It’s been a while since I’ve done a ‘battle report’ style post about Warhammer Online, but that does not mean the RvR has slowed. If anything, with all the recent patches, RvR has actually increased on Monolith to the point that just about every night, both Destro and Order have one or more warbands out and fighting in tier 3. I’m fairly sure tier 4 is even more active, and I’m not sure about T1 or T2.
Last night was no exception, as both sides had a full warband+ out taking objectives and keeps. As it usually goes right now, the two sides were in different zones, and for the first hour or so oRvR was basically ‘beat up the door/npc’ at each keep or objective, with a few unlucky defenders getting caught in the zerg. This makes for great renown/item gain, but not so great RvR, and plenty of other MMOs already cater to the loot piñata murder crowd.
Growing tired, we (the former members of Forsaken) suggested to CoW members and our alliance to break off from the warband, with the intent of actually defending a keep. I know I know, there is no point to defending, less loot/renown bla bla bla. We wanted to actually face other players, because you know, we actually want to RvR. Luckily we are part of a great guild/alliance, and we got 10-12 players to join us initially. We just missed defending the keep in High Pass, so we set up shop at the Talabecland keep and waited for the Order warband to show up.
Initially only a few Order players showed up, and we worried any resistance might have scared the rest off. Luckily that was not the case, and soon enough we had 30+ Order players trying to take the keep, siege engines and all. We held the outer wall for some time, yet eventually their ram took the door down, and after a quick skirmish at the gate, they forced us back to the main keep. At the main keep we once again set up our defenses, and this time did not have to worry about Order war machines. Again a lengthy battle at the door commenced, and once again the determined Order forces broke down the door and flooded inside. At this point we were outnumbered a good 2-1, and our goal was to take down as many of them as possible before they eventually overwhelmed us.
Order made a tactical mistake, and only sent up half their numbers into the lords room, with the rest remaining below. (I know this because I got knocked off the wall as they rushed up, and had to reenter the keep, getting greeted by the Order players below) This gave us the chance we needed, and with the help of the NPCs, we were able to take down the initial push, deal with the reinforcements, and finally clean up the remaining Order players below. We then defended the courtyard until the keep doors returned, finishing a successful keep defense.
Some key points to be made. For starters, we got a TON of renown for defending. Each time the oil was dumped, renown and xp would come streaming in, and plenty of attackers were getting picked off one by one during the siege. Another huge factor was that we were defending as a small force versus a much larger one. This meant less diminishing returns on repeat kills, and less splitting of renown/xp per kill. Any items that drop are also split amongst a smaller force, and renown ticks in at 100rr every 10 minutes or so. I’m very confident stating that a solid keep defense earns you more renown/hr than a keep assault. The one down side, which Mythic has to address, is the lack of a PQ chest for a successful defense, but I’m confident this is a known issue and will be addressed, hopefully soon.
It’s also a myth that only ranged characters make good defenders. As a DoK, I was able to man war machines, help repair the oil, heal our ranged dps classes, and help pick off attackers whenever we made a push out the door. It’s very possible to exit from the door, get off a few attacks (time it so you exit when the oil gets dumped, so you are finishing off damaged attackers) and jump back inside before you get killed. It takes some good timing, but it’s doable, and this is from a class without a single knockback.
Defending is also, imo, more fun. Instead of staring up at a wall, or at the door, you are running around on top of the walls, looking down on an invading force. You have more control over the situation, more tactical choices, and a better feel for how things are going. As the defender, you decide when to make a push out the door, when to bring the combined damage of focused AoE and oil down on your enemy, and when to fall back.
So the next time you are in a warband, give defense a shot, especially if you are outmanned. Not only will you earn a bunch of renown, you might also have a great time doing it.