Understanding the Revive and Finish Mechanic for Downed Players in Guild Wars 2


I discuss tips for reviving or finishing a “downed” player in Guild Wars 2, using gameplay footage from 5v5 tournament matches with my Warrior.

When a player’s HP bar reaches 0, they drop into a “downed” state, where they can be finished (killed) by an opposing player. Friendly players can revive or rally a downed player. Resolving the “downed” state is a critical element of GW2 PVP. Players who are finished face the typical experience across MMORPGs of having to wait to rez in a graveyard and are therefore out of the fight for a period of time. In addition, killing a player puts points on the scoreboard.

Breaking Down the Downed State in Detail

I’ve received a comment below from a non-native English reader asking me to explain via text how all this works. In addition, people have posted some great tips and tactics here and on YouTube. So let me explain here via good ‘ole text how all this works.

When a player’s HP reaches 0, they drop into downed state (or as GW calls it “downed mode”). A downed player can not move and only has access to 4 abilities. The player get back on their feet with some HP and rejoin the fight if they are revived by another player, manage to self-heal sufficiently by spamming the downed 4 ability, or have an ability triggered by them or a friendly player that causes they to rally, which is instant. If an opponent is finished while a player is in down state, the latter player will rally. Some classes (e.g. Necro) have ranged rally capability.

It takes time to revive or finish a downed player, and there is where the complexity comes in. Finishing an opponent is a long cast (several seconds). It that time, that would-be finisher may be susceptible to CC (stun, knockback, fear, interrupt, knockdown) or blind. All of these effects will prevent the finish attempt from succeeding. That said, if the would-be finisher has Stability, they may be able to complete the finish and kill the downed target. This is why CC and CC counters (e.g. Stability) are key in this game. Some classes have stealth, and while stealthed you can finish or revive. In addition, the quickness boon halves cast times, so you can revive or finish twice as fast. You can also DPS through a downed player’s HP bar until they are killed.

All these dynamics can make finishing and reviving players a game of feint-and-counter, where players have to outplay their opponents to complete a finish or revive.

I initially thought that the downed state mechanic was awkward, but once I got used to it and saw the impact that clutch finishes and revives had on gameplay, I became a big fan of it. The downed mechanic is partly what makes GW2 PVP so dynamic and skill-based: every player has to pay attention and manage downed opportunities skillfully and with coordination with friendlies.

You can find more information about the downed state on the GW2 Wiki:
http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Downed

Let me know your questions and feedback!

P.S. Derpybird posted the video on MMORPG.com, and there is interesting discussion over there about whether the downed state is good or bad for gameplay.

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Posted in Guide, Guild Wars 2, PVP, Video, Warrior
47 comments on “Understanding the Revive and Finish Mechanic for Downed Players in Guild Wars 2
  1. Brewed says:

    Want more Taug all up in your guild wars? Well hell yes

  2. gw2dad says:

    Taug! More 1v1 gets my vote man. I wanna see that warrior versus the annoying guarding!

    • taugrim says:

      gw2dad :

      Taug! More 1v1 gets my vote man. I wanna see that warrior versus the annoying guarding!

      It was an epic fight. If I make another 1v1s video, it’s definitely going in there.

  3. Guano says:

    I would want to see something about different strategies that can be used in competetive PvP. Maybe it´s still hard to come up with anything “solid” since the game isn´t really balanced out yet.

    But yeah… Strategies would be cool!

    Great video as allways. Been following you from Sweden for a long long time.
    Peace!

    • taugrim says:

      Guano :

      But yeah… Strategies would be cool!

      Great video as allways. Been following you from Sweden for a long long time.
      Peace!

      I hope to visit your country some day! I have a Swedish gamer friend from years ago.

      The closest I’ve been is Helsinki, in the middle of winter a few years ago. Scandinavia is so beautiful in the winter.

  4. Edon/Jedon says:

    What are you thoughts on the mechanic itself? It seems like a gimmick to me. Also, I’d like to see some more 1v1s :).

