Blog Archive

Monday, 22 May 2017

Flashpoint: The Expansion is Coming Part 1

Hello guys! A few weeks ago the fifth installment of the Living World season 3, Flashpoint, was released and with it the news that this would be the penultimate episode in the season. This means what you think it does and was also confirmed by lead director Mo himself on reddit, that the next episode will be the last of season 3 and the expansion will followup thereafter! That's fantastic news and perhaps comes as a bit of a surprise to a lot of players. It was also stated that the release schedule for the expansion will follow the same system as the Living World releases(albeit with a slightly longer delay), which means we can perhaps expect the second expansion to launch late November or December this year! This is huge news for speculators in particular, as an expansion opens up plenty of investment opportunities. Over the coming weeks leading up to the release of episode 6, I am going to talk about some of my favoured investments with regards to the upcoming expansion, and today the topic is Gold Ore! I should also take this moment to mention that this will be a spoiler-free post with regards to leaks, but may or may not mention plot points from the current story arc.

The Gold Mine

Excuse the pun, but this one could really be a gold mine! Gold Ore has been very stable in price since the launch of Guild Wars 2 in August 2012. With a low of 13 copper in early 2013 when the value of currency was much higher, and a high of about 1 silver 10 copper(ignoring spikes), Gold Ore currently sits at about 67 copper. The highest spike came right before the ascended armour patch, when players speculated that level 500 Jeweler was a possibility, with the ability to actively craft ascended trinkets. In the end, the Jeweler crafting profession stayed with a max level of 400 and instead we got lots of other ways to obtain ascended trinkets. To this day, Jeweler along with Chef and Scribe still have a 400 level cap, but that doesn't mean it will always be this way.

I believe Jeweler, Chef and Scribe all have very real possibilites of making it to level 500 as part of the expansion, but for today let's discuss Jeweler. First of all, a thing to note: it has been mentioned around, mainly due to leaks, that expansion 2 will likely be a lot more focused on content rather than features. Now with this in mind, a boost to level 500 for Jeweler would definitely come under features, but below I will explain a few reason why I think level 500 Jeweler would also feed into content a bit more too. So what would a level 500 Jeweler offer in the Guild Wars 2 of today? Back before the ascended armour patch it was assumed that the Jeweler would have the opportunity to craft ascended trinkets, it was logical and it would fall in line with the rest of the crafting disciplines. However, it was also known that ascended trinkets were already a thing in the game and had been for a while, from various sources including fractals. The result was that instead of giving Jeweler the same treatment as the armour and weapon crafting disciplines, more ways to obtain ascended trinkets around the game were added to compensate. Even today we have the new Living World season 3 maps, particularly Bitterfrost Frontier, which offer stat-selectable ascended trinkets. In today's game it simply doesn't make sense for a level 500 Jeweler to only offer the ability to craft ascended trinkets - sure it should have the ability, but if that is the only thing it is capable of then nobody will persue it. So what about legendary trinkets? Now we are talking.

An expansion needs to offer 'shiny new rewards'. It just has too, it keeps new players playing the game, it gives players goals to go for. It also gives the expansion another selling point, and a good one at that, especially for players who are less interested in the story. Legendary trinkets are the natural progression, and they are the only thing left in terms of equipment. We have legendary weapons, we have legendary backpieces and now we also have legendary armor, so naturally what's next? It has to be legendary trinkets. There is also some hints we can pick up for legendary trinkets too. Looking at the progression of cosmetic auras in the game we can see that things like the Preserved Queen Bee and the Ghostly Infusion have been added, and many theorized that these were perhaps 'testers', to check visual noise etc. in preperation for the addition of legendary trinkets. We have also had an item called 'Xunlai Electrum Ingot' in the game since the ascended armour patch a long time ago. This item has been sitting in the material storage with no known acquisition, and has even had its description changed from 'refined from copper, silver, and gold' to 'Refined from silver, gold, platinum and mithril'. This likely means that at some point it will be used, and is tied to the Jeweler profession due to its component materials. Also, if it was an intended feature for Heart of Thorns but was cut for any reason, the chances of it making the next expansion is very likely too.

