Some of these rules should be common sense … some of these are “advanced.” However, these are the rules I’ve put together that have lead me to be successful while running a raiding party. I make no claim that these are “original” ideas, and I am sure that others have thought of much of it. I did try to put together as much knowledge as I could on the topic of raiding in to one place for a reference, especially for new players.
Moonlit Raider’s Rules
The Raider’s Mindset: You are a Pack of Wolves, lead by Foxes. Some may attempt to call you a “zerg.” Zergs are mindless idiotic masses of players who have no tactical or strategic awareness past their own survival.
You are not a zerg, you’re a Wolf. Wolves are predators. Wolves hunt in packs, and they work together.
You are lead by a Fox. Foxes are smarter, more mobile and nimble than their adversaries. Foxes are elusive, cunning and dedicated.
Fight like a Wolf. Be lead by a Fox. Together? A Cadre.
Basic Pack Rules [ Becoming the Wolf ]
- Don’t Chase – Chasing down a single enemy, or even chasing a small group of enemies, away from the raiding party ( or from the party’s intended target ) is a monumental “no no.”
- Stay Tight – Stay in a close formation with the raiding party, or your team if you are acting as a detached squad.
- Mark The Leader – Mark the raid leader, and stay with them as much as you possibly can. If s/he leaves? You leave.
- Run Them Over – If they enemy is dumb enough to get caught in the path of a raiding party, kill them and do it quickly. However, you need to be leave the area just as quickly. Don’t gloat, dance, tea-bag or anything else. Hanging around only reveals your position to his friends and gives your downed enemy time to orient themselves so they can report your direction and numbers when you do leave.
Roaming as a Pack [ Forging a Pack ]
- Form Groups – Work in small units within the raid. You should be hunting together, picking targets if possible and maximizing your damage output.
- Form a core group(s) at the Citadel or main spawn areas prior to leaving. Encourage people to “tag along” with you group if you come across them during your raid. Splinter off members of that core group to become leaders of these new groups and pass along your methodology to these new recruits.
- Keep Your People Up – If someone goes down your top priority should be to revive them. Avoid leaving a downed player behind if at all possible, but not at the cost of you going down yourself. One of the most common mistakes I see people making is chasing down a single fleeing enemy while someone is still down nearby.
- If the raiding party is forced to withdraw due to superior enemy players, leave them. But until the order to withdraw is given, get your people up so they can continue the fight. This should be second nature to the vast majority of wvw players, but some new players to the game may not be familiar with it, yet.
- Hit Hard, Hit Fast – Don’t mess around, don’t hold back. Kill things as fast as you possibly can. Don’t just “hit auto-attack and watch the action.” Use your elites, use your combos, use your conditional damage to overwhelm the recap timers.
- Move Faster – Do not hang around any one area longer than you absolutely must, especially if you have been detected.
- While you are waiting for the capture bar to fill in a supply camp, move as far as you can towards your new target ( ie – don’t stand in the middle of the camp ).
- If you have one “fast” member of the raid ( a Thief or Mesmer ) the main raiding party should leave the camp two ticks prior to the capture bar filling up, leaving one guy behind to catch up.
- Mesmers and other classes that can cast haste on groups should focus on those in the rear of the column. Do not simply haste the forward elements continually. This creates an elongated column which will lead to many more problems than a column that is moving fractionally slower.
- During a Siege? You’re a Sentry – A raider’s job during a siege is simple: check for cannons and oil, you build the siege equipment and then you are a sentry.
- A raider should never attack the door, the wall or any other object. You should not randomly attack the wall unless called on to do so by someone in the raid leadership.
- The raider should be standing with their back to the door, fanned out in a semi-circle, watching for any response from the enemy. The more raiders that are present, the deeper and wider that pack of sentries should be.
- When enemies are sighted you should immediately give some basic information: cardinal direction of inbound relative to the besieged target, strength of numbers ( and server, if you know it ) and lastly if they are “coming in hot” or looking to “engaging us.” Coming in hot would mean that the player is trying to gain entry to the tower and must be rendered immobile.
Tactical Considerations of the Pack [ Thoughts of the Fox ]
- Randomize your Advance – While it is actually advisable to hit the supply camps in a sequence, you want to approach these camps from a variety of vectors and keep your entry and exit routes hidden as best you can. If you are spotted upon entry, watch all exit routes and leave by the path of least resistance.
