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Saturday, 31 January 2015

The Hype is Real

So after a wait that seemed like an eternity, we finally got the official word that Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is indeed going to be the first expansion.

For an hour and a half, Colin and Mike spoke about their vision of what this expansion means for the game, and we got a definitive list of major features that will be included. This was a great day for Guild Wars, with over 1500 people in attendance at PAX South and another 100,000 people worldwide watching live on Twitch.

A number of major features that were announced were ones that thousands of players had been waiting for for a very long time. Amongst them, precursor crafting and guild halls, which received a huge pop from the crowd.

After watching lots of interviews and reading fresh information on news sites over the past week since PAX South I would like to discuss a few topics and get on to how you can prepare for Heart of Thorns.

Unfortunately after no mention at PAX and later confirmation by Colin in an interview, we will not be getting any new weapons such as land Spear. He did say that they warned the artists in charge of the trailer that the community would speculate and assume highly upon it, but they went ahead and depicted many fights with polearms anyway. However, we did some great features including a brand new heavy class; the Revenant, brand new legendary weapons, epic new zones in the Maguuma Jungle and hang gliders to explore them with!

I want to talk about the new legendary weapons first, and precursor crafting. First of all, I believe as these legendary weapons are being added as part of an expansion, their build up may be entirely different. It is unlikely that they will require things like a gift of exploration, as that requires treking all over the rest of Tyria for map completion which ultimately splits the player base and goes against ArenaNet's philosophy. Instead this may be replaced with some kind of Maguuma Jungle exploration reward. We can assume that things like Icy Runestones will simply have a jungle-themed counterpart, but what about the gift of fortune and all the T6 materials and Ectoplasm? It is entirely possible that the next set of legendary weapons will simply be easier to acquire, not only because of precursor crafting but also possibly because they could do away with the huge amount of high cost materials in favour of more account bound achievement rewards. After all, ArenaNet did say this expansion is truly about the journey and character progression.

On that same topic, let's discuss precursor crafting or rather, a scavenger hunt as people are calling it. Colin referred to this as 'going on an epic journey' which will reward us with our chosen precursor to aid our cause toward the desired legendary weapon. It is currently unknown if precursors acquired this way will be bound or tradable, but either way the price of precursors is guaranteed to drop. However, in the past even account bound crafts such as ascended armor have included several tradable crafting materials such as silk and mithril. I am inclined to speculate that precursor crafting will also include tradable crafting materials, probably in combination with ascended materials like dragonite.

So now that we know for sure there is going to be an expansion, I am preparing in every way possible to be ready for the new features, and below I will tell you what you can do to prepare too!

First off, hoarding, hoarding and more hoarding. I am literally hoarding everything. All materials I am holding in my bank ready for new craftables such as armor skins and weapons. In the trailer we can see many characters(not just Rytlock) equipped with new armor and weapon skins, and I can't believe they will all be gem store purchases. I am holding on to all of my skill scrolls, level tomes and writs of experience from dailies - even though I intend to level my Revenant the normal way, a few tomes to boost a few levels here and there can't hurt!

I am also crafting the time-gated ascended materials  Lump of Mithrilium, Spool of Silk Weaving Thread and Glob of Elder Spirit Residue. This is mainly so that I am ready to be able to craft ascended armor and weapons for my Revenant as soon as I have decided which stats are best suited. I may also begin crafting Spools of Thick Elonian Cord too because these materials may well be needed for anything from precursor crafting to making the new legendary weapons. On the same topic with the time-gated materials I am making a Charged Quartz Crystal daily so I can be ready to craft any Celestial pieces I need, as the Revenant seems to be incredibly versatile at a first glance.

It is also a good idea to hold on to other currencies such as karma and laurels. We know that previous legendary weapons cost around 1,000,000 karma to craft. New legendary weapons may even cost more than that so that karma is drained from the playerbase because in its current state karma is too easy to acquire, over-supplied and under-utilized. At the same time, laurels are another easy to obtain currency(just by logging in in fact!). It is very likely there will be new items available to purchase with laurels so hold on to them unless you absolutely must have that shiny ascended amulet!

As for tradable items, there have been some speculation involving the Crystalline Ingot and the Xunlai Electrum Ingot. Now, for the most part I would assume the Crystalline Ingot would refine in a similar way to Bloodstone Bricks for example, where we just combine Crystalline Ore with some other account bound materials to make the account bound ingots possibly used in ascended trinket crafting at level 500 Jeweler. However, the Xunlai Electrum Ingot is very interesting. It seems to match with the Deldrimor Steel Ingot and the likes as being the final tier of refinement. On the item description, it states to be 'refined from Silver, Gold, Platinum and Mithrilium'. According to all the other recipes, this would require a total of 20 Silver Ingots, 10 Gold Ingots, 20 Platinum Ingots and 1 Lump of Mithrilium. As it has come under the assumption of many players, both the Crystalline Ingot and the Xunlai Electrum Ingot are to be used in level 500 Jeweler crafting recipes. But what if the plan has changed? I would have assumed that level 500 Jeweler should have been launched if not with the other crafting disciplines then at least shortly after it. Perhaps these ascended materials will now be used as part of Heart of Thorns in new recipes like for precursor crafting and the new legendary weapons.

Overall, I am going to stick with the crafting materials I mentioned in my last post. In particular - Silver Ore, Hardened Leather Sections and Gossamer Scraps. I believe these are all great low-risk investments that could make some serious profit with the right additions to the game. And these is no reason why ArenaNet would want T6 crafting materials to be so low in value, especially in comparison to their counterparts. Any investments prior to any real information about Heart of Thorns are purely speculative, however, you can guarantee the greatest returns by investing in the dark rather than jumping on the up-swing where it may be too late.

Thank you for reading and make sure to keep watch on this blog for upcoming posts after any new information is revealed!