So why Gold and not another metal? There are three main reasons. Firstly, Gold Ore is directly tied to the Jeweler crafting profession and apart from a few Scribe recipes, is used exclusively in the crafting of trinkets by the Jeweler. Secondly, as mentioned above, Gold is noted as a component in the Xunlai Electrum Ingot - it is possible this will change if it does get added, but it is still a very good lead. Lastly, crafting ascended weapons and armour tends to use a lot more tier 2, 3 and 4 materials. With that in mind, Gold is in very low supply according to the trading post - Gold Ore and Gold Ingots combined total about 1.8 million ore, in comparison with Silver for example, totalling 17.8 million. Platinum Ore is also very low in supply and could also be a very sound investment too, but with the price sitting at around 2 silver you would have to invest a lot more to acheive similar quantities.

I should also note that Gold Ore has been speculated on by many players at various points in time such as before the ascended armour patch or before the launch of Heart of Thorns. This may mean that an excess amount of Gold is also sitting dormant on active and inactive accounts. Regardless of this, I believe Gold is one of the best investments going into expansion 2. Stay tuned for more posts on the coming weeks!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Guild Wars Gambler

Alright, it's not often I make posts like this but being a gambling type myself, I thought I'd do a writeup about the top gambles in Guild Wars 2 right now. So if you are looking to make some gold and don't mind taking some risks, these might be for you! Just remember - if there is a chance you can make some decent gold, there is usually always a higher chance that you will lose gold, so take it easy and don't blow your bankroll!

Trick-or-Treat Bags

Trick-or-Treat Bags(ToTs) are festival item containers from the annual Halloween event. Each time you open one, you will receive multiple items from a list you can find here. ToTs currently sell for around 4s77c per bag on the trading post, with buy orders sitting at around 4 silver. ToTs present an interesting gamble, because unlike most of the similar gambles GW2 has to offer, ToTs can open to reveal several items of value which will net you large profits, including a killer jackpot. Unfortunately, for everything good that can come out of a bag there is about 5 things you don't want, so if you don't want to be spending time cleaning your inventory after opening a bunch of bags then this one probably isn't for you. So what can I get you may ask? For a start they can drop 7 unique exotic weapons, which value between 2 to 8 gold each on the trading post, and a Karka helmet skin worth about 12 gold too! A few miniatures can also drop, with one in particular being worth about 17 gold - not bad for some of the more uncommon drops! Next up some of the rarer drops, including 3 gifts: Souls, Spiders and the Moon, worth about 20, 3 and 9 gold each respectively. Then we have some more rare drops in the form of some cosmetically-enchancing necklaces! The Oontz's Necklaces drop as account-bound gear but can be salvaged to obtain the unique Poly-luminescent Undulating Refractors. There are 4 different types: black, green, orange and teal, and they are worth 64, 18, 23 and 30 gold each respectively. Nearing the end now, we have the very rare Unopened Bottle of Batwing Brew which is required to craft the Nightfury shoulder skin. If you're lucky enough to land this little gem, you'll be rewarded with about 85 gold! Lastly we have the uber-rare jackpot find; the Phospholuminescent Infusion, which again is a cosmetically-enhancing upgrade component. However, unlike the Refractors, this is an ascended infusion which can be slotted into ascended gear, making it more desirable. This item has an extremely low drop rate and if you somehow manage to bag one you'll be looking at a 1200+ gold payday!

