Say it's your first time on your own in WvW. Chances are you're lost, confused, and most likely will wind up dead as you wander around wondering what to do.
Fact is, there is always something to do in WvW. However, some things are better to do than others. And there are some, "unwritten rules" that should be made aware to the community.
Rule 1. If there's a queue, then you are always doing something productive. If there's a queue and you're just messing around in WvW (This includes map completion and puzzles), Start doing something to help your server or free up the queue for someone else to come in.
If there wasn't a queue, then do you business quickly and leave before peak hours.
Rule 2. While in WvW, keep the /t and /m chatter clear of any unnecessary messages. Never put any guild recruitment message into WvW at all. This is a sure-fire way to get blocked and ignored. You can do that anywhere else.
So what counts as being productive and what counts as necessary chatter? Well like I said, there's always something that you can do that's productive.
When you first get into WvW, take some time to examine your current Borderlands on the World map. Look at the names of all the places and form an acronym or shorter way of saying it in your head. Most people in team or map chat will be calling out these places by their acronym or other ways.
After you're done learning the names, take some time to learn about the different points to take.
Supply Camps - They supply the dolyaks. Dolyaks are an essential part of WvW since they keep the other towers, keeps, and the castle supplied. Without a supply camp, any of these are extra vulnerable to attacks as they do not have the supplies to repair. The champion will be of Veteran Rank. Every supply camp gives 5 points for your server per point tally.
Towers - These are defensible points. You can build cannons and burning oil on these points, as well as fortify it with extra guards of the veteran level. The supervisor inside will be of Champion rank. Every tower gives 10 points for your server per point tally.
Keeps - These are the most important points to take on the map. All keeps are large, highly defensible positions. Each keep has an alter of power. They can be upgraded to hold waypoints for people to quickly get around the map. The supervisor inside will be of Champion Rank. Every keep gives 25 points for your server per point tally.
Garrisons - These show up as keeps on the map, only they're better. They are smaller than keeps, but far more defensible and each one comes equipped with a mystic forge, and a mystic forge merchant. Every garrison gives 25 points for your server per point tally (much like Myani).
Stonemist Castle - This castle is the largest point on the map and serves as a center point for Eternal Battlegrounds. Save for a mystic forge and alter of power, they have everything keeps have. Only bigger.
Quaggan Camps and the Temple of Storms - This is a more PvE way of helping your server out. The krait will try to move in and take the Temple of Storms. It's up to you to help the quaggans out and re-take it. Shortly after retaking it, 3 camps will show up on your map in the form of two grey axes. These axes means that the location can be taken for your home server.
At the bottom of the lake, you will find pearls for you to take. If gather 15 of them and give them to any of the villagers around the camps to take the camp for your server. The quaggans will build a power node that summons Quaggan Shamans to come and help you either defend your keep's or attack them your enemies keep's.
Okay, so now you know what the points are. So what can you do? Well there are many things that you can do, but if you don't know what you should do to best help your server, feel free to ask in Team chat! Usually you'll get an answer. Provided you don't get an answer, here is a list of things you can do to help out your server.
Walk with the Dolyaks - These large lumbering creatures are kinda lonely, and easy to kill. Without these dolyaks your towers, keeps, and castle won't get a any supplies. Defend them, and if you have anything that'll give the Dolyak a boost of swiftness, give it to them!
*While this is a necessary part of WvW, mind that defending the Dolyaks yields no EXP, Karma, or Coin.*
Point Defense - Look on your map. If you see an icon that looks like two orange swords are crossed, it means that a battle is happening over there. It'll help if you go over there or go to the point closest to help defend in case the battle makes it's way to the point.
Scouting - Someone who communicates in WvW is extremely valuable. Just go look around. Look for the enemy, even go near their points. If you see that a zerg is heading for one of your points, communicate where the zerg is heading. If you see a tower or camp that's completely undefended. Communicate it to the server. It'll give others an idea of what to do. This counts as necessary chatter.
Watching the chatter - Sometimes the question on, "what should I do" has already been answered for you. Read the chatter on team and map chat! It's more helpful than you think.
