Playing A Warg In A Pack
So you want to join a warg pack? Well before you do there are some things you need to know and that is exactly what we are going to look at here.
In simple terms a warg pack is a group of three or more wargs. Some warg packs will be quite small with just 3 or 4 wargs whilst others can be very large with as many as twenty four wargs. Most packs usually contain around 4-6 wargs. The common factor though is that the entire group will be composed of wargs: you MUST be a warg to join.
Warg packs can be incredibly efficient killing machines and they can net you a lot of kills and a lot of infamy, they operate differently to groups of mixed creeps. You will notice a few of these differences right away if you have never been in a warg pack before. For starters the leader of the warg pack (often called The Paw because he will mark himself with a paw symbol) will not only be leading the pack he will also probably be the pack’s RAT (raid assist target). That means that the leader will also be picking targets to attack rather than having someone else do it.
You will notice other differences too, such as the fact that there are no healers or ranged damage. For healing all the pack will have is the Rallying Howl skill, which means that you will be relying on each for healing. So too you will always be in lose with your targets rather than being able to take targets down at range.
One last thing to mention is a very important difference, perhaps the most important. Warg packs kill targets through force of numbers i.e. the entire pack attacks the exact same target at the exact same time. Wargs are pretty squishy and often don’t get second chances at kills so it is very important that everyone in the pack attacks at the same time to maximise damage.
Your Role In A Pack
The pack acts as one so in almost all cases you will all be attacking the same target together and you will all be moving around the map together to look for freeps. Thus there aren’t really any separate roles within a pack, everyone is doing pretty much the same thing. Occasionally you might be given a special task separate from the rest of the pack, but most of the time the pack will be acting as one. It’s an easy setup to follow because really all you have to do is stick close to the Paw and attack the targets he picks out when he tells you. This is the most basic way a warg pack works so let’s take a look at how a typical attack would play out.
- The Paw will pick out a target for the pack to attack and tell the pack to form up somewhere, usually on his position, but sometimes he may give you a specific location to stand in before the attack.
- When the time is right the Paw will command the pack to attack the target. You must attack as soon as the Paw tells you to because warg packs need to kill quickly, there isn’t room for hesitation.
- The Paw will almost always use Sudden Pounce to stun the target and everyone else is expected to use either Claws or Maul as their opening attack.
- Once the initial hits have been delivered the target may be dead depending upon how many wargs are in the pack. If not then the next thing you will do is hit the target again. The Paw will usually apply Crippling Bite himself to slow a target that survives the initial attack so just keep hitting the target.
- If the target somehow survives and tries to flee give chase unless the Paw tells you to leave the target i.e. chasing the target might get the pack wiped somehow. Once the target is dead you move on to the next target or re-stealth if there are no more targets.
What To Expect
- Fun – Warg packs can be a lot of fun!
- Obedience – Warg packs work best when everyone is working together. Thus you are expected to follow the Paw’s commands and not to wander off on your own.
- Teamwork – You will be relying on your pack mates for everything: healing, killing, escape, finding freeps, etc. Make sure you are a team player.
- Healing – Wargs have relatively little healing so expect to die from time to time and with no rezzes either you will be making a few trips back to the graveyard.
- Maps – Warg packs are very mobile. Even though many freeps think we just sit and camp certain locations warg packs actually move around a lot. Make sure you have as many maps as possible, but if you don’t have all your maps make sure to tell the leader of the pack when you join.
- Focus – Warg packs need to kill targets quickly because they don’t have a lot of options to turn a fight around. That means they need to act quickly when opportunities present themselves so make sure you are paying attention.
- Enhanced Skill: Stealth – For new wargs it is very important you have this trait. You may not be allowed to join a pack unless you do because without it you will move too slowly to keep up with the pack.
Rules Of The Pack
The following is a set of basic rules to follow when in a warg pack:
- Follow the Paw! You are expected to follow the Paw wherever he goes and do what he tells you. This isn’t a raid full of orcs, the warg pack is an exercise in pack mentality efficiency. If you are told to jump you should already know how high.
- If you are tracked i..e you get the message (You feel as though you are being followed …” you immediately inform the rest of the pack and move AWAY from the pack. When in a safe location you can negate the track by dropping from stealth and then re-stealthing. For more information on dealing with tracks click here.
- DO NOT use Sudden pounce to start a fight. The Paw will often use this skill himself to stun the target with the rest of the pack expected to use Claws/Maul instead. Only start a fight with Sudden pounce if the Paw tells you to.
- Do not broadcast the location of any freeps you find in public chat channels unless told to do so by the Paw. The freeps you find are for the pack, not the orcs.
- Help your packmates when possible. If they are being chased by freeps try to stun or slow the chasing freeps. Obviously only do this if you can also get away safely or if you can kill the freeps. You aren’t expect to sacrifice yourself to save someone else who is almost certainly going to die.