  5. Belz says:

    Another nice vid. So many pople are against the downed state but it clearly gives a very nice flavour to the game. Looking forward to tonights buildcast show. Keep up the good work mate.

    • Edon/Jedon says:

      I disagree. I haven’t gotten a chance to play yet, but every time I watch a clip, it annoys me to see that there’s a significant cast time to finish an opponent off. Why can’t your character just walk up to the downed player and stab him really quickly? I don’t understand why there’s a long ritual just to finish a character off every time. I’m fine with the idea of someone rallying from the downed state if the attacker has forgotten about him, but I disagree with the implementation of a long cast time every time you beat someone.

      • sgilder says:

        I would say that they are really emphasizing team work in this game. Great team work can keep you from going down in the first place while good teamwork can get you back up if you do go down.

        This should allow for much more diverse class builds to be played. If you can just run up and stab someone to take them out of the fight, more people would probably just run a glass cannon build and not even try defensive or supportive builds. With the potential to be picked up by an ally or even getting yourself up, I think people may be more willing to experiment with things.

        • Edon/Jedon says:

          I agree with your point that it promotes teamwork, and I’m not completely against the idea of the downed state for that reason – I think it’s a good way to get people to work together.

          I don’t buy your argument that people would just spec glass cannons without that mechanic though. I think people will spec support builds to prevent the downs in the first place.

          To be clear, I think a short cast time would be okay–something less than a second would make teammates use their reflexes to stop the kill.

        • taugrim says:

          sgilder :

          I would say that they are really emphasizing team work in this game. Great team work can keep you from going down in the first place while good teamwork can get you back up if you do go down.

          This should allow for much more diverse class builds to be played. If you can just run up and stab someone to take them out of the fight, more people would probably just run a glass cannon build and not even try defensive or supportive builds. With the potential to be picked up by an ally or even getting yourself up, I think people may be more willing to experiment with things.

          Arasis said something on BuildCast tonight. Without primary (dedicated) healers, the down state mechanic seems needed.

          I thought it was awkward at first, but the more I’ve played the more I appreciate the additional complexity it adds to the game.

          • Edon/Jedon says:

            So then, have you noticed that TTK (or rather, time to ‘downed state’) is significantly lower than in other games that have dedicated healers? Except even then, it might yet be too early to attribute that to no dedicated healers just because the high number of glass cannons running around…

  6. zechs says:

    Hey Taugrim, great job. Just an idea for your next Video: Invite your gildies to talk about their classes and balancing.

    • taugrim says:

      zechs :

      Hey Taugrim, great job. Just an idea for your next Video: Invite your gildies to talk about their classes and balancing.

      Interesting suggestion.

      These days with my very busy work RL schedule and Muay Thai, my free time is limited.

      So I don’t think real-time audio collaboration is doable at this time. But it’s a great idea.

  7. k says:

    Jedon: It may seem like a gimmick at first glance, but the downed state is actually an extremely important part of the PvP in this game. It takes some getting used to, but it turns out to be a great mechanic that adds a lot of depth.

    You should probably mention in the video that it is almost always worth blowing stability to get off an uninterrupted stomp in a teamfight. Quickness also doubles the speed of a stomp or revive, and Stealth can be great for avoiding interrupts while stomping or reviving as well.

    • Edon/Jedon says:

      k :
      You should probably mention in the video that it is almost always worth blowing stability to get off an uninterrupted stomp in a teamfight. Quickness also doubles the speed of a stomp or revive, and Stealth can be great for avoiding interrupts while stomping or reviving as well.

      Yeah, I didn’t know about any of this, very useful info. Like I mentioned above, I’m not completely against it, so I’m hopeful I’ll buy into it once I get into the action myself… ;)

    • Brad says:

      These points really warrant a 2nd video “stomping advanced.” The depth of this mechanic when you start talking about how it mixes with professions and conditions is amazing.

    • taugrim says:

      k :

      You should probably mention in the video that it is almost always worth blowing stability to get off an uninterrupted stomp in a teamfight. Quickness also doubles the speed of a stomp or revive, and Stealth can be great for avoiding interrupts while stomping or reviving as well.

