Defence

Defensive statistics are important, though too many people focus on staying alive and ultimately lose fights as they can’t do enough damage. I personally prefer glass cannon builds (the best defence is a good offence) when running in small groups and more defensive builds when in medium to large groups (as we expect to fight other medium to large groups with a lot of outgoing damage). In a group with good healers and crown control, being able to kill off the high priority targets of your opposing groups will increase the likelihood of winning an engagement.

  • The first and most important concept of defence, is that you need to pay attention. Don’t just blindly follow along with the group. Watch what’s coming at you, where you’re going, make judgements about where siege is likely to hit, what opponents are around, what buffs you have active and which ones you should cast or recast in different time frames. Awareness is what makes the difference between life and death.
  • The way defensive stats work: 32,000 resist mitigates 50% of incoming damage (you take half of the damage that you should per attacker’s tooltip). Your resist minus your attacker’s penetration will result in a number. Each 640 Resist in that number mitigates 1% of incoming damage up to a maximum possible mitigation of 50%.
  • Everyone should be running a skill/buff that gives major defensive stats (Immovable, Rune Focus, etc.) and/or a skill for added mitigation (Blade Cloak for DW to mitigate AoE damage, Dodge from NB or medium armour passives, shields, or others).
  • Keep moving. If you stop moving, you’re a bigger target.
  • If there is only one significant group of opposition, don’t ignore individuals. They may be able to set up siege, or single-target burst down one of your squishy members (your own bombers or healers).
  • Use shields if you can. Shields can’t be crit, and 3-4 squential casts of a shield will often let you look at incoming destros and laugh at them. You should still move out of the way and follow your leader’s directions, though your survivability in the face of the bomb will increase.
  • If you’re a vampire, Mist Form (the morph that gives speed as well) can ensure that you’re not snared and stuck taking an ultimate bomb (multiple destros being the most likely).
  • If you’re a vampire, use mist form. You can’t be snared, and you get major expedition (pretty much the same as a retreating cast), in addition to taking less damage while you get out of high damage situations (or a destro bomb).
  • Note that if you have cast a shield, and then enter mist form, the damage that the shield takes (before your health is hit) will be mitigated by mist form, so your shield is effectively 4 times more powerful.
  • Healing is not only the healers’ responsibility. If a stamina DPS player is PvP skill rank 5, then the Vigor skill is a great AoE heal. Casting it when you know your group is about to take large AoE damage will help everyone. The Cleanse morph of Purge uses a lot of magicka, though the heal on it effectively negates one large hit from almost anything. Some buffs also heal or apply a HoT (Heal over Time). The less your healers have to heal you all at once, the longer they can keep everyone alive.
  • Your opponents may have players (mostly) dedicated to spamming cc, or you might just get hit by a few snares and slows here and there. They will be snaring you with sorcerer’s encase or DK’s talons, they may be slowing you with an ice wall of elements or caltrops, and you’re not going to be able to move. This is why most groups need to have a dedicated person on Retreating Maneuvers – which can remove all snares and prevent new ones (until you attack). This is also why you all need to have Immovable pots ready to use when the leader calls for them.
    • Note that running multiple speed mechanisms can conflict with each other, so if you have consistent Retreating Maneuvers you probably don’t want to use speed potions. You should have various potions depending on what sort of group you’re in.
  • If you’re running a defensive ultimate, be ready to cast it when being hit. Warden’s Sleet provides a defensive 30% damage mitigation, and ticks towards cc’ing opponents. If you have someone running Nova, keep in mind that Nova reduces opponent outgoing damage by 30%, which is different from the Sleet’s 30% mitigation of incoming damage. If your group is snared and have no choice but to eat a bomb, Nova on top of your group and have both primary and secondary AoE healers start spamming their heals (vigor and springs).
  • Learn about your opponents if they are regular organised groups. Their leaders will have relatively consistent play styles, so if you can predict what they’ll do most of the time, living through their bombs, countering them and winning fights will be easier.
  • My calculations based on Impenetrable vs. Reinforced traits: http://goo.gl/Zng18G
  • My crit vs. impenetrable calculations: http://goo.gl/84hnar