Before this I had played enough PvP in Guild Wars 2 to make it to a ways in to the Deer rank. This is very little, honestly, compared to the amount of WvW and PvE I have done. I was still okay with my necromancer, mostly in condition form, and I enjoyed watching PvP tournaments and streams on Twitch.
Then they changed things. No longer could I really hide in a server with 8-10 players on a team. Now they were getting pretty strict about PvP being a 5v5 ordeal. Being a 20%+ reason why your team lost is a lot more scary than being able to hide in a crowd.
What got me out of my shell was (1) the understanding that there are a lot of players hitting that PvP button a lot worse than I was, and (2) the Wintersday reward track being really good. So, I went in to PvP once again with a goal because, afterall, I had a carrot I had to chase.
Almost immediately I learned that 5v5 is a much better game than the rabble I was used to. It was cleaner. It had stronger roles. The strengths of the necromancer were more apparent. I realized what I had been missing with my version of PvP. ArenaNet, I begrudgingly admit, was right to narrow the focus of things.
I already knew the maps, and I would suggest that new players putz around in empty maps just to get a feel for things first. What I needed to learn were the roles. In 8-10+ players per side, the roles are much less an issue. In 5v5 where 5 players are split between 3 points and a secondary objective, human resource placement was a big deal. Anyway head in to Unranked. Team up if you can. If you say “looking to learn” in map chat, I guarantee friendly players will help out.
What I would suggest for new players is to get used to playing at “near / home” with support to “mid”. This means that your job is to protect the control point closest to your base since it is the easiest for you to protect. Then when it feels like no one is coming for your home, their far, then go help make sure the middle point is bolstered. Try and keep to the periphery of mid if you can so that you can head back home if necessary.
Oh, did you need a build? Head to MetaBattle for pretty good builds.
After you get comfortable seeing how the flow and roles work, feel free to start changing things up. Get a feel for secondary objectives. Meet a friend and try and have complimentary roles.
I must say, I am now pretty hooked. With the daily rewards that further advance reward tracks only a match or two will get you far. I intend this Winter Break to start learning how to play thief in PvP because the idea of being a decapping annoyance delights me. I am getting pretty addicted pretty quickly. Honestly it’s getting harder and harder to choose a gamemode to play in Guild Wars 2.