Guild Wars 2 Structured PvP Overview

Introduction to sPvP

Guild Wars 2 offers a group based instanced PvP called Structured PvP, or sPvP for short. This puts all players on a pretty much equal ground, unlocking all of their skills and giving everyone free gear. Along with what you get from the very beginning, you can choose to run customized gear sets to really build up your stats the way you want. The sPvP system also has leveling as part of it, where each level brings about some free gear chests, but the upgraded gear only has different looks; the stats you find will be the same regardless of what you are looking at. By this I mean that all PvP gear, other than what you get for free in the beginning (it will be equipped on you already) will have open slots for upgrades but will not have anything on it already. Essentially by leveling up you are not really benefiting yourself in regards to becoming more powerful or anything. Instead, you are just getting better looking gear (which is, of course, very subjective as you may like lower level gear more than the higher level stuff). But you will also presumably learn more about how to PvP effectively as you go on, and so sPvP levels are generally indicative of skill level as well, though theoretically you could keep leveling up even while losing all of your matches and doing minimal contribution. It would take forever to do this though.


Setting Up Skills

Whether you are already familiar with your class or not, your first step should be setting up your skills the way you want. Look through the entire listing (found in the character menu, 'h' by default) and find what looks the most interesting to you. You can also choose where to put your skill points at, and these can be changed at any time as long as you are not in a match.

A good thing to do when choosing skills is to try some things out. For example, after you have gone through the available skills, pick out what you like and then try and set up skill points that boost these as much as possible. Then give the build a test out on the NPC's found all around the Heart of the Mists, or take it in to a PvP match and try things out there. As you are playing, pay close attention to what is working and what is not, and also watch how other players of the same class play. Keep doing this and adapt your skills and skill points as needed in between matches. It is a long, drawn out process, but this is a way to boost your personal effectiveness in matches and better learn the game. And the best part is that the same skills you get for PvP are what you will learn as you level up in PvE (and WvW), so the better you get at PvP the better you can set yourself up in PvE!

After you come up with a build you like, you are ready to go for equipment! These items will likely change as you change up your builds, but there is no problem with constantly adjusting both to get the perfect setup for your character!

Gearing Up

Each character starts out with a full set of gear based on its class, and while you can get along fine using these items, you may want to swap some of them out based on your own play style. For example, you may rely more on healing than you do damage, so having a full set of damage gear will not be nearly as effective as if you start swapping items out for things that help with your heals. The good thing is that the Heart of the Mists, and sPvP in general, has all the gear you could possibly want, plus more! This means you can set up your gear just the way you want it, as well as experiment with different types of setups to boost your effectiveness. Some players use this to test out gear before purchasing it for the PvE world as well, as the basic principles will remain the same and it is a quick and easy way to do some testing before taking the time to farm gear, or spending the gold to buy it.

If you look to the right of where you enter the Heart of the Mists at, you will see a few NPC's. These sell everything you need, from weapons to armor and even upgrades. And do not worry; all of these items are completely free, so you do not have to be cautious when choosing some stuff. You can swap things out all you want, and delete things from your inventory as necessary to make room.


One of the types of games you can join is tournaments. These pit players up against one another in a five vs five match. These used to be based on a “knockout” structure, where the winning team would move up in bracket and there were multiple matches held, but this was later changed to where there is only one match played and the winner gets the prize.

When it comes to the map that is played on, this is completely random. It has all of the available maps within its rotation, and you never know which one you are going to get. At one point it was changed to where a certain map was chosen for a few days to a week, but now it can change every time you join a tournament. Or you could end up getting the same map every time; it is simply random. This means that if you are joining tournaments and you want to be extremely effective, you must learn all of the different maps inside out and be equally experienced in all of them.

As for how tournaments are run, there are two separate types: solo and group. The solo match is where you just queue up by yourself and the system will pick out four random people to be on your team and throw you in a match. The group joining is where you can join with up to four other people so you can create pre made teams (and avoid random players joining you), but you can also join this one with less than five and the system will try to match you up with others to finish the group. In fact, you can join this solo if you wish. It is important, however, to realize that a decent number of the groups here are going to be pre made, so if you plan to join up on your own, the chances of winning are much lower than just joining the normal solo tournaments.

