Your First StepsEdit
So, you've downloaded/bought the game and logged in. The first thing you will do is go through a tutorial in which you learn the basics of the game. First, you are given the chance to design the appearance of your character. Keep in mind that even if you have a top of the line computer, you will be running at low graphics settings and are unable to change them for the first phase of the tutorial. The appearance choices are fairly limited at this point, although there are more interesting options available for purchase from a vendor in the main social area of the game (Sanctarum). You have to browse the options using the up and down arrows, sorry no pallet!
After you create your character you choose a realm (only one is active), and are teleported into a new area to learn some movement and combat. If you didn't pay enough attention to this section of the tutorial, there is information on the same stuff later in this guide.
Now you are teleported again into a starting area where you will get to choose a starting archetype. Let me make it very clear that you will unlock every starting ability for every archetype to rank 10, and be given equivalent starting gear for all archetypes as well. What that means is that you can change to any of the other starting archetypes at any time (except during combat), so this means that your archetype choice is just what you start with, and you can change it even a few seconds later!
Here comes your first battle in the Training Grounds version of Bloodbath (more information available in section 4 of this guide). Note that it is possible to teleport into the Sanctarum by pressing "next" after queueing to the Warzone, but that isn't necessary. Hopefully you remember what you learned in the tutorial, because you are now going to be fighting directly against 7 bots in a small map. The map could be one of two maps, Mausoleum of Thordus, or Winnowing Pass. The end of the battle also gives you a list of items to choose from. You can roll on up to 3 items, or multiple times on a single item (Note: you only get 3 item roll slots if you are an immortal!!! If you are a chosen, then you only get 1, and if you are a hero you get 2).
Once you finish the battle you will be teleported into the Sanctarum, which is the main social area of the game. Note that there are multiple instances of Sanctarum: Gates of War. You can travel between them by clicking the dropdown menu in the top center of the screen and choosing another instance. This is helpful if you want to meet up with someone in order to trade or just hang out.
Now it is time it start unlocking more abilities. There are different lines of trials for each archetype, and each branches many times before the end. Guides are always the ones who give you trials. When you complete a trial you unlock one or more abilities. If you get more than one unlocked, you will have to choose which one you want to immediately receive. The others will be available to buy for gold from the Mentors. Higher tier abilities cost more gold. There are links in section 8 to help you plan getting to abilities that you want.
Congratulations! You have completed your first steps of playing Fury, read on for more specific information about the game.
Fury's interface is a little bit different than that of most MMO's, but once you understand what is going on it makes more sense.
The minimap is displayed in the bottom right corner of the screen. You can zoom in or out, and in the Interface Options menu you can set the minimap to either turn with your character, which means your character will always point up, or remain static, which would make north always be up.
Your abilities are available in 24 slots along the bottom of the screen, and the controls default to alt+(1 to =) and 1 to =. You can change these hotkeys by going into the Control Options menu, clicking into a hotkey slot, and then hitting the key or key combination you would like to set it to. There are still some issues with this so it might be good to double check that the controls were properly set by looking at your ability bars.
Next, you can view your current health in two places. The first is in a long red bar attached to the top of the ability bars. The second is a more complete player window in the bottom left of the screen. Above the player window you will also see any players who you are in a party with. There is also options to display entire groups in compact windows when you are in a team of more than one group. Groups can consist of up to 4 people.
Your charges are visible on either side of your quickbar, or in your player window. Your groupmate's charges are visible in their player windows. When you target someone you are given a new window in the center which displays their charges, health, and basic information. When you hover over someone another window is visible off to the right.
Your buffs are visible in the bottom left, and your debuffs are visible just above your ability bars. Your target's buffs are at the bottom of his window, and his debuffs are smaller and to the top right of his window. These buff placements are quite hard to get used to noticing, but you have to pay attention to them until you get used to spell graphics so you know when you are disabled in some form or another.
