If this isn’t your cup of coffee, feel free to move along. I’m not here to shame the bus drivers or riders, just give my impressions after taking a week and riding the bus. I hope my post helps either new riders or new bussers or the bussing curious.
Before I get asked, with the exception of Vykass (I just hit 1460 last week after reset) I have done and usually do each of these raids every week. I wanted to simply check out bussing and how it works in the game and if it was a benefit or negative to my personal experience.
During the week I rode the following busses:
Vykass - Gate 1 NM, Gate 2-3 HM - 6k
Valtan HM - Gate 2 - Free Practice Bus
2x Argos Bus - 2k/2.2k
5x Abyss Dungeons - Free Do Not Bid
1x Abyss Dungeon - 100g, do not bid
Here’s my notes:
Not all busses are equal. Some busses go very smoothly and some go to heck real quick. A quick litmus test is when you get into the party. If the Bus Driver gives directions immediately and shows patience in the Party Finder Lobby chat, you are probably in good hands. (It is not an exact science, the 2 that did this went smooth like butter by comparison)
So drivers, please inform the riders what the protocols are for your bus either as soon as we load in or once the lobby is full. This will help make things better on your end and the riders’ side. Don’t forget to show a little personality and have some fun with your riders.
Don’t be scared to look at the character of the driver(s) before you send a request. If something looks a little off, just move along. Trust your gut or if you can get access to a Bussing Discord and ask for your server recommendations from other riders.
Save money and take a chance when you see a “Practice Bus”. You may spend a lot of additional time as a new or newish bus driver(s) learns. I sat in a Gate 2 Valtan Practice Bus and had a nice time chatting with the other riders. One of the riders was offering tips for the drivers and after the 6th fail, everyone got to play along and cleared (can’t say I cleared, cause dummy me got knocked off the platform like a goober). It was actually a lot of fun. (Shout out to all the night owls!)
If the Auction House is not your jam or you don’t know how to use it in a quick fashion, I suggest you only find bus drivers in your server. Every bus I rode was lead by an Azena driver and that made payments super simple (assuming you have Aura, you can use the mailbox from your pet). One of my Argos busses took almost an hour just trying to calm down a rider that had a panic attack trying to use the auction house. The drivers were practically saint-like in their patience and communication.
Another note on payments, if you use the mail, remember the 5% fee for sending gold. Ask the bus driver if they want the exact amount or if the fee being taken out is fine. Usually you want to add it in, but ask to be on the polite side. Cheaper to send 1 mail, than 2.
Make friends with the other riders, use Party (not Raid Group) to chat. I had a lovely conversation about Stranger Things or just general game/life stuff in general. (Shout out to other gamer parents, up late to enjoy the quiet time)
If it’s a raid you already know, find something to watch or read (if the chat isn’t lively), but keep an eye on the game (just to move if a restart is in order). If it’s a raid you don’t know, use the Observe function and watch the mechanics. This is a good way to do some in game homework and make your own cheat sheets. Also sometimes you can pick up some tips for positions and stuff watching a bus driver that is your same class.
I will probably ride busses again (not this many in a week). Not just for the convenience of it but overall the community of riders is a ton of fun. I don’t doubt any of the riders were good players, they just all had their own reasons to take a bus (time, confidence, lack of luck with engravings, no active guild or friends, etc.). Drivers, especially new or learning drivers, are super sweet and can be a pile of fun to watch or chat with.
For the solo player, riding a bus can be that multiplayer aspect you’ve been missing and a good way to maybe make a new Roster friend or 2.
One more note: I am aware that my week of bussing was dang lucky (minus a couple incidents of riders having a hard time paying or spending 5x the amount of the time in a raid as drivers were just not having a good night). I know there have been some horrible bussing incidents and scammers. If I had encountered one, you would have heard all about it.
Thanks for reading and game on!