• Ascalon days

    Like so many others, my road to collecting began by admiring the beautiful items that I saw around Ascalon, Lion's Arch, and Drok's back in 2005. I hadn’t played much of the game but I loved the idea that these were rare items from parts of the world that I hoped to reach someday. Unfortunately, the items I admired most came with incredible price tags. Items like that seemed destined to stay in the hands of certain players who, I learned a little later, were around for the first ecto trader glitch. This explained a lot of the wealth disparity I was seeing but left me with two choices: give up or try any catch up. At the time, 1750e was an inconceivable amount of money -- enough to buy anything you wanted. Just as importantly, if you could put 7 stacks of ecto up in a trade window, that meant something around town. Getting my hands on 7 stacks of ectos became my first real goal.

    The education of Kromp (and making a business out of the pre-nerf 20% Rockmolder)

    I spent some time straight-up trading, trying to buy low(er) and selling high(er). Along the way, I learned from many people, but two in particular stand out. Chaos Theory Pvp (aka Shantel Melina) was always gracious enough to allow me to pick his brain, even though he was one of top shield traders in the game. The Herbalizer was also generous with his time and considerable knowledge. I consider both Chaos Theory and Herb to be my teachers and they would both eventually be invited to be officers in [PhD]. I made some progress and my inventory became shinier, but was relatively slow going. On Sept. 7, 2005, Grenth's Footprint was added to the game and with it came green items. Malinon's shield was a big seller, as were Victo's items. But Rockmolders were what made it all happen for me. The Rockmolder was (still is) a green illusion offhand with Illusion +1 (20%). What made the Rockmolder special was the 20% HSR that applied to all skills, not just Illusion spells. On Oct. 7, 2005, The Rockmolder was nerfed. After that update, all Rockmolders dropped with a 10% HSR, yet the "old" Rockmolders remained in-game. This was the niche that I found for myself. Rockmolders were (still are?) plentiful and you could buy them for 500g-1k very easily. After the nerf, I started hoarding old Rockmolders and selling them for 100k at first. Then 100k+10e, then 100k+20e, and so on. Given the number of Rockmolders around, it wasn't long until I had maxed out my gold stores and amassed the 1750e I needed to become a player. The Rockmolder market was so hot that, at some point, my brother O Kabongolina O joined the family business as Associate Sales Representative and made an impressive living, despite the predatory nature of Kromp, Inc.’s Rockmolder selling pyramid scheme. On July 13, 2006, every old Rockmolder in the game was "corrected" and the days of the 20% Rockmolder were over but a collector had been born.

    [Dark] times and the founding of [PhD]

    Around this time (mid/late 2006), I decided to focus on trading and collecting. I left The Doomsday Device, the guild I had co-founded and was co-leading with my friend Max Xavier, and joined The Brethren of Chaos [Dark], a high-end trader/collector guild co-led by Chaos Kurupter and Akhilleus Pthius. Eventually, [Dark] disintegrated for reasons that I won't get into here (or maybe I'll update this post later because the disintegration of [Dark] set the stage for the current landscape of collector guilds). When [Dark] fell apart I founded [PhD] on Jan. 12, 2008 with the simple purpose of preserving the history of the game, as manifested in its items. Because of how [Dark] fell apart and the rifts that became apparent, I decided that [PhD] would be a guild with a zero-tolerance policy on RMT, ebaying, etc. We would be a gentleman's guild -- preserving the history of the game while respecting the game enough to play it the right way. Several former members of [Dark] migrated to [PhD] and can still be seen on our guild roster, including Stza Erza (RIP), Chaos Kurupter, Jason XII, Wazza The Mighty, Rahl The Outlaw, Joe is Beastly, and others. Our success -- and the way it was obtained -- has made [PhD] the premiere destination guild for collectors throughout the game. I have many things to be proud of in Guild Wars, including whatever items I eventually post below, but the thing I am proudest of is my little guild. Thank you to all of you who wear the cape so well.

    A first peek

    With the guild's mission in mind, my personal inventory contains very little in the way of a traditional "collection". I was never out to satisfy any OCD tendencies (except in my early frenzy to collect ectos and max out my gold). My purpose in acquiring and holding items has always been to preserve distinctive items -- items that showcase the beauty and history of this game and the world we all share. There is perhaps no better example of this than Teh Axe, which allows us to peer directly back to the earliest moments of the game. You'll fine Teh Axe displayed here, together with several other top-shelf axes from my storage:


    You can see that, in addition to appreciating unconditional weapons, I’m a fan of stance axes. I’ve always been a firm believer that stance gear is the best gear for warriors (outside of unconditional weapons). With that in mind, as you scroll through the images below, you’ll find components of what I believe is the finest collection of stance-based warrior gear ever assembled. Feel free to see if you can spot them.

