Keeping your eye on the ball
Previously we've discussed the basics of WvW in my thread WvW advice for new players and we've taken a more in depth look at the tactics involved in WvW in my last article Tactics & Execution.
In this article i will talk more about the most important part of WvW, the point system!
The overall points
Taking supply camps, towers and keeps is great. But the goal is to acquire points in the most efficient way. And by efficient, i mean gaining ground while punishing the enemy team. If you for example lead 30 people to take an enemy keep (25 points) but at the same time lose 2 towers (10 points each) and a supply camp (5 points), then there was nothing gained in the process.
Learn what each objective is worth and try to have a general awareness of what is going on in all 4 maps. If you see something happening in your own borderland then report it to the other maps as well. Make sure to frequently scout and report what is going on!
The picture above is the one you will need to be following closely. How is your server doing on the potential points? Will you be in a good position for the next update? (Scores right now update every 15 minutes, this will most likely change when they move over to a 2 week match up schedule however, so please keep that in mind)
Now that we are moving over to 1 week+ schedules, it will be worth investing money and time to upgrade your own objectives and sometimes even objectives that you've taken from your enemy.
For example, a fully upgraded supply camp can go from a 3man objective to a 5-10man objective to take. Towers, keeps and castles will get reinforced walls with increased health, an increase in guard numbers and also an increase in guard level (from 80 to 82).
Not only will this make it harder for your enemies, but it will buy your server time to react if an attack is happening.
What objectives do i need to focus on?
The most obvious answer to this would of course be, make sure to always take and hold the objectives closest to your spawn point. These objectives are a lot easier to defend and reinforce because the distance to them is always shorter.
After that, it all comes down to what you and your team are capable of taking. If you have a smaller team of 1-5 people, you can focus on supply camps and neutral mob factions in the zone. In the picture below, you can see which faction will help you capture and/or defend which supply camp. They will send out two squads of 3 veterans and 2 normal level 80 mobs in each direction upon allying with your team.
For medium size (5-15) and bigger groups (15+) your job should be focused mainly on towers, keeps and castles. If you have 40 guildies to work with, it may be more beneficial for your team to split up into two squads and take two towers or keeps instead of focusing all your resources on one target. Even hitting a tower or keep with a double ram attack right before the point update can be worth the time if you do it without any hiccups!
Just remember to take everything into account when you go for a tower, keep or castle. More rams on the gate means you will get in faster, but each ram will require a 40 supply total to build. You may also need additional siege weapons like arrow carts or catapults.
If you're lacking people for a siege, never hesitate to ask for help. And when you do, explain your plan and why you are taking this exact objective. Not only will you gain credibility with your team, but you will hopefully educate others in the process and they can do the same on their own when you're not there.
Take the appropriate fight
Remember that there are objectives in your own borderland as well as your enemy borderland that will get you points as well. If you are out manned by an enemy force for example, then defending a close objective can be worth the time because you have an advantage of being close to your respawn and having the protection of your guards/walls.
So even if you cannot retake your own objectives sometimes, attacking your enemies borderland and taking theirs will give your server points while at the same time deducting from their total.
I far too often see huge masses of people doing the "back and forth" fight at a tower or keep for hours. While this may be fun for some, it is not very rewarding for either team most of the time. Especially not for the attacker. If your team are merely distracting their big force while you have another squad taking objectives however, then you're doing it right!
At the end of the day, if you have a choice between attacking a defended objective or defending your own, you should always defend your own as that is a lot easier and more beneficial for your team.
Reading your enemy
Another very important part of WvW is being able to read your enemy, what will their next move be? Where, when, how many and so on. Acting on this will save you a lot of trouble and make defending or attacking a LOT easier in almost every scenario.
Knowing that you have a sizable attack incoming to one of your keeps will give your team enough time to reinforce walls, set up siege weapons and gather a reasonable amount of defenders. At the same time, this exact tactic can be used to disorient your enemy. Attack one side of a keep at first, let the enemy set up their siege weapons and then completely leave, circle around and attack the other side instead. They would have wasted supplies inside the keep on siege weapons and repairs, which is a huge advantage for your team.
If your enemy is headed towards another objective on the other side of the map on the other hand, perhaps even attacking the other enemy team, your team will have time to secure ground on your own. Tactical moves like this are extremely efficient and very hard to counter if they are well planned and played.
To summarize. Never waste time on an objective that is to great for your current team or size. Act on your enemies weaknesses, use the advantage of being able to defend close objectives and attacking undefended ones.
Always plan ahead and make sure that you have the man power you need for your mission. Bring supplies, siege weapons and make sure to always scout and keep an eye on the map(s). Anticipate your enemies next move and gain advantages before they get to act on it.
Remember, in almost every scenario, intelligence will win over brute force in numbers!