Cooking is a Thing

February 23, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Posted in Crafting, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 9 Comments
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I was thinking about ascended crafting the other day and it seems pretty likely we’ll have ascended jewelry before too long, we’ve had the Xunlai Electrum Ingot storage space for ages. What I haven’t seen a hint of is ascended cooking. Surely there will be some form of ascended foods right?

Well the short answer is not necessarily. There are no ascended potions from artificer, and no ascended crafting storage spaces for anything that looks like food. Which is a damn shame really, ascended potions and foods could be a way of fixing a bunch of things that I don’t like or are missing from foods and potions.

For instance I want longer lasting food and potions. Most level 80 items last 30 minutes, but I think the majority of content in Guild Wars 2 tends to last longer than a half hour. I’d like to see more foods with 45 minute and 1 hour timers. This could be a way to progress cooking up to 500, with 45 minute recipes helping people get to 450, and 1 hour recipes at 500.

Then again I wonder what effect the Metabolic Primer cash shop item would have on that idea. It specifically makes foods last longer. Great for those 12 hour gameplay sessions. I joke, but yeah, I’ve done that.

Another thing I’d like to see foods and potions do is shed the experience gain. The vast majority give you +10% experience, +15% experience, no experience gain at all, or a very few give +5% karma. I think there is a lot of room to grow here.

First of all why not open up the number of foods that boost karma? The few that do universally also give +Healing Power. There are plenty of stats people might want to use with a karma food. Not to mention with significant nerfs to karma gain, there would be no harm in more karma foods.

And why not expand on the number of things these foods might boost. Omnomberry Bars boost gold find, along with a small number of other foods. But we could also add percentage gains to such things as World XP, Guild Influence, a Gathering Bonus maybe even agony resistance. I’m sure there’s quite a few other stat combinations and proc possibilities that could be used as well. There is no lack of experience in Guild Wars 2 so I’d definitely like to see more variety.

On a more speculative note, most high level foods have 2 stats and an xp boost. Would there be more room for celestial foods, for 3 stats and a boost, other combinations? More Dragon’s Revelry Starcake please.

Finally I think trays, pots, and feasts could probably be cleaned up a bit, with more affordable recipes, and a larger variety of choice. Not to mention so little documentation, I can’t even find Pot of Meat and Winter Vegetable Stew on the wiki. Can we throw some of the recipes out as a reward once in a while? The recipe for Pot of Orrian Truffle Soup costs over 4g for the Bottles of Elonian Wine alone.

And of course, why are there no kegs for potions? Why can’t I share my potion wealth without having to organize who sends what potion to who due to in game mail suppression. And why don’t potions count towards the Thirst Slayer achievement? And Metabolic Primer doesn’t work on potions? Potions really get the short end of the stick. Ridiculous.

I don’t see any reason cooking shouldn’t be given the ascended treatment, or why potions have been left out.

There are plenty of food and potions that could use a kick in the pants in the demand department. Ascended cooking would certainly mean an opportunity to start consuming cooking materials. For example I think potions could use a daily feast type daily. There must be hundreds of thousands of potions selling below the costs of their production, he said without having done a single minute of any actual research at all. Although I doubt higher grade potion ingredients really need a jump start to their prices.

I’m sure lovers of this particular crafting profession are keen to see some action. To be honest I’m keen to make some money off of price spikes since my cooking tab is nearly full. That doesn’t mean I’m not 100% behind it on principle of course. Come on Arenanet, don’t forget about cooking and potions.

Final post script, perfect opportunity to add Fishing to the game!? Probably not.

Keeping Tabs

January 6, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Posted in Crafting, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 2 Comments
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As a follow up to my post about bank slots, I said I’d make a post about my collection tabs. I think I’ll skip which miniatures I have, and crafting materials tend to have a less involved story for how I got them, but I’ll still hold to the same basic format as the previous post.

Common crafting materials.


