So Cynwise & I have covered how to Ninja a node, now is the time to introduce, or refresh you in the A.B.C.’s of guarding a node
We all know our A.B.C.’s right…
A… B… C… blah, blah, blah… Next time won’t you sing with me?
Sorry I’ve been hearing that a lot over the last few years and I tend to zone out after C… I am going to assume you will do the same.
A is for AoE
I can’t remember if I mentioned AOE in my Ninja post, well without the prerequisite expletive attached, not only in my blog posts, but also in BG chat.
AoE’s serve two purposes, both with the same end – to protect the flag.
AoE on the flag node prior to the appearance of a known threat.
- Magma totems
- Hunters traps
- Arcane Explosion, Blizzard
- The list goes on and on.
The purpose is two fold:
- Flush out the stealthy
- Interrupt the cap
Try not to get caught mid cast/channel with a “counterspell”, but that’s still better than being surprised.
In many ways Magma totem is the granddaddy of preventative AOE.
- It’s cast and “forget”
- It flushes stealthies and interrupts capping
- It’s premature disappearance is a sign of things to come – Ninjas!
- It’s ranged, in the sense that a Shaman can drop it on the flag, then get appropriate a guarding position.
If you see a shaman at a node without a Magna totem on the flag, slap them for me, well gently prod them into placing one.
In the fog of war, it’s difficult to detect the Gnomeaggedons in the mists.
- Most Rogues know to fan of knives the flag when it’s under pressure.
- Most Mages know to Blizzard just the same.
- Most Healers know to heal the AOE dealers as a 1st priority.
- Most know, many of us forget on occasions.
We see BG chat up with
Watch the flag!
But we have that Pally at 5% and Pallies are everyone’s KoS 2nd place… mongrels always pop back to 100% though and the flag gets capped.
It is everyone’s responsibility, DPS, Healers, Pets, Your Mum, to AOE the flag – don’t just watch it, AOE it!
When you hear “Smoke Bomb”… You do hear it don’t you… You are running a vocalized DBM type mod like GladiatorlosSA aren’t you?
Anyway, when you hear “Smoke Bomb“, you know there is a Ninja in action. Direct damage, unless delivered from within the cloud is useless.
The only counter to a Smoke Bomb is AOE and most casters can deliver AOE from range. Blizzard the living crap out of that flag.
Watch the rogue. He’ll try once, he’ll try twice, he’ll try 3 times before he accepts that his Smoke Bomb has been countered.
I normally laugh when warriors do their whirly-whirly, unless I am capping a flag, then it’s SRS BNZ.
Find your AOE skills languishing in your spell books… at the very least put them on a toolbar, preferably keybind them and practice their use.
B is for Be.
It could also be for guarding the Bees, but it definitely not for Bonza Bludging Beer-gutted Bonkers Beautiful Boisterous (occasionally) Bashful Brilliant Behemoth Big Bear Butt
Although admittedly he could do all these things in a BG.
Do you drive a car?
Do you just stare straight ahead, or are you constantly scanning… left, right, back, front, back left, front left, front right, back right, up, down, turn around…
From now on, when you are guarding a node, I want you to make car noises… putt putt putt, Brrwaaah, RRRRWAR, Ziiiinnnngggg…
Whatever sound you want your car to be…
Did you? What did your Vent mates think? Ahh screw ’em… We know what we are doing.
So from now on you will drive your node, always aware of your environment, the mini-map, the mini-zone map (Shift-M)
… and make those car noises so you don’t forget and you drive people bonkers…
While its nice to ambush attackers, you are better off deterring them. Remember as good as HKs are, your objective is resources from unchallenged nodes.
There needs to be at least one visible guard. If that guard has pets (even non-combat pets will change your enemies tooltip on mouse over ), if they are rushing, the may assume each change of the tool tip is another guard.
Do you have picnic umbrellas?
Set one up at the node. I have two, so I set up both. They are an bold indication of physical presence, while obscuring visual line of sight.
Let’s face it, who would set up a love umbrella just to sit by themselves? What, why are you pointing at me?
Be warned – they can also act as a non-binding taunt to players… but you were getting bored guarding the bees anyway.
You can also use cooking fires. The stealthy that sees multiple cooking fires will assume multiple stealthed defenders.
Be close, but not too close.
Cynwise has covered this already, better than I can, but just to reinforce this, imagine these two scenarios…
1) Hump-guarding the flag
A rogue approaches, saps and starts to cap. Each action smooth, instant and you know you have to stop him… So you trinket.
You just fell for Ninja Rogue trick 101… He will now blind you, your trinket is on cool down, ALL YOUR BASES ARE HIS!
2) Spitting distance from the flag
You are in love-tap range of the flag, but not on it.
A rogue approaches, saps and… Ohh damn, now they have to waste precious seconds running to the flag, they may even pointlessly blow their sprint cooldown… then start capping…
and the sap expires…
Love tap to stop the cap!
The rogue is pretty much screwed now.
