Greedy Goblin

Friday, August 12, 2011

RBG strategies: Twin peaks

This post won't be too useful, as in this BG I'm totally lost. This is mostly a placeholder for further improvement based on comments and later experience.
As the keep is open on all sides, and the wiped offenders spawn next to their homebase, while killed defenders spawn in the middle, it's hard to make any strategies.
The only idea I could came up is going in as a zerg and retreating with the flag to the middle graveyard. Wait for their attackers, wipe them, then the FC start running to the base with his healers while the DDs go to kill their EFC. As they spawn on the other side of mid, unbuffed, we reach their keep faster.


nightgerbil said...

Only time I recall doing this as a rated ground, I died attacking their efc and spawned alone at our base gyard. Saw our flag carrier/you racing past pursued by their team with the healers in tow. So I started shooting, CCing a few and slowing others then killing one. I wouldnt have survived to make it across midfiled to join our attacking "all DD" team anyway, due to the rogues they had camping midfield. I was satisfied with my performance, you werent and kicked me claiming I was the reason the game was lost.

The main lesson I learnt was that you demand absolute obidence even if the orders dont make sense/would be different if you had the infomation I had. You wont accept something you regard as an excuse for failing. My adaptation to this is to bear in mind personal iniative and reacting to changing circumstances is dangerous and that discpline (to your instructions) is your top requirement in a pvp ground. It feels abit like fighting the wehrmacht in the red army, but I can adapt to anything. The trick is learning what it is you want so I dont have to ask when your busy being trained.

Gevlon said...

@Nightgerbil: I know now that my strategy was bad. However following ANY strategy is better than running around like headless chicken.

Anonymous said...

Here's (mostly) our strategy.

Everyone escort your Flag Carrier to the other base. If the other team engages -> Zerg. 1-2 Healers (depending on how many you have) should stay in the zerg, the carrier should go and grab the flag.

It is very important to get the flag safe into your base in the beginning and escorting the tank should be the main priority if he is being attacked. Grab people away from the tank, cc dps which is trying to prevent his moving to get him back fast.

Then, what we mostly do is waiting for the other group in your base's entrance room on the stairs to show up and try to kill your carrier. It will probably take some minutes as you should wait for stacks of the damage taken debuff. If you think you have "enough" stacks you can go and try to kill the carrier, but you need to clean up the other group first if they are about to inc.

As soon as they tried an assault and hopefully failed, your DPS-Squad should go for the carrier. And they have to be fast, because of respawn!

Depending on who is defending their carrier, you eventually need a healer in this zerg. A rogue could go to their base and scout. Make sure you have bloodlust and cooldowns ready when you go in there. Depending on your CC you have to kill 1-2 Healers first. Make sure there's at most 1 healer who is able to heal the tank. He won't be able to keep him up when there's 4 dps burning on him with a 50% more damage taken buff on the tank and bloodlust and cooldowns on your dps.

In this very moment there will most likely be an inc in your base and the faster team wins this flag. If there are people in your base, keep them away from the flag spawn the moment the enemy-carrier dies and capture the flag.

That's about it I think.

Bobbins said...

'FC start running to the base with his healers'

Won't the healers eventually become ineffective due to the debuff. When this happens how do you manage the healers?

Grim said...

That's just false.
A headless chicken has some random chance to do something right. Following a horrible strategy might not even have that.

Running alone accross half the map when enemy controls midfield is exactly the case.

As for good strategies in both CTF maps it seems that it is quite impossible to keep the flag from being taken (no channel time) and carried back to base, so its all about who manages to kill the enemy FC at the enemy base. To do that you want more people on their FC than they have on your FC.

The key to this is midfield control - if you can intercept them in midfield (usually a couple stragglers while they are going for your FC) and bump part of their team into GY (you will never get all at the same time, don't try), you might get that advantage.

Note that its not about uptime - their attackers might reach your FC first, but if they are few enough, your healers will hold long enough for you to get to their and more people means less debuff stacks on FC needed.

