Flameseeker Chronicles: A PvE carebear’s guide to Guild Wars 2 WvW and the Warclaw

    
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By now, you’ve probably seen this hulking, armored cat bounding around Tyria. No, not my Charr warrior; I mean Guild Wars 2’s new Warclaw mount. If you love the cosmetic options of having a variety of mounts as I do, you probably got excited when it was announced, but if you’re also primarily a PvE-only player as I am, you were probably disappointed when you saw that while it’s usable in the open world like all of the other mounts, it can be obtained only through completing a series of achievements in World vs. World.

Well, dear reader, I’m here to help my fellow carebears through the process of picking up this mount! It’s surprisingly less painful than I expected!

Before we get into it, though, I want to emphasize up front that the Warclaw should be obtained by PvE players only for cosmetic reasons. It is slower than any other mount, it’s barely any faster than normal running with swiftness, and its engage skill does the same damage as the raptor. It was designed to be useful in WvW and only in WvW. But look how cool it is! Why wouldn’t you want it just to run around Lion’s Arch?

I should also mention that you need to own Path of Fire before you can work toward this or any other mount in Guild Wars 2. Sorry, take it up with ArenaNet.

The first thing to do is to understand how WvW works. I really can’t stress this enough. There are a lot of dedicated WvWers, and this is their part of the game. I’m sure they wouldn’t appreciate a bunch of noobs bumbling around their maps messing everything up, hoping they’ll stumble into an achievement. You wouldn’t want someone showing up to raid night in assorted yellow armor and asking what “breakbar” means. Don’t be that guy in WvW. It’s OK to be bad at first (goodness knows I’ve spent far more time running back to fights than participating in them), just be sure to do your homework and understand the basics.

As the name implies, World vs. World is a large-scale, long-term PvP battle between three worlds. Servers don’t really matter for much of anything in Guild Wars 2 anymore except in WvW. Every week, your server is paired up with one or more other servers, usually a larger population server with a smaller one, to become one “world,” and your world is then matched up with two opposing worlds. The goal is to occupy as much of the map as possible for as long as possible. Above is a typical map, with the red, blue, and green teams occupying different sections of the map. In the middle of each section is an objective, which can be a camp, a tower, or a keep. There are also ruins in the center, which, when captured, gives your team a small buff, but they do not contribute to score.

Many objectives have walls around them that require siege weapons to break down. Siege weapons require supply to build, which is generated by allied resource camps and can be picked up at most friendly objectives. The number of supplies you’re carrying is displayed at the top next to a barrel icon. As a WvW newbie, I left the siege weapon deployment to the professionals, but adding supply to build up siege weapons is equally important. You will want to stay alert as the siege weapons do their thing, as enemy players will likely show up and try to destroy them and prevent you from taking the objective. Once inside, there will be a PvE-style boss to fight, and once that boss is down, you can capture the objective. Once that’s done, be sure to stop by the harvesting nodes for some free crafting materials before moving on.

The first thing to do once you understand the mode is to look up a build guide for your preferred class. I’m told that Engineers, Necromancers, and Rangers are among the best/easiest classes for WvW, but this is Guild Wars, so theoretically any class is viable, if not optimal. Personally, I used my Thief. WvW is a whole different game from PvE, so your standard fractal or raid build isn’t going to cut it here. You could probably just feel your way through something that works, but that’s going to give you a lot of unnecessary frustration. Just save yourself the pain and go with what the experts are using and tweak it to your needs. Personally, I use the guides on MetaBattle, but there are a lot of great builds on the forums or other fan sites. Look around and find one that appeals to you.

The next thing to do is get with a group. The best thing here is to get with a guild that does both PvE and WvW that can show you the ropes. Voice coms help a lot in this situation. Be up front with them that you’re not primarily a WvW player but would like to learn the mode and get your Warclaw. In my experience, most Guild Wars 2 players are a pretty understanding bunch. Guilds who do both PvE and WvW will better understand where you’re coming from, and if you decide to never spend another minute in WvW after you get your mount, at least you can do PvE content with those people and nobody has to feel like you used them and then ditched them. Also, remember that WvW is the one part of the game where your world matters; if your guildies are on another world, you will not be able to join them for WvW.

If you, for whatever reason, don’t want to work with a guild, you can always just use the time-honored method of finding a zerg and blindly following that commander tag wherever it goes. There’s nothing wrong with that.

