Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns: Initial Thoughts On Stronghold


By watching Guild Wars 2 Stronghold videos released on March 3rd by GW2 community members Aurora Peachy, Blu, Bog Otter, and Jebro, I’ve came up with a small summary of what I think of the mode, how the Revenant fairs in Stronghold (and in general sPvP) and strategies players used.

How The Revenent In Stronghold Fairs

So from what I’ve seen of the Revenant, it seems pretty powerful. Shinryuku, a popular GW2 streamer, played the most convincing Revenant in a Stronghold match and had some pretty good success with handling conditions as well as taunting targets in order to help NPCs get to their objectives. Revenants also have some great AoE coverage for areas of contention like the supply area or a lord room. I can’t really say that Revenants are balanced at the moment because it IS a demo after all, there’s much more work to be done on the class. I will say that they’re not underpowered and pretty tanky. For dealing with the Revenant taunts you just need to use a stun break. For the Revenant AoE you have to position accordingly; granted this may be hard at times but plently of classes have AoE that will be difficult to evade in small spaces. Overall, I think the Revenant is in a pretty good place for PvP right now.

Analysis Of Stronghold Videos

Jebro had a great video, detailing some of the basics of the map including where supply are, NPC spawns and so on. What was interesting is that Jebro noted that the gates could only be damaged by Doorbreakers. So it’s very essential that players get Doorbreakers through for gate damage. Also, guards really do one shot Doorbreakers but can be distracted by enemy players. Also, Doorbreakers take time for a player or a non-guard NPC to take out. So guards are pretty important to guard against enemies (ironic no?), pretty much like you would fight with guards in WvW if a havoc group showed up.

Blu took tactical commentary with his video discussing how teams started and what enemies were doing and his thought process on reacting. At first, it seems everyone rushes to the supply camps after spending their initial supply. Then a fight breaks out. After the initial fight, it seems a push-push as Blu put it, is made where teams are defending or attacking all the while some players are running supply. I’ll talk more about this later but I saw Doorbreakers easily walking by when guards have agro so think it’s too easy for Doorbreakers to get by.

With Aurora’s and Bog’s videos it shows the strategic routes they took in their games. Do note that they mostly play PvE so it was really cool to see them do well. Aurora ran supply a lot but she would always try to be out of vision when channeling supply during fights nearby. This may seem small but it results in a ton of Archers and Doorbreakers coming through which made Bog’s task way easier. Bog took a great approach to his first match and I was surprised no one tried to stop him. He solo ran right to the enemy gate after everyone used their initial supply on Doorbreakers and Archers. Then he proceeded to take out the guards or at least get agro while the Archers helped out and the Doorbreakers did their thing. Bog got all the way to the 2nd gate until Jesse Cox came to stop him. This was a great tactic for the first game. If everyone rushes to supply and starts fighting, no one will be paying attention to the mini map to see your gates and guards getting pummeled. However, the same trick didn’t work as well twice but Bog still got a gate and three guards down before Blu started to stop him. So it seems that rushing the gate with a few Doorbreakers and Archers with one person works pretty well, we’ll have to see in future iterations.

Tactics and Other Aspects

What I thought would be interesting would be the use of the trebuchet but no one seemed to use it in any of the videos. It makes me wonder if a majority of players will want to use the trebuchet to their advantage or will it be justa decoration for most Stronghold matches. I think around 1/3 of my matches on the Battle of Khylo map is when at least one person uses the trebuchet. I really think a majority of players don’t like using trebs too much but rather get into the fray. Still, I’d like to see how useful the trebuchet is versus a horde of Doorbreakers for example.

Seeing the tactics used in matches I think the 1-4 split was pretty effective. One would go for enemy gate and 4 would go for supply like in Bog Otter’s matches. A person from the 4-man supply would peel off to guard their gate (or use the trebuchet if necessary). Then the 3 man team would slowly dissolve into one or two people running supply and helping out as needed while a person roams in between both lanes.

Stealth will be a huge mechanic, for ninja supply runs and to get doorbreakers to gates unnoticed. I’m 100% sure you can’t channel hero or supply while stealth but there are so many uses for it that I can definetly see different specs for Mesmers and Thieves.

What I’d Like To See

For Doorbreakers, I’d like for them to not get so easily past guards. You can see in Blu’s and Bog’s video that Doorbreakers easily slipped by guards that have agro. I feel at the very least that Doorbreakers within a certain range of a guard will cause that guard to agro onto the Doorbreaker, even if engaged in combat against a player.

For the Hero spawn, I think it’d be great if there was a voice indication that a Hero is spawning like on Forest of Niflhel when Svanir or Chieftain appears instead of “It can’t be far to that Mists Essence”. It’s not intuitive what that means. The voice in this case would say something along the lines of “A Hero from the Mists will be ready to fight soon” and then the 30 second count down begins.

In Conclusion…

That’s all I have to say on Stronghold for now. It looks like a fun mode that PvP, PvE and WvW players can all enjoy. I personally can’t wait to get my hands on it! Here is Jebro’s Stronghold game guide for those who want a look:

Posted on March 4, 2015, in Games, Guild Wars 2 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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