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  1. #1

    Tactics for Saltspray Beach

    Figured we had a topic about Grentz (/etnaran), why not have a topic about Saltspray. Plus I'm moderately bored.

    Saltspray's a fairly neutral map. I think the Kurzick base area has a slightly higher elevation than the Luxon, but nothing which would go down in the history books as a gamebreaking deal.



    There are two shrines in the kurzick and two shrines in the luxon territory. Three shrines are in the middle of the map, at the frontlines.



    The hillside:
    • Has less NPCs (3).
    • Has protective items, offering a damage absorption shield to in the area allies when dropped.
    • Has an elevation advantage, making it easier to defend.
    • Has two routes leading to the Saltspray roost.


    The shoreline:
    • Has more NPCs (5).
    • Has no special items.
    • Has an elevation disadvantage, making it harder to defend.
    • Has one route leading to the Saltspray roost.


    Capturing the Hillside at the outset of the battle is in general smarter than capturing the Shoreline.
    Common PuG strategies:
    <Luxon side>
    Left team caps Quarry Attack.
    Centre teams caps Shore Res Shrine.
    Right team caps either Bamboo Defense or Hillside Resurrect.

    <Kurzick side; remember, opposite pov>
    Left team caps Hillside Resurrect or Waterfall Defense.
    Centre team caps Dragon Roost or Hillside Resurrect.
    Right team caps Shipwreck Attack.

    In general, the Kurzick PUGs use better tactics than the Luxons.
    Though pirates are of course still better, yarr.

    Skill usage:
    In general, a lot of PUGs fight on the ramps/bridges. Prime locations to nuke with AoE. The rest of the map is fairly open. Think snares+degen, Crip Anguish or CripShot. NPCs are few, and largely ranged. Again snares work well at keeping them alive while allowing them to deal damage, unless the opponent has a shadow step. Snares are exceedingly ineffective versus the Saltspray Dragon from the Roost, thanks to his shadow step. His spikes hurt (~200-250 damage) and you may wish to have some skills on your team dedicated to disrupting it (something which is thankfully quite easy).

    Choice bit of info:
    Few people use the passage behind the large tree/rock near the two defense points. Even fewer players (effectively) use the small enclave at the back.

    Best build according to OP:
    MBlast.
    [build=OgpkggKMztijfWUwN6FFRcRZl9C]
    It includes enough self-defense to survive, blows up anyone silly enough to clump, has good mobility and has some snaring.
    Disclaimers: build recommendation was based on PUGging. Fear my paint skills.

  2. #2
    Nice guide. This map's the one I'm least familiar with/least good on, so I have a few questions for you and everyone else who has an opinion on it to see what folks recommend and why.

    When going left at the start (as Kurzick) which do you think is the better shrine to go for first - rit (waterfall) or res (hillside)?

    When going middle at the start, res or ele (saltspray), assuming the left team went to rit? Does it make a difference to your strategy if the left team went to res instead of rit?

    When going left at the start, go to res (shore) or ranger (quarry) after capping shipwreck? Does it depend on which way the luxons go, and if so, do you try and go where the luxons do to engage and kill them ASAP, or go the other way to avoid them and get the easy cap?

    What's your strategy after the initial cap and skirmish? Do you mob up, do you stay 4-4-4, do you try and hold the bridge, do you try and keep as many of the corner shrines capped as possible, do you forget about capping and kill as many luxons as possible...?
    Last edited by Mister Smartypants; 08-05-2008 at 18:35.

  3. #3
    I've never really liked Saltspray... the reward is the exact same as your advantaged maps (ie crap) and is much tougher and its so easy to get drawn into a huge brawl over the middle shrine. Avoiding that as much as possible and going round the outsides to cap behind tends to work.

    Speaking of the elevation... i have always wondered just why the hell they put the Ranger NPCs on the lowest possible part of the map. It is an excellent map for playing Ranger on though, the middle and hillside gives a great height advantage and you can kick out some good damage on people attempting to run past.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Kendel View Post
    I've never really liked Saltspray... the reward is the exact same as your advantaged maps (ie crap) and is much tougher and its so easy to get drawn into a huge brawl over the middle shrine. Avoiding that as much as possible and going round the outsides to cap behind tends to work.
    True. Though, unlike you, I love saltspray. The map is actually balanced, and good guild teams / pugs really shine here and are pretty quickly noticeable.

    When going left at the start (as Kurzick) which do you think is the better shrine to go for first - rit (waterfall) or res (hillside)?
    Res, unless the centre group is going for that one already. In that case, Rit.

