4v4 Gameplay: An overview
In this article we discuss 4v4 play in Random Arena, Team Arena, and the new Alliance Battle maps. You will learn the differences in 4v4 play and which skills and strategies you are likely to encounter.
4v4 Random Arena
The first game type is 4v4 Random Arena. The main difference in Random Arena versus other game types is that you cannot depend on other players as much because your teammates are randomly assigned. It is normally a good idea to equip some defensive skills - examples of which would include (but are not limited to) anti-melee, removal, and self-heals. Warriors are a common profession in Random Arena battles because they possess both high damage and survivability; as such, equipping Warrior counters is never a bad thing.
If you are new to Random Arena, I suggest you try playing as either a Warrior or Ranger primary as these professions are often not the first targeted. The Monk and Mesmer professions, on the other hand, are the hardest builds to start out with as everyone tends to target these players first. A good idea is to get familiar with Random Arena play using other professionsbefore jumping into the fray with those primaries.
Elementalists and Necromancers are considered middle-ground professions. Because they wear weak armor you will get targeted often, but generally only if the Monks and Mesmers on your team are already down. The key skill for Random Arena is the Resurrection Signet. Most characters should bring a Resurrection Signet into the Random Arena, though the one exception to the rule might be the Monk as he can stop most people from dying. Placing a priority on fast resurrections of fallen comrades can turn the tides of a pitched battle in your favor. Likewise, bringing interrupt skills is extremely useful in Random Arena, as you can stop someone from using their Resurrection Signet and buy yourself a few precious seconds to kill another player.
Keep an eye on your teammates.; While you won't know what they are capable of doing before the match begins,, watching what they do in the game is extremely important. Knowing that you have an Ice Elementalist can help you with targets that are kiting you (running away to avoid melee damage while hitting you with ranged attacks) or if you have a trapper on your team you can lead the enemy into the traps. Always be aware of what your teammates are doing and what skills they are using as teamwork is still important, despite the fact that you're likely playing with total strangers. If someone on your team isn't calling targets then you should step up to the plate. Look for soft targets first, such as Monks and Mesmers, then watch what the enemy is doing and try to kill the soft target that is posing the biggest threat. Above all else, keep in mind you're not going to win every battle. Even the best players lose in Random Arena battles, so just jump back in and keep at it.—You’ll find that practicing in the Random Arena is an excellent way to understand the basics of PvP in Guild Wars.
4v4 Team Arena
The main difference between 4v4 Random Arena and 4v4 Team Arena is that you get to pick your group. This sole addition changes the play dynamic as you will run into more skilled teams and more unusual combos and builds. You don't need to bring as many self-defense skills or self-heals, but they are still very important. It's not uncommon to see very wacky builds in Team Arena battles, and you will run into skilled teams using voice chat to coordinate their strategy. It's extremely important to get organized before you enter the Team Arena; make sure your characters work together and that you have ways to deal with hexes and conditions.
If you find yourself dying repeatedly in the same fashion, (i.e. Warriors are constantly killing you) throw in a few anti-Warrior skills. The key here is to help each other out. Inflict cripple on the Warrior chasing your Monk, interrupt that Elementalist before he blinds your Warriors, etc. Cooperation is key in Team Arena matches.
Also, positioning is a huge factor in Team Arena combat. Your Monks should try to remain at casting distance from your Warriors, and your other soft targets should be casting distance from the enemies. This battle line is important to maintain team strength, such as when a Warrior charges through to attack your Monk and is too far from his healer you can easily fall back to kill him.
Another advantage to Team Arena combat is that you can ensure that you'll have a Monk on the roster, as opposed to Random Arena. Just like in a Random Arena fight, don't get too flustered if you lose a game, as there are a lot of very experienced teams playing. Just make adjustments, experiment with new builds, and get back in the game.
12v12 (in groups of 4) Alliance Battle Maps
The Alliance Battle maps are much different than Random Arena, or Team Arena settings. One of the biggest differences is that you need less defensive skills and no Resurrection Signet, as the battles are longer than the 4v4 maps and everyone resurrects after 15 seconds. The main thing you want to think about when constructing your builds is your objective; what are you going to do when the battle starts? Most of the time, your goals will consist of either attacking or defending control points.
Attacking control points is normally more important than defending, though some locations possess key points that can be worthwhile to defend. Movement becomes extremely important so it's important to equip a run buff. These maps share some similarities with Team Arena and Random Arena. While you can pick your own team and deal with your own objectives, you will have two other teams that are randomly assigned. The key is to talk to your teammates and tell them what you are doing so they can react and assign themselves another objective if necessary. Don't get discouraged if you find yourself on the losing team; you can turn the tide very easily with some patience and persistence. Always keep an eye on where the enemy is and where they are going.
Don't fight the enemy when you are greatly out numbered and look for points that are unguarded. AoE spells, Minions, and pets are very powerful in Alliance Battle maps. Experiment with different tactics and remember the goal of Alliance Battles is obtaining points for your team, not killing your opponents. While annihilating the enemy is important it won't win you the game. You have to capture points in order to achieve victory. Always make sure when you're fighting near a capture point to move within the capture radius (a little UI showing the point name will appear). Above all, have fun and remember that you're not going to win every fight on the battle maps. Never give up, as the underdog victories are the most remembered.