The game isn't all that large, so I will go through and describe all of it to you. The two main sections are social areas, which is where you will be outside of battle, and then Warzones.\
Social zones make up the majority of the game. The main area is called Sanctarum: Gates of war. It is easy to navigate with a large pillar in the center, and then a hall in the N, E, S, W for each school (Life, Death, Growth, Decay). Blue is Life, Red is Death, Green is Growth, Purple is Decay. To get up onto the pillar, just walk over the jump pads located around the edges on the ground. Also, there are shopping areas linking all these halls together, one for each school. There are vendors of all types all over the place and you should open up your map and check them all out on your own, but I will mention the most important ones here. The first ones are the starting guides, who will give you your first trials for any given school. These 4 guides are all on top of the pillar in the center. There is also a mailbox in the center. Next, to the South there is helpful guy who allows you to create a clan with a group of 4 people and 10 gold.
Now each school has their own specific and entirely unique social area. You can zone into these at the end of their respective halls through the fancy glowing circle that floats in the air. Once inside you gain access to all the mentors and guides for all tiers of abilities. At this point I should mention that a guide is someone who you complete trials for, and a mentor is a vendor from which you can buy other abilities that you unlocked but didn't choose to receive as your trial reward. Inside each school's zone there are also vendors for faction gear. In order to be able to buy any of that gear, you must donate essence to that school. Near the beginning of each school area somewhere you can find this guy, and the first donation is 2000. The gear and donation costs are quite hefty, so don't worry about this right away.
Now each warzone has its own small hall as well which contains portals to one shopping area, every school hall, a Warzone Master to queue from, condition and durability repairers, and an item broker which you can sell or buy items with.
To go into more detail about shopping, there are various ways of acquiring gear other than winning it from battles. You can buy faction gear which I went over earlier. You can artifice gear, which is basically a form of controlled gambling in which you choose the tier and type of equipment that you want, and then paying a small fee for the vendor to craft it for you with random rarity and stats. Artificing is a very good way to put together a set of items. You can buy items off item brokers as well, which will be a large list of items that other players have sold to item brokers. You can even buy some pretty good rare items in the school shopping areas in various tiers from 2 to 10. There is also an item auction house. I will go into detail with item stats in section 5.3 of this guide.
When you go into a battle, you are going into a Warzone. There are various different maps for each warzone type, which I will go into detail about in the next section.
There are 4 different types of Warzones available at this time; Training Grounds Bloodbath, Bloodbath, Elimination, and Vortex. Additions to the game in the future are planned to include Fortress, 1v1 Elimination, and 2v2 Elimination. Here is an overview of each game type.
Training Grounds BloodbathEdit
This is where you went for your first battle. It consists of 4 bots and 4 players fighting it out in a small map with lots of readily available map The bots are not very difficult to defeat once you get some understanding of the game, but it is quite possible and at this point quite likely that you will encounter players with lots more experience and unlocked abilities. They will likely crush you, so keep an eye out for names you recognize and don't be afraid to run away if you see them coming!
The goal is to end the match with the most blood points. You get blood points for killing people (more for higher ranked players), and for holding blood tokens, which drop from any person that anyone kills. You may hold no more than 5 blood tokens at a time, gain some buffs from holding each, and lose them all upon death. You also lose blood points when you die. The more you have, the more you lose upon death. It is generally a good idea to go for killing the top 5 players if you think you have a chance against them because they will give you the most points, while at the same time pushing them down from the death penalty.
This is the regular Bloodbath game type, which should become the standard for people wanting to run solo once the player population is high enough to get people out of requeueing for the Training Grounds instead. The goals and mechanics are the same as the above apart from the number of players, and the fact that there are no bots. There are 24 players on 1 of 3 very large maps, I'll go over each map briefly.
The Colosseum is a circular map with segmented platforms running around the entire outside. There are a variety of jump pads to get you up on these platforms or onto the small structures across from them. Every other segment has no way of being accessed other than by spawning there. There is also a wide open area in the center which can be accessed through ramps from the ground level of the outside circle, underpasses from that same ground level, or from bridges spanning from the platforms around the edge to a drop down into the center area. In the center there are also jump pads up to small platforms high on the sides.