Wintersday Gifts

Wintersday Gifts are the Wintersday(Christmas) festival equivelent of ToTs. You can find the contents of these gifts here. These containers are arguably the inferior gamble, and while the price per gift is roughly the same as ToTs which may lead you to believe otherwise, this is largely driven by the alcoholic beverage drops which you need to consume(10,000 of them!) to complete an achievement in order to obtain the Winter's Presence shoulder skin. With that said, it is still worth noting that Wintersday Gifts still contain some valuable items, once again including a jackpot prize. There are a few miniatures, namely the Festive Golem, Snowman and Tiny Snowball worth around 9, 12 and 2.5 gold each respectively. There is also an Enchanted Snowball Box which opens to reveal an account-bound endless snowball tonic - the initial box can be sold however, for about 12 gold! Next up there are 2 very(equally?) rare recipes for some unique ascended backpieces. The reason why I question whether they are equally rare drops however is because of their incredible difference in trading post value. The Shadow of Grenth recipe can be sold for about 6.5 gold. The Light of Dwayna recipe however will net you an incredible 120 gold! It is unknown whether the difference in price is a result of differing drop rates, or if it is simply down to a heavy difference in demand for each item. Lastly the jackpot item, which is again the Wintersday equivelent of the ToTs jackpot, the Winter's Heart Infusion is another cosmetically-enhancing upgrade component which will grant you a wopping 850 gold when sold on the trading post!

Ectoplasm Gamble

I couldn't write a post about gambling in Guild Wars 2 without mentioning the ectoplasm gamble. There is an NPC in Lion's Arch called Apprentice Mekteki. This NPC sells ectoplasm containers called Destabilized Ectoplasm. They come in 3 different sizes from small to large: Dab, Clump and Glob. Effectively what is happening, is you are paying a combination of gold and Globs of Ectoplasm to receive a container which will yield varying amounts of.. gold and Globs of Ectoplasm. What? Yes you did read that correctly. The contents include varying different trophies named Crystallized Plasma which can be sold to vendors for liquid gold. They also contain varying amounts of Globs of Ectoplasm. It should be noted that this gamble has been proven to yield lower returns than inputs over a prolonged amount of attempts - this should be an obvious fact across the large majority of gambles. However that doesn't mean it can't make you rich. The Glob of Destabilized Ectoplasm is the most expensive container, costing 250 Globs of Ectoplasm and 100 gold. The jackpot from this container? 2500 Globs of Ectoplasm and 2000 gold. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Obviously there are plenty of other ways to gamble in Guild Wars 2, so here are a few honorable mentions: Crafting Mystic Clovers for profit, throwing rare or exotic weapons in the Mystic Forge for precursors, Mystic Forge material promotion and even opening other containers. So whether you are a gambling person or not, this is some useful information of how to acquire certain items. Gamble sensibly and enjoy!

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Back in the Game

First, an apology. I'd like to apoligize for an extremely long absence since my last post, and also for a post I made almost a year ago. In that post I stated my plans to write up one decent post per week going forward - these plans fell through, I lost interest again and went away. I'd like to say now, my stance on Guild Wars 2. This is a fantastic game which I have spent many enjoyable hours playing and hope to spend many more in the future. With that said, ever since the announcement of Heart of Thorns and that content drought thereafter which was about 8 months but felt like forever, I have never really regained my original interest in the game. I played a lot for about 2-3 months when HoT launched and I have played each of the Living World season 3 episodes quite a bit too, and I must say they have been great! However, as much as those patches interest me, they can only ever keep me for so long, and so now I will make an honest judgement on how I want to proceed with the blog. I enjoy blogging, but I can't blog about something that I'm not interested in or not actively doing. Since this is a blog about speculating and investing, and that most of my investments are long term, it shouldn't be too much of a problem only writing posts when I am active in the game. Going forward then, this will mean I will make posts not based on a certain time between posts, but more on game activity and patches. That means you can expect a few posts every time a major patch comes out, and you can expect a lot of posts when the expansion hits.

