THE WARbert REPORT: STONETROLL CROSSING

Stonetroll Crossing is the T2 scenario for EvC. It is a murderball/flag capture mechanic with some fun twists. At the top of the spiralling mountain in the center of the map is a “pacifier”. You have to grab the pacifier, then travel to three troll groupings around the map and “pacify” the trolls – all within a set time period or the pacifier resets. The trolls aren’t just there for good looks though – they hurl rocks around the map causing an inconvenience along the way. For example, if you try to park a few people where the pacifier spawns while it is in control the trolls will toss some rocks at you and knock you off the mountain. This scenario does a lot of good, and ensures a level of back and forth gameplay that is missing in Phoenix Gate and Mourkain Temple.

Those of you in beta remember what Stonetroll Crossing used to be – a king of the hill scenario! The trolls were still there being a pain, but the whole purpose of the match in the old beta days was to hold the flag at the top of the hill which had a timer capture mechanic similar to Nordenwatch. Problem back then, was that the way the terrain is designed it was pretty much impossible to take the hill once it was captured – it was a ranged DPS nightmare and heavily favored meelee – the new way it works is much more player friendly.

Match typically goes like this: Both sides beeline for the pacifier and whichever gets it attempts to pacify the three troll groupings within the specified time. In my experiences having the pacifier isn’t any sort of guarantee with the side failing upwards of 50% of the time

People generally forget that: You have a short time frame to get to all three objectives. Slowing down the enemy pacifier is as effective as killing them outright.

The “oh – po0p” moment: Your team is spread out all over the place guessing which section the enemy will try and pacify next, they go to a different one for an easy cap

Facepalm: Your side gets the pacifier but the person who grabbed it thinks its Mourkain Temple and runs back to your spawn holding it

Don’t fall for: Stopping to kill an enemey who doesn’t have the pacifier, while the pacifier trots away to get easy points. On offence it’s the same thing, stick with and defend the pacifier and let the stragglers run away.

Best way to win: No surprise here, move as a big unit, focus on protecting (or killing) the pacifier. Always stay focused on moving to the next objective to beat the clock. Don’t stray

What needs to be fixed: Not much. Hats off for this scenario. The mechanics are designed to stop pacifier camping and force the team to move the objective forward or it resets. Lessons can be taken from STC and applied to the other T2 scenarios to make it just as fun. Typical matches sees several caps per side, several resets per side, and good back and forth control.

As an Engineer on defence: This is a constantly moving scenario so instant turrets (if you have the tactic) is a good idea. Focus on slowing the enemy with the pacifier (or his friends) with a healthy dose of barbed wire. Damage done at the pacify flags will interrupt a capture so stop them wherever possible. Land mines are good here to knock down a group of enemies for a couple seconds to allow your team to kill the pacifier.

As an Engineer on offence: Again, constantly moving so be ready with your instants. Your goal here is to protect whoever is carrying the pacifier and try to help them build distance while moving between the three cap points. Because of the nature of no hunkering down don’t expect to lead the leaderboards in offensive categories, but play for the win.

Final Thoughts: The old STC is reminicent of the shortcomings of the current other T2 scenarios but this one gets it just right. I still enjoy all three T2 scenarios and with a few slight adjustments they can all be fantastic, and more balanced. T3 scenarios change a lot – you have 2 per pairing and it will be interesting to see how that reflects on que times moving into the semi-final tier.

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