Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Structured PvP = Reward Structure

I've always been a big fan of PvP. I played many battlegrounds in World of Warcraft (and would continue to if I had an active subscription); I've racked up 600hrs+ in Dota 2; I played a good bit of League of Legends before Dota 2 and, well, I'm fond of competitive play.

With GW2 I dabbled a bit at the beginning. The systems they've laid down are slick in PvP. Honestly it's one of the best PvP games I've played and perhaps the best MMORPG PvP system. I'll let others decide whether that's the case or not, but in my book I've not played better.

As I say though, I dabbled. The hugest of drives in an MMORPG for me, is financial security and progression in both PvE and PvP. GW2 kinda stumped me on a bit with PvE progression and continues to do so (I've not visited as many explorable dungeons as I've done, say, heroic dungeons in WoW). I should hook up with a regular PvE guild.

I also found PvP to be unrewarding. You gained ranks and had chances of gear but it was segmented from the main experience. I found this off-putting. I'm a massive fan of alts and being able to access everything I've unlocked on any character on any other character is a huge plus for me.

And so we come to the core of this post, as it were: I've been playing A LOT more PvP since the patch. Massive amounts more. The reward track system is cool but not the main selling point. It was the access to all items and looks across both modes that did it for me.

Having mentioned the reward system though, did you know it's probably the best way to get transmutation charges bar none? If you're like me and go through them at a huge rate, you might find you save a lot of gold > gems > charges if you just enter some sPvP.

You can earn a large amount more in gold with your time but saving is as important as earning and while the reward system isn't impressive in terms of financial throughput (gold per hour or minute) if you want to PvP anyway, you shouldn't feel that you're gimping yourself in terms of earning money.

PS/ I've been having so much fun and I've got so many classes to get to grips with (I feel like each of my six 80s deserve a run at least) I might end up sharing some tips or builds at a later date! Bear in mind I'm no expert... yet.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lucky Breaks

Sometimes you just get lucky. A long time ago when my Guardian hit 80 and I was gearing him up with exotics, I made the cost cutting decision to use a named exotic set with okay stats and okay runes. That set was Devona's and it was okay at the time.

Now however, the new meta means the runes of strength on each of this guardian's armor items are worth 10 gold and over. I don't main my guardian so his armour got salvaged with black lion salvage kits (to guarantee the runes) and sold.

It wasn't one of the runes or sigils I gambled on but it was a stroke of luck anyway. My guardian is in placeholder rare gear for now. I think I hurt his feelings.

You can't plan for these fortuitous occasions but you do need a rough mental picture of everything on your account (especially alts you play less often) to realise when one pops up.

Most of the returns from these runes of strength will be reinvested again but I've yet to decide where to place my coin. I have quite a few unidentified dyes so I think some diversifying is called for.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Guild Wars 2 April Feature Patch

The April feature patch is here and there is much change!

First thing to do is log on every one of your characters and check your mail. Enjoy the unidentified dye influx if you maybe took my advice about buying regular duplicate dyes before the patch.

Then go to the black lion trading post armor trader and convert your town clothing to the new version of town clothing (if you want, I think it's almost a requirement as there's no town clothing window any more).

After you might log one character into the eye of the mists to unlock your PvP wardrobe. From here it's a time of experimentation - both with new traits and new looks. Here's a couple of my favourites after 20 minutes or so.

My Elementalist

My Engineer

It's also a great time to find bargains on the trading post. Dyes are plummeting in price - don't sell your unidentified dyes yet. We're talking months before you'll get the optimal return from them (and I think we will because they won't be dropping any more).

Check for exotic or rare skins you like the look of. Some of the better looking will rise steeply in demand with this patch.

There will be a lot of ups and downs and some winners and losers over the next week. Over all there's a lot to do. Let's get cracking!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

April Feature Pack Rune and Sigil Changes

One method for possibly making a tidy profit before the patch in a couple of days involves buying up cheap runes and sigils or investing in dearer versions that you think might get a bit of a boost with the changes to runes and sigils.

The changes include:

  1. Staffs, hammers, longbows, shortbows, greatswords (and any two handed weapons I've missed) can have 2 sigils, not just one. 
  2. Some runes are being tweaked to allow for some popular hybrid rune combos right now.
  3. The hidden rules behind sigil activation are being adjusted.

Point number one means that most players with a two handed weapon in at least one of their weapons slots will be buying an extra sigil. The most popular sigils will increase in price.

