Darkness Rises: A Guide to Duel and Team PvP
Customizing your character and getting them dressed to kill (sic!) for PvE adventures is a big part of playing Darkness Rises. Soon enough, however, you’ll feel the need to test your mettle against more than the AI. Fortunately, the guys at Nexon have designed two great options to scratch the PvP itch. These are Duel and Team PvP matches.
As usual, though, getting consecutive wins in PvP can be a bit of a challenge, especially for first-time adventurers. In what follows, we’ll share what we’ve learned so far.
Duel PvP: Rules, Ranks, and Rewards
In Darkness Rises, Duel PvP is essentially a 1v1 match-up, where you and your opponent are placed in an arena and are given 2 minutes to fight. In order to win, you must either defeat the other player or have more HP than they do when the time runs out. As we will see later on, this is essential.
When you win a Duel PvP match, a couple of things happen. First, your AP (or matchmaking rank) and your league rank increase. From the Bronze league, you can progress through Silver > Gold > Platinum > Diamond > Master > Grand Master. Second, you win Honor (the higher the streak, the better), which is a form of currency you can use in a dedicated shop. Here, you’ll be able to buy all kinds of things, from adventure keys to pet upgrades, tickets, jewels, and even ultimate scrolls. The higher your rank, the better the rewards made available to you in the Honor shop.
Before you start playing Duel PvP, the game makes it possible for you to get used to the arenas and get a bit of friendly practice through Ranked PvP matches. Don’t be fooled, though – in these encounters, you’re actually playing against the AI (impersonating other players) and, as such, are only awarded marginal honor.
Team PvP: The Basics
In team PvP, you play in a 3v3 format on a dedicated arena. Whenever you or one of your teammates dies, the opposing team is given a number of points (depending on character power). The same goes for when you manage to defeat one or more opponents. The respawn time is only 5 second, which is why we never recommend using diamonds for this purpose.
When the 2 minute timer runs out, the team with the highest number of points emerges victorious. If this happens to be your team, your AP and league rank increase, and you are awarded Honor points, much like in the case of Duel PvP.
It all sounds simple enough and, as a matter of fact, the rules themselves are fairly straightforward. The problem with PvP in Darkness Rises is that, while it does keep AP scores in mind during matchmaking, it does not take character power into account when finding teammates and opponents. This is a major problem in both Duel and Team PvP matches, and might cause most players to quit before they even get started.
Sure enough, there are only so many times one can tolerate being matched against a character with double or even triple their own power. There’s just no way to defeat such an opponent since your attacks barely put a dent in their armor, while just one of their skills will instantly kill you when landed. Yet some things can be done to make the outcome more bearable. Read on.
Choosing the Best Skills for PvP Matches
Although they bear the same names, skills in Darkness Rises don’t work the same in PvP as they do in PvE. One essential difference, for instance, is that skills can be linked in PvE, whereas this is not possible when you battle other players. In addition, ability effects may differ between the two game modes. While on your “Skills” screen, enter the Duel or Team PvP submenus on the left-hand side to check these differences.
It’s a good idea to select your favorite PvP skills as soon as you start a new character so that you may unlock and upgrade them accordingly. Bear in mind that the SPs you use for upgrades are fairly limited and will require some farming in order to max out even 3 skills alone.
But what exactly makes a good PvP skill? Regardless of your class, two types of abilities are most useful in PvP – Disables/Debuffs and Nukes. Look especially for those skills (either primary or linked) that can Stun the opponent and consider abilities that Slow or feature ATK or DEF Reduction.
Then, select your remaining skills based on their high DMG output and aim for those abilities with special effects like “Knocks enemy into the air”. These are preferable to other alternatives because they allow you to throw in a couple of crucial auto-attacks every time the enemy is disabled.
The [PvP] Gear Advantage
Once you discover the “Grimoire” in the “Items” menu and spend some time exploring different high-end sets, you’ll notice that most A and S quality gear comes in a normal and a [PvP] version. There are essentially no advantages of the former over the latter, which is to say that [PvP] gear is, by all means, superior.
This [PvP] Archangel Staff, for example, has all the bonuses of its normal counterpart, with the addition of a 6% PvP Crit Rate stat, which only applies during encounters with other players. Unfortunately, it’s mostly random whether chests or fuses give you normal or [PvP] gear. The only way to ensure that the item you get has PvP stats is by forming it from fragments (which can take months) or upgrading pieces that are already [PvP].
For more details on gear and upgrades, check out our dedicated guide (to link to article “Darkness Rises: A Guide to Gear, Costumes, and Upgrades”)!
Tips for Clean PvP Victories
When you’re matched against opponents of your own power, there are a few tricks that can make the difference between wins and losses. For 1v1 encounters, you’ll notice that players tend to run to the middle of the arena as quickly as possible, at which point they begin spamming their 3 abilities. From this point of view, you can give yourself a massive advantage by practicing a little caution and anticipation.
Since you already know what your opponent is likely to do, let them come to you instead and immediately evade or block their first abilities. Once you’re behind them, it’s time to use your own abilities, but remember to always intersperse them with simple attacks, especially while the other player is disabled or thrown in the air.
As for 3v3 encounters, the same tips apply, but you can also use the arena to your advantage. For example, orbs can be crucial in Team PvP matches. These are placed in 5 key positions (center, bottom, top, left, and right) and, depending on their type, they can increase your ATK, decrease the damage you take, give you a health boost, or even allow you to use your ultimate. It’s particularly useful to find a Life Orb when your health is low so that you don’t give your opponents the opportunity to kill you for points.
Of course, the issue with PvP encounters in Darkness Rises is not necessarily how you can beat opponents of your own level, but rather how you can win against players that have double or triple your power. The task might seem impossible, to begin with, but one trick we’ve found useful both in 1v1 and in 3v3 encounters is to play the clock.
Remember that in Duel PvP, if neither player is dead before 2 minutes expire, the player with the highest HP wins. When you’re up against an opponent that out-powers you, your only shot at victory is to throw in a bit of damage and run/evade before they can riposte. Although difficult, it’s not impossible to avoid incoming abilities and attacks from there onwards.
In Team PvP encounters, on the other hand, you’ll notice that while your enemies might have much better gear, at least one person on your team will, too. As such, your best bet is to avoid running into those players that are more powerful than you. Leave them to your best teammate and, when they try to kill you, run like there’s no tomorrow. When your Stun abilities are available, use them from the side.