Greetings. I assume you have come to my page because you are interested in me, the Wiki user - not me, the Guild Wars player. Therefore, I will not clutter my user page with silly icons, and screenshots, and statistics, and lists of in-game accomplishments and titles. Instead, I will provide a limited amount of information about myself pertaining to my thoughts on the game.
I am somewhat of a veteran Guild Wars player. I've played nearly since the release date and own all three campaigns. Because I don't own a stack of Ectos or Shards, and I don't regularly engage in GVG, I seem to be stuck in that dismal, unrecognized middle ground between "noob" and "pro." I am an older game player, I am educated, and I dislike paying taxes. I am not an elitist, nor am I an idiot. If you wish to speak with me or to debate/challenge something I have written, please do visit my talk page. When I share my thoughts, I do so in such a manner that you can easily understand what I'm saying. In other words, I am concise; I make an effort to use proper spelling and grammar; I believe that "u" is not an abbreviation for "you." I communicate like an adult because I wish to be treated like one. If you wish the same, then I suggest you do the same, and extend the same courtesies to me. If not, then I will treat "u" like a child.
If you see a typo or coding error on my page, do feel free to correct it - but please leave a note on my talk page.
I contribute to guildwiki.org under the same username.
I intend to post some build that I am experimenting with in this section. They may be good, or they may flop completely. They include Healing/Bonding Paragons, R/A using daggers and a pet, and other assorted nonsense.
Here are some of my thoughts on the game.
The Arbitrariness of Build Voting: A Makeshift Guide to Better Build Voting
The Nature of Build Voting - The purpose of displaying and evaluating builds on both Guildwiki.org (hereafter, "[The] Guildwiki") and PvX Builds is to provide users with an arena to share build ideas. An inevitable result of this sharing of builds is the formation of some sort of rating/ranking system. This system necessitates an environment in which users can debate, question, and challenge each other's ideas. In the case of the Wikis, these arguments take place on discussion pages. Lack of providing a free environment for users to communicate can result in an effectively stagnant, content-devoid Guild Wars build site (see http://gw.gamependium.com). For this reason, it is indeed important that users communicate freely and challenge each other's views and builds. However, it is of critical importance that users acknowledge the fact that the build voting process, and indeed the effectiveness of some builds, is often arbitrary; i.e., one user's subjective opinions and preferences against another's.
Analyzing the Participants - Let me first say that it is not my intention to draw comparisons between the build voting process and the political voting process. That said, within the population of relatively experienced players there seems to be a stark division in Guild Wars gaming philosophies - especially those having to do with character builds and build execution.
- The Right - One side of this population, which, for ease of reference I will place on the "right" side, believes in absolute truths in the game. This type of player might be likened to Socrates, who thought that absolute moral truths existed and that we could find them if we reflected inward and thought hard enough. In that same manner, this right-wing player believes that there is a best running build, that there is a best PVP Monk build, and that there is best Minion Master build - and that if we think hard enough and test enough builds, we can find that definitive, "best" build.
- The Left - On the opposite side of the spectrum, the "left," there exists a group that is in constant conflict with the right. This group of players believe that there isn't necessarily a "best" build or method of executing a build. It is not uncommon for a player to ask everyone in town, "What's the best secondary profession for a Warrior?" While right wing players may quickly answer "Monk," left wing players would waste no time saying, "It depends on your build" or "It depends on what you want to do." These players believe that a specific build can be used in many different ways. Likewise, they believe that a particular task can be completed using a variety of builds. Granted, one build may do it faster, or do it without dying, or do it with less micromanagement - but nonetheless, left wing players frown on the idea of absolutes.
There are, of course, plenty of players who fall somewhere in the middle of these groups.
What They Look for When Voting - Players adhering to opposing philosophies will undoubtedly vote of a different set of criteria. Right wing voters will typically look for maximum and minimum values. High DPS, high healing numbers, and low energy usage are some examples. These players are prone to focusing on these high and low figures while overlooking other benefits the build has to offer.
- Example: There exist two protection/healing builds. One is a Monk, the other is a Paragon. A voter may entirely dismiss a Paragon healing and protecting with chants, shouts, arias, and Angelic Bond because the Monk is capable of producing higher blue healing numbers. However, this individual would be overlooking the Paragon's higher armor, inherent energy management, the inability for enemies to remove shouts and chants, and the Paragon's capabilities as an attacker.
