Blog Archive

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!