Btw, instant communication is usually needed for 2 things (apart from usual target calling):
1)Your healers must know where FC will kite the enemy, so he doesn't run away from them (especially if FC is warrior).
2)The "CC healers, burst FC" command in attack, so that everyone does that at the same time.

2nd is an easy macro. To achieve 1st I'd have the kiting strategy pre-discussed so that the path and possible alterations are set. Its still a stretch, but the best I can think of w/o voice.

nightgerbil said...

You know why the wehrmacht raped the reds so hard in '41/42? lack of radios. Total control is an Ideal but you are robbing yourself of a command tool. If I put a simple black dress onto my hunter (to make it pretty) I could still stay inside the top 20% of the raid dps I am sure, but you will still call me a moron correct? Rightly so A raid is no place for vanity. I will follow your strat on any and every raid boss and rbg that you command but only to the limits of my understanding of it. the problem I am having is when the prior instructions fall outside the situation I am in and I dont have the chance to check you for clarification. In this case I must defer to the default order, even if its suicide. Or do what I feel is right and be kicked after. I can understand how more egotistical people are openly informing you about how they feel you are wrong and g quiting/kicked. That said I think your right with these articles and I am paying very close attention to them.

Anonymous said...

The strategy that I mainly use is have the FC and one healer, retrieve enemy flag, while rest of team distracts their team, focusing on stopping their FC and in general slowly them down, if this doesn't provide a cap we use a frost Mage to assist fc and the heals, while rest of team co-ordinates attack.
With a frost Mage helping defend our FC they can survive alot longer with cc's and slows... While our attacking team either get the flag back eventually or rather quick...
Same strat as WSG, I think that the no voice comm rule shows it biggest affect in these styles of RBG a quick call for dps focus target and switches is important for flag returns..

I'd also like to point out that with a single objective ( get flag) it open it up to be very dependent on dps, hps and the skill level of your defenders..

Trelocke said...

You're over-thinking it Gevlon. We employ the exact same strategy for both FC maps. Spearhead->kill/harrass EFC->escort/peel for your FC to and from their base.

You seem to be worried about your DD dying in this phase of the battle. Don't be. The goal isn't to keep as many people alive as possible, the goal is to get the flag and get it (and your FC) back to your base. If your healers cannot keep your FC and themselves alive against the entirety of their DD when nobody has the flag debuff that is where your problem starts. If your FC is dying, talk to him and your healers and figure out why he's dying. If he's taking too much damage he may not have a viable pvp tank spec or may not have enough resilience. If that isn't the problem he may not be using his CDs optimally. If he's doing everything right, check with your healers. See if one of them is consistently dying or is far below everyone else in the amount of healing he is doing (disc priest being the exception of course). If your healers are getting picked off you need to talk to them just like you did the FC and figure out *why*. Also, talk to your FC and make sure he's getting his CCs dispelled.

I also don't know how many healers you typically run with. If the answer is 2, that's too few. If the answer is 3, that may still be too few. When we were first learning the BGs and learning to work together, we used 4 heals. In fact we still often use 4 heals. Having someone that can switch back and forth depending on your BG pop can be extremely valuable.

Just remember these very basic concepts for the CTF BGs: If they send healers with their DD you should have no problem killing their FC. They are basically CCing with 100% up-time one of their healers for you. If they keep DD with their FC to wipe your DD, you should have no problem keeping your FC alive and dispelled as they are CCing one of their DD with 100% up-time (think TB sieges). If they hit you as one big group your DDs' *entire* job is to peel their DD off your heal/FC group.

I want to end this by saying these are *our* strategies and thoughts on how to do the CTF BGs. Others may work as well or better. But our BG "team" probably most closely resembles yours in that we don't have a fixed roster. We have upwards of 25 regular players that run RBGs in our guild and we have pushed several players over the 2400 mark.

Anonymous said...


A headless chicken might do something randomly right but how do you know it was the right thing.

There are potentially greater long term advantages to everyone following a strategy regardless of whether it is good or bad.

If you have a bad strategy that everyone supports and you lose you know it is the strategy that is not working and can adjust.

If you have x number of people doing things that are not part of the strategy and you win you will not know if the strategy was good, the random things were good, or which of the random things was good.