As you can see right away I’ve been trying to fill my collection tabs to maximum. I’m the rare type of player who feels a weird obligation to max these things out. Obviously with some types of drops this is harder to do, but with common crafting materials it’s entirely plausible.

Anything not at maximum capacity at this point is due to my efforts in ascended crafting, in particular silk, leathers, elder wood. Most of these are naturally collected, but when crafting I’m not above buying cheap materials.

Hardest things to fill, for me especially while trying to max crafting professions, are soft wood and iron. But at least I can go out and gather those, the leathers and cloths are what bother most people I think, since they mostly only come from drops and bags.

Fine crafting materials.


Tier 1 and tier 5 fine crafting materials are the easiest materials to fill to 250 I would say. After maxing out every crafting profession, sometimes multiple times, the mid-tier materials have been hard to fill. At one point I was buying out cheap mid level container bag drops off the auction house. I wanted to see if Rare Crafting Materials (as in the next tab down) dropped enough to make them a good investment. Typically they don’t (I certainly got lucky with the spike in linen prices but as I saved the linen, I didn’t profit abundantly) but, it certainly helped fill up some of these slots, not to mention fill out linen and some of my leathers. It was a good deal before everybody figured out it was a good way to get linen.

I would say the main reason my tier 6 materials are as robust as they are right now, even after maxing out some ascended crafting professions, is due to Mystic Clovers. I’ve been using the 10 clover recipe which has been remarkably rewarding, but perhaps I was just lucky.

A few oddities worth mentioning. My engraved totems sit at about 11. These do not appear in any bags, drop only from 4 mobs in two zones, and currently sit at about 2.50 on the auction house. Wish I had more, don’t understand why they’re quite that rare compared to every other item in this tab. I’ve been doing the karka queen on a regular basis so I’d say I have quite a few shells compared to most. And if you don’t have a full stack of watchwork sprockets, I don’t know what you were doing wrong during the Scarlet invasions.

Rare crafting materials.


This is a collection tab I’ve resigned to never filling to capacity. Unless I buy everything in it. As you can see I have small numbers of the low level shards, fragments, and slivers. Some are rare drops, some from bags I bought. Cores and lodestones come from all manner of sources, dungeons, orrian jewelry boxes, champ boxes, chests, you name it. I’d probably have more of all of these except I foolishly use them towards crafting on occasion. It’s never worth it but I do it anyway to level up.

I also gave away many of my charged lodestones and cores to people who were looking to make a legendary with those, since they’re quite expensive and I’m a fucking great guy.

I used to sell the vile essence and putrid essence and only recently stopped in order to fill them to capacity.

The ectos are technically at capacity for the moment if anyone saw the bank account post. I keep the slot mostly empty so that I can deposit at will.

The large skulls were something I happened to speculate on, long ago, when their price dropped a bit. Should probably buy the remaining 12 as I’ll never get them as drops.

I’m slowly turning my extra quartz into charged quartz, but I’ll probably never max those out either.

The obsidian at one point was far more than maxed out. I had at least 350 or more from saving up my karma potions and using karma boosts while buying orrian jewelry boxes, it was such a good haul. Those have gone away due to Mystic Clovers and ascended crafting.

I do dailies and monthlies regularly so I have plenty of mystic coins.

My first full stack of pristine toxic spore samples was a tedious amount of farming.

I suppose I could spend the karma on 250 sun beads. For the longest time I didn’t think they were even in the game, but they’re a karma heart item in Sparkfly Fen.

Ascended crafting materials.


Right so, another tab I’ll likely never fill. Except maybe the bloodstone dust and bricks. The only empty slots are the future ascended jewelry materials (I assume) and the only full slot is thermocatalytic reagent. I would say the only reason I have as much dark matter as I do is that I salvaged many of the exotic weapons I made with huntsman when leveling it to 500.



