Shedding Tiers

I’ve been through the lowbie meat grinder a few times.  A lot of people don’t know what to expect when leveling up and trying to participate in RvR.  I hear a lot of “my class is borked!” comments.  For the most part, it just isn’t so.

A character progressing through the different tiers faces new challenges, and there really are threshold ranks at which you should start going into RvR and lower ranks where you should hit PvE for gear and XP.  I’ll do a quick rundown of the different tiers as per my experiences.

Tier 1: At this low level, there’s not a huge difference in power between ranks when you compare the same ability.  The real issue is that a low level character just doesn’t have many of the basic abilities, yet.  I prefer to PvE up to rank 3 or 4, hit RvR or scenarios until I max out my renown, then PvE to rank 8 and finish the tier through RvR.  Keep an eye on the renown vendor – that’s the only gear I use, barring any lucky drops.

Tier 2: The RvR in this tier is much more difficult, due to the heroes at the BOs and the keep lords.  Keep lords can easily wipe out a poorly-prepared warband in this tier.  A few defenders will stop all but the most determined offenses at a keep.  Low cunning is your friend – pick your fights!  This is a very frustrating tier as far as RvR goes.  As far as ranks, I can say that on multiple characters, rank 18 has been the magic number where you get some very important abilities which make the whole tier much more enjoyable.  Grind your way up to 18 via quests and PQs (especially for the influence rewards) and finish the tier in oRvR to snag the RvR influence rewards, which are excellent.

Tier 3: Keeps now gain an outer wall.  This means that it’s more difficult to swipe a keep when your opponent isn’t looking.  However, with your abilities improving, keep lords are no longer the complete and utter monsters that they are in tier 2.  With Pick Lock working, you will now see MDPS classes enter through the postern door and cover the oil platform on the outer walls.  Watch yourself if you are entering a keep solo.  Again, I find that around rank 28, you get competitive with other players, so feel free to PvE and PQ your way to 28 before concentrating on oRvR.  This tier is much more competitive, as people frequently leave alts in tier 3 to grab a few more VPs to lock down a tier 4 zone (a tier 3 zone will contribute 3 or 4 VPs towards controlling a tier 4 zone).  Some people like tier 3 the best out of the tiers.

Tier 4: I prefer tier 4.  You really finish fleshing out your character.  While I think that you can’t start RvR in tier 4 early enough, you may want to rank up to 35, first.  At 35, your renown rank may exceed your battle rank.  This means that after 35, you can feel free to RvR to your heart’s content.  Of course, you may also just grind your way to 40 in order to get your last few skills and abilities.  Fair enough – ranking up from 32 to 40 really didn’t take me that long, when I concentrated on it, and having all of your skills really helps your damage output.  Still, I’d recommend getting to 35.  Personal preference.

So, when you get to 40, what do you do?  The best answer is: whatever you want.  PvE, RvR, scenarios, it’s all up to you.  However, you’re going to need to do some of each.  You’re probably going to need to do some oRvR, because you want to get your Annihilator armor set rather than grinding for your Bloodlord set.  You’re also going to want to do PvE, because getting your Sentinel and Dark Promise set is probably going to be easier than getting it through RvR (unless your faction is totally roflstomping the opposition).  And, of course, you want to keep gaining renown.  Renown gets you more skill points, more action points, and cool titles.


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