Castle Bloodbane is a large and complicated map that you will really just have to explore for yourself. There is a large variety of structures, narrow hallways, jump pads, and large open areas.
Ruins of Zeyma consists of a large structure in the center which you can climb via a set of staircases from the ground floor of the structure, a square platform ringing that structure, and then large open areas with the occassional structure or bridge. The top of the structure also has a jump pad which sends you way off to the edge of the map.
This is a 4v4 last man standing game type in which you must work well with your team to acheive victory. You should have at least 1 healer to begin with, although I am sure that it is possible(yet difficult) to create an effective 4 man team that doesn't include one. There are 6 maps for Elimination so I will not go over them all, I suggest getting a friend and doing a /teamchallenge in order to run around and explore the maps properly. When you are doing this, note the locations of map buffs, jump pads, etc.
The most complex game type currently available, Vortex forces players to consider team combat, positioning, and overall goals at the same time. You win when your team holds 4 Vortex Crystals in their base. Vortex crystals drop from the perkon, which is a floating creature with 1 health that moves around randomly until killed. A single vortex crystal drops upon perkon death, and can be picked up by any player. While holding a vortex crystal, players cannot use any abilities except defensive stances (some of which cause the player to drop the crystal). If the player holding the crystal dies, the crystal drops to the ground.
The trick is that you can also steal crystals from your opponent's base, so you must decide between going for the perkon to gain new crystals, defending your own base against potential crystal thieves, and sneaking into your opponent's base to steal their crystals. It is suggested that you travel in groups of at least 2 for the most part. This game type is fairly advanced, but it is worth at least testing out a couple games of it even when you have just starting playing Fury.
Building your CharacterEdit
Building a character is a complicated and important process which hugely impacts your performance inside the Warzones. This section of the guide should be very helpful in understanding the process and making some educated choices.
The most basic choice you must make is what kind of character you want to play. There are no set classes, so you can mix and match skills from different Archetypes in a plethora of different ways. However, when starting out it is probably a good idea to focus your efforts on 1 or 2 different archetypes. The 4 schools each have 2 related archetypes.
Life school contains the Champion, a melee weapon + shield user with a fairly large set of both healing and damage abilities, and the Healer, which is a ranged healing based archetype who also has access to a couple decent damage skills. Death school contains the Destroyer, who dual wields and basically just does a lot of melee damage, and the Invoker, who is the ranged equivalent. Growth school contains the Warden, a melee long weapon user who centers around damage and support, and the Oracle, who is a more complex archetype containing some heals, support, and damage spells. Finally, Decay school contains the Overlord, who wields 2-handed weapons and has a lot of debuff and heavy damage skills, and the Defiler, who the most disabling debuffs out of all the archetypes, along with some decent damage spells.
Of course, this is just a first look at each archetype. They are all MUCH more complex that I made them out to be in the previous paragraph, but you will understand the details only through playing the game more.
Now that you have chosen an archetype, you need to choose precisely which abilities you want to have on your bars. it is almost always a good idea to have the basic defensive stance along with one advanced defensive stance of your choice. Popular advanced defensive stances include the 4 mirror element stances from the Champion trails line. If you plan to play bloodbath a lot, I would also suggest unlocking Accelerate from the Oracle trials line and adding that to your bar. Other than that, just try to have a good mix of damage spells, disables, and survival spells to be successful. When choosing abilities try to think along the lines of what you would actually use in battle. For example, don't put 2 powerful damage abilities of the same element that don't really work together in any way, because you'll probably end up ignoring one of them and just always using the other one. Remember that each ability you equip takes away from your pool of 1000 equip points (EP), which is the same pool that putting equipment on draws from. You can use lower tiers of skills by clicking the dropdown menu where it says the skill rank and choosing the desired tier. The higher the tier, the more EP the ability will cost you. You should notice that although skills scale up at a relatively constant rate, EP scales up much faster. Therefore it is better to have 2 rank 8 skills than a rank 10 skill and a rank 4 skill (which could cost you the same EP). There are some more tips on abilities in sections 6.4, 6.5, and 7.4 of this guide.