The majority of jewels in here came through gathering, with a small percentage through bags. Thanks to mining orichalcum and ancient wood (and nodes in their vicinity) on a regular basis I can easily max out tier 5 and tier 6 jewels. I did have to go out of my way to harvest a lot of coral to max both those out, and it will be a long time before I max out anything in the low and mid tier ranks, but the only thing I don’t think I’ll be able to max out is azurite, as it’s now only available from one fractal.

It’s funny to think I only have this many pearls because I wanted to max out clams in my food tab, or how I maxed out opal crystals long ago because I farmed the temple of lyssa for charged lodestones and cores a few times. I wonder how much those passion flowers are worth? 26 gold.

Cooking materials.


A lot of these came fairly easily. I think stuff like carrots, mushrooms, blueberries, it was just a matter of not selling them when I got them. Other things I outright bought with karma or cash, because essentially that’s the only way to get them. The only things you won’t see maxed out are either karma items I haven’t gotten around to buying or materials that are rare as all hell.

For instance, yams. They’re so rare I don’t even remember where to get them, I have to wiki them right now to tell you they are from root vegetables in Hirathi Highlands (1 zone!) and bags of pilfered goods.

If it’s near an ori or ancient node however, I likely have plenty of them. All of the high level harvesting nodes whether they’re rare or not from turnips to snow truffles to passion fruit, if it’s commonly close by I’ll harvest it. Seaweed mostly came out of my pursuit of coral however, and items that only come from specific patches had to be targeted until they were done, cauliflower, lettuce, sugar pumpkins, and I’m currently working on spinach and cabbage.

Lemongrass is yet another rare one, but in pursuit of it I’ve managed to max out my cayenne pepper and start selling it for profit, along with work towards coriander seed.

Oranges were a very common drop from one of the types of bags I had been buying.

Leeks and green onions are by far my most hated materials, worthless but always nearby.

Festive materials.


I actually think that they give out way too much candy corn and too little of the other Halloween materials. You have to really want to farm that stuff or just buy it, which isn’t fun for some people. And you can see how they repeat that mistake with Wintersday items too, plenty of Giant presents but no small or medium ones unless you aim for them, which I did.

It’s at the point where a great reward would be High-Quality Plastic fangs (which take 1000 plastic fangs to make) would be a good reward. Only they don’t give them out as rewards.

It’ll take a long time to fill some of these out, and likely never for the rare and exotic versions.

And the rest is mini’s which is even less interesting than the above.

Bank Account

December 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Crafting, Festival, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 6 Comments
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What do people keep in their banks? How many bank slots do you guys have?

I bought the maximum (at the time) amount of bank slots early on, 8, by converting all my gold in the early days into gems. Back when you could buy hundreds of gems for a couple gold. I knew eventually trading gold for gems would be an exorbitant cost (little did I know quite how exorbitant) so one of my first in game goals was to get bank slots.

The truth is though, I’ve never really needed 8. For long stretches of time some bank panels have remained empty or filled with garbage.

In any case I thought I’d dissect what I keep in my bank.

First panel.


I’ll move from top left to bottom right. I have some leftover mysterious keys from the toxic living story events. Probably should delete them as I don’t plan on buying/farming a completed trio. Some Aetherkey pieces for the new Twighlight Arbor dungeon path. Hard to find people who want to put in the time for that one after the living story passed. Then some of the Wintersday items, I’ll probably trade them in soon for a few last Giant Wintersday gifts, not that the likelihood of getting anything is very good. Then I’ve got quartz crystals waiting to become charged crystals whenever I get around to it. And 180 Queen’s Gambit tickets that I never really got around to using because I wasn’t really into the gambit.

On the second row, over the past few weeks, I’ve got three Black Lion Salvage Kits from my dailies. Most of my characters have one on them so until those are used up, these ones are going to sit around.

