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Guild Wars 2 brought about a brand new form of PvP that involves three separate factions. We usually call it “WvW” or “World vs. World,” but it should really be “WvWvW” (as it deals with three different worlds – or servers – competing for control over battlegrounds). This brings about entirely new strategies than seen in games where there are only two factions, because it ends up basically being a free for all between the three teams. This does not keep there from being temporary alliances between a couple, but it also means they can be easily broken. Here I want to go over why I love the WvW system and what makes it so awesome, as well as take a look at what all goes on in the battlegrounds.

The Basics

Battlegrounds

There are a total of four different battlegrounds. Each of the three worlds has one that belongs to them (WorldName Battlegrounds, such as Ehmry Bay Battlegrounds), and then there is a middle one named the Eternal Battlegrounds. In this one each team has a small piece of land they own, and everyone fights for taking over the land of everyone else. In the very middle of here is a massive castle, which often hosts some very intense battles.

The fact that there are four separate battlegrounds also means planning attack strategies is all the more important. You can be sieging well in one battleground, while you are losing everything in another. World population has a very large impact on this, as one might expect. The more players there are in a world, the more spread out they can be while still having good numbers. Smaller worlds (or at least those with less players that take part in the WvW system) are at a major disadvantage in that they have to stay focused in a small area and just accept that they can not keep up with all of the action at once while still being efficient.

Regardless of how many objectives your world owns, you will always have a spawn point in every one of the four battlegrounds. While you can get more by taking specific places, this ensures that you always have somewhere to spawn when you die. Along with this, each spawn point is protected by guards that will ensure you can not be spawn camped. This does not, however, keep enemies from staying posted a little bit away from the spawn to pick off players that wander out to explore on their own. Despite how often this happens (and how often players end up feeding the campers) there are two safe paths from each spawn area; one is on the left and one on the right. When your world is being camped close to the spawn point, it is a good idea to take one of these side exits instead of just running out and feeding your enemies.

Scores

When you are in the game, you experience bonuses depending on how many points your world has earned. An example of this is shown below:

wiki.guildwars2.com_images_9_95_wvw_stats_and_bonuses.jpg

The world bonuses are available whether you are in PvP or PvE combat. Depending on how many of the objectives your team holds, you will be earning a varying amount of points. These are added to the totals each world has in fifteen minute increments. As one bonus is unlocked, the next one starts getting worked on immediately.

The number of points earned for each objective depends on what type it is. They are as follows:

  • Resource Camps (5 Points)
  • Towers (10 Points)
  • Keeps (25 Points)
  • Stonemist Castle (35 Points)

As for how many of each of these there are in the battlegrounds:

  • Green, Blue and Red Battlegrounds: 6 Camps, 4 Towers, 3 Keeps
  • Eternal Battlegrounds: 6 Camps, 12 Towers, 3 Keeps, 1 Stonemist Castle

As you can see, the Eternal Battlegrounds are almost equal to each of the others, with the difference being an additional 8 towers and the inclusion of Stonemist Castle.

The current number of points your team is earning at the moment is shown at the top of the screen. This also shows a colored bar to help understand how many points you are earning relative to the other worlds. You want your color to be what the majority of the bar shows. Here is an image of how it looks:

wiki.guildwars2.com_images_5_59_wvwui.jpg

Bonuses

As your world earns more and more points in WvW, new bonuses will keep being unlocked. There are multiple different ones, and they do not stack. If, for example you have a 1% bonus to something and the next upgrade is a 2% bonus to it, they will not stack to become 3%, but instead will just be the highest amount.

None of the bonuses will really make or break the game for you, but they are still helpful. For example, you can get extra gathers on a node for free. Whereas trees and rocks only give three gathers, you may get four, five or even more! The highest I have seen is five on one of those or four on a plant (which is normally just one). It is not clear how many extra gathers you can earn, but it appears that it could theoretically go on forever if you were very lucky.

Each of the WvW bonuses is given automatically to each person in the world when they are in the game, even if they have never stepped foot in any of the battlegrounds. They are all shared and are inclusive of everything within the game, other than sPvP. Past that, you can create new characters at any point and they still still obtain all of the bonuses. With this said, it is still a good idea to help out your world in the battlegrounds so that you can increase the score and further boost your bonuses! Not only this, but it also boosts your world's rankings, which we will look at next.

World Rankings

World rankings are used to determine which worlds are up against one another. The worlds are split off in to groups of three, and on Fridays are reset to face each other. How well your world does each week will help determine whether you move up a bracket, down a bracket or stay in the same one. It also greatly depends on the other worlds and how well they do, so it is hard to accurately guess whether or not you are going to be going to a new bracket until all of the results are in.