Equipment is very complex. I went over how to acquire equipment earlier in this guide, so I will jump right into the stats. The most basic stats are the armor types. There is nature armor, fire armor, water armor, and air armor. Armor pieces also display the earth armor stat. Earth abilities were removed from the game some time ago, so this stat is inconsequential.
There is plate armor which is mainly meant for defilers and overlords, padded armor for invokers and destroyer, leather armor for wardens and oracles, and scale armor for champions and healers. You may use any type of armor, but padded armor, for example, usually gives a 2% bonus to either death physical or death spiritual abilities. There is also warweave and chain armor, which isn't designed for any class in particular. If you artifice for either of those last 2 types there is a higher chance to get rarer stat modifiers. That brings me to rarity levels. There is white, green, blueish purple, yellow, red, and pink (pink looks purple on some computers). Higher rarity level = chance for better or more stat modifiers. Also, a higher tier of an item will cost more equip points but give the possibility of larger stat modifiers.
Now onto the actual stat modifiers. Physical and Spiritual Offense raises your chance to hit with those abilities. Physical and Spiritual Defense lowers your chance to be hit. It is very important, especially for melee, to raise your respective offense in order to ensure hits in tight situations. If you are only healing, then you just have to worry about your defenses. Offense is relatively more effective than defense, so if you want your defense to have much of an effect you should invest a lot into it.
You can also get Physical or Spiritual damage % bonuses. These most commonly appear in the form of 2% spiritual or physical abilities for a specific school. You can also get bonuses to all physical or spiritual abilities, or bonuses to all abilities of a specific element.
Armor is mainly acquired through the base stats of a piece of armor, but there are also modifiers which increase your armors by a certain % or number. Armor gives direct damage mitigation which is visible in % form in your equipment window. There are also certain stats that give -7% incoming damage of a certain type, or -4% incoming damage of all types, although these are rare.
There are many many more stat modifiers including chance on hit, buff, heal, etc to provide a temporary bonus or damage output. I suggest you look through the item brokers and check out all the stat modifiers that are available. If you find one that you like, remember the prefix/suffix of the item and keep an eye out for it later. For example, you can get items "of carrion-making" which increase physical offense (my personal favourite stat as a Destroyer!).
That covers most of the details of armor, I suggest you ask around to find out what stats you should go for based on your archetype and ability build.
Time to get down into the details of actual combat. You'll learn about how the game works, along with some tips of how to use those game mechanics in good ways.
Buffs and debuffs play a very important role in Fury - I will start over by going over buffs. There are 2 types of buffs, enduring buffs and everything else. I will provide some examples whenever I mention a type of buff or debuff. You are limited to 4 enduring buffs at any time, and it is a good idea to use all 4 of these slots if possible. Enduring buffs give effects like increased armor ratings (Shield of Valor, Spirit of the Ironwood), healing effects (Salvation, Vigor), damage mitigation (Reflect, Group Reflect, Stormseal), and chance to strip buffs (Reaver of Air/Fire/Nature/Water). You cannot have multiple stacks of a single enduring buffs (so no 4x Spirit of the Ironwood like what happened for a while in beta!). You cannot overwrite an existing buff with the same buff, even if it is higher ranked. This can make refreshing buffs difficult to do well unless you have a stopwatch with a 3 min timer set next to your computer. The other option is to cancel your buffs by clicking them on your buff panel, and then recast them.
Other buffs include stuff like the proc effects of Stormseal and Vigor, healing spells like Rejuvenation and Rejuvinating Burst, damage buffs like Berserker's Rage and Force of Nature, and many more. There is no limit to the number of non-enduring buffs you can have active, so stack up to your heart's content.
