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I thought it meant Super Plants vs Pandas!

Temple of the Silent Storm

Temple of the Silent Storm

I found out that sPvP wasn’t some minigame that pokes some fun at the latest WoW playable race in a juiced up sequel of the game Plants vs Zombies…

Instead, I got another monthly done in maybe 4-5 hours of play on my first real try playing sPvP, and I am close to getting it done again. Not too shabby for a sPvP noob.

Ok, so I do have some experience with PvP. I did play PvP in Descent 2 and Aliens vs Predators (the old one). I did play GW1 PvP, that is, the strict minimum required to get my HoM points. I mostly played Jade Quarry, Fort Aspenwood, and Random Arena… styles that allowed me to not bother learning to play as a team. And then I did try sPvP during the beta for maybe 2 hours. I played more WvW, but nuking the frontlines from the comfort of the back of the zerg isn’t exactly the same as sPvP.

I don’t exactly consider myself a pro PvP’er. Casual at best. I spend the vast majority of my time in coop or solo.

I’m not even sure why I bothered to be honest. It’s not like I got some good loot out of it. I got a few account-bounds inks which is nice because I tend to sell anything that is valuable and isn’t account-bound. But having to re-grind skins just because PvE skins are not allowed? And since I do the daily PvE and monthly PvE anyway, I don’t even get extra laurels. Ugh, slim pickings for cross-genre gamers…

You could argue that if you learn to survive in sPvP, then you’ll play better in PvE. Ok, maybe it’s good to tune your reflexes, living in an unforgiving environment… You do learn to dodge, target prioritize, and evaluate threat, all that at a level higher than PvE, and at a frequency higher than WvW.

But the real reason why I play sPvP now is that I actually enjoyed the experience, and I hope to help others in their first steps… Not so much by giving you a step-by-step full detailed guide on sPvP… But by just pushing you into the pool and laugh as you struggle to swim. The single best way to enjoy sPvP, is to just play it and not care if you fail. Because if you haven’t tried it yet, know this… it’s actually pretty fun and friendly to the casuals.

And with matches reaching the 16 vs 16 regularly, it’s not like you can single-handedly sink your team. It’s likely that the other team will also include a few noobs like you anyway. So… don’t be afraid, hop in, and have fun with it.

Here’s some advice to even the odds for sPvP noobs…

Preparation:

  • I’ve been told that riskier professions are also more effective, i.e. elementalist, mesmer, thief.
  • Remember to change skills and traits before heading in the combat area, including underwater skills. PvP gives you standard builds and weapons, not what you had in PvE.
  • Equipment is free, so make sure you shop. New weapons need to be runed, also for free. And in PvP, there are no rings etc, only amulets.
  • Bring some AoE’s. Fights often occur to control capture points, and a few well-placed AoE’s can put pressure on the opposing team and force them to give up control or risk death. Mesmers can AoE with shatters.
  • Bring melee or short-range attacks. If you’re going to fight for control of a capture point, you’ll be at short-range anyway, and those attacks tend to pack a good punch.

Gameplay:

  • Capping is important. Do it. If there is a capture point that isn’t yours, and it’s unguarded, go stand in it. It’s usually a good idea.
  • Speed boosts can help a lot with capping.
  • Moving into the capture circle just after foes leave it is a good way to prevent them from making points. Sometimes I hide and let them run out, and then go in.
  • Fight for capture points if you think you can win or at least standstill. Run if you are likely to lose, and come back later.
  • Don’t zerg. Zergs are pretty tough to kill, but they lose a lot on the ability to cap multiple positions. Big zergs are easy to win against by capping more than them.
  • Revive allies. In combat, if you can revive downed allies at relatively low risk, this can really help turn the tide of combat.