In this lesson we will discuss tactics used when fighting in a group formation. Many groups will dispatch numerous techniques that they have found to work well for their play style, this guide will not attempt to cover every tactic, but some of the most common used. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Basics: Before you ever step foot on the battlefield as a group, you need to understand the following: Voice Communication: All successful groups use voice communication programs to communicate with. There are several available to use, some of the most commonly used programs are Ventrilo, Teamspeak, Skype, & Mumble. If you want to be a successful organized group that has a chance at winning, this is a must. UO Auto Map: Use UOAM and the positioning system in it. You can have all members of the group join a UOAM server and it will show their location on your map. This can be very helpful when running to the aid of a member or chasing down the opponent. If you have not by now you should familiarize yourself with popular landmarks in the game to use as location identifiers in voice communications. Don't Be a Weak Link: The group is only as strong as it's weakest members. Train your skills to their max. Use smart hotkeys and macros. Make sure you are properly stocked for PvP. Ask to duel with the better members of your group and learn from their experience. Stay with the Group: It is a common tactic called "Kiting" to lure members of a group away from the core in order to pick them off. Stay on screen, preferably within 5-6 tiles of the Caller, at all times. When you give chase after someone you are putting yourself and your guildmates at risk. Your group is stronger when it remains a group. Follow the Leader: Each group will have a leader of the group known as the Caller. Listen to the Caller and do whatever they say to do. You are piece of a deadly killing machine and they are the brains. If all members do as they are instructed the machine can operate flawlessly. One rogue member can cause the machine to fall apart. Group Positions: These are some positions that are commonly assigned to players in group settings: The Caller: The Caller is the leader of the group. They may or may not be the Guildmaster but when they group is fighting, the Caller is calling the shots. The Caller's job is to give instructions to the group on what is going on, what direction or tactics the group should be employing at that moment, and most importantly the Caller selects the target and controls the synchronization of spell casting. Here is an example of how it happens: The Caller calls out to the group via voice communication The first command given is usually the spell to cast. The Caller may say "Explosions Up" referring to his mages to cast the explosion spell and leave the target cursor up. The next command will be the target. The Caller will say "Target Player X". He will allow you enough time to find the target, but you must do so very quickly. Use an All Names hotkey to display names on screen and pull that players life bar or cycle through by continually pressing a Next Target hotkey until you are targeting that player. Now comes the "Synch". The Caller may use a countdown such as "3...2....1...NOW!" or an even faster command such as "Ready...Go!" when calling for the synch. If everyone times it correctly the result is usually an instant death to the target as all spells land at exactly the same time and there is no time for healing. The caller may instruct to follow through with Energy Bolts as soon as the synch has been called out to guarantee deadly results. This is a good practice in small groups. Larger groups with a proficient Caller will pick more than one target at a time. The first target will receive the explosion drop, while the second may catch the energy bolts resulting in 2 deaths with one combo. It is a good idea to have a back-up Caller should the main Caller get downed he can take over until the main is back in the battle The Healer: Larger groups will designate a healer whose primary responsibility is to heal. While is it important for everyone to keep a watchful eye on each other's health bar and help out when needed, the Healer's main focus will be to cast nothing more than Greater Heals when in combat. They should always have Greater Heal pre-casted waiting to use the spell. The Healer should not have to worry about their own health either, the rest of the group should have his health bar pulled in case he needs a heal. Smaller groups will not have the luxury of a designated healer, they will have to rely on each other to watch their health bars. When you have a designated healer you are adding to the defenses of your group but you are taking away from the firepower. Smaller groups require more skill as a player to be successful against a larger organized group. If someone wants to be a full-time Healer, the Healer Mage template is a great one to use. This will allow you to heal yourself while casting on others. It will also allow you to resurrect ghosts without costing mana. The Healer will have to pull all the health bars of his group on their screen. If the group is too large for the Healer to have all the bars on their screen, a second Healer will need to assigned and the team divided amongst them. The Healer can only heal you if you are cured. Make sure you drink cure potions as fast as possible should you get poisoned. If you are the target of a dump you should spam the "Drink Cure" hotkey. The Healer should remain near the Caller, the rest of the group should also remain near the Caller and that will give the Healer proper range to deliver heals. It is a good idea to have a "back-up" Healer should the main Healer get downed he can take over until the main is back in the battle. The Paralyzer: Not always used but some groups will employ a Paralyzer. This person