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!
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.