Sweepers and supporters

There are many different kinds of roles. Some people want to push their way to the front, to be pack leaders. Others are content staying wherever they are based on how people rush around them.


A very kind lady once described to me the concept of a “sweeper”. In the navy (I think), the two most important people were the leader and the sweeper. The leader’s role was obvious: to head the group, to issue commands, to keep everyone organised and disciplined and so forth. But not everybody realised that the sweeper had an important role: while all eyes were on the leader, the sweeper would be at the back of the group, making sure no one got left behind. She told me that they always chose someone with great compassion to be the sweeper, and that I had chosen that role willingly.


Through my recent exploits in Guild Wars 2, I’ve done some thinking about what sort of character build I wanted to create. At first I went with the tried and true philosophy of being able to do large amounts of damage per second (DPS) so that I could kill enemies before they killed me. After a while though, I realised I didn’t want to play this kind of build, nor was my character suited to it. Instead I created a build that took take large amounts of damage while applying boons to those around me. My philosophy was that I would draw the aggression of the enemy, weathering the blows and supporting my team as they took it down on my behalf. I also went with the (uncommon) build of being a healer, resurrecting people at a faster rate, rather than having a higher DPS or another popular skill set. I particularly enjoy mega-events where world bosses kill players by the dozen, and while I might appear to be on the front lines as an attacker, my secret role is to get everyone back on their feet before they taste death.


At the end of the day, I am much happier floating around in the background, working behind the curtains to make sure things go smoothly. I do not usually like drawing attention to my work. Instead, I draw a quiet satisfaction from seeing it done without anyone realising who did it.

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