If you have x number of people doing things that are not part of the strategy and you lose you will not know if the strategy was bad or that it failed because of lack of support.

Trelocke said...

I also wanted to say something in regards to you telling nightgerbil that following any strategy is better than chaos.

It is typical for a BG leader to want to insist on following orders *especially* when things are going bad. We actually take exactly the opposite approach. When it's clear our strategy has failed, we stop leading all together and start letting people do crazy things. We have learned so much about how to best utilize different players by seeing how they react when all hell breaks loose. We have also learned different tricks this way. You also learn which people *can* be trusted to deviate from the plan. Remember, RBGs are a very fluid thing and sometimes, quite often in fact, going outside your plan for a few given moments can be crucial to whether you win or lose.

If you see a player not doing what he's supposed to do and all you see is a player doing something he's not supposed to be doing, you have failed as a BG leader. Requiring absolute obedience at all times will strangle your progression. I'm not saying that all players can be trusted to deviate from the plan but I am saying it should be your job to know if a player can or can't be trusted to deviate.

Ludakirt said...

Ideal Setup:
1 Warrior FC and Arms gear sets
4 Healers- 1 each healer class
5 DPS- 1 Rogue, 1 DK, 2 Mages, and ideally a spriest [for mass dispel+insane burst]

Start of match:
FC+resto druid pick up flag
Rest of team engages their team in mid while peeling for your fc if needed. Primary target is enemy fc or holy paladins till they bubble then dispell+kill or target rdruid
Goal is to debilitate them as much as possible+score many kills, while your fc picks up their flag. Rdruid uses feral roar thing to give movement speed+goes cheetah so war can intercept him. Once war makes it to mid field, have your disc priest join him+have lifegrip ready to use to pull him out of any nastyness. Have him save heroic leap+trinket for smokebomb.

You have flag, they have flag, whole team stays on D, wait for them to attack and wipe their offense. Once they wipe, send out your offense team, leaving 3 healers+war with flag in your flag room) (Rsham+all dps go on O)

You MUST attack and WIPE them in mid-field. Intercepting them here is critical, and you must succeed in slaughtering them. Make sure your spriest or frost dk picks up rage buff and slaughters them. If you do not aggressively attack them here, they will go on D and wipe you, or intercept some of your dps and kill them mid-field and then attack your FC. Both are not good.
Your prime target here is the enemy healer.

Once you have wiped them outside of their GY, proceed to their flag room. Have DK use hungering cold, then chain to spriest aoe fear+ have mages drop rings of frost. No one stuns the EFC except rogue. (you do not want controlled stun DR up when rogue kidneys+smokebomb.) Have mages use deep freeze as CC not as dmg on efc. (Itll dr kidney) when the target is at ~75% rogue does full kidney on efc, drops smokebomb, spriest should MSx3+MB+SWD for massive burst and dk should have a full bar of RP and pop pillar+spam frost strikes. The EFC should die. Spriest should be spamming mass dispel and mages should be sheeping/deeping/ringing enemy healers.

While I've added in a bunch of detail, that is just tips for you to pass along to your teammates.
Overall strat is simple:
1. Kill efc at start/Healers while engaging mid
2. Get flag back to your base
3. Wait, and wipe other team
4. Intercept them @ rez and kill
5. Go to enemy flag room and destroy efc+cap.

GL Gevlon :)

Joshua said...


There is one major flaw with your reasoning. There is no way the mid is completely controlled by rogues from the enemy team. The zone is just too big to cover by even 3 rogues effectively. You absolutely could have made it across effectively.

BUT I do believe that some degree of fluidity is required but when the RBG leader calls for you to move you do it or explain(briefly) why you can't (ie being trained/stun locked no defense on a node).

TACTICS: All things being equal both teams will be able to get to their base with the enemy flag. Theoretically both teams will wait until a few stacks build on the FCs. Then they push hard. Here is where 1-2 DD will toss on their PVE raid gear. They will trail the attacking team by a few passes and obliterate the EFC. High burst classes that stagger their burst(so the defensive CDs of the EFC and healers are spent) should be able to drop the EFC like a stone.