The goal behind the world ranking system is to help create brackets that have worlds that are of about equal experience. For example, it helps keep one team that is extremely great from being against another that is not. Of course, this does not always work as one would plan, as world population also has a big part to deal with it. Your world could be doing awesome a couple days but dwindle off over the next few, which really offsets things. Furthermore, players can switch worlds (although it does cost gems to do so) in order to help or bring down a world. Some guilds use this system to stay on the “best” world, watching each week to see who is in the number one spot and then having everyone else transfer over to there. Others do the opposite, picking the worst world (or at least one of the worst) and moving there so they can help bring them up. Think of it as just enjoying to be the underdog, where you can actually show your ability to lead and PvP.

It is important to realize that aside from WvW, world rankings have no real impact on anything else in the game. If you do not care who you are facing in the battlegrounds, and are not worried about being significantly better or worse than your enemies, it is really irrelevant. One thing to realize, however, is that the rankings and your enemies do affect how many points your team will be able to earn (how many objectives you can take and hold for extended periods of time), and therefore will impact the bonuses you have while playing in other areas of the game. Past this, however (and that will not really make or break the game, although it does make things a little more convenient), there is nothing there to worry about.

Objective Defenses

Each type of objective has different defenses, making them easier or harder to take over. As you might guess, as the point values go up the difficulties do as well. This makes Stonemist Castle the most heavily defended objective and the camps the ones with the lowest defense. As for what each objective type has in regards to their defenses, the list is:

  • Resource Camp: Guards
  • Tower: Guards, Walls, Gate and Lord
  • Keep and Stonemist Castle: Guards, Walls, Gates, Lord and Inner Walls

There are also some group quests and sentries that can be found (sentries are marked with flags of the color of their owners). They do not give any contribution in terms of pure points, but they do help by getting some NPC's on your side to help with battles and slow down enemy players. The NPC's can also run their own attacks against camps and enemy dolyaks that happen to be going by them, although you have no control over what they do or how they do it.

Guild Claiming

If you are in a guild and you take over an objective (including towers, keeps or Stonemist Castle), you are able to claim it as your guild's. Any perks your guild has learned will be added to that objective for any allies inside or near it, granting what could be major benefits to everyone.

You are only able to own one objective in each one of the battlegrounds at one time. If you own one and it ends up being taken over by enemies, you can go and claim another one. All of this is handled through the guild claiming lord, which is usually just referred to as the lord.

Something you need to keep in mind before deciding to claim one of the objectives is that if you own it, nobody else can. This means that if you have worse buffs than others (because you have less active members in your guild or just have not gotten too many upgrades), you are hurting everyone rather than helping them when you go and make the claim. For this reason it is very important to ask out loud in map or team chat whether any guilds are set up for the claiming. If they are, you can pass it up. If nobody else is able to claim it anyways, then any benefits you are able to give are better than none. Just remember that WvW is a team game, where you and your world are all working together. Do not try and turn it in to a competition and drag your allies down with you. All this does is hurt everyone, whereas everyone could otherwise benefit.

Supplies

Supplies are needed in order to restore structures (walls and gates), build up siege weaponry and to do upgrades on structures. They all originate from the same place (camps and Dolyaks), however there are many ways to obtain them.

First off, camps are pretty much the origin point. They will constantly be filling up with new supplies for their owners to take, so owning camps is necessary for effective sieging. They can hold a maximum of 100 supplies at any given time, so if you have more than 10 people it may take a little while before everyone gets filled up on their supplies. This will take even longer if there are upgrades to increase each person's carrying capacity, or if players have the bonus perks to carrying capacity.

Camps will also spawn Dolyaks if neighboring towers are in ownership of the same world as the camp is. The number of Dolyaks that spawn will depend on the number of towers. If there are no towers owned by the same team, no Dolyaks will spawn. If both towers are owned, two Dolyaks will spawn and if one tower is owned, only one Dolyak will spawn. It is worth noting that if a Dolyak has spawned and then the tower is taken by one of the other worlds, it will end up “stuck” at the camp where it will go nowhere until a tower is once again taken. Also note that the Dolyaks will each have their own paths; one will go to each tower. So you will not see two of them rushing (however so slowly) at the same tower.

As the Dolyaks are traveling, they will often run across aggressive mobs. The mobs will attack the Dolyak, and it has no way of defending itself. It will just continue running while being attacked, which can cause some problems. To counter this, you can upgrade camps to give the Dolyak a couple of guards, plus you can also defend it yourself. To defend it on your own, just follow along beside it while it goes from one location to another and make sure it gets there safely. This will give you credit for the protection, but there are no rewards for this other than the achievement that requires you to do so. You will still get the event medal you are used to seeing, but it has no real benefit.

If you kill an enemy Dolyak, you will get up to five supplies. The number you get depends on how many you already have, but the number will never go above five. For example, if you kill one when you have two supplies already, it will increase it by three (to max out at five). The only way to go above this is to do the breakout event (which we will look at next) or to pick up supplies from one of the objectives you own.

Breakout Event

When your world is having problems taking the towers that are closest to your spawn point, there are two NPC's that will be at the spawn point that you can visit with. These, when activated, will start a breakout event in which they will assist you with taking back the towers. All that is required is to get ten players to stand near the NPC, and then it will start a one minute activation, after which it will slowly run off towards its designated tower. It will also boost any player that does not already have ten supplies up to ten, so you do not need to worry about going out and grabbing supplies before starting the event up.

