Over the next few days I am going to touch upon the three T2 scenarios and my experiences playing them. The core of the characters on the server I play on seem to be in this level range, so now is a good time to discuss how to win! My main character is a R18 RR14 Engineer, so will share the perspective in that regard. Keep in mind, the observations I have had are from my server only – I am very curious if other people are seeing the same things.

Phoneix Gate is the T2 scenario for the HEvDE pairing. It is your typical capture the flag scenario similar to Warsong Gulch from WoW – to capture the enemy’s flag your flag must not be in the hands of the enemy. The map is a good layout with a lot of space and ways to cross. The scenario also has siege weapons that come into play for both sides adding an interesting extra layer you need to be aware of. The siege weapons have longer range and do more damage than your typical attacks. You get points per player kill and per flag capture. The scenario is first to 500 points and between two competent teams that score is rarely reached – be prepared to be in there for the whole 15 minutes.

Match typically goes like this: Order sends a small team to capture the flag, and leaves the rest on defence. Destruction leaves a small team to defend their flag, and sends the rest on offence.

People generally forget that: ANY damage done stops a person from picking up a flag. DOTs and instant damage abilities are king here. A single person can keep 5 enemies from picking up the flag for a good period of time. Stick a DOT/AOE on and stay alive until reinforcements come. Stop people from picking up the flag at all costs, even if you are going to die. (I love seeing a MDPS about to kill a healer, walk in beside them, take the flag while the enemy is more focused on getting a kill.)

The ‘Aw sh*t’ moment: Your side is so focused on killing what is in front of you that you do not pan to keep your eye on the flag regularly, and someone sneaks in from the side and takes it. ALWAYS pan regularly to guard the flag or at least try to have the flag in your field of vision at all times when on defence.

Facepalm: You or your whole team goes off into midfield LALA land and duke it out there while your flag is repeatedly captured.

Don’t fall for: If your flag is well guarded the other team will try to lure you away. They will send a juicy target solo off from one of the sides. Who can resist, right? Your entire team goes to chase down the easy kill while their organized second group comes in and easily takes your flag.

Best way to win: Do not even try for the flag. Keep EVERYONE on defence. Their zerg comes in, and may kill 3 to your 1 – but your respawn is right beside your flag. Your 3 are back in the fight before their 1 is halfway accross the map. You can whittle down the other side this way – just make sure that flag is well guarded. You will rack up enough kill points as they slowly stream back into the fight from accross the map that you can completely ignore the flags. Keep in mind, this isn’t the most fun way to play the scenario – but if you just want to win, there you go. Also, just to be on the safe side, if you get a single flag capture you can just hunker down on defence as well.

What needs to be fixed: Flag needs to be worth a lot more points. Kill points should be based on proximity value – if you are within 200m of your flag and you get a kill, it is worth 1 extra point. If you are within 200m of your enemies flag the kills are worth 5 extra (for example). This would encourage some offence and take away the cheese win listed above.

As an Engineer on defence: I love this scenario. Engineers shine in defence situations. I drop a land mine at the flag (ensuring no stealth-cap) and also drop my Flame Turret (which does an AOE every 4 seconds between it’s two special attacks) and put it on aggressive. This gives me early warning if I am not paying attention. If enemies zerg the flag I pop my fragmentation grenade (AOE DOT) and continue using AOE DOT’s and instant AOE casts to keep the flag safe until help comes. I use my AOE/Root to kite as many as possible to stay alive making sure every enemy is taking a steady stream of damage. I use my instant turret tactic in case the other team kills my flame turret – so I can drop another one fast and protect that flag. I don’t play this scenario to do max damage or lead in kills – I play it to make sure no one on the other side has the chance to take the flag.

As an Engineer on offence: Always follow the main assist for max damage. Use the right turret for the right situation – lots of enemies? Use one with AOE. Once we have the enemy flag and start the run back for capture, use  a steady stream of hip shot and the instant DOTs so I can damage enemies trying to hurt the flag carrier while on the run. Use Barbed Wire a lot to keep them off of the carrier and insta-drop the Machine Gun Turret – this turret has the longest range so it can do a lot of damage to a non healing chaser, and when we outrange it just drop another. I’ll sacrifice myself if the enemies chasing down my flag carrier stop to kill me to create distance. I’ll stop and fight them, they stop too, and an extra 100m is put between us and the flag capture. If I die I am just going to rez right by where the flag runner is going anyhow!

Final Thoughts: This Scenario is a lot of fun – unfortunately the scoring system favors not playing the match the way it was designed to be played. A few adjustments can make Phoenix Gate truely epic. In the meantime, protect that flag and get the wins over your personal epeen points so your side can take the realm.

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