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About me

My name is Benjamin “hatch” Stemmer, I am a German Guild Wars (Prophecies, Factions and Nightfall) player since November 2006.

Questions I have

Thank you for helping me on these!

  • Why do several player names appear dark blue while others appear light blue?
    • Players with dark blue names are currently in a group. Players with light blue names are currently not in a group. --Macros 15:01, 29 June 2007 (CDT)

My Guild

To come.

My characters

Prophecies

Boral Yam

This character was my very first Prophecies character and primarily used to play a few introductory missions with my Guild. It is now deleted.

Itarian Der Grobe

Itarian Der Grobe
Warrior-icon

Ranger-icon
Itarian Der Grobe Level:
XV
Attributes
StrengthWarrior-icon-small8 + 1
SwordsmanshipWarrior-icon-small8 + 1
TacticsWarrior-icon-small6 + 1
Skill Bar
"For Great Justice!"
"For Great Justice!"
Power Attack
Power Attack
Sever Artery
Sever Artery
Gash
Gash
"Watch Yourself!"
"Watch Yourself!"
Balanced Stance
Balanced Stance
Endure Pain
Endure Pain
Resurrection Signet
Resurrection Signet

(Itarian The Rude)

This character was meant to claim the “Legendary Defender of Ascalon” title, but I didn’t read through the guides and started wrong, so I decided to leave Pre-Searing early.

Zylvian Von Ascalon

Zylvian Von Ascalon
Ranger-icon

NA-icon
Zylvian Von Ascalon Level:
X
Attributes
MarksmanshipRanger-icon-small7
ExpertiseRanger-icon-small4
Beast MasteryRanger-icon-small3
Wilderness SurvivalRanger-icon-small1
Skill Bar
Read the Wind
Read the Wind
Ignite Arrows
Ignite Arrows
Power Shot
Power Shot
Point Blank Shot
Point Blank Shot
Dual Shot
Dual Shot
Troll Unguent
Troll Unguent
Comfort Animal
Comfort Animal
Charm Animal
Charm Animal

(Zylvian Of Ascalon)

With Itarian Der Grobe leaving Pre-Searing early, this character represents my current attempt to reach the “Legendary Defender of Ascalon” title.

Bruder Lars

(Brother Lars)

With my long-term gaming partner Pain.less finally joining GW, this character was created to accompany him through the first campaign – and probably further.

The name is of course typical for a monk, however, Lars in itself has no meaning whatsoever. I just thought, it sounded nice (and it does) :-) It is insipired by the name of the shape-shifter Laas from the Deep Space 9 series.

Factions

Toral Yam

This was my very first character and somewhat far developed, but has never reached ascension. However, with the great success of my other Factions character Li Nalaz up until now, Toral was “downgraded” to Mule.

Tora Zyal (PvP)

This was my first (and probably last) attempt at PvP. With my assassin, I was refused by a group simply because of my class. In PvP I find all the negative attitudes that I know from the Electronic Sports League (where I acted as admin) and that I cannot agree with. (I see them in PvE too, but much less superficial.)

Her name is a reference to Tora Ziyal, daughter of Dukat, the Cardassian prefect on Bajor during its occupation.

She got deleted in December 2006.

Li Nalaz

Li Nalaz
Assassin-icon

Ranger-icon
Li Nalaz Level:
XX
Attributes
Dagger MasteryAssassin-icon-small12 + 1 + 1
Critical StrikesAssassin-icon-small12 + 1
Shadow ArtsAssassin-icon-small3
Skill Bar
Critical Eye
Critical Eye
Death's Charge
Death's Charge
Palm Strike
Palm Strike
Death Blossom
Death Blossom
Jagged Strike
Jagged Strike
Fox Fangs
Fox Fangs
Critical Defenses
Critical Defenses
Resurrection Signet
Resurrection Signet

Li Nalaz is another attempt at the Assassin career, this time in PvE. Initially meant to go after the Survivor title, a death during the Appearance of the Naga quest spoiled the attempt. However, since then the death count did not increase until trying to farm for Tahkayun's Pincers… Now I’ve lost count ;-)

Li developed very quickly and has reached ascension in only two weeks of non-consecutive gaming. Upon arrival in the Kaineng Center (by storyline), he acquired all Istan and both Tyrian/Canthan Heroes (i.e. Koss, Melonni, Dunkoro, Tahlkora, Acolyte Sousuke, Olias, Zenmai) which he is developing at the moment. Luckily, a few elite skills became available via some glitch (found undocumented) from Setam Ral once Li acquired the first hero.

Champagne Popper Another two weeks of more or less consecutive gaming made Li Nalaz my very first character to complete any of the campaigns. In this case, I ran through the Imperial Sanctum Mission (Factions) with a random team I found last night. Actually quite an impressive fight, made Master’s in 1:39 and enjoyed a great (yet lone) walk among the Divine Path and waved from the Palace Balcony. Wohoo! :-)
Unlike the names of almost all my other characters, this name was inspired by a character from a TV show; a famous Bajoran resistance fighter called Li Nalas (someone else is using that name though).