Debuffs do things like lower your armor ratings which increases the damage you take (Uppercut, Shieldcrusher), deal damage over time (Infection, Torture), disable some or all of your abilities (Lull, Magilock, Subdue), or root you in place (Scornlock, Burning Grasp). There are also many other effects available so have a browse through the skills if you have something in particular in mind.
Make sure you keep an eye on your debuffs so you know when is a good time to run away and when is a good time to stay and fight. For example if you are a physical DPS user and you get flashburned, you can no longer use any physical abilities, so run to the map powerups or use any spiritual abilities you might have instead, or just wait it out if you prefer.
The targeting system is a little bit clumsy at the moment, hopefully we will get some new features soon. As it stands now, you can select a single target by clicking on them or using one of the many selection hotkeys for enemies or allies. Now, you also have a secondary target which is whoever you are targeting is targeting. If you cast a heal while targeting an enemy, and your enemy is targeting you or your ally, the heal will automatically cast on that player instead. However if you are targeting an enemy who is targeting another enemy and wish to heal yourself, you have to press F1 to target yourself before casting the heal or you will just get an error message.
If you are targeting an ally and use an attack, the attack will be used on your ally's target if said target is hostile to you. This can be used to help synchronize spikes
You can press 'v' to target your target's target whether it be friendly or hostile. The self targeting is really the difficult thing to use at the moment, so focus on that if you plan to be dealing damage and also healing yourself (quite common in Bloodbath).
Movement is quite typical of and MMO, except that there is also a momentum effect unlike in a lot of other games. For example if you jump and turn 180 degrees in the air, when you land there will be a short delay before you are running full speed in the opposite direction. There is also no 90 degrees turning - you'll get used to it quickly though. You can jump quite high and far, make use jumping in appropriate situations to get to map buffs behind obstacles, etc.
Be careful of where you go, because in many of the maps there are places where you can fall off the map (or going with the storyline, fall into the "fade"). You die if you do this.
Now movement has 2 more main implications in combat. First, there are many abilities which changes player movement in some way or another. There are many different types of charge which move you almost instantly to your opponent and provide some type of effect on impact such as damage or a knockback. There is also a skill called dragnet which drags your opponent towards you. Then, there are teleportation skills which teleport you or your target in a random or preset direction depending on the skill. Lastly, there are many skills which provide a knockback effect. You can use drags, teleports, and knockbacks to send your opponents off edges, and they can do this to you... so be CAREFUL. The most common way of accomplishing this is to get your opponent near the edge and simply use an attack with a knockback effect such as frenzy to send them over.
The second implication is on damage. If you are hit with a *physical* ability while moving, you take more damage than you would if you were standing still. The faster you are moving, the more damage you take. Spiritual (ranged) abilities do not recieve a damage increase from movement. You can be create with the mechanic by doing things like hitting people with a big attack right as they hit a jump pad, causing them to take extremely increased damage. Be careful yourself though - sometimes it is better to stand still and heal yourself or receive heals than it is to try to run away and end up taking extra damage.
Charges are the force that holds Fury gameplay together. There are 2 main types of abilities; charge generation abilities and charge consumption abilities. You should bring at least 1 rank 1 charge generation ability for every element that you plan to use. It is usually a good idea to get the skills that give you +2 charges unless you think you would really make use of whatever secondary effect the +1 charge abilities provide. An example of this would be slumber, which is a ranged +1 water charge attack which also sleeps the target for a couple seconds or until they take damage. You should also note that the more charges you have built up, the more powerful your abilities of that element will become.
Now once you have your generation abilities you can throw in your charge consumption abilities in whatever way your build dictates. When in battle make sure to watch your charges so you don't end up trying to use a charge consumption ability when you don't have any charges. There is some UI lag when it comes to displaying charges, but you will get used to it.
Fire and Water are opposites, so if you build 4 fire charges and then use a skill which gives you 2 water charges, you will simply cancel 2 fire charges instead, putting you at 2 fire charges total. Nature and air are also opposites. It is very difficult to use charges of opposite types in the same build, so don't even bother trying to until you become much more experienced in the game. In any case, its usually just a bad idea to try to do that even for the most experienced players because there is virtually no synergy.
