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I created this entry, because at least one other entry (Miss) contains a reference to it.--Atjous 04:03, 9 August 2006 (CDT)

I removed the link to here from miss when I rewrote mainly because I'm not sure the definition given here is correct but I have very rarely seen strays occur so I don't have a good definition myself. I think what's given here isn't enough to distinguish it from dodge. You can get a "dodge" while the projectile lands very close to the character. -- 12:14, 9 August 2006 (CDT)

I have no direct means of proving my point, but it is my firm believe that dodge occurs by any action of the creature under fire (comparable with e.g. the Whirling Defense effects), whilst stray occurs simply because there is a chance to miss a target, built in the weapons statistics (especially when the creature under fire is moving). As a Ranger, I quite often observe stray messages in the game. --Atjous 04:00, 10 August 2006 (CDT)

I really don't think there's an inherent chance to miss with any weapon. Ranger is probably my least played profession, though. -- 14:05, 10 August 2006 (CDT)
i doubt i've seen more then a few strays, mostly while blind. i'm thinking "stray" is just "miss" with a ranged weapon. i have seen strays on wands thou... --Honorable Sarah Honorable Icon.gif 14:22, 10 August 2006 (CDT)
No, you still "miss" with ranged weapons. -- 14:26, 10 August 2006 (CDT)

Dodging occurs when a projectile is headed at you and you physically remove yourself from its trajectory. A Stray shot is when a projectile's trajectory was simply never destined to hit you because of a micro-miscalculation that occured at the time the projectile was fired, presumably as a result of stopping movement rather than initiating movement. It has been my experience that strays occur when an opponent dramatically changed or ended its movement at the very moment that my arrow's trajectory was to be determined.

What I'm trying to say is: if you move out of the way, you dodge; if you stop moving, and your opponent "leads" too much, it's a stray. -- 02:54, 23 August 2006 (CDT)

-> I don't totally agree with the above, I've had opponents stop and overlead me and it still counts as a dodge, the only time I've seen stray are when my arrows just are wildly off target, which seems to be random.

All stray is, is the in built characteristic of missing from time to time, like the imperfect people we are. No marksman will never fail to hit his target, human error disallows it. This is the point of stray. Guild Wars characters are not gods. Puk 13:51, 23 May 2008 (UTC)


I've never really been able to figure out what causes a stray or seen anyone else put forth a verifiable explanation/test case. The one above about stopping movement results in a dodge in my tests. So, I changed the article to just say no one knows. --Fyren 17:23, 27 January 2007 (CST)

Mechanic & Testing[]

I've devoted some time to researching the stray mechanic and put it under testing in various conditions. Here are the preliminary conclusions I've reached thus far:

  • Stray is a mechanic available only with ranged weapons (bows, spears, wands).
  • Stray is a close companion to the dodge mechanic.
  • Strays seem to occur more frequently at greater ranges, and have yet to be seen at extremely close ranges.
  • Easiest method of producing the stay mechanic is with a ranger + flatbow at the end of the range.
  • Skills such as Aegis and Guardian never produce a stray mechanic on their own.
  • It is impossible (or atleast never seen in 15 minutes of continuous testing) to produce a stray on a stationary target.
  • Strays do not occur when a target is moving consistently in a predictable, linear motion.
  • Essence Bond and Balthazar's Spirit is not triggered by a stray, but Spiteful Spirit is.
  • Attack skills can stray, and are still subject to their usual recharge.
  • Not all strays are neutered.

I'll write up an article about this when my research is complete. I say research because it sounds more credible than "screwing around." --Warwulf 15:54, 9 March 2007 (CST)

As far as I can tell, the mechanics fro stray are the same as any other way of avoiding damage (Dodge, Miss and Block) in that it counts as an attack but not a hit. The only thing that seems undetermined so far is what exactly causes a stray and what is the difference between stray and dodge.--Devils Apprentice 21:08, 4 April 2007 (CDT)

guildwiki has documented the game so well that i feel it would be a gross piece of lazyness not to come to some decision on the mechanics of "stray" I believe that there is an inbuilt chance of a miss without counter and this is it's manifestation. i have just had stray using a staff and feel that if stray is a synonym for "dodge" then guildwars would inclue the batman esq. pow and biff to hits and whoosh and "oh no!" to misses.


