Hey guys, Today I'm gonna give you some insight on the way I play CTF and hopefully teach you a few new things about the game. BEFORE JOINING THE GAME: Templates: First of all, the most important thing is to make sure you are using a proper template. If you want to join on your bard or tamer, that's all well and good, but you should always use [templates to make sure you are using a fully maxed, effective template for the game. More information on creating templates can be found here: http://www.uoforum.com/wiki/index.php?title=Event_Templates Keep in mind that if you apply a template, then join an event and change your template, in order for the new template to take effect you either need to die and respawn, or quit and rejoin the event. My favorite flagger template is: Mage Med Resist Eval Healing Anat Inscription 100 strength, 100 int, 25 dex This is probably the template I use most often for CTFs. It is versatile and makes you very hard to kill. Note that defensive wrestling is used on this template. There is no need to have stun when you can cast wall of stone to prevent people from running away. You are succeptible to mind blast, but I find that no one really uses it in CTF, so it's not an issue. If I play a dexer, there are various templates that I use depending on what I'm in the mood to play, but fencing is hands down the best weapon skill to use as a dexer. The reason is because of the passive special move on spears: paralyzing blow. It will stop the person trying to leave with your flag dead in their tracks, giving you time to cast a wall or simply let your team catch up and bomb their ass with spells. Gear: Another thing that is as equally important as having a proper template is having the proper gear. Because you do not lose items that you bring to CTF, it is worth bringing the best gear you have. For weapons, obviously a valorite runic is the best obtainable, but for new players who don't have that kind of cash or are unsure of which magical properties are better than others, here is a table to help you out: http://www.uoforum.com/wiki/index.php?title=Weapon_Modifiers Just the other day I saw a guy in CTF on my team using a substantial eminently accurate war hammer. When I asked him why he was using such a crappy weapon, he replied that "it hits hard". Please, do yourself a favor and, at the very least, spend 10k or whatever it costs now for a gold runic weapon to use for events. (For those who don't know, a gold runic weapon is [Exceptional, Indestructable, Force, Eminently Accurate], note that the Force and Exceptional properties DO stack with each other) Whether I'm flagging or defending, I (almost) always use magery and therefore I always wear nothing heavier than barbed leather armor. A full suit of barbed runic armor will give you an AR of 61. Add in an armored cloak for +1 AR, an armored/layered hat for +2 AR, and an armored robe for +3 AR and you end up with a total of 67 AR which is fully meddable. If you are in factions, you can replace the armored robe with a +5 AR armored faction shroud. Finally, you can cast Arch Protection which gives you +11 AR for a few minutes, allowing you to reach the soft cap for fully meddable AR at 80. This will drastically reduce damage from weapons and imo, is all the armor you need. You will sometimes see flaggers wearing a full set of invuln plate mail with an invuln heater shield and (most likely) GM parrying. While this is indeed great for negating damage from physical attacks (you can basically stand and laugh in the face of any dexer), there are two problems with this route: 1) Heavier armor does not further reduce the damage from spells or explosion potions. You are still just as vulnerable to these damage sources as if you were wearing absolutely nothing. And they make up a huge portion of the damage you will receive during CTFs. 2) You can't meditate through all that armor, and therefore you will have no mana most of the game. This is the biggest problem with this template. Even if you have 100 int, once your mana is gone you are useless. Granted, you can make a macro to remove all your armor very quickly and meditate while you are naked, then use another macro to re-equip your armor, there is not always a good opportunity to do so. Having your mana passively regenerate at an increased rate while moving is much more preferable than the alternative. The last thing I want to mention about gear is to always make sure you bring greater agility and greater strength potions, as the game for some reason does not provide these. DURING THE GAME: Protection vs Magic Reflection Ok now on to the good stuff. The first thing I want to say is, when I'm flagging I almost always use Protection over Magic Reflection. With inscription, the protection spell will give you a 75% chance to ignore spell disruptions. That's huge! And it lasts for the full duration regardless of how much you get hit or any other circumstance. This spell has saved my ass so many times. Why it's better than Magic Reflection: PvPers fighting other mages in the field use magic reflection to survive burst damage. When you get stunned and there are 5 mages dropping Exploion/Eb on you, you are taking a LOT of damage in a very small span of time, and having magic reflection basically cancels a portion of that damage (one 6th circle spell for non scribes, two 6th circle spells for scribes). In CTF, this is rarely the case. In CTF you tend to take more damage per second, meaning you will have more random people dropping spells on you and hitting you with weapons over the course of time. The damage does not come all at once because people generally aren't that coordinated in CTFs, and so you have many more chances for your spells to get disturbed. The only time I use magic reflection is if I'm holding a flag in our base and we don't have our flag, and our base is being invaded. This is because when you are holding a flag, you take greatly increased damaged from all sources. You can literally die from an explosion/eb combo at 120 strength, full health, if you don't have magic reflection. So in that situation, I use magic reflect to negate the potential burst damage. If I use magic reflection when I'm flagging, it's most likely going to get taken off as I'm running by some random enemies when I'm already at full health