Guild of the Week
Sinister Swarm [Sin]
With six years as a group, Sinister Swarm [Sin] is one of the longest-lived guilds in Guild Wars. A core group of Sin's players have upheld the guild through several games, including Dark Age of Camelot and Everquest.
After hearing about Guild Wars at E3 in 2004, the leaders of Sinister Swarm decided the idea of a fast-paced game with tournament play appealed to them. They yearned for a game that addressed the problems they saw in other MMORPGs. With the release of Guild Wars Prophecies, the GW Swarm was born. The guild adopted GvG play with a passion and has held its own on the ladder ever since. Although its all-time record is rank 89, Swarm won't rest until it's number 1.
The Swarm aims to find and retain players who have the most fun in the game. Its members are always looking for the kind of people they would want to hang out with in real life. The guild officers describe a "true Swarmer" as one who shows respect and honor at all times. The guild enforces a strict guild policy that disallows "trash talking". Swarm's members pride themselves on maintaining a high level of respect for not only guild members, but anyone else they encounter in game.
The Swarm has around 80 members in the main guild, as well as four practice guilds. It hopes to keep expanding and increasing its rank in GvG, while maintaining the high standards that made the guild so successful.
Sinister Swarm uses a number of tactics to foster unity among its large membership. The guild has a theme song and active forums, and its members are required to log into Team Speak while in game. The result is a group with a strong sense of community and pride.
Recently, Sinister Swarm has used an Energy denial build they refer to as D3, which stands for "Deny, Deny, Deny". The build's components are described below.
Warrior/Elementalist: Hammer Mastery (15), Earth Magic (11), Strength (6), Water Magic (7)
Warrior/Elementalist: Hammer Mastery (15), Earth Magic (11), Strength (9).
Energy Denial 1
Mesmer/Elementalist: Fast Casting (5), Domination Magic (14), Inspiration Magic (12), Illusion Magic (8), Water Magic (6).
Signet of Weariness
Armor of Mist
Monk/Mesmer: Healing Prayers (14), Divine Favor (10), Inspiration Magic (11)
Orison of Heal
Energy Denial 2
Mesmer/Elementalist: Domination Magic (14), Fast Casting (11), Illusion Magic (8), Water Magic (7).
Signet of Weariness
Armor of Mist
Warrior/Ranger: Axe Mastery (16), Wilderness Survival (11), Strength (8).
Elementalist/Monk: Earth Magic (14), Air Magic (10), Healing Prayers (9), Energy Storage (9).
Ward Against Foes
Ward Against Melee
Monk/Mesmer: Divine Favor (14), Protection Prayers (10), Inspiration Magic (11).
Mantra of Recall
Contemplation of Purity
The main tactic behind this build is to have the Warriors build up adrenaline on random decoy targets while the Mesmers harass Monks with Energy denial. Once the Warriors build up adrenaline, they call a spike target, and the Mesmers "Blackout" their assigned Monks while the Warriors attack. When possible, the Flag Runner and Anti-Tank characters assist in spiking. If needed, the build can split 1–4 and 5–8 doing base assault, flag capture, or a run for the enemy catapult.
In GvG, Sinister Swarm does everything in its power to shut down enemy flag-carriers and keep the flag stand. It puts great value on Morale Boosts and the renewal of Resurrection Signets.
Besides planning its strategy ahead of time and using its internal forums to organize players, Sinister Swarm has a few strict protocols it requires all participants to follow:
- No trash talk or communication with the enemy team. In the spirit of sportsmanship and Swarm honor, only "glahf" (good luck and have fun) and "gg" (good game) are allowed.
- Radio silence. No one except the battle commander, flag runner, and defensive coordinator (usually a Monk) is to speak during the match except for an emergency. Emergencies include sighting of the enemy flag carrier, sighting of enemies in The Swarm's base, or sighting an enemy on the catapult.
- Stay with the group and only follow commands made by the battle commander. Leaving the group to engage an enemy or to scout around without authorization is not allowed. If a Swarm team member sees a problem or a threat, it's that member's job to communicate it to the battle commander, not run off and try to handle it alone.
Get to know the players behind the game.
Handle: Wicked Venom, Dread Venom, Sour Venom, Blade Venom
Location: Bay Area, California
Gaming Background: I started with old school D&D. Now I am a hardcore PvPer. I love any game where I can get that rush of multiplayer action. I used to lead a clan in Team Fortress and Half Life 2 Death Match. What I love about Guild Wars is it gives you all the good stuff from a typical MMORPG but without the tedious leveling. Guild Wars focuses on the excitement of multiplayer action.
