Guide to Objectives, Upgrades, Improvements and Tactics in WvW

GW2. A complete guide on how the Objectives, Upgrades, Improvements and Tactics work for World vs World.

Getting Started

One of the most important aspects of World vs World is the objectives that you have to capture or defend in order to boost your score and contribute to your team.

Objectives can be small or big structures, some of them gives points and some others gives you extra resources or bonuses.

In this guide, I will cover everything on how objectives work, why they are so relevant, and every mechanic related to them, such as upgrades, improvements and tactics.


Objectives can be categorized in the following way:

  • Resources: Camps, Sentry, Mercenaries
  • Structures: Towers, Keeps, Castle
  • Bonuses: Ruins of Power, Shrines

Some of these objectives can be held for War Score points and some can be upgraded and reinforced with improvements and tactics, but first you have to understand the functionality of each objective.

Objectives have their own territory, if your team owns the objective you can notice in the map that the limits of the territory will be the same color as your team.

Currently territories have three purposes:

  • Gliding: Allows players from the team who owns the objective to glide within the limits
  • Guild Claim Aura: Allows players from the team that owns the objective to get the benefits of the Guild Aura if the objective is claimed by a guild.
  • Banners (Tactics}: Dragon Banner, Turtle Banner, and Centaur Banner, can only be used inside the territory limits.

In the case of the Bloodlust areas, capturing three ruins in a Borderlands map and holding them to control the buff, will capture the territory for all five ruin sections. If lost to another team, three more ruins must be captured and held to retake all five sections.

Every time an objective is captured or “flipped”, the Lord NPC will gain a buff called Righteous Indignation or in short “RI”. This makes the NPC invulnerable to any kind of damage and gives a significant damage boost, which lasts for 5 minutes (you will easily identify it by a Blue Aura). In Keeps the whole area will apply the “Marked” debuff as long as the “RI” is active to avoid people hiding in stealth after the capture (you will easily identify it by a Red Circle around your character).

Marked will show enemies in the map as red dots for a few seconds, and apply a debuff which will reveal enemies who stealth for more than 2 seconds Marked lasts 30 seconds, but in the case of Objectives that mark and Sentries the marked duration is as long as they are in range of them.


Camps are the source of supply, but you can think of them as a “factory” because they will produce and deliver the supply that your team will need to build siege, repair structures and deploy traps and tricks. Camps deliver the supply to nearby objectives via Supply Caravans, which you can identify as dolyaks following a fixed route. These dolyaks are also important for upgrades, and I will explain more about that below in the upgrades section.


A Sentry guard is a single NPC standing in a middle point between two objectives, specifically in the supply caravan route. These guards can intercept dolyaks to cut the supply route and they can also spot enemies, using the “Marked” mechanic. You can identify a sentry guard in the map by a flag icon with the color of the team which controls the point. Even if you do not capture the sentry, killing the guard that defends it will stop the marked debuff from being applied. If you are looking to find players as a roamer, capturing sentries is effective for marking enemies who pass by with red dots on your map.


Currently only Eternal Battlegrounds has mercenaries that your team can control in order to gain their support. Dredge, Hylek and Ogre mercenaries are NPCs that your team can use defensive or offensively towards nearby camps. To gain their support you must go to their location. If a server already owns them you must force them into neutrality by completing an event to kill them, then after a while and if they are neutral then you must complete an event to help them to gain their support. Once you have their support they will occasionally send patrols toward nearby camps.

If your team owns the camp then the mercenaries will stay there to defend it. If you do not own it then the mercenaries will engage the camp in combat, allowing players to more easily take them. Because mercenaries are NPCs it is very easy to abuse their AI alone, but because you have to play around them it makes situations where enemy players are added to the mix a lot more complicated.

Each team color in the EBG map has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each mercenary group location is strategic and has their strengths and weaknesses. Between green and red sides you have the Dredge, which are the strongest mercenaries, due to their immunity to blind and very high application of defensive boons such as Protection. Speldan Clearcut and Rogue’s Quarry are their two patrol destinations. They also spawn dredge turrets nearby which can be very devastating with their long range dazes. Because they are the hardest to kill they prove much better at camp defense.

