Rift Warfront Series – Part 5: Whitefall Steppes

Whitefall Steppes is the final warfront in the warfront series. It is also the most traditional of the warfronts in Rift, being a classic capture the flag competition. If you have played capture the flag in any other MMORPG, you know the basics. This warfront is probably also the one that requires the most coordination.

1) Starting Team Build – The traditional build for a capture the sourcestone team follows along these lines. A player who is a traditional tank character with the most valor should be considered the carrier. Other considerations for the stone carrier should include the speed at which they can move across the field and get the stone across to your base. Any buffs that give them a speed advantage is great. With the carrier should be at least one healer to heal him. The rest of the team should move as a group to block/slow down the other team from getting to their sourcestone.

2) Handling Stone Carriers – Once your stone carrier has the opponent’s stone, the other healers should move to help out your team’s carrier. The reason is because the carrier will become number one target for your opponents. DPS should normally not move to help the carrier but should try to find the opponent’s carrier and kill them. If the healers are out healing your DPS, you have to CC/kill the healers then kill the carrier.

3) Handling Attacks on Your Stone Carrier – DPS should not traditionally help the team’s stone carrier because all the DPS will be needed to kill the opponent’s stone carrier. This means it is the responsibility of the carrier to kill carriers. If the healers are support classes that can do damage as well, this will aid the carrier in killing any incoming attacks. If the attack is just too strong, a couple DPS may have to fall back and help with the zerg rush on your stone carrier.

4) Map Mechanics – There are 3 possible paths to get into and attack the opponent’s flag carrier. However, one is basically useless. The middle path into the opponent’s base is head forward and does not allow any element of surprise. This means the best paths are normally the two side paths into the base are best. There are multiple paths from those side paths into the base including behind the carrier. The middle path is usually best for getting the source stone out of the opponent’s base to begin with. However, you will probably want to move to the side to make the DPS and/or healers leave the source stone carrier.

5) After A Stone Capture – Regardless of what team captures the source stone, the entire strategy resets again. The carrier should start heading to the opponent’s base with their healer. The DPS should return back to center to be able to intercept the opponent’s stone carrier.

Whitefall Steppes is also the only warfront that has alternative escalation rules for the weekend warfronts. The difference is that the stones that needed to be captured are in the center and up for grabs. There are two major differences between the normal and escalation tactics.

1) Location, Location, Location – The location of the stone spawns is not random. There is a pattern. Take a look at this map to see the location of the spawns.
It is as easy as 1-2-3. Just keep repeating that pattern over and over. There will never be more than 5 stones spawn in a match since it takes 3 to win.

Escalation Stone Spawn Order

2) Most Aggressive Wins – In traditional Whitefall, the point of the defense in the field is to prevent the other team from getting their stone or preventing their carrier from getting it across the map. If you control the middle, you win. In Escalation Whitefall, the point is to the control the middle as well. The difference is you want to be aggressive enough to keep them on their side of the field and away from the middle. Since all 3 spawn in the middle, that is the most important area of the map.

This concludes the Rift Warfront Series.  The biggest points from all of it that I can stress is coordination and communication.  There is not a DPS requirement, but there is a requirement to communicate and coordinate.   The more communication and coordination there is, the more successful your warfronts will be.

Finally, if you want to watch some PvP, warfronts, or even raids, I would encourage you to check out the Redhawks Gaze UStream Channel.  It will be running nightly and showing off myself playing Rift.  I encourage you to get in chat, which I will be keeping up and tell me what things you would like to see in game.

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