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Guild of the Week: Clan Brotherhood (Bro)

Clan Brotherhood formed in 1999 as a group dedicated to tactical shooter games such as Counter-Strike and Call of Duty. After members experienced Guild Wars during the 2004 E3 for Everyone event and the World Preview Event in October 2004, the clan decided to devote itself to Guild Wars. Clan Brotherhood's name has two origins: it was founded by two brothers, "Godguard" and "Warlord," and from the beginning, they've followed the principle that guilds work best when based on a strong community where members feel themselves to be part of a brotherhood. Currently, Clan Brotherhood is home to 23 players, most of whom live in Germany.

Clan Brotherhood members follow four guiding principles and rules. Firstly, all members must work to foster harmony and an enjoyable atmosphere at all times. Secondly, it is important to seek out fun in the game; the guild believes that losing a closely fought match against a difficult opponent yields more enjoyment than seeking to win at all costs. Thirdly, any form of cheating or exploiting is strictly prohibited. Finally, members are expected to act in a mature and respectful way at all times. Along with these principles, the guild feels that experience playing together as a team is more valuable than the skill of any individual member.

The Bro guild is active in the European PvP community, where they participate in the Erste deutsche Guild Wars Liga and will be fielding a team for the Electronic Sports League's 8on8 Guild-versus-Guild Opening Cup. While many Bro members seek competitive gameplay in Guild Wars, others prefer to pursue cooperative play, completing missions and quests, and exploring the world of Tyria. Members do not trade internally; instead they "gift" appropriate items freely, knowing the favor will be returned at a later date.


Strategy: PvP Play

Clan Brotherhood communicates almost exclusively via voice chat; they believe that this enables a greater degree of precision and faster reaction times compared to teams that rely on text chat. The guild also conducts pre-match practice for Guild-vs-Guild combat in the Tomb of Primeval Kings tournament, which helps to ensure that the team works well together before committing to matches that will affect the guild's ladder rating.

Before battle, some team members are assigned to specific communication roles. Most important of these is the Strategist, who keeps an eye on the radar and the Health of all team members. This player issues directions for the target callers and the team in general, and is normally assigned to a Monk player. A Revive Caller keeps an eye open for players who are being resurrected, although the Strategist often takes on this role as well. A Primary Target Caller selects targets following the directions of the Strategist, announces the death of the current target, and ensures that a new target is selected quickly. This player is usually assigned an easily played character so that the player can focus on scanning for future targets. A Secondary Caller mirrors the job of the Primary Caller and makes sure existing targets are killed if the Primary switches to a new target.


PvP Build Development

Clan Brotherhood utilizes two different methods of build development. The first and most conventional method starts with identifying how the build will kill an enemy—for example, overloading on Hexes or using spike damage—and following with theoretical discussions on which skills and strategies will best support this plan. Bro finds that this approach gives everyone in the guild a more thorough understanding of the build before they take it into combat for the first time. Following the theory stage, several days of testing follow, during which the build is fine-tuned and players begin to execute the strategy instinctively. If the build fails at this stage, Bro believes that the time invested has still been well spent as a learning exercise.

When designing a build using this method, Bro typically includes the following character types:

Healing Monk (2): These characters replenish the team's Health and protect against damage-over-time effects. Skills from these characters' secondary professions, such as Warrior Stances, can be used for self-protection.

Special Monk (1): This character can be almost anything as long as it is a primary Monk, since this helps make it harder for the enemy to identify the "real" Monks. This Monk could be a Healing or Protection Monk to support the main Healing Monks, or even a damage-dealer via Smiting Prayers or the character's secondary profession.

High Damage Dealer (2): If you want to kill an enemy, you must be able to deal enough damage. Many teams use Air Elementalists for this job, but other character types can fill the role just as well.

Anti-Caster (1 or 2): These characters have the task of interrupting the enemy. They should be able to disrupt healing or prevent high-damage casters from unleashing their important spells.

Special Build Character (1 or 2): These characters define the build and how it operates. They should have skills that help achieve the desired goal for the build, and are thus much harder for the enemy to predict.