On the third row I’ve got a royal pass. Kudos to Arenanet for making them drop, but thumbs down on making them only last two weeks, and personally I’d like them to work like a Hall of Monuments stone. As such I’ve never felt compelled to actually use it. From there I’ve got Pristine Toxic Spore Samples, most of which I farmed but some I bought. I figure once the toxic events go away, if there is no other source for them, I’ll have no trouble making a little money off them. Now, I did have the same idea with Watchwork Sprockets, as you can see. The price for those hasn’t exactly been a rocket to the moon (possibly because Scarlet still attacks zones every day) but the price has been increasing. As of this writing they’re at 94c which means a stack is over 2g. A far cry from when they were selling at 30 or 40c. Finally you’ll see Scrolls of Knowledge, a rare Scroll of Knowledge, and a Tome of Knowledge. Partially hanging on to them in the hopes I’ll get up the energy to convert skill points to cash, partially hanging on to them because, one day, #Tengu.

Second panel.


To be honest I’m not very good at remembering to use the free stuff I get. As a result it stacks up in my bank. I’ve got several Fine Transmutation sitting around from back when they actually dropped from dailies, and way too many basic T-stones from zone completion. It’s getting a little ridiculous, but seeing as I have 8 level 80’s and no other characters, well, I don’t know what to do with them. A transmutation splitter I acquired because I have a legendary IIRC, the birthday buffs you get in the mail, some leftover Kite Fortunes I supposedly keep around because I’ll use the buffs one day, 9 experience scrolls that will get me to level 20 because #Tengu. 182 Mystic Forge Stones from all the achievement chests I’ve opened. Frankly, those are one of the only things I make sure to use in this panel. Mystic Salvage Kits are the best, and one of the only uses for those anyway. Crystals and Philosopher Stones round out the top row, usually have extras and it seems wasteful to throw them away. These ones are mostly left over from Mystic Clover creation.

The second row of this panel is almost all stuff I got from daily rewards or achievement chests. There is a small stack of Black Lion Chests, a relic from the past, way back when Black Lion keys actually came from daily rewards or dropped in the world.

The bottom row is much the same. The first item is a leftover Gift of Exploration, but everything else is boosters. Quest rewards, dailies, achievement chests, I would rarely think to use xp boosts while leveling, and never think to use stat boosts while playing, but magic find, karma, and crafting boosts have all seen their fair amount of use even though I still have plenty. I used to save up the karma jugs, etc, and pop the karma boost quite a bit. Gave me an actual use for a booster. Not so much any more. Maybe some day I’ll use the bonfire for a Twit Guild thing.

Third panel.


This panel is a bit of a mix. I’ve been saving up ectos, obviously, for the shiney fractal capacitor backpiece. Technically I could have it right now, just haven’t gotten around to mystic forging it. All the other crafting materials in this panel are essentially saved up to help level various crafting professions to 500. Moving on to Koi Cake and Kralkachocolate Bars, I had saved these because essentailly they’re pretty good foods. Koi Cake makes for an excellent addition to a condition damage build, and Kralka Bars add +5% karma, which would have been great if that still effected Karma Jugs etc. On the end of this row are Black Lion ticket scraps, not enough to get anything, some Kite Fortunes which will hopefully be useful again some day, and 53 Mystic Clovers. I’m very slowly building up to getting a second legendary. The one problem being I’m not particularly inspired to get any of the current legendaries.

On the second row the only things of note are the Pristine Fractal Relics and the Dragons Jade Claim Ticket. I’m not in urgent need of ascended rings right now. I could slap one on an alt pretty easily, I guess I’m waiting to have an actual reason to use them. As it stands the characters I want to have ascended rings have them. Anything else is superfluous. Now the Jade ticket, I’m not going to lie, its worth a bit of cash at this point. I could probably get 45 to 50g by trading it in and selling the item. But who knows, maybe my #Tengu will want a dragon weapon? Maybe.

