Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Lazy Legendary Guide - Part 1 - The Prep

There are plenty of guides out there for the quick and painful ways to get a legendary weapon. This guide is certainly not one of them. This is a guide for people who get bored if they do the same thing for more time than it takes to boil the kettle, this is the guide for people who don't like tagging along on the zerg-train as the crowd cycles through the same four events to gain karma, or doing the same dungeon path a billion times in a row. This the lazy-toon's guide to loafing to a Legendary.

This is more of a preliminary post - so I'm titling it "The Prep". This is the lazy guide, true, but we aren't going to make it more difficult for ourselves by being unprepared, so these are the things you'll need to know before you set out:

First off, learn the process - you need well over 2500 items in total to get a legendary, crafting mats, mystic forge items, gifts and other gubbins, keeping on top of it all is kinda tough, so make sure you don't get swamped. It might be worth making a spreadsheet or just a list you can mark off when you hit a target.

Some of the tasks you'll have to do are inherently plus-wealth (you can only GAIN money by doing them, there is no way to buy them) examples being the Gift of Exploration, the gathering of karma, badges of honour and doing your dungeon runs. There are also inherently minus-wealth tasks (you can only SPEND money doing it, there is no way to earn it) - examples being your 100 icy lodestones, and buying the recipes for your crafted gifts. Then there are those hybrid tasks which tread the line between: things like the precursor, where you have to make a choice between time (or randomness) vs money. If you don't want to spend ages farming for it, then it will cost you a bagload of money, but if you don't have the money to pay for it, then it's going to take you a long time farming. Other examples of hybrid events are getting your rare lodestones and crafting materials.

The ultimate point is: I would suggest starting your plus-wealth tasks and any hybrid tasks where you choose the timely/random option first, that way you should earn some of the money for the minus-wealth and costly hybrid tasks later down the line. So, by the time you've completed 100% exploration, gathered 500 badges of honour and gathered 1m karma - you'll probably have enough to buy some of your crafting materials and lodestones.

Leave the things which are never going to change in price till the very end - because you're never going to get sucker punched by the market. Icy lodestones are always (presumably) going to cost 1g each, but Charged lodestones might fluctuate in price (particularly atm with the new update!) so you might want to pick a few up whilst they're cheap, and farm for them when they're expensive (and perhaps tactically sell any you get as drops to buy back later at a lower price). Picking up your icy lodestones early might take vital funds away from picking up a bargain in the trading post somewhere down the line.

Gather as you go along. If you always make sure to pick up all your crafting materials whilst farming your karma, exploration and badges then you should have a nice stockpile to train your two lvl400 crafting professions, and a good start on gathering 250 of each of the T6 crafting materials you'll need for your gifts of Might and Magic. Plus it's decent experience to put towards your skill points (which are more of a limiting factor than you think, believe me!).

Salvage all level 75+ rares with a decent salvage kit in order to get Globs of Ectoplasm. Ectos have been steadily rising in price over the past few months, and though they might drop a little with this new update you're still going to need close to 500 for the whole process. So even if the rare you have found might sell on the TP for 30 silver, it is always worth salvaging it down with a mystic or superior salvage kit for a chance of netting 3 globs, a high level crafting material and whatever rare rune is on it.

Finally, my biggest tip is go at your own pace. If you find you're doing the same frustrating task for hours and it's driving you bonkers, then switch and do something else for a while. Most tasks feed into each other in some way (ie, you'll get karma, gold and experience whilst exploring. You'll get T6 crafting materials whilst dropping stuff into the Mystic Forge for clovers. You'll get rare drops to salvage for ectos whilst doing dungeons for tokens etc) so pretty much anything you do will contribute in some way to your getting your legendary.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

[GW2] Obtaining your Token of Legend - The Scavenger Hunt

ANet have let slip that the long-awaited precursor scavenger hunt is not expected any time soon. They're discussing how to approach it, but there isn't anyone actively working on getting it set up. I appreciate why they're taking their time with it - legendary weapons are one of the most hotly debated topics on GW2 forums, and the most hotly debated of all has to be the random number generator (RNG) controlled elements.

