• Hail Guest!
    We're looking for Community Content Contribuitors to Stratics. If you would like to write articles, fan fiction, do guild or shard event recaps, it's simple. Find out how in this thread: Community Contributions
  • Greetings Guest, Having Login Issues? Check this thread!
  • Hail Guest!,
    Please take a moment to read this post reminding you all of the importance of Account Security.
  • Hail Guest!
    Please read the new announcement concerning the upcoming addition to Stratics. You can find the announcement Here!

SotA: Group Tactics Guide

Themo Lock

A few people asked for advice on working as a party, so here is what i have...

Communicate, Coordinate, Stay Together: Be it party chat, guild chat or voice chat, communication is key to successful group tactics. Assign a team leader (a tank build works well) and call targets to focus fire and coordinate buffs, debuffs and crowd control. Stay together as a group, there is little point to being in a party where each individual has a completely different target/goal.

Focus Management: Stack glyphs wherever possible, use reagents for glyphs that require them to reduce fizzle and don't use glyphs that are not needed (don't heal targets that are barely hurt, don't cast a debuff that is still fresh on your target etc). Cut down on unnecessary jumping and rolling (it uses focus). If you have a focus heavy build, consider using the Tap Soul skill from the Death tree.

Pay Attention: Remain aware of your surroundings, keep an eye out for the approach of additional enemies and keep an eye on the state of your target (is it about to die? is it gaining health faster than it is receiving damage? are its debuffs about to wear off?)

Tank Builds
Your primary role: Acquire and hold the aggression of all hostile targets.
Your secondary role: Deal damage to the primary hostile target.
Heavy Armour, Shields, and Earth are (in my opinion) the main trees for an optimal tank build.
Agro: Taunt (Heavy Armour) is extremely useful for group PVE battles, especially if at the same time, assault and support builds use the Escape(Light Armour) skill.
Damage Mitigation: Reducing the amount of health you lose as a tank makes the support builds job easier which in turn increases the overall effectiveness of the team. Deflection, Glancing Blow, Absorb Impacts (Heavy Armour) are great for bolstering defenses, as are Deflect, Angles, Dig in (Shield) and Sympathy of Stone, Bulwark of Earth, Earths Embrace, Shield of Crystal (Earth). Weapon trees also have some great damage mitigation skills like Riposte (Blades), Break Weapon (Bludgeon) and Defensive Positions (Polearms). Defensive Stance (Tactics) is also a great damage mitigation skill. Putting some Healing Touch from the life tree into your deck can also help lighten the load on support builds.
Crowd Control: If your target is not swinging at you, it is not dealing damage to you. As a tank it is a good idea to add some crowd control to your deck. Body Slam (heavy Armour) and Charge (Shield) are great ones for tank builds since they not only stun but also drag you closer to your target. Root (Earth) is also a good cc skill for tanks since it allows you to immobilize targets while you gain/regain agro. Bludgeons can be a really good weapon tree for tanks due its high amounts of stuns.
Keep an eye on secondaries: Pay attention to what is going on and try not to let your sole focus be the primary target. Loose secondary mobs (PVE) can be the death of the party and they need to be kept in check. Finishing off you target in PVP may need to wait if your support builds are being assaulted.

Support Builds
Your primary role: Keep your party alive. Heal friendly targets, kite secondary hostile targets.
Your secondary role: Apply buffs to your party while removing debuffs, apply debuffs to enemy targets.
In my opinion the key to a great support build is mobility. The ability to kite secondary targets in both PVP and PVE can be a huge asset to the party. For this reason mage/ranger hybrids in light armour make outstanding support choices.
Healing: The life tree is extremely useful and pretty much a need for a good support build. Healing Touch and Healing ray for direct heals, Healing Burst for area of effect heal and Healing grace for heal over time. Life Power and Life attunement make a huge difference to healing efficiency and life reach can be extremely useful if you like to remain mobile to avoid damage while still healing your party. The new skill Beneficent Blessing (increased heals on others) is the very definition of a support skill. Resurrect is a must have for group play. Soothing Rain and Summon Water Elemental (water tree) are also great party heals.
Crowd Control and Debuffs: These abilities are what can make support builds invaluable to a party in both PVE and PVP. Reducing your party targets mobility and damage output can make otherwise unwinnable fights short and sweet. Slows from the water tree like Ice Arrow and Ice Field can allow your party room to maneuver and rob your target of any means of escape. Improved stuns using the Air tree can have the same effect, as can confusion from the Chaos tree for PVP. Another great PVP debuff is Torpid Torment from the Chaos tree, causing your target to take damage for every point of focus used. Disabling Shot and Blinding Shot from the Ranged tree are also great group support skills. Include Purify and Purifying Burst (life tree) to clear away debuffs from your party.
Keep the tank alive: Prioritize the survival of your tank above all else, tanks are the cornerstone of the team, if the tank dies everybody dies.

Assault Builds
Your primary role: Deal damage to hostile targets.
Your secondary role: Defend the support builds.
There are so many good assault build skills that there is little need to describe them all but...
DoTs (Damage over Time): DoTs are really important for sustained combat, they keep damage constant on your target and hinder regeneration and (in PVP) will often still kill a target that has managed to run off. Coordination of DoTs within the team can drastically increase efficiency by avoiding identical DoTs being applied by other party members. You do not want a single Flame Arrow DoT overriding a 5 stacked Flame Arrow DoT for example.
Stay with the team: Do not allow enemy assault and support builds to kite you away from your tanks and support, they will die and as a result... so will you.