same cost; plus you are adding to the Guild Coffers instead of just wasting money. I recommend holding on to them to see if they will eventually be changed to give better rewards. Do NOT synthesize them and hope for the same since the chests won't stack in your inventory.