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Guild of the Week: Servants of Fortuna (SoF)

It was during the days of the December BWE, amid challenges as unforgiving as the winter storms that raged outside, that the Servants of Fortuna guild was formed. In these early days, most who sought to brave the dangers of Tyria were still young and inexperienced. Bonds were fast to form among those who found their adventures together enjoyable, and in this way, the three founders of SoF met.

Although the founders had only known each other as passing acquaintances from Guild Wars fan forums prior to the BWEs, they soon came to realize that they shared a similar vision for what they desired from a guild. Each was looking for a guild that would be mature and strategy-minded, while still catering to a friendly and relaxed, international audience. With these criteria in mind SoF was created, and it still stands today—nearly a year later—with a roster of fifty members from across 13 different countries and 3 continents.

Adhering to the philosophy that members of SoF are not only members of a guild, but of a diverse community, their members often demonstrate their allegiance out of the game, by maintaining an active presence on Guild Wars fansites, where they are easily recognized by their avatars and signatures, which are uniquely designed for each member of the guild.


Cooperative Play

When playing through the cooperative missions and quests of Guild Wars, Servants of Fortuna members place an emphasis on the use of strategy and teamwork. The greater the challenge that they aim to face, the more time they spend planning beforehand. When preparing their groups for missions or quests, SoF likes to build a balanced group of differing professions. They feel that by including characters that typically fall into more of a "support" role, such as the Mesmer, Necromancer, or a disruption-based Ranger, missions are managed more easily than if they were to merely add another Monk or Warrior.

When tackling greater challenges, like many other guilds, SoF may also use voice communication to augment their gameplay. The speed and interactivity afforded by voice communication allows the guild to quickly organize or change their strategies, and of course, is a useful tool for sharing jokes with other guildmates during the course of their adventures.


PvE Quick Tips

When playing cooperatively, SoF offers the following advice:

  • Be patient and never rush. Too often, groups get themselves into dangerous or even fatal situations by pushing ahead too quickly and suddenly finding themselves overrun by the enemy. Take your time to observe the patrol routes that enemies follow, and make careful use of the aggro circle on the radar. Don’t fight the enemies on their terms, make them fight on yours.
     
  • Most groups can benefit from having one player dedicated to playing the role of the "tank." By sending this player in first, the tank can draw the attention of the enemies, and consolidate their attack. This allows spell casters to remain out of harm's way, and to safely cast once the enemies' attention is diverted.
     
  • When forming your pick-up groups, don’t choose your potential members randomly. Try talking to prospective candidates beforehand, and asking what skills and strategies they use. Taking the time to have these dialogues will help determine which players are most likely to cooperate with the rest of the group. While it may require some additional time when forming groups, it may save you in the long run by preventing your group from falling apart at the end of the mission, only to have to restart again!
     
  • If your team makes a mistake or finds itself in a bad position, don’t panic. If defeat seems inevitable, then be certain to have someone who is capable of using a resurrect spell such as Rebirth make a retreat and let the other members of the party serve as sacrifices. If everyone attempts to flee, the enemies will often chase down every last member of the group—but if members stay behind, the person carrying a resurrect skill has enough time to get free from the aggro radius. It can be invaluable to recognize when discretion is the better part of valor!

Competitive Play

The Servants of Fortuna take part in all of the competitive gaming maps that Guild Wars offers. When playing in Tombs or GvG, SoF prefers to keep an eye on the current "Flavor of the Month" builds and the prevailing meta-game. By having some knowledge of which builds they are most likely to face, they can design solid counters. However, when playing in the arenas, members of SoF prefer to run different or unusual builds for fun, or as an introduction to PvP for less-experienced players.

One of the builds that SoF enjoys running in the arenas focuses on using the Mesmer's Blackout spell. In the 4v4 environment of the arenas, teams might have only a single Monk, which can make Blackout a deadly spell when used effectively. This spell is designed to be symmetrical: by using it, the target temporarily loses the use of its skills, as does the character casting the spell. When used in conjunction with skills such as Echo or Quickening Zephyr, the downtime on Blackout can be shortened, enabling a player to keep an opponent’s Monk "locked" for a longer period of time. When this skill is used by a Warrior, the trade-off is no longer symmetrical: the Warrior possesses superior armor and base weapon damage. By using an offensive Stance in conjunction with attribute points invested in Strength and Mastery of the Warrior’s chosen weapon, the Warrior can continue to put out damage against enemy Monks or spell casters, who can do little else except run.


