Wasteland Diaries: Don't give up

Edward Marshall
E. Marshall|05.06.11

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Wasteland Diaries: Don't give up
In Fallen Earth PvP, there is a pretty wide rift between the haves and the have-nots. A novice will rarely fare well in Fallen Earth combat, but there are rare exceptions. There are some groups that fight so well that it might even seem like they are hacking or cheating in some way. Usually, this isn't the case. What they are doing, however, is using every advantage they can get out of the game mechanics. They are also working together like a well-oiled machine. This takes a bit of knowledge and a lot of practice. A well-trained and coordinated team will make short work of a rag-tag pick-up group.

In this post, I will lay out the basic knowledge that you will need to PvP. If you take these few pointers to heart, you will be more likely to understand what happens when you lose and what to do to correct it. Overcoming the learning curve in Fallen Earth PvP requires two things. The first and most important thing is patience. When you get knocked down, you have to brush yourself off and try again. The second thing you will need is a firm understanding of the game mechanics. If you understand the rules of the game, you will be more likely to figure out what you did wrong and what your opponents did right. I can't teach you how to be patient, but I can tell you a few things about the game mechanics that might help you stay alive. Even if you never plan to PvP (mobs can be vicious too), click past the cut to start your training.

One of the things I notice people doing wrong is not running all the buffs they should be running. Usually the people I catch doing this are mostly PvE-only players. For starters, you should run two skills. If you don't have Fitness and Body Toughening (or something similar in the Athletics line), ask someone to give you the First Aid buffs, which are Sand and Stone and Fortify. Your mutations should be Gird and Ignore Pain (unless you have one of the capstones that might suit you better). If you have a low rank of IP, you can get it from a teammate, so no worries there. For a stance, E&E is hard to beat.

Always run consumables if you intend to fight other players. Yes, they can be expensive, but they are a necessary evil. Food and drink add a lot to your regen rates, and the high-end stuff will even beef up (no pun intended) your stats. Medicine/science items are important, too, and most PvPers add some extra health or speed with these. It can get costly if you die a lot, but you will die much more often without them. Your aura is another consideration. Never ever join a team that is going to PvP while running Mind Over Matter. Don't be That Guy. Once Mind Over Matter gets into the team, it can become a real hassle to get rid of it. Since you lose an aura when you move out of range, it helps to have everyone run the same one so that nobody's aura gets overridden. Your aura has to be re-applied when you move out of range of the higher-level aura, so most of the pros run with Organize 1 because everyone has it.

Make sure to fire off your HoTs (heals-over-time) as soon as combat becomes likely. Accelerated Recovery should always be run, even at its lowest level, because it stacks with all of the other HoTs. And try to alternate between two contingency plans during the fight. It can be tough to remember to keep them up and alternating (to be honest, I usually forget), but if there is a lull in the action and you remember to, fire up the other one. Don't waste stamina or gamma debuffing armor or defenses; save it for stuns and snares. The offense vs. defense calculations are pretty forgiving and almost pointless, so you want to concentrate on slowing down your targets or stopping them outright to lay maximum DPS (damage per second) on them.

Always use the best gear for your level. It's a must. Damage mitigation is weighted by level, so if you are wearing lower-level armor, your resistances are going to be horrible. Also, check all of your gear for damage before going into battle. If something is down to one durability, it will certainly break at a very inopportune time. Your choice of trinket (storage slot item) is also important. Make sure to choose one that makes up for any deficiency your build (another can of worms that volumes could be written about) might have or one that accentuates your build's strengths.

If you get into trouble, you'll need to heal. There are two types of heals, and they can be cast simultaneously or chained: on-the-move heals and stand-still heals. I usually only use Patch and Medigrafts to heal myself because I don't have to stop. But the cooldowns keep it a once-per-fight heal. Stand-still heals can really put you back into the fight if you are able to LoS (a game term for finding some cover or breaking line-of-sight), giving you an opportunity to heal without being an easy target. Stand-still heals generally have shorter cooldowns but are riskier to use. There are also targeted heals like Benevolence and Encouragement that you can use to keep your ailing team-mates in the fight. Everyone should have the highest level of Empower he can cast on his hotbar too. The tide of battle can be turned if everyone hits Empower at right time.

A lot of the success in group PvP hinges on tactical coordination. Voice communications are essential to claim victory. It simply takes too long to type out messages that nobody is going to read anyway because everyone's too busy firing weapons. Calling targets and focusing fire is another important tactic. A team that does this well is hard to defeat. Taking down the weakest enemies first (and quickly) removes a good deal of DPS from the opposition. It's usually customary to go after the squishies (the easiest enemies to kill) first, because even squishies contribute a good deal of DPS. Three snipers focusing a single target can bring them down in mere seconds. And three melees swarming a poor, hapless, knocked-down fool? Forget it. He's not getting back up.

There are other guerrilla-style tactics that can be employed if you happen to be outgunned. Using mobs and faction guards to your advantage can even the odds up in a lopsided fight. Always be sure to place yourself in a position where the enemy will draw mob aggro if and when it's possible. Draw the enemy into faction camps, but watch out for those guys with the Flag of Truce ability. It can ruin your plan and your day. And if you are an Enforcer fighting against a group of Travelers, don't hide in the Tech camp (derp).

I could go on forever about PvP tactics, but I'm only afforded so much space here. I hope that you'll find a bit of useful information in this column. But all the knowledge in the world is still useless unless it is properly applied. And proper application of knowledge is pointless if you don't have the perseverance to perfect its application. The most important thing I can tell you is this: Don't give up. Until next week, you can find me hanging out on the PTS and staking my claim in the new progress towns.

Ed Marshall has been playing Fallen Earth since beta and leads the KAOS clan. Wasteland Diaries is his weekly column that covers all aspects of Fallen Earth: PvE, RP and PvP. To contact Ed, send an email to edward@massively.com, find him on the official forums as Casey Royer, or hunt him down in the wastelands as Nufan, Original, Death Incarnate, and Knuckles Mcsquee.
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