      You are correct.

      There are a lot of tricks that I did not mention in the video.

      E.g.:
      – quickness for faster revive or finish
      – blind to cause opponents to miss
      – channeling revive or finish while stealthed

      etc.

  8. Sharlatan says:

    Belz :
    Another nice vid. So many pople are against the downed state but it clearly gives a very nice flavour to the game. Looking forward to tonights buildcast show. Keep up the good work mate.

    I agree, revive and downed states really promote tactical team play and reward coordination. It also introduced some pretty novel strategies.

    Oh and dont worry about 1v1s, its pretty pointless as the game really is not balanced around it, general strategies and combos would be good for vids.

    • taugrim says:

      Sharlatan :

      Belz :
      Another nice vid. So many pople are against the downed state but it clearly gives a very nice flavour to the game. Looking forward to tonights buildcast show. Keep up the good work mate.

      I agree, revive and downed states really promote tactical team play and reward coordination. It also introduced some pretty novel strategies.

      Oh and dont worry about 1v1s, its pretty pointless as the game really is not balanced around it, general strategies and combos would be good for vids.

      The game is *reasonably* balanced around 1v1, to the point where player skill matters.

      That said, there are some elite skills and other mechanics that create imbalances in PVP.

  9. Slacker says:

    Taugrim, I’ve been following you since swtor, and love your commentary vids. I’m pushing thief and Mesmer for gw2 and would love more Mesmer vids. It seems to be the least powerful class, so I want to see how it shines (moar)!

  10. EucridEucrow says:

    8-10 minutes is a very good length. If you can keep relevant and insightful commentary with good footage, as in this video, for that general amount of time you are golden. You can’t always get that length I know but it is definitively something to try and always shoot for in your videos. Good work.

    • taugrim says:

      EucridEucrow :

      8-10 minutes is a very good length. If you can keep relevant and insightful commentary with good footage, as in this video, for that general amount of time you are golden. You can’t always get that length I know but it is definitively something to try and always shoot for in your videos. Good work.

      Yea this was a tad longer than I was planning, but I wanted to show different situations, and both good examples as well as mistakes.

  11. Practice says:

    Great video, it’s awesome to see how many clutch plays can happen in this game. Side question: Are you planning to give engineer a go? I’ve become quite interested in this class and would love to see a competent player demo it.

    • taugrim says:

      Practice :

      Great video, it’s awesome to see how many clutch plays can happen in this game. Side question: Are you planning to give engineer a go? I’ve become quite interested in this class and would love to see a competent player demo it.

      No plans for Engy as of now.

      I’m going to miss the Stress Test tomorrow as it’s during business hours, but if there’s another BWE I’ll poll you folks to see what you’d like to see my play.

  12. Helgan says:

    I agree, great video! Keep up this good work taugrim, thx!
    Me and my guildies appreciate your work.

    It would be interesting to know which classes you and your guildies are going to pick and most of all why!?! How about a video including class synergy, tournament setups and teamplay? Greetings from germany!

    • taugrim says:

      Helgan :

      I agree, great video! Keep up this good work taugrim, thx!
      Me and my guildies appreciate your work.

      Thanks!

      Helgan :

      It would be interesting to know which classes you and your guildies are going to pick and most of all why!?! How about a video including class synergy, tournament setups and teamplay? Greetings from germany!

      Our players are looking at every class, so we should have a good mix.

      You did touch on a very rich and complex topic, which is synergies between classes, and especially the combo fields. If you search on YouTube for combo fields you’ll find some videos. Offhand I don’t know if any teams have covered them yet but teams such as Paradigm or Matchless may have.

  13. SCLOBERNOCKER47 says:

    The other option to knockbacks/fear is stability. Many classes have stability skills and/or utilities. Makes you uninturruptable… Warrior banner is OP in this respect.

    • Unfortunately, fear isn’t effected by stability. I know the description says that stability works against fear but it is incorrect. It’s either a bug in the game mechanics or an error in the stability description.

