Guild Wars World ChampionshipInterview: European Regional Champions - The Valandor
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ArenaNet: Who in your guild designs the team builds you use, or is it a group effort?

The Valandor: Our build choice is usually based on someone's idea. It then evolves through testing and usually ends up with something quite different than the original idea. It is quite an odd process, really, and each build has a different story behind it.

ArenaNet: How much time do you guys spend practicing together?

The Valandor: We typically don't practice very much--around 10 hours per week, mostly on weekends. However, when something big is coming up, we try to increase our practice time. The weekend before playoffs includes basically only eating, sleeping and "GW Smile."

ArenaNet: Does the guild usually use the same core players for all of its competitive matches, or do you switch out often?

The Valandor: We have 14 members, of which one is taking a break and one is in the army. The rest of the members are pretty much the core, which all take part in competitive matches.

ArenaNet: Is there anything special you do to prepare for a big event like the Regional Playoffs?

The Valandor: In tournament style of play you can take advantage of designing builds for specific Guild Halls. So we get to know our opponent's builds and Guild Halls. Then we design and tune our builds to better fit their strategies.

ArenaNet: What guild do you think is your biggest competitor heading into the World Championships in Taipei?

The Valandor: Most likely War Machine, even though EviL plays extremely well, too.

ArenaNet: What guild's performance has surprised/impressed you the most during the Regional Playoffs?

The Valandor: War Machine. We knew they would be good, but not that good. I really had my money on EviL's side during the WM vs. EviL match. EP, on the other hand, was a bit of a disappointment.

ArenaNet: What was the guild's philosophy behind choosing the builds that they have run so far?

The Valandor: Builds are usually chosen based on the Guild Hall in which we expect to play the game. Then we make small adjustments to it based on what we think our opponent might play.

ArenaNet: Did you choose your build to play to your team's strength, or what you felt was your foe's weakness?

The Valandor: On playoff games we had few tricks that worked against certain guilds, but in Taipei we have to concentrate on our own strong areas. It is hard to find weak spots you can use when you play against the best guilds in the world.

ArenaNet: What character types do each of you prefer to use and why?

The Valandor: Monks and Warriors are usually played by people who are most familiar with that profession, but everyone can play any class if needed.

ArenaNet: What is the one mistake you see other guilds make the most?

The Valandor: They don't pay enough attention the larger scale of things in the match. In a team game you need to have as much information available to you as possible. What is the situation with our flag? Where is the opponent's flag runner? Where is the rest of enemy team if I only see five of them in my radar? etc. Guilds that fail to relay this information between their players are easily shaken by split team strategies.

ArenaNet: Do you see a different play style between guilds from different regions of the world?

The Valandor: Koreans tend to prefer self-sufficient characters for better adaptability. Europeans and Americans rely more on strategies where the whole team works as one unit.

ArenaNet: What skill(s) do you think are underused by other guilds and why?

The Valandor: Self-healing skills like Healing Signet and Troll Unguent are very unpopular among European and American guilds. Even though these skills are very powerful, people are obsessed by thinking that healing is only reserved for monks.