Henchman skill bar contest
We've listened to the voices of many players and are removing heroes from Guild vs. Guild and Heroes' Ascent play. In order to give all players the ability to participate in those formats (even if they can't form a full party with other players), we're replacing heroes with a selection of new henchmen.
Do you have ideas for great, competitive henchmen skill bars? Enter your best skill bars in our Henchman Skill Bar Contest!
During August and September, 2009, ArenaNet ran a contest that allowed players to submit skill bars for the henchmen that would soon replace heroes in Guild versus Guild and Heroes' Ascent. Players could submit their skill bars to Dizhou [Xunlai Pollster] in the Great Temple of Balthazar. Out of over 30 000 entries, the Guild Wars Live Team selected forty skill bars that the new henchmen would use.
Forty winners (twenty GvG winners and twenty HA winners) will receive one of each of the following prizes:
- Name a henchman; a henchman named after the winner's character or an appropriate name of the winner's choosing. Names must abide by the Naming Policy and are subject to the approval of the Development Team.
- Everlasting Henchman Tonic; one Everlasting Henchman Tonic. These unique items will grant the winner the ability to temporarily transform into the image of the henchman that they are named after.
Guild versus Guild winners
|Henchman||Skill Bar Submitter||Skillbar||Henchman||Skill Bar Submitter||Skillbar|
|Pudash||"I Will Win Ff"||
||Dirk Shadowrise||"Dark Rising Shadow"||
|Dahlia||"Leet T H E O R Y"||
||Vincent Evan||"A Papaya In There"||
|Disenmaedel||"This Is Trigger"||
||Luzy Fiera||"Luzy Of Fire"||
|Errol Hyl1||"Etron In Vitro"||
||Motoko Kai||"Mala Aurora"||
|Lulu Xan||"Lulu Xan"||
|Tannaros||"Tannaros Tower Rush"||
||Kah Xan||"Saint Reapers Sin"||
|Cassie Santi||"Cassie Santiago"||
|Redemptor Frohs||"Sacred Wolfy"||
||Zen Siert||"Zen Si Ert"||
|Julyia||"Il Juliya Il"||
||Blenkeh||"Aria Of Nerf"||
||Aurora Allesandra||"Aurora Alessandra"||
- This henchman was initially named Etron, but was changed to Errol Hyl in the November 19, 2009, update.
Heroes' Ascent winners
|Henchman||Skill Bar Submitter||Skill Bar||Henchman||Skill Bar Submitter||Skill Bar|
|Teena the Raptor||"Tiny Tina"||
||Hobba Inaste||"Our Guild Is Leet"||
|Lora Lanaya||"Iarwain De Llanowar"||
||Bacchi Coi||"Bacchikoi Bacchikoi"||
|Adepte||"Adepte De La Guerre"||
|Haldibarn Earendul||"Haldibarn Earendul"||
||Rollo Lowlo||"Rolol Lololol"||
||Fuu Rin||"Pnoy Pride"||
|Syn Spellstrike||"Syn Spellstrike"||
||Nuno||"Hi Captain Obvious"||
|Divinus Tutela||"Leet Noobified"||
||Alsacien||"Le Boucher Alsacien"||
||Uto Wrotki||"Uto Pro"||
||Khai Kemnebi||"Khai Kemnebi"||
|Erick||"Eric The Devistator"||
Many players were upset by the outcome of the competition. The primary reasons were a result of a perceived disconnect between final results and what some players expected, based on a plain reading of the stated rules (and clarifications made by ANet employees).
- Originality: The original rules called for originality. In particular, Martin Kerstein (an ANet community representative) stated, "We do ...not [want] some niche meta builds" and "[c]ommon gimmick builds are not very likely to be picked". (source)
- However, the majority of the winning builds were part of the existing or then-recent metagame (either in GvG or Heroes' Ascent).
- Many of the bars were hosted on one or more build sites, notably PvXwiki. (These can be compared at the talk page for Regina Buenaobra's Journal.)
- In response, others have argued that there are relatively few excellent choices for henchmen builds: there are only so many ways to arrange an effective bar given the limitations of the AI, the small number of truly superior skills, and the fact that the builds were "not meant to replace human players". (ibid.)
- Effectiveness: Critics also have said that the game's AI cannot use some of the selected builds effectively. They pointed out that Kerstein also said, "we do want robust, general purpose builds...".(ibid.)
- For example, skills such as "Make Haste!" and Song of Concentration were arguably unsuited for use by any AI.
- ANet defended these choices by stating there was the possibility that the AI would be "tweaked" to improve performance with these builds. Critics responded by pointing out that the live team is too small to commit to the large amount of work required to update the AI.
- AI in PvP: The contest also reignited the debate over the use of any AI in Player vs. Player gameplay. Many players consider the use of henchmen or heroes to devalue the experience of competition for players, particularly those who have earned some skill. These critics concede that replacing heroes with henchmen was a step in the right direction, but they point out that true PvP requires the removal of any NPCs.
- Official rules and conditions
- Contest winners
- GvG contest winners
- HA contest winners
- Martin Kerstein's guru post about selection criteria
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Henchman skill bar contest