Member Profiles

Meet some of the members of the Servants of Fortuna:

Handle: The Oracle
Location: London, UK
Gaming Background: RPGs
Preferred Character: I enjoy playing both Necromancer and Mesmer because I find buffing and debuffing more satisfying than direct damage- dealing or healing.

Handle: Frog Devourer
Location: France
Gaming Background: RPGs and CCGs
Preferred Character: Monk and Mesmer. Playing a Monk is very rewarding in PvE and PvP. Your allies’ lives depend on your ability to use your time and Energy wisely, and you’re often a very popular target.

Handle: Chiao the Devout
Location: Canada
Gaming Background: RPGs
Preferred Character: Monk and Necromancer. When you can’t keep someone alive, you can still exploit their corpse, at least.

Handle: Gaisde Maladroit
Location: Texas, USA
Gaming Background: RPGs and PvE
Preferred Character: Ranger. I enjoy playing a trapper. I like to set up areas and then draw opponents into a large number of traps.

Handle: Quartet Requiem
Location: Virginia, USA
Gaming Background: RPGs and FPS
Preferred Character: Monk. When I’m in the mood for some action, I like to switch from Healing to Smiting.

Handle: Neal Andrei
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Gaming Background: FPS
Preferred Character: I like unconventional casters, so naturally enough the Mesmer and Necromancer are my favorites to play. I particularly enjoy the Mesmer’s interrupts.

Handle: Murigen Carylle
Location: Montreal, Canada
Gaming Background: RPGs
Preferred Character: Mesmer/Ranger. For PvE, I usually use a combination of Domination spells to disable foes, and a few Wilderness Survival skills to both self-heal and to do some damage with my bow.

Handle: Liquid Core
Location: London, UK
Gaming Background: RPGs
Preferred Character: I favor spellcasters and mainly focus on Elementalists and Monks. I tend to pick Mesmer as the secondary profession, mainly because of the astounding array of Energy management skills.

Handle: Cyrixess Altoraz
Location: Washington State, USA
Gaming Background: Diverse
Preferred Character: I like to play the big, bad Warrior in the front lines, calling targets and gaining the aggro. Hacking, slashing, and defending the innocent!

Handle: Miss Teey
Location: The Netherlands
Gaming Background: RPGs
Preferred Character: I like the Ranger profession, because of the different play-styles this profession offers. I also like playing Mesmers because of their ability to shut down enemy casters and Monks.

Handle: Ix Chel
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Gaming Background: MUDs
Preferred Character: I play a Protection/Beastmaster or Healer/Wilderness Monk/Ranger in PvE, although when I solo, I use your standard Smiting build. In PvP, I play a Mesmer/Necromancer.

Handle: Red Locust
Location: Canada
Gaming Background: FPS and RPGs
Preferred Character: I love playing Warriors. You could compare them to a game of poker: they take a minute to learn and a lifetime to master. Playing a Warrior effectively takes quite a bit of know-how and, as a result, really improves your battle awareness.

Handle: Vai Demine
Location: Western USA
Gaming Background: Diverse
Preferred Character: For PvE, I love playing the primary healer. I enjoy the pressure and challenge of keeping everyone alive. For PvP, I love to diversify and play whatever the group needs.


Guild Nominations Accepted

Do you have a guild you would like to nominate for a Guild of the Week article? Perhaps it's a guild you've met on the field of battle that has impressed you with their sportsmanship and skill. Maybe you would like to learn more about a specific guild on the ladder. Or perhaps you would like us to feature your own guild because you feel you and your teammates can offer valuable insight into Guild Wars or interesting information about guilds or strategies in general. Please see this page for information on the Guild of the Week nomination process. And thanks for your help in providing excellent coverage of Guild Wars guilds!