I hadn't gotten any strays for a few months, then got three yesterday. That got me thinking... could it possibly be linked to lag, maybe discrepencies between the server and your computer? It would explain odd spikes in strays... I don't really know how you'd test it, though. Maybe artificially increasing your latency somehow? —Aranth 14:14, 5 May 2007 (CDT)

Lag would be a very bad thing to base it on if you try and balance like a-net does... strays are like any other chance, sometimes consistent, sometimes hardly any, and sometimes there are a lot. Things I would suggest for testing strays would be more like speed the target is moving, your attack speed, if you attempt to interrupt your own shot (by moving or otherwise), your elevation higher and lower than the target, direction they are moving (away, left, right, closer), arc (links to type & speed of bow), distance, your level in the mastery of that weapon (like you rank in fire magic with a fire staff, or marksmanship with a bow), expertise. Though a stray is a defect or jerk to where the trajectory is off your target, so it would probably be misluck, if you beleive in that stuff. Someone test that stuff if it hasn't already been tried <>Spark 21:46, 8 May 2007 (CDT)
I don't mean like, the server finds out you're really laggy and makes your shots miss. I mean like, your client's data gets slightly out of sync with the server data, and mismatches are reported to you as strays, or something. —Aranth 23:24, 8 May 2007 (CDT)
Don't think so. The client is just a front-end that displays what the server says has happened. If your client's predicted "data" is out of sync, you are simply jerked back to "server reality" when the next ping hits. That's what rubberbanding is, for example. No game-affecting calculation is ever done client side, server knows all, and so, does not need to dispute the client with strays. –IshmaeelLazyeyes.pngping/peek 00:46, 21 June 2007 (CDT)

In Game Mechanic[]

As far as i can tell, ranged weapons just have a chance to "stray". As far as i can tell, it's not affected by the linked attribute, i've had pretty much the same frequency of stray at 3 marksmanship as i have with 16. It's just an in-game mechanic, as far as i can tell, unless someone can prove otherwise, i think that's what we should put into the page for this. Also, moving or not has no effect, that i can tell, i came here after shooting a non-moving target and getting a "stray". It DOES aggro monsters, but doesn't deal damage. i'm thinking it's just GW trying to be at least a bit realistic, it'd be totally ridiculous if just anyone could pick up a bow and hit an enemy 100 feet away each and every time.--Darksyde Never Again 12:11, 20 July 2007 (CDT)

I think I know what it is. If you go into the Isle of the Nameless, and you talk to that bowmaster guy, he will tell you about the different types of bows. We do not have the pros and cons of all bows documented here, but if you talk to him, I recall him saying something about longbows being "less accurate" or maybe it was flatbows. Anyway, I can't test this right now, but if anyone else can go and confirm that he talks about that, it would be greatly appreciated. Glimmer of Light.jpg The Paintballer (T/C)
I can sit still at Isle of the Nameless and shoot the dummies all day long without getting a "Stray". If I try to shoot the Master of Healing, though, I get a lot of "Miss" and "Stray". So I think it is related to motion. If a target strafes left and then strafes right, back to the exact same spot, you can still "Miss" or "Stray"...perhaps that is what you have experienced? Also, for a similar example, try shooting a Fireball at a non-moving foe like a Charr Axe get basically the same results, it aggroes them but does no damage because it "strayed". Maybe it's the same for bows sometimes? I also doubt that "certain bows are less accurate" is referring to Stray - that is talking about flight time and arc size. On the other hand, I agree that it is not affected by linked attribute. Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 02:53, 4 August 2007 (CDT)


Could it be linked to if the person was moving left or right, or running away, stray being running away? I'm going to go test that. --The Gates Assassin 16:23, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

I've seen this happen when occasionally my arrows just are wildly off target (target does not move but the arrow goes like 15 feet beside it)... I think it's randomly built into the weapon statistics or something.

It could be with long bow/Flatbows if they dodge it like that or if in mid flight you become blind.--Gates Sig.png The Gates Assassin 15:36, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Just a Thought[]

I was thinking, everytime I see a "stray" message. It's always when the foe moved immediately after the arrow was fired. If it says "dodge", the foe will have always moved just before the arrow hits. Maybe if the arrow is closer to it's launch point than to the intended target, the game counts it as a stray arrow, and if it's closer to the target than the launch point, it counts it as being "dodged". Hope that came across as clearly as I had hoped. It could be a measure of accuracy I guess. Strays show an unlucky shot, dodges show skill in terms of the player on the other side. --Powersurge360 23:56, 26 March 2008 (UTC)