This ties in with point number 3, which will see a reduction in shared cool downs and an increase in proc chance for on hit and on crit runes (and sigils) - certain impossible (or pointless) sigil combinations will become both possible and quite desirable.

Point 2 means we may see some big changes to certain rune sets, changes that result in shifts in prices.

All in all it's tough to predict what will happen. There will be much post patch calculating done in order to pick the best sigil and rune combinations (for the berserker meta for instance).

When the dust settles either the current pick of the rune/sigil crop will remain 7g+ or, perhaps, some of the low to mid price crowd will rise to join them in the golden sun.

I've invested in a few of the very cheapest and least desirable runes and sigils (runes of the undead for example) along with a slew of mid-priced options just in case. At the very least, it's highly unlikely I'll lose much money from this kind of speculation.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Gold and Levels in Edge of the Mists

Edge of the Mists! It's a beautiful place. Really, it's superb. First of all it's gorgeous - the designers really knocked the ball out of the park. Second of all, the 3 hour match rotations means you never really end up suffering too long by being outclassed (in theory).

Thirdly, and this is what I've been enjoying most about EotM with the two professions I'm levelling at the moment (Elementalist and Engineer) you can gain a lot of levels AND attain quite a bit of gold.

Here's a few tips if you want to try it out:

  • Stick with the karma train (probably the most important thing) and try not to die!
  • If you die, wait. If the train you're with overcomes whatever hazard kills you, you'll be revived. 
  • I recommend joining a party if you're low level or prefer supporting rather than doing a lot of damage. That way you'll be able to loot more NPCs (and enemy players). 
  • If you have nothing you want to buy with your badges, convert them to whichever plan sells well. Rates vary but if you place the plans on above the minimum sellers price you can probably stretch towards a 2 or 3 silver per 6 badges - and you can earn a lot of badges*. 
  • Level multiple alts through the WvWvW ranking system. You gain chests and silver for every level gained independently (this only applies until the next patch when you'll have a consolidated, account bound wvwvw rank). 
Enjoy defending the mists!

*You CAN create superior siege blueprints and make more gold per badge but there's a material and skill point investment.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Excited for Next Tuesday's Patch

Hello! Exciting news. I finally settled on a look for my mesmer. It took a while, it took a long while and the answer was not what I expected:

And Saxon Cain, my loyal 2nd character (a warrior) is now a woman, all power to her.

Anyway, I've begun playing Guild Wars 2 again these past few months. I've been doing other things and not had time to write here either. You know when you get a strange period in life? Well you don't want the long, boring version but let's just say I now speak Swedish ("hej!" och "hur mår ni" till alla som läser och förstår det här) and I will be going to the Shaolin temple to train Kung fu this summer.

Sometimes things just go in interesting directions.

Hi anyone that reads this. If you want a TIP, well I've been out of the loop a while but from what I can see there's still a possibility to attain many unidentified dyes (cheapish) when the new patch hits.

The first factoid: Duplicate dyes on your characters will be refunded as unid'd dyes when account wide dyes in the wardrobe are unleashed.

The first assumption: Many people are already buying and learning dyes across their characters (the price of dyes has increased substantially). This means a lot of people are buying the dyes that were previously worth COPPER. So when the patch hits, new unid'd dyes will flood the trading post.

Investment 1: Buy the oversupplied dyes after patch.

The second factoid: Unidentified dyes will no longer drop - they ain't on no loot tables any mo - post patch.

Assumption the second: While people won't need as many unid'd dyes to fill their account wide dye collection, over time dye popularity will recover. They're a lottery ticket - you might get a valuable dye - and they're a recipe requirement in some legendary weapons, plus they're off loot tables. Supply is restricted to crafting and laurel vendors. If other investors think thusly, this they might hold onto dyes during the early predicted surplus period (in other words, there may not be much surplus).

Investment 2: Create or use existing characters (as many character slots as you've unlocked) to learn the cheapest dyes on the trading post across all your characters.
Personally I've tried a bit of option 2 already. I've been out and my gold reserves aren't as impressive in the evolving market, but I threw some funds into 13 - 14s dyes in the hope the unidentified dyes I get back will return to the 30s mark or more (doubling my investment). 

I also plan on monitoring the unidentified dye price on patch day. It might go down low enough that I feel like another investment in these dyes. 

What are your thoughts?
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