There are a lot of abilities in the game, mainly from Oracle and Overlord, which manipulate your or your opponent's charges. For example, there are various skills which reverse all fire charges on your target to water charges, or all nature to air, or the reverse in both cases. You can also push charges to a target, steal charges from a target, swap charges with a target, and so on. Charge manip is advanced gameplay, but a good thing to get used to as quickly as possible since most successful builds account for it. At the least, if you rely on fire abilities, equip one rank 1 water charge consumption ability to quickly get rid of any water charges that some opponent may inflict on you. The same goes for the other elements if you use them.
The first thing to keep in mind when using abilities are the restrictions in doing so. For all abilities, there is a weapon restriction of some kind. Some abilities can be used with any weapon, while others require a focus weapon, while still others require a specific school focus weapon. The same goes for melee weapons. For example, Beast of Prey is a powerful non-enduring buff spell that can only be used with Dual Wield weapons. However, it is possible to put an extra weapon on your ability bar and swap to it in the middle of battle in order to use a different type of ability. This is difficult to do without screwing up and trying to use abilities with the wrong weapon equipped, so I don't suggest trying it until you are experienced. It does have a lot of potential though, so it is worth getting used to eventually.
The other common restriction is charge requirements. If you are using an ability that requires 4 water charges, you obviously need 4 water charges to use it. Watch out for charge manips or you may think you have charges that were switched or stolen some time ago. This delays your reaction and causes you to waste time.
The last restriction, which isn't found quite so often, is the positioning restriction. Some abilities require you to be behind your target, others require you to be in front of the target. However most of the abilities you will run into for at least the first couple hours of playing will be usable from any position. Keep your eye open though, or you could find yourself spamming an ability with no idea why it won't work, because you have to be behind the target to use it.
Now once you know that you can use an ability, you will see that there are some spells that go off instantly, some that have a cast time, and some that have an execution time. Cast times require you to stand still and can be interrupted by things like knockback effects. Execution times are simply a time period for the ability to go off during, and you can't use other abilities during this time. You can move around during this time, and knockbacks etc will not cancel the ability. Cast times are mostly found on heals, and execution times are mostly found on melee attacks.
Defensive stances are the cause of considerable confusion. All defensive stances increase your physical and spiritual defense by A LOT, making it very difficult to to hit you. Advanced defensive stances provide the additional bonus of a secondary effect such as reflecting all damage of a certain element, giving you a chance to steal life from attackers, and so on. They last an indefinite amount of time unless you move (canceling the stance), or you get knocked out of the stance.
I will go over some basic strategies in this section, catagorized into each of the Warzone types. Use this stuff as a base if you wish, but it is not comprehensive and you should take the time to develop your own specific strategies as well.
In order to win in Bloodbath, you have to be able to do two things. The first is deal enough damage that in combination with debuffs, you can kill people. The second is staying alive. If you can kill people but can't stay alive, you'll find yourself with a lower kill to death ratio, and the inability to generate points from holding blood tokens. You also won't stand a chance against the better players who can outlast you while still dealing damage.
With this in mind, choose your enduring buffs wisely, and try to bring at least 1 form of healing. A good basic healing spell is rejuvenation, which is nature based and heals a small amount of damage over time while also generating 1 nature charge. If you are a healer class then you have an easy time getting the heals that you need on your bar, so just focus on getting some damage output as well.
If you are having trouble killing healers, find skills that stop them from using spiritual abilities such as magilock and magivault, or use charge manipulation to reverse their charges at key points in the battle. If you find that people are killing you just to quickly to heal through, make sure you have a defensive stance, and also put abilities such as subdue and flashburn on your bar to shut down melee attacks for a while, giving you time to recover.
Map powerups are extremely important in Bloodbath, so learn their locations. The most important ones are the large heals, the Terminator buff which deals damage over time to you but also doubles your damage output, and the mirror element powerups, which give you full reflect of a specific element, the same as the stances, but also allow you to run around and use abilities, unlike the stances. If you are getting surrounded it is probably a good idea to run away in search of a large heal before stopping to fight again.
