GW2: The Slimy Asura’s Guide to Southsun Survival

Basic information about the new GW2 minigame can be found at Dulfy’s.

Suggestions for Bookahs Trying to Survive:

1) Arm yourself well at the beginning. Make a grab for a weapon like the pistol or a pipe and see if you can get a free kill or two for a slight point lead at the start.

Demonstrating the head shot bow draw. This slimy fellow is also asking to get shot in the back... (see below.)
Demonstrating the head shot bow draw. This slimy fellow out in the open is also asking to get shot in the back… (see below for grand plan.)

2) Be aware of what the head shot animation looks like. Your options are: Dodge this with good timing, run out of range, use scenery to obstruct line of sight, or use bow 1 to interrupt them. Have eyes in the back of your head. Be paranoid. Suspect everybody of being out to get you. Look up, down, all around. Be wary of locations where people may be respawning during grace period too.

3) Make a beeline south for the rations from passiflora and stock up on as many as possible. Be aware that some may have a bomb trap already in-built and get ready to run off/dodge away if needed. Be aware of the normal places passiflora spawn and where suspicious lone flora are merely passiflora traps that will explode on proximity. Preferably be the first to get to them so you don’t have to worry about smarter players dumping a trap in the same place where real passiflora spawn.

4) If well stocked on rations, 5+ or more, enter hiding sequence. Find secluded place, preferably out of the way and high up so ghosts find it tougher to get to you and ruin your day, or in the water and only come to random spots of shore to heal up. Move as little as possible so that you do not run into any traps placed by ghosts. Stay super alert for the rumble of a karka being summoned and have a backup place to hide, preferably out of LOS of said karka.

5) If not well stocked, it’s going to come down to luck and good reflexes. Go hunting. Find someone, preferably with lots of rations, and do your best to kill them and loot their rations. Be aware that scavenging produces revenge motes, so if you’ve produced an angry ghost or two in your bid to survive, do try to lose them or at least not give them 10 motes to work with to kill you. You’re probably still screwed anyway. There’s only one survivor out of twenty.

But really, all surviving does is give you some temporary satisfaction, a splendid chest with a bit more support tokens and silver and a bad case of paranoia, suspicion and nerves. And frustration when you don’t survive (which is pretty good odds) and have garnered very little points because you were so focused on staying away from anything that might kill you.

(Unless you’re so awesome that you’re consistently winning – folks like you don’t need to read guides to outsmart the dumb competition anyway.)

No, where it’s really at, what MOST people want, is the “achievement get.”

Played games just take patience and time. Head shots, just scavenge arrows, keep spamming head shot and you’ll eventually get lucky. 2,500 points?! Will you not be an old cranky asura or an old dead bookah by that time?


Embrace the freedom that comes from giving up your splendid chest dreams now. You can still get the Desert Rose skin from normal chests. They drop like candy anyway if the TP price is anything to go by. I have two and I wasn’t even trying. And you can buy them with 200 fortune scraps, which also drop like candy from kite fortunes.

You will be playing a new game of maximizing your point score.

I assure you, it will be lots more fun than running your arse off and cowering in caves trying to hide, and then either haunting people as an angry ghost trying to get them killed or giving up and waiting in bored frustration for the game to end.

The Over-Arcing Grand Strategy for Point Domination

1) Use the grace period to score kills. Fuck rations. Eat them when low on health to keep yourself alive and deny other people the eventual loot. Grab a weapon, pound peoples’ heads in. 5 points per kill. Get a trap? Set it immediately and let someone trip it in the crowd. Who knows, he may be low on health and die from it, giving you 5 points. If not, 2 points.

Maybe keep the passiflora trap if you want to be cunning and dump it right on top of a real spawn, but you’re probably not going to survive the grace period either with this strat. Use it or lose it to someone else. Scavenge an arrow or two. Immediately turn around and off somebody. 1 point per hit, 5 if you get a kill. Preferably someone not looking at you and who is busy bending down to scavenge. Head shot if you can. Shoot a quick shot on people low on health from others also sniping.

2) You want to look like a total griefing asshat and make a few enemies who got shot in the back. If you do this well, you will look pretty scary and end up with a settlement to scavenge and trap by yourself (until an angry respawner makes their way back.) If you do die at this stage by accident or getting shot in the back yourself, you will look like a harmless idiot who may be just farming the head shot achievement and is absolutely no threat and a free kill to be attacked when opportunity arises. Win-win.

3) Do your best to stay in the vicinity of the Refugee Camp (where Kiel’s Outpost WP is on the real Southsun Cove map) where you start at, or the northeast most camp (Pride Point WP) because there will be a crazy amount of revenge motes from everyone shooting each other and scavenging here. You’ve a 50% chance of turning up here each time you die anyway – either on the Pride Point ship or in the Kiel outpost camp. (The other two places are at the bar on the southeast resort beach or the Under New Management jumping puzzle roof.)

4) The moment the grace period ends, DIE. Commit suicide. If you did your annoyance job properly, there should be a ton of people aiming a bow at you. It may help to be asura – people love to pick on the small obnoxious ones. Stay still and let them off you. Failing which, run into a trap (run around like a headless chicken with torment on and let hunger do its work too) or a karka.

5) If you did this right, you’ll be the first one dead, preferably in the middle of the camp where twenty people scavenged with their greedy little hands and where ten people probably had a bit of a scrum.

A modest haul. Mostly for screenshot demo purposes. There was a bit more behind me, and I've had even better ones when things go right.
A modest haul. Mostly for screenshot demo purposes. There was a bit more behind me, and I’ve had even better ones when things go really right.

