With the new Eternal Citadel event, where we got a 6vs6 scenario for the weekend (and hopefully for good), I noticed that the general player base is mostly ignorant to the basics of small-scale RvR. I suspect lower tier scenarios are mostly about whoever has a better setup, higher levels and whoever facerolls more. I won’t claim that I’m an expert on 6vs6. I’d say there are plenty of people more qualified to write such a guide (like Tarelther for example, he already has plenty of articles on 6 man groups), but for a rudimentary basic guide for your average Karl, my knowledge will do.
The things you need:
- A good setup. Whether you queue alone and hope for a lucky draw or make a premade on your own, you want a composition of classes that work well together. The most basic setup is 2-2-2, which is a standard PvE setup but works well in PvP aswell. This means 2 tanks, 2 healers and 2 dps (in the case of EC I’d recommend 2 melee dps and 2 dps tanks). Other setups are variations of the standard one with 1 tank 3 dps, 1 healer 3 dps or some other variation. Experienced players will make any setup work just as well, don’t be afraid to experiment.
- In any case, even if you PuGed an unlucky setup, don’t give up. It’s not like you have anything to lose. So a positive attitude is the key. If everyone plays at their best, winning is only a step away.
- Rank 40 members. Sorry, but 6vs6 gives no room for error and all members need to perform at their best. A sub-40 character can not outplay a rank 40 character (all things equal). Queueing for a 6vs6 scenario as a lowbie is just asking for it.
- PvP specs are not mandatory, but will certainly help you win.
- Voice communication takes your gameplay to a whole new level and allows for an amount of flexibility that only the best of groups have. You’ll do fine without it, but it’s mandatory for beating groups that use it.
On to the basics:
1.) Before you enter a scenario take some time to chat with other members. Share renown ranks, gear, spec and tactic setup info (same careers often have group abilities and tactics which should not overlap — Auras, Crown of Fire, Leading Shots, Dirty Tricks, etc —). Always assign the main assist and possible guards before hand.
You need a main assist. Even if you are bombing (not that viable but still works against some setups), set one. Assisting is the key in small-scale. Master it. Have the main assist claim the main assist in the scenario since it works best. Other dps should either set up a macro or go to Main Menu -> Keybindings -> Targeting and bind a button for [Assist the Main Assist].
Guard is the most valuable tool a tank can offer, use it. You should always have at least one tank for guarding either the main assist or being swapped about (experienced tanks can do this very effectively). Also, both the guard and the guardee should keep in mind that the range within which guard splits damage is only 30 feet.
2.) Everyone should enter the scenario as fast as possible, so you have enough time to prepare. You should always take a look at what opponents you are facing, and adjust your gameplay accordingly. Setting up priority targets makes assisting easier, but never stick to them if it isn’t working.
There are a few guidelines for target priority:
- Don’t focus a guarded targets, unless you can knockback the tank guarding them, or you have the advantage as a dps heavy setup.
- Don’t focus tanks, unless you are sure they are pure dps set up and squishy as a mdps.
- Focusing ranged dps pretty much puts them out of the game, even if you can’t kill them.
- Anything wearing cloth > anything wearing medium armor > anything wearing heavy armor.
3.) Should more than 3 group members die, or in the case of a wipe, regroup at spawn and wait for everyone to respawn. There is no point in blindly rushing into a fully healed and fielded group, while your group is in the process of dying.
There is a situation where this doesn’t apply. This happens when you know the other team is down for an equal amount of members, and the key to winning is reinforcing your group as fast as you can. There is a fine line between reinforcing and regrouping that you need to judge for yourself.
While regrouping try to quickly figure out what went wrong and make adjustments accordingly. Being flexible is the key.
4.) During the scenario always stick together. Even if you wipe them, stay together instead of running around searching for stragglers to kill. Chances are that they’ll regroup, spawn as one and make short work of you.