On the bottom row I’ve got a lot of siege weapons. I don’t typically think to bring them, and usually there are plenty anyway. I’ve been meaning to donate them to some kind mist warriors on my server who are fighting the good fight. Aside from the traps anyway, I’m going to use those, I’ve never seen anyone bother with them so I’m definitely going to see what happens. Aside from that I’ve got a few agony infusions, not really a fan of the new system for that, kind of tedious. And a couple weeks ago I got an ascended weapon box in fractals, soldier stats. Haven’t decided what to do with it yet, guardian greatsword maybe? Not really in deep need of a weapon right now. Same situation as ascended rings really.

Fourth panel.


I’ve been hanging on to these tier 5 materials because I vaguely thought they might spike in price at some point. And while they have done so, it’s only ever been fairly mild spikes. Should probably just sell them. I bought a couple stacks of linen a couple months ago in anticipation of ascended tailoring, back when it was a reasonable price. Never realized how insane prices for linen would be. I just did the math on what would happen if I sold every last scrap and bolt of linen I have. 60g. Not bad.

The rest of the panel are sigils and runes I’ve been keeping around to throw on alt exotic gear, whether temporary or permanent. Some of these are pretty good, others very specific to builds, others pretty useless. Could probably get rid of most of them without a second thought.

Fifth panel.


I had been using almost this entire panel for one purpose. Mystic Forge Dailies. I’d save up greens, the remaining few of which you can see, throw them in the mystic forge, nab the daily and hopefully come out of it with a rare or two. I have had pretty good luck with getting rares so I had incentive up until the changes to magic find. Which means I’m much more likely to salvage just about everything I get leaving nothing for the daily. Thankfully the dailies have expanded a bit by adding a lot of living story dailies so I’m not hard up for quick ways to do them.

Sixth panel.


Cultural armours. Seemed like a shame to just throw them away. That’s asura tier 1 light to begin with, which I didn’t really like. Followed by human tier 1 light on the right, which is kind of meh. Norn tier 1 light on the 2nd row, which I would still be using now if Necronomnomnomicon didn’t look insanely crazy in the Aetherblade gem store armour. And finally the charr tier 1 heavy, which could plausibly go back on my guardian.

Seventh panel.


I could probably lose most of the stuff in the cultural armour bank panel and this bank panel pretty quickly. The first two rows are essentially just alt gear. I saved a rare ring and amulet to possibly put on an alt, but I’m pretty sure I’m full up on rare jewelry. I got an exotic speargun out of a champion box, but I don’t need it, so that is either going on sale or going to be salvaged for dark matter. The next item is a Durmand Priory skin I saved for my ranger, it’s an exotic, but has bad stats. It will probably end up being salvaged. The next 3 items are exotics I got out of Fractals but don’t have uses for, and the Aetherized shoulders everyone got with the healing power on them. So yeah. Looking to get rid of these at some point I guess.

The second row is an alt set of gear for my guardian that I made when I was leveling armoursmith to 500. Don’t know if I’m going to bother keeping them yet. Beside that is a rabid insignia that I salvaged off of something. Can’t remember what.

Bottom row consists of insignia and inscriptions (which I’m saving to help level crafting professions) I’ve gotten off the Karka Queen, a host of worthless Giver’s and Celestial recipes that I’ve been adding to all of my alts, 2 Shadow of Grenth Ascended backpiece recipes, and the recipe for the leatherworker superior rune of antitoxin. I’ll probably sell one of the Shadow of Grenth recipes at some point down the line, they’re worth 3g right now, but in 6 months? I don’t know. The question is what to do with the antitoxin. The price is pretty high right now, 18g. But the price of a stack of pristine spore samples is about 12g, plus the additional 1g cost is 13g, which makes me think there are a lot of people doing exactly what I’m doing, getting the runes and waiting for them to go away to make a killer profit, which is probably going to backfire for all of us. I should sell now, but, I’ll play it out.

Eighth panel.


I had gotten it into my head that I was going to save up all the festival stuff. But I’m probably going to do something about the candy corn you can see in the top row soon, this window is getting crowded. The two most recent skins from living world are next, the gas mask and antitoxin injector, then Tassi’s Relay Golem which I kept for some reason, I’ll probably end up destroying it (editor’s note: I took it out of the bank, double-clicked it and it disappeared, problem solved?). The infinite watchknight tonic, flames of kryta, twisted shoulder skins, and mask of the night skins round out the top row.