Now that's out of the way, let's talk about Head of the Snake. This is a speculator blog so no story spoilers here don't worry(it's great though, play it asap!). Firstly I want to address a few major changes since HoT. In the past, patches have usually been the go-to hotbed for speculators wanting to make educated investments. Whether it was speculating certain materials based on geographic locations, or potential components for new exciting items, these were opportunities for knowledgable investors to make serious gold. This has really been the case since GW2 first launched, and is the case in almost every other MMO too. However, season 3 of the Living World has adopted a new, refreshing style of reward systems which is making investing a lot more difficult. The reward system I am talking about offers unique new cosmetic items, combat tonics, fully stat-selectable ascended trinkets and more, all available for map-based currencies. Each new episode has added a brand new world map which has also added a brand new currency. Each new currency can only be acquired in its own map(aside from reward tracks) and is also only spent in the same map. There is also another currency seemingly tied to season 3 of the Living World - 'Unbound Magic', which can be gathered through various ways in any of the new maps and is required alongside the other currencies to purchase the new rewards. What does this mean for investors? Well, put simply it means new items are only obtainable using account bound currencies, and then those new items are also account bound, meaning absolutely zero investment potential in that specific area.

To add to this, the new legendary weapon formula also provides very few investment opportunites. Each season 3 episode has also added a new legendary weapon(bar episode 1) and each of these weapons is forged using the new formula. The new formula, instead of trekking all over Tyria for trophies, is comprised of insane amounts of Mithril Ore and Elder Wood Logs, along with the normals Gifts of Might and Magic etc. Now you could say that's great let's invest in Mithril and Elder wood then? You'd be partially right, this is not a bad investment. However, after 3 new legendary weapons, the value of Mithril and Elder wood has remained largely the same, with exception to a spike right after the first new legendary, Eureka(mace), presumably because of panic buying and eager speculators buying up large quantities. An important thing to note is the weapon types of the 3 new legendary weapons - mace, shield and now rifle. As far as weapon popularity by use goes, these are far from the top, with shield being used by 5 classes(and not very often on any of them), mace being used by 3 classes, and rifle used by just 2 classes. This makes them a lot less popular and thus a lot less demanded. What I am getting at, is that we may not know the true strain on Mithril and Elder wood supplies until some of the more popular weapons like staff and greatsword are released. This is why I said earlier that you'd be partially right, and I think those materials are a decent long term investment providing you have a lot of room to store them in.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Trick or Treat bags 4 months on...

Back in mid January I followed up a previous investment advice post with some new ideas for investing into Trick or Treat bags. Back then, 4 months ago ToT bag prices were sitting at around 9.5 silver on the trading post, and even though the price had already increased by about 35% since Halloween, I gave some advice to invest because I expected them to rise a lot more in the coming months. Fast forward to present day and I was not wrong, and if you followed my advice you'll have realized that you're on to a big winner by now. Yes Trick or Treat bags have gone absolutely crazy, sitting at a huge 18.5 silver on the trading post right now. That means you have just about doubled your money after fees if you bought in at 9.5 silver, and even more if you invested when they were sitting at 7 silver a few months prior to that. The question now is what action to take and I will tell you my plans for my Trick or Treat bag stash moving forward.

First of all, as with any investment the following advice will be based on risk assessment. There are 3 typical methods and they vary from no risk to little risk and high risk. The first option is the no risk, but this option also usually yields the lowest potential rewards but it is safety first and it means you lock up your profit. This basically means selling your entire investment now. That might sound a bit hasty, and for the majority of investors this will not be a desirable option, but if you are in need of liquid cash this may be the method for you. Doing this will secure you a great profit with no further risk, but you will lose out on potentially higher profits. The low risk option is the one I would advise to go for for the large majority of investors. This means cutting your investment in half, selling one half and securing the profit and holding the other half to sell at a later date. Using this method you will secure the already very good profit on a good chunk of your investment, and you will feel less guilty about any future increases or decreases in the value of your investment. The third option is the high risk, high reward method which is basically go big or go home. This option is not for the weak at heart, and means holding onto your entire investment to sell in the future at a potentially higher price. This means you risk your current profit because the price of your investment can also decrease.

