Late Sunday evening, a guild member asked for help in transporting 30ish trade packs from Hellswamp to Solzreed. The problem with large transport out of Hellswamp is that the Specialty workstation is inland. Unless you have property in Hellswamp, which is a PVP enabled zone, there’s nowhere to stage large expeditions. You have to craft the trade packs one by one and get them out to the coastline before they can be placed on a ship. This means running a Farm Cart brigade, if your guild is fortunate enough to have that many, and we do. *Smile*
Trade Packs out of Halcyona, Cinderstone and Hellswamp pay well but can only be safely transported when those regions go into peace. When that happens, players who craft those items descend on the region like locusts. It’s a mad dash to get in and out before it flips back to PVP. Our guild arrived en masse with farm carts. For me, it was the first time transporting out of the area. I tend to avoid it and Cinderstone like the plague. Dodging the PVP war times in Halcyona are more than enough for me.
Farm Carts don’t like Hell-Swamp
None of us, including the guild member we were helping had ever transported goods out of Hellswamp. He did have the presence of mind to send someone on a mount to find the best path out to the sea. Unfortunately, things that looked innocuous on a mount were quite the opposite for a caravan of farm carts. We waited for the intel to come back on which route to take out of the area then lined up for an organized exit.
Vehicles in ArcheAge recognize various types of terrain. They can get stuck on bumps and not so steep inclines. They also reduce speed in mud and water. Hellswamp. Hell. Swamp. Mud. Water. It might as well have been quicksand. The base speed of the farm cart is 4 m/s up to 6 m/s with eco fuel. Even with eco fuel, which only some of us had, we were moving .04 m/s. POINT OH FOUR M/S through mobs. Yeah that’s right, level 35 to 40 mobs on your cart while you’re basically crawling and racing the clock on peace time.
Seconds after we drove down the mountain side, away from the Specialty Workstation where they packs were crafted, we were faced with a trek through swampy aka muddy terrain. As the farm carts hit the mud one by one, gradually grinding to a halt, the people in the back started asking why the hell we were stopping. Uh not stopping. No, driving through molasses and being attacked on both sides of the muddy fucking path.
The hilarity of it was gut busting. I could hardly talk for laughing so hard at the spectacle we were becoming. Players were stopping alongside wondering, “What the fuck are these fools doing?” A few helped by killing mobs for us. Eventually those of us with AOE came our senses and stopped our tortoise like progression long enough to cast a few AOE spells. Anytime there was a stretch of green grass we’d head toward it for a few milliseconds of driving at normal speed.
Wonky Zoning Physics
Finally, we reached the coast! After winding down a very narrow path along the side of a mountain –a huge thrill for those of us with a fear of heights, we reached the sea. Whew! Anti, the guild member we were helping, got off his farm cart and summoned his Merchant ship. The inlet itself was narrow but was more than wide enough to accommodate the ship EXCEPT for the fact that there were rocks on both sides. Really unfortunate we didn’t notice that while loading up the damn thing.
It wasn’t until we finished loading and the captain attempted to back out that we encountered dilemma number two. His attempts to turn in such a way that the back of the ship was in more water, the front of the ship breeched the invisible zoning wall into the nearest zone which WAS BACK IN WAR. And the front of the ship got stuck on the other side of the inlet in shallow water. Sweet baby … The ship itself and all the cargo on board, was now in a PVP war zone. Not good, definitely not good.
At first we’re calm about the situation until a red player arrived and lingered. Time to worry. We attempt more drastic maneuvers. I get on Fannel’s Clipper and harpoon the front of the Merchant ship and pull it forward, trying to help dislodge the back of the ship. Simultaneously, another Clipper is ramming the back of the ship too.
More reds show up while we’re doing this and have become spectacle part deux. It’s okay to panic now ‘cuz we’re fucked if shit goes down here. Most of us also have packs on their backs which greatly diminish your movement speed. You’re little more than a baby seal waiting for a clubbing with trade pack on.
Other guild members listening to our shenanigans on TeamSpeak arrive to help. Some start unloading the ship back into farm carts just in case. Moving them back on to the shore would put us and the trade packs, back into Hellswamp’s peace time. I leave Fannels clipper and summon my own to start ramming the front of the Merchant ship. Daedlock’s doing the same. Killset is pulling in his clipper from the other side. Now we have 4 Clippers trying to get the damn thing dislodged while the others are scurrying to unload it. I keep watching my back because I’m on the war time side, Halcyona side, of the inlet.
It’s not clear if the reds can tell for sure what’s happened. You’d have to target the ship or board it to realize it’s in a wonky zoning issue and no longer considered to be in Hellswamp’s peacetime waters. For all we know they’re just watching and thinking, “These are some dumbasses here.” We have guild members on the beach bracing for a fight just in case, when suddenly the Merchant ship starts rocking. Huzzah! A couple more rams and tugs from Clippers and she breaks free of the rocks. Killset’s clipper is able to pull the front of the ship, turning it toward open water. We quickly reload the ship and get the hell out of Hellswamp, with a few minutes to spare on the peacetime count down. Good grief and thanks be to …!
Bad Luck for you. Good Times for Us!
Just as we finished unloading Anti's trade packs we saw a "red" merchant ship in route to Two Crowns - probably. We chased it down, killed the owner and drove the ship over to our Guild Hall that's situated on an island in 24/7 PVP waters.
Before you can take trade packs from someone's farm cart or ship, you must destroy the vehicle first, which makes the trade packs drop, becoming free for anyone to claim. We'd claimed the ship and were damaging it when 3 other "greens" showed up, clearly intent on taking the packs. Two were from a guild known for PKing (killing their own faction) and had PKed some our ouf guild members.
Fannel game them a subtle warning as advice not to stick around after summoning his Cutter to help destory the enemy ship. Since they didn't take the warning and are known PKers, we decided we were going to Bloodlust and kill them once the trade packs dropped free. One... Two... Three... Bloodlust, you're dead. We grabbed the packs and race them to the guild hall. Greedy PK bastadards didn't prosper this time. It's kill or be killed around PKers. It was an apt ending to a comical and exciting journey, from Hellswamp to Solzreed. We danced it off at Banana's house, a local neighbor, before parting company for the evening.