Skill Levels

The skill level of players in tournaments is usually higher than those that are playing regular matches. This is likely because of the enhanced reward structure (in that the winners get some nice stuff), although there is also the fact that you can join as a pre made team. This allows those that play with their friends to join together, rather than having to play along with random players. On the other hand, you can just join the queue on your own and it will fit you in to a group with four others. Overall the number of pre made teams seems to be pretty low, although you really can not discount the power of pick up groups either; good players will still be good even if they are playing with others they do not know!

While the skill level of most people in tournaments is a bit higher than in the normal matches, there are still some people that join when they are still pretty new to the game. This is not a problem for most (like myself), as I believe that the harder your enemies are, the more you are going to learn. The more you learn, the more effective you will be at future PvP, and this often translates in to better PvE skill as well. So depending on how you look at it, joining the sPvP as a newbie can have its benefits, although some will suggest that you get some skill before you join, just to keep from annoying any potential team mates you may end up with.


The rewards are pretty good for tournaments because you get some bonus rank points, glory and also a tournament chest. While the rank points are awesome in that they help you level up faster, and glory is great because it lets you purchase more PvP items, it is the chest that is usually desired the most. Inside the chest can be a multitude of different items, including consumables and gear. This is a great way to work on filling up your PvP locker with all the gear you can, if you are interested in collecting items. You can get items that boost your Luck within these chests, which is extremely beneficial when it comes to looting enemies and chests when doing PvE. While I often argue that this is a bad thing (in that it is granting PvE benefits for what is being earned while doing a completely different part of the game), it is what leads some players to keep trying.

AFK Players and Tournaments

The downside to tournaments is that once they start, the teams are locked. This means that if someone was in the queue with you (whether it was pre made or they were just randomly assigned to your group) and they go AFK, you are effectively down a team mate. The same goes for when someone is disconnected just prior to a match. This leads to sometimes having really lopsided teams, especially during really slow points of the day (such as late at night), leading to teams with as few as two people.

When this happens in a tournament, there is really no challenge for the other team and usually the team that is missing players does not even really try to do anything, as it would be futile to do so. In essence, this really kills the mood of players on each team, and decreases the chances that they will take part in matches for a little while.

Things are just as bad when someone joins a match and simply does not care if they win or lose (like those who join solely to finish up their daily or monthly quest), as they are just as well off as being AFK or not even having someone in their place at all. All of these end up with the same results: one team is severely disadvantaged, and the other does not really have any challenge.

Normal Matches

Unlike tournaments, normal matches are run in an on-going style. This means that players can join and exit the match at any time, even while the match is still running. Along with this, normal matches have a great benefit in that players can choose their team (as long as they are not already imbalanced), as well as change teams during the match. Furthermore, the matches have their own balancing as well, so if a team ends up with two more players than their enemies, a timer will start and a player will be automatically taken over to the less privileged team. This helps to ensure equality, although the team switching is usually a little too late and happens when one team is already dominating the other. With that said, there are many times where the underdog can swing the match around once things are equal, and still take a victory in the match.

Another pretty big difference that normal matches bring is the ability to have more players in a match. Unlike tournaments, which are set to a maximum of five players per team, with normal matches there can be up to ten. This can lead to some much more brutal battles, as that doubles the number of players on each map, increasing the chances that there will be clashes. Along with this, it makes the games much more dependent upon strategy if you want to win a majority of the time.

The skill level that you will see in the normal matches has a high variance. While it is normally seen as a place for new players to test out their new characters or better learn the game, this is not always true. Many of the more competitive players do not wish to do tournaments without their pre made group, so they will join normal matches instead. Others will use the normal matches as a group to set up small skirmishes or to hone on their skills against one another to strengthen the entire team. The large variance leads to a great place to not only learn how to get better from the ground up, but also how to start playing more competitively. Once you are doing well consistently in the normal matches, moving up to tournaments is usually a good idea as you will more often find tough players there.

The Maps

Now it is time to check out the maps! All of the maps have the same general goal: to get to five hundred points before your opponents do. Along with this, each map has three areas that can be captured. The basic goal of the PvP maps is along the lines of “domination,” where the goal is to capture and hold points for as long as you can. To throw some twists in to the game, some of the maps also have other things that you need to be aware of as well, and we will be looking at each one on a map by map basis. But first we have a few things to go over that pertain to all of the different maps.