The element of surprise has gone. You had plenty of time while sapped to call the inc.
They have to choose…
Persevere through the love taps – wont work, but they will still try 3 times, or
Run over to you to apply more CC and try again.
They are screwed both ways and we all love seeing rogues get screwed both ways.
You are now in control of the node again, they will preparation, cloak, vanish… knowing you have the counter to their Ninja… I think that makes you Samurai!
Be Supportive – buffs!
One thing you can do while guarding the node. You may not have died, you may still have the complete set of buffs, but most likely your team mates don’t.
Throw out your buffs occasionally, especially when you see rezzers run by. What else were you using your mana for, go on, give your team whatever advantage you can.
Apart from Arcane Intellect, I always throw a macro’d Slowfall on rezzers when they pass me at Lumber Mill.
It’s macro’d to whisper the recipient, to make sure they know they have it. I don’t know what UI they have and the ping of a /whisper draws their attention and increases their options.
Be Supportive – don’t debuff!
Unlike many of your teammates you are in a great position to analyze troop movements, yours and theirs.
Your team mates are focused on surviving, managing health and mana, managing cooldowns, they are by necessity micromanaging without the whole-of-BG view.
Just because you can see, doesn’t mean you understand. How many times have you heard:
- WTF are you all doing at Stables?
- How the fuck did they cap the node with 14 of you there?
- Stop fighting on the fucking road you noobs!
- Stop trying to solo nodes!
- Thanks for the lack of help noobs, I called it and you didn’t come!
Backseat drivers… everyfuckingbody hates them.
Maybe the reasons are:
- We got wiped and just rezzed at Stables.
- A good question, but some teams CC and confuse. Ultimately our hope is we can achieve the same result.
- I got ambushed on the road – or I’m preventing them getting to your node… 1 of me, 4 of them.
- A ninja cap can turn a game, not just earning points, but stopping rezzes and maybe splitting that mob creating trouble elsewhere. Ninja paranoia can tie multiple people at a node.
- Maybe, just maybe we were busy, or ambushed, or CC’d by a painful Frost Mage.
Backseat drivers only help when they are supportive, alerting about unknown threats. Otherwise, shut the fuck up!
Guarding the Bees is the pits.
It’s boring, you will probably end up at the bottom of the BG table, below the guy that joined 1 minute before the game ended.
From your position you can see people screaming in agony while you play bejeweled. It itches in the back in your mind, all they need is one more body, this base will be fine, it’s obvious all the enemy are out there not drinking cups of tea with you.
You need to be patient.
You need to resist the urge to “help”.
You are currently performing the best, the most important role you can. You are ensuring the points keep ticking away, that the friendly respawns keep coming. You are ensuring the enemy doesn’t race away on points while the others struggle at the nodes (and remember, they are probably dying, and you don’t want to die).
An unguarded node is a free gift, possibly a free win to your opponent. The only thing worse than a node being ninja capped from under you is leaving the node abandoned for your opponents.
C is for Cat – Der!
Ok, so C is really for Cat, but in relation to this post C is for Calling Incs.
In sure you don’t need to be told to call incs to the node you are on, and early, as soon as you see then turn down your branch of the road of possible, but…
CALL INCS TO YOUR NODE AS SOON AS YOU SEE THEM, EVEN IF THEY ARE JUST TURNING ONTO YOUR BRANCH OF THE ROAD!
If you think there is a stealthy at your node – Say so now, not when you are sapped & capped.
By calling early you give your team mates the opportunity to travel in parallel to the enemy, maybe arriving at the same time as them, maybe scaring them off when they see the support already on the way before they reach the node.
What the 1st thing you think of when nodes are supported super quick?
But often it isn’t, it’s just observant people with early calls enabling them to control the node while you straggle in to die.
Hunter or Druid stealthed, maybe waiting for an opportunity to ninja? Call all the movements you can see on your mini map, especially the stealthies rushing unstealthed to a node.
Calling incomings to nodes they control allows those on the battlefield to make decisions about which node to hit next, as well as giving some indication of the next node in their plan.
On the road
Where are your opponents on the road, which way are they heading, what the hell are they up to… supporting, attacking, retreating… let people know!
Joining the fight.
Telling your fighters who is about to join a battle is important. Sometimes your abilities come off cooldown and you think…
Last one… I’m going to destroy them
Only to discover 3 of their mates rolling in.
3 more that your blown cooldowns are required for.
Getting the heads up on the troop movements can make or break node defense.
Keeping your eyes on the prize
Whatever you do while you recite your ABCs, whether you are calling troop movements, slowfalling your team mates for a soft landing, scanning the sky, even having a picnic, there is one thing you never want your eyes off for more than 2 seconds.
Drive your node safely from beginning to end. The road is filled with many distractions, but until you can keep your node safe, there is little point in lusting after theirs.
Slap a Shaman today…
Love tap to stop the cap!
Make those car noise and…
A… B… C… blah, blah, blah… Next time won’t you sing with me?
Gnomer and Out!
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