- Remember, there is nothing to be gained to fight to defend a supply camp. Therefore, don’t stick around any longer than you have to.
- Defending a Tower is for Idiots. Hit it, take it, and get out.
- Even if a route takes longer, it is probably advisable if it gives you the advantage of approaching unseen and keeping your flanks clear.
- Establish a Pattern, then Double Back – When you’re going after supply you want to hit the supply camps in the same sequence. Repeat this sequence two or three times so the enemy gets into a habit of “and now we go there … come on, let’s do it again.” Boredom is your ally. Watch the map and when they follow your sequence one step behind you, double back and eliminate their counter-capture party.
- If you cannot reach the previous supply camp before they can kill it, lay in wait outside of the camp and strike it while the enemy is attacking so you can use the NPCs as your ally.
- If possible, link your trap up to when quaggs are hanging out to stack the odds in your favor.
- Create Diversions – Information is power. Control the information as much as you can, and gather as much of it as you can.
- If you’re being followed, or think your movement may have been spotted, use the game’s detection of combat to mislead the enemy concerning your movements. Attack some animals until the swords come up on the map, and then immediately change direction away from your previously intended target.
- Detach a group from your main raiding party to hit the sequenced target while the main raiding party leap-frogs ahead to another target. This detached party should attack only long enough to create a “contested” state and then disengage to withdraw to an observational point to alert the main raiding party of any response.
- Strike at sentries or auto-attack towers ( without putting down siege ) prior to actually taking an intended target to gage response time and numbers.
- Some guilds/servers have been stationing sentries in supply camps for the sole purpose of letting someone be killed to act as an alarm. The unresponsiveness of these players makes me suspect that they are secondary accounts. When these deliberately stationed players are encountered you should assume that you are being watched. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could use this to your advantage – send in a fraction of your raiding party to take the camp in hopes of luring out “alt’s” main character.
- Have Supply, Drain Supply and Waste Supply – Supply is a weapon, use it against your enemies.
- You should always make sure you have supply so you can build any siege that’s required by the raiding party.
- The raiding party should take “pit-stops” at keeps/towers that have recently survived a siege to repair walls/doors. The goal is to expend as much supply as possible. This should always occur immediately after the raiding party has been used as a hammer to lift a siege; you want the keep to survive long enough for you to do it again.
- Never draw supply from camps in “friendly” territory unless absolutely necessary. Take supply from camps frequented by the enemy to deny them of it. Even if it sets them back a couple minutes, that’s that much longer before they have a ballista or arrow cart built. Players also have the tendency to “queue up” for supply if they encounter a drained supply camp, thus breaking up their group cohesion.
- Similarly, if raiding a tower which there is no reason to maintain control over, drain as much supply as possible so the enemy cannot upgrade it when they recapture it.
Organizing the Pack [ Free the Fox, Run with the Pack ]
- Know a Few Basic Commands – Know the commands, everyone use the same commands and obey the commands given by those acting as “officers” within the raid. You should have two officers ahead of you in the raid: Raid Leader ( the guy with a target over their head ) and your squad/group leader. If anyone else tries to give an order, and you haven’t been told to listen to them, ignore them and stay with your squad.
|Rally Up / Form Up||Prior to hitting a target a “Rally Up” call will be given. This is to gather all of the raiding party who might have lagged behind during the advance.|
|Hit It||Attack the called target.|
|Run ‘em Over||Giving clearance to the raiding party to chase down and kill a fleeing target.|
|Disengage||Usually typed as “DISENGAGE” in general /say, and immediately followed by a direction ( N, S, E or W ) this command should be responded to above all other considerations and result in the raiding party moving off with all haste in the called direction.|
|Regroup At X||When separated, or the raiding party suffers casualties, a Regroup location needs to be issued promptly. Make sure that this location is reachable by all members of the raiding party easily and quickly with as little danger as possible.|
|Hold||Halting an advance|
|Eyes Up||Enemy presence has been reported/believed to be in the area and all members of the raiding party need to be aware of their surroundings and be ready to act on any further commands.|
|On Me||A general command for organizational purposes and can be given at any level ( by a raid leader or a team leader ). Frequently used to sort out the raiding party from other allies after a fight, or when the raid leader is attempting to organize people in to teams prior to leaving the citadel.|
- Gather Mass – Until your raiding party reaches a critical level of momentum due to success, each time you are forced to regroup you will suffer attrition. Therefore, you should be very careful how/when you assist/encounter groups of allies.
