TANK – The Legendary Survivor (Again)

It took longer than expected, but my Ranger is now a Legendary Survivor. There were many failed attempts. Regaining the survivor title was one of my New Year’s Resolutions. That’s why I started one attempt on 1/1/2010.  I failed. I started again on 1/11/2010. I failed again. But on 1/14/2010, I started a successful run. By 1/16/2010, TANK had 1,337,500 experience points and one maxed out title. It wasn’t about the journey. It was about the destination – 100% pure grinding. The focus was on speed. Once at Gunnar’s Hold, I jumped from level 11 to 15 in mere minutes. I had been there before, but this time I was extra careful to prevent link deaths or knockouts.

Unfortunately, I don’t control random events. There was nothing stopping a random blackout or loss of Internet connectivity. What I could do was limit my exposure. At first, I thought about the Snow Wurms. At the beginning of the first Eye of the North combat zone, there are a bunch of Snow Wurms. They can be killed easily, with ZERO risk of death. That’s right, if done correctly, it’s impossible to die. The Snow Wurms don’t attack at range. Since they can’t move, I could simply shoot them down with my longbow. It was incredibly boring.

While I had failed several attempts before, I decided to return to Kilroy’s Punch-Out Extravaganza. I’d be punching Dwarves again. But this time, I would level up as fast as I could. I figured that if I was quick enough, I could get through before my Internet connection decided to flake out. I also played AOL Radio in the background. I’m not sure why, but this seemed to be a good cover for my Internet connection. By maintaining a constant stream of data flow, I felt that my computer was a priority on the network. And if my connection was starting to fail, I would hear it right away. I would often check for a red Guild Wars indicator icon, signifying poor ping times. I also used the -perf option to display data transfer rates. If the number dropped to zero, I knew I was in trouble.

With a quick glance to the bottom right of my screen, I'd check for Internet connectivity.

At one point, my connection did seem a little choppy. I was pressing buttons, but punches were not being thrown. I had learned from previous attempts on what not to do. Previously, I tried closing Guild Wars. That didn’t work. My character still died. Another time, I tried porting over to my Guild Hall. That usually worked for me, but it was too cumbersome and a little slow. On one failed attempt, porting over to my Guild Hall wasn’t instant. On my most recent attempt, I felt that a faster escape would be necessary. I believe that F12 and then “C” is the safest and quickest way to disconnect from Guild Wars. In a split second, I can drop out of the game and go to the character select screen. There’s no fumbling with the mouse, no virtual buttons to click, just two lightning strikes on the keyboard… tap… tap… I’m out.

A quick exit wasn’t the only reason for recent success. I was using a lot of experience boosting scrolls… A LOT! I was using so many scrolls that I emptied the inventory of Slayer’s Insight Scrolls… twice. Normally, I like to level without the use of scrolls. I would usually save my gold for lockpicks, guild hall upgrades or title farming items. Not this time. I was beginning to get depressed. When I saw 24 hours of progress lost, I realized that was a day of my life… gone. I could not allow this loop of failure to continue indefinitely. The Survivor title was preventing me from enjoying the game. I like to play Guild Wars while watching TV, or to relax. It wasn’t like that with the Survivor title. It demands too much focus. Besides, the loot was better than average. With three white dyes and one black dye, I had plenty of gold for scrolls.

For speed leveling with Kilroy, I recommend one of two scrolls…
(NOTE: This is in NORMAL MODE, not HARD MODE.)

  • Scroll of Slayer’s Insight – Your party gains 250% XP from combat. Slayer’s Insight ends if your party fails to kill a boss for 5 minutes.
  • Scroll of Berserker’s Insight – Your party gains triple XP from combat. Berserker’s Insight ends if your party fails to kill a foe for 30 seconds.

The Lightbringer scrolls are just too expensive. It only takes about seven minutes to clear the area of Stone Summit Dwarves. Instead of spending 3000+ for one Lightbringer scroll, you could pick up two Slayer’s Insight scrolls for about 1700 gold. If you’re quick enough, you’ll only need one Slayer’s Insight scroll to get through Fronis Irontoe’s Lair. If you want a 300% XP bonus, you could use the Berserker’s Insight scroll. One scroll could easily last through most of the map, if you can keep Kilroy the killstealer under control.

TANK has achieved the title Legendary Survivor.

Just like the first time I completed the title track, completing my goal was anti-climactic. I tried celebrating in Gunnar’s Hold, but the players seemed preoccupied. Perhaps they were enjoying the Eye of the North faction bonus weekend. Even my melted snowman didn’t get much of a reaction…

The irony - Celebrating the Survivor title by disguising myself as a dead snowman.
The irony - Celebrating the Survivor title by disguising myself as a dead snowman.

I’m not sure which title I’ll focus on next, but I feel good about my accomplishment. Back in the days of Guild Wars Alpha / Beta, I started out as a Ranger. Now, just shy of six years, I’ve come full circle. My main character is a Ranger once again.