Thursday, August 30, 2012

Guild Wars 2 Karma Farms


I was going to make this first post-launch blog be the standard "I'm playing Guild Wars 2 and loving it!" blog, but quite frankly, if you're following me in in the most slightest of ways, you already know this.  From screenshots, to dance movies, to previous blogs from the beta, you already know that I think this game is the real deal, and so far, I have no reason to think I won't be staying for quite a long time.

So instead I thought I might make this a relatively shot blog, and make it a PSA of sorts.  One thing you learn pretty quickly as a developer (and as a player) is that in any game where you persistent progression is a part of your game play, players are incredibly good at finding the most ruthlessly efficient means to achieve that progression.  By now, you've already heard about the player that reached level 80 (the game's max level) a mere 32 hours after the game launched.  Well good on 'im.  But not everyone has the luxury of an entire guild feeding you crafting materials to catapult your way into the upper levels, so some players are looking for any edge they can get - including exploits - to easy-mode their way through the game.

And right now, the most egregious of these exploits I've seen so far are the Karma farms.  What's a Karma Farm?  Well from the ones I've seen so far, it's characterized by two things.  First, a dynamic event that repeats with too great of a frequency and at too great of a regularity - or is easily triggered by a player.  Second, the dynamic event includes hordes of mobs that are funneled through a narrowly defined area.  The result?  Players park their characters with their auto-attack enabled and firing at the choke hole.  The event fires, the waves of mobs are exterminated, players rake in money, experience, and karma.  Rinse and repeat. Indefinitely.

There are two karma farms I've come across already.  The first was at the Ulta Metamagicals outpost in Brisbane Highlands.  Players would park themselves in the tiny room with the Asura gate, pointing their auto-attacks at the gate.  You could trigger the event repeatedly, and players would do so, and rake in the experience.  I use the past tense to describe this one because as of this morning, when I went by to check on the gate, no one was there, and the NPC that triggers the event was no longer present.  I'm hopeful this means this one received enough notoriety that ArenaNet has already found and fixed it.

The second I discovered is in Kessex Hills, and as of last night, was still very much active.  This one was at the bridge west of Greyhoof Meadows, where the centaurs are funneled through the gap at the bridge.  There was a pretty big patch overnight, and we have no idea of what all went into the patch, so they might have fixed it.  At least a few people this morning hadn't got the word if they had, as there were already some afk'ers parked with their auto-attacks on.

I bring these to your attention because I want them stopped.  And the best way for them to be stopped is for people to report them.  So I describe exactly where these farms are located because I am hopeful that you will go to these locations, and while standing there, submit a support ticket.  To do so, bring up the Game Menu by hitting escape, choose Support, and then click the little bug tab.  Your location is recorded along with the ticket when it is submitted, which is why it's important to be standing at the location of the Karma farm when you submit.  And yes, I'm aware that some of you might be tempted.


It's quite likely there are plenty more of these in the game, so keep an eye out for them.  If you ever come across a crowd of people standing around firing at nothing at all, it's quite likely you've just come across another Karma Farm.  Wait around, and see if indeed, a dynamic event doesn't fire shortly, and wave upon wave isn't mowed down.  When you see one though - do the right thing.  Participate in the event.  Submit a ticket.   And move on.  These things break the game, and in the end, ultimately do far more harm than good.

Apologies if heavy-handed PSA's aren't your thing.  But I really do love this game, and as a developer, I hate seeing game-breaking exploits like these.  I'm hoping if you are enjoying the game as much as I am, you'll understand!

Until I take another blog break in a week or so, you can find me in Tyria!