Lately I've been doing some battle grounds, I thought I'd explain Silvershard Mines today, gauging from the amount of losses I've had, I think a lot of people still don't understand how it plays out(or maybe I'm bad). If you have a better tactics to win, please let me know.
Silvershard Mines is a 10v10 bg availble at level 90, if you've played Payload from Team Fortress 2, it's similar to that. Your goal is to escort carts to their capture points, the first team to 1600 points win. Carts move at the same speed no matter how many people are standing around it, they can be captured by standing in their circle, like the bases in Eye of the Storm, except these bases move on a track. There's never more than 3 carts, and each track is of a different length, so the amount of time it takes to capture a cart will all be different. Each cart, no matter how long or short the route, grants 150 points per capture. Each cart will give 1 point per second when under your team's control. Anyone can change the tracks, it takes a few seconds and you do not need to control the cart.
The middle cart has one track and can not be changed. It takes 2 minutes for that cart to reach the cap point. A complete middle cart trip will give 270 points (150 for the cap and 120 points for 120 seconds if you manage to hold it). The East cart can have either the longest or shortest route, the default route takes it to the lava capture point, this trip grants 240 points (150 cap+90 points if you hold the cart the entire time) The long route ends up being 370 points at 3 minutes and 40 seconds, more than twice as long as the short route. The West, or top cart, takes 3 minutes to reach it's shortest destination, this trip grants you 330 points (150+180). If the switch is flipped, the cart heads North East and gives 370 points but takes 3 minutes and 40 seconds. I feel like there's a word math problem in here somewhere, but it's definitely better to take the shortest route whenever possible.
So if my napkin math is to be believed, the fastest way to win would be to take and hold Middle Cart and Lava Cart for 6 minutes. Keep in mind I didn't factor in cart respawn time, and also carts are in random positions before the game starts.
The easiest way to win is by controlling the bottom two carts, these have the shortest distance to travel and are closest to the spawn points. If you can't secure the bottom two carts, any two will do, the game will just go on a little longer. Just remember 2 carts is always better than one cart. Once the cart is near the capture depot (around 10 seconds away), the whole team can leave to take the next cart, it takes around 7 seconds for a cart to switch sides and you'll likely intercept the other team trying to ninja your cart. If the other team is controlling the lava cart, it may be worthwhile to switch their tracks to the longer route. If you're guarding the lava cart, you can position yourself near the track change, you'll be able to defend the track and your cart pretty easily.
Dps: Split into two groups and take the two carts heading towards the bottom, harass the other team if you're controlling two carts but always leave 1-3 people with the carts you control. You always want to be in possession of two carts, you can not win with a single cart.
Healers: If two or more healers are available, split into two groups and follow either carts.
Tank: You don't need tanks for this, but I guess you could stay with the cart while everyone else goes to get another cart. Again, not really necessary.