Anonymous said...

Doing obviously useless actions while following a strategy is never a good idea. It would be a better idea to review after a BG and determine what was reasonable and what was stupid.

Eg., night's actions sound reasonable.

Locally superior tactics appear more important than strategy for this BG. Eg., I believe that 4vs5 is highly winnable with good coordination. So, superior local tactics at even numbers will stomp both groups. I'd guess that exploiting cc/target focus would work.

It might be helpful to choose marks (skull=focus dps, star = heal now, circle=cc1, ...) and have dps/healers/et cetera, set target macros that target according to the marks.

Btw, does lifegrip force flag drops?

Anonymous said...

Splitting comment into two parts due to character limit. Part 1.

In my opinion, Gevlon, you are gimping the overall team performance if you are requiring everyone to stick to a precreated plan, even one with contingencies (I am an observer, and this is merely a commentary, not a call for change, you can do whatever you want in your guild, which I am not a part of.)

The discussion for this post reminded me of an observation Joe Haldeman made in his book "The Forever War." In it, he compares the performance of different military units. He writes that the units composed of perfectly disciplined soldiers, willing to sacrifice themselves when necessary, trained to correctly adapt to the appropriate situations, were not the top performers during testing. Instead, that laurel went to the units who were composed of soldiers who were simply trying to not die, soldiers with the survivor mentality.

While "The Forever War" is a work of fiction, it is based on good research (Haldeman is a Vietnam vet.) It is also worth it to note that when American special forces soldiers are asked to describe themselves, they very often use the word "survivor" in relation to themselves and others in their units, in the usage of "one who does what is needed to survive."

Your approach to leading the team prevents, in my mind, behavior that I have found to be the most successful in battlegrounds and fights in general, that is, using goals to motivate your actions and choices, rather than methods.

To give you an example of what I have issue with is that you are carrying over the mentality of the tank-dd-healer trifecta into each of your battle strategies. On the one hand you are aware of the existence of non-standard builds (as noted in the post on your girlfriend's warlock), on the other hand, the plans do not allow for them. I just can't imagine you condoning someone to, say, swap between a restoration and elemental shaman spec and gear set while defending the lumber mill in Arathi Basin, even though Thunderstorm is amazing in that location.

There are too many such cases for the battleground leader to handle and evaluate. The above example is a very simple one. What about two paladins swapping between dd and healing roles simply to confuse the enemy's overreliance on "healers must die" add-on? What about a dd acting like a faker by riding toward enemy players then not engaging, going around them or back, perhaps, because they made the correct call about enemy stealth forces being engaged somewhere else?

Swifty, a successful PVPer, liked to open up Warsong Gulch by going toward the enemy main group and engaging, knowing he would die. This behavior split up the zerg, and gave the defense the abilty to ambush and burn down the first few individuals that went by Swifty. This was highly successful mostly in that it put the other team in a position that they had not planned for, and the fighting instincts of Swifty and his merry bunch of yahoos took the prize in that environment.

Anonymous said...

Splitting comment into two parts due to character limit. Part 2.

I am not saying that planning is wrong, a plan is great, but smart fighters and their commanders must understand that a plan lasts until the engagement with the enemy starts. Then it's usually survival instincts (in WoW PVP, local adaptability) that win the day. Also, some fights are more conducive to plans then others, which might help explain why you have success in Arathi Basin and not Warsong Gulch.

Several issues:
This makes evaluating team member usefulness difficult, if only based on obedience. A different method, such as instincts of someone with command experience, should be used.

This approach requires faith that others do not need to be told what to do. I have been on a team with a similar approach, with vent. What you would hear on vent would not be orders but information. We did not need to give orders because we knew if incoming was called, the local fighters would react as needed.

Good things to say: "Mine getting scouted." "Three horde rezzing farm." "They seem to favor the water path into stables." and any incomings.

Bad things to say "One from stables go lumber mill." "Don't let them take mine." and in general anything that orders people around.

If smart people are provided good goals and accurate information about the obstacles in addition to the general battle plan you are already setting, they will make very efficient choices if given the freedom to do so.

