Getting Started in PvP: Heart of the Mists

Welcome to part two of my series on getting into PvP! For this post I’m going to be going over all the stuff you can find in the PvP Lobby, the Heart of the Mists, and how it can help you.

After you finish the short tutorial the first time you go to the PvP Lobby, you’re dropped off in a large field surrounded by other players. Don’t panic! This isn’t where the actual PvP happens – that is all sanctioned off in instances called Matches. Instead, here you’ll find some basic services as well as some PvP-specific things to help you train for your matches. The Lobby also provides a place to shoot the breeze between matches, since queue times for matches can occasionally be long.

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Above is the map of Heart of the Mists. I’ve labeled the five areas I’m going to be talking about in this guide. You might notice the ruins with the waypoint between points 4 and 5; this used to be an underwater combat training area, however there are no longer any PvP maps with underwater combat, so the area is closed off now.

1. Main Area

The main area where you find yourself once loaded in to the Heart of the Mists has a lot of very typical vendors – to the east there is some ruins with a banker, a Black Lion Trading Post merchant, as well as the other general merchants selling salvage kits and basic pieces of weapons and armor. This is all very useful because once you start earning rewards from the reward tracks (which I’ll cover in another guide!), you can end up with a lot of loot.

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Another important thing you can find in the main square is the PvP Browser NPC. This is where you can browse and look for matches with custom rule sets that let you join in on an ongoing basis If you’ve played a game like Team Fortress 2 or Loadout, this browser functions similarly to the server browser in those games. The default-type matches (you can see some above labeled boring things like Server 010, Server 007, Server 003, etc) are the Practice matches that you can join from your Play PvP panel (accessed from the top of your screen while in the PvP Lobby). I’ll cover the match types in more depth later, but for now keep this NPC in mind because it can be helpful when you want to have a match just for guildmates or friends.

 

2. Test Dummies

Moving clockwise around the map, you’ll find an area filled with golems of varying weight – Light, Medium, and Heavy. These weight identifiers correspond to the different armor types professions use. You can use these test dummy golems to see how much damage you’re doing. This is very helpful for when you’re trying to decide which weapons to use or which traits to use. Obviously, nothing beats getting into a match and seeing how your new trait set up works in practice, but this is a good way to give it a trial run.

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On the northern end of this little area you’ll find golems standing close together – great for trying multi-target skills and ground-placement skills. At the southern end are golems spaced out a bit more for focusing on single-target attacks.

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3. Siege Training

Continuing on, next you’ll come across a small field with trebuchets and canons for you to use and train with. A few maps use items like this and they can be very effective when used well. In this area you can work on your aim and generally how to control them so that when the time comes, you can smash buildings with ease!

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4. Sparring

Next up is the sparring area. Here you’ll find an NPC of every profession (except Ranger, who is probably off acquiring more pets). This is a great area to get used to various attacks from certain professions. Again, nothing beats getting into a match and fighting actual players, but this is a good way to see how you fare against other professions, especially if you’re brand new to PvP. By fighting the NPCs, you can figure out before hand which professions you’ll have a tough time against so you can act accordingly when you come up against them in a match.

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Above is a picture of me fighting one of my mortal nemeses, the Engineer. The NPC version is nowhere near as potent as the player-controlled version, but it is helpful to train against sometimes.

5. Conquest Fights

The final area of the map houses copies of the various NPCs you can fight in some of the matches to get boons or points for your team. Since they are exactly the same as the NPCs in the matches, this is a good are to make sure you can take these NPCs on solo. You never know if you might need to do so in a match. It’s also a good way to get used to conditions that the NPCs might put on you so you know what to expect in the matches themselves.

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After the Conquest NPCs, you’ll find your way back to the main square again! Hopefully this information has helped you. Remember though, fighting NPCs, while helpful training, is nothing like fighting actual players! The training NPCs allow you to test your skills, traits, and damage in a controlled environment. You’ll never know how well you’ll really do til you get in a match. But with a bit of preparation from the NPCs, it shouldn’t be as bad.

My next article will be a brief overview of PvP builds.

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