When capturing the objectives, the game uses a sort of tug and war system. Each objective starts out as neutral, and as one side gets on it, it will start slowly moving to that team's color. Once it has filled up the color bar, the point will be flipped and the score of the team that took it will start increasing. Here are some other things you will want to keep in mind about this:

  • It takes only a couple seconds to go from a team's color (ownership) to neutral, but it takes around four times as long for it to flip over to a team
  • There is no increase in capture speed by having more than one player within the circle at an objective. Only one person is needed as a result
  • Objectives work on a “contested” basis, where no flipping occurs if there are players from both teams within the circle at the same time
  • Points are allocated at a rate of one per second or so for each objective held. They all increment at the same time

Along with holding the objectives, points are also earned by killing enemy players. Each enemy killed is worth five points (or more in the case of Temple of the Silent Storm with its custom bonuses). This grants two ways to win: kill players or hold objectives. On top of this, if the timer on the match ends before either team gets to five hundred points, the one with the highest score at the end will win (although I have not ever seen this happen yet. Even when a match ends 499:500 it still has plenty of time left on the clock).

Now then, let us take a look at the maps, tips and tricks, and guides to help better understand how each of them works!

Battle of Kyhlo


The Battle of Kyhlo map is interesting in that it has siege weapons on each side of it, in the form of trebuchets. These can reach any of the three objectives on the map, giving a great advantage if they are not destroyed and someone is manning them that is a good shot.

The locations of everything in the Battle of Kyhlo can be found on this map:


As you can see in the map, the trebuchets are located just outside each team's base. They are also guarded by mountains on all but one side (the north east for blue and the south west for red), so getting up to the trebuchets is pretty easy. If they are destroyed, they can be built back up again by grabbing a repair kit that spawns randomly near the center of the map, then taking it to your trebuchet (it will automatically and instantly rebuild it).

The Clocktower is the real hot spot of this map because it is in the center, and there are two ways to enter it, leading to some pretty heavy battles. Along with this, the trebuchets can easily hit it, even launching their artillery in to the objective's circle to knock back enemies.

It is worth noting that while the trebuchets do have access to much of this map, they are not able to hit each other. For this reason, do not waste any time trying to hit the enemy trebuchet with yours; it is much better to spend that time being productive!


Really, when it comes to this map the best thing to do is try and hold the two outside points, the Mansion and the Windmill. Holding the Clocktower can be difficult, and with its placement making it a hot spot for battles it is usually best left alone. If anything, sending in a bunker character can help keep people busy while the others head off and hold the other two points.

The value of the trebuchets really depends on the groups. While the trebuchets can be helpful for killing enemies that are at one of the points, or knocking them down or back when they are at the Clocktower, this also means that you have one player that is not with the group and is not capturing anything. Along with this, trebuchets are generally rushed near the beginning of the match, so spending the time to get up in one is often better off spent ignoring it and moving on with capturing one of the objectives. This all depends on the group, though, and is not always the case. As a result, you will need to make that judgment on your own.

There really is not any more to this map. It is a pretty basic one, so once you get it down it is pretty easy to follow and do well on during future runs.

Forest of Niflhel


The Forest of Niflhel is a map that involves two NPC's, Svanir and Chieftain Utahein. Svanir is located outside the red team's base and Chieftain Utahein is located outside the blue team's. When slain, these mobs will grant the killing team twenty five points and a short buff to the damage output on attacks. It is important to note, however, that the team that gets credit for the kill is not based on how much damage is done, but rather who gets the last hit. Because of this, it is important to keep watch for cloaked players or those that are hanging around waiting on you to get one of the NPC's health down.

A map of the Forest of Niflhel is seen below:


It is worth noting that the NPC's will spawn at the beginning of each map, and then again every three minutes after each death. Killing them as often as possible will boost your team's score considerably, and the buff they give helps with taking and defending the objectives. It is important that you try and keep all the kills to your team, though, instead of allowing your enemies to kill steal by taking the last hit!


At the very beginning of the match, the two mobs are by far the most important objectives. If your team is organized enough and able to take down both of them in the beginning, go for it, but if not, at least ensure that you get the credit for your side's mob. To help increase these chances, you will want just one person to go to your closest objective point and everyone else to take the mob down and then rush off to the Keep, located in the center of the map. This, if done faster than your enemies, ensures that you can grab both objective points and the mob!

If you want to try and kill steal the enemy's mob for the points and the buff (which does stack if you killed the other mob as well), you can send in either an assassin that is in stealth (to try and time the last hit) or a character that has high DPS and can knock out their cooldowns right before the mob dies. In case you are sending someone in that does not have stealth, a good idea is to either have them stand back and just watch or help the mob kill his target (the enemy player) while waiting for the mob's health to get low enough to start going for the last hit. In any case, do your best to make sure you are not helping your enemies out!