Following the Zerg - Usually spearheaded by a commander. (As represented by a blue shield on your world and minimap) If you can make it to there you can enter the fold and join the commander. Commander-led zergs usually go after key-objectives such as keeps and towers that are close to keeps in order to build Trebuchets. If you happen to stumble into a non-commander-led zerg, then feel free to join them too! There are unofficial commanders that didn't pay 100g to get the icon who are better than the official ones!
Those are just a few things that you can do. But what if you wanna take it up a notch? What if you wanna do something really awesome like breaking down a tower wall? Well you're in luck! There are several siege weapon blueprints you can buy from a Siege vendor.
Flame Ram Blueprints - Costs 6 silver or 6 Badges of Honor. In my opinion, you should always have at least one in your inventory when you go into WvW. When these are set down, you can use them to heavily damage enemy gates. They can also shoot fire from every direction in case an enemy gets near. It costs 40 supply to build.
Arrow Cart Blueprints - Cost 6 silver or 6 badges of honor These lightweight carts are wonderful for area denial. They have a long range of 2500 and a large radius. Their damage is pretty decent too! A very reliable piece of weaponry. It costs 30 supply to build.
Ballista Blueprints - Cost 10 silver or 10 badges of honor. These are the ultimate defenders. Unlike the arrow cart that fires many arrows over an area, this siege weapon fires large piercing arrows that deals increased damage to enemy seige weapons. These are best when put inside towers and keeps as they don't have an AoE, but they do pierce, and they do a lot of damage to players as well. Costs 30 supply to build. They have a range of 3000
Catapult Blueprints - Costs 12 silver or 12 badges of honor. These are good for both defense and offense. They fire boulders that cause knockdown knocks players around, as well as deal a large amount of damage to enemy gates and walls. A couple of these in the right place can shut down anyone trying to build an offensive weapon. Costs 50 supply to build and they have a range of 4000.
Trebuchet Blueprints - Costs 24 silver or 24 badges of honor. This is the one of two weapons that's purely made for offense. With a range of 10,000, they lob explosive boulders or poisonous cow corpses into enemy keeps and castles from as far away as the nearest tower. These things can deal a high amount of damage to call enemy structures and seige weapons. They however, have a minimum range as well, so there is a, "deadzone" where the Trebuchet can't hit, but can still be damaged.
Alpha Siege Golem Blueprints: Cost 1 gold or 100 badges of honor. This is the only non-stationary walking siege weapon. It can deal major damage to enemy gates. It can put up a shield to block enemy projectiles as well as spin to knock down players. Expensive and powerful. Best used in assaults against keeps and castles where there are multiple gates to knock down. Costs 100 supply to build.
However, there is more that you can do with these blueprints. Through the magic of the mystic forge, you can UPGRADE the blueprints and make superior siege weaponry!
The recipe to upgrade the Flame Ram, Arrow Cart, Ballista, and Catapult is:
2x Siege Blueprints
5x Elder Wood Logs
5x Mithril Ore
1x Siege Master's guide (Bought from either Myani or the Mystic Forge Attendant for 1 skill point)
The recipe to upgrade the Trebuchet is:
2x Siege Blueprints
10x Elder Wood Logs
10x Mithril Ore
1x Siege Master's guide
The recipe to upgrade the the Alpha Siege Golem is,
5x Siege Blueprints
10x Elder Wood Logs
10x Mithril Ore
3x Siege Master's Guide
The upgraded seige weaponry deals significantly more damage and has higher HP without much of a change in supply cost. The only weapon that goes through a complete change is the Alpha Siege Golem. When the ASG is upgraded, it turns into the Omega Siege Golem. This Omega Siege Golem fires rockets from it's hands, whirls to knock down and set fire to foes, as well as fires large rocket salvo's.
Like in sPvP, your level is scaled to 80. Unlike in sPvP, your equipment isn't. When you get into PvP, you go in with whatever traits, skills, and equipment you have. So if you are below 80, be careful and remember that there is safety in higher numbers.
Now get in there and fight in the name of your server!