On the second row are the dragon wings skin, the Zephyr rucksack that I just had to get for my engineer but never use even though it has a freaking bird, the desert rose skin which is now worth around 25g, the fervid censor, sclerite karka shell, and Super Adventure Box backpacks, baubles and continue coins.

Final row, so glad I decided not to capitalize every single thing in this post, my fingers are tired. The Mad Memories flaming book backpiece. I keep promising myself I’m going to make it my engi’s permanent backpiece but I never do. Spooky and Mysterious tonics, account bound so I can’t sell them. Might trash them if I need the room. The Zephyr Sanctum model and Marjory’s Journal. Two oddities so far in GW2’s history, you can tell Anet was experimenting with them. Polla, a low level accessory for newbies, its a sweet reference to the Sea of Sorrow’s novel and I suppose I could end up using it on a new character, like a #Tengu maybe? And finally, a bunch of stuff I thought might come in handy from last years Wintersday. No such luck. Pretty much all worthless, with no way to get more cogs, there’s no way to make mini’s out of these toy frames, and I already acquired one of the ones I didn’t have from this year’s rewards. So those will be in the trash soon I guess.

And that is a way too thorough overlook of everything that is in my bank. I’m the only one who will ever read this far into the post, muwhahahahahaha.

Intelligence Gathering

December 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Posted in Crafting, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | Comments Off on Intelligence Gathering
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My boring gathering routines.

With Ascended crafting the profitability of gathering has shot up over the past few months and I’ve been spending a lot of my time doing that. I find it relaxing and sometimes contribute to my servers page over at What strikes me as interesting is the large number of ways one could spend their time gathering and still make money, instead of it being a total waste of time in lower levels as in some games.

Probably the best way to gather is to park all the alt characters you don’t use in an area with tightly packed orichalcum, ancient, or other valuable nodes and just log into them one by one to gather what you can.

Although efficient, I tend to find that boring, so I usually wander around on my thief, sometimes just following the GW2nodes map, sometimes branching out. My thief is ideal due to being able to stealth into a mobbed up area and then just leave without being slowed down by CC or combat movement speeds. I’ve also put all my infinite mining tools on my thief due to this.

Of course I tend to get tempted by nearby nodes quite a bit. I mean so many nodes are valuable these days. If I’m in Orr, why wouldn’t I go get that omnomberry? Orrian Truffles, ghost pepper, and lotus are all decently profitable. I’ll even go for coral most of the time. They don’t sell at all on the AH, but a green coral tentacle is a guarenteed 1s, and a coral orb is 2s. Most of the time that’s more money than a mithril or cypress node.

If I go to Southsun for the ori or ancient, why wouldn’t I go after passion fruit and passion flowers? The fruit is selling at over 1s and it’s tightly packed near pearl islet. If I can find a Blooming node, that is 20s right there. Yet I never see anyone else gathering in the area. There are usually 3 or 4 Blooming nodes in the zone, but the place is deserted on the Northern Shiverpeaks server.

A popular place with Twit Guild is a location in Mount Maelstrom they like to call “The Patch”. It’s a reliable location for 4 or 5 verdant herb nodes southwest of the Crucible of Eternity. Vanilla is the big attraction, which can make a quick trip there worth around 30s if you’re lucky. Myself I actually start a bit west, near Ashen waypoint, travel north, then south, collecting hard wood and platinum (if I need it) along with verdant and mature herbs, down along the coast to the artichoke (80c) patch, then turn north towards “The Patch”. It usually turns out pretty well, though sometimes all I come away with is tarragon (40c).