When one of the NPC's gets to a tower, it will set up two circles that need to be cleared of enemy forces. When they are clear for enough time, some siege weapons will automatically be set up, along with a protective bubble around them that shields them from enemy attacks. It will not last long, but it does help with getting a leg up on the enemies who may be defending at the time.

The siege weapons that are set up automatically will be almost fully built, requiring only a small amount of supplies. Luckily everyone will already have supplies, since they were given to you in the beginning. It is also worth noting that more siege weapons can be built, but those will need to be dropped by a player and will require their full amount of supplies (they will not come mostly built like the free ones).

Once you have broken down the gate to the tower you are at, the NPC that is assisting will help get inside and clear out enemies to get to and kill the tower's claiming NPC. Once this is done it is yours!

Note that the breakout events will only work on the towers. If you are, for example, in the Eternal Battlegrounds, next to your spawn will be two towers and right in front of it will be a keep. You can get the assistance with taking down the two towers, but there will be no help with the keep. Usually if you are facing problems with the towers, the keep will be out of the question altogether, so whether it is worth taking anything at the time will depend on what your group wishes to do. If you are attempting to claim as much stuff as possible, it is probably going to be a better idea to just wait it out. If you are just wanting to knock out some achievements, siege for the fun of it, or just go for some rewards and leveling, you can go for it. Just be aware that any towers you take will likely be taken back soon after. This does not mean that you can not start the breakout event again though!

NPC Helpers

As you are out and about exploring the different battlegrounds, you will run across multiple events you can take part in. Some of these are purely PvE based, but others can grant your team benefits in other ways. For example, there is an ogre camp in the eastern side of the Eternal Battlegrounds. When one team takes this over, all of the ogres there become allied with that team and will attack anyone else that goes through there. While these ogres are really not that tough, they can be very helpful when you lead enemy players in to the camp and you work together with the ogres to take them down.

Most of the events are pretty quick to get completed, so even if you do not think they are going to be useful, it is not as if you are wasting too much time doing them. Along with this, you also get the credit for the events themselves (like gold and experience), so you benefit from them regardless. And they do count for daily and monthly quests as well, if you need to take part in events to get those finished or get a lot of kills done.

While some of the allied NPC's are stationary, others will move around and help out. As an example, some will go after enemy camps, even when you are not around, and if they are successful they make flipping it all the more easy. When you have large groups or are going against large groups these do not have nearly as much value, but they can be priceless when you only have a couple or a few people. If nothing else, they can help tank enemy mobs or enemy players while you work on taking down one target at a time.

On the other hand, if your enemies have NPC's on their side, they can also be your worst problem. If you get in a fight between the NPC's and players, it is a good idea to try and focus down your strongest targets first. Sometimes this will be the players, but in other times it will not. This really just depends on the fight and what classes you are against, as well as how well they are at playing. One thing is for certain though; you are always better off with the NPC's on your side than you are without!

Spawn Waypoints

While each world has one waypoint they can spawn at on each of the four battleground maps, it is possible to get more. Each of the keeps, as well as the castle, can be upgraded to add a new waypoint there. The upgrade takes a little while to get finished, but once it is done you can instantly teleport there at any point, as long as it is not contested.

The waypoints in the battlegrounds work the same way as the ones that are in end-game PvE zones. If an enemy player is attacking a keep where a waypoint is, it will become contested to where it can not be used for a little while. As long as it is still being attacked, it will remain contested. It is important to note, however, that there is a trick to getting around this. If you can get someone to call out the “defend” quest timer, you can use the waypoint for a one to two second period in between the defense quests. The waypoint will still show the contested icon, however if you spam it fast enough you should be able to get in.

In any case, it is well worth making the upgrade as soon as you are able to. Even if it is contested, it can easily be the difference between winning and losing the keep, even if only a few people are able to get in at a time.

If you are sieging an enemy's keep or castle, one way to make it a little easier is to start attacking it before the rush is ready. This is a little controversial (in that sometimes it is better not to contest it early) but can grant a benefit in that you may be able to keep a flood of enemy soldiers from being able to cut off your attack from the inside. This will not stop them from being able to run to the keep on their own, of course, but anything to help slow them down is beneficial.

Jumping Puzzle

There is a jumping puzzle you can enter from the keeps in the Eternal Battlegrounds. This is an interesting one in that you are not only dealing with mobs and traps inside, but also enemy players. In fact, players are able to set up their own traps and use them at will to keep enemies from being able to complete the puzzle! This turns it in to a very interesting, albeit sometimes annoying puzzle.

The jumping puzzle is sort of long, even without enemies attempting to hold you back. It can also be quite hard the first couple times, as there is a lot to remember throughout it. The good thing is that while there are traps all over the place, they have to be activated by other players. Unlike other jumping puzzles, as long as you do not have anyone setting off traps you do not have to worry. On the other hand, if there are enemy players you have to worry more since you can not just watch the timing behind the traps to automatically know when to go and when not to.

