Forest of Niflhel or Niflhel, is a structured PvP map. Unlike Foefire or Khylo however, its secondary mechanic isn’t guild lords or trebuchets but two powerful NPC's. Like all the other sPvP maps, Niflhel is a conquest map with three capture points. The first team to 500 points is the winner with the two NPC's providing an additional 25 points each time you kill them making them incredibly valuable.
The three capture points are Keep to the north of the map, Henge to the west and Mine to the east. The Blue team respawn in the southwest of the map and the Red team the southeast corners, with each team falling from their raised base to the beach or their nearest point (Henge for blue, Mine for red)
As briefly mentioned above, there are two NPC's at opposite ends of the map. To the west, just north of the Henge is Chieftain Utahein, an ugly ogre of a create. To the east just north of the Mine is Svanir, a hulking norn bear. Once you've killed either of the NPC's your team will be awarded 25 points instantly. However, it is possible for the opposite team to tag and steal your kill right at the last minute if you aren't careful. The team that deals the most powerful killing blow will be awarded the points. Factoring this in to your play is incredibly important as kill-stealing the NPC's is a devilish tactic regularly used in Niflhel. I know as a Mesmer I saved Blurred Frenzy right until the last minute as I know if timed correctly, it will secure my team the points every time.
It takes a total of 180 seconds for the NPC's to respawn after they've been killed so it is well worth watching the clock the moment Chieftain or Svanir go down. This way you can work your way back to the Henge or Mine to make sure you are ready and waiting for their respawn (and hopefully an additional 25 points!). Ignoring the NPC's and allowing the opposing team to constantly kill them will gaurentee you lose Niflhel, so make them your top priority.
Unlike Foefire or Khylo, I would consider Niflhel a confined mid ranged map. There is a real mix of close quarter areas (such as the Henge or Mine) as well as expansive sections at the bottom of the Keep or between most control points. Melee professions really do well on the capture points here based on all of them being walled in or extremely confined. The fact that each capture point also has an elevated surrounding (whether a wall or gantry) that players can use also leaves those on capture points incredibly vulnerable.
Similarly to Sanctum at the centre of Foefire, the Keep is arguably the most important point in Niflhel as it allows for reasonably quick access to the other points. Where Niflhel differs however is that behind the keep are two routes only accessible from the Henge or Mine, which offer attackers a vertical advantage. Combine this with the two sets of stairs leading up to the Keep and you've four possible locations to defend. All this can make defending the keep incredibly difficult but if you do need to assault it, it is simply best to send all five of your party up to it (from different angles) and hope you've caught the opposing team off guard.
Do's and Dont's of Niflhel
Do Plan Ahead
I may be repeating myself, but preparation in Niflhel is just as important as in Khylo or Foefire. This still includes your choice of weapons, skills, routes around the map and your role. Unlike Kyhlo however, Niflhel is much more expansive, with various locations that are wide open; I’d really recommend everyone to take a ranged weapon, even if it is your secondary. Ranged combat may not be your preferred playstyle, but having the ability to deal damage from afar or while closing the gap is really worthwhile.
Don’t Forget About The NPC’s
50 points for killing them and a team wide buff isn’t something to be ignored and is also a big jump towards your total score. As the Blue team, it is easiest to check for Chieftain Utahein by leaving the westerly exit of the Blue Base, following the path through Henge and north to the Keep. As the Red team, leave through the easterly exit, north through the Mine and on to the Keep. You’ll soon find Svanir. These routes for both teams will allow you to skirt the outside of the map and reduce the chance of encountering opponents, leaving you free to take down the NPC. Beware however; they are tough to kill.
Don’t Just Camp The Keep
Similarly to the Clocktower or Sanctum, the Keep is a magnet for all players but with four entry points (east and west staircases and rear east and west staircases) players capturing the point are incredibly vulnerable from all sides. It is much more effective to capture the Keep and move on than constantly trying to fight it out. The height advantage however, and the ability to trap approaching players on the open staircases, is a viable defensive tactic, especially if you’ve a trap heavy thief, ranger or mine kit engineer.
Do Be Wary of Choke Points
There are several in Niflhel that are incredibly dangerous. These are primarily the tiny paths through to Henge and Mine that leadoff from the centre of the map as well as the small openings through to the water ways, at the base of the westerly keep steps and before the river crossing at the easterly side of the keep (see map below). Being caught in either of these locations will leave you incredibly vulnerable, so be careful.
Don’t Get Trapped In Open Play
The main point where players gravitate in Niflhel is the “shared” area between both bases, near the beach. As tempting as it is to jump down from your base to fight the masses (the westerly exit for the Red team and Easterly exit for the Blue team) you’ll be sure to lose if you get trapped into a cycle of spawning, exiting and dying just to take part in some fighting. It is a far better solution to simply leave through the opposite exit towards the capture points than it is to feed the opposition free score.
Do Use Caution
Kyhlo’s capture points tend to put the player at a height advantage over attackers (both the Mansion and Windmill are raised areas) Niflhel however puts the player at a significant height disadvantage. The Henge is surrounded by a raised hill; the Mine sees a wooden gantry surround it and the Keep a rear wall. Unless the coast is clear, it is difficult to decide how to deal with this as you cannot capture any of the three point s on the surrounding raised areas. I found the best tactic is to have a spotter to call out when someone is approaching, quickly killing the attacker, before returning back to the capture point.
Don’t Just Use The Stairs
People rarely use the rear path to the Keep wall which is surprising considering it will put you at a significant height advantage. A small group of players can easily creep up on unsuspecting opposition who are capturing the point, immobilise them all and then rain down AOE attacks. The height advantage will also keep you clear of melee players.
Do Save Your Strongest
Stealing an NPC from the opposing team, just as they are about to kill it is an amazing feeling, it is also infuriating when you are on the receiving end of it. Saving your strong skill, or preferably a fast burst, will guarantee that you steal the NPC at the last possible moment and secure those crucial 25 points.
Don't Split At The Start
There is no reason why you should split your team at the very beginning. As almost all teams send players out of their base and onto the beach it is much more effective to send out your full force to the beach to meet them head on. You can then, after no doubt steam rolling the opposition, send some of your party members to double back to pick up your nearest capture point and NPC. You'll also be safe in the knowledge that if the opposing team do send their full team of 5 onto the beach, at least it will be a fair fight.
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