User:Ich bin marc/Fort Aspenwood Guide
|Note: The guide is not finished|
Here is a guide for Fort Aspenwood, I hope you will find useful.
 General things
Fort Aspenwood (or FA for short) is a Competitive Mission (CM) with two sides : Kurzick and Luxon.
A party has 8 players selected randomly with support of NPCs (defensive for Kurzicks and offensive for Luxons).
Resurrection occurs after 6 seconds and the shrine is in the base (Kurzicks) or the nearest amber mine (Luxon).
Take a quick look to the main article
There are some points on the map :
The Map can be divided in 4 danger zones :
The goal is to defend/conquer a fort.
MAG is near the kurzick's resurrection point and he has 2 friends (the Gatekeepers). MAG has 560 health and Gatekeepers 480. None of them have a self-heal nor suitable build. Furthermore Gatekeepers have a really weak armor (60AL).
Gatekeepers have 2 usages :
Killing them isn't necessary and rewards no additional faction but it will prevent kurzicks to fix the corresponding gates and lower a bit their healing support.
 Gods' Vengeance
GV is the timer of the game. It wipes the luxon team and gives victory to kurzicks when it reachs 100%. Each % takes 6 seconds so the maximal length is 600 seconds (or 10 minutes). Warnings will display at 50%, 75% and 90%.
 Pace of game
It is the key of this format. It is very unlikely to carry a game unless the other team sucks but in this case you will win anyway. Mostly players do the same thing all the match long.
Try to go faster and you will face alone the full enemy team. Try to go slower and you will be useless or be alone since all your teammates are already dead.
Game sometimes have breakpoints which change the pace (i.e. one monk left/get dc in kurz side making them weaker), you should be attentive and adapt yourself to this new pace or trying to reverse it.
There is 3 types of pace : kurzick favor / tie / luxon favor :
 Kurzick Side
It is the defensive side, you have to keep MGA alive until GV completion.
Then you will take position in the fortress or continue running amber. Sometimes you will push outside if you feel luxon team weak. You will usually get closer from MGA as to the game. Don't hesitate to draw foes in NPCs' range, they will add pressure and shutdown most of melees.
 How to deal with Turtles
Turtles are luxon team's main power. They are the main threat to NPCs so you need to stop them. There is 3 ways to deal with them : killing, interruption and stalling
Even if it is obvious than melee have hard time with it since it is guarded by 4 luxons war, it is still possible for them to kill a turtle with blocking skill (i.e. Critical Defenses) and self-heal (i.e. Lion's Comfort). Since luxon warriors hold hammer,skills and equipment against blunt (or physical) damage can improve survival. Turtle Shell reduce non critical damage so it is advised to prefer slow hard hitting attacks (hammer & scythe) rather than fast light damage (axe & sword) or to bring an . This method is slow and risky and with weakness inflected by luxon wars, you won't deal high damage.
Caster and ranged attacker will be safe during the process ( Siege Turtle Attack (Fort Aspenwood) excepted). Thus they must focus on firepower instead of survival. They have great armor against elemental armor, since they are rangers, so armor-ignoring damage ( & ), health degeneration () and armor penetration (Air magic) are viable option. Furthermore turtles are slow and don't move while you are here so damage over time (fire magic) can inflict their full damage and wipe the squad.
But this method has great weakness. First luxon healers can prevent you from killing the turtle. And more you failed at this, more useless you are and you handicap your team. Even if luxons have no healers, luxons will usually protect their turtle and you will likely be killed before you kill or reach it.
Finally, turtles respawn about 10 seconds after the death of the full squad (= turtle + 4). Even if you add traveling time you only disable the turtle for about 40 seconds assuming luxon will send the new right after. But this weakness can be nullified, see here
Killing a turtle is a simple concept but relies too much on offense/defense ratio thus is hard when luxon team has strong heal.
Turtle have only 1 skill to damage : Siege Turtle Attack (Fort Aspenwood) 5 3 10 .
The energy cost isn't null thus e-denial should be working. But the turtle is a ranger and expertise reduce the cost to nothing so it doesn't worth perma e-denialing it, killing is faster and disable the turtle longer.
The activation time should make it easy to interrupt but this skill has a interrupt resistance. You have to interrupt the turtle 3 times to prevent the completion. Hopefully, this 3-interrupt barrier isn't renewed at each activation (to word it clearer if you interrupt Siege Turtle Attack (Fort Aspenwood) only 2 times, the next time you will have to interrupt it only 1 time). So you have to keep your interrupts ready.
A knockdown can bypass this protection but most of them require melee range and thus being under squad pressure so killing the turtle and glitching/killing the squad is a far better option.