Finally, and this is the most important part, as I mentioned before I am not a part of your guild. I am aware that a significant part of your motivation for doing things one way rather than another is that you are trying to gather evidence to support your theses on asociality. The above commentary is not meant to challenge those, do things any way you want. I do however, love seeing you develop your theories and adjust them to real world evidence (such as the evolution of command structure approach to leadership in Western military theory) as it helps me develop my own philosophy further.

Even if I do not believe that you, who I have observed to sometime fall into solipsism, have enough faith in others to actually pull it off.

Trelocke said...


You can't mark up the enemy team with raid markers. And no, lifegrip does not force a flag drop.

Anonymous said...

Adding some input into this one as well.

"If you see a player not doing what he's supposed to do and all you see is a player doing something he's not supposed to be doing, you have failed as a BG leader. Requiring absolute obedience at all times will strangle your progression. I'm not saying that all players can be trusted to deviate from the plan but I am saying it should be your job to know if a player can or can't be trusted to deviate."

Bg's (and PvP in general) are very fluid. This is not PvE where there is programming that ensure that given X and Y, Z will occur (that at 75% Hp boss will enter pahse 2, for example). From what I could experience you still treat PVP as if it were PVE.

And this is not TB where you are leading (and quite good at it!) a mindless zerg of randoms + PUG players vs a mindless zerg of randoms.

Leading rated BG is about giving guidelines so all are on the same page. A leader must make sure everybody knows their roles and jobs at a given time, their priorities so they can behave accordingly.

Personal note: I believe those in charge can and should be held accountable, at least to some extent, for failures. Are you ready to take on such responsibility or will you continue to kick a member after each loss to justify for you own inability?


Anonymous said...

"It is also worth it to note that when American special forces soldiers are asked to describe themselves, they very often use the word 'survivor' in relation to themselves and others in their units, in the usage of 'one who does what is needed to survive.'"

Reality vs game mechanics. The simple fact that death is impermanent in the game makes this an very imperfect comparison.

There are times in a BG where dying is a better for the team than living. Gevlon gave an example of this earlier, where someone in the GY nearest a contested node calls out seconds till the next rez wave. A healer can use that knowledge to evaluate their mana pool vs rez time and decided that a few seconds in a GY is better than going oom and being almost useless.

Eun said...

-7 to midfield, intercept their entire force, slow/kill as many as possible. Do not chase down people who get through, stick together on Mid, support each other avoid deaths.

-3 others, FC/Healer/DD take enemy flag and return to midfield. DD should be competent ccer. Healer keep both alive, but focus on FC. DD cc's and slows etc on any enemies who are defending.

Midfield have killed those who they intercepted and await the EFC or any of them who managed to get through and finish those rest off.

The biggest mistake imo is letting their EFC get back to their own base. Then you have them spawning there between your attack team and the EFC.

If their EFC gets through and back to their home base, your attack team should follow if they are only missing 1-2 players, any more and they should wait on mid to regroup.

YOU should NOT wait at your own GY for their attack team. Because if you lose the fight then they are too close to your own FC to respawn and save them from killing your FC.

The midfield team should always stay centre field or even slightly closer to the enemy GY, ganking them BEFORE they have time to make full rebuff and choose targets. DO NOT LET THEM PREPARE. Then you have the advantage. Once you wipe them out, you are already close to the EFC. You dont need to wait til combat leaves to mount up and run from one end of the field to the other (in which time they are respawning and you must fight again with depleted resources) which in turn leaves you with very little after the 2nd fight to finish their FC.

There are generally too many healers to kill one by one. By the time you killed 1-2 they are respawning and back into healing.
Best tact is to slow, cc. snare healers, hope their FC is stupid and runs away from the slowed healers. If not you may need to pick off the healers, general rules would need to be discussed on this for teams without voice chat who can call kill commands. Dps should be focused on the EFC, this makes CC of healers possible, without reckless cc breaking (no aoe from DD, single target on the EFC only.

It is far easier to use cc, range factors etc and have 5 DD kill 150k worth of hp then kill 3-4 healers who each have 130k hp.

I must go now, but I have more to add.