- Intimate knowledge of Guild Bounty targets (This is critical. See below.)
- Empty guild slot(s) (the more the farmier)
- 15-17 initial investment per guild slot
Bounty Search Proficiency
I went through different stages of understanding how to search for bounties. I wrote this guide at while at stage 4. I don't recommend attempting this guide to anyone that hasn't reached stage 3.
- Basic Mechanics: You can go to a waypoint when instructed to. You recognize the guild bounty star. You can tag a bounty and get credit.
- Basic Search: You can open a guide and follow a bounty's path. You can call out when you recognize the bounty.
- Intermediate Search: You understand which direction to run for each bounty. You have a preference for searching specific areas that can be more efficiently covered. You've memorized certain paths of each bounty and can traverse those areas quickly.
- Advanced Search: You stop using guides because you have the paths for each bounty mostly memorized.
- Search Mastery: You've built a mental model of each bounty path. You search areas your party has not reached. Given the search history of a small party, you can deduce the remaining possible locations of a bounty.
- Create a guild. (if you already have a personal one, great!)
- Buy enough initial influence to research Guild Workshop, Art of War 3, and Guild Bounty Trainings. That is a minimum of 7800 , but you probably want to start out with more.
- Repeatedly build and complete guild bounty trainings.
- Make Guild Catapults (requires Art of War 4) and sell them on the TP.
How efficient is this? Assuming a 50% success rate on bounty trainings (more on this below), and that guild catapults sell at 1.5 , this is about 4 for 5-15 minutes of work. However, note that this is time-gated by the build rate.
Killing bounty targets by yourself? Yes, it is possible, but it does require smart searching and a bit of luck. But yes, I do consider this next part the "secret sauce". Here's the plan:
- Activate the bounty training and find the target.
- Follow it to the next closest waypoint and engage. Don't focus too much on surviving. Just do as much damage as you can before you die. Don't prolong your downed state.
- While fighting, drag the target closer to the waypoint. There is a maximum leash distance after which the target will leave combat and heal up, so be wary of that.
- When you die, waypoint immediately and re-engage the bounty before it leaves combat. Repeat this process until you finish.
- If you can't maintain aggro between deaths, then this is a failure and just move on to the next attempt unless you can get help very soon. Note that if the target drops all aggro, it will despawn and you will have to start all over.
- Whether you succeed or fail, go to WvW to repair broken armor. Rinse and repeat!
Ever since the introduction of megaservers, guilds have been running into each other all the time doing guild missions. In NA, this is primarily the few hours after Guild Commendation credit is reset on Sunday 00:00 and secondarily during primetime on weekends. If you attempt bounty trainings during this time, you have a good chance of running into other players doing the same bounty. With other players around, getting the kill is trivial.
Death Rushing and Megaservers combine to give you a pretty solid chance of killing your target. However, make no mistake: You will not succeed with all of your bounty trainings. That is to be expected if you are doing this solo, or even with a few friends. However, this is still profitable in spite of that. In my experience doing solo bounties on a guardian, I get somewhere around a 50% success rate. Not convinced? Here is one of my influence farming guilds and this is my latest sequence of bounty training results as of August 10th, 2014.
The difficulty of each target depends on several factors:
- Finding it near a suitable waypoint.
- Killing it.
- Luck. (Are others around?)
These videos demonstrate how they can be killed.
|Ander "Wildman" Westward||1|
|Brekkabek||Avoid Maully, hungry bears, and turrets|
|Crusader Michiele||0||Duo possible|
|Devious Teesa||Watch out for the Scorpion Wire/Dagger Storm combo|
|Half-Baked Komali||1||Rumor has it combat consumables help get rid of his fire field, which negates a lot of damage|
|Prisoner 1141||Easy to fail. Has no attacks underwater. See the strategy section below.|
|Sotzz the Scallywag||See the map below. You can far away enough to leave combat without having Sotzz despawn.|
|Yanonka the Rat-Wrangler||0|
- ^ 1 duo kill
- There's a few other things to keep in mind.
- If another guild is also looking for the target, coordinate with them. They will essentially be providing a free kill for you, so be nice! Be mindful of your remaining time though.
- Don't underestimate random players wandering around! They tend to be curious and helpful, particularly in keeping aggro on the bounty. Thank them if they end up being instrumental to the kill!
- Don't forget about server hopping if your current one is unfavorable and you believe other instances exist.
- As always, ask in map chat if anyone has seen the target. Even if someone saw it x minutes ago, that narrows down its location a lot.
These should be all the barrels. It is completely possible to go through all of them with one player.
While suspicious rats move around, they don't wander far. This snapshot gives a good idea of their general location.
Prisoner 1141 strategy
A small group can find Prisoner quickly with a coordinated effort (Worst-case is about 10 minutes to find, in theory. I've yet to see this method fail when at least 4 players are involved.):
- Have two players watch locations 1 and 2.
- Have two players search the Carnifex and East routes.
- If there are more players available, have them stand at other locations where Prisoner's path can converge.
- Your most valuable resource is build time. Never let that build queue go empty!
- Use Rune of the Traveler or Rune of Speed while searching. Use your standard damage-optimized gear for killing.
- While searching for the target, keep your battle plan in mind. If you absolutely need to death rush, do not search in locations far from waypoints.
- If you have a few trusted friends on different servers who want to do this together, you can save space on guild slots and use the same guild. This is because players on different home servers get separate copies of guild upgrades. Be warned, Arenanet intends to change this someday. See here.
- Don't forget food. Don't forget combat consumables.
- If you use Sigil of Bloodlust/Corruption, charge it up while stalking the target to the next waypoint.
- Guild bounty training was added on March 26th, 2013. 2700 for 5-15 minutes of work is pretty nifty. However, this wasn't overpowered until...
- Megaservers were introduced on April 15th, 2014. This addition was what finally made solo farming viable. Ironically, while players complained that megaservers interfered with their guild missions, this same mixing effect is critical for making this method work.
- Additionally, this update removed the armor repair cost, which makes death rushing less taxing.
- The 5 guild limit per account existed before guild bounty trainings or megaservers. It accidentally (I believe) keeps this method in check, since diminishing returns does not apply here as it does to traditional farming methods.
- Keep in mind your efficiency depends on your bounty training success rate and the current guild catapult price on the TP. If those numbers are too low, this may not be something you want to do.
- Can this be used to obtain merits? I think so, but it is much more challenging. You essentially need to kill 2 bounty targets in 15 minutes, which will require a lot of luck. Though, after doing this twice, the rest can easily be obtained through guild trek.
- Do I recommend pre-scouting a target and hoping that it is the chosen bounty? Nah.
- More advice from Keorl
- Another independently developed guide by Bethryn