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Guild of the Week: Eternal Shadow (OPP)

A guild with a long and storied history, Eternal Shadow (OPP) was founded back in 1997. Still composed of the guild’s original founders and many long-time members, OPP has sought to maintain a small and highly active membership focusing on organization. Within Guild Wars, OPP’s ranks number at approximately 50 members at any given time. As a guild that loves to compete, OPP was drawn into Guild Wars by the high levels of competition that they found the game has to offer.

OPP strives to create a unique competitive gaming experience for all of its members. Throughout their long time together, the guild has found that many other guilds live and die by the “win at all costs” mind set—but OPP believes that the brightest flame burns the fastest. They have seen guilds come together and dominate the playing field for short periods of time, only to fall by the wayside as its membership burns out. With their members inactive, guilds either fall apart or go on hiatus until a suitable new game appears, and the cycle begins again.

Believing this mindset to be counterproductive for the online gaming community, OPP has taken on a role that promotes competition without the “win at all costs” mantra. In doing so, they feel that they can always provide competitive gamers with a group to fight and have fun with. OPP’s end goal is to shape their environment into one where both hardcore and casual gamers alike can simply jump in to enjoy a good battle.


Strategy: PvP Discussion

When playing in PvP, OPP’s original focus was to place their emphasis on maintaining a solid team that they could work with and perfect over time. However, as the Guild Wars meta-game evolved, they noticed an abundance of teams running whichever build was “trendy” at the time. As these builds often tend to focus on a single premise or combat mechanic, it simplifies the process of finding counter-skills or tactics to defeat them. And with so many teams employing these strategies, OPP feels that it only makes sense to enter matches equipped to counter your most likely foe. Their build design has evolved in this way, and it remains malleable to keep up with any “flavor of the week” builds that arise.

When composing their builds, the cornerstone that remains largely unchanged is the inclusion of the healing trinity: two Healing Monks and one Protection Monk. While these characters remain solid, the rest of the build’s composition is subject to change based on which of their players will be participating and what builds they expect to encounter. Members often play characters that utilize their strengths, believing that even a very strong build means little if those playing it lack the experience with that build to execute it naturally and fluidly. The next components of OPP’s builds are often two teams of two offensive characters who run setups that are complimentary to each other, whether those be spikes, drains, or consistent damage. The final character is one that serves the dual purpose of being both the flag-runner and fulfilling a utility role. When not tasked with flag duties, this character will often concentrate on fortifying his team while debuffing the enemy’s forces. As a whole, the object of these build setups is for the group to be balanced—without any easily exploitable weaknesses—and to be consistent over time. OPP believes that this approach makes player skill the deciding factor of a match's outcome. Whether they win or lose, OPP wants to know that it was their playing that made the difference—not the build they chose to use.

As a whole, OPP generally prefers to play in the Team Arena, or when they have a full group online and available, to participate in GvG. In GvG matches, OPP favors guild halls that offer more naturally defensive terrain and additional guards. These features lower the probability that an opposing team will attempt to sneak into their base or try a suicide attack on their guild lord. Being a guild that loves the challenge of competition, OPP prefers to face their opponents head on in epic and well-fought battles.

During their matches, OPP makes use of voice communication programs as a means of synchronising their actions, such as debuffing a target and instantaneously following with a string of attacks, or coordinating the Protection and Healing spells of their Monks when they are on the defensive. OPP also prefers to keep their strategies, such as target calling, dynamic during the course of a battle. They seize on targets of opportunity, such as an overconfident Warrior using Frenzy within their ranks, or the pesky Mesmer whose actions make him a priority target. When faced with maps that offer specific goals, such as those that are encountered within the Tomb of the Primeval Kings, OPP’s stance is that the best way forward is through. As they say, “the other team can’t capture relics or altars if they’re dead.”


Member Profiles:

Get to know some of the members of Eternal Shadow:

Handle: Jackal
Broad Location: Nevada, US
Gaming Background: Diverse. I've tested or played nearly every FPS, RTS, and MMO that has come out since 1997.
Preferred character: Elementalist, Mesmer, or Monk—anything that is not melee-based.

Handle: Dafyyd
Broad Location: California, US
Gaming Background: PvP based MMOs, and FPS
Preferred Character: My favorite character for 4v4 is the Ranger because of its dominance over both hard and soft targets and its overall versatility. In our guild groups I prefer to play a spike Elementalist and focus on eliminating primary targets. My favorite strategy is to make an enemy team focus on healing one of their teammates, then quickly spike a different target into the ground.

Handle: Obscene
Broad Location: Nevada, US
Gaming Background: MMOs and FPS
Preferred Character: I like playing a support character in GvG as well as in 4v4 or 8v8. I play a Monk/Elementalist in our GvG build.

Handle: Funhat
Broad Location: Nevada, US
Gaming Background: PvP-based MMOs and FPS
Preferred Character: I'll play anything the guild needs, but I generally play a supportive character for GvG. Its purpose is to assist the Monks with Conditions and anti-melee, while also achieving specific goals during GvG battles.

Handle: Blaze
Broad Location: Canada eh!
Gaming Background: PvP-based MMOs
Preferred Character: Because I was really active early on in Guild Wars, I can play any of the positions in our current guild template. Normally, though, Jackal has me playing a Monk build. Preferably I like to play as a Healing Monk, and I think I am pretty good at it. When it comes to strategy, the best thing about being in OPP groups is that the callers are able to make play changes on the fly with full confidence. We aren’t as static in our ways as many other cookie-cutter groups may be, and I think this provides an edge over our competition.

Handle: Praktikal
Broad Location: Florida, US
Gaming Background: MMOs and FPS
Preferred Character: Healing Monk/Elementalist—heal, and heal some more.

Handle: Rza
Broad Location: California, US
Gaming Background: I have been playing PvP-based online games since 1997.
Preferred Character: I usually play the "spike" damage Air Elementalist. My primary focus is to assist the main target-caller and supplement his/her damage. I try to block out everyone else in the game and focus solely on the person I am assisting.

Handle: Rage/Joshius
Broad Location: Nevada, US
Gaming Background: MMOs, RPGs, and FPS
Preferred Character: I play a number of builds, but I enjoy playing a healer or a Ranger most.

Handle: Thomas Gunn
Broad Location: California
Gaming Background: PvP based RPGs and MMOs.
Preferred Character: I like to try new things a lot, but for guild play I am usually part of a two-Warrior team where use of cooperation and synergized skills is very important.


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