Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Garrison Invasions

An idyllic evening in Lunarfall... but not for long!

I've been through two weekends worth of garrison invasions now. Um... first weekend it was the Iron Horde, and then it was another bunch of Iron Horde. But they were different, I swear. These are a real hoot! But there's a lot going unexplained. 

There are three stages. In the first you kill some scouts. In the second, the main body of the attack commences. In the third, there's a boss. The real meat of the thing is the second stage. And there are clearly some variants depending on what group of idiots is attacking you. For example, the first week, they charged the gates. The second week, they poofed into the center of town in a puff of smoke AND charged the gates.

Your goal, as a defender, is to rack up as many Victory Points (VP) as possible. If you get 300 VP, it's a bronze. 600 VP is silver and 1000 VP is gold. The quality of your finish affects the size of your reward at the end, which includes gold, garrison resources and apexis crystals. You can allegedly win one bag of prizes for each finish once a week. Which seems like crap to me. If you get gold on your first invasion, what are you encouraged to do? Fight less so you get the silver or bronze package again? Are you going to deprive a friend of a strong finish because you want your spoils?
The first and third stages are pretty well set. There's a finite number of scouts and just one boss. Stage two is a six-minute onslaught that won't end until it ends. If you kill a few attackers in that time, you get a few VP. If you kill a bunch of attackers, then a bunch of VP will be awarded in this time. the second stage is also full of special events... Like a rylak is attracted to the battle and has to be killed, or a townie is in the open and needs to be protected, or some sneaky type gets in and starts creating havoc.

Here's what I learned of a good strategy this weekend.

I blame Crowler for this chaos. Talking to him starts it.
1. You need to bring two friends to the fight. This is like a scenario instance. You don't need a tank and healer, just three big deeps. You could do all this solo, and your guards will all help but you'll get a crappy score for it. So, bring two friends. Whoever's garrison is being invaded should be the leader. The others should right click on their character portraits and choose the option to "See leader's garrison."

2. Your garrison has two gates. In stage 2, put one player at each gate and the third in the middle of town to respond to special events. Throughout Stage 2 the gate people basically need to stay where they are and keep up the flow of attackers. The third will need to move fast around the enclosure and may need to go to the front gate to help with tanks that roll up, so any movement enhancement in a character would be helpful for that roll. Unfortunately, if they are doing the magical transportation, they do still sort of poof in towards the gates, but they may appear behind you.

3. You can heal guards. If you are capable of healing, this is a good thing to do because there will be a bonus for any unkilled guards at the end. 

4. I ran four invasions this weekend and found no serious threat of getting killed, myself. I don't think you are meant to be in fear of your life. I found it hard to aggro enough bad guys to really be a threat. Nevertheless, keep an eye on that. Now that I've said it's hard to die, they'll buff the invaders and kick my butt. (Note: I wrote that paragraph after the first set of invasions. Sure enough, in the second round of invasions, I managed to aggro a butt-ton of invaders who chopped away til I was afraid for my life. They didn't kill me, but they made a better effort.

5. In the first stage, just easily kill the scouts at the front gate. Don't use any cool downs.

6. Stage 2, you have six minutes. One big 20 second burst isn't going to be very helpful though. Remember too, AoE is less effective than single target abilities until you get four or more targets. So remember that when you consider breaking out the icestorms or whatever. Mostly, you want to hit one at a time, saving a bit of AoE to focus the mobs' attention on you and not your squishier guards.

7. In Stage 3, pull out everything you have to drop the boss quickly. He could still kill your guards, which would hurt your score.

Things I wish to learn more about
Holy Crap! Look at all the bodies and the carnage! I'd say, "Oh! The humanity!"
except technically I don't think there's any humanity in the picture.

in the first invasion, something was lobbing bombs over my walls. These bombs don't hurt but do big knock-back. Can one head out to attack the cannon or whatever? I'm sure that would be worth some points.

The Invaders are also attempting to destroy your buildings but I wasn't clear how. I suspect the bombs. In the second invasion, I got a raid warning that somebody was targeting my scrap yard (really, invaders, that's your highest priority target? I appreciate it's closest to the front, but really). I'm not sure if that was added or if the first round of invasions were kinda dumb and forgot to target anything.

I think there's a degree of luck involved to scoring in that there's a variety of special events that could happen and I bet doing some are worth more points than others. But I don't have anything more than a hypothesis about that.

In the end, I thought this was a lot of fun to do in the garrison and look forward to others. I'm hoping to see saberon or ogre invasions as well. This weekend, I was able to swing silver victories in two invasions. I suspect the gold will be a matter of improving gearscores, as much as anything else.

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