When it comes to holding the objectives and racking up points, some teams choose to go for the two outside areas and some choose to go for the one closest to their spawn and then the Keep. The Keep has multiple ways to get to it, making it both good and bad depending on how you look at it; it is easy to attack but much harder to defend. From the attacking standpoint, the best way to get to it is usually from the north, behind the objective, as this puts you above the players that are defending. From here, you can easily use the wall that is between you to LoS their attacks, while the defenders can not do the same. This gives a great advantage in that you can, to a point, dictate how the fight works. The downside to this is that your enemy will be standing on the objective, so during the battle (which can be long) they are earning more points. If you are going through a lot of fighting at the Keep and it looks like you are dealing with a losing battle, it is time to re-evaluate the plan of action. If your team holds the other two objectives already, fighting at the Keep helps keep your enemies busy so they do not go for the others. If your team owns one or no objectives, however, you may want to move away and start trying to take those instead, starting with the one closest to your spawn (as this is much faster for your team to get to and is therefore also much easier to defend).

The last thing you want to do, and it requires being pretty attentive, is go for the mobs right before they spawn. Keep up with when they were last killed so you know when they will spawn again (three minutes later), and be there prior to their spawn so you can jump on them right after. The faster you get moving on them, the better the chance is that you will be able to get the kill. Even if you do not feel the buffs are worth going for, the instant twenty five points makes them well worth farming. And if you are able to hit both of them, that is fifty points right there!

If you are having to take on the mobs solo and you are having problems, a good idea is to head out to the Heart of the Mists to where the practice area is. Here you will be able to find both Svanir and the Chieftain, and you can practice killing them without having to hold back a team in PvP. This also lets you learn new strategies for taking them down, as well as adapt quickly and change things as needed. The better you get at killing these, the more effective you will be when you head in to the Forest of Niflhel map. Ideally, you would like to get to the point where you can kill either one of them without being hit at all, because you never know when you will be facing both a mob and a player (or multiple players) at the same time!

Legacy of the Foefire


The Legacy of the Foefire is a lot like Forest of Niflhel in that mobs play a part in how the match is run. Unlike Forest of Niflhel, however, the mobs do not respawn, but they are worth a lot more in terms of points.

A map of Legacy of the Foefire is below:


There are a couple of things that help set this map apart from the others. The big one is that the different objectives have different ranges on them. Waterfall and Quarry are pretty small and easy to knock players out of, and the Graveyard is much bigger. As a result, the Graveyard is often where the battles are fought, and is also the hardest objective to capture, being that you can not simply knock enemies out of the circle and start capturing, but instead you usually have to actually kill off everyone. Along with this, due to its large size there are often times where you will kill someone and they will return prior to you finishing off everyone else, leading to long, drawn out battles.

The other big change that is in this map is that the mobs are located in each side's base, and they are grouped together. Each is a set of five, with two being melee, two being ranged and one being the boss. Taking on all five at once is hard enough as it is, but when you have to deal with enemy players as well it becomes even more difficult. Planning around this is important if you want to be successful in taking down the boss, and it is well worth it if you can do it as the boss is worth a hundred and fifty points! This alone accounts for almost a third of the match, and can easily be the difference between winning and losing a match. At the same time, this is difficult to do and is often ignored by players just because if you are not successful, you have wasted a lot of time and your enemies will likely be taking the objectives while you try.

To get to the enemy boss, you must first take down one of two gates that protect the base. Either of these can be taken down, or both, and they are really about equal in terms of their distance from the boss. While the gates are being attacked, the defending team will be getting notices to let them know their base is under attack. when the mobs are under attack as well, the system will keep notifying them, so it is hard not to notice that it is going on. The only real problem with this is that it does not differentiate, for example, between someone hitting a gate as they run by or an entire group that is already on the boss. Because of this, it is normal to get a lot of false positives (where it says the base is under attack when it really is not), but if someone is near the base when the messages are going off it should be pretty easy to tell whether or not there is a real threat.


The first thing your team should do is try to take the Graveyard. While this is the biggest area, and it is a hot spot for combat, it is also the easiest one to hold if you are able to capture it before your opponents. If they take it first, getting in control of it can be very hard, so you want to try and be the first ones to capture it.

