Guild of the Week: Zealots of Shiverpeak (ZoS)
The Zealots of Shiverpeak was founded in 2003 specifically for Guild Wars. Approximately fifty members strong, roughly half of ZoS’s members play in the closed test. ZoS has a strong community focus, and many of its members operate or contribute to Guild Wars fansites.
Although ZoS members do play PvP, they typically do so either to assist with testing or simply to have fun; obtaining a high ladder position is not a priority.
Instead, they are most likely to be spotted in town assisting anyone who needs help. Throughout their time in the alpha test, ZoS members have acquired a lot of knowledge and experience, and they enjoy sharing that expertise in an effort to help others achieve more enjoyment from the game.
Now that Guild Wars has released, ZoS plans to hold an internal guild tournament, as well as other organized in-game activities. As a socially oriented guild, many of ZoS's activities involve more than just playing the game. Seeing ZoS members chatting in town and taking part in emoted “rock, paper, scissors” tournaments is common.
Strategy: Cooperative Play
When ZoS members form groups to attempt missions or explore new areas, they focus on achieving the goals of the players involved. A high degree of importance is placed on having fun and making sure that everyone in the guild receives the opportunity to progress through the game at his own pace.
Group planning before attempting a mission or quest is minimal, usually limited to putting together a somewhat balanced selection of professions. This approach might not always be ideal for many maps and missions, but it grants the group flexibility and allows them all the opportunity to play the characters they each prefer.
ZoS members see mistakes and failed missions as an opportunity to learn, although they do try to analyze why they've had a failure—whether it was attacking too many enemies at once, wrong skill choices, or simply bad luck—and then discuss ways to avoid similar problems in the future.
Cooperative Play Quick Tips
For cooperative play, ZoS offers the tips and strategies below:
- Take the time to analyze the patrol patterns of monsters before initiating combat. This will help avoid having a new group of monsters attack while you are still occupied with the first group.
- Be prepared to run from combat if the fight is not going well. This is especially important for anyone with the ability to resurrect. It is better to retreat temporarily and come back to resurrect fallen team members than it is to have to start over again because everyone died.
- Monsters usually prefer to attack targets that have the least protection. It is often possible to use this against the monster by luring it into attacking other targets.
Strategy: PvP Play
ZoS, like many other guilds, makes heavy use of voice chat during PvP matches. Access to voice chat smoothes communication significantly, saving time on both typing and reading messages. One member of the guild is tasked with calling targets throughout a match, which helps to avoid confusion on which enemy to attack.
Following every match, ZoS reviews the battle and discusses what went well and what didn’t. This data is collected over several matches to assist with analyzing the effectiveness of the team build. Following analysis, ZoS often modifies the build and then runs it through several more matches. Input is sought from all members of the guild, which helps to not only improve the build itself, but also every member’s understanding of the build and their role within it.
ZoS’s tactics tend to be defensive in nature, usually involving identifying important goals on the map such as flag stands or the dais, and then capturing and defending that map feature. The aim of this approach is to force the enemy to fight at a slower pace, which ZoS is generally more comfortable with.
The build below is designed to attempt to balance offense and defense. Two healers are supported by a Protection Monk, while a pair of Elementalists provide high amounts of damage in short periods of time. The Mesmer’s job is to harass enemy Monks.
Elementalist/Monk (2)--Damage Dealers
Attributes: Air Magic: 16 (12+3+1); Energy Storage: 12 (11+1); Healing Prayers: 6
Skills: Air Attunement, Chain Lightning, Lightning Orb, Lightning Strike, Shock, Lightning Surge (elite), Glyph of Sacrifice, Restore Life
Ranger, Mesmer--Caster Harassment
Attributes: Expertise: 14 (10+3+1); Marksmanship: 12 (11+1); Wilderness Survival: 10 (9+1); Beast Mastery: 4
Skills: Poison Arrow (elite), Distracting Shot, Savage Shot, Choking Gas, Debilitating Shot, Tiger's Fury, Pin Down, Rend Enchantments
Attributes: Strength: 9 (8+1), Swordsmanship: 15 (12+3+1), Smiting Prayers: 10
Skills: Battle Rage, Sever Artery, Gash, Final Thrust, Purge Signet, Sprint, Galrath Slash, Strength of Honor
Attributes: Fast Casting: 10 (9+1), Domination: 13 (11+1+1), Inspiration 11 (10+1), Illusion 5 (4+1)
Skills: Backfire, Shame, Arcane Conundrum, Power Drain, Energy Burn, Shatter Enchantment, Power Leak, Resurrection
Attributes: Divine Favor: 13 (+1+1) Healing Prayers: 11 (+1); Wilderness Survival: 10
Skills: Orison of Healing, Signet of Devotion, Word of Healing, Healing Seed, Healing Spring, Storm Chaser, Dryders Defense, Resurrect
Attributes: Divine Favor: 12 (11+1), Protection Prayers: 13 (12+1), Tactics: 6
Skills: Divine Intervention, Guardian, Reversal of Fortune, Shielding Hands, Shield of Deflection, Mend Ailment, Bonneti's Defense, Signet of Devotion
PvP Play Quick Tips
For PvP play, ZoS members offer the tips and strategies below.