Thinking logically about the value of Trick or Treat bags, realistically the high risk strategy isn't as risky as you might think. This is because ToT bags are festival items, and the large majority of festivals are yearly events, this one being Halloween, meaning a potential decrease in value(usually from an increase in supply) is unlikely in comparison to, for example, a common crafting material. Fresh supply of ToT bags ARE obtainable, but only using the method explained here, which simply put is not profitable enough to be viable. With this in mind, we can use this information to make a better judgement on deciding which action to take with the investment. So which option am I going for? Go big or go home! It is not called high risk for no reason, and yes there is a possibility that you could lose your profit margins, but simply put the potential rewards far outweight the risk factor and besides, as an avid investor I enjoy a bit of risk! I could see Trick or Treat bags hitting 25-30+ silver within the next 3 months.

Keep in mind that you should take the option that suits you best, and that you should only take my advice fully knowing the risks involved. If you need liquid cash, sell your investment now. If you want to secure some profit but still see potential, you should bank half the profit and hold onto the rest. Keep a keen eye on this blog for an upcoming post about new investments you can get in to!

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Super Investment Box

Hello everyone. After the disappointing news from Mo these past weeks in regards to no more legendary weapons, the 1st April patch brought back the long overdue Super Adventure Box mini-game. What started as an April fools joke became arguably the most popular temporary content ever released. Now that SAB has been confirmed as a yearly festival, this piece of information is very important for investors, as this means that festival items from SAB will be obtainable every year around the same time. However, that does not mean the investment is not worthly so lets take a look at some potential SAB items we can put our gold into.

Unfortunately when it comes to marketable items, SAB runs a bit thin on the ground in terms of what you can actually sell on the trading post - aside from a few oddball items, the only real focus is skins. SAB weapon skins had some extremely crazy prices pre-SAB patch as you can see by viewing their history. It was not uncommon to see some skins listed for several thousands of gold because a lot of people questioned if SAB was going to ever return at all. However, that is now in the past and we now know that not only is SAB back, but it is back as a yearly event, and that means that supply of items like skins is no longer as limited as it was previously. Also keep in mind that even non-investors will recognise this, and the prices of skins are unlikely to rise as fast as they did previously.

This instalment of SAB has also launched a new line of skins, called Kaiser Snake. These skins are the same as the other ones, simply with an orange paint job. There are two ways of obtaining these skins: first is via a repeatable achievement which rewards you with an account bound skin of your choice. Using this method however it is only possible to obtain two skins in total, as the requirement to complete takes 8 sets of dailies, and the event is only around for 19 days in total. The Kaiser Snake skins are also an extremely rare drop from tribulation mode chests, where these versions are able to be sold on the trading post. They are currently sitting around 450 gold each, so they are no cheap purchase by any means. Meanwhile the standard blue skins, which are also rare drops, are sitting around 80 gold each.

So which should you invest in? The Kaiser Snake skins are going to be very expensive investments indeed, as after 7 days of a total of 19, the prices are still very high at around 450 gold. However, I do believe these skins will make money over the coming year, because of two main reasons. Firstly, as mentioned above it is only possible to reliably obtain two of these skins. Many people will want to collect the whole set to unlock the Kaiser Snake backpiece, whilst others will want 3 or even 4 skins to complete a desired look. The second reason is simply the scarcity of these skins - some have only 3-4 listed right now, and remember these are skins, so when they are used that is supply removed from the market. Be careful when considering investment on the original blue skins, as these can be reliably farmed using baubles(for account bound skins), and they are not very expensive either. I think realistically the potential increase in the price of the blue skins over just a year may not be worth the gold investment, so proceed with caution and research the popularity and scarcity of certain skins.

Monday, 28 March 2016

The Rune Game

Today I want to talk about Runes. In Guild Wars 2, runes are basically a way to customize a build with a suitable set of stats and/or additional abilities. There are different types of runes for all kinds of builds, ranging from damage to defense, swiftness-boosting to fall-damage-reducing. Runes are incredibly important and as such, some runes become very valuable because of their demand. If there is something I have learned over my time playing Guild Wars 2 it is that runes can have incredible potential as an investment, and that you should not overlook them when considering where to place your excess gold.

