Note: Experience gains for losing teams have been nerfed with patch 4.01. However, the experience overall is still pretty good for the time you’re spending.
Here’s something I never thought I’d write: Frontlines PvP is fun. It’s also a fast and low stress experience.
Alright. The sky is falling now.
The one good thing that happened during the great Raubahn block this weekend was that it nudged people in my FC to look into alternate ways of leveling. MSQ was a no-go, and one could only run FATEs and PotD so much. That’s when someone noted that Frontlines, with all its changes for 4.0, is a good alternative.
At first I was Noping right out of that. But the Posse gave it a try, and came back with good reports. So, I decided to try it. And while I won’t say I’m addicted to it (like Vix is), consider me pleasantly surprised.
My experience with PvP stems back to two games. I first tried to PvP (poorly) as a Witch Hunter in Warhammer Online. And then, I did some casual PvP in the Moors in LOTRO with the Posse years ago. And… that’s it.
However, I’d consider Frontlines to PvP what Crystal Tower is to Alliance Raids – something low-stress, quick to pick up, and easy to do.
The cool thing about Frontlines is whether you win or lose, you get rewarded. Of course, the reward is better if you win. But losing isn’t a big deal, and the experience is still really good for the time it takes (matches are quick, usually about 10-15 mins). Queues are really short (a few mins), and it doesn’t matter which Grand Company or job you’re using.
I also like how the PvP skill bars are consolidated versions of outside skills — this reminds me a lot of what Guild Wars does. What’s super cool is that when you use a skill, depending on which one it is, it sometimes turns into a follow up skill. So all your combos are on one button, which really keeps things easy and fast. I don’t think I’ve seen this done in a game I’ve played before, and I was impressed by the idea.
How It Works
I’ve only played the Fields of Glory (Shatter) so far, as that seems to be the one that’s most popular. After unlocking it, it becomes part of the PvP section on your Duty Finder, and you enter it just the same as any other duty.
This is a 72-man deal, so you’re running with an Alliance of 24 others, representing one Grand Company. The basic idea is to score points for your GC.
You do that primarily by doing damage to crystals, known as “ice.” There’s small ice and then there’s big ice. Big ice, obviously is worth more points to damage than small.
I like the idea of ice mostly because it prevents turtling. It puts pressure points on the map that all teams want to take, and PvP happens naturally over the course of the match.
Killing other players, while satisfying, is not as lucrative as destroying ice. Taking a base is helpful, too, but also not as good as destroying ice. Dying only has minimal impact on your team’s score, so there’s really not a ton of pressure. Just do your best to support your team and everyone will get a reward when its done.
I’m really not so great at PvP with Red Mage, but that’s what I need to level, so that’s what I’ve been using. I tried once with Bard, and I know that’s much more my playstyle — I like the mobility to it.
However, despite not being practiced and not on a class I’d normally choose, I’ve gotten the triangle icon that indicates “Battle High” a few times. Reading the guide, I discovered that meant I’d killed 4 players consecutively. Have no idea how.
I can foresee myself continuing to use this as a supplement to leveling in the future. I’m even working on a set of the Garo armor, and possibly may be shooting for the mounts somewhere down the line.
tl;dr: If I can do PvP, and I don’t think it’s too bad, it’s probably not too bad. Give it a shot if you need a change of pace and see if you like it!