6) Have a ghostly orgasm at the sight and pac-man up the revenge motes. Toss a karka up and vacuum up more. Just be careful not to create too much competition for the motes until you’ve grabbed mostly all of them.

7) Now that you’re a ghost, you are safe. No one can harm you. You do not need to keep looking over your shoulder. You can race around the island with skill 5 spam. You are free. You could do like the bookahs do, find a live one and kill them. But why kill your source of points? That orange dot is your new pet. Follow him, get a little bit ahead of him, and drop the teleport trap 1. If he is a nice, predictable person, he will be rushing ahead and tripping them, giving you 2 points per trap tripped. If he is more canny, then it gets a little bit harder and turns into a fun minigame of predict where he is going in order to score your 2 points. You’ve got 15 motes to use, anyway.

If he stays still, you have a number of options. If you’re really good at judging distances, it seems to be possible for the trap to be triggered by a stationary person if you manage to place the edge right on them. You could wait for them to move, wander off to find someone else more accomodating or just pac-man more points elsewhere, or spend 10 motes to summon a karka which will almost certainly make them move, if only a little, depending on how shrewd they are. Calling the karka pretty much totals your point-garnering ability and moves you back into the regular ghost-griefing territory of ordinary bookahs.

8) The grand plan may have to be altered on the fly as the situation dictates. If you end up respawning away from revenge mote central, you want to either get killed again before grace period ends or just grab a few more kills with whoever is around and go back to playing bookah style, especially if you luck into killing someone who harvested a ton of rations. A poor run like that may yield 30 points. Aim for a more achievable average run of 50 points, and if all goes well, it is very possible to be Top Scorer with upwards of 70-100+ points, You still won’t get the splendid chest, since yer dead, but you’ll have cut down on the number of repeat Southsun Survival trials to be done if you’re going for the achievement.

I'm not a survivor! (What?) But who needs "Final Survivor" to get a good score?
I’m not a survivor! (What?) But who needs “Final Survivor” to get a good score?

And now the tongue-out-of-cheek analysis:

I surprisingly find this game quite tolerable despite the FFA PvP nature of it and the built-in griefing-permitted design.

I suspect that it’s a combination of factors helping my acceptance along. One, the game fits the Survivor or Hunger Games-style stuff to a thematic T. Backstabbing, randomness, arbitrary unfairness, very temporary alliances, ruthlessness and drama are all part of this genre. It’s a Gnashblade game, it’s meant to be a selfish, conniving, one person wins at the expense of everyone else type of affair.

Two, the player does have some control over his or her fate, as long as they have good strategy and alert reflexes. The first few games, one will fall victim to some seemingly arbitrary happenings, but one eventually learns that game karka will spawn at camps as time wears on, rendering them inactive (to speed the game up and increase fatalities) so don’t linger too long at them, that player karka can be summoned if ghosts are given too many revenge motes through your actions and can reach you, and how to try to avoid traps (move erratically, jump up and off stuff in different directions, swim, climb up where ghosts find it hard to get to, etc.)

Three, the minigame creates opportunities for some hilarious short player-created narratives through emergence – there was the time another player and I duked it out with like one arrow flying between the both of us for the rations each of us was carrying. I had less rations and more arrows. I had to attack him. He dodged. He shot. I dodged. He ran out of arrows and I had one arrow remaining. Unfortunately I lost because I made the mistake of not canceling the head shot animation and he dodged it, then ran away. In retrospect, I should have just humped him until he got low and had to pause to eat rations or die.

Or the time I stalked a player in ghostly form as they swam across to the far shore (where the less known reef skelk are on the real map) and karka’ed them just as they presumably thought they had gotten away with it.

Or head-shotting another player who was trying to head shot another person. It’s a pretty frequent occurrence and have occasionally been victim to it myself.

There are just some tremendously good “LOL” moments to offset the pain of not being able to “win” this time, especially for those watching as a ghost. Cathartic, maybe.

Catharsis is having your pet karka area deny a camp and kill a few people. It comes with a guild tag, so everyone knows it's you.
Catharsis is having your pet karka area deny a camp and kill a few people. It comes with a guild tag, so everyone knows it’s yours.

(It’s also hard to take death and losing personally when you know 18 other people didn’t win either. And if there’s one person consistently winning, they may eventually make enough enemies to sabotage their future runs in true Survivor reality games fashion.)

And finally, the game and achievements do not place winning and being the last man standing on a pedestal for frustrated players to stare longingly at. Everyone participating gets to take back a support token, a green and some silver in the chest for their time spent playing this (as opposed to say, running CoF1 non-stop) so it is worth just having some fun with it. For whatever definitions of fun you prefer.

I did actually win two games by chance before I decided just to point-whore, so it is doable. I don’t have the ping (other people consistently beat me to the campfire supplies, and WvW supply camps, for that matter) or reflexes (mis-timing head shot dodges are the death of me) to do it consistently, but people in the right geographic location may.

I really like that there are multiple possible games-within-games to be played here. One can strive for a decent number of points per game, one can play with headshots and death match it out if they feel like it, one can just enjoy the sensation of griefing living players as a ghost (some people like the schadenfreude, I guess) or one can play the “proper” hunger survival game.

It’s sort of similar to Team Fortress in that sense. Yes, there’s an overall objective. But some people may just be enjoying their own personal sniper headshot game, or spy backstab game, or seeing how many people they and their sentries can gib and infuriate to the point of seeing players change class to spy and come as a group just to get past that nuisance of an engineer (guilty as charged.)

Giving more players the opportunity to feel like they are winners of their own personal little game makes the whole thing more popular, or at least, more well-received.