Staying together also means that if you are going to overextend in order to harras/kill someone, let your group know that. It’s much easier for the enemy to fall back and kill you, than for your group to move up and give you a hand.
Always stay on your toes. If a whole group of enemies suddenly spawns behind you, they can make short work of you, if you do not react fast.
5.) Stick to either offence or defence. With offence being killing and disrupting their back lines and defence killing and disrupting their frontlines. Both are viable ways of winning, and each have group setups and playstyles best suited for them. Coordinated switching between them is always beneficial, but attempting both against an experienced group will likely result in a wipe. Try to stick to one at a time.
Do not regard a team being on the defence as the weaker one or the losing one, a correctly built team will be even more dangerous in those situations.
6.) Coordinate Crowd Control effects (CC). This might be a bit hard without voice communication, unless you can do it before hand, or have a group that has learned to work together. Certain hard CC that give Unstoppable immunity should always have priority over others. AoE CC usually takes priority over single target.
- Staggers should always have first priority, especially the KotBS AoE stagger. Using this right can be the key to winning, coordinate the use of it before you actually use it.
- Knockdowns depending on the duration. If it’s a short knockdown a silence or disarm might be better, depending on the target and situation (a silence on a healer that’s rezing might be better than a knockdown, but a knockdown on a healer being focused by melee dps is probably better than a silence, etc).
- Silences and disarms, depending on the target and situation.
Soft CC that gives Immovable buff usually isn’t an issue. Though I do recommend giving priority to knockbacks, especially in EC. If you are planning on using Rift/Magnet do give it priority of course.
7.) Keep your eyes open and be aware of your environment. This ties in with everything else, and comes with practice. Examples of this would be healers that are prekiting or positioning so they can’t be knocked back, tanks that are swapping guard to the target that’s being focused, rdps silencing the healer when the focused target is low or when rezing, mdps assisting and avoiding AoE not to break stagger, etc., …
Certain addons will help you with this. I recommend these:
- Enemy – On-screen icons for your group with health and career, enables you to mark a target with an arrow for easier tracking and has an assist macro.
- GES – Guard Enhancement System provides icons for tracking your guardee and his health. I don’t actually use it but hear good things about it.
- Squared – Better party frames for healers.
- Buffhead2 – Provides buff/debuff icons over your targets head. Invaluable in any aspect of gameplay as it allows you to focus on the environment rather than the unitbars.
Random Advice for PuGing
- If there is no one taking charge, and you are confident that you can, do so. There is nothing worse than chaos that is the result of everyone doing their own thing. If no one listens to you, at least you can say you tried. If your team members complain about your lack of knowledge or experience (doesn’t matter if they are right or not), ask them to lead instead. If they refuse, continue and ignore them. And please, be modest. Telling everyone they should listen to you, because you are RR59 will sooner get you contempt than obedience.
- This might go into general advice for RvR, but please, for the love of Grimnir, use your detaunts and taunts! I’m astonished at the number of people I still see not detaunting or tanks not using taunt or challenge. It’s there for a reason, it’s a game changer, use it.
- Whining is unproductive and spoils the game for everyone. It should only be used as a last resort (aka before you ragequit).
- Always be polite. Players around you are much more likely to favourably respond to your orders if you are add a please.
- If you are on a losing streak, take a break.
If in doubt, remember your ABC (or “the TL;DR version“):
DON’T: Break/waste CC, solo, run around like a headless chicken, rage/rant/insult, be selfish.
DO: Guard, assist, communicate, fulfill the role your career is meant to, enter the scenario on time, keep your eyes open, be polite.
Nothing written above is set in stone and shouldn’t be followed to the last letter. RvR is about responding to your enemy, countering him and learning from your mistakes. Being creative and flexible will always net you better results than being rigid and set in your ways.
Please keep in mind that, as written earlier, I don’t pretend to be an expert in 6vs6, so this guide might be faulty in some places (I’m quite confident there are no massive errors in my reasoning, though). Any and all comments, corrections or additions are welcome.