      • taugrim says:

        a.k.a. Oozo (@Raggok) :

        Unfortunately, fear isn’t effected by stability. I know the description says that stability works against fear but it is incorrect. It’s either a bug in the game mechanics or an error in the stability description.

        That’s good to know. I had assumed it would protect against fear given the tooltip.

  14. non-english players says:

    Can you write a wrap up please? Im not a native english speaker and it would be so much easier if i could read a short summarize first.

    Tks

    • taugrim says:

      non-english players :

      Can you write a wrap up please? Im not a native english speaker and it would be so much easier if i could read a short summarize first.

      Tks

      Updated my post per your request.

      Let me know if what I wrote is helpful and clear.

      Where are you from by the way?

      • non-english players says:

        Absolutely perfect. I always listen your videos but reading something first helps a lot.

        Im from spain, and sadly our english its one of the worst in Europe.

        At least I can read it easily.

        Tks again!!

        • taugrim says:

          non-english players :

          Absolutely perfect. I always listen your videos but reading something first helps a lot.

          Im from spain, and sadly our english its one of the worst in Europe.

          At least I can read it easily.

          Tks again!!

          No problem.

          Thanks for the suggestion to add a detailed writeup. It will provide value not only for you but other players as well.

          Your English (written at least) is good :)

          I wish I could read/write Spanish as well as you can English.

          • bjelkeman says:

            Great with writeups as part of a video post. One isn’t always in a situation where one can easily watch a video, but reading nearly always work.

  15. Stoessi says:

    And another great and informative video from Mr. Taugrim. Keep them coming – you are doing a really nice job! Love your calm and structured way of explaining game mechanics.

    • taugrim says:

      Stoessi :

      And another great and informative video from Mr. Taugrim. Keep them coming – you are doing a really nice job! Love your calm and structured way of explaining game mechanics.

      Thanks for the kind words. I make these videos in the hope that players will find them helpful. It’s always an encouragement to read comments like yours.

  16. Hiwashi says:

    I would love to hear more about Ryndar and the Ranger class! Great videos so far Tougrim!

    • Ozmosis says:

      I agree with this if Ryndar is up for it.

    • sgilder says:

      And he can still heal everyone (within range) with healing spring too! hahaha :P

    • theotherguy09 says:

      Haha, I’ll think about it. I have a few ideas for builds for the Ranger but I want to get actual game time with them to truly test their viability.

      Oddly I was originally going to run Guardian first but I think I’m shifting towards Ranger.

  17. B'rant says:

    taugrim

    Thanks for the kind words. I make these videos in the hope that players will find them helpful. It’s always an encouragement to read comments like yours.

    Next to experience in game, your guides have done more for my game than anything else.

    On a side note, Top is doing some really good stuff on his blog. Any chance of a collaborative effort? Maybe breaking down tournament footage from two different perspectives?

  18. Edon/Jedon says:

    I’m flipping sides now, and I’m starting to look forward to the downed state (lol). I think my problem was that it didn’t really make sense from a realistic standpoint, so I just threw that out of my head. When I consider the gameplay implications though, it’s like you have temporary, portable ‘nodes’ all over the warzones that directly impact a team’s position, and that sounds tremendously dynamic. If I ‘activate’ this resurrect, then my teammate gets to start over next to me, rather than back at the spawn point. So, if anyone else thought about it that way, try rewatching taugrim’s video with that in mind, and I hope that helps. Cheers.

  19. in_disguise says:

    A few times in your videos you have mentioned that some abilities can be activated while channeling another. In GW1 this was the case for both Shouts and Stances, I have not had a chance to consciously verify that this is true for both in GW2 yet (i am so used to it in GW1 that I would not have even noticed it when playing), if you/someone gets a chance during the stress test tomorrow, that could be some valuable information, especially for picking skills/builds, as that creates a great deal of tactical advantage when you can load up on abilites completely independent of a GCD/cast order.

    • in_disguise says:

      from the official wiki Shout page: “Shouts have an instant cast time and may be used during other skills.”. So that answers that one, the Stance page does not have a similar entry, so might still be worth testing.

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