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Guild Wars 2: Why Stonemist Castle is Not Worth it

Introduction

When dealing with World vs. World combat, the biggest target that can be hit is the castle: Stonemist Castle. This is often a hot spot for combat and is highly sought after by all three world because of its point contribution (towards the holder's influence) and because it is an awesome, large castle. But when it really comes down to it, going after the castle is usually a pretty bad idea if the goal is to get a much influence as possible or even to hold as many points as possible. While it looks great from the outside, the more you siege and defend it the more you realize it just is not as effective as many people are led to believe. Through this article I will be focusing on different aspects of the castle and what makes them problematic.

Stonemist Castle is Massive

It is pretty hard to argue against this; Stonemist Castle is very large. Its size is also its downfall. Because it is so big, there are many more entries to attack from than you experience with the various keeps and towers. Rather than just having two areas to enter at, for example, there are numerous. This turns the battle from being one based on defending a certain area to having to keep watch of everything around it at the same time. A single person out attacking a wall can take it down over time, and that is all it takes to get a flood of enemies in to the castle. To defend it, therefore, requires a lot of manpower and a lot of attention to details, working to consistently ensure that any breaches are known about before they happen and can be thwarted.

The size of the castle also leads to another big problem: even if you do have the manpower and you are able to keep up with where your enemies are planning to enter from, there is a big disadvantage with being in the middle of the fight. The only protection the castle has is its walls, and as they are taken down you have to rebuild them. This usually works for a little while, but at some point the castle runs out of supplies and then it is a regular PvP fight. It is then that things usually head downhill for the defenders, because it is hard to get back in the castle if you die; you have to run through large groups of enemies and in most cases they are not going to let that happen. Even with similar numbers, the attackers will always have the advantage because as they die, they can just jump right back in to their group. The defenders can not do this.

It is the Hot Spot for Combat

Another of its most beautiful features is also a negative one. Stonemist Castle is where a lot of combat takes place, just because of its size and awesomeness. This means that unless you are capable of defending it all day every day, you are likely going to lose it before long just because people are going to be consistently attacking it. While this does happen with the keeps and towers as well, those are much easier to take back with just a small group of players; the castle is much harder.

Pretty much there is one thing you can count on when it comes to Stonemist: even if you happen to take it, you are going to end up losing it at some point. It skips from side to side depending on the populations of the worlds and their desires to take over the castle. I have seen times where it has been taken by less than ten players and others where it has taken well over a hundred and still was not successful. Essentially it is just a battle of balance.

It Usually Takes Forever to Siege

Depending on how you look at it, this can either be good or bad. Sieging the castle usually takes forever. You can easily be there for hours while you try to take it, only to end up failing in the end. The reason why I say that this can be good, though, is because it also adds to the challenge. You are not just in a quick skirmish to take down your enemies and move on. Instead, you are in a full on battle to take what you want. This will usually lead to a lot of strategy building and planning to take down your enemies, and the feeling of success once you make it is awesome. Knowing that you did more than simply take down a wall and kill the leader makes it all the more satisfying. Not to mention you also get to show that you can handle teamwork pretty well!

Conclusion

While Stonemist Castle can be seen as a fun experience (and it really is at least the first few times), it is just not that efficient when it comes to what really matters: dominating your enemies in the battlegrounds. The entire point of the battlegrounds is to hold as many points as possible that grant influence towards your team, and the castle detracts from that a lot. It is much easier to take and hold multiple keeps, for example, than it is to take and hold the castle, and yet you can still get a large amount of influence. Considering this is faster and involves less work, it makes sense that it is what most worlds end up choosing to go with. After all, the more influence you get the better your bonuses are for both PvE and PvP, and the higher your ranking goes when it comes to the world matching on Fridays. As it stands now, it is better off to just take Stonemist Castle on Friday right after the reset or leave it alone. Past that, the rewards are not really worth it at this point unless you are going for the achievements related to it.

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