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Flameseeker Chronicles: Glitching in Guild Wars 2

Last week was crazily newsy in the world of Guild Wars 2. One might even call it newsilicious. Between a look at the next handful of months, an announcement about guesting and paid world transfers, and a developer livestream about rewards, WvW, and other stuff, last week was just ridiculously full of information.

We'll be seeing the first bits of all that prophecy come into being on the 28th, when January's patch officially hits, bringing with it, among other things, guesting. The guesting announcement was fairly ill-received, due almost entirely to the news that it wouldn't work between North American and European servers. Up 'til now, you could always talk to folks from the other data center, but you couldn't actually play with them without transferring. Now you still can't play with them without transferring (and you can still talk to them), and people were really hoping we'd be able to do the whole guesting across regions thing. I'm hopeful that it will come in at some point, but I still can't see guesting as a net loss in any way.

There's a lot of digesting to do with all that news, though, so let's start things off by not talking about any of it.

I got started talking about endgame last week, and that's a topic I want to pursue. I don't really have a schedule because schedules are for other people, but it's something deserving of attention. Dungeons and stuff are cool. Lots of things are cool, actually.

Anyway, the fact that there was no schedule to begin with means I won't be deviating from it in order to bring up a particularly divisive and aggravating subject this week. I know your minds all leapt to him at the word "aggravating," but no, I'm not talking about Trahearne. I'm talking about glitching.

Specifically, I'm talking about people using broken terrain to "make a fight easier" (although I'm not sold that it actually does that) and similar un-mechanics. It's hard to do many explorable or Fractals runs without running into people who insist on jumping all over an area until they find one exploitable little vantage point.

Flameseeker Chronicles Glitching in Guild Wars 2
To clarify, I have no problem with making things reasonably easy. Cutting around a corner to break line of sight so all the golems in a room in the Crucible of Eternity ball themselves up in an obliging group for easy destruction? Fine. Ignoring side boss mechanics like the Citadel of Flame effigy's crystals in favor of raw damage output? Swell. Kiting a boss's buff-buddy away to make the boss fight simpler? Superb. But I tend to look poorly on someone asking if we want to glitch the boss or demanding that we stand on a bit of broken terrain to avoid all damage.

In a way, it's not all that dissimilar to certain mechanics. In the submarine path of CoE, for example, you can pile up on Subject Alpha and avoid most of his gnarly AoEs since he won't drop those on himself. It's kind of a way of avoiding damage, right? The difference lies in the fact that working Alpha into a corner and hugging him to death makes use of the boss's mechanics rather than breaks and negates them.

Glitching and skipping seem to go hand-in-hand in most folks' books. I'm not dead set against skipping (in fact, last week I told you to skip the bridge event in CoF, and I stand by that), but I think it's overrated. Unless your group is a well-oiled machine and you have a good idea of where your next waypoint is coming from (and feel reasonably sure that you can acquire it without in-battle deaths), skipping can lead to way more problems and lost time than it could ever save you. Making your way past skipped mobs after getting defeated is a real pain, and can lead (especially in poorly organized PUGs, which seems to be the only time that folks insist on skipping pretty much every mob but the bosses) to the total splintering of a group. Skipping also seems to lead, unsurprisingly, to a much higher likelihood of bugs.

Flameseeker Chronicles Glitching in Guild Wars 2
Let's consider, for example, Detha's path in Ascalonian Catacombs. I know that perfectly upright, virtuous folks have had Detha bug out for no reason. I've never had a bug in AC, though, until I was in a group that tried to skip some skelks and oozes right before the final room, and that bug was apparently something that the group had experienced often. We had to restart the instance twice before they gave up and just killed the darn skelks and oozes in the interest of actually completing the dungeon. So while skipping isn't, I think, inherently evil or anything, it's often just self-defeating. I'd much rather fight two "extra" groups than have to restart the entire dungeon. Haste makes waste and all that.

Anyway, back to glitching: Like skipping, it's often just plain silly. There are very few truly tedious bossfights in Guild Wars 2 (here's lookin' at you, Nightmare Tree), and those that are seem to be the ones that can't be glitched. As a result, I see folks trying to use broken terrain and get-him-stuck-in-a-pillar glitches on fights that aren't actually all that long or challenging if done normally. The fight with the Howling King takes a few minutes (if that) and poses no real threat to a reasonably competent group, but some folks I partied with the other day insisted on using terrain he couldn't path to. (Two notes there. One, that was not the most auspicious introduction to, which I have heard great things about but have thus far used only to meet with failure and disappointment. Two, getting kicked from an instance of which you are the owner is a particularly delightful source of amusement.)

It's unnecessary. I mean, I know I'm likely some sort of Lawful alignment, so maybe I'm being obtuse about this, but I'm really one of those "the journey is the destination" people. Why make fights boring just so you can squeeze more boring fights into a play session?

I'm sure it has nothing at all whatsoever to do with "more boring fights," but I'm suddenly reminded that I'd like to talk about the Claw of Jormag next week.

Anyway, good luck to those of you who are swapping servers and looking for a new permanent home!

Elisabeth Cardy is a longtime Guild Wars player, a personal friend of Rytlock Brimstone, and the writer of Flameseeker Chronicles here at Massively. The column updates on Tuesdays and keeps a close eye on Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, and anything bridging the two. Email Elisabeth at

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