For the most part, aside from the 'rare' runes such as Karka Slaying and Generosity, which are valuable due to their scarcity, the main runes we are looking for are the standard superior runes that every day players use in-slot. For my general rule, I look toward runes that 'have potential' but are currently vendor value. Watch out here, because superior runes vary in vendor value - for example Rune of the Undead has a very low vendor value at just 65 copper. Meanwhile Rune of Dwayna has the more standard vendor value of 2 silver 16 copper. For me, when I have excess gold ready to invest, I first look for superior runes that have a current trading post price within 5-10 copper of the vendor value. By investing in these runes, I can gurantee that I cannot lose a large chunk of gold, because in the worst possible scenario I will vendor the runes later if I need the gold for a minimal loss. However, the potential here is the reason for investment. There have been countless times in the history of Guild Wars 2 where patches have brought changes to runes, which have skyrocketed the price sometimes several thousand percent more than what it was previously, because where a useless rune was once worthless, it is now sought after, and runes are almost never over supplied.

When looking for potential, you need to try to assess what the general playerbase wants from a runeset. The best way to determine the popularity of certain runes is by looking over the prices on the trading post, where the higher price equals the higher demand(except for examples like the scarce runes above). In general, the more popular runes are mostly power stats, because power fits far more builds than any other stat. This is not always the case, but it is a good start. Depending on how much gold you have to invest, you can buy varying quantities. For me, I usually place a buy-order for a stack of runes, and refresh it when applicable if I get overbid, and wait slowly for the order to fill. 250 standard vendor value runes usually costs around 5-6 gold. But the potential return on runes is absolutely massive. You may be waiting a very long time, so this is an investment you should buy and forget(but don't forget to cash in if you hit it big). This is the type of investment you shouldn't realistically expect a return on, and rather have a bit of fun whenever patch time comes around to see if you can get lucky. A stack of highly demanded runes can make you an absolute fortune, and remember, everything said here also applies to sigils although bare in mind a popular sigil will rarely rise in price as fast as a rune, because the demand from players will be for 1-2 instead of 6.

Keep in mind, this investment makes use of the classic rule of thumb, if something is sitting at vendor value, you should probably put some gold into it. Whenever a no or minimal risk investment pops up, you should probably take it!

Monday, 21 March 2016

The Future of Guild Wars 2 Speculator

OK so I wanted to make a quick post today after a relatively long absense since the last post. I wanted to be as honest as possible with my readers so first I will explain a few things. It is no secret that I am not currently actively playing Guild Wars 2 and I cannot say that I will be commiting much to it in the near future. I played a lot on the build to and after Heart of Thorns, and for now I am kind of burned out. However, this is not neccesarily a permenant fixture and I am still keeping current with all the news in terms of game updates and lots of market prices, and I keep up to date with reddit. So I would like to explain what I plan to do concerning the future of this blog.

I really enjoy writing posts for this blog, as one of my biggest passions about playing Guild Wars 2 was always the economy side of the game. This combined with the fact that my viewer count has increased largely since I first started, makes me want to continue writing high quality posts. When I first began writing this blog, I was sometimes writing 3-4 paragraph posts daily for several weeks, which takes a lot of time and effort. And whilst I do enjoy writing these posts, I cannot keep up with the speed at which I first began. There is mainly two reason for this; first is that as mentioned above, my current focus is not on Guild Wars 2. The other, maybe more important reason is really the lack of material to actually write about. Whilst there is an endless amount of markets to potentially speculate about, the ones I really want to write about are the ones I have my own experience with. This means, if I only talk about my own speculations and investments, I cannot possibly have enough content to fill a post a day. On that trail of thought, let's talk about the future of my blog.

Moving forward I would like to commit to publishing one high quality post per week. I am not going to stick to a particular structure in my posts, but rather continue with a kind of freestyle approach. This will mean I can produce a decent post each week so that my content for my readers on this blog can stay current. It also means I can gather important topics throughout the week to write about at the week's end. I will try to stick to publishing my posts on the weekend so to maintain a similar timeframe between posts. I'd like to also take this opportunity to thank my readers - without a decent viewership I would have probably stopped writing this blog a while back, so thank you for reading my blog!