- As Thurb says, “Don’t Cross the Streams.”
- Furthermore, you should clearly communicate to your people how to exit that situation and move away as quickly as possible after any action is resolved. ( If possible, your raiding party should be briefed on their exit strategy before the engagement is joined. Make sure this includes such orders as “Don’t enter the keep” in order to keep your raiding party from intermixing with the keep’s defenders. )
- The longer your parties mix, the greater the chance that people will begin to follow the wrong person and be lead away.
- Do not engage in larger scale action until your raiding party has a level of cohesion that it can enter into action and then disengage from it at will. To use a cavalry term, you need to be able to wheel about just as easily as you’re able to charge.
- Remember that your raiding party’s success will be seen by others on the map, and other players will seek to join you. Calling out “Regroups” and “Striking X in 30seconds” will attract new followers.
- Building a reputation and hitting targets ( especially taking towers quickly ) will instill some fear in your opponents, dramatically so in those less organized. Hitting them hard enough, repeatedly enough, will eventually run them off the map. When they’re off the map? You can take the keep with ease.
- Hit targets you know you can take, ignore all those you cannot.
- Striking targets “hard and fast” over a long period of time will wear down the will to fight in your enemies and they will start to become lax with their retaking of targets. When you notice a discernible drop in response time adjust your targets from supply camps to towers.
- Kicking the malcontent for the greater good of raiding party cohesion is essentially, and will often be seen as warranted by the raiding party as a whole - they want to have success and will see these complainers as unnecessary distractions and poor "team players." They are not committed to the cause and the raiding party is better off without them.
- Officer Structure – Controlling a Raiding Party of any real size takes some work. Breaking people in to groups is only part of the solution. My recommendation for an “ideal raiding party size” is twenty to twenty five people. This may sound rather large, but that’s the point. You want to be able to take any target swiftly, given the opportunity. With twenty people you can drop four rams without worrying about resupply and take an unguarded keep in short order. But, how does that command structure work. Some is straight-forward, other parts are not so obvious.
- Raid Leader – This is the player who is in charge of calling the shots, picking targets and calling for any change in tactics ( such as Disengaging ).
- Deputy Raid Leader – One of the disadvantages of the current chat system is that it’s actually rather easy to get yourself flagged as a “spammer” if you’re trying to communicate via text. Mumble solves some of this, but not all, as you will never have every person in your raiding party on your mumble server. Therefore, you need to designate one player in the raid leader’s group to be the deputy. While the general /say can get flagged for spamming, it is still possible for that person to communicate in /party chat. The deputy is then responsible for relaying messages to the rest of the raid as needed.
- Team Leaders – You want one player in each team who is designated a Leader. They should be experienced raiders, know your methods and be able to convey messages to their groups quickly, effectively and politely. You don’t want hot-heads who piss people off.
- Strategic Liaison – One player, preferably someone with a good relationship already established with the other major players/guilds who are operational in wvw, should be designated to be the raid leader’s “voice” when dealing with their counter-parts either directly or via /team and /map channels. This should free the raid leader up to make the “moment to moment” decisions about where to go. The liaison should then interject with any strategic decisions/requests made by the other commanders on the map. When necessary, this player will update the raid with specific instructions about directions of approach and withdraw so the raiding party doesn’t “cross streams” with another body.
- Scout – when the raiding party is required to remain stationary for regrouping purposes it is sometimes useful if one player detaches themselves to scout. The entire raid should be made aware of this so they do not try to follow him, and so the scout’s group ( if he is not already in the raid leader’s group ) can update the raid as to his/her findings.
- Grouping Structure for a 20+ member raiding party.
Team 1 ( Leader + 4 )
Team 2 ( Leader + 4 )
Team 3 ( Leader + 4 )
Team 4 ( Leader + 4 )
Team 5 ( Raid Leader, Deputy, Strategic Liaison, Scout )
If the Raiding Party must split their command, the Raid Leader and Strategic Liaison should take two teams, while the Deputy and Scout take the other two teams. However, they should remain grouped for communication purposes. Individual teams should never be split.
Final Thought for the Pack?
It is vitally important that you keep your raiding party together, and continue to have success on your own. Success of the raiding party should be maintained above the concerns of the map, even defending "vital" keeps.
Hopefully these rules prove useful to others.