Completing this jumping puzzle rewards you with some medals and (usually) blueprints for some siege weapons. This can make doing the puzzle very valuable, especially if you get things like Alpha Siege Golem blueprints. And to make things easier, as long as a Mesmer is able to complete the puzzle they can throw down portals to allow other allies to get through there much easier. If you are watching the chat while in the Eternal Battlegrounds, you will often hear someone shout that they are teleporting people up there. This is the best time to go since you basically skip the entire puzzle and yet still get all the rewards you would if you ran it. If you use this method, it is also a nice gesture to tip the Mesmer with a little gold for their trouble and time. After all, they are spending their time and effort to help you, whereas they could just as easily finish the puzzle and move on with their day.

It is also worth mentioning that because the jumping puzzle is part of the WvW battlegrounds, you can not simply run it once and then log out and log back in the next day to get the rewards again. Instead, you must run it (or be given a portal by a Mesmer) every day if you want to keep getting the rewards after each reset. You also can not sit AFK and just not log out overnight, as you will be kicked out for being inactive.

Siege Weapons

There are a small variety of different siege weapons that can be used in the battlegrounds. Each of them has its very own benefits, as well as its own weaknesses. Furthermore, they are obtained by killing players and looting them (although obtaining siege weapons in this method are somewhat rare), taking down the Overgrown Grub or the large tree located in the Eternal Battlegrounds, doing the jumping puzzle in the Eternal Battlegrounds or they can be purchased by using gold or medals obtained from PvP. The variety of ways to obtain siege weapons means you can pick and choose how you want to do it, although you only get to specifically choose which weapons you get when you are actually doing the purchase (using the gold or medals).

To build up siege weapons you have to place the blueprints for the one you want on the ground, and then “Build” it using supplies obtained from camps, keeps, towers, the castle, or enemy dolyaks that are trying to carry supplies from one of their locations to another. It is important to note that camps will regenerate supplies on a regular basis for you as long as you own them, however the keeps, towers and castle will not. The only way they regenerate supplies is if one of your dolyaks makes it safely to their entrance before being killed, so escorting them around is a good idea. It is always nice to have more supplies at your defensive points than you need because you never know when they will be put to use!

We are going to take a look at each of the different WvW weapons, what makes them great, what their weaknesses are and their costs (in medals, gold and supplies) to get them fully built.

Upgrading Siege Weapons

There are two forms of each blueprint for siege weapons: normal and superior. Superior siege weapons deal an extra 50% damage, so they can make a huge difference in both speed and effectiveness of your attacks on enemy structures. The downside is that they have a somewhat high cost. Below is a listing of the different superior siege weapons and their respective costs:

  • Superior Ballista Blueprints
    • 5 Mithril Ore
    • 5 Elder Wood Log
    • 2 Ballista Blueprints
    • 1 Siege Masters Guide
  • Omega Siege Golem Blueprint
    • 10 Mithril Ore
    • 10 Elder Wood Log
    • 5 Alpha Siege Golem Blueprints
    • 3 Siege Masters Guide
  • Superior Catapult Blueprints
    • 5 Mithril Ore
    • 5 Elder Wood Log
    • 2 Catapult Blueprints
    • 1 Siege Masters Guide
  • Superior Arrow Cart Blueprints
    • 5 Mithril Ore
    • 5 Elder Wood Log
    • 2 Arrow Cart Blueprints
    • 1 Siege Masters Guide
  • Superior Flame Ram Blueprints
    • 5 Mithril Ore
    • 5 Elder Wood Log
    • 2 Flame Ram Blueprints
    • 1 Siege Masters Guide
  • Superior Trebuchet Blueprints
    • 10 Mithril Ore
    • 10 Elder Wood Log
    • 2 Catapult Blueprints
    • 1 Siege Masters Guide

Each of these weapons is created by using the Mystic Forge (available in Lion's Arch, Heart of the Mist and WvW zones) and putting in the required materials.

Practicing Siege Weapon Firing

If you decide you want to learn how to use the different siege weapon types but do not want to take one up on the battleground to do your learning, you can enter the Heart of the Mists and use their tutorials to practice and learn. There are targets within that help you with aiming and learning how to decide how much power to use (a couple of the weapons have power ratings, where the longer you hold them down the further they will fire).

Trebuchets

Purchase Cost: 24 Silver or Badges of Honor Supply Cost: 100 for normal, 120 for superior Range: 10,000 AoE Limit: 50

wiki.guildwars2.com_images_f_f6_blue_team_trebuchet.jpg

Trebuchets are good for very long ranged combat. These can fire over large distances, allowing you to attack enemy holdings even from within your own (for example, attacking an enemy keep from the safety of your own keep). At the same time, this also means your enemies are able to return the fire back to you, so placement is important. You always want to place these where you can hit enemy targets but in such a way that their own attempts would be foiled by some terrain or building canopy. If you can do this successfully, it allows you to keep constant fire on your enemies and their only form of recourse is to head over to your base and attempt to break in and destroy it.