    Another thing that you’ll notice my preference for focused collections. Rather than creating a bulky collection filled with obligatory pieces (for the sake of completeness) or standard "collector" items (for the sake of checking off expected boxes), I set my sights on creating focused sets of items that distill the beauty and history of the game by preserving museum-quality relics. For example, here is a small set of Req 8 Magmas shields that are pre-nerf in a variety of ways:


    Just in case there's anyone seeing this who's curious about what makes these Magmas shields special:

    • Req 8 (Gold, Max) Magmas shields don't drop anymore
    • Dual reduction shields don't drop anymore
    • Max health while hexed was raised from +45 to + 60 about a billion years ago.
    • That stance Magmas is, imo, the single finest warrior shield in the game. Others may have their favorites. This is mine :heart:

    Keep an eye out for similar clues about the past as you peruse images lovingly created by our local artist. I'm sure you'll be able to tell which were homemade and which were crafted by more capable hands. Over time, more and more images will be upgraded.

    More to come. Discuss amongst yourselves.

  • where de q13s? :/

    but these are also not bad :D:thumbup:


    IGN: Mr Clean Value

    "Keep it clean!" 🧽💦

    WTB: x00g - Clean Value items - 360g Roundshield - 256g RAM-hammer - Waterwand with 20/20 Fire

  • damn... some sick items right there - disn't expect anything else tho ;)

    q8 20/20 prenerf boner, q8 20/10 cesta, q9 20/10 plat wand, q10 20/20 cesta and that q8 20/16 cesta - soooo sick! Loving it - now show us the offhands corresponding to the wands!

    I WTB all kinds of Tower Shields and Defenders. I do drop research - if you find anything remarkable or want to see the results - check the thread or send a pm!

    IGN1 Red Fireball Rusher

    IGN2 Silberner Magier

  • Red Fireball I like that req 8 20/20 pre-nerf boner as much as you do. It was a dream item for me. And I'll make you a deal. I post some offhands and you post your big red collection of big red shields. Deal? Ok deal. Here we go.

    I always liked staves more than wand/offhand combos. When I was actively buying up necro stuff, my focus was really on 20/20 staves. The wands I posted before and the offhands below were kind of incidental and accidental. Unfortunately (for me, I guess), the 20/20 staves didn't age as well as some of the other items here. When I was grabbing necro stuff, 20/20 dragon and plat staves were top shelf stuff. These days, they're overfarmed and have devolved into run-of-the-mill collector items. For that reason, I haven't included things like platinum or celestial staves. The shadow staves are here because I don't see a lot of complete sets like this one. Zodiacs and dragons are here because they're probably my favorite skins for my primary nec. The stuff that has really stood the test of time are the pre-nerf staves -- which are in southwestern quadrant, covering up Mr. Spooky's ankles and kneecaps (he's so self-conscious about his joints down there but will show his elbows to anyone who will look). Hope you enjoy.

    Blind Was My Fury The images are from a cursed filmstrip of Camille Saint-Saens' Danse Macabre. Kabong and I had an elementary school music teacher who would show this thing every Halloween. It's still as terrifying today as it was all those years ago. For anyone who might be interested, you can watch the whole thing here (warning: spooky). I recommend setting up a safe place to sleep before clicking the link. Our story begins at the stroke of midnight. You'll hear the 12 chimes from the church steeple. Soon after, we have the apparition of Fiddler Death, who orchestrates the evening's festivities. The party goes all night, until the rooster crows and the sun rises. It's awful :D



  • Once upon a time, I came out as a collector of extraordinarily large shields. At the time, it was a retirement hobby and a little bit of a joke -- something to amuse myself with whenever I found myself back in the game for whatever reason. It's bizarre to think that it's been about a decade since I picked up my first extremely heavy shield and instantly fell in love.


    Since then, I've amassed well over 100 massive shields. Here are 70-something of my favorites :heart:


    So many people have helped put this together. ObsidiaN shares my love of the big scary face shields of all kinds and his generosity is on display here. MaxBorken contributed several pieces, including that 30/-2s bladed, which is a favorite :heart:  PyroLobster tracked down that monster tower shield and was kind enough to send it my way, along with several more obscure combinations :D  Red Fireball kindly allowed a couple of unusually gargantuan red rectangular shields to end up here. After only light badgering, Purely let me give a loving home to his magnificent undead eternal. So many others have also lent a hand. Sanctus  ardunain  End and many others. And Kabong has tolerated all of it while tracking down several hefty specimens^^

  • Captain Krompdown

    Changed the title of the thread from “Captain Krompdown” to “Kromp”.
  • Really nice - what I am missing right now is the Story behind "The Axe" though. Do you remember how you got it and from who for how much? :D

    Oh, I remember.

