Guild Wars 2: The nightmare train

Night1This past weekend, I became part of the train.  The Queensdale champion train.  No ticket to ride, just a familiarity with routine, rules, and waypoints.

For the few of you who aren’t aware of this, folks in Guild Wars 2 figured out a way to endlessly farm a string of constantly spawning champions.  Because it’s a low-level zone, the champs aren’t that tough at all, and because Guild Wars 2 auto-levels you down and gives you loot appropriate for your real level, you can get some decent stuff from it.

The reason I hopped on board the train, as it’s called, was to finish a few dailies while working on my 75-champion monthly.  Also, it’s sometimes just relaxing and fun to farm stuff in a group.  I have no problem with this.  In fact, farming mobs as part of a large group has become one of my favorite activities in Guild Wars 2, from the labyrinth during Halloween to Scarlet Briar’s zone invasions.  It’s a low-stress group activity that can be pretty profitable.

But the Queensdale champion train is a sore point of contention in our guild and elsewhere.  The issue is that people in the train get really, really, really sensitive to anyone outside of the train killing (“sniping,” as it’s put) champions.  For them, it screws up the rotation and robs the greater group the reward.  For them, there’s this logic of, “If you want to kill champions, you should just come with us.”

For them, there’s this almost paranoid jealousy of the champion mobs.  They belong to the train, you see.  And you will face the train’s mouthy wrath if you dare steal one of THEIR champs.  The twisted logic that some of the members of the train use when they get into shouting matches is just laughable.  It’s hard to defend the fact that, for the world, you’re acting like a little kid who thinks that all of the toys in the nursery belong to him or her.  I guess there’s a part of some people that never grows up.

This mentality is a little toxic — and not to mention stupid.  Does it have to be said that the game is for everyone?  That people can play the way that they want to?  That when it comes to landscape content, there are no “dibs?”  That life will go on if a champion is sniped and that respawns will, indeed, happen?  That everyone should take two fat chill pills and call their shrink in the morning?  That perhaps lowbie characters have more of a right to the zone than others, if you really want to get down to it?

Last night this argument was raging across map chat — which is another downside to the train, since it turns this newbie zone into a high-level whine/flame fest — and a few of us in the train were calling for calmness.  That did not go over well.  “That’s just what someone who snipes would say!” one petulant Guardian said.  “Um, I’m *in* the train,” came the ignored response.  I lent my voice in support of sanity, but the ALL CAPS SOCIETY was in full force against such reason.

There’s just this fascinating mob mentality going on here in which the train assumes that all courtesy is due to them, but they owe it not one whit to other players.  I’m sure the studio could rejigger the zone so that farming here is no longer that profitable and people will look elsewhere and leave the lowbies alone.  But for the time being, the train continues, for all of the good and bad that it brings.

18 thoughts on “Guild Wars 2: The nightmare train

  1. If only there were larger group mechanisms, or “raids” if you will, to help large groups coordinate better, invite the stray players who may not even be aware of things.

    No, Guild Wars 2’s method of handling open world content is the right one in every case.

    In case the sarcasm is missed, the game is broken as a multiplayer game.

  2. They should really lower the loot to what the zone is. At least then the flaming will only happen at the Frostgorge and Orr trains, away from the eyes of people in the free trial periods. 😛

  3. I have come to the conclusion that the mouthy will simply be mouthy. Same mapchat obnoxiousness can happen at Scarlet invasions or at Tequatl.

    It’s normally just a few, they can oftentimes be drastically wrong but CONVINCED they’re right (in strategies, fer example) and their opinion isn’t generally shared by a good many on the map who would prefer they just shut up.

    They never do.

    The distributed wisdom of crowds seems to get things done despite them, more or less.

  4. These champ trains are ridiculous. I understand it can be good to get your monthly finished and to get some loot.
    But indeed, don’t start throwing profanity at people just because they ‘broke the circle’.
    I’ve been annoyed with this train from day 1 and I truly hope anet will change a few things so it’s no longer possible.