Also, when you kill someone in bloodbath, you gain health based on how much damage you did to that player. If 2 people are attacking 1 person and the other guy gets the killing blow, you will still get health back. If you use a deathblow you gain much more health and also automatically get the blood token that normally drops from the corpse. If you can kill people fast enough, that's one way to stay alive... but as soon as you run into tougher opponents you'll need more reliable heals.
Once you are viable in bloodbath, try to kill players ranked above you - preferably the top 5 players, because they will give you a lot more blood points, and also push said players down and possibly below you in the rankings. Also, keep in mind your position in relation to incoming players when you are already fighting someone. If you are engaging a single opponent and someone else joins the fight, they are likely to choose to attack whichever player is closest to them. With that in mind, if you see someone coming, make sure that whoever you are currently fighting is between you and the incoming player.
That said, choosing to simply attack the nearest enemy is not necessarily the best strategy. Instead, take a moment to observe your opponents beforehand. First, look at rank; a player with a grey name and '--' is ranked far below you, white and '-' just a bit below you, yellow and no mark more or less the same rank, orange and '+' slightly above you, red and '++' far above you. Attacking a higher ranked player may be dangerous, but if you succeed, it will net you more points. Also look at your opponents' remaining health. If one player is slightly more hurt than the other, attack the stronger player - you have more chance of taking down the remaining enemy when the stronger one is finished. If one player is significantly more hurt than another, you may be better off attacking that weaker enemy as he'll go down faster. Situational awareness can make or break a game, so make sure that you pay attention to your enemies in combat.
To win elimination, you must work well with your teammates. You normally run a much different build than in Bloodbath because since you have a team, you can specialize in particular roles without worrying so much about survivability (unless of course you are the group's healer). One of the most common lineups will be 2 DPSers, 1 Healer, and 1 Healer/Support hybrid. A more specific example of this could be 1 Destroyer, 1 Overlord, 1 Oracle/Healer, and 1 Healer.
Remember that your goal is to kill off opponents while making sure your own team stays alive. This can be accomplished is many different ways. The most basic strategy is to have all your DPS focus on the opposing healer and slowly take him down. Slightly more advanced strategies include things like having one DPSer shut down the healer with magilock etc while the rest of the team's DPS attacks a different enemy. Then of course there is focused damage spikes, AoE spam, mass charge manip, and tons of other strategies as well.
If you want to be a successful group, make sure to plan everybody's builds to work together before queueing into a match. For example, make sure that the group as a whole has 4 enduring buffs, but that people aren't both bringing the same buff(s) because that would waste equip points. It also isn't very good to not have any support or disabling skills on the team - straight healing and straight DPS doesn't cut it against any decent groups.
If you aren't your group's healer, use defensive stances quickly when you start taking damage and wait to be healed up and for your opponents to stop attacking you. Always bring a basic defensive stance and preferably an advanced stance as well. This is a good idea because although the advanced stances are much more powerful, they are on a 30 second cooldown and you can easily need to stance more than once in a 30 second period.
The goal of Vortex is to collect 4 Vortex Crystals in your team's base before the opposing team accomplishes that same goal. Vortex Crystals all come originally from a creature called the Perkon. The Perkon is a floating thing with 1 health that spawns in the center at the beginning of a match, and then shortly after the last perkon crystal is returned to a base. When you kill the perkon it drops a crystal on to the ground. There is a short casting time to pick it up and any player can do so; however picking it up is interrupted by damage or movement effects. Any player holding a crystal moves slower and cannot use any abilities other than Defensive Stances and Unstoppable Strike. Unstoppable Strike and most advanced defensive stances cause the player to drop the crystal when used. You can also manually drop the crystal by clicking it off your buff bar.
