Guild Wars: Whack-A-Wurm – The Path of the Survivor

Imaging that you’re a farmer. It’s been a good season for you. Your wagon is filled to the top with delicious foods. As you travel to the market, you see a fork in the road. To the left is the low road. It is a long path that goes around a mountain. To the right is a path that is much shorter. It spirals alongside the mountain. One slip on the quick path and all your goods could be lost, you might even lose your life.

The decision: The Easy Path or The Quick Path?

Which path would you take? In Guild Wars, while fighting for the Survivor title, a similar decision teases TANK. On my way to Kilroy’s Punchout quest I stumbled upon an easier way to the Survivor title. It’s totally fail-safe. Seriously… if setup correctly… I don’t see how you could die.

While running along a snowy path in the Eye of the North expansion, a Snow Wurm popped out of the ground. Oh how cute… it reminds me of Pre-Searing. When you think about it, killing a Snow Wurm is like clubbing a baby seal. Snow Wurms are fairly harmless. Their attack power is low and they’re not aggressive. Even more odd, they’ll pop back into the ground in the middle of a fight. When a Snow Wurm returns, it doesn’t maintain hostility. They’re such forgiving creatures. On a path not too far from town, there was over a dozen Snow Wurms. It was easy experience. I was soloing level 20 monsters at level 12. SOLO – no henchmen, no heroes.

Playing Whack-A-Wurm is not what I imagined as the path to victory.
Playing Whack-A-Wurm is not what I imagined as the path to victory.

With the Journey to the North buff, Snow Wurms didn’t have a chance. I was getting a huge experience point bonus for slaying monsters above my level. With roughly a few hours of fighting, TANK reached level 18. That’s when I started to wonder. Is this how I want to win? This really wasn’t a fight. It was a slaughter. The experience bonus was slowing down. I started to do some quick calculations. Did I really want to kill approximately 13,000 Snow Wurms to get the 1,337,000 experience points?

They pop back into the ground, slowing things down, but the average time per kill was about 1-2 per minute. That estimate includes the time to reload the map and running back to the Snow Wurm spot. Could I endure up to 217 hours of Wurm killing? I knew that if I could make it through Kilroy’s Punchout, I’d complete the title in much less time. Yet, I also knew that the risk was much greater.

When I picture a true survivor, I can imagine some one who’s alone in the mountains — eating worms! Yet, this is TANK. Is that how he would max out the Survivor title? I decided to reach level 20, with a full set of armor, before I made my decision.