- Do not pull NPCs unless told to do so. Pulling NPCs means the entire pack will be in combat and thus unable to stealth.
- Make sure you have the in-game voice function enabled. You don’t need to have a microphone, but you do need to be able to hear the Paw’s commands.
If you have never played in a warg pack before it is important to make sure that you do not get spotted or broken out of stealth. When you are playing solo or are in a mixed creep group it doesn’t really affect anyone else if you are spotted in stealth, but it can have a huge impact on a warg pack.
The pack relies on stealth both to attack and for protection. If any one member is spotted or broken out of stealth it can compromise the entire pack. A Hunter or Champion or Lore-master, etc that spots you might target you with an AOE skill that will also hit other members of the pack near you, for example.
Try not to stand too close to freeps or NPCs or take silly risks. Similarly don’t hang around too close to visible creeps either in case it gives away your position.
If you are spotted or broken out of stealth inform the rest of the pack and adopt the same strategy for dealing with as if you had been tracked i..e move away from the pack.
Wargs packs use the Rallying Howl skill to heal themselves. It’s a pretty weak heal when used by itself, but it can stack so when 6 wargs use it together it becomes a relatively effective heal. This means that it is important to use Rallying Howl together with the rest of the pack rather than whenever you feel like it. The Paw will usually tell you when to use it by using the command ‘Howls Up!’ or ‘Heals Up!’.
A good rule of thumb for using these skills in a warg pack is “Disappear is for you, Sprint is for the pack”.
What this means is that you should feel free to use Disappear whenever you feel the need to. You can use it defensively to escape or offensively if you need to get a guaranteed stun on a target.
Sprint on the other hand should be saved for use when the pack needs you to catch a freep on horseback or a freep trying to escape. Thus it is important that you don’t have this skill on cooldown when the packs needs to make use of it. You can use Sprint to escape though if you are out of other options, no one expects you to die just to ave a cooldown.
Wargs have various debuffs they can apply to a target although unfortunately many of them aren’t particularly power, at least not on their own. Some of our debuffs stack, such as Howl of the Unnerving, and Shadow Pack.
The rule of thumb for using debuffs is that you should feel free to use them without being told, but obviously try not to waste them For example, don’t use Howl of the Unnerving to fear a target that has already been feared or Throat Rip to silence a target that is currently silenced.
Whilst you are generally free to use debuffs as you see fit remember that when first attacking a target with the pack you are expected to contribute to the attack with damage. not a debuff, unless told otherwise. Wait until you have at least hit the target once before thinking about using a debuff skill.
The first thing to mention is something I have touched upon above: the pack mentality. You aren’t expected to use your own judgement, you are simply expected to follow the Paw’s commands. It’s as simple as that.
The pack works best when it operate as one and you will be expected to be a team player. This means putting the pack’s needs before your own. For example, you will be saving your Rallying Howl heal to use alongside the rest of the pack rather than whenever you feel like it, or looking out for your pack mates when they are trying to escape. The important thing here is that you see the pack’s success or failure depending upon each member. The pack comes before the individual.
The Paw will pick the targets and determine what are the best conditions for his pack to fight under. You might think that a particular freep would make a good target and you can mention this to the Paw, but it us up to him to decide. If you wander off and attack that freep anyway you won’t have the rest of the pack behind you and you might loose the kill or worse get the pack wiped.
One last point: in a mixed creep group a warg might be expected to fight to the death alongside his visible friends. That isn’t the case in a warg pack. If something goes wrong the pack will expect you to escape. If you can help your pack mates escape all the better, but you are not expected to sacrifice yourself for them or to fight to the death. In fact daring escapes from freeps are often seen as being feats on par with actually killing freeps.
Benefits of Warg Packs
One warg is awesome so imagine how awesome a whole group of wargs is! A good warg pack can be a real nightmare for freeps and you can make a lot of infamy. Against similarly sized freep groups warg packs are often at a disadvantage because they lack variety in skills, etc, which means that fighting and beating such freep groups can be both a fun challenge and an exhilarating experience when you win.
Warg packs are also capable of feats that mixed groups aren’t. The pack cans sneak inside keeps or fight close to freep held territory more easily than visible groups. This can make for some very fun fights. Warg packs are also capable of getting kills when mixed groups might not be able to. For example, even a small warg pack can sneak up to a full freep raid to kill someone and get away if they are quick enough.
Because the pack is made up entirely of wargs there will also be fewer situations that you find frustrating. Wargs know it is annoying to be in combat with NPCs because it means we can’t stealth so a warg pack will take care not to do pull NPCs. So too will the pack try not to pick annoying locations to fight in such as tight spaces where AOE can break us out of stealth. Because the entire will have the same strengths and weaknesses their gameplay can be tailored to suit them all much more easily.
At the end of the day a warg pack can be tremendous fun and I highly recommend that you give it a go!