One of my favorite things to see on the battlefield is a trebuchet launching their rocks overhead. Seeing how far they can fly really helps put into perspective both how large the battlegrounds really are, as well as how persistent they are (in that you could follow the rocks if you were able to run fast enough, and watch them from launching to landing). It is kind of like watching asteroids!

The trebuchets have two different forms of ammunition: regular AoE shells (these are just large rocks that do some AoE damage when they hit the ground) and tainted cows. The shells are good for destroying gates and walls, plus they also knock back enemy players and do damage to them. On the other hand, the tainted cows are good for enemy players because they emit a poisonous gas that puts a DoT on them, however they are not effective for the gates or walls. Which one you are using will depend on the goal; whether you are trying to kill a group of players or break in to their base.

While these trebuchets have a massive range, that can also be seen as a negative. Your own ability to see enemies is much shorter than they can fire, so depending on how far away your target is you may need a “spotter,” or someone that gets as close to the target as possible while still staying safe, relaying information to you to explain which way to turn it, how far, how much power and also whether or not you are maximizing the effectiveness of the shots.

The slightly high cost of supplies for these can sometimes be a hindrance as well. At 100 supplies, that requires (at the normal carrying rate) 10 dumps from players. In a heated battle where many people are working on repairing walls or building up other siege weapons, it can be tough to get one of these up. Because of this, it is important to always do a supply check to ensure you are not dropping a weapon that will only be half built, only to be destroyed by enemies soon after.

Catapults

Purchase Cost: 12 Silver or Badges of Honor Supply Cost: 50 for normal, 60 for superior Range: 4,000 AoE Limit: 50

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Catapults can be thought of as being like baby trebuchets. They cost half as much to build, both in terms of their monetary costs and their supply cost, making them easier to toss up when in the heat of battle. They also have a pretty decent range, although it is less than half of that of the trebuchets, at only 4,000. In a battle between a well placed trebuchet and a catapult, the trebuchet will always win.

Catapults have two different types of firing, similar to the trebuchet. They can fire either a single large rock or a pile of smaller ones. The large rock knocks back enemy players and does a little damage to them but also does a lot of damage to walls and gates. On the other hand, the smaller rocks are good against the players (plus they have a little more AoE range) but less effective against the walls and gates. Generally speaking, it is best to just go with the large solid rock. Even if the damage is a little lower against players, the knock back effect of it makes it well worth using.

Despite the range of catapults, when players choose to do a rush on an enemy structure, often times they will line some catapults up right next to the enemy wall. This allows them to quickly and easily lob their rocks into the wall, while keeping them close enough that the catapult defenders can attack enemy players that try to destroy them. The further away the catapult is from the wall, the easier it is for enemies to find safe grounds for counter attacking. Minimizing this is important for a successful rush.

Alpha Siege Golem

Purchase Cost: 100 Silver (1 Gold) or Badges of Honor Supply Cost: 100 for normal, 150 for superior Range: 225 AoE Limit: 10

wiki.guildwars2.com_images_thumb_4_43_pvp-vs-siege-golem-suit.jpg_800px-pvp-vs-siege-golem-suit.jpg

Alpha Siege Golems are the strongest siege weapon, but they are also the most expensive in their gold or medal cost. The supply cost is equal to that of trebuchets for the normal version or a bit higher (an extra 30 supply above) for the superior version.

Alpha Siege Golems are useful for when you are right up on an enemy building and are trying to take down their gates. They are very limited on range, and instead are based on melee attacks. Along with this, they are able to attack players, but it is not very efficient to do so. Instead, allied players should be the ones defending the golem, or, in a more preferable situation, the golems should be in a safe are until they are actually ready to be used. This helps to keep them relatively safe while allies try to clear the siege and oil near a gate, and then the golems can move in and start working on taking it down.

The Alpha Siege Golems are unlike other siege weapons in that you can not truly “own” it if you built it. If you set up the blueprints and it gets built and someone else jumps in the suit before you do, there is no way to force eject them so that you can take over. I have never seen this become an actual problem before (usually it is the raid leader that will be placing blueprints and since they are leading they will not be able to man them), but it is still worth noting.

The run speed on Alpha Siege Golems is very slow (although the double tap dodge will cause them to run faster for a second instead of dodging attacks), making it rough to run them from one area to another. This is countered by having Mesmers throw down portals while escorting the golems, as they are able to teleport through them. This can save a considerable amount of time, which is highly important considering how vulnerable the golems are. If portals are set up for them, the golems should always be the first ones to enter, ensuring they can move quickly. If players keep jumping through as well, they can slow down the pathing by making portals close before the golems get a chance to go through. This is not a good thing, and it can cause a lot more problems. Considering how much supply and currency is needed in order to get a hold of these, reducing the liability is very important.

