Nicholas the Traveler – Week 30 – Guardian Moss

week-30-traveler-thumbnailOh no… it’s Swine Flu in Guild Wars… or is it Yak Flu? Professor Yakkington, the pet belonging to Nicholas the Traveler, has come down with some sort of condition. Is this a precursor to a Tyrian plague? I don’t know, it could just be some random text thrown into the box. After 30 weeks of trying to find Nicholas, maybe the developers have run out of good storylines. No, I don’t think so. Actually, I’m beginning to wonder if something deeper is going on here… something that transcends the game itself. What are you up to ArenaNet?!

Check out the official mission text…

I thought the sea air would do him some good, but the Professor here still has a case of the sniffles. He began sneezing violently as soon as I started to read aloud from my favorite book. One would think he’s allergic to literature! Hah! Wouldn’t that be something? Before this progresses into a full-fledged illness, I need to get Guardian Moss and make some medicine, but the big baby won’t let me leave his side to get it. Would you pick up 1 for me?

Sea air?! What sea air? This week, Nicholas is hanging out in Luxon territory. Those waters have been frozen solid. But two weeks ago, I made a joke about Nicholas standing in water. I also wrote a Guild Wars book. Is this a coded message to me? I’m not sure, but I am suspicious. This is consistent with ArenaNet’s modus operandi. Although, maybe I’ve been watching too many episodes of Criminal Minds. Sometimes, ArenaNet likes to acknowledge the hard work of their fans with in-game references. I’m not sure if this is the start of one. Maybe the developers got bored and they’re checking to see who actually reads their story.

How much would you pay for Guardian Moss?

Yet, this weekend’s mission showed me that there isn’t a shortage of Guild Wars fans. If you don’t believe me, there’s an experiment you can try. During the next few days, port over to Boreas Seabed. Once you’re there, try selling Guardian Moss for 5,000 gold each. That’s 1,000 gold more than the community accepted asking price. Even though it took me several days to get some extra moss, the zone grew quite hostile when I tried to sell my moss for slightly more than normal. Guild Wars gold is not that valuable to me. Often, I usually sell my extra loot to NPCs, rather than go through the hassle of trading with players. Yet, it’s obvious that Guild Wars gold is precious to a lot of players. So precious that I couldn’t sell Guardian Moss at 5,000 gold. However, I had little trouble selling it at 4,000 gold. Even though I usually don’t get involved with the Guild Wars economy, it seems to be pretty healthy and active.

The traveler is hanging out in the MaiShang Hills, but you'll probably find it easier to farm Guardian moss at the Pongmei Valley.
The traveler is hanging out in the MaiShang Hills, but you'll probably find it easier to farm Guardian moss at the Pongmei Valley.

The Traveler is hanging out in the Maishang Hills. The closest point is Eredon Terrace, but I didn’t have that unlocked. Instead, I started from Gyala Hatchery. You’ll need Guild Wars: Factions for this week’s scavenger hunt. Guardian Moss drops from Island Guardians. Unfortunately, it didn’t drop as fast as I liked. That’s when I had to get creative with my team size. If you have a large party, you have a lesser chance of getting loot. But if your party is too small, the fights take too long and you’ll probably die a lot. I had to find a nice mix of speed and safety. I went with my mini-zookeeper team. Basically, I gave pets to my heroes. This greatly increased the offense and defense of my team. It was like having a party of seven members, but only four would take loot.

The changes to Comfort Animal make this possible. It’s been changed for Player versus Enemy (PvE) missions. Instead of needing one skill to heal your pet, another skill to resurrect your pet and a third to bring your pet with you, you only need Comfort Animal. Once your pet is charmed, you don’t need the Charm Animal skill in storyline missions. It wasn’t too hard to switch my builds around to make a great team.

My zookeeper team: Ogden has a polar bear, Sousuke has a tiger, Gwen has a crane and I have a fluffy cat!
My zookeeper team: Ogden has a polar bear, Sousuke has a tiger, Gwen has a crane and I have a fluffy cat!

My Guardian Moss Farming Build:

  • Me – OgJToU2aVaXEnpphYoYAY4zj2AA
  • Ogden – OwIT0Woa1Rjc34IgEPSX8dSbAA
  • Sousuke – OgJToWma1xP7LwZNNiRx42QbAA
  • Gwen – OQJTAUxaVhrzhLY65ga72oNA

It’s not a perfect build, but it was enough to for me to be able to relax and play. When I play Guild Wars, I like to watch TV. With these three heroes (and their pets) on my team, I didn’t have to think very much. Gwen interrupts, Ogden heals and Sousuke nukes. I started out with level 5 pets. I figured that I’d level the pets up to 20 while farming for moss. Focusing on pet leveling helped to kill the monotony. It worked. I had more than enough moss by the time my pets were level 16.

As usual, the loot was less than stellar.

  • 10 Jars of Honey.
  • 10 Champagne Poppers.
  • 5 Green Rock Candies
  • 10 Champagne Poppers.
  • 10 Bottle Rockets.

While this week was a struggle, it did help me to better understand the game. I think that I have a much stronger team for Hard Mode missions. Certain maps only allow four players. With the zookeeper team, that number becomes seven. There’s a greater concern though. I realize that the need to interact with other players has been eliminated. Between heroes and henchmen, Guild Wars has essentially become a single-player game.

Should the sequel work this way? I must admit, I enjoy the simplified gaming. I don’t have to worry about my teammates doing their job. Ogden, Gwen, Sousuke… they never go AFK. (That means Away From Keyboard.) Yet, it’s the interaction with other players that makes online games more exciting and enjoyable. Aside from Player versus Player (PvP) combat, Guild Wars can be played mostly solo. If players do not have a need to group, they have less opportunity to form friendships. While that does make Guardian Moss farming less stressful, I’m not sure if it’s healthy for the state of the game. With a name like Guild Wars, should soloing truly be an option?

Perhaps there should be another weekly mission… an epic quest that requires a full team of human players, with rewards that would motivate veteran players to return to the game.

2 thoughts on “Nicholas the Traveler – Week 30 – Guardian Moss”

  1. I had an epiphany a few months ago, and I think you’ve hit on it as well. When the ArenaNet team split from Blizzard, they wanted to redesign a game that didn’t have the flaws of other MMOGs. When they designed that game, they essentially made a single player game that functioned off of an online server. While it made a fun game, all it was about was playing through a story with tactical strategies.

    I believe that with the second one, they’re trying to redesign it yet again, and make it an MMO, but simply without the grind.

    And don’t forget, pvp used to be soloable to, remember Hero Battles?

  2. I’m disappointed that Hero Battles was removed. I find the Codex Arena to be awful. As for the sequel, I’m not sure it’s going to be without grind. Plus, I think the grind is what appeals to a lot of gamers. Cutting down travel times and tedious gameplay is a good idea, but making it easy to reach the maximum level may not be harmful to an MMORPG’s popularity.

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