Once the Graveyard has been claimed, take one or both of the outside areas, while ensuring there are at least two people at the Graveyard to protect it (or, if you were not successful in capturing it, send everyone to the other two points). After they are captured, then focus on the Graveyard and try to take it over if you can, or hold it if not.

The bosses in this map are a hot discussion on their own. In the vast majority of cases, they are better off left alone. It is a high risk vs reward situation, where you are risking a lot of time in the hopes of earning a ton of points. While it is great if this works out, if it does not you are risking everything.

If your team does decide that the risk is worth taking, the best plan is to take down one of the gates (or both) first, then try picking off the mobs one by one while leaving the boss up for last. Once they are cleared out they will not respawn, so this will let you pick a time that you feel is best to rush in there and try taking down the boss, without having to deal with the gates or other mobs in the process. He is still pretty tough, but anything is better than taking on everything at once! As for your timing, you will want to do it when your enemies are furthest away from their base and it is best to do this when you have or are around three hundred and fifty points. This is because the kill will push you over the winning threshold, should you be successful. Taking the boss down earlier is usually bad because your enemies will almost surely take all three of the other objectives while your team is focusing on their mobs. Minimize this risk!

At the same time, you will also want to keep your enemies from being able to use the same strategy. Keeping them away from the boss the entire match is not really sustainable, but you can definitely slow them down considerably by constantly thwarting their plans. For example, if you see an enemy attacking your gate, get them in to combat with you. If you can kill them, that is great, but if not, keeping them off the gate helps decrease the chances that their team will do a boss rush. The same goes for attacking them while they are picking off your mobs. The less they can take down before they die, the better off you are. And with how far away the bases are from where each side spawns, getting them all down will give around a minute (or more if they are not doing straight rushes) in which you can deal with other things!

Raid On the Capricorn


Raid On the Capricorn is an interesting map in that it is the only one right now that has underwater battle. While one of the other maps does have water as well, on Raid On the Capricorn there is an objective located inside the water, making it a target for attacking. If you want to get a lot of experience with fighting underwater, this is the map to do it on!

Here is the map of Raid On the Capricorn:


Looking at the map, you will notice that the objective called Ruins is located in the northern area, on what looks to be a mountain. This objective is actually located under the water, and it is surrounded by shark mobs. These sharks are normal mobs that are allied with the team that owns the objective, if any (otherwise they will just be neutral and will attack both teams). This adds a bit of strategy to taking the Ruins, as you have to fight not only enemy players but also the sharks if they own the point. At the same time, when you own the point these sharks can be a great advantage in that they will help by attacking your targets, giving your enemy more targets to attack and increasing the damage that they take.

The sharks located under water are all around the map as well, so if players are using the water to get from one point to another (even if they are not going towards the Ruins), they will be attracting the sharks. While sharks do not do a lot of damage, they do put players in a combat state which slows them down. If they are already being attacked by another player, this can let people catch up and kill them. So if you are looking for a fast way to travel, be attentive as to whose side the sharks are on, and try to avoid them if they are allied with your enemies.

If you look on the ship in the middle area of the map, you will find some cannon balls. These can be taken to the cannons you see while exploring the map, and they will allow you to fire them a few times at enemies. The cannons do damage to enemies and knock them back on impact, if you are able to hit someone. For the most part, these are best to just skip, though, as their usability is pretty low on this map. The cannons are easily avoided by just going in to the water to travel from place to place, and the map is small enough that battles are happening constantly, minimizing the effectiveness of the cannon and therefore also reducing any benefit you may have from manning one.


There is not really that much to this map. Most of the combat ends up being around the two areas outside the water, although there can be some pretty heated battles inside it as well. The problem most players have with it is that water combat is much harder than land combat, and that is without even taking in to consideration the sharks that will be helping one side and hurting the other (or hurting both). Trying to fend off enemies while also taking on sharks is tough, especially if you are trying to hold an objective at the same time, so this does take quite a bit of getting used to.

If you are under the water and are trying to take the objective from your enemy, the best way to handle it is to take a few sharks at a time and do AoE's on them to kill them. The less sharks you have on you when you make it to the objective, the less problems you are going to have. It is important to realize that this will also slow down your movement, in which your enemies are gaining extra points by holding the objective longer, but it is much safer to do it like this than to just rush in there and take on however many sharks you pulled at the same time you are fighting any enemies that may be nearby.