anyway, thus making it provide no real benefit, and now you have nothing active for the next few minutes. No magic reflect and no protection. Magery is your best friend You should pretty much always have magery on your character, even if you don't have meditation or a high mana pool. Being able to throw up a wall of stone at the right time or crossheal a teammate holding a flag can often be the difference between winning and losing a game. Speaking of walling, there is a great guide to making wall of stone macros in my signature for those of you who use razor (I know, probably no one uses razor. Screw you guys). This should be possible to do in Steam as well. When to defend vs when to go offensive General rule of thumb is: 1) If your flag has not been stolen and people are attacking your base - defend 2) If your flag has been stolen, but a teammate has another team's flag in your base and your base is under attack - defend You want to keep your base's flag safe. And just as well, you want to keep your teammates who are holding other flags safe. Once your base is clear, it is time to find out which team has your flag and return it. To put it another way: If your flag is not in your base, and your team is not holding any flags, there is nothing to defend. Don't bother killing random people who are walking around in your base during this time. In this situation, hopefully you were paying attention to the game messages and will already know which team is holding your flag. Whenever you see a message in blue text, it pertains to your team. Make sure to read those messages. It is very important. Yellow messages don't pertain to your team, but they can still be useful (for example - you are on blue team, and red team takes green team's flag, and then green team returns the flag - these messages will be in yellow as they do not pertain to your team. If blue flag gets stolen or returned, those messages will be bright blue - pay attention to them) So because you were keen and paying attention to the game messages, you know already which team is holding your flag so you don't have to go wandering around from base to base. You need to go to that team's base and return your flag. It should be fairly easy because they will take much higher damage than normal. If you are a mage, an explosion eb combo will usually do the trick, especially if you make sure their reflect is off and weaken them fully. Once they die and your flag is on the ground, no other team can pick it up for 5 seconds, but anyone on your team can return it at any time. So don't worry if they won't die standing right next to you. You will have time to run over to the flag and return it before anyone else can pick it up. Once your flag is returned, you should head back to your base and make sure it's safe. After returning the flag, you will often see from reading the game messages that someone else has stolen your flag. If you are in another team's base, you can start heading back and usually make it in time to wall them in the maze at the last maze wall. If you can't make that in time, you can wall the exit to your base in the middle of the arena. This will almost always result in a return. Now if someone grabs your flag again, you will almost certainly have enough time to run to your maze and keep them walled in there. When your base is clear of enemies, then you can push forward into the middle room or assist a teammate in another base. Other tips and tricks You can type @scores to see how many captures each team has. I have a hot key set that automatically types this for me, so with the push of a button I can see where each team stands. If one team has a big lead over the other teams, you can bet I'm going for their flag next. Or if I see their team bringing in more flags to cap, I will wall them out of their own base so that the other team can return. I generally don't sit in a team's flag room if their flag is not there because it's a waste of time. You don't know when it will be returned, and you could be using that time to go to another team's base and grab their flag instead. However, if a team has 4 caps, I will sit in their flag room waiting for their flag to be returned so that I can grab it so they can't make another cap and win the game. The other thing you have to be aware of in this situation is, are they holding any other team's flag? If you take their flag and cap it when they have 4, they will just cap that 5th flag as soon as you capture theirs. In this situation the best thing to do is not cap their flag immediately. Either wait for the flag that they are holding to be returned (You are paying attention to the game messages, right?) or wait until your team caps more flags and then cap their flag as your team's 5th cap. Another CTF command that is useful is @t, which allows you to broadcast a message to all of your teammates. With this, you can let your team know which team has your flag so that they can go return it, ask for assistance in stealing a flag, or simply rage at your teammates and let them know how awful they are because they didn't read this guide (srsly tho don't do that. I am guilty of doing it, but do as I say, not as I do) If you are flagging on a mage, always keep your strength and agility maxed with potions. Always use arch protection for that extra bit of AR, especially if you aren't using good armor. I have my AR displayed in the top of my UO window, so I only need to glance up there and check what my AR is to know if it's worn off. Please, for the love of all that is good, don't just walk around the ctf arena randomly attacking people. You are not helping your team in any way by doing that and you are only being super annoying to the other person. That's about all I can think of for now, but if you have other questions or want something explained in greater detail, just post what you want to know and I will answer it here. I am also offering to be your personal mentor during a CTF game, for free. You will be responsible for getting the CTF hosted, but during the game I will follow you around, help you and your team, and answer any questions you may have or demonstrate techniques that aren't really possible to demonstrate outside the arena. Just send me a PM with a date you have in mind and I will let you know my availability. Thanks for reading.