    When going middle at the start, res or ele (saltspray), assuming the left team went to rit? Does it make a difference to your strategy if the left team went to res instead of rit?
    IF Left = Res
    THEN Centre = Dragon

    IF Left = Rit
    THEN Centre = Res

    When going left at the start, go to res (shore) or ranger (quarry) after capping shipwreck? Does it depend on which way the luxons go, and if so, do you try and go where the luxons do to engage and kill them ASAP, or go the other way to avoid them and get the easy cap?
    This is dependant on a lot of parameters.
    (1) If I'm travelling with a Guild/Friend Group there's actually a fair chance I went for the Res Shrine instead of the Attack point.
    (2) If I'm confident in my group's capabilities and there isn't too big of a numerical mismatch (4v5 is pretty doable for example), I'd advise taking on and beating up the Luxons. In general, the cap won't come 'easy' anyway as a lot of ABers are going to confront you after the second cap. Very few PUG teams, whether Lux or kurz are capable of sticking together for 3 or more caps so expect to get rushed on your third cap on this map.
    (3) Capturing the Res Shrine is principally better than capturing the second attack point. In practice, this is normally harder/impossible, because the Lux team normally sends 2 squads to the coastal area. This means there's an 4v8 mismatch at the res shrine which simply is too much to handle. In that situation, moving to cap the quarry attack point is normally best. With a bit of luck, the lux forces will split of towards both the roost and your shrine, allowing you to crush 3-5 coming your way and then move in to cap the res shrine.

    Smaller version:
    IF capped shipwreck
    WHEN fighting 4v6/7/8
    THEN cap quarry
    WHEN fighting 4v3/4/5
    THEN cap res

    Why should you focus on capping the two res shrines and roost, over the nearby defense and attack shrine?
    The res and roost form the natural frontline. If you can cap the frontline at the outset of the battle you control the largest area.
    From Blue: capping waterfall and shipwreck is easy. You should be able to do so, especially when you have the res shrines or the roost. You do not have to waste time on capping these at the start of the match simply because you can cap them at leisure once you have some control over the frontline. After all, if you control the frontline, the opponent can hardly even get to your defense and attack point let alone cap and keep them.
    Besides that, the res shrines and the roost form the three most powerful shrines on the map. The attack shrines are the weakest (in part because of the bad idea of putting rangers there yeah. Eles/necros would have made more sense ). That's another reason to cap the middle shrines over the defense/attack points.

    And I'm actually a bit surprised nobody complained about the second map and that it was wrong lol (it isn't I'm just expecting people to misunderstand; guess I've been hanging around too much in CDF >.>;).

  5. #5
    I don't mind the fact its balanced, its just that the reward for doing it and easily losing just because your allies did nothing but brawl over the middle shrine. 1500 is a pathetic amount for a map that can go wrong so easily.

    The problem with rushing the res shrine instead of the support shrines is that there is always a 50/50 chance you'll end up fighting 2 groups (when the 1 from the roost joins in). And if your team gets unlucky enough to lose all 3 shrines it went for at the start you're off to a huge disadvantage.

    There is always a chance on the other side of things that if you cap the 2 support shrines that the team from the middle will join up and attack the res shrine. Shortly after you'll join the fight after taking both supports, leaving them horribly outnumbered and you with 4 shrines in the bag.

  6. #6
    Akirai that makes a lot of sense. I'll keep it in mind next time I'm on Saltspray and see how it goes.

    I've really only played there as Luxon before and have been thinking along the same sort of lines as Kendel, and it hasn't proved terribly effective. Then again a lot of my time as a Luxon was spent PUGging and that really is a bloody awful map for PUGging on because of the lack of team coordination (have to lose three times and kick the bad player(s) each time before you get three good teammates who can actually stay together and play well, and by that time your single good teammate from the first game has a GvG match to go to, or the map changes, and you have to start building up a good team all over again...). Playing with friends and winning went hand in hand so much more on that map than on any other.

    I'm surprised/disappointed that nobody else has had anything to say about this map. The tactical side of AB is what makes it so much fun! If they go here then we go there, if they do this then we do that, what if this, what if that... Too many people play AB to prove their build can wtfpwn entire teams singlehandedly.

  7. #7
    I once was pondering about writing a comprehensive guide to playing AB. Both with general tips and with particular map strategies.

    I then realized that I had no definitive winning strategies for any given map.
    The game is so dynamic, you simply have to think on your feet and play smart.

    I'll offer one less common tip on this map.
    If playing as a Kurzick, and attempting to cap the Hillside rez shrine at the start, instead of going out the north gate, take the teleporter in the middle, then run to the rez shrine.
    It's quite a bit faster.

    EDIT:
    As far as a general strategy, I'll say this. I don't believe I've ever seen a team win the map when both of the rez shrines were captured by the enemy and held for, say, 1 min. I've seen many games where capping both rez shrines resulted in a win.
    So the strategy should probably be trying to cap both rez shrines, or at least, get a firm hold on one, then work on the other.

    I also found it quite useful to defend own rez shrine, if you know that the rest of your allies are somewhere on the other side, trying to cap the other rez shrine. In this situation, almost always, there will be incoming enemy players trying to cap on your side. Quite often, these will not be full groups, and you can score some easy kills with the support from shrine npcs and shrine buffs.