Clan Brotherhood's second build design method uses less structure and planning, and they call it a Brainstorm Build. Eight players come together, and two or three get the task of creating Monk characters while the rest create whatever type of character they want. Although each player might be given a basic guideline, they are free to create whatever type of character they desire. The resulting random team of characters is then taken into the Tomb of Primeval Kings for testing. Typically, these builds lose their first fight, but Bro continues trying out the build through several attempts. With each new attempt, one or two skills will be changed, and the impact of that change assessed. Over time, a viable build develops that has grown from the diverse ideas of eight players.

Creating a Brainstorm Build can take a significant amount of time and rarely results in a superior build. The real value of this method lies in the possibility of developing new combinations or skills that might not otherwise have occurred.


Gameplay Quick Tips

Clan Brotherhood offers the following gameplay tips and strategies:

  • Always consider the worst-case scenario when designing a build, and develop a build that minimizes this worst case.
     
  • Customize your user-interface to fit your task in the battle. For example, Monks should expand the size of the party window, and a strategist should enlarge the radar.
     
  • Make sure you have a complete understanding of what every skill does, as you are at an instant disadvantage if your enemy equips a skill you do not recognize.
     
  • When testing skills, evolve skill combinations. Changing all of your skills at once is generally not the best way to develop a good character build.

Member Profiles

Meet some of the members of Clan Brotherhood.

Handle: Godguard
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Gaming Background: FPS and RTS
Preferred Character: Monk, Mesmer, and Necromancer, specifically a Primary Healer/Protector or Anti-Caster/Healer. The job of a healer is as difficult as the job of a target caller, who must always have a grasp of who the right targets are to call at each particular moment. In order to initiate counteractive measures at the best time, you must guess which strategy the enemy is using.

Handle: Warlord
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Gaming Background: FPS and RTS
Preferred Character: Mesmer, Necromancer, and Ranger. I’ve always preferred the "bad girls" in every game, so I often play a Necromancer or an anti-caster Mesmer. I really like the Ranger profession too, because it can be very powerful in combat. Despite my preferences, I play whatever class my guild needs me to play.

Handle: Terminator
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Gaming Background: RPG and RTS
Preferred Character: Warrior and Monk. I like playing a Warrior who specializes in Swordsmanship, because he can do a lot of damage in a short period of time if he has enough adrenaline. I also often play a Healing Monk.

Handle: Ultramarine
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Gaming Background: RPG and RTS
Preferred Character: I like to play a Ranger because it is a good, well-rounded character. I can interrupt enemy casters, and also make area damage using traps or skills from my secondary profession as a Fire Elementalist.

Handle: Gunny
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Gaming Background: FPS and RPG
Preferred Character: I prefer a Water Elementalist. Okay, so he doesn't deal damage like an Air Elementalist, but damage isn't everything. So, guys, don’t be shy! Take a closer look at the Water Elementalist.

Handle: Laurentius
Location: North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Gaming Background: Diverse
Preferred Character: Monk and Mesmer. By the way, Monks can use the Mesmer's protection mantra perfectly. These don’t cost Energy regeneration and are quite persistent.

Handle: Tigrar
Location: Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany
Gaming Background: MMORPG, Diverse
Preferred Character: Warrior and Elementalist. My hint to other players: take more care about what the party needs and/or wants to do than the single character.

Handle: Feggis
Location: Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany
Gaming Background: Diverse
Preferred Character: Monk. My favorite character is a Protection Monk, but the last few weeks, I played a Mesmer, Elementalist, and a Ranger, too.

Handle: Halchor
Location: Lower Saxony, Germany
Gaming Background: FPS and RPG
Preferred Character: Monk. Since the February BWE, I've been playing a Healing Monk. It’s not easy to learn how to play a Monk well, so it can take some time until you learn to play him properly.

Handle: Andromache
Location: Hesse, Germany
Gaming Background: Diverse
Preferred Character: Necromancer, Monk, and Mesmer. I prefer a ranged character that avoids close contact with the enemy and that uses heavy damage-over-time or armor-penetrating skills that can’t be blocked.