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From Liandri Archives
The main objective in Warfare is similar to Onslaught - control a chain of power nodes that link to the enemy core, and destroy it. However, Warfare expands upon this idea so that there is more of a strategic element involved in Warfare, and less of a rushdown. This article will mostly focus on the new elements of Warfare (The Orb and extra node types); for information on how to Construct Nodes/Attack enemy Powercores, scoring, etc, one should look at the Onslaught section.
Upon starting the game, each team will spawn in their base, and the Orb will spawn. The Orb is a crucial component of Warfare, and carefully using the Orb will be key to winning Warfare matches. Some maps have multiple Orb spawnpoints depending on which nodes are captured, while others only have one, inside each base. You will be able to see where your Orb is at all times on the minimap.
Several maps will also have ancillary nodes that, while not needed to win the match, provide advantages to a team. These are Countdown Nodes, Vehicle Nodes, Bridge Nodes, Damage Nodes and Core Exposing Nodes respectively.
Upon picking up the orb, the game will briefly display the carrier's name underneath the minimap for all players to see. Additionally, the orb carrier will have a bright yellow/gold light extending up into the sky, making their location obvious to most other players. The light is similar to a normal Power Node except that it moves along with the Orb carrier, always reflecting their current location. In addition, the carrier's exact location is visible to any nearby enemies on the minimap. They will also be warned with an "Enemy Orb carrier incoming" voice announcement. Hence, the life of an orb carrier is extremely dangerous; however, if you can stay alive, the benefits are great and the orb carrier can change the tide for a losing team or secure a decisive victory for a winning one.
- If an orb carrier touches a node, assuming that his team can actually capture the node, the node will be instantly captured and built, whether it is neutral or owned by the enemy team. In addition, until the Orb vanishes from inside the node, the node cannot be retaken by the enemy Orb. The only exceptions to this rule are nodes you cannot normally capture anyway, and nodes that have just been taken by the Orb.
- If an orb carrier approaches a captured node, he will protect that node. The node will be automatically healed by the power of the orb, and will not be able to be damaged as long as the Orb carrier is alive, or until he moves a certain distance away from the node, shown on your minimap by a dashed circular border. A bright, team-colored stream of energy will directly connect the orb carrier to the node. It is also impossible for the node to be captured by an enemy orb while it is protected.
- If a player is killed while holding the orb, the orb drops, and if it was being used defensively, defensive mechanisms cease. A countdown (18 seconds) then begins; this countdown can be seen by all players on your team regardless of distance as long as they are looking in the general direction of the orb, becoming more opaque as they approach, and enemy players within a certain distance of the Orb and general line-of-sight of it. If a player on the orb-owning team picks up the Orb by touching it, the countdown is canceled and they then have control of the orb. Alternatively, if they fail to retrieve it, the Orb will be destroyed and respawn.
- A player may quickly destroy a dropped enemy orb by walking up to it and pressing Use. However, due to the sudden discharge, the player will lose 100 health. It is possible to suicide by doing this, but a message will pop up proclaiming you decided to be a hero. Damage from this can be soaked by armor, meaning if you have a full Shield Belt this will not harm your health, at the cost of the Shield Belt. If you reach a fallen enemy orb, it is generally a bad idea to force it to respawn unless that node is getting rushed, because otherwise you put it right back where your opponents are spawning.
- As with Flags, the Orb Carrier cannot use Teleporters or Vehicles or else they will drop the Orb. It is possible as always for them to grapple onto vehicles and/or use their hoverboards; getting shot will make them fall and drop the Orb.
The Orb provides for a way for a team to manage to turn the tide of the match quickly with teamwork, as opposed to Onslaught's general stalemate once a team's Prime Node is down. Indeed, with a good run, a team who was winning the match can quickly find their assault not only halted, but the tide of battle completely reversed.
Some nodes aren't necessary to capture to win the game, but capturing these nodes can provide some benefits. In addition to the usual benefits of a captured node (additional vehicles, respawns, etc) these nodes can inflict damage directly to the core, even if your team doesn't have a direct link to it established. These nodes are called Countdown Nodes.
Upon capturing a Countdown Node, the game will audibly announce that a team has taken control of it, and a timer (usually 60 seconds) appears at the location of the node on the minimap, along with a final warning with 10 seconds to go. If the node fails to be destroyed within that time, the team has succeeded in holding the countdown node, and the enemy core will be damaged, usually for about 20% of its health. After the node is held and the countdown successful, the node will return to a neutral state, removing all spawns and friendly vehicles that spawned with them and are not being used.
Examples of this type of node can be found on WAR-Floodgate and WAR-Powersurge.
Vehicle Nodes are a subset of Countdown Nodes, but distinct enough to be separated. Unlike Countdown Nodes, Vehicle Nodes will not directly damage the core; however, they will give the team who holds them a vehicle of tremendous power, generally the Leviathan.
The 60-second countdown, Minimap indicators and post-hold returning to neutrality are all otherwise identical to Countdown Nodes. Note there is NOT a 10-second warning with Vehicle Nodes, generally.
Examples of this type of node can be found on WAR-Serenity.
Some maps have nodes which, when controlled, allow quicker access to certain parts of the map faster, or in ways less exposed to attacks. These nodes generally do not provide advantages in terms of firepower, but they can sometimes be used to get to an objective that does allow you to do so.
In most cases, these are tied to an objective. In WAR-TankCrossing, for example, controlling the Bridge Node will allow you to get your Goliath across, to a pressure pad which exposes the enemy core, which can then be shot by the Goliath. In WAR-OnyxCoast, the team who controls the Leviathan can only drive it across the bridge if they can successfully hold the Bridge Node.
Damage Nodes are nodes that, when held, cause an enemy's node to be damaged in some way, making it more difficult for them to hold or build the node. Unlike Countdown Nodes, there is no timer for them to work - they do so continuously, albeit slowly.
Examples of this type of node can be found on WAR-Avalanche, where holding the side nodes cause a Necris Tentacle to be deployed. Both nodes are necessary to deploy the tentacle. A node chain is not necessary for the damage, and chaining to the node does not speed it up.
Core Exposing Nodes
These nodes will expose the enemy core, making it easier to attack, usually from a distance. It should be noted, however, that while they will expose the enemy core, you might not be able to attack the enemy core.
Examples of this type of node can be found in WAR-MarketDistrict.
There are also generic Support Nodes, which require no core linking to capture, that also don't have a special effect. These nodes may supply you with stronger vehicle(s), more weapons and ammo, and serve as an additional possible spawn point. Examples include most versions of WAR-Torlan and the WAR-Dusk standard link setup. In the latter case, if a team controls both of the Support Nodes surrounding the mine shaft, the shaft door will open, revealing a Cicada, which is particularly useful for attacking nodes in that map.