Getting hold of a precursor weapon is considered to the most time consuming/costly element of the entire Legendary process. Either you get exceedingly lu3cky, and the specific one you're looking for drops in one of the *counts* 3 (?) level 80 explorable areas, or you get equally lucky from a drop from a chest, or you get lucky by throwing 4 rare weapons into the Mystic Forge, or you stump up the several hundred gold to buy it from the Trading Post. It's not an ideal process.
It sure keeps them rare! But it doesn't feel very... legendary!

This is why the scavenger hunt has been suggested, if it can include legendary-status feats of prowess, then hopefully the path to a precursor can be made to feel like a worthy way. But, you can't make it too easy, otherwise it just devalues the whole process, and makes the ultimate product - the Legendary Weapon - feel all that less legendary.

So, my suggestions are as follows, I'm not sure if they will be considered legendary by others, but I think they're sufficiently non-grindy, skill and exploration based to warrant the receipt of a precursor weapon at the end.

My system would require the implementation of a character-by-character Achievement tracking system; simply by adding another bar under each achievement progress bar. The top bar would remain orange and would show the progress with the achievement for the entire account, below it would be a green bar tracking this specific character's progress with the achievement. You'll see why this would be necessary below (plus I think it would be kinda cool anyway).

In my system the ultimate aim to obtain four tokens - the idea being that each token is rewarded once you have proved that you present each of the character traits that it represents. The four tokens are:

  • Token of Agility
  • Token of Strength
  • Token of Bravery
  • Token of Wisdom
The tokens will be earned for the following:

Token of Agility - complete 40 Jumping Puzzles.
I've not set this to "complete all the jumping puzzles" because it's likely ANet will add more as time progresses. But this is one fewer than all the jumping puzzles, and it means that people don't have to rely on their server being good at WvW enough to allow them access to the EB puzzle. It also forces the player to go out and explore the world, see the most fantastic sights and to prove that they are worthy of the token.

Token of Strength - complete all the explorable paths on the all existing dungeons
This is no mean feat, each of the paths usually takes around an hour to complete and there are currently eight dungeons and at least three (five for Arah) paths for each one. So, even if you are able to do each path first time - that's over twenty-four hours worth of work. Again, I'm keen to avoid asking for people to repeat content over and over, but asking them to complete all the content is different.

Token of Bravery - obtain 25 of the "Bosses" Achievements
In general, I think this achievement line needs to be expanded. Currently it contains eight achievements, but you could add so much more - add in achievements for certain things done with Fractals bosses, dungeon bosses, and new meta-event bosses across the world. Not just "kill this dude" but interesting challenges like jumping into the bosses mouth, or throwing a rock at his ballsack or something. This would prove that they have the gall to stand up to the mightiest of foes.

Token of Wisdom - navigate your way to the center of the Temple of Ineffable Wisdom
I thought for a long-while about how to approach this final test. I wanted some way to trial the players knowledge of lore, Tyrian history and the world at large. The Temple (the name is just a reference to the Crab of Ineffable Wisdom - I couldn't think up a good name on the spot), would be a multi-level solo dungeon, accessible only once you've completed your personal story, and have gathered the other three tokens.
Within the temple you will be required to navigate past a number of gateways, puzzles and devious opponents. There will be a res-shrine at the start, but if you fail at any point throughout, you must start again.
The puzzles will be logic-based, requiring you to move blocks, carry objects and flick switches in order to complete the puzzle.
The opponents will require agility, timing and skill to kill. Not just hitting them with your sword, but using specific pick-up objects around the room, interacting with static objects or dodging at the right time.
The gateways will require you to answer questions about Tyrian history, current game events and lore. The questions will obviously be multiple choice, but they will have a strict time limit (so that you can't just minimise the client and google the answer). They will also be randomised, so you can't just memorise the sequence of answers beforehand.
At the end of the dungeon, the player will receive a Token of Wisdom (along with a dungeon chest, probably). Once you've received your token, you won't be able to reenter the temple again until you've earned another set of Tokens of Agility, Strength and Bravery (this is to stop people simply running the dungeon over and over for the end chest).

Then you take your four tokens and drop them in the Mystic Forge. And out drops a Token of Legend - which can be exchanged at a vendor for your precursor of choice.


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