  5. I wouldn’t mind a lowering of loot to match the zones to dissuade this. Aside from personal completion chests, that is. I mean, I have tailoring as a crafting skill, but have completely outleveled zones that drop armor made of cloth… so now getting lower level cloth is significantly more difficult. It wouldn’t be if the mobs dropped level-appropriate armor.

    As for mob mentality… well, it’s mob mentality. Trying to enforce sanity in mobs is equivalent to stopping a train with a slingshot. Its what makes the age-old statement “If everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you?” funny, as the answer in mob mentality is ‘yes’.

  6. On Scarlet invasions Mouthy is absolutely convinced things are failing now because of “farming” and “sure guys, just zerg harder”, despite a lack of observed zergs when waypoint jumping at each wave change or local dynamic event completion.

    Mouthy will be mouthy as Jeromai said above.

    Given how dead many zones feel at times, squelching Mouthy may be counterproductive. At least it’s an active map chat, as long as it mostly stays civil or at least non-abusive, I’m fine with it.

  7. That train should go somewhere else, such as the frozen land of ice. Leave the lowbie land to lowbies.

    I do think people should refrain from killing outside the train. Disrupting the loot for a few loudmouths isn’t much of a loss. However, the trains are filled with polite players who are just along for the ride. They’re losing out as much as the loudmouths. Their flow is disrupted and if the train ends up jumping over the dead champion, they may find themselves missing out on an entire loop if they don’t see what has happened.

    In fact, we should be thankful that someone raises their voices about the so-called sniping. A new player may have no idea of the train. This means that they may unwittingly disrupt it or never be aware, and therefore miss out on a potentially beneficial activity. That said, being a dick about it isn’t a good way to retain new players.

  8. The Champ trains behave the same in all zones I’ve seen them using. I’ve also seen competing trains form in the same zone and try to outdo each other. The whole thing is a farce, which about sums up GW2 these days. I have no expectation that anything will improve. The whole game is turning into a Three Stooges version of Lord of the Flies.

  9. Sounds like the perfect event for a griefer! *rubs hands together evilly* If I were so inclined. >.> There’s nothing quite like taking something away from someone who feels entitled to it. It’s kind of strange, considering most things in GW2 (including mob kills) are not scarce resources. I think that might increase the sense of entitlement of the train members, though.

    @Zipster I don’t think that an “improved” raid system such as you advocate would help in this situation, since I imagine that the stray players would be “kill steeling” from the train regardless of how organized the train itself might be.

  10. I know this isn’t anything to do with GW2 but the whole idea of a ‘Train’ is alive and well in FFXIV:ARR with the FATE grind parties, going from one fate to another for massive xp and the whole griefing thing is very evident in one fate in particular (anyone who has played FFXIV from about level 45 will know what I am talking about) there is this part when a group or groups can stand in the same area spamming aoes while the mobs keep spawning so massive xp and massive chains can be achieved (unless certain mobs are killed to fast forward the fate to the next phase) the person or persons that kill these mobs will be considered public enemy number one if the first phase is ended too soon, seriously I have seen death threats in the chat channels for player(s) who do this, and its all kind of sad really. Its not really an exploit in the game but more of a ‘oh if we just stay here we can get loads of xp’ kind of thing, and it has become the norm for players going from the early to mid 40’s to 50 in the game.

    Just think its really sad that people resort to death threats or just generally being a dick to people like that.

  11. I haven’t ran into anyone that goes off on people who sometimes snipe a champ or 2 from the train in they were passing by or needed to complete the event for some reason. However, the champ train in Queensdale isn’t always to blame as well. I have seen people in map chat just join into Queensdale and yell “F*** THE TRAIN” and proceed to have a small group’s sole purpose to screw the rotation of the train. I understand why people get upset when the train rotation gets confused since it’s kind of a mindless activity with a nice rhythm and then someone hits the wrong note and everything goes wrong. I haven’t come across a mouthy train myself, but it does suck that they exist. Then again, the fact that people go out of their way just to mess up the train isn’t a nice gesture either. This is why I prefer the Frostgorge Sound champ train a lot more when it is up. More loot, less interruptions, unfortunately its a bit more hectic around the map and not as easy of a circle.

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