With the latest game update last night (you can read the full update notes here) came the usual server reset. Once things were back online I waypoint hopped around the map a bit to finally lock in a few of the skill challenges that were gumming up the map completion works for the past couple of weeks. Afterwards, I made my way to Cursed Shore to gather some crafting materials and, sure enough, the node spawns were in new locations again.
As I fought my way across what is arguably one of the most difficult maps to traverse in the game, I had to deal with the joys of having creatures trained on me over and over again by players in too much of a rush to gather from the same nodes I was fighting my way to. This form of passive griefing runs rampant on Sorrow’s Furnace, Team Hammer’s current home world, starting at Fort Trinity and leading straight into the heart of Orr.
In fact, Straits of Devastation may be the worst offender when it comes to player etiquette flying out the window and exploding in a noxious cloud like an undead Orrian chicken. With no renown tasks to complete from that point onwards, many players on my home world transform from a helpful social group to a pack of hyperactive grade schoolers who had too much sugar in the cafeteria during lunch.
Head into the Straits at any time on a given day on Sorrow’s, and /map chat is filled with two things:
1. Players asking where the zerg is
2. Players in said zerg spazzing out at anyone who attempts to do a dynamic event without their express permission on the western end of the map.
Paired with the compulsory bee lines people make to any skill challenges, gathering nodes, or vistas on these final maps, the absolute lack of social consciousness showcased by many players can lead to an alarmingly unpleasant endgame experience.
The Elder Dragons are the Enemy, Not Your Fellow Players
For those of you following the story in Guild Wars 2, you know that an overarching plotline is uniting the races of Tyria to defeat a common enemy. By the time you reach Orr, plans are set in motion and enacted through both your personal story and the story mode dungeons to achieve the unified goal of defeating Zhaitan.
Yet, when it comes to the player base, the exact opposite has held true. We start out being helpful, working together to complete events, and reviving the fallen along the way. Gradually the social niceties fall by the wayside until you reach a point where the player base is fighting against itself rather than uniting to achieve a common goal.
For example, the leading cause of death on my level 80 necromancer is having mobs trained on me by another player who can’t be bothered to stop and fight things they agro while making a beeline to the closest gathering node or skill challenge location. Perhaps even more unsettling is that, once defeated, I’ll watch countless characters scamper by without slowing down to assist with a revive.
Gamer Etiquette 101
Playing nice with others is one of the first things may of us are taught in kindergarten, or whenever our first major social interactions beyond the confines of family begin as children. It’s a shame that in modern culture, this is seemingly never factored into how we conduct ourselves in the largely anonymous settings that online worlds like Guild Wars 2 provide.
While I know I’m not going to sway public opinion here, I do think it worth taking a few moments to encourage better player etiquette at the endgame in GW2. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. If you see another player fighting their way to a skill challenge, stop to help them out. Don’t rush past and force them to deal with extra mobs just so that you can unlock a skill point 30 seconds faster.
2. Stop to revive defeated players. The gathering nodes aren’t going anywhere in the meantime, and you’ll even get a nice XP reward in the process assuming all you’re concerned with is personal gain for time invested.
3. Don’t expect other players to “follow the zerg” to farm karma from the same three events over, and over again just because it’s currently the popular thing to do. In other words, if a group of players wants to actually experience other endgame content, let them.
Pro Tip: If you enjoy zerging to farm karma, jump into WvW sometime. The karma gained for time spent is far superior to what you’ll find in Straits of Devastation, not to mention that you’ll be doing yourself a favor by helping to unlock world perks the more you contribute.
We’re In This Together Now
Guild Wars 2 is a game about working towards common goals in a shared, social environment. This is true of all aspects of the game, with reward systems in place to add positive reinforcement into the mix. Discouraging players through disruptive or inappropriate behaviors at the endgame will only harm the longevity of the game itself. If you want GW2 to continue to thrive into the future, keep that in mind the next time you see a downed player, or go out on your daily gathering runs.
Given the serious tone of the message Sardu is trying to get across today, I decided to save the deep thought I had originally planned to run with for later. Instead, sticking with the theme of today’s Waypoint, I present the extended cut of the Nine Inch Nails video for We’re In This Together. If you watch closely, some of the imagery has an eerie similarity to things Sardu describes above.