Sadly, it's a monster skill. Both words have an impact.Monster prevents it to be disable by Blackout or Diversion. So you will have to interrupt the turtle every 10 seconds. Skill implies not a spell so you have to use universal interrupt. There is few universal interrupt skill that recharge in 10 seconds or less. Some combos are working (i.e. Disrupting Stab -> Exhausting Assault) but camping a turtle all the game long make the killing way more time efficient.
The concept is simple : if the turtle doesn't reach the fort, it can't hurt anyone, except you. The method trades one player for 2 turtles for all the game. It has always a positive net gain since 1 turtle does more AoE damage and AoE enchantment removal than any player and the 8 (sometimes 12 or 16) luxons wars deals more pure damage than 1 player.
The method seems good but has some disadvantages. First your party must fight luxons with one player less. In case your teammates still get defeat by the luxon team without turtles we won't be able to help them since you can't return to base without the turtles, which gives a net advantage to luxons.
Then, you are very vulnerable to luxon team, which won't let you stall their turtle without trying to kill you. This add gain to this tactic since it makes luxons loss time but if you get killed, this free the turtle and luxons, reducing the method's rent ability.
This method is a complement of the killing method. The concept is based on the need of the death of the 4. The goal is preventing turtle to respawn by letting luxons war alive and glitching them in corner.
Lure one of them out of the reach NPCs' range where he won't get killed nor worse kill them. Luckily, they have an awful AI and they get stuck nearly everywhere, especially in corners and behind the gate locks. So if want to stuck a luxon , try to let aggro it in a corner and let him kill you (or shadow step to something outside his aggro).
 Amber running
Amber is a resource you trade for time and produced by amber mines. A amber chuck is called refined if it comes from the green mine between the two commander points.
First of all, owning a mine force luxons to walk more so you save time (or they will gather on one side allowing your team to focus).
Then amber serves two purposes : reduce the remaining time (MGA) or fixing the gates (Gatekeepers).
A amber chuck will add 2% or 4% if refined, it is a respective time gain of 12 or 24 seconds. But each type costs different amount of time, the increased distance of green mine lengthens reaching and carrying time and the additional npc (a monk) make the mine harder to capture. On the pattern portal -> mine -> gate, the green mine trip is 20 seconds longer than the standard one at normal speed so even assuming ideal conditions (no luxons, mine already owned) and the gain time is 12 seconds so carrying refined amber is a total waste of time about speeding the game.
Furthermore ,quality of amber have an influence only for these task so unless you need fix green, you must give refined amber only to MGA.
So the green mine should be ignored unless you have a great advantage and want to force luxon to rez in base.
It is sometimes hard to tell which gates you must fix or if giving it to MGA is worthy. here are some clues :
Green is always the most important. If it's broken, you must give the amber to gatekeepers.
If green is under pressure and you have an amber, wait green to fall to give it to one gatekeeper (and not MGA). If you are quick enough, no luxon will even go in.
Inner should be fixed before Outer. If both side are in same state, fix where there is the less kurzick
When luxon team seems to have great AoE damage, wait a few seconds after a gate broke to fix it. The AoE spells will be reloading and DoT should have expired.
Giving amber to MGA only provide 12 seconds, a fixed gate takes at least 1 Siege Turtle Attack (Fort Aspenwood) which is 13 seconds. So never give to MGA if there is any gate broken.
The luxons wars have a very simple pattern while their turtle is alive : they attack anyone who get in turtle aggro bubble but their aggro range is near the spirit one. So it is possible to keep turtle's aggro without having these guards. So we know how to avoid the wars but how to tank this hard hitting siege attack ? Very simple when you know that it deals earth damage. So it is armor-dependent and you can reduce these damage to nothing without enchantment.
70 base AL +30 vs elemental +15 vs earth with Earthbound Insignia = 115 armor
80 base AL +20 vs elemental with Sentinel's Insignia = 100 armor
+7 from warding modifier
+10 from "Like a Rolling Stone" inscription
+16 from shield with requirements (else +8)
However luxons never agree to lost their turtle. So you should have a decent tank build which doesn't relies on enchantments (at least without cover since Siege Turtle Attack (Fort Aspenwood) removes 1 every 13 seconds) and must counter or hold most of the usual build (elementalist shouldn't worry you since you have high elemental armor).