A few weeks ago when I really needed to stock up on platinum I started going to northwest Sparkfly Fen a lot. Between the cauliflower patch (worthless but I usually gather when I see a patch because I see it as an opportunity to try for an unidentified dye) and the vista to the south there is a chance for as many as 3 rich platinum nodes to spawn. There’s always one, and sometimes a few regular nodes. Platinum is at about 2s, not super expensive but if you spend your money in the AH when you could be gathering it for free, that’s the reason you’re poor.

Lately I’ve been pretty low on softwood, and looking all over Tyria has yielded few results for large numbers of softwood in a small radius. There doesn’t seem to be anything reliable from one server reset to the next when all the nodes relocate. I’ve ended up going to Forlorn Gates waypoint outside Ebonhawke quite a bit. It’s not great but it’s more reliable than any other location I’ve found thus far. I’ll start there and head northeast eventually ending up in the grape patch in ogre territory to the southeast. Old Gate waypoint in Diessa is a possibility but it’s a bit hit or miss. I’m still looking for a good spot.

Another thing I’ve been doing lately that Shongaqu turned me on to was gathering from herb patches in northeast Straits of Devestation. Start at Fort Trinity and go north and west, you’ll run into a lot of asparagus, herbs, cayenne pepper and artichoke. I have a strange OCD obsession with filling my collection storage to 250 (no I’m not getting the collection expander. Crazy, but not that crazy) and some of the things here are on my list of things to get. It’s a pretty quick run so I’ve been doing it quite a bit. The more profitable aspects are the cayenne pepper and coriander seed, both selling around 4.5s, and the lemongrass (although much rarer) at 13s.

About the only other spot I go to on a regular basis is the Terra Carorunda waypoint in northeast Blazeridge Steppes. I spiral out from that waypoint in a clockwise direction collecting kale, zucchinis, seasoned wood, but mostly iron and herbs. I can get chili peppers, dill sprigs, and plenty of other rare and profitable herbs.

Probably the most surprising things to me that are still worth gathering are carrots and onions. They’re the most basic vegetables, found everywhere, only one crafting profession uses them, and yet they’re still worth around 1s each. I don’t know any really lucrative gathering spots for them, aside from maybe just north of Lion’s Arch where I sometimes get my Daily Variety done.

I think a lot of people don’t check in on prices a lot, so they don’t see when things happen like the cooking recipe that became really popular and spiked carrots up to 3s a while back. That and it’s so common in other games for low level materials to become a worthless waste of time. I guess another reason people don’t take advantage of these profitable situations is because overall gathering is pretty boring. Well, perhaps that’s the main reason.

The Hungry Tyrian

February 9, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Posted in Crafting, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 8 Comments
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The chef crafting profession is used most often to gain ten levels of experience without having to do much work or spend much gold. Often a few specific foods are made and then the profession is cast aside to be forgotten until the next alt requires a few easily gained levels.

Playing through the game, I often group up with people and notice that by and large only a single food is ever displayed beside the average player avatar. The omnomberry bar, 30% magic find, 40% gold find. Amongst my guild it is a must have for just about any dungeon, paying for itself as you play.

Rarely do I see any other foods being used even though the diversity and variety of foods is staggering. My aim here is to highlight some of the lesser known foods and demonstrate why they should be used more often.

I’ll try to concentrate on the most effective in both cost and usefulness for max level characters.

This is one aspect of Guild Wars 2 that I think is highly under-appreciated. Some foods can deliver staggering results.

What you should know about foods first

Foods and potions stack. You can eat a food, drink a potion, and get results from both. So even if you must have that omnomberry bar, you should probably drink a potion as well.

Due to the variety and levels of food available, often foods below max level are a bargain on the Auction House compared to their maxed out version, with minimal loss of stats. You’ll find some of these recommended as alternatives.

You will often find foods on the Auction House for less than the cost of their ingredients.

Foods or potions that increase a stat by a percentage can work really well for people who have maxed out a particular stat.

Pretty much all foods give a 10% experience boost but festival foods tend to give a 15% boost to experience.