Alternatively, left wing players may vote more on how party-friendly a build is, how versatile it is, and how well-rounded it is.
- Example: There exist two melee Warrior builds. One uses a skillbar full of Swordsmanship and Strength attacks. The other has fewer attacks, but has included a self-heal, a defensive stance, and/or a resurrect skill. Left minded players may be quick to frown upon the build with 8 melee attacks, but they may be overlooking other factors such as the enemies this warrior would be fighting or the teammates the warrior is supposed to have.
Task-based Build Classifications - To alleviate some of the clashes between right and left wing players, builds are often separated into categories. PVP builds are separated from PVE builds so that players do not clash over the roles that these builds should play. Of course, they are also separated for ease of browsing. Despite this organizational tactic, players continue to clash over how effective a build is due to differing philosophies. The solution to this is one that is clearly simpler in theory than in practice...
Objective Consideration of Builds - To prevent some drawn out voting battles, users should attempt to approach build voting objectively. i.e., abandon your "opinion" or your stance and evaluate the build from a distance. This helps to eliminate some of the arbitrariness of build voting. Try to consider the following elements of the build:
- First and foremost, does the build work? Does it do what it's supposed to do?
- If the build works, try to make an evaluation as to how well it works. It can be difficult to remain objective on this point, but it can be done. Remember that it's more important to acknowledge that a build works than it is for you to label it "best."
- If the build doesn't work, ask yourself why. Does the build fail to work based on how it is constructed (i.e., a barrage build with 4 preparations), or does it fail to work because you cannot make it work? Remember to remain objective - if you can't get the build to work, but you see that it can work, then don't be too quick to vote it down. It's more important for you to be fair and accurate than it is for you to be right.
Unacceptable Arguments For a Good Build
The following are NOT acceptable arguments or explanations for a good build. These are all over the Wiki sites, and none of them have any merit:
- "I get gladiator points with this build."
- So what? The fact that you get gladiator points is not necessarily related to your build. You can have a horrible, horrible build and a great team and still get gladiator points. Or, you could be playing against inexperienced, unskilled opponents with bad builds over and over again. Also consider the many, many times we've all entered RA or TA with an excellent build, and not won 10 in a row. If our individual build can't be to blame, then it can't be credited either. Unless you're getting gladiator points by soloing the opposing teams 10 times in a row, don't assume that the your build is the reason for the whole team getting a gladiator point. Clearly, there isn't necessarily a causal relationship between your individual build and a gladiator point. Assuming otherwise is simply naive. Don't do it, and don't suggest it.
- "I've been using this build for a year now."
- First, never say this. Second, never do this. The Guild Wars platform is constantly upgraded and skill descriptions and numerical values are constantly updated. Some skills, like Otyugh's Cry, have been changed and altered so that they do something completely different. Using a build for a very long time doesn't necessarily mean it's good - it just means you think it's still good.
- "I've seen tons of people using this build."
- And? Did you have a point to make or did you just want to report live from the scene? The fact that many people are using a build doesn't necessarily make it great. We refer to builds like this as a Flavor of the Month; they are generally frowned upon by players who prefer more strategic builds with greater staying power. Typically, these builds either exploit lapses of vision in game mechanics or the opposing party's defenses and are subject to nerfing.
- "This build pwns."
- Please grow up. Educated adults don't think, speak, or type this way. Keep in mind that you are in the presence of adults and form a better argument.
- "You guys are all noobs." -or- "You don't understand how the game/AI works."
- As it turns out, this is sometimes true. However, there are more productive and less obnoxious ways to state this opinion. Always keep in mind that it may, in fact, be you that doesn't understand an element of the game.
- "I've been playing since the game came out."
- Though it may not be your intention, this is almost always inferred as a form of boasting or one-upmanship and should be avoided when making an argument. Do not assume that playing the game for an extended period of time somehow magically confers wisdom upon you. It life worked this way, all people would always make less mistakes as they got older. This line of thought is simply false. Playing Guild Wars since it came out typically increases only one thing - ego.