Between green and blue sides you have the Hylek which are more balanced but still strong due to fast ranged attacks, and high Poison application. They head to Danelon Passage and Golanta Clearing during their patrols. It is very easy for a group of hylek to overwhelm a small group if they don’t play carefully because of their high damage, which is what makes them take time to kill.

Finally, between blue and red sides is the Ogre camp which are the weakest ones, due to not having enough sustain against the attacks of the camp guards like the Dredge and not having the ranged damage of the Hylek. Umberglade Woods and Pangloss Rise are their patrol desinations. They have to attack melee and they are slow so kiting them is an easy counter. Even though they can buff allies, its hard to control this because they only go to their destination.

Mercenaries can be a very interesting resource when small groups are trying to defend or attack camps, but when large groups come through they are inconsequential.


Towers are very important because they give War Score points and their strategic location will allow more attacks or defenses against bigger targets. Towers can be categorized in two types: Outer Towers and Inner Towers.

Inner Towers are those that are adjacent to Keeps, allowing direct and safer siege of the keep. Outer Towers are not as meaningful because their positioning does not allow such an advantage on the map. Both towers have the same value in points but you can’t ignore the value of their strategic location. Towers can be upgraded and reinforced, and they can fill their depots allowing players to use their supply to build defensive siege or repair walls and gates. If your team is under attack and you have to choose between defending an Outer Tower and an Inner Tower, you should prioritize Inner because your Keep will be jeopardized and the enemy team will have way more options to take outer towers as well.


These structures are probably the most important of all. Keeps give a very high amount of War Score points in comparison with other objectives and have the ability to upgrade and build a Waypoint for your team, allowing your team to move between the map faster to respond to enemy threats.

With the same logic as Towers, these structures have walls and gates as defenses, but two layers of them. Their strategic location often benefits the defenders to react in time, due to being closer to spawn areas. The Keep and the Inner Towers are often very close to each others, so they can support each other under specific attacks.

Attacking a Keep can be very hard and will require a considerable number of allies in your team to be successful.

Castle (Stonemist)

There is one single castle, Stonemist Castle, in the center of Eternal Battlegrounds. This structure gives the highest amount of War Score points out of any objective, and the strategic location will favor the owners considerably due to the extensive area of its territory.

However, while having this structure under your control may always seem positive because of its massive presence to allow you many avenues, this also makes Stonemist Castle a sitting duck for enemy attacks from multiple spots. It becomes very taxing to defend it constantly and from many angles which can put your team resources under pressure. You will have to decide between defending it or prioritizing other objectives that won’t be so high upkeep.

Stonemist Castle, or in short “SMC”, can also be upgraded to build a Waypoint, but most of the time it is unusable because a waypoint can’t be used while the objective is contested and since SMC is so easy to poke it is constantly under attack from multiple spots and even single players can “tap” the castle or any objective with a waypoint by hitting the gate or guards outside it to contest it.

However, if a team does have the resources to defend it, this objective can be a real challenge to attack. Your team will need to use strategy and long term attempts to consume the defensive resources of the castle.

Ruins of Power (Bloodlust)

These objectives are areas in the center of each Borderland map. These ruins must be captured and held to earn ranks of Bloodlust. They will slowly decapture if left unguarded. Once your team has captured at least three of the five ruins, a countdown will begin and must be held for 2 minutes to gain a Bloodlust rank.

Bloodlust is a buff that affects every player in your team on all maps and it has three ranks or tiers earned for each map your team has obtained the bloodlust buff on:

  • Minor Borderlands Bloodlust
    • Everyone in your realm gains 30 bonus points to power, precision, toughness, vitality, condition damage, and healing power for holding 3 ruins in 1 Borderland. Invaders killed by finishers (pressing F) reward your realm with more War Score than normal.
  • Major Borderlands Bloodlust
    • Everyone in your realm gains 50 bonus points to power, precision, toughness, vitality, condition damage, and healing power for holding 3 ruins in 2 Borderlands. Invaders killed by finishers reward your realm with War Score.
  • Superior Borderlands Bloodlust
    • Everyone in your realm gains 60 bonus points to power, precision, toughness, vitality, condition damage, and healing power for holding 3 ruins in 3 Borderlands. Invaders killed by finishers reward your realm with War Score.