At the same time that you want to avoid enemy sharks, you will want to lead enemies through your allied ones. Even if you are just running from one objective to another, as long as you own the Ruins you will want to take the water route, as anyone that follows you will be slowed down by sharks and will have to decide if they want to continue being attacked or if they want to slow down and kill the sharks off. Either way, this is a great benefit for you in that you can usually escape them and get to your destination.

Spirit Watch


Spirit Watch is not one of the original sPvP maps in Guild Wars 2, but instead was added in a content update. This was part of the Flame and Frost: The Gathering Storm update that occurred on February 26, 2013, and has remained in the game ever since. After a little while, it was also added to the normal map rotation for tournaments!

The map to follow for Spirit Watch is below:


The first thing that you will probably notice about Spirit Watch based on its map is that it looks a little small. This is because it is small, which is more than likely due to the way this match works, which is a bit different from the others.

In the center of the map you will see the Altar of Ascension. Resting on this is the Orb of Ascension, a relic that both teams are fighting for. The goal is to grab this relic and take it to one of the objectives. If an objective is neutral, you will get fifteen points for a capture. If an objective is owned by the enemy team, you will get fifteen points and the objective will instantly go neutral. If you own the objective, you will earn thirty points. As you can see, the best scenario is to take the Orb of Ascension to objectives your team owns, but this is much easier said than done.

Once the Orb of Ascension is picked up, the person holding it will have an icon marking their location on the map. This is bad enough, in that it puts a target on your head, but what makes matters worse is that the relic also slows down your run speed considerably. This makes it even harder to escape enemies, and adds a lot of time to how long it takes to get to one of the objectives to drop off the relic. And if these things are not enough, there is also a timer on how long you can keep the relic before it disappears! This adds a lot of strategy to Spirit Watch in that you have to keep up with how long you have been holding the relic, watch to see what the path of least resistance is, and decide which objective you want to go for. In some cases (or a lot), fifteen points is better than none. In others, going for the full thirty is worth it. As you get more familiar with the map and how things work, you will also get better at judging what you should do in different situations.


In any case, the Orb of Ascension plays a major role in this map and is usually more important than trying to hold all of the objectives. As long as you are holding one objective and capturing the orb on a regular basis, you should be fine. As an alternative, some groups prefer to ignore the orb altogether and just hold all three points, or even hold two points and just keep in combat near the orb so that nobody else can capture it. Each game is a bit different, and how you handle the different situations will depend on what is going on and what your team feels is the best path to take.


If you look at the spawn area, you will see a ramp that goes up and leads to a bridge. This bridge takes you to your local objective. Sending one person down this path will almost always ensure that you are able to capture that objective, so be sure that someone goes there. It will usually only take one person to do this, so you will have others do different things.

Depending on how well your team does at PvP, you can send one person to Raven and one to your enemy's objective usually. This, while it does not always work for taking over both of them, will usually allow you to at least keep them contested so that your enemies are not earning points off them. Everyone else should be hanging out where the orb is.

As soon as an orb is captured, everyone should make their way to where it spawns so that you can kill off any enemies that may be near it, and take it for yourself. If an enemy is trying to capture it, keep them in combat by throwing some attacks at them. Even if you are being attacked by someone different, keep your target on whoever is trying to grab the orb, as they are the one you need to be worrying about.

When the orb is picked up by your team, help escort the carrier to one of the objectives. If they are heading to one that is neutral or owned by the other team, you can run ahead a bit and try to capture it before your ally drops off the orb. When done successfully, this grants the thirty points, so it is well worth doing if you are able to. The downside to doing this is that you are leaving the carrier off on their own, but this may or may not be an issue depending on where all of your enemies are.

If your enemies are the ones with the orb, do everything in your power to slow them down. Get in front of them and do knock backs to knock them off ledges, root or stun them, etc. The longer you can delay them, the more time is ticking away on their timer and the better the chance is that the orb will disappear from their grasp. If you see that you are not going to be able to keep them from being able to capture the orb, run ahead of them to the objective they are moving towards and try to flip it to your team's side before they get there. If nothing else, at least try to get it in to a neutral state so that they are only earning fifteen points off the capture.

As you play on Spirit Watch more and more, you will get used to how things work and it will become much easier to be successful at. This match is very dependent upon teamwork, as well, so you need to get together with some others that want to actually work together. Due to the nature of how the scoring works within it, being successful is reliant more on whether or not your team can delegate responsibilities or not.


