Cyrodiil Game Play Hints and Tips For Seek and Destroy Missions
These are game play tips from our ESO veterans to make your adventures in Cyrodil even more exciting.
The three main Guild styles to play in Cyrodiil are:
These are large armies that over run the enemy through superior numbers. Zergs are usually a riotous rabble of miscellaneous players who have come together in an ad-hoc way to reign mayhem on their enemy.
Custom Builds for Raid Roles
Some guilds go to a lot of trouble to make sure you have the right combinations of skills in your character build. Each team member has a role to play in their army. For example the raid is made up of a strategic combination of, Healers, Purge Monkeys, Rapid’s Monkey, Disruptor’s, Bombers, Stamina DPS, Magicka DPS and Tanks. If you don’t fit the criteria they frown on you. However both of the above methods work, and have their strengths and weaknesses.
This is when each player has a specific task and knows exactly what to do and when to do it. Now I don’t want this to sound like some strict military operation, because it is not and having fun is still the aim. However, discipline makes up for the faults and weaknesses of the first two methods. Below is a selection of handy hints, tactics and good ideas that will take the mystery out of Cyrodiil Raiding and make it less frightening for PVP players. You may already know some of these clues but I am sure there is something for everyone in the next few lines. Oh, and If you think of something that is not covered here we would be happy to hear from you and add your suggestion to the list.
Hint no 1. The Group
Most people just charge into the fight and end up dead but it does not have to be this way at all. The first and most important thing anyone can learn is the spirit of team work and friendly cooperation. To do this well, you will need an experienced leader that you are prepared to follow into battle and obey his/her instructions. This is a discipline that some independent gamers find difficult to master but the advantages can be very significant. Good leaders always have a plan and all you need to do is stick to it. Knowing what, when and where is the biggest game changer in Cyrodiil and it is probably the least used. A main reason why people form and play in guilds is because you can learn from others.
Hint no 2. Rapid Riding
This is a method of rapid travelling across large distances, where four or more riders stagger the use of the rapid riding ability (found under Alliance War Assault skills) so that players get the benefit of their teammates buff by sharing the ability. The players who carry this buff are affectionately known as rapids monkeys. As the buff runs down another monkey fires off his buff. In this way all surrounding riders get the advantage and are able to maintain a steady and fast pace for a much longer period of time. If you are assigned or volunteer to be a buff monkey you are responsible for the safe and rapid travel of your whole group. The famous Savage Heart Diamond is one formation of players that can smoothly move large distances in a short time without the usual pizzicato or fast slow effect.
As a side note it can take thirty minutes to travel from one side of Cyrodiil to the other, so rapid travel is important. The opposite of staggering the rapid riding buff is stacking it. This is when everyone randomly fires off their rapids skill. This is normal behavior in a Zerg. The result is that some may get the buff, but some may not. The buff will run out at random times and can cause a group to string out across the country side leaving a tail of slower riders with no hope of catching the main group. This means your team is vulnerable to attack especially the slower riders at the back. The difference between staggering and stacking the group can be strategically vital. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm of inexperienced players often leads to a rubber banding effect where the leaders take off then have to wait as the rest of the string catch up. Not only is this rubber banding effect messy it is dangerous to the cohesiveness of the team.
Hint no 3. The Stealthy Stack
When told to stack on a leader, the team dismounts and goes into stealth mode and sits right on top of that leader. The map goes black where they are sitting and this makes it hard to see them. If they are not right on top of each other it means the dark foot print that the group leaves is wider and this can make a big difference to concealment. The enemy have devices to find hidden players so the smaller the dark patch you leave the better. A disciplined group does this automatically when asked but it only takes one player to stand up to give the whole group away. The Stealthy Stack is a feature all players should learn, and apply it even if not instructed to do so. Other players will get the hint and protect themselves as well as you.
Hint no 4. Taking a Resource Flag
As you all charge towards the non-player characters, (The NPC guards), each team member should be using a different special ability. Who does what, should be worked out prior to the attack and if your job is not specified by the leader you need to look at the other players in your group to see what they have chosen to do. The worse scenario is that you all do the same job because this leaves strong resistance from one or more of the NPC’S.
Here is an example. Each resource is usually protected by an NPC who will be high in a tower and will range down damaging destruction on your team mates. Therefore at least one of your team needs to take him out as soon as possible, a bow or destruction staff is good for this, if attacking from the ground. The alternative is that one of your team sneaks in the tower behind the ranger and on a given signal, kills him.
Meanwhile on the ground. If you have ranged or area of effect abilities (AOE) like Caltrops or Endless Hail, these should be cast or fired off as you run forward. These keep damaging for at least ten seconds, so you arrive at the flag and keep pounding away at the guards with your other damage per second abilities. (DPS) The NPC’s will fold quickly and all you have to worry about is the opposition’s players.