All right, now that we understand WvW a bit better, let’s dig into what we’ll need to do to get the Warclaw. There are eight items needed to finish the Warclaw collection. They are the Warclaw emblem, gorget, horn spikes, saddle, helmet, body armor, leg armor, and tail armor. This is an item collection achievement, so you don’t need to keep the items or get them all on one character. Once you get each piece, you can double click it for a few skirmish claim tickets.

The easiest piece to get is the emblem. To get it, simply enter the Mists, open the WvW panel at the top of your screen, click the Ranks and Abilities tab, then spend one world ability point on Warclaw Mastery. This will also start the collection, so be sure to do this first.

The next most straightforward pieces will be the gorget, horn spikes, and saddle. A “gorget,” by the way, is apparently like a metal collar that protects the throat/neck. Massively OP: Googling stuff so you don’t have to! To get these three items, you must help to capture a keep, camp, and tower, respectively. If you simply follow a zerg around for a while, you will probably end up doing this sooner or later.

The body armor and leg armor are also fairly easy. Both can be purchased from a Warclaw Vendor. The body armor — which, for whatever reason, is called Warclaw Armor Bolts in the vendor but body armor in the achievement — costs 50 WvW skirmish claim tickets, and the leg armor will set you back 250 badges of honor. You should easily get that many of each currency while getting the other pieces. The tail armor drops from guard NPCs, with each guard having about a 10% chance of dropping the item according to the official wiki. Remember that the Central Tyria autoloot mastery doesn’t work in WvW, so make sure you don’t leave any loot on the ground! I got this drop in about an hour, but your mileage may vary.

Finally, we come to the hardest part: the helmet. This one requires that you fill up the Warclaw Reward Track. You should probably toggle this on right after you grab the emblem; it’s located in the same menu, on the Reward Tracks tab. Reward track progress is awarded every five minutes based on your participation score. If you want to really dig into what increases your participation score, this article on the wiki has all of the information you could want, but the short version is that you should just go play WvW and it will fill up in a few hours. Remember to use boosters that increase reward track gain to make this go faster! If you’re anything like me you’ve got loads of them clogging up your bank anyways, so you might as well. Also, be sure to check out the WvW dailies; they give potions that fill up a bit of your current reward track.

Once you have all of those items, you will be awarded the Warclaw Certificate of Ownership. Click that item, and you’ll be eligible to buy the Warclaw from the Warclaw Tender for only eight gold. The mount is, like all of the other mounts in Guild Wars 2, unlocked account wide! Congratulations on your new Warclaw!

If you want to progress your Warclaw further, you can put more world ability points into it, sort of like the mastery ranks on other mounts. I won’t go into that here, but you can read about it on the official wiki. Just note that while many of the upgrades are extremely useful for WvW, none of them has any effect in PvE. Again, it’s a WvW mount that’s designed to be useful only in WvW.

Hopefully this helps PvE-centric players like yours truly get into WvW and earn their Warclaw. The Mist War could always use more recruits! I hope you’ve found a new appreciation for a game mode that’s somewhat intimidating to those of us who haven’t done much RvR-type PvP. Access to the Warclaw is practically a requirement for serious WvW at this point, so if you do end up deciding to stick around, this is a big first step toward becoming a veteran WvWer. Be sure to take good care of your new mount. Clean out its litterbox every day, and remember to bring it back to the Mists twice a year for its shots.

Flameseeker Chronicles is one of Massively OP’s longest-running columns, covering the Guild Wars franchise since before there was a Guild Wars 2. Now penned by Tina Lauro and Colin Henry, it arrives on Tuesdays to report everything from GW2 guides and news to opinion pieces and dev diary breakdowns. If there’s a GW2 topic you’d love to see explored, drop ’em a comment!
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Natalyia

Couple things to note. One is the “Edge of the Mists” map, which is an “overflow” map that all the servers the same color as yours share. You can’t do everything to get the Warclaw there, but you can do most of it, including the progress on the reward track (typically the one that takes the most time in-game.) The game will make as many copies of the EotM map as it needs, so you can always get in that one.

The other is that even if you’ve not got an awesome Metabattle build, or have leet PvP skillz, there’s useful things you can do in WvW. You can roam in the backfield of the enemy factions and attack supply yaks or the camps the come from for example. Those are PvE encounters (unless defended) and the loss of them matters. If you’re defeated, well, that leet PvPer was spending time defeating you instead of attacking something belonging to your side. :)

Also, just wandering about the areas your side controls and calling out when places get attacked, or defending them if you can is really useful. “20 greens incoming to [name of tower/camp]” is great info for your side.

