Patch 1.9 brought us Conquest, 3 factions PvP in a revamped version of Stillmoor. Each faction can hold up to 150 players (Trion likes to adjust this number 3 times a week). This makes Conquest offer more PvP action then any other Warfront available at the moment. Because it is so big, there is only 1 Conquest battle going on at a time for each battlegroup, with a break in between battles of 70 minutes.
Conquest is not about the old Defiant vs Guardian rivalry. In Conquest, Defiants and Guardians come together under 3 Factions and attempt to gain control over Stillmoor. This opportunity to cooperate with the opposite faction for a greater cause makes Conquest unique and allows the Defiant community to bond with the Guardian community. If you have friends playing the opposite faction you can now choose the same Conquest faction and play together, rather then being randomly tossed in a faction by the Mercenary system of the Warfronts.
If you are wondering how is it possible for Guardian and Defiants to unite under the same flag here is the answer. Conquest takes place in a different dimension, in a modified version of Stillmoor, just like the Slivers (10 man raids). They are battling over precious resources under 3 Factions: Dominion, Nightfall and Oathsworn.
The Dominion faction is in search of power. They believe that the Ascended are the supreme beings and that Telara belongs to them. Dominion wants to control everything and at the same time defeat the opposite factions and claim total control over Conquest and Telara. Those fighting under Dominion flag take a tactical approach on the battle field, relying on both their mental and physical strengths to win the battle.
In theory this should make Dominion the strongest faction, but on the battle field they usually lose because they have to fight off Nightfall and their aggressive strategy and at the same time claim extractors from Oathsworn. Because of their position on the map, the Dominion base seems a bit trapped between all those hills, with only 2 ways out, one to the East leading to Briarcliff Woods which is mostly Oathsworn territory and players don’t usually venture there and one to the West leading to Caer Mathos which is constantly under attack by the Nightfall armies, and The Eye of Regulos which holds no strategic power in this battle. Also this exit is usually blocked by a pack of blood thirsty Nightfalls.
Nonetheless, the Dominion is still a strong faction and if they work together as a team they can overcome any challenge.
The Nightfall faction has been fighting this unending war for so long, they now believe there will be no end to it. The hope that there is a better place in an alternate reality still exists, but until they can find a peaceful place to call home they will have to keep fighting. Nightfall has seen many battles and those playing under the Nightfall flag know what war is all about. They are aggressive and focused on ending it quick by obliterating the opposing factions. Their battlefield tactics consist of demolishing any army that dares to cross their path.
On the field, Nightfall is focused almost completely on PvP and tends to disregard the Extractors. For them there is only Victory or Death, they don’t care about the resources offered by the Extractors and focus more on killing everything that comes in their way as they roam the battlefield.
The Nightfall base is also at a disadvantage compared to the Oathsworn base, but not as badly placed as the Dominion base. Those playing under the Nightfall flag are the rightful owners of Caer Mathos and they claim it as soon as the game begins. Usually it remains in their possession throughout the entire match. This gives them a strategic point which both Dominion and Oathsworn will try to capture over and over again and this is exactly what Nightfall wants. A lot of opponents to fight off.
The Oathsworn faction is nothing like Nightfall or Oathsworn. They believe in peace and unity among the Ascended and fight to protect Telara from the outside invaders rather then fight other Ascended. Oathsworn is not seeking power and glory, they just do what is necessary to stay alive and defend the place they call home. Those playing under the Oathsworn flag use a strategy based not on killing, but on resource control. They take advantage of the war waging between Nightfall and Dominion and claim the Extractors for themselves, which usually makes them the winners of the Conquest.
The Oathsworn base is the most strategical place base out of the 3. It offers them good control over the entire East side of the map and also it enables them to take control over the Extractors in front of Nightfall’s base with ease. Oathsworn usually controls both the Briarcliff Woods area and the Burlingham area and The Eye of Regulos, which in most cases is enough to win them the battle. The players carrying the Oathsworn flag also tend to be more focused on forming small groups and capturing Extractors rather then just roaming the map in large groups and engaging in PvP action.
You can join Conquest by pressing K and going to the third tab at the bottom of the window. Then you can pick which faction you wish to join by pressing the “Join” button under the faction’s icon. If there isn’t a “Join” button it means that there is no Conquest going on at the moment and there should be a timer counting down to the next battle.