Hint no 5. Anti-Bombing Technique
Once the NPC’s are down, you have to wait for the flag to turn to your colours. You need to spread out a little so that the enemy cannot bomb the group. You also need to hold your shield up because you are vulnerable to the enemy while you are standing out in the open. A siege shield cast on your group can help also. If there are a lot of enemy around, a player hidden in stealth can revive the group if a bomber is successful.
The more of your players on the flag, the faster it will turn, so in the last few seconds you should mount up, check the map, listen to your leaders instructions and then take off to your groups next objective. Once the flag has turned to your team’s colors, (flagged), the enemy will see on the map that you have taken it so you must be ready to move quickly to avoid a counter attack. Flagging a resource can be used to lure enemy players into your trap but that’s a whole different strategy. If you are new to Cyrodiil, this all might sound a little confusing, but the whole maneuver becomes second nature after a while to the disciplined team player. Taking a resource gives you Alliance Points, so you should wait for the tick (shown bottom right of your screen) before moving out. The player in stealth can still get the tick if they come in at the last moment before it occurs.
Hint no 6. Resources
Each castle has three resources, a farm, a timber mill, and a mine, and each resource adds to the strength of the castle that they surround. Sometimes you will be required to take resources before taking the castle, sometimes you will be taking resources while another part of your team set up siege on the castle and other times the castle will be taken without taking the resource. (This is a harder option but has the strategic advantage of shock.) The order depends on the nature and purpose of the raid and therefore it is important that you are in voice chat to hear the instructions. You will not have to speak if you don’t want to, but it is important to hear. Savage Hearts uses Discord voice chat, so load it before you start playing in Cyrodiil. Here is the link. https://discordapp.com/
Hint no 7. When Charging a Castle Wall
This is similar to taking a resource. There will be NPC’s on the ground and two or more on the wall. While your team mates are setting up their siege you can take out the guards using the same method as described for the resources. Once the guards are down the siege weapons need protecting from the attacks on the wall and from behind. A handy little thing to remember is that if your team places and man’s three ballista at the gate and then places a ram, the team members on the ballista count as ram pushers as well. Therefore, you have three players who are freed up to protect you. When the wall or gate you are attacking reaches about 12 % this is the signal to pack up. A fully manned ram does 6% damage each time it strikes so let it finish the job while you stow away your siege weapons. Also during a siege you can have three machines going per person as the ballista’s take a long time to load, so you can go between the others that you have set up and fire them while the other two are loading. A castle wall that is damaged will have scaffolding. This gives you a clue to where to attack it.
Hint no 8. Team Objectives
One of the objectives is to unselfishly support your side’s efforts to crown someone Emperor. If you do it correctly, in time you may have a crack at getting the emperors armour for yourself. This is done by owning keeps and gaining Alliance Points.
One of the most exciting phases in this process is capturing a scroll from the enemy. We have this really neat way of gaining the right objectives and sharing that objective with the group. Our team members gather at the mission boards and take the mission handed out to them. If the mission they need is not allotted to them they simply drop it and try again. However, if they are in the field and one of the team has the mission that they are looking for then they communicate through Discord and the mission is shared with them by the player who does have it.
This is handy if the plans change while players are in the field and about to take a new objective. Often while in Cyrodiil, resources are taken by opposing alliances and Elder Scrolls start moving about. When this happens, the mission boards are automatically updated to account for taking the resources/scrolls back. However, you may only complete any specific mission (http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Online:Alliance_War#Battle_Missions) once per day for the bonus reward from the Grand Warlord. (You’ll still earn AP for taking the resources.)”
At the time of writing, Wardens is a new classification so anyone awarded that mission could be stuck on it for hours trying to find enough enemy Wardens to kill. You can abandon this mission and ask the group to share something different that you have not done yet. This way you can received the points a lot faster.
Hint no 9. Charging Through
When the door to a keep or castle goes down most groups just charge in. Not a good idea. If you target the front flag you may meet with hot oil raining down from above.
This is how you do it. Move together, preferably under a siege shield cast by a designated player, but stay loose. Rapids on. Run past the front and head to the back flag. Shields up, AOE and range down, healers moving with the group, tanks distracting everyone. Sometimes it is better to run to the side to get to the back flag. If the group is big enough when the resistance is gone on the back flag some players remain behind to range the front flag while the others rush as a group to the top to douse the oils and clean up stragglers. The enemy will usually flee down the stairs on the other side. If the enemy run they will meet the guys you left on the rear flag. Not many can resist the pincer movement especially when we have good healers.