These points are open field areas that offer natural chokepoints and hidden routes to facilitate ambushes. Each point is overlooked from a tactical vantage point by a Master Cannon build site, which only requires 10 supply to build. For each rank of Bloodlust, this buff provides bonuses to attributes and one bonus War Score point for every enemy player killed with a finisher (stomp). Ruins take 40 seconds to capture, and 160 seconds to fully decay.

Currently these points are barely used by some roamers, and hopefully Arenanet will consider a rework, giving more incentive to players to play around them more actively.


Shrines are an exclusive feature of the Desert Borderland map. These are special objectives that can provide small advantages to your team within the area of their respective keeps. When all three shrines tied to a keep are captured, players can travel faster between them by interacting with objects that will launch them in the air to the other shrines.

Capturing a Shrine or interacting with a captured shrine, will give you a “Blessing of Elements” (Movement speed increased by 40%) buff that lasts 5 minutes.

Depending the number of shrines controlled by your team, you will earn different effects:

  • Shrine of Air
    1. Activates jump pads
      • The Jump Pads act as shortcuts that allow reaching higher areas of the keep much faster.
    2. Gain Windfall and immunity to falling damage while in the region
      • The Windfall effect prevents fall damage and damages enemies on impact.
    3. Activates the fast travel launching devices.
      • The eagle clouds allow fast traversal between the shrines.
  • Shrine of Earth
    1. Activates lodestones that periodically give protection and stability to allies and cripple foes within their area of effect.
      • Earth lodestones in the area pulse 6 seconds of Protection and Stability in an area every 8 seconds.
    2. Activates a sandstorm in the canyons.
      • The sand storm applies revealed to enemy players within it. Its graphical effects also makes players traversing it harder to see.
    3. Activates the fast travel launching devices.
      • The Asura Launchpads allows fast traversal between the shrines.
  • Shrine of Fire
    1. Activates an altar that creates Inferno Eggs that grant the Inferno Hound transformation
      • The inferno hound transformation turn players into an Inferno Hound for 15 minutes which has access to some slow damaging attacks, an invulnerability, and a high passive speed boost.
    2. Grants immunity to burning and lava while in the region, allowing access to walk across lava and use Lava Portal, which lead to locations within the keep
      • The Flame’s Embrace effect prevents damage from stepping on lava.
    3. Activates the fast travel launching devices.
      • The Fire Tornados allow fast travel between the shrines.


Objectives can be upgraded automatically over time while they are under your team control. You can check the upgrades for the objective by clicking the icon on the map or talking to the quartermasters NPC.

Upgrades are directly tied to dolyaks, which are the caravans that transport supply. Camps are the objectives that create the dolyaks, and these caravans have a route to their objectives. Once the camp delivers a certain number of dolayks to the objectives, the camp will be automatically upgraded, and the objectives which receive a certain number of dolyaks from the camp will also be upgraded. So it is important to defend camps and escort dolyaks if you need to upgrade your structures because it takes time to do so.

While you escort a dolyak, the caravan will gain a buff called “Protected Caravan” that reduces incoming damage and conditions by 90% to the dolyak. You will also gain credit for the escort event giving you participation for it.

Upgrades have three tiers, and these are “Secured”, “Reinforced”, and “Fortified”, and each will need a certain number of dolyak deliveries. In WvW usually it’s just called T3 (as Tier 3 for example).

  • Tier 1: 20 dolyaks
  • Tier 2: 40 dolyaks
  • Tier 3: 80 dolyaks

When objectives are fully upgraded they are harder to capture, with walls and gates having more health, and guards becoming stronger and more of them. The defenses can be even more boosted with the use of Improvements and Tactics, see more about this below.

Improvements and Tactics

Improvements and Tactics are a feature that can only be available when the objective is under a Guild Claim. Access these by clicking on the objective icon on the map or by talking to the quartermaster NPC.

When you capture an objective a dialog box will pop on the left side of the screen allowing guilds to claim the objective (if multiple guilds participated in the capture, the priority will be for the guild who had more members participating in the capture or simply the guild members who contributed more to the capture, such as doing more damage). You can also claim an objective that is unclaimed at any moment by opening the objective interface by clicking on the objective icon in the map.

Claiming is a feature only for guilds. In order to be able to claim your guild needs to upgrade the Guild Hall, specifically the upgrades related to the War Room.

If you need more information about how to unlock a Guild Hall, check out this guide:

Credit to Eddzshed for the video.

