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:
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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