Hint no 10. Look Out Behind
You may see the enemy sneaking around in a smallish scouting party. Scouting parties are travelling to a point for a purpose. The most effective tactic is not to attack them on sight but, with your leader’s permission, stealth up and follow behind. When they reach their objective they will not be focused on looking behind. You can report their movement via Discord and Chat to your leaders. This is the time that you and your buddies strike. A surprise attack can devastate the party and ruin their plans, especially if they are deep in your territory.
Hint no 11. Getting Killed
Read the article “Getting Killed is Half the Fun”. No one I know likes being killed, but miraculously you come back to life and fight again. It is a good strategy to set a revival point on the map before battle begins so that your team can rally if a wipe occurs. Always listen to your leader for instructions about when to “rez” and when not to. One tactic is to keep one player hidden so that he can revive your team in the event of a slaughter. Another is to set up a forward camp and hope that the enemy don’t find your re-spawning point. Sometimes remaining dead on the ground will make the enemy suspicious of a re-spawned counter attack. Even if this is not the case your body remaining on the ground can cause them a lot of wasted time and resource waiting for an attack that never comes. Meanwhile you are able to report their movements to your leaders while appearing dead. While the enemy are distracted with your dead body they are not somewhere else making trouble and this can be a desirable result.
Hint no 12. Blood Port
This is when you get killed on purpose. This can have many strategic advantages not the least being a quick way to change the location of your whole team in seconds. It is not as bad as it sounds, it is just a strategy to keep the enemy guessing.
Hint no 13. Travelling on the Roads
You may find that your mount moves a little faster when you travel on the roads rather than moving across country. However you are out in the open and easy to ambush on the road, so it is a decision you have to make. Travelling as the crow flies is a good tactic in enemy territory because they don’t know where you are coming from.
Hint no 14. Dolmans
The drops from the various Dolmans across Cyrodiil often give up powerful siege machines so it is worth doing. However you are exposed and vulnerable to enemy attack when taking a Dolman, so you need to be quick and able to move off as soon as possible.
Hint no 15. Delve Bosses
Each time you kill a delve boss in Cyrodiil it boosts the Alliance Points you gain for a limited time. Therefore if you are farming resources to gain Alliance points you need to stop every hour and go into a Delve. If you are in a large group then you need to make sure everyone gets a hit on the boss so that they receive both his treasure and the buff boost. However beware of the enemy who often use delves as a hiding place.
Hint no 16. Quartermasters
Each Resource, Keep and Castle has a Quartermaster from which you can gain all types of supplies. You will find him down at the back of the castle or over by a resource building.
Hint no 17. Naming the Keep or Castle
When you claim a Keep or Castle in the name of Savage Hearts from the Quartermaster the NPC’s wear our Tabard but the big bonus is that you are able to use our guild store at that Keep or Castle.
Hint no 18. Wells
You can get an extra buff from various wells, scattered across the map. When in a group if you all stack up on the well and wait for the leader to activate the well then everyone gets the buff.
Hint no 19. River Jumping
The river Niben is full of slaughter fish and I have not met anyone who has swum it and lived, but at the base of most bridges is a narrow stretch of water that if you are quick you can jump most of it. You will land in the water but if you are fast enough you can scamper up the other side with only a few nips on the ankles. This is a great sneak technique if you don’t want the enemy to know you are crossing or a rapid escape technique around the many water crossings.
Hint no 20. Ultimates
During a battle your ultimate ability should be fired off in conjunction with the other members of your team. The moment of execution is usually dictated by the leader and it is up to the player to keep listening for the orders. Most ultimate abilities have a cool down period which can be shortened by attacking NPC’s. Your leaders should ask for a ready check before charging into battle. The War horn is a popular “ulty” that should be fired off in a staggering effect with other players to prolong the protection to your group. Other “ulty’s” are more useful when there effects are stacked. Listen to your leader’s instruction.
Hint no 21. A Good Team
A good team listens first to their leaders and speaks only when his/her suggestion is constructive and needed. Negative chat between other players should never be tolerated. The price of desertion can range from a friendly scolding to being kicked from the group. Constructive criticism should always be followed by suggestions and alternatives. Just because the leader goes quiet does not mean he/she is doing nothing. It is a busy job so discussions should begin with, “May I make a suggestion?” This is a polite and tactful way of making your point when the moment is right rather than blurting it out.
Hint no 22. The Human Factor
Even when you have everything perfectly in place you are still dealing with human opposition who may surprise you and your team with something new. Whilst your leaders will do everything to protect you there is still a lot of sudden surprises that can throw you off your game. I guess that is part of the fun of PVP on this scale. One of the worst things you can get sucked into is the blame game. Avoid this temptation and keep your playing friendly.
