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One of the most efficient ways to tackle an AB match is to have all teams efficiently capping. Often a win or loss is determined just by who is capping and holding cap points.
This guide is to explain the tactic "capping" in the context of alliance battles.
On each alliance battle map there are 7 cap points. These points will grant your team with a positive effect when you capture them. Capturing the resurrection shrine allows players to be resurrected closer to the battle, there are certain speed boosts and also "elite" NPC's that when spoken to will follow a player into battle. These buffs mean that if you hold the majority of capture points your team will be in a strategically better position.
There are five maps, Kaanai Canyon, Etnaran Keys, Saltspray Beach, Grenz Frontier and Ancestral Lands.
For Etnaran and Grenz the capture positions are the same.
Saltspray is similar to above with the addition of an extra resurrect shrine.
And lastly Kaanai has the same position of capture points as Ancestral Lands.
When the capping tactic is employed each team basically goes straight forward and caps the two points ahead of them. A team going left will cap both points on the left side of the map, center goes straight forward and the right team caps both points on the right.
One thing is vital when using capping, don't get caught up in petty fights, fair enough defend it from the first wave of people attempting to recap but ideally you should always be on the move in battle, moving to the next cap point. Once the first cap shrines have been taken the most efficient way to cap is to move in a circular fashion around the map capping as you go. It's worth mentioning that most people view the res shrine as an important cap point so there often is a huge battle there which if you are capping it's best not to get caught up in unless you're at 6 of the possible 7 cap points.
Note that holding shrines will yield 1 point per 7 seconds per shrine and that killing a player yields 3 points.
In all cases, a capping team is meant to run around the map at high speeds and wipe out the two to three NPCs at each shrine. This is nearly always done by a method of Area of Effect damage or degeneration for dedicated capping teams, although balanced teams are perfectly capable of wiping out a shrine. For the sake of simplicity, we shall examine dedicated capping builds.
Of these, there are typically two professions used:Elementalist and Ritualist, although others can be used to great effect. These two professions are capable of dealing huge Area of Effect damage in a short amount of time. However, Elementalists are more often used for solo capping, and therefore we will focus on the ritualist.
The perfect example of a ritualist capping team is the Cruel Was Daoshen Capway. This team runs in quickly, holding the item Ashes of Cruel Daoshen, which, when dropped, yields a large 120+ lightning damage AoE effect. They use this in conjunction with another skill, Ancestor's Rage, which deals another 100+ lightning damage over the course of three seconds. Therefore, with the three ritualists on the team, it is possible for them to deal out well over 650 lightning damage in a matter of three seconds.
All this is accomplished within two skills; CwD and AR. Therefore the rest of the bar is devoted to utility; the elite is for energy management, and the rest is filled up with either heals or Natural Stride.
Natural Stride is an excellent skill, enabling a very quick running speed, to decrease the downtime between caps, and it also serves as a block against the Warrior and Ranger shrines, and also as a protection against physical human characters. Note that the Warrior and Ranger shrines are also the hardest to cap, due to their higher armor, and so the block is more necessary.
The heal enables one ritualist to stay alive, albeit for a short time, if separated from the rest of the group.
Finally, the last slot is filled by a standard Protection Prayers Zealous Benediction monk, outfitted with Natural Stride as well, for anti-melee and to keep up with the rest of the group.
In conclusion, a capping team should have:
- 1-3 skills devoted to capping, in other words, dealing damage.
- An increased movement speed skill (IMS)
- Some form of block, although this is not always necessary.
- Energy management
- Not too long downtime
- Defenses against conditions and hexes (in this case, a monk is providing that)
While a build cannot always provide all of these, the more you can have, the better.
Many times when playing Kaanai Canyon and Ancestral Lands, the offensive team is at a disadvantage, due to the location of the spawn point for the defending team. On these two maps, due to the uneven advantage and layout of the map, capping loses its ability to help win for the offensive team. As such the physics of the game change and instead of capping it is need to defend shrines for the offensive team. The ideal location to defend those shrines is the bridge(west and east rez shrine and the equipment station between them) and take 1 other shrine.. but never move in a clockwise or counterclockwise movement around the map like normal capping often causes on the two maps. Moving in a clockwise/counter clockwise direction gives the defending team a huge advantage, as their spawn is in the center of the map and can move to any shrine on the map easily.