I wanted to take the opportunity to not only share some of my recent adventures in the Moors but also some tricks and tips from the various other Wardens and Creeps.  I’ve talked about this a couple of times with some other good resources so feel free to check out my October post and the more flushed out February post.  I also wanted to share a couple of more recent forum posts that talk about things from both a Warden’s perspective as well as from the creep side.

First off I figured I talk a little about my adventures last night which allowed me to get almost half-way through rank 3.  I’m still VERY green on my Warden but my initial goal is Rank 4 such that I can get the 30 minute cool-down Moors map.  I don’t always use that map just for the Moors but just to get around as another map/port.  Kinda sad but there are times when even my Warden would like to have other travel options :)  Rank 6 is the next milestone as that gets you the pretty blue icon as opposed to the red ones of Rank 1-5, not a big deal but just the next progression.  Rank 6 also is the last requirement for the initial armor set, but I’ll get to that a bit more later.  After that, it will mainly depend on how much I’m enjoying it and what else is available in game as the climb then starts to get pretty steep.  My normal plan in the Moors is just to wander around a bit while solo to see what’s out there and join in a raid if there’s one forming up, but sometimes it is more fun to just roam solo and look for small fights.  But last night I ended up hopping in a group right away as they were just forming up.  I was fortunate to get into a pretty good group (~3 full groups) with a fairly comparable creep side force.  I’m pretty sure the map was mostly red, so we did roam around a bit looking for the action.  We rode around for a bit before confronting them at Tirith Rhaw (TR) which is the eastern keep.  Keep fights in many cases are just as much PvE experiences as they are PvP and as such Wardens really can shine as we can grab all the NPC agro and shield many from the extra attacks.  As we moved in, the creeps pretty quickly left us to reclaim the keep.  We then pressed towards South Tol Ascarnen Bridge (STAB) which is right next to the Elf Camp (EC) and ran smack into the creep raid.  We had a number of good skirmishes with this raid here, on the Tol Ascarnen (TA) side of the bridge as well as the resurrection circle near Lugazag (Lug).  We were very fortunate to have some good leaders and a pretty mixed group with healers, dps, CC, and interrupters.  I think we rolled the creeps a number of times at least with one retreat in there somewhere.  But they were all good fights with sustained battles such that I could really get better accustomed to the different fight options.

My general strategy was to trait fully down the Fist line and get as many DoTs and fears out as possible.  So this meant mainly War-cry (with fear trait slotted) and Desolation whenever in the scrum.  I also kept my eyes on not only our healers to try to protect them but also targeted the creep healers such that I could interrupt them too.  One thing I learned was that it is actually pretty easy to get Ambush off even while not stealthed as you only go into combat when something hits you, not when something gets close.  So, with creative positioning (and a poor rank) I was able to blend in and not be a juicy target such that I could land an ambush.  Certainly having some induction reducing and careful step duration legacies would be real nice but I was pretty happy out there with what I had.  I did pop a few convictions to generally help out as we did only have 2 minnies so I figured I’d help out when folks got low.  But in all honesty, if either side focuses on one target no healing will keep them up without a bubble of some soft.

In all the fighting I really felt MUCH more useful then my Captain (who’s rank 4), which was actually surprising to me.  Unlike Captains which can really only heal, buff, and provide some single target DPS my Warden can:

  • Fear creeps – which prevents most skill usage
  • DoTs (up to 24 seconds in duration) – which prevents many fleeing skills and keeps them in combat
  • Quickly and on-demand interrupt healers
  • Ranged DPS as well as melee range AoE DPS
  • Ranged slow
  • Some spammable group wide healing ability.
  • Pretty well keep myself alive, assuming they’re not focusing on me :)

A couple things that I’m toying with on my traits as I’ve had now had a chance to play around a bit is swapping in the shield mastery trait (currently slotted for +1 heal pulses) and also the cool-down reduction for javelin attacks.  I may end up just swapping the javelin cool-down for the heal pulse but I’m worried that might cause problems while out soloing.  I could swap back and forth as I’m not changing legendaries so it won’t be all that expensive but I’m just lazy.

I will also play around with my gear as well as I didn’t wear my normal PvE armor.  I swapped out for the crafted armor items that either negates incoming damage or procs a heal.  I also swapped out for my damage mitigation shield as the fights usually are pretty short so power’s not a huge deal.  I’m still not convinced I have a setup that I like quite yet, but we shall see.

One of the things that was running through my mind while in the Moors was what this does for my character’s progression.  Certainly it is fun and I do enjoy it, but part of my questions I sent to the CStM folks for Pax was addressing this lack of rewards for freep side PvMP play.  You can hear these questions and Sapience’s answer over on CStM’s Interview Podcast. One of my big annoyances has always been the way to acquire the PvMP armor sets as you not only have to acquire the appropriate rank to wear them but you need a bunch of drops from the Delving of Fror PvE raid instance.  Never mind the fact that these sets aren’t all that great stat wise, but I just don’t see why PvP rewards require such a heavy PvE investment.  I’d really love for some other way to obtain the various barter items for these pieces as I’ll be honest the Dark Purple Warden set (seen below) are really cool looking and I’d love to have as a cosmetic item.  It is also dye-able such that you can get a complete black set :)

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Maybe a tie to the already existing Tokens that can be turned in for chest rewards, or provide something that’s tied to rank ala DAOC in that for each step you make in your PvP rank progression you get “points” that can be used for armor coins.  The other option would be to have things drop from creeps themselves, but I see all sorts of problems there so I’d prefer one of the other options (or I”m sure there are LOTS of better ones on the PvMP forums).

I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on this as I progress as well as feedback on how I fair in 1v1 fights.