Alpha Siege Golems have a lot of health, but it can be dropped quickly. They are treated like other siege weapons in the game, so they can not be healed. This means that they have to be extremely careful as to where they are standing (try to not get hit by anything at all), as well as the path they are taking. While players can jump off a cliff and regenerate their health fairly quickly, the golem will take permanent damage. The worst part about this is that falling damage is based on a percentage, meaning that a single fall can take out a big chunk of health.

When it comes to the attacks the Alpha Siege Golems have, the only one you will want to use is the first one (#1). The golems should not be fighting players, so the rest of the skills are meaningless, and wasting time with them only decreases the damage over time you could otherwise be doing to a gate. Despite being a multi purpose weapon, when we create them for the sieges we want only one thing from them: to destroy gates. Allies can work on the enemy players and protecting the golems.

Arrow Cart

Purchase Cost: 6 Silver or Badges of Honor Supply Cost: 30 for normal, 40 for superior Range: 2500 AoE Limit: 50

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Arrow Carts are used against enemy players and NPC's. They do not help at all against structures like walls and gates, so their placement needs to be in an area where they can hit as many players as they can. Usually this means they are used during defense missions, although they can be used offensively as well if they are placed well. The problem with this is that for offense, they require a lot of defending to keep up, as the number of places to hide them is very limited and they are pretty easy to get access to.

The range of the Arrow Carts is pretty good, and because they fire away you can place them easily for defense. As an example, you can put them on the walls of a tower or keep and throw down the AoE arrows on to enemy players that are attacking your walls or gate. They are somewhat easy to heal though, although the more you set up the harder this becomes. The important thing is to place them in such a way that you can get some arrows to hit your enemies without actually having the Arrow Cart out in the open. As long as ranged players are not able to hit them you should be okay.

The Arrow Carts come with three different attacks: regular arrows, crippling arrows and barbed arrows. For the most part, the best plan is to go with a rotation of crippling, then barbed and then regular, hitting crippling and barbed as often as you can when they finish their cool downs and filling in the extra time with regular arrows. The barbed arrows help by bleeding targets, so when they attempt to run away the DoT's will keep working down on their health while your allies chase them. The crippling arrows also help because they slow targets down, making it harder for them to get away in the case that they run. In any case, all of these arrows fire at the same rate, although crippling and barbed have cool downs and regular does not.

Learning how to fire the Arrow Cart is a bit different than the other weapons. Instead of firing at stationary targets, you are going after actual players. As you might have guessed, players move a lot. Learning how to judge where they may be going is important if you want to keep damage raining down on them. To make it a little tougher, the Arrow Cart's arrows also take a few seconds before they start coming down, and once they do they stay in the same area. This means that you need to not only aim right where players are going, but you also need to try and guess where they will be in around three seconds. You want them to be at the very beginning of the arrows as it starts to rain, so you can hit them with as many as possible and do a lot of damage. If you do not time this right you will only hit them with one or two arrows, or possible with none at all.

It is also important to focus on players that are already at low health or (preferably) are already downed. These will be the easiest to kill, but in WvW combat a lot of players will be resurrecting one another. If a player is downed and a few others come to get them back up, it may only take them a couple of seconds to do it. If you are lucky enough to get off a crippling and barbed shot before they do, however, you are in great shape as this will help get some more arrows raining down on them as they try to escape. The point here is to go with people that have lower health, rather than going for the largest amount of players possible. Killing one or two people is more beneficial than damaging but killing zero.

If you happen to be on the receiving end of the Arrow Carts, keep moving! As soon as you see an arrow rain down, move out of the day by either strafing or dodging. Dodging works the best because you will also evade during it in case you end up being hit, but if that is down just start running away. Also be sure to not get hit by others in the process, by watching the ground for red circles. If you see a few in a line, work on moving away from them. If you see a large group of your allies running and being hit by Arrow Carts, you can run beside them instead of right in the line and you can usually avoid the arrows by doing that.

Resurrecting players that are in the midst of falling arrows can be tough. In a lot of cases it is a better idea to just continue running and then try to resurrect them later. Being that it takes a couple seconds to get someone up (or even longer if it just happens to be you), you are opening yourself up to being downed or killed by spending your time resurrecting. In most cases, by running off with your allies and letting the downed person die, you will be able to fight off the enemies and go back to resurrect after the fight is either over or is at least starting to calm down. But never stand in the middle of an Arrow Cart attack to try and resurrect someone if you are alone, or all you are doing is asking for trouble.

Ballista

Purchase Cost: 10 Silver or Badges of Honor Supply Cost: 30 for normal, 40 for superior Range: 3000 AoE Limit: 10

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The Ballista is like the Arrow Cart in that it is useful against players and not structures, but it is used in a very different way. Along with this, its ability to attack people depends very much on its line of sight, making it a somewhat easy target for enemies to take down with their siege weaponry (or ranged attacks, depending on how the Ballista is placed in relation to where enemies can go).