Because Trion is cheap when it comes to server power (like every other gaming company out there) there is a maximum number of players that can join at a time. I believe that at the moment the number is set at 150 players for each faction (at least for the European Conquest). This means that if you are not fast enough to click join and enter when the battle begins you might find yourself stuck in an endless que just like I did now because I was writing and not paying attention to the countdown.
Once you’re inside and you’re done lagging and the map loaded you can now begin to conquer.The point of this battle is to gain control over 60% of Stillmoor or kill 5.000 players (Trion likes to play with this number also so it might be subject to change). There are 2 ways to end the battle.
You can go for the “conquer” approach, where you have to gain control of at least 20 Extractors to end the fight. There are a total of 30 extractors and 4 Teleport point on the map, each awarding 3% control when captured. This can make the battle last really long if all 3 factions are trying to win using this method. It will require quite some technique because you will have to fight off the other 2 factions while having some small teams of organized players running around and capturing or defending Extractors. Given that almost no one likes to miss the “zerg” action and the rain of Prestige and Favor this can be quite hard to achieve using only PuGs and it can result in a long battle. A lengthy battle is a good thing for people that need favor or prestige and it’s a pain for those that only need the Marks of Conquest.
The other way to end the battle is to kill 5.000 players, at which point the faction that controls the most of Stillmoor will be named victorious even if it doesn’t control 60% or more. This method used to be quite good when base farming was possible, but since 3rd of July it is impossible to spawn camp anymore (but it was fun while it lasted). But there is always Nightfall players to rely on when it comes to making the player kill count go down fast.
When either of the conditions above has been met, there will be a period of 10 minutes during which the losing factions can try to turn the battle around. The faction that holds control over the most of Stillmoor at the end of these 10 minutes will be victorious. Then you have another 10 minutes to kill the Death invaders: 10 Death Idols and 1 Boss.
The rewards for winning are not very “rewarding”, except for the fact that you can respawn during the last 10 minutes. The losing factions will not be able to respawn, so once a player belonging to one of the losing factions dies and releases or gets forced respawned he will be removed from Conquest and teleported back to Meridian or Sanctum.
Sometimes 2 factions control the same % of Stillmoor at the end of the 10 minutes, in which case it’s a tie. Both factions will receive 12 Marks of Conquest and be able to respawn during the last 10 minutes of the fight. This won’t happen very often though, but it is even possible to have a 3 ways tie. That would be some nice farming if all 3 factions could respawn.
There is a crafting system specially for Conquest. Inside Conquest, in each base, there is a Conquest Workbench which can be used to craft buffs for your faction. How does it work ? First you need to have a “crafting” profession. Mining, Foraging and Butchering don’t have any buff recipes. Nor do Fishing and Survival, so if you have those 5 professions trained there is nothing you can craft in Conquest. For the rest of the professions there are recipes you can buy from the Conquest Quartermaster, located inside each base inside Conquest. Don’t bother looking for those recipes on the trainers in Meridian because you won’t find them. They are sold by the Conquest Quartermaster and they each cost 5000 Favor. There are also recipes for Portable Lifesprings like the ones in Ember Isle and for Turrets.
Now let’s answer to most notorious question regarding Conquest Crafting: How to craft in Conquest ? Pain skills 1st, explanation bellow.
Step 1: buy the recipes from the Quartermaster and learn them. Then open your profession tab and locate the recipes. You can see in the image above I learned 2 recipes for Conquest, the Balm of Healing and the Balm of Mounted Swiftness. Each profession can craft 2 Conquest Buff, but we will get to that one later.
Step 2: position yourself at the Conquest Workbench (circled with green in the image above). The Workbench is always located to the right of the Quartermaster.
Step 3: camp or gather resources. In order to craft you need 150 Empowered Sourcestones. These Sourcestones can be gathered from around the Extractors. Each Extractor spawns 4 of these Stones. They also respawn quite fast. If you wish to gather them, I would suggest you pick 2-3 close Extractors and you run between them and pick up these Stones. They are small glowing stones on the ground around the Extractors. Each “node” drops between 5 and 10 Empowered Sourcestones so it’s not hard to get them. If you don’t want to run around and gather then you can just wait in the base for other people to bring them. If you aren’t lazy and you got some stones with you, click on the purple stack of balls to deposit them (circled with light blue).
For each base there is a counter that keeps track of how many resources are available (circled with red in the image above). In order to see this counter you have to be inside the base. When the counter hits 150 or more you have to be quick and press Craft before someone else does. If you were fast enough you will give 1 stack of the buff you crafted to your faction.
