Proving Grounds Tactics

I've been quite focused on PvP over the last couple of days, so I thought I might take this opportunity to finally write that post about tactics in Odessen Proving Grounds that I've been thinking about for a long time. Please note that this isn't a beginner's guide - if you want to know the basics of how this warzone works, consult Xam Xam's guide here.

People like to complain that kills don't matter when it comes to winning the battle for Odessen, but I think that's really only part of the problem - after all, with the exception of Hypergates and Yavin Ruins, most warzones don't directly award points for killing enemy players.

I suspect what confuses or annoys a lot of people about the Proving Grounds map is how fast-paced it is, with the 90-second rounds and constantly changing objectives, and that contrary to many people's instincts, it pays off to spread out instead of group up. Finally, the short duration of each round and constantly resetting objectives mean that it's frequently possible to lose a battle even if you're winning and vice versa (on a small scale) - because defeating that node guardian just as the round ends does nothing to advance your team's score.

Spreading out

There are two reasons why it's beneficial for a team to spread out in the Proving Grounds. The first is simply the randomisation of the objective spawns at the beginning of each new round, which means that you can't know in advance where to stand in order to quickly capture the next upcoming objective. By making sure that your team is spread out all over the map, you're increasing your chances that someone will be near the next node or battle mod to go active and can get on it as soon as possible.

Tied into this is the fact that the way capping works heavily favours defenders. Because the node won't flip as long as even a single defender remains standing inside its boundaries, even a single defender can buy valuable seconds just by staying alive for as long as they can, and if you have multiple defenders it becomes very hard to get rid of them all in time to change node ownership and still get points from it before the round ends.

In practice this means that you want to start the match attacking the initial two control points with a four-four split, with one person in each "team" breaking off to pick up the battle mod on their side as well. It's rather frustrating to see how rarely this actually happens, presumably because people uncertain about what to do think that their best bet is to "stick with the pack", or they might think that the warzone works similar to other base-capping modes such as Civil War and Novare Coast, where you usually have all but one person sticking together at the start.

From then on, after the end of each round, your goal should be to spread out across the map as far as possible. Obviously you can't tell the rest of your team where to go, but you can try to get away from them as much as you can! Personally I favour positioning myself near one of the battle mod spawn points, as they appear a few seconds before the control points become active, which means that you can pick up a mod and potentially still make it to a control point in time too. Also, the fact that they are located halfway between two nodes increases your chances of being near one that's about to become active. If you can't or don't want to stand near a mod spawn point for some reason, my next favourite place is the bottom control point (artifact chamber) as you can easily go from there to mid (cantina) but not the other way round.

Control points or battle mods?

On any PvP map where you have both main and secondary objectives, the question is always how much those secondary objectives are worth pursuing compared to the primary ones (e.g. orbs in Ancient Hypergates vs. pylons/kills). In the Proving Grounds the answer is that they are very much worth it! Two of the four mods are in fact equal in value to a captured control point each (assuming they are quickly put to use, and correctly), namely blue and green. Green obviously allows you to activate and capture an additional control point where the enemy team might not expect it, and blue doubles the point gain on an existing node, meaning that it's also worth as much as a whole additional objective.

While the mod colours rotate too quickly for you to be able to target the one you want specifically, what with lag and so on, you can definitely avoid getting one that you don't want, by making sure to run over it just after the colour you didn't want flashes up. Personally I usually avoid red.

The red (deactivate) battle mod is certainly also powerful, however it's hard to put to good use if the enemy defenders pay any attention at all. Unless you are a Sniper/Gunslinger that is - I don't even know what the ability is called, but they are able to temporarily make themselves immune to both interrupts and stuns at the same time, meaning that if they roll in with a red mod and use that ability, the node is gone and there is nothing you can do about it.

The orange/speed-up mod is not that useful in my opinion as it doesn't increase point gain, just speeds it up so that the control point expires quite a bit before the end of the round. Obviously this is technically advantageous in that you need to spend less time defending that particular node, however at 90 seconds the rounds are already quite short as it is, so that a few seconds saved usually don't give you sufficient time to do something useful elsewhere. I seem to recall that I've only ever seen this mod make the difference between victory and loss once, when both teams were incredibly close to hitting 600 points and the one that managed to speed up their point gain with the mod just managed to get there first.

Victory in death

Another thing that makes Odessen quite unique - as mentioned above - is that your chances of scoring a minor win even in death are much higher than in most other warzones. Sure, sometimes this can happen in other game modes too, such as when the act of killing you distracts someone for long enough that a team mate can capture a turret behind them for example, but the Proving Grounds really embrace the concept because dying between rounds effectively doesn't cost you anything, and you "only" need to stall the enemy for 90 seconds at a time to defend a control point or prevent either side from capturing it. So get ready to embrace death whenever it buys your team some time because every second counts.

Got any "expert" tips of your own to add? Feel free to leave them in the comments!

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