The best way to view the Ballista as being like a crossbow. In fact, this is what it looks like, only in a much larger form. What makes this interesting to fire is that rather than gauging where your enemies are going, you simply target them and the Ballista will fire directly at them. If they are moving a lot or dodge it can still miss though, so timing does still matter. The good thing is that it does a lot of damage, so one hit can take someone in to a downed state and a second one can finish them off. This is not always true, but sometimes it is. If nothing else, the damage it does is enough to get someone scrambling to try and hide.

The Ballista comes with four different firing mechanisms. Each of these is great for attacking players, but two of them are also good for taking down siege equipment. The regular fire skill is strong against players and that is it. Shattering Bolt hits a player and then splinters off in a cone like AoE, bleeding nearby enemies. Reinforced Shot does bonus damage to siege equipment, but otherwise is like the normal fire. Spread Shot can hit multiple enemies at once through a line, and it also does double damage to siege weapons.

For the most part, when using the Ballista the only attack you will use is Shattering Bolt, with normal fires in between. The other two, while they are good for siege weapons, are usually not that useful because you should not be in their line of sight anyways. If you happen to be in their line of sight (such as your enemies building siege to take down your Ballista) then you can use the Reinforced Shot or Spread Shot, but otherwise your only focus should be on actual players and NPC's.

The Ballista's awesome attack power puts it in to a very tough spot. While it can do a lot of damage to players, the fact that it also has to be placed in an open area causes it to be a big liability. No matter where it is placed, trebuchets and catapults will both be able to attack them. Rather than worry about these two weapon types, it is therefore only important to worry about whether or not enemy players will be able to get close enough. If they can not, then you can say that it is placed in a good area. If they can, you are in a very bad spot. Between the cost to set these up in gold, as well as the supplies that they take, you really do not want to waste them in an area where the Ballista will be taken down within a few seconds.

Usually the Ballistas will be used for defending structures that are already owned. A lot of the time they will be placed up near where the guild claiming lord is, as this is like being at the top of the mountain; it allows you to fire at people around the side of the structure, as well as attack people that are coming up to the lord (once they finally break in) and those that are attacking the lord. Putting the Ballistas on walls is not recommended, as they can only fire against players that are further out, and during most sieges people try to group up as close to the walls and gate as possible. The time when placing these on the walls is a better idea is when dealing with the keeps or castle's inner wall, because that allows you to attack players while they try to travel in between the outer and inner areas. Past this, the other good place to put Ballistas is on the ground in the castle, right where the lord is, because that area is a massive hot spot for combat and you can easily shoot players as they try to funnel in through each of the door ways.

While the Ballistas are used mostly for defending, they can also be used for offense. In the case of offensive usage, the best thing to do is take down the enemy's oil and any cannons they may have up along the walls. Once these are down, place the Ballista somewhere high up and a little way away from the structure you are attacking. This will grant easy access to enemy players that may be up on top of the wall attacking your siege weapons from above. This can also help by letting you take down an enemy Ballista, if they have one close enough for you to attack it, although that is somewhat rare. Your targets will mostly just be those that are on walls.

If you find yourself being the target of an enemy Ballista, it is pretty easy to tell. You will see the large arrows flying towards you, and if you get hit the damage itself should be a noticeable sign. To avoid taking damage from future hits, move often and use cover when possible. Even separating yourself from the Ballista by using a tree will help, or you can dodge it if you see it being fired. Usually after a few missed hits, whoever is manning the Ballista will change over to a new target, allowing you to safely continue without having to worry about it.

Flame Ram

Purchase Cost: 6 Silver or Badges of Honor Supply Cost: 40 for normal, 50 for superior Range: 360 AoE Limit: 50

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Flame Rams are what you will see the most of during Guild Wars 2's WvW battles. These are pretty much the bread and butter for sieging, as they are used to take down gates. While the other siege weapons can do this as well, Flame Rams are the cheapest form of siege, allowing you to place multiple of them at once to quickly knock down enemy gates.

The Flame Ram has two attacks: Ram and Flame Burst. Ram deals damage to gates only, while Flame Burst does damage to enemy players that are very close to it (on the sides) and a slight amount of damage to the gate. It is pretty common practice to only use the Ram skill, though, as the chances of hitting a player with Flame Burst is minimal, and it is the job of allies to handle enemy players that would otherwise be a threat.

Flame Rams are not to be set up until the oil on top of the gate has been taken down. Not doing so will almost always end in disaster for the rams. While they are cheap to set up, you do not want to waste time and money setting up more when you do not have to. This does not even take in to consideration the fact that if the ram is going down, so are allied players. So to be safe, always handle the oil first, before placing any rams.

A single ram is good enough for taking down a normal gate, although it is recommended to use two or three (depending on how fast you want to move through it). If you are up against reinforced gates, however, four or five is recommended, plus some ranged siege weaponry to back it up. This is because reinforced gates take longer to destroy, and it also means that there are other upgrades on the structure in question, meaning there are more than likely a lot of enemies either already in it or at least ready to come to it in order to try and thwart off your attack. In situations like this, speed is your only advantage, in that if you can get through the gate or gates faster than the enemies can group up to stop you, you can win the battle.