casts the spell paralyze while the remainder of the group focuses on damage spells. This is usually reserved for when a group in on the hunt and crossing paths with stragglers who will commonly recall or run away. Many times PK groups will run in with a low level spells pre-casted such as harm or weaken and target an unsuspecting victim to break any magic reflect or disrupt a recall and the Paralyzer will attack with a slight delay behind the group to lock the victim in place securing the kill. When large group battles ensue the paralyzer will revert back to a normal offensive potion. The Paralyzer should be prepared to chain cast paralyze in case the target has trapped pouches. Templates And Their Roles: Discussion of how your template should be played in a group setting: The Pure Mage: Healer Mage, Nox Mage, Scribe Mage, Hide Mage, etc... Primary objective is to cast offensive spells in synch with each other to defeat targeted enemies Secondary objective is to watch member's health bars and assist the Healer if necessary The Caller and the Healer are best suited to be of a Mage template, this includes Pure Mages Mages are the most versatile templates for Group PvP and are also the most desired when recruiting Secondary skillset (Healing, Nox, Scribe, Hiding, etc..) is a non-factor in most circumstances and only self benefiting The Tank Mage: Swords Mage, Fencer Mage, Mace Mage, Archer Mage Primary objective is to cast offensive spells in synch with each other to defeat targeted enemies Secondary objective is to watch member's health bars and assist the Healer if necessary The Caller and Healer are best suited to be of a Mage template, this includes Tank Mages Mages are the most versatile templates for Group PvP and are also the most desired when recruiting Secondary skillset is used defensively when mana is extremely low. You should never give chase after an enemy and separate from the group. If you have a weapon that has deadly poison it can be used against melee types who charge into your group The Warrior: Swordsman, Fencer, Macer, Archer Primary objective is to disrupt spells, break apart groups, and inflict as much damage as possible Secondary objective is to resurrect fallen members on the field and heal them to full health quickly Warriors should aid in looting essential PvP supplies from dead enemies When in group combat warriors can not synch and should not attack the targeted player as it may give away who the intended target is. Warriors should focus on attacking the Healer first, then the Caller Warriors who have the ability to use deadly poison should always use deadly poison. Warriors are the least desirable recruitment type in Group PvP. Warriors will most often be targeted first by the opposing team, so be prepared to die. A lot. Tips for Groups: Here are some helpful hints for group PvP. When a player cast a spell you will notice that the character on screen will face towards the person that the spell was targeted. If you pay close enough attention you can predict who a dump is going to target and be prepared to try and heal through the damage. When you are the target of a dump you should repeatedly press your "Drink Cure" hotkey. Any time poison is applied it should be instantly cured while doing this allowing for others to heal you uninterrupted. If you are targeted do no run off screen in a panic, allow your healer to do his job. If your healer constantly fails to keep members alive it's time to get a new healer. The Caller should always target important members first. Take out the other team's Caller and Healer first then dismantle the group if they are brave enough to stick around. Stay in constant motion, many times the Caller will pick an easy target that is standing still or moving slowly. Don't stand out in a crowd. If you're only person on the battlefield wearing a yellow wizard's hat and a black robe you make it easy for a Caller to identify you as the target in a large confusing battle. It is recommended that guilds wear colors that identify them visually with each other. If a group is outnumbered you can use the stacking technique to try and even the numbers. Do this by stacking all members of the group on one tile off screen from the other group and the Caller will choose a target when the enemy enters the screen. This makes it hard for the opposing team to choose a target giving you time to pick them off. If a team uses the stacking technique against your team, run off screen and have all members prime an explosion potion and run in on screen and target the group. You may lose one member but they will most likely lose many or all, but at the least they will be on the defensive and scatter. Larger groups do not have the mobility of smaller groups. Use Kiting, or the art of stringing the larger group out and separating players from the group to pick them off. Keep your buff spells up at all times. Use Magic Reflection every opportunity you can, cast Arch Protection on yourself and others as it can be stacked with Magic Reflection. Use potions as soon as the fight begins. Drink the Strength and Agility Potions to give you the advantage. Cast Bless often. Do not allow yourself to be negatively impacted by debuff spells. Full looting is for after the battle but if you get the chance to loot a weapon, bandages, regs, etc.. that would allow someone to get back in the battle then take advantage of it. Just don't do so at the risk of leaving your group weakened. There are no rules when it comes to Field Fighting, you can choose to use good etiquette but don't expect it in return. Sometimes you have to do whatever it takes to win the fight so long as it is within the legal limits of the servers rules. It takes time for a group to become cohesive and work like clockwork, be patient and practice as often as allowable. A well seasoned team will be very successful.