There is some points where turtles will get stuck on you. First the central plain just below refined amber mine. It is where you go in the first time. Never move too much but try to avoid Chaos Storm and Ray of Judgment since they are the most common AoE armor-ignoring DoT skills. If you die you can try to take aggro again in the same point but i is usually hopeless and you will have to make a choice between orange or purple turtle. Choose the most pressured side and go either a bit less than an aggro bubble behind the turtle (you allow teammates to avoid Siege Turtle Attack_(Fort_Aspenwood) but they can't heal you and luxons reach you easier) or near the teleport (take caution not to enter in) where you are still in caster range but your are also in healing range (but your teammates will still be hurt by Siege Turtle Attack (Fort Aspenwood) (about 50 dmg but still enchantment removal). The hill near the inner gate are the tank point if the turtle reach it (the former point is still viable but not really reliable) and if your the turtles attacks MGA, go on the stair just above the first teleport.
Some tanks carry some damage skill (i.e. Poison Tip Signet to force healers to stay near turtle. It would not recommend it since if healers don't care, turtle will die and free the warriors, lowering the net gain of the method. Do not harm them, it will waste your energy, skills slots, attributes points and armor on weapons sets (since only long/flatbow can reach them). Tell your teammates that these turtles are stalled and they should not kill them and rather focus on player or amber.
While amber is an key resource, only few people take care. Dedicating a character to amber running allows your party to have a constant NPCs reinforce and gain of time, whereas luxons are slowed since they have to do some walking and mine-capping. But you should be aware than your team will be fighting with a numerical disadvantage. This job has 2 parts : capping and running.
First of all, you must look at the targets :
2x Luxon Longbow 330 hp
Skill bar :
They have no heal, a bad skill pool and a very low health. They will annoy you more with their Pin Down ,the cripple lasts 15 seconds. Thus a condition removal skill (or a Rune of Restoration/"Swift as the Wind" inscription) are useful.
You will usually meet the turtle squad while you come back with amber.An high (elemental) armor is handy since the turtle will shoot at them as you will probably be the nearest target. Vital enchantment need to be covered if you have some.
Then the squad can be a pain with "Coward!". If they are full of adrenaline, you will get knockdown at least 2 times and with perfect timing for q knock. It is nearly impossible to avoid this but they don't get further than a adjacent range. So if you are between earshot and adjacent range, you will be stopped but you won't take any damage, or a few hits, since they will do goings and comings between you and the turtle. So just aggro then and run far to pump their adrenaline then run quickly past them.
An another threat is rubber-banding and body blocking (the squad is really nasty here with 4 melees). Try to lure luxon wars to run around them and avoid thin paths (specially those behind the gate locks).
The next threat is players. They are far more dangerous because they aren't predictable. Most of them aren't attentive enough or are too bad to catch you. But the others can be deadly if they spotted you before you get in the safe-zone. If you are chased, alert your team that you carry amber and you need help, sometimes a Word of Healing is enough to save you. More your teammates' presence repels your attackers (yes standing near the runner to relay can prevent him to die). As you play, you should know who play what and how and then find the most threatening amber catchers and which skills (i.e. Bull's Strike) they carry.
If the luxon are planning to body-block you at stairs after inner gate, go through center. It is far more difficult to body-block here, NPCs will help you and luxons should be surprised.
Paying attention to the field is also needed since opening green while it is under pressure or going through DoT AoE spells or traps can ruin the run, and sometimes the run.
Running amber is cool but can you help your team in an another way (i.e. when both gatekeepers fall) ? Most runners keep the amber while they have to help. First you have to identify when you have to help :
When defending you should drop your amber if you aren't a caster. Amber disappears after 10 seconds on ground or if a luxon picks it up. So if you are a melee, give your amber to a non-healer (they already have an hard time don't annoy them more) caster. If you are a ranged martial attacker, go as far as you can from luxons and defend from here while picking-dropping the amber every 8/9 seconds (safer than counting to 10). Always keep them and move if some luxon come near to try to steal it.
 Common errors
Even if kurzick side is defense-oriented, some people play smite, arguing most of the time it's a good way to kill turtle with Ray of Judgment while defending their team.
They are wrong, a turtle has 560 health and a 16-spec Ray of Judgment does 339 damage so unless you take Arcane Echo and thus wasting a second profession, you can't kill it in one try. It is very prone to disenchant and interrupt and is far less efficient than an standard offensive caster (//). It costs a smiting monk 35 and 6 to kill a turtle every 24 seconds (20 from Arcane Echo's , 2 from its and 2 from the first Ray of Judgment's ). It gives one kill every 30 seconds.
At this, smites usually reply about their defensive support ability. But they have a limited used when compared with protection or healing skills (i.e. Smite Condition ≤ Dismiss Condition or Reversal of Damage ≤ Reversal of Fortune)
If smiting is viable elsewhere, kurzick side is in need of healing / defensive support. So when you play smite in kurzick side, you deny your team this healing they want. Let the others do the killing and focus on keeping them and the NPCs alive.