Hint no 23. Loyalty
Sometimes you may come up against an enemy that is very hard to defeat. After several attempts this can be the time when disheartened players give up and leave the group. That is their right and it is human nature to get tired especially when you are not doing well. (Make no mistake, it will happen.) However it is important that you use game etiquette. Your sudden and unannounced departure can have far reaching effects on strategy. You say that you are leaving, thank the leaders and your team mates and then exit the group. To just go, is not only rude but it also leaves your leaders not knowing if the internet kicked you and you are coming back or you just left, so always be considerate.
Hint no 24. Choke Points
These are places on the map where players bunch up to get through. The most common is the faction gates and bridges. There are three ways to navigate your way through. First you can stealth up and observe, when you think it is clear, sneak through. The second is to all charge through together and hope that your superior numbers will overcome resistance. The third and most common is to just take your chances and run through using your rapid buff ability.
Hint no 25. Ambushes
Tactical ambushes are very effective however they require planning, patience and can be time consuming. Sometimes it is hard to contain a group’s enthusiasm for action and they can lose interest just waiting for the enemy to come but the end results can be most rewarding. The landscape of Cyrodiil lends itself to this type of combat quite well because the terrain is varied, with many places for teams to hide in wait for their opponents. These sites provide cover and concealment as well as concentrated fire zones. A well-executed ambush is not only devastating to the opponent’s morale, but their numbers can be significantly reduced in a very short time. A good ambush is not something that just happens it needs to be planned well in advance and the whole team should know what to do and be capable of doing it.
Below are the criteria for an effective Ambush
The Killing Zone
The enemy must be put in a position that funnels them into a narrow place where they have few options for escape. This zone should limit their response, and allows a rapid escape for our team.
Our ambush should allow for maximum cover and concealment to minimize the chance of damage to our own team.
The leader needs to know where the enemy access points are so that our team will not be counter attacked from behind.
The enemy may throw up a forward camp and re-spawn. Your scouts should be position to report on such an action and burn the camp down if they can.
We need crossfire that puts a maximum amount of damage into a narrow focused area in order to put the enemy down as quickly as possible. Their escape should be restricted to prevent reforming for a counterattack.
It is a good idea if our leaders have seen the terrain before and already are familiar with it.
Placing the team on high ground also makes it more difficult for the opposing team to reach our team in an attempt to flee the killing zone.
An escape route for your team and a point at which to reassemble should all be communicated to the team before the ambush.
Hint no 26. Builds
PVP in Cyrodiil is all about team work. Each team member should have a definite job and they must be allowed to play that role. When you join the group if it is not made clear just ask the leader what they want you to do. The discipline of who stands where during a fight depends on the dictates of the leader and their strategy. To form a good team you will have a mix of Damage dealers, Healers and Tanks and you must realize that each one depends on his team mate for survival. If you all just charge in you will surely die. A good leader will let you know beforehand what to do.
Hint no 27. Communication
Not everyone wants to lead because it can be a busy job. A leader must keep one step ahead of the opposition and one step ahead of their own team. You must not only plan your strategy and be prepared to change it in a heartbeat but you must be able to keep your team informed as to what is happening now and what you hope to achieve. Ninety percent of players are happy to just follow the leader. If a player feels that they can do it better, it is not a good time to voice such an opinion in the middle of an action. All aspiring leaders will be given a chance to lead if they ask at the appropriate time. If your leader is not communicating with you and your team then politely ask questions. Remember that this is a game and you are meant to be having fun. I mention this because I have witnessed some rather nasty events during the game, (not our guild) and it spoils everyone’s fun. Good nature, even a sense of humor, politeness and respect make a leader’s job much easier.
Hints no 28. Caltrops Against the Door
When sieging a Keep or Castle door if you step forward and cast your caltrops you get and interesting result. If the enemy are waiting behind the door they will take some Caltrops damage. This shows on your screen as damage to player score. This is a good way to tell if you are going to be rushed and it is a good way to soften up the enemy before you charge in. The other tactic is to fire off a shield just before you enter the gate or breach. This helps protect your team as they bottleneck through the opening.
You can also drop caltrops and other AOE’s from the top deck of your keep through the metal grate onto the enemy attacking your gate or doors below. They may fix this bug but at the time of writing it was fully active.
Hint no 29. Strategy
There are many ways you can have fun while you achieve victory in Cyrodiil. Obviously I have not given away our secret strategies, this is all just basic stuff. To be privy to the really juicy stuff you have to be a trusted member of our guild. If you are new to the guild, welcome, and if you have not joined yet well, what’s keeping you? Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed what I have written and you have learned somethings you didn’t already know. I hope to see you in Cyrodiil very soon on our Seek and Destroy nights.