Temple of the Silent Storm


Temple of the Silent Storm is a new map that was released with The Lost Shores content update. This one brings about some new strategy and new concepts to winning, but it also has what some may consider a “second chance,” in that a team that is losing can easily turn the match around about half way through.

First off, use the map below to better understand how Temple of the Silent Storms is laid out:


By this point you should already be familiar with objectives and how capturing them works, but you may be confused by the other icons. These things are as follows:

  • Meditation of Tranquility - this instantly flips all objectives over to the ownership of the team that grabs this
  • Meditation of Stillness - this grants a buff that doubles any points earned by holding objectives
  • Meditation of Ferocity - this grants a buff that increases the points earned on each player kill by three. It also stacks, so with both buffs going at once you will earn eleven points per kill!

The Meditation of Stillness spawns at 11:30, 8:30, 5:30 and 2:30 remaining in the match. The Meditation of Tranquility spawns at 8:30 and 2:30 remaining in the match. The Meditation of Ferocity appears to spawn every couple minutes, starting at about thirty seconds after the match starts.

Another big thing that sets this map apart from most of the others is in that each of the objectives has at least two paths leading to it. This makes them all much harder to defend, and the map is also full of obstacles that can be used to deter enemies. The more familiar you become with the terrain, the better off you will be when it comes to survivability and holding objectives.



The big thing with Temple of the Silent Storm is to try and keep capturing all of the Meditation buffs. Even Meditation of Ferocity is a good one, although you do not often see any real benefit from it (but it is better to have it and not use than it is to need it and not have it!).

At around 8:50 left in the match, head down to where Meditation of Tranquility is. This is located in the mountain, along the walkway. You can get there from going to the center objective and heading north, or by jumping in from the very top of the map. Either way, you want to be back there as soon as the buff spawns because you want to grab it before your enemies do. Even if there is a short lapse in ownership of objectives as a result of waiting for it to pop, it will be flipping all the objectives to your side anyways. In a lot of games, this buff just by itself can change a team from being the loser to being the winner, so do not underestimate its importance.

The other point that is also important to worry about is grabbing Meditation of Stillness every time it is up, although it is especially important at the 8:30 mark, as grabbing this along with Meditation of Tranquility means you will be getting six points per tick, which adds up very fast and can easily make the difference between winning and losing a match. There have been many times I have seen a team go from losing to winning because of the fast increase in points by capturing both of these at once and then holding the three points for a short while.

Once these two are taken, you are ready to work on capturing and holding objectives. In most cases you can ignore kills unless they are needed to get an objective – do not fight away from them! If you have both stacks of Meditation of Ferocity, however, you will want to rack up as many kills as you can as fast as possible. At a value of eleven points per kill, this is something you do not want to miss.

All of the buffs will spawn at the same areas they are marked on the map, so as you become more familiar with the layout you will be able to easily go from one to the other as you see the timer hit the various points and you can grab them before your enemies. They do take a little while to grab, though, and if you are under attack you will not be able to pick them up. You can also use this to your advantage by keeping your enemies in combat if they are trying to grab one, and they will not be able to either!



Structured PvP is a great way for newbies to learn how to play Guild Wars 2, as well as a way for those that are more in to hardcore PvP to get their fix. While the PvP system was supposed to be turning in to an eSport at one point, that aspiration seems to be dropped. While this is true, there is still plenty of competition left in the game so you can test out your skills and get better at the game.

The best part about sPvP is the fairness and equality that is displayed. Instead of having people at different levels and with different tiers of gear, everyone has access to the exact same things. This means that what plays a role in sPvP matches is skill, rather than gear and levels. As a result, when you are playing you can use that knowledge to work on getting better at the game, rather than trying to write off your losses as being due to not having the right stuff available to you at the time.

Along with this, the sPvP system also helps prepare you for PvE and WvW, in that some of the matches have you fighting mobs and players alike. This has always been a high point for me, in that I love the concept of “PvPvE,” where you are playing against not only the other players, but also the mobs that are on the map too. This adds a whole new dynamic to the battles, and makes planning even more important in order to be successful. At the end of the day, the sPvP system is what you make of it. If you enjoy trying to become a better player, it is probably good for you. And especially if you want to battle other players but do not want to put in a lot of time, since the matches last a maximum of fifteen minutes, but are more along the average of around ten or so; this means you can drop in, do some fighting, and drop back out to whatever it is you need to do elsewhere. In essence, this lets the more casual players take part and still be quite competitive!



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