Preferred Character: I traditionally play Warriors or Necromancers. The first Guild Wars character that I played in beta was a Minion Master, but I have since leveled up Elementalists, Mesmers, and Monks.
Handle: Arwen the Dark
Location: Carolinas, USA
Gaming Background: I have long been a fan of RPGs and Sim/Builder games. Guild Wars is my first online game. I've since played D&D Online.
Preferred Character: By day, Arwen the Dark is a divine healer, offering healing and protection to wounded and fallen allies. Although "Boon-Prots" are widely popular, I personally prefer the powerful, long-lasting heals of a pure healing Monk. By night, Arwen the Dark's alter ego, Arwen the Illusion, comes out to extract revenge on the melee classes that love to pester Monks. I take great pleasure in bringing Warriors to their knees.
Handle: Zodson, Zodsona of might, Eye of Zodson, Zodson spamming
Location: USA, South Carolina
Gaming Background: PvP, Guild Wars, Eve Online, FPS, Unreal.
Preferred Character: Before the Swarm, I played as a Warrior, but I know how to play just about anything. I have played a Ranger flag runner, Mesmer speed spiker, and a Warrior/Ranger flag runner.
Handle: Kalon El Shaada
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Gaming Background: I have played many RPGs, mostly Final Fantasy and also some FPSs, Counter Strike and Wolfenstein. Guild Wars is my first game like this.
Preferred Character: I love running a Sword Frenzy Warrior. My favorite combo has to be Frenzy with Healing Signet. More seriously, Dragon Slash, Galrath's Slash, and Sun and Moon Slash mixed in with Rush and Bull's Strike really works for me. I love toying with people, trying to control them, making them do what I want them to do.
Handle: Calpoly Jason
Preferred Character: I currently use my Monk/Mesmer to venture out in the newest worlds of Guild Wars for PvE. I love to heal, putting all points in Healing and Divine using Word of Healing as an elite. I also always equip a Hex removal and a Condition removal skill. The rest of the skills are brought in accordance with the current mission or quest. For PvP, I love to spike. My favorite strategy is the Necromancer spike group or the R/W “Bunny Thumper” build.
Location: California, USA
Gaming Background: Once I start playing an MMORPG, I get hooked, and Guild Wars is no exception. I also enjoy some FPSs and RPGs on consoles.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Gaming Background: I always have played PvPs and RPGs.
Preferred Character: I love my Ritualist and its cool style. Sometimes I play Random Arena and use an offensive line of Spirits, like Wanderlust, Dissonance, and more. If I get lucky, they will attack the same person and annoy him to death.
Handle: Should I Help
Location: Ontario, Canada
Gaming Background: Mainly PvP with some PvE. I play real-time strategy games like Age of Empires and FPS's like Counter Strike.
Preferred Character: I like to play Monk—specifically Boon Protection or any type of spell caster, so I can observe the field of battle. "Boon protection" is my favorite because I think it is cheapest for heals and protection. I also like a Migraine or Energy-Denial Mesmer because of their ability to shut down Monks. Warrior is too up-close and in the middle of everything I like to stay at the back and harass people until they drop.
Gaming Background: I did lots of FPS in the beginning of my gaming career, then I moved to Guild Wars and haven't gone back.
Preferred Character: That would have to be the Monk by far. I love Monking—every part about it is fun. It is great to know that your enemies can't spike because of you. I can play any Monk build there is: 55, Boon Prot, RC/Prot, SB/Infuse, Blessed Light Healer... You name it, I've done it.
Handle: Adi Shiva, Adi Shakti, Is E, Aeon Morcheeba
Preferred Character: Lately, I've been fixed on the Ritualist, trying out its skills and experimenting with different builds. Prior to the introduction of the Ritualist, I enjoyed playing the Necromancer and Monk. I'm into the caster professions and not too crazy about the Ranger or Warrior.
Location: Long Beach, California
Gaming Background: The only other online game I was seriously into was Knight Online. It was my first MMORPG. A friend from my clan switched to Guild Wars and insisted I do so too. My first Guild in GW was "The Knights of Areowind". It was a roleplaying/PvE Guild.
Handle: Shadow Doll, Shadow Raider, Shadow Windforce
Location: Rochester, New York, USA
Gaming Background: I have played a lot of games like Lineage, Lineage2, RF Online, and Everquest 2.
Preferred Character: I started out playing Warrior to get to know the game better. Then I expanded to Ranger, Monk, and Necromancer. Lately, I've been playing Assassin and trying to unlock all of its skills.
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