    The Axe spent the first 2-3 years of its existence with Sir Spil, a major early collector and frequent resident of the grassy knoll in Lion's Arch. At some point, Spil quit the game completely and handed his account down to a friend. Spil's friend (whose name I won't give here) was interested in accumulating wealth for his own purposes and, with Spil's blessing, sold Spil's treasures off to collectors that Spil deemed worthy. I was fortunate enough to be one of two names on Spil's list. I came away from our several trading sessions broke but in possession of several treasures from the earliest days of the game. Jason XII -- a friend and one of my first and best officers -- however, came away with The Axe.

    Much like The Ring of Power, The Axe slowly drove Jason insane. Once he owned The Axe, the game became boring for him. He started taking all kinds of risks for no reason, maybe just trying to feel some kind of excitement again. He would put The Axe in trade windows and pull it back just before the other person took it from him. He began abusing his reputation as a trade mod and got himself in some pretty hot water. Eventually, Jason knew his days were numbered. A permaban was coming and, just before the hammer fell, he handed the axe off to "some random." Nobody knew the name of the person holding The Axe but the prevailing opinion was that Jason managed to unload it before his account was annihilated.

    There were rumors about who might be holding The Axe, but they were all dead ends. After a while, The Axe's new owner emerged. Luckily, this "random" player (whose name I also won't give) had protected The Axe. Not only that, but he also understood and appreciated the mission of [PhD] and felt that The Axe belonged with me. We discussed possible deals a few times but couldn't quite settle on anything. One day, I got myself a nice pile of marijuana, plopped myself on the couch, and convinced myself that today would be the day. The Owner and I negotiated a trade. I won't go into specifics but I will say that I handed over a trade screen full of absolutely top-tier items -- enough to be the centerpiece of a historically great collection -- in exchange for The Axe. I took the weapon out of The Captain's hand and the shield off of his arm and included those items. I gave The Owner a "grand tour" of my storage and allowed him to pick out his heart's desire, like a kid in a candy store. It hurt but it got done.

    Over time, I was able to recover some of those relics. Others are still sorely missed, but it was worth it. The Axe is not a burden to me, like it was for Jason. It is a thing of beauty and a source of both pleasure and pride. While it's true that other items might seem bland in comparison, that is a small price to pay for the pleasure of looking in The Captain's right hand and seeing the single most important item that the game has ever produced. Perfect and pristine, as it was at its creation.

  • What a riveting tale, no sarcasm intended, truly amazing.

    The Axe is truly the holy grail of items in Guild Wars.

    You and your bro always had 1 of the best collections ever assembled and i am curious what items you traded away that is still missing to this day.

  • Glad you enjoyed the tale, zxc. Sorry it made you shed a tear ^^

    Thanks for the kind words about the collective collection Kabong and I have built over the years. It's been a labor of love and a great thing to do together with my womb-mate. There will be more of it coming soon.

    In the meanwhile, I've edited my original post to include an interesting set of req 8 Magmas shields, magnificently captured by a shadowy mastermind/artist and his assistant mastermind.


  • i offer 5e plus a dedicated temple guardian for that q7 cele sword +5e.

    I bought that cele sword for 100k+35e back in the day off of Guru. Nobody beat that bid and the seller followed through, so here we are ^^

    That sword -- complete with its ribald moniker -- usually stays with Kabong's mesmer as part of the sparkliest set an old IW mez could ever hope for:


    Since I have you here, Shaya  zxc , I can answer your question about Teh Axe more directly. The item that I miss most dearly from that deal is the Req 8 15 stance crys in the shot below. Every other item in this shot either has appeared or will appear in this thread. That crys, however, has moved on. It was 1 of 7 top-shelf items to be traded in exchange for Teh Axe. Some of those items were recovered while others are sorely missed. That crys is the one that I miss the most.


    I was never a big fan of the crys skin but I miss being able to make this set. Like I said, it was 100% worth it to bring Teh Axe home. I'm not into ripping people off for their prized possessions or trying to convince them that I'm their friend so that I can get what I want from them. I had the chance to acquire a unique item and I paid a unique price. It was the right thing to do :heart:

    It's also worth noting that, even though I love this shot (for many reasons), I removed it from my collection thread because I no longer own that sword. There's a lot of weirdness going on with people posting items that they don't own (or don't own anymore) or presenting them as if they're uncustomized when they really are custo'd. It's a weird kind of lying/misrepresentation that doesn't belong in this forum. We're here to display collections, not memories or fantasies :D

    So here's a new version of that shot, along with some Req 8 trinkets that Kabong and I keep in the drawer by the door ;)


    More to come. Thanks for dropping by :*