The release of Patch 5.15 brought us a new Frontlines map for PvP called Onsal Hakair (Danshig Naadam). PvP doesn’t get a lot of steady attention, so when something new comes around like a map, rewards, or combat updates, you may want to take advantage of the increased activity for shorter queues.
Here’s what you need to know about this new duty, and some of my observations from the first day of release.
What Does Onsal Hakair (Danshig Naadam) Mean?
Onsal Hakair is the name of the northern hilly area in the Azim Steppe where the Mol Tribe lives. If you remember from the Main Scenario Questline in Stormblood, the Mol Tribe emerged victorious in the Naadam thanks to the help of the Warrior of Light.
The Naadam is a battle held on the lunar new year, and earns the victor the right to rule on the Steppe until the next Naadam. However, because the inhabitants of the Steppe are such fervent warriors, it was decided to hold smaller, more frequent competitions, called Danshig Naadam, in order to sate their appetite for battle.
Thanks to the relationship forged throughout Stormblood between the tribes of the Steppe and the Eorzean alliance, the Grand Companies of Eorzea have also been invited to participate, which is the story behind the new PvP Frontlines map.
What’s this New PvP Mode? What are the Objectives?
Onsal Hakair (Danshig Naadam) is very similar to Seal Rock (Seize) in that you and your alliance must fight to control specific sites on the field, called ‘ovoos’ in this mode. You get within range, interact with it, and channel for a few seconds to claim the ovoo for your team.
There are three ranks of ovoos: B (blue triangle), A (red square), and S (yellow pentagon). The middle area of the map is more likely to be a higher rank, while the edges of the map closer to the spawn points are more likely to be lower rank. Getting these high rank ovoos is key to earning a lot of points quickly, as they increase your team’s rating faster.
The big difference in Onsal Hakair is that you cannot take control of another team’s ovoo. Once it’s claimed, it gives that team points for its duration. This means you can’t just bring your whole group sweeping through and retake other teams’ claimed sites. It’s all about getting there first.
In Seal Rock it’s very common to set up a defensive hold on an important tomelith with the majority of your alliance. However, with this new mode you don’t need to defend your ovoo once it’s claimed, and instead you’ll spend more time moving to block and interrupt other teams, or setting up for a soon-to-be-active ovoo. AoE attacks are really useful here since you can interrupt several enemies at once who are interacting with the ovoo.
After some time, fewer ovoos will be on the map at once, leading to more fights for control. There’s usually an S rank in the middle of the map that all three teams struggle over for several minutes. Sly players will roam the map ready to grab another ovoo while everyone else is distracted.
I will say that this new map feels smaller. I think it might be just a little bit more squeezed together, but I’m also running around a lot more than I do on Seal Rock, which amplifies the feeling. On top of that I’m totally lost half the time because I don’t recognize my surroundings yet.
Is the New Mode in the Roulette?
The new mode IS the roulette. At least for now. Currently the Daily Challenge: Frontline will only place you in Onsal Hakair (Danshig Naadam). However, it seems like one of the other Frontline modes will also be available if you wish to queue for that outside of the roulette. Today is the first day after the patch and I see that Seal Rock (Seize) is available in the PvP tab of the Duty Finder.
I think they’ll bring all the maps back into the roulette soon, and are just letting everybody experience the new map for a couple weeks while doing their Daily Challenge: Frontline. I’m sure they’re looking at feedback on the new mode, so it will probably get some attention in a Q&A.
What Can I Get From Onsal Hakair? What are the Rewards?
You get the usual tomestones of Poetics (50), Goetia (50), and Phantasmagoria (20) from this PvP duty. You also get the normal 500 Wolf Marks if your team comes in third, 750 for second place, or 1000 if you emerge victorious.
If you manage to help your team win a lot on this map specifically, you can earn the new achievements. After 100 victories you’re rewarded with the Construct VII Core for a mount and at 300 victories you earn the title “…The Battleforged”.
PvP is getting another surge of attention with this new mode, after having fallen off in the last several weeks. If you’ve been annoyed by long queues for your daily PvP match then you’ll be pleased for the next little while. Well, as long as you like this new map, since that’s all you’ll be seeing in the Daily Challenge: Frontline.
You may find yourself adjusting to the slightly different pace of the match, but just stick close to your allies, and make sure you race to get to those ovoos first. Are you enjoying this new map? Let me know what you think of the game mode in the comments.