If you want to know more about Guild Hall Upgrades, check out these links:

I’m going to continue this guide assuming that you own or are part of a guild with all the Guild Hall Upgrades available.

Once an objective is claimed by a guild, a new set of “upgrades” are available to be set. These are called “Improvements” (passive bonuses that improve gates, walls, and provide bonus effects to allies) and “Tactics” (active bonuses that can be triggered by tactivators), you can see them in the second tab of the objective interface.

These upgrades have three tiers as well, and in order to unlock the slots of each tier, the objective needs to be under the guild control for a certain time. Tier 1 unlocks 10 minutes after claiming and holding the objective, Tier 2 after 30 minutes and Tier 3 after 60 minutes.

Any player with sufficient guild permissions can slot an upgrade into its defined tier consuming the associated schematic from the war chest of the player’s guild. Only the Claimant guild can remove or change tactics.

There is another important element related to claiming, the Guild Objective Auras, which are effects that passively increase allies attributes and other effects while in the area of a claimed objective. Each effect is unlocked in tiers, maintaining the bonuses of the previously unlocked effects. The effect can be doubled by using the improvement Presence of the Keep.

  • Objective Aura 1: Supply Capacity — Max Supply +5
  • Objective Aura 2: WvW Experience — WvW Experience +10%
  • Objective Aura 3: Movement Speed — Movement speed +25%
  • Objective Aura 4: Power — Power +100
  • Objective Aura 5: Precision — Precision +100
  • Objective Aura 6: Toughness — Toughness +100
  • Objective Aura 7: Vitality — Vitality +100
  • Objective Aura 8: Magic Find — Magic Find +20%

Recommended Improvements:

  • Camps
    • Speedy Dolyaks (T1) – Use this to speed up the upgrade process
  • Towers
    • Hardened Gates (T1) – Use this to reduce the damage dealt to gates by non-siege sources
    • Iron Guards (T2) – Use this to reduce the damage dealt to the NPCs by 50%
    • Watchtower (T3) – Use this to spot and mark enemies around the objective
  • Keeps
    • Hardened Gates (T1) – Use this to reduce the damage dealt to gates by non-siege sources
    • Iron Guards (T2) – Use this to reduce the damage dealt to the NPCs by 50%
    • Presence of the Keep (T3) – Use this to double the effect of the current Guild Aura
  • Stonemist Castle
    • Hardened Gates (T1) – Use this to reduce the damage dealt to gates by non-siege sources
    • Iron Guards (T2) – Use this to reduce the damage dealt to the NPCs by 50%
    • Cloaking Waters (T3) – Use this to gain stealth from the fountains around the castle courtyard

Recommended Tactics:

  • Camps
    • Invulnerable Dolyaks (T1) – Use this to make sure your dolyaks reach their destination – Lasts 5 minutes upon activation of the tactivator
  • Towers
    • Minor Supply Drop (T1) – Use this to gain 100 extra supply
    • Dragon Banner or Turtle Banner (T2) – Use the tactivator to gain a banner that you can use to assist your team
    • Invulnerable Fortifications (T3) – Use the tactivator to make walls and gates invulnerable for 1 minute
  • Keeps
    • Minor Supply Drop (T1) – Use this to gain 100 extra supply
    • Dragon Banner or Turtle Banner (T2) – Use the tactivator to gain a banner that you can use to assist your team
    • Emergency Waypoint (T3) – Use the tactivator to temporarily create an uncontestable waypoint at the objective. Link this in team chat after activating it by shift or ctrl clicking on the waypoint to alert your team it is there. It only lasts so long, and be careful that the enemy is not camping the location of the emergency waypoint or you will die during the load screen.
  • Stonemist Castle
    • Chilling Fog (T1) – Use the tactivator to temporarily summon chill inducers that will chill invaders inside the objective. Use this to slow down the enemy if your team needs more time to prepare.
    • Dragon Banner or Turtle Banner (T2) – Use the tactivator to gain a banner that you can use to assist your team
    • Airship Defense (T3) – Use the tactivator to temporarily summon a fleet of airships to protect the castle from invaders. Use this when your team is engaging the enemy to help give them added pressure.

Score System and Siege

If you want to learn more, I recommend you continue with this guide to understand more about the Score System and Siege Tactics.

Score System and Siege Guide – work in progress –

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