- Against organized teams, prioritize attacking enemy support characters, such as Monks, first. This can often help disrupt their organization.
- Against less organized teams without strong healing, attack the character that is the biggest nuisance. This might be a Mesmer who is interrupting spellcasting or a Warrior who is harassing your Monks.
- If several team members are killed during a fight, it is often best for the remaining members to retreat toward the team base in order to be closer to their allies when they resurrect.
- Area-of-Effect spells that cause damage over time can be a useful distraction when placed on the enemy Priest or Ghostly Hero in the Tomb of the Primeval Kings.
Meet some of the members of the Zealots of Shiverpeak.
Handle: Quaken Frostraven
Location: Washington State, USA
Gaming Background: RPGs, FPSs and RTSs
Preferred Character: My main character, Lord Frostraven, is an Elementalist/Monk. I combine the healing abilities of a Monk, with the AoE damage of a fire-based Elementalist to make my character well rounded for both PvP and cooperative play.
Handle: Spooky Electric
Location: Long Island, USA
Gaming Background: RPGs
Preferred Character: When playing with other people, I prefer a character like an Elementalist. I feel more comfortable with ranged characters, and it is hard to resist the siren’s song of having the forces of nature at your beck and call. The fact that she also looks cute in Hydromancer's Armor had no effect on my assessment. Honest.
Gaming Background: RPGs
Preferred Character: I love playing Mesmers, as they are the type of character that uses its opponents to be effective. That is, if you choose (like I do) to use the Domination Tree. One of the combos I particularly like is Power Block, Power Leak, and Cry of Frustration.
Handle: Cynical Crab
Location: Washington State, USA
Gaming Background: RPGs mostly
Preferred Character: Mesmer/Elementalist. I'm a “stand-back-and-launch-things” type of player, and this combo lets me do just that.
Handle: Mercedes De Leone
Location: Michigan, USA
Gaming Background: PvP mostly
Preferred Character: Necromancer/Monk. With this combination, I'm able to help the damage dealers while also lending a hand to the healers. With Life Transfer, Blood Siphon, and Healing Breeze, I can keep myself alive against a Warrior while killing him.
Handle: Chantal Dubois
Location: Missouri, USA
Gaming Background: Diablo II
Preferred Character: While I enjoy all of the professions, the Elementalist is my favorite. I especially like stacking Fire AoE skills, then running up to finish enemies off with Flame Burst.
Location: Maryland, USA
Gaming Background: Diverse
Preferred Character: I like to play Warrior/Monks with permanent Enchantments, Purge Signet, and adrenaline moves. I also enjoy a fragility based Ranger/Mesmer every now and then. Being the runner in GvG is good, too.
Handle: Thardus Duran
Location: California, USA
Gaming Background: RPGs and strategy
Preferred Character: Currently, my main character is a Domination Mesmer/Monk. He's my mapping/exploring character, and as such I tend to respec his attributes as the situation demands, sometimes even in the middle of a mission.
Handle: Drakhai Mreel
Location: Florida, USA
Gaming Background: FPS and RTS
Preferred Character: I choose a Ranger/Elementalist--the Ranger to deny Energy and deal damage, the Elementalist to nuke things.
Handle: Lord Mark Iceblaze
Location: Washington, USA
Gaming Background: FPS and RPG
Preferred Character: My favorite profession is a Ranger/Monk with a concentration on Bow skills and healing, and a few pet skills for extra damage.