I got a chance to monkey around with EQ2′s Battlegrounds yesterday, and what I saw I really liked. It’s still too early to tell how things will go, and as the Producer’s Letter indicates, Battlegrounds will launch with a pre-season warmup, in order to smooth out all the “unintended” stuff that will assuredly pop up. Yes, it does feel like we’re all going to be paying beta testers to some extent, but then again, it’s probably the best way to integrate such large scale PvP content into a game that’s PvE at heart.
I got to sample the 6 vs 6 and 12 vs 12 Battlegrounds. You can queue yourself up by hitting alt-z and then clicking on the Battlegrounds tab. There are also quest givers for the 3 Battlegrounds instances, that offer repeatable quests to kill opponents and win matches. And nearby are the token vendors, which offer up armor, house items, charms, and a nice floating disc mount. Each Battleground has its own token currency, and some items require a combination of different types, along with status and plat. In addition to the normal stats found on armor, the PvP token sets also have special stats that are PvP specific, so it does seem like they tried to address the issue of PvP armor vs raid armor.
In the 6 vs 6 Battleground, called Gears of Klak’Anon, you’re ported to a zone full of ramps, platforms, hallways, and elevators. If you like gnomes and tinkering, you’ll have fun in this zone. The goal is for your team to acquire and hold a relic longer than your opponent’s team.
Above: The Gears of Klak’Anon. You can see the relic in the middle of the picture.
In the 12 vs 12 Battleground, called Battlefield of Ganak, you have to capture your opponents flag and bring it back to your fort. If you do this three times, your team wins. This one was originally 6 vs 6 but they made it larger, and wisely so. The zone is definitely big enough to handle 24 players, and it definitely ramps up the excitement.
Overall, I enjoyed both of the zones I tried out. Waaaaay back when WoW first came out, I used to do a lot of Battlegrounds, but always had to run with PUGs, and longed for the day when I could run them with friends in an organized team. I’m not a PvPr at heart, but I can see myself having a blast working together with guildmates to outwit the opposing team.
There were a few things that made me pause though, during my brief playtime. One was that every Battleground was very lopsided. It was pretty clear who was going to win almost from the start. The other was that there seemed to be a bug with “Truancy,” which is a detrimental buff placed on you that prevents you from entering another queue for 5 minutes. It’s meant for people who leave a Battleground before it’s over, but I got hit with it once after our Battleground had expired.
Above: Laying the smackdown on a thug tank. He’s even in black, so we know he’s the bad guy. I really need to improve my trash talk lexicon.
Lastly, here are a few tips I picked up that might be handy to anyone who, like me, is completely new to EQ2 PvP:
- If you go into your options menu, select “Controls” and then “Targetting keys,” you can scroll down and assign a hot button that lets you target the nearest PvP enemy. It’s sorta like tab targetting NPCs, and can come in very handy.
- Scouts, get your tracking up and visible! It can come in handy in the larger Battleground zones. While I didn’t get a chance to play the 24 man zone, I’d imagine having a “spotter,” like I recall in WoW’s BGs, will be extremely helpful.
- Set up a main assist, just like in PvE encounters.
- Evac is disabled in PvP zones, and stealth doesn’t make you completely invisible, just gives you that lucid outline. So don’t strut into the enemy fortress in stealth thinking you’re all that and a bag of chips, doing the “ride the pony” dance, because you’re going to get slapped down. At least, that’s what someone told me. I don’t know for sure, let’s talk about something else!
- If you’re going to get super serious, you should probably consider getting an AA mirror, and looking into class specs that are more suited to PvP.
- Don’t forget to cure yourself. And in general, clickies are good. The more you stock up, the better.
I know there are lots of other great tips for PvP tactics, so if you have any please share them up! I promise not to use them on you if we meet in battle. No guarantees on doing the “ride the pony” dance though.