Conquest, Trion’s new three-faction PvP area, has now seen its second PTS test. Plenty of players popped in to get in on the action, and most walked away fairly impressed. The developers still have to work out a few tweaks in the system, but for the most part, Conquest is shaping up to quite an enjoyable experience. Here’s our overview of some of Conquest’s features, along with some tips for first-time players, and my personal review.
It’s pretty easy to figure out how to maneuver through Conquest the first time you hop in. Players will have to choose one of three factions: Dominion, Oathsworn, and Nightfall. These factions are independent from normal factions. Each Conquest faction has their own starting base on the map, which is an instanced version of Stillmoor. There are no NPCs or mobs in Conquest, but most of the structures and cliffs are still around. In this sense, Conquest takes the shape of an open-world PvP zone, but sadly, remains very instanced. Players will join a queue for Conquest, just like any other warfront.
Following objectives in Conquest is pretty simple. The three factions fight over control of the map, fighting for nodes, also known as extractors. Extractors are defended by turrets that players can upgrade utilizing planar charges. Each turret can have up to four levels of defense.
There are planar anomalies around the entire map that let players recharge planar charges, exactly like the ones found on Ember Isle. The map could definitely use more of these. The upgraded turrets do quite a bit of damage to enemy players, so it’s worth upgrading them. Players should approach enemy upgraded turrets in small groups in order to succeed in taking them down. The turrets can be line-of-sighted. The extractors themselves do not do damage, but take a bit of damage before they are destroyed.
Conquest games end currently when one faction controls 60% of the map, and holds that 60% for 10 minutes. This occurs when they have control of 21 extractors or more. Because of the nature of the three factions, this can actually take a while. Yesterday’s PTS Conquest game, for example, went on for over two hours. There’s a secondary way to end the game, as well, when 5000 player kills, also known as attrition, is met. This score, as well as the score depicting the number of extractors held by the factions, can be found on the right-hand side of the screen, in a scorecard of sorts as shown to the right.
The map itself is important to tracking objectives in Conquest, especially since Stillmoor is rather large. Extractors are clearly marked and colored for the faction currently holding them (Dominion – green, Nightfall – blue, Oasthsworn – yellow) and blink upon being attacked. After they are taken, the extractor symbols turn to contested flags until the capture timer completes. The extractor symbols change based on how many turrets are currently surrounding them. Recent player kills are tracked by the red circles, also known as hotspots, which makes find PvP action relatively simple.
After capturing an enemy extractor, a triangle graphic appears on-screen, letting players know how long it will be before it shifts entirely to their faction’s side. A red shape appears in the center of the triangle, then moves out toward the faction’s symbol as the capture is completed. This encourages players to stick around for at least a little while and defend/regroup.
Special extractors, shown as triangles on the map, can be unlocked that allow players to teleport across the map and reach objectives easier. They are at key locations on the map, such as Eye of Regulos and Caer Mathos. These teleportion hubs are vital to succeeding in Conquest, because without them, well, running everywhere sucks, especially since the only respawn location after dying is back in home base. Players currently gain a temporary invulnerability buff after using the teleportation system, which can make capturing these extractors more difficult than it may seem. This may get hotfixed in the weeks to come.
One of the best things about Conquest is the fact that players can, of course, run around, slay enemy players, and capture objectives, but they can also help their team in other ways, too. Defending objectives and upgrading turrets is one option. Crafting is another. Crafters can learn a few patterns for buff items from their crafting trainers in the main cities, then use those patterns during Conquest to buff their entire team.
The materials used in these patterns are found within Conquest and are called Empowered Resources. They’re blue crystal-like objects found on the ground. Most of the ones I found seemed to spawn near recently-captured extractors. They can be dropped off at blue orb-shaped collection spots back at each faction’s base. The total number of resources can be found in a little window that only pops up on-screen when the player is back in their base.
The buffs made through crafting help the group in a variety of ways, through extra health, healing done, damage done, movement speed, mount speed, and reduced damage taken. They also stack. At the moment, the only way to craft while in Conquest is by pulling up the crafting menus while standing near the crafting workstation, which is also located in each base.
There is a Conquest point system in place, where players can spend points earned on passive abilities that work in every part of the game– even PvE. So far, the points grant bonuses to Spell Power, Max Health, Vengeance, unmounted and mounted movement speed, and Favor. There is also supposed to be some unique gear introduced for Conquest participants, but we haven’t seen that on the PTS yet. Since Trion is still working on Conquest, we may very well see some additional surprises, perks, and adjustments.
I’d personally like to see some additional objectives added, perhaps in the ways of siege weapons or towers to defend, or optional colossi to defeat. It felt like, overall, the general pacing of the games was somewhat slower than many players liked. I heard more than once during my time playing that players wanted a bigger sense of urgency within Conquest. I can agree, in part, although I personally like the idea of a longer, more epically-scaled battle. More objectives would give Conquest a better sense of urgency.
Some players also feel that the Stillmoor map is too large, and battles are too far spread between. I can see this point, too, but I didn’t personally mind the size of the map. We could definitely use some sort of ‘recall back to base’ ability, however. I would have much rather seen a new, unique map used for Conquest, instead of one we’re already familiar with. Seeing Stillmoor, only instanced, just reminds me of the fact that Conquest really isn’t as open-world as many players had hoped for.
Still, Conquest has a lot of potential. It’s great to see three factions in a system like this, even if it is instanced. I hope the idea takes off, and Trion does more with it in the future. I’d love to see some kind of built-in system that actually enables the factions to join up as temporary allies and take on a larger enemy faction together. I’d also love to see more in the way of lore and story built around these factions. Time will tell. But for now, we’ll enjoy the PTS, and enjoy the implementation of Conquest.