Helping repair towers after a battle is great too – grab supply from a nearby camp or somewhere that has a lot still, and head to the damaged walls and interact to repair. Often the foes who attacked will be back again shortly, and having the walls more repaired will help.

Running with the zerg and capturing places will give you progress faster, of course, but if you just want to get a WarKitty and help out your side in a low-stress way, then just being helpful in the map can get you there.

And if a zerg runs by, then maybe tag along until you get blasted (it happens to everyone, eventually) and then go back to your low-stress helping.

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Bruno Brito

The other is that even if you’ve not got an awesome Metabattle build, or have leet PvP skillz, there’s useful things you can do in WvW. You can roam in the backfield of the enemy factions and attack supply yaks or the camps the come from for example. Those are PvE encounters (unless defended) and the loss of them matters. If you’re defeated, well, that leet PvPer was spending time defeating you instead of attacking something belonging to your side. :)

Get used to being bursted by Mirage/Thief roamers.

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Natalyia

*shrug* Death in PvP happens. A lot. And if someone who spends a ton of time and effort on it (and has way better reflexes than me) wastes their time killing me instead of someone better than I am? OK by me. :)

The thing I like about WvW as opposed to something like Overwatch is I’m never the linchpin of the plan(tm). If I succeed, yay. If I get rofflestomped? *shrug*. I’m not ruining the game for anyone because I’m not the best. So no pressure, I can just have fun with it.

And often I can capture a camp, or a couple of us sometimes capture a tower, and that’s nifty. Or I notice the enemy zerg (often by them running over my remains) and give our side a bit of extra notice. And occasionally I end up in a fight that’s not one-sided, and that’s fun too. Or if I’m in the mood for chaotic mayhem, I find a zerg and tag along. For me it’s way lower stress than most PvP situations, so it’s a lot more enjoyable.

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Bruno Brito

Death in PvP happens. It just happens that these two classes are broken right now and they can roam freely while killing stuff quickly.

No one is saying you don’t have worth in WvW as a scouter/camp killer. You’re just overplaying your worth. There’s a reason why metabuilds exist, and why most roamers are also scouters and dolyak killers.

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Bruno Brito

but this is Guild Wars, so theoretically any class is viable, if not optimal. Personally, I used my Thief.

So, Rangers are invited now because of Soulbeasts or are they kicked off squads because they still are just a plink profession?

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Dug From The Earth

Central Tyria autoloot mastery was needed MOST in WvW, the fact that it doesnt work in WvW is just asinine.

Why you might ask? Mostly due to the games own short comings. WvW is full of huge zerg battles which can result in three things which often make loot near impossible to get

1. Lag
2. Low Frame rates
3. Culled objects that vanish visually to help with performance.

All of these things can make it extremely hard to make sure you can loot in WvW, even spamming the loot pick up key. Autoloot mastery would have 100% solved this problem… but again… stupid is as stupid does.

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Natalyia

Autoloot in WvW is available from the WvW ranks and abilities tab (same one as you spend a point to start the warclaw on). I think it’s under provisions masteries? Anyway, it’s on one of the tracks. If you play WvW, it’s not hard to get.

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Dug From The Earth

thx for letting me know, looks like i have some grinding to do the next time i play wvw.

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Natalyia

np. :) It’s the 4th ability in the Provisions Master track. If you’ve got the points but have them spent elsewhere, there’s a vendor in WvW (the World Ability Master) at the initial zone-in areas that will let you reset them. The Warclaw patch came with a free one.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Good article for sure. The WvW community is pretty chill as PvP groups go. As long as you go in there with a good attitude and some foreknowledge, they’re happy to help. Most of WvW is more PvE-ish than not anyway. Except when the zerg rolls over the hill. :)

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Bruno Brito

Depends on the server.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

Nice write-up! It took me 4.5hrs of WvW gameplay with full pip (participation) rate to get the mount where is would normally take about 7hrs thanks to WvW XP boosters.

WvW XP Booster and mini booster: 50% WXP gain
Celebration Booster: 10% to Reward Track gain
Birthday Booster: 100% to WvW Rank gain
Black Lion Booster: 25% Reward Track XP gain
Guild WXP Gain: 3-10% WXP gain

These should stack as well and sheer off lots of time needed to play in WvW. Keeping participation up is key.

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Tamanous

Oh lordy, how far games have fallen.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

All of those boosters are earned just playing the game. >.>

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

I have stacks of those things in the bank that were just handed to me like junk mail, I certainly don’t feel like im paying to win when I check my mail, nor when I get a new booster.