Nightfall

Setam Ral

Setam Ral
Elementalist-icon

Assassin-icon
Setam Ral Level:
XX
Title(s)
Sunspear Castellan
Adept Lightbringer
Attributes
Fire MagicElementalist-icon-small12 + 1 + 3
Energy StorageElementalist-icon-small12 + 3
Earth MagicElementalist-icon-small3
Skill Bar
Ward Against Melee
Ward Against Melee
Flare
Flare
Fireball
Fireball
Fire Storm
Fire Storm
Elemental Attunement
Elemental Attunement
Glyph of Elemental Power
Glyph of Elemental Power
Fire Attunement
Fire Attunement
Aura of Restoration
Aura of Restoration

This is my first Nightfall character and meant to play through the campaign as quickly as possible.

Staff vs. Wand

Both Staff and Wand articles claim the discussion be “as old as the game itself”, however it can be made easy by thinking it through.

To determine whether a Staff or a Wand/Focus combination are most suitable, one must first determine all available upgrades/inscriptions and check if an upgrade of the specific type is useful or provides a synergistic effect with the character.

  • raising health
    This is of great importance for this character, because of the use of two superior runes (which I find extremely hard to play with from time to time, especially with death penalty).
  • raising maximum energy
    Steam Ral’s maximum energy is of no actual concern (not with an Energy Storage of 15) an also because he doesn’t lose energy quickly due to attunements.
  • Raising armor
    Armor is of no pressing concern for him either (Ward Against Melee plus 2 healers in party).
  • quickening skill recharge by 50%
    As an attuned caster, it is a requirement for this character to lower recharge time of spells, since he gets so much energy back from the spells, allowing him to almost continuously spam Flare or Fireball (assuming low recharge times).
  • reducing casting time by 50%
    With Fireball, Fire Storm and of course both attunements, this upgrade type is of importance. However, those skills have a good chance of not being interrupted because of using Ward Against Melee and only a handful of interrupting builds in PvE. It is not important whether casting time of all spells or just for those of one attribute is reduced (most of them are Fire Magic skills).
  • prolonging the duration of any enchantment by up to 20%
    This is a very nice feature, allowing the character to be attuned a certain time longer. No questions asked, as an “Energy Manager”, this upgrade is a must-have.
  • raising one attribute by 1 while using a skill
    It seems less important to raise Fire Magic to increase damage because the use of Glyph of Elemental Power and the already maxed attribute, providing an efficient base for dealing damage.
  • increasing dealt and decreasing received damage
    As already stated, neither dealing extra damage nor decreasing received damage are part of the main strategies for this character.

Both Staff and Wand/Focus combinations have a total of five upgrades, derived from inherent boni, staff/wand wrappings, staff heads or focus cores and inscriptions, where any upgrade components with the “while enchanted” extension are favoured, because as an attuned caster, the character should always have at least one Enchantment active; be it the attunement(s) or the Aura of Restoration. Reviewing the above list, my character needs (see Weapon upgrade and Inscription for reference):

  1. Raised health. Provided by:
    • Hale Staff Head (+30)
    • Staff Wrapping of Devotion (+45 while enchanted)
    • Focus Core of Devotion (+45 while enchanted)
  2. Quickened skill recharge (20% chance for Fire Magic spells). Provided by:
    • Inherent Staff modifier
    • Wand Wrapping of Memory
    • Focus item inscription “Forget Me Not”
  3. Prolonged enchantments (+20% duration). Provided by:
    • Staff Wrapping of Enchanting
  4. Reduced casting time (20% chance for Fire Magic spells). Provided by:
    • Adept Staff Head
    • Focus Core of Aptitude
    • Spellcasting weapon inscription “Aptitude not Attitude”

It is easy to see that only a Staff can satisfy all the needs. This lists all the negative aspects:

  • Hale Staff of Enchanting with “Aptitude not Attitude”
    • -15 Health
      This build should always have an enchantment active during battle, so this is a decisive drawback. However, if under pressure by disenchanters or if surprised (no preparation time to cast attunements), the health bonus will prevail.
    • -2 Energy.
      Of no consequence.
  • Wand of Memory with “Aptitude not Attitude” and Focus of Devotion with “any”[1][2]
    • Enchantments won’t last longer with this combination.
      This means Elemental Attunement has to be renewed after 55 seconds (66 with 20% prolongation) and Fire Attunement has to be renewed after 65 seconds (with Glyph of Elemental Power cast beforehand, 72 seconds with 20% prolongation). Those ~8 seconds lost due to the missing upgrade could be decisive in a battle considering a typical mob fight should not last any longer than 70-90 seconds.

The discussion is as old as the game itself and with this build it doesn’t get any easier. Sorry ;-) However, considering both negative aspects of the combinations, I tend to prefer the Hale Staff of Enchanting with “Aptitude not Attitude”. It will lengthen the Enchantments and, after all, what’s 15 Health?

My builds

I maintain a small personal build archive, mainly consisting of Hero builds I constructed. It can be found on PvXwiki.

License/Legal

All my contributions on both GuildWiki and PvXwiki may be edited, copied, distributed, transmitted and adapted without attribution; this does not include any statements I do

  • on other user’s pages and
  • on any talk/discussion pages,

for which my distinct permission is needed before use of any kind. However, my statements may be cited on the same page or directly related subpages.



[1]   A non-Nightfall variant of these items could be Wand of Memory and Focus of Devotion, where the referenced suffixes must be inherent modifiers. This is obviously disadvantageous.
[2]   A unique variant of these items could be Hajkor's Flame and either Chung's Focus, Korr's Focus or Milius' Eye, where Chung's Focus is less beneficial due to inherent upkeep. There is no green equivalent for the Staff.

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