I said before that by crafting you can give buffs to your entire faction. Each profession can craft 2 of these buffs. Let’s take a look at what each profession can make and what the buff does exactly.
Apothecary can make Balm of Healing which grants a buff called Empowerment: Healing which increases the healing taken by 0.5% per stack. The second buff they can make is called Balm of Mounted Swiftness and it gives Empowerment: Mounted Swiftness which increases the mounted movement speed of a player by 0.5% per stack. Compared to the other buffs you can make these 2 buffs are useless. To bad that the majority of people that are into crafting have Apothecary as a profession. Even more bad is the fact that Apothecary is my only “crafting” profession and I’m after the 250 crafts achievement. I think someone will have a lot of mount speed buffs
Armorsmith can make Otherworldly Plating which grants a buff called Empowerment: Defence which reduces the damage taken by 0.5% per stack and they can also make Otherworldly Endurance which grants a buff called Empowerment: Vitality that increases the players health by 100 per stack. I can see these buffs being useful, not like those Apothecary ones, but hey, what can I do about it ? Most of the Rift players don’t have Armorsmith on their main characters as a profession since it’s not useful in any way, unless you are a warrior and you wish to role play and train Armorsmith and Weaponsmith. Other then that Armorsmith is not used to make anything viable.
Artificer can create Stone of Quickness which buffs the raid with Empowerment: Swiftness meaning the raid will move faster by 0.5% per stack. The other buff that Artificers can craft is called Stone of Rage and it gives a buffed called Empowerment: Offense which increases the damage dealt by 0.5% per stack. I would like to have 20 stacks of this buff and go steamroll some opponents. This profession at least has 1 good buff that they can craft for the raid without getting the wrath of the Conquest chat.
Outfitter can make Ethereal Insoles which grants the buff called Empowerment: Swiftness which is the same with the Artificer one and increases the movement speed of a player by 0.5% per stack while unmounted. The other thing that Outfitters can craft is the Ethereal Padding which grants the raid buff called Empowerment: Defence which reduces damage taken by 0.5% per stack, same thing as the buff Armorsmiths can make. Once again, 1 decent buff 1 not so decent buff for this profession.
Runecrafter can make the Shard of Healing that gives a buff called Empowerment: Healing which increases the healing taken by any faction player by 0.5% per stack. The second buff Runecrafters can make is the Shard of Endurance which gives the raid buff called Empowerment: Vitality which increases the health of any player of your faction by 100 HP per stack. Luckily for us I am sure a lot of players have Runecrafting as a profession on their main character so we will be getting some nice buffs.
Weaponsmith can make Baton of Swiftness that grants the buff called Empowerment: Mounted Swiftness and increases the mounted movement speed by 0.5% per stack and can also make Baton of Rage which gives the buff named Empowerment: Offense that is everyone’s favorite buff because it increases the damage dealt by 0.5% per stack. Again, this profession has 1 good buff and 1 buff no one will praise you for.
Now that you’ve seen what each profession can do, please tell me, why does Trion wants Apothecaries to get shot ? You can’t be an Apothecary and not receive the wrath of your faction if you try to craft. And let’s not forget that there is a 250 Conquest Crafts achievement out there to get.
Fortunately there is a system in place that doesn’t allow buffs to stack to high. I’m not sure how it works exactly but if you have 20 stacks of Empowerment: Healing and only 1 stack of the rest of the buffs, over time the stacks of Healing will decay and the other stacks will increase. But I’m not exactly sure how long it takes or how many buffs, etc.
The Conquest Quartermaster is inside Conquest so you can’t see the items it sells unless you enter Conquest. I think this is a bit weird, I mean, we all have the right to AFK droll on items, so why wouldn’t we be allowed to place our droll on the Conquest items as well. But anyway, let’s get back to business, there are quite some interesting things you can buy with Marks of Conquest, including a best in slot enchant for gloves and belt and a best in slot trinket for tanks and healers. The Rank 50 Synergy Crystal is also sold by the Conquest Quartermaster. It also sells a Vengence Source Machine along with lessers that have Vengence as a stat, so plenty of things to get. If you want to check them out one by one see the Conquest Items in detail post.
The limiting factor are the Marks of Conquest, because there is a maximum amount you can get each game and there is no reliable way of farming them. You can take a look at this Mark of Conquest Guide if you are looking for an optimal way of getting them, but it will still take time to gather enough Marks of Conquest to buy everything.
This post is getting way to long so I’m going to stop here. I will add more details in separate posts. Until then, I’m off to kill Maelforge.