Now on top of controlling the Perkon spawn area, your team is responsible for defending your base against enemy raids, since after a crystal is returned to base it can be picked up by the other team and carried off. Generaly, teams will go for crystal stealing if they are having trouble holding the center or are falling behind in captured crystals. The most intense games will have a crazy combination of center control and crystal stealing all happening at once, making it very difficult to decide where to send your people to. Almost always, you will travel with at least one other person to ensure some safety.
There are also 2 capturable team nodes on every map, one gives a mapwide boost to damage for your team, and the other gives a mapwide increase to defense for your team. They are fairly powerful and should be captured if possible, however they usually are given lower priority than crystal related activities.
Due to the complex style of gameplay that Vortex presents, you won't find very strategic games until you join either an organized public group or a clan run. If you queue in alone chances are that you will end up with a lot of other people who all don't really know what to do either, and so everyone just runs around alone fighting whoever they see while the other team systematically captures 4 vortex crystals.
Some Notable AbilitiesEdit
To get you started, I will list some popular abilities and how to use them. You should read through all of them carefully because even if they don't fit into your build, chances are that other people will use them against you; you want to know when that happens. This isn't a comprehensive list of the most popular abilities, it's just what came to mind when I was writing this. I'll add more if I think of them later and believe they merit being on this list.
Frenzy: -1 Nature Charge melee ability that does moderate damage and knocks the target back. This is the most popular knockback ability because it can be easily spammed due to the low nature cost, and also knocks back a pretty nice distance.
Magilock/Magivault: These are the main silence abilities that you will see ingame, available from the destroyer line. Magilock can be used with any weapon, but Magivault requires dual wields. Magivault also has a 1 second shorter duration and cooldown, and silences in an AoE around you. Magilock silences only your target, from melee range.
Mistburn/Rotwood/Firewater/Warpwood: These 4 abilities reverse charges on your target. Mistburn and Rotwood have the advantage of being ranged and able to be used on allies and yourself as well as enemies, but require a growth focus to use. Firewater and Warpwood are melee, usable only on enemies, and require a 2-handed weapon. These are probably the most popular charge manip skills, so be careful or you might find that the 10 fire charges you built up are suddenly 10 water charges. The solution for this is to use charge consumption abilities when you have just enough charges to do so.
Offerings/Channels: There is an offering and a channel for each of the 4 elements, channel is for focus and offering is for melee weapon. They generate charges for you without having to attack anyone or heal yourself, which is especially useful for prebuffing the enduring buffs that consume charges like Spirit of the Ironwood.
Accelerate: Makes you run fast, it's good in every game type to have at least rank 1 of this skill.
Mirror Stances: There are 4 mirror stances, 1 for each element. When you go into that stance you get the defensive stance bonus, and also reflect any abilities of the specific element back on the caster. This includes AoE abilities. These stances are extremely popular, especially mirror nature and mirror fire.
Stormseal: The most popular buff out there - you only need rank 1 of it to be effective with. It mitigates a small amount of damage, and has a chance to apply a secondary buff which stacks and mitigates more damage. It is basically the one-skill counter to damage over times because it mitigates via a set number instead of a damage percent.
Rally: The most popular healing spell; it heals yourself and nearby allies for a moderate amount. The great thing about it is that you don't have to target anyone, and you can cast it while running around.
Shatter/Burning Blade/Force of Nature/Scorch/Power Shot/etc: These are a couple examples of base damage skills. Some have a secondary effect of some sort, but the basic idea is that they do a lot of damage.
Elemental Burn: AoE buff stripper, just all around good if you have afford the hefty equip cost. You need a high rank in order to have a high chance to strip buffs of high ranks.
Subdue/Flashburn: These are extremely useful spells that stop a player from being able to use physical abilities. Most casters carry at least one of these, and lots of melee fire damage users also carry flashburn.
Toxic Touch: Nature aligned destroyer damage ability which consumes charges and deals A LOT of damage in melee. On top of that, there is a short duration afterwards where the target will take damage up to 2 times when receiving a heal. However, Toxic Touch can only be used from behind the target.