Squads respawn at the first when luxons hold the corresponding commander point after 10 seconds after their death. To word it differently, you only delay the turtle the time you hold the point only after 10 seconds after its death. Thus the only gain is really low since luxons cap this point rather quickly (close to their shrine, no , weak NPCs). The gain is linear of the holding time so to be effective , this method requires idiots luxons (it happens sometimes) or someone defending.
Idiot luxons ,those who won't think of capping commander it, don't think to return to it sending the turtle again (else they will see it owned by kurzick and then cap it). So you must no rely on that. Furthermore, idiot luxons easily get killed in team fight and turtles aren't enough to carry the game.
As kurzick, defending it is impossible. The walk to the point is about 24 seconds while it is 4 seconds for them, they have plenty of time to kill you and capture the point while you are isolated. Calling team for help is pointless since your teammates have to defend the fort. Defending a commander center from 1-2 luxons (which is enough to capture it) is pointless while there is at least 6-7 luxons and perhaps a turtle in the fort.
To summarize, to be worthy this method need luxons to be bad, in this case you will win anyway. Focus on fort, amber and turtle and forget this time-waster.
It's pretty hard to glitch wars and tanking turtle is hard when you have a brunch of luxon on you. Doing this will not only ruin your teammate's job but add additional pressure to your team (since you will free respectively a turtle or 4) just to satisfy your ego.
It is a call for an invasion. Green gate can't be closed while juggernaut is inside, sadly as a he will chase anyone who enter and thus preventing green to be closed. It is a main threat that forces healers to retreat. Then luxons gain a extreme momentum and will usually take over the plaza, resulting them to save an enormous amount of time ,at least 10% of GV.
Healers, if any, aren't necessary close to green gate and luxons inside green gate usually manage to kill one gatekeeper. It is even possible that MGA get killed. Opening green with luxon nearby is a potentially instant loose.
 Useful skills
 Luxon Side
It is the offensive side, you have to kill MGA before GV completion.
What you need to have (pick up some):
Then you will storm the fort and sending fallen turtles to finally reach closer to your target as the game long. Sometimes you will push or rush in if you feel you can do it.
 Using the Turtles wisely
Siege Turtle Attack (Fort Aspenwood) has the highest damage peak with an anti-protection utility. With a shot every 13 seconds, it can't activate more than 42 times per battle (admitting no death and only 40 seconds of movement).So each turtle shot must be used.
Playing a few parties in FA learns you how turtles targets and the AoE damage range. Knowing who will be hit allows you to use the maximum of this skill. Killing the next target before the next shot is ready will hasten your invasion (i.e gates take 2 hit so finishing it just after the first will put pressure on the next NPCs).
A 200-damage hit usually finish off low health targets.Thus spending time, energy, skills and adrenaline on them is a total waste since they are likely to get killed. Focus on resilient target or healers since the spike damage will help you to manage the kill,timed Deep Wound or KD are the key to kill healers.
Note for and : healers are likely to use their most powerful skill right after Siege Turtle Attack (Fort Aspenwood) allowing you to interrupt or divert them easily.
The other key point is the turtle tanker.This one are meant to waste turtle shot. The only way to deal with them is killing them. Since you can't draw turtle's aggro, if you don't (or can't) get rid of them, your turtle is lost.
Finally it's obvious than less your turtle die, more efficient it is (less time spent in walking).
 Amber catching
The kurzick team's resilience is mainly dependent of their healing capacity. Thus people are welcome to bring healer hate.
This is very different from killing then. Indeed, fallen come back to live after 6 seconds with full bars. That's why killing a healer is most of the time a way to restore his energy. In case of multiple healers or low pressure, your target can survive this delay and get healed by a fresh healer.
To avoid this, you must keep them low energy, interrupting or disabling their skills. Most of these tasks are completed by and since they have the ultimate weapons against healers : punishment hex, energy denial, interrupts and pressure hex.
You have to spread the pressure on the multiple healers but prioritize your target in the same time : you have to watch the field in order to find the more annoying healer and ruin his job.
 Initial Splitting
0/8 and 8/0 misses one turtle.
5/3, 6/2 and 7/1 (and their mirror) put less or more stress on the overwhelmed side.
 Common Errors
A lone kurzick must be in its aggro, making the turtle stopping for 3 seconds and the skill be unavailable for 13 seconds. That is enough to let most of amber runner get safe in fort without getting hit.
 Useful skills