It is important to note that rams must be placed very close to the enemy's gate. You can not move them, so proper placement is important. You must also account for the other rams that are going to be placed, spacing them out as needed. For example, if you are setting up a total of three, have one on the left, one on the right and one in the middle.

In order to attack the gate, you will need to target it. If you are attacking without actually targeting the gate, you will be “attempting” to attack a player instead, and will be doing no damage. So always ensure your target is set on the gate you are wanting to attack.

Cannon

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The cannon is different from other siege weapons in that it is an upgrade to owned structures. Rather than buying blueprints and setting this up yourself, you simply have to finish building it once the upgrade has been purchased.

The cannon is much like you would expect: it fires large cannon balls at a target location, dealing AoE damage. It comes with three different attacks: Fire, Fire Grapeshot and Fire Ice Shot. All three of these attacks do AoE damage, however Fire Grapeshot bleeds the enemies caught in its blast and Fire Ice Shot locks them in to their place (freezes) so they can not move for a short period of time.

Each fire of the cannon uses supplies from the structure it is on top of, so being careful not to waste shots is important. This also makes it important to keep supplies in the structure, otherwise the cannons on top of it will be useless.

When using the cannons, Ice Shot has the longest cool down and Grapeshot has the second longest. For this reason, the normal rotation is to use Ice Shot, then Grapeshot, and then fill in normal shots in between. This helps maximize their effectiveness.

Shooting the cannon is a lot like the Arrow Cart in that you often need to fire ahead of your enemies, but cannons can sometimes be more tough. Since you are firing a large cannonball and it takes a few seconds to get to your target, you need to lead ahead enough to account for that. Along with this, because the cannon will only hit once, you need to try to hit your target as close as you can, which knocks them back if successful. Depending on how well they move, you can sometimes continue attacking them and knocking them back until you finally finish them off.

When it comes to defending yourself against an enemy with a cannon, watch the ground carefully for a red circle. As soon as you see one, dodge out of its way. Depending on how fast you can react, you may also be able to just strafe or otherwise run out of the AoE blast, but dodging is a lot safer if you have enough stamina built up for it. In between maneuvering out of its way, you can also throw some AoE's and ranged attacks where the cannon is to destroy it.

Firing the cannons can be a little intimidating at first. Because you are not only leading ahead of your targets but also worrying about obstacles that are in the way, it can take some getting used to. But if you keep at it, you will learn how they work and become a lot more proficient with them.

Oil

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The pot of boiling oil is located above each gate on a structure. This allows for easily attacking the Flame Rams, Alpha Siege Golems and players that are right up against the gate, by pouring hot oil or tar on to them.

The two attacks the pot of boiling oil has are Pour Oil and Pour Tar. The Pour Oil skill does damage to enemies, while the Pour Tar one cripples them, slowing their movement in case they try to run. Usually Pour Oil is enough, however, as the point behind it is to get rid of golems and rams, of which neither of them are likely to attempt to run away.

The pot of boiling oil is located above each gate by default, but it must have supplies added to it in order to finish the construction. Whether or not it is worth fixing up really depends on the situations surrounding it. In more cases than not, it really has no benefit other than to slow down enemy attackers by forcing them to focus their attacks on it before they can start their siege. On the other hand, this benefit can work in your favor by allowing more of your allies to get to the structure to defend it, so all in all it really just depends.

As an attacker, the pot of boiling oil should be the first thing destroyed, to make room for rams and golems. If it has not been built up yet, it will be quick to take down. If it has been built, it will take a little more time, so keeping an eye out for enemy players is important. Never place rams or send in golems while the oil is still up! This is more than likely going to be a costly mistake if you do.

There really is not any more to the oil than attacking it if you are an attacker (using either AoE's or ranged attacks) or possibly building and pouring it if you are a defender (depending on the situation).

Mortar

Mortars are like cannons in that they are upgrades to structures, but they are like trebuchets and catapults in how they are used.

Mortars are somewhat rarely used in WvW, just because they do not have a long range and really do not do too much damage. Generally it is best to just avoid them, unless you want to use one just for fun or to add on to damage that other siege weapons are doing.

If you man a mortar, there are four skills given. Two of these are for turning (to the left and to the right), one is for firing and one is to change the type of artillery shells it fires from explosive to incendiary.

For the most part you should be good with either type of artillery shell. As for firing, the longer you hold down the fire button, the further it will fire. For best results, you can use a second person that goes out and helps guide your shots, telling which way to turn it and whether you are giving too much power, not enough power or just the right amount.

From the offensive angle, taking down mortars is pretty simple. Since they really are not used often (especially for defending) they can be left alone most of the time. If someone does happen to be firing one, however, you can take it down easily by using ranged attacks and AoE's (similar to taking down oil, but much faster).

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