    EDIT2:
    This is what the map ownership will look like shortly after the start.


    The owndership of the two sides can often switch back and forth.
    Last edited by oles; 09-05-2008 at 19:58.

  8. #8
    Goddamnit I just deleted an incredibly large post.
    Abbreviated version:
    I'm surprised/disappointed that nobody else has had anything to say about this map. The tactical side of AB is what makes it so much fun!
    Principally speaking, AB tactics require some coordination between the three 4 man groups. Since most players pug AB, this means AB tactics are largely dictated by the terrible decision making of the other 20-23 players. Discussing which is the most optimal strategy for the 3 groups is in that regard pretty useless. Which is the most optimal for a 4 man is useful, but strategies need to adapt quickly depending on what the other teams are doing which is often totally random.
    Basically, there's an air of futility around discussing AB tactics as long as it's in it's current format (which is why ANet should add a 12v12 AB format between alliances).

    I then realized that I had no definitive winning strategies for any given map.
    The game is so dynamic, you simply have to think on your feet and play smart.
    Agreed. However the starting of any AB is static. There is a very limited number of tactics at the start and there quite simply is one which is the best. PuGs of course don't realize this and normally choose the worst shrines to cap.

  9. #9
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    Whenever I play Saltspray (on Kurz side of course) I usually prefer going after the Hillside area since it's easier to cap and control. For me anyway as long my team cooperates with me if I happen to be the squad leader.

    I dislike going after the center - I don't enjoy getting pulled into a huge mobbing fest which tend to happen.

    Regardless of whether if I'm sent to hillside or shoreline areas, once I have all three shrines capped and the battle itself isn't going too badly I prefer to stay in the area instead of going to center. The reason is to prevent Luxons from retaking those caps - it's surprising how often one or two guys will attempt to do this instead of a full squad.

    The reason for this is if a side can hold and maintain control over the mininum of 4 caps and the other side isn't too far ahead, the game is basically won.

  10. #10
    Well whenever I play on this map, I usually run with a:

    1. Shock Warrior
    2. Cripshot
    3. Mindblast Ele
    4. Balanced Monk


    I also believe that the best way to win in AB is to get a good, early momentum because it is just simply easier to win that way. So I feel that the most important time in the match is the first few minutes of it.

    This being said, whenever we start out, we usually assault ether an attack shrine (something that wasn't mentioned in the OP) or a defense shrine.

    Our first step is to see what the opposing side is attempting to do. So they send in the Cripshot [Me] to scout out the other shrine. I go around the back, through the enclave or the shoreline cave.

    If they are splitting
    If they are, I stay at the opposing team's attack point/defense point and attempt to stall their cap time so that my team can get the advantage. My team then attacks the Res Shrine after capping the defensive/offensive attack point, where the other team is capping.

    Now the rest of the strategy revolves around, who has the better skill. If I don't kill the target that is sitting at their attack/defense point, then at least I know they are not capping and I can wait for my team to clear the Res Shrine. Or if I do finish off the target at their res shrine and I cap their shrine, then I can pincer the opposing team at the Res shrine. We will then have advantage and will eventually own 3 shrines on the map.

    If they are capping

    If they are capping, my team immediately rushes for the res shrine and I will attempt to slow down the opposing team's capping time as long as I can. Once I feel that I cannot hold out much longer, I run back to the Res shrine or back to our side's attack/defense point (depending on the path available to me) and ether dominate the opposing foes with my teammates or cap the remaining time needed at our attack/defense point and hold out there. However, if all things go out well, my team will cap the Res shrine, I will hold out until they show up, and we will assault their attack/defense point and control 3 points on the map.

    If they are mobbing

    If I see two teams starting to cap the res shrine, my team goes around back and caps their attack/defense point and I stay back to cap my own shrine and help defend this point as long as I can. Once my team has capped their shrine, they will be assaulting the recently capped enemy's shrine. This type of mobility will destroy any type of extreme presence that mobbing grants and then we win.

    If there is two teams on our side, trying to cap the res shrine and attack/defense point

    We all immediately make a charge towards the Res shrine and attempt to overpower the opposing force there. If this happens, then we assult their attack point. If this doesn't happen and the second opposing team is swinging around back to cap our shrine, I am sent back to defend this uncapped shrine as long as I can. Now comes the time where ether we are good or we are bad. If we are good, we destroy the opposing force at the res shrine and take care of the other force. If we are bad, I fallback to the res shrine and if we cannot hold out there, then we swing back to the dragon roost, where there is a high chance that the rest of our team is.

    If the second opposing team caps their attack/defense shrine and then starts mobbing at the res shrine, my main team will hold out as long as possible before falling back to the uncapped shrine and I will swing around back and attack the opposing side's attack/defense shrine.
    Last edited by Offatwork; 31-05-2008 at 08:05.

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