What you need to know about potions first

There are essentially four types of potions, Slayer potions and Tuning Crystals crafted by Artificers, Maintenance Oils crafted by Huntsmen, and Sharpening Stones crafted by Weaponsmiths. Slayer potions are better for specific areas or specific dungeons. The other potions are generally geared towards builds that have stacked attributes in toughness and vitality.

Slayer potions are all over the place in both cost, usefulness and specificity. Obviously 10% versus undead is insanely useful in Orr but useless in Frostgorge. Their costs can be outrageous as well. One Potent potion (not even the max level) requires a corrupted core in the recipe, currently selling for around 60 silver. Discerning readers will have to come to their own conclusions about when and where to use slayer potions and how much to pay for them.

Finally, Slayer potions do more damage versus a particular type of monster, but don’t overlook that you actually take less damage from those monsters as well.

Okay, on to the foods.

Magic Find

    Most Efficient

    Omnomberry Bar: 30% magic find, 40% gold from monsters

    By far the most popular food, I’d be a fool to not mention these. Aside from the obvious, more loot, there are still a couple of things to note.

    Magic find always works better in a group as group damage counts towards doing the minimal damage for rewards. Or something like that. Trust me, you’ll note the difference.

    The 40% gold find from monsters is not to be dismissed. If a champion drops 5 silver, you’ll make an extra 2. Many champions drop cash in dungeons, anywhere from 5 to 15 silver.

    Best Alternative

    Spicy Pumpkin Cookie: 30% Magic Find, +70 condition damage

    A popular alternative to O-bars is the Spicy Pumpkin Cookie. It’s selling at about 1 silver at the moment and outside of a dungeon I’ve never felt gold find was particularly useful.

    It lasts 45 minutes, a full 15 minutes longer than an O-bar.

    There is one drawback in that it has the ability to turn you into a costumed brawler with costume brawl skills, until you exit out of course.

    Easiest To Make

    Cup of Lotus Fries: 30% magic find, +70 condition damage

    Probably the quickest to make with the least amount of fuss or cost. These are currently selling just barely more than the SPC.


    Most Efficient

    Bowl of Poultry and Leek Soup: -36% condition duration, +60 vitality

    A full 4 silver less than the Bowl of Lemongrass Poultry Soup<, with only a 4% reduction in effectiveness.

    Also much easier and cheaper to craft.

    Best Alternative

    Bowl of Saffron-scented Poultry Soup: 100% chance to remove a condition when you use a heal skill, +70 Healing

    You’re likely to be healing if under the effects of a condition anyway right?

    This sells for under 2 silver but the supply is weak.


    Bowl of Lemongrass Poultry Soup: -40% condition duration, +70 Vitality

    Obviously statistically better, it’s far more expensive.


    Most Efficient

    Bowl of Orrian Truffle and Meat Stew: 100% chance to gain might when you dodge.
    +40% to Endurance refill rate

    Forget about the Might here, this food is about dodging. If you’ve got yourself a situation in Guild Wars 2 where dodging is essential, and there are many of them, this food has your back.

    Currently selling for 3s75c on the Auction House.

    Kind of a pain to make yourself.

    Best Alternative

    Bowl of Meat and Winter Vegetable Stew: 80% chance to gain might when you dodge.
    +30% to your Endurance refill rate

    A 10% hit to that refill rate but the cost makes it appealing. It’s Currently selling at just under 1 silver.

    Somehow I think BoOTaMS is slightly easier to make.

Downed Health

    Most Efficient

    Bowl of Fire Salsa: +100% downed health, +20% damage while downed

    Are you a thief? This is the food for you.

    Best Alternative

    Don’t be a thief.


    Most Efficient

    Quality Maintenance Oil: Gain precision equal to 5% of your toughness
    Gain precision equal to 3% of your vitality

    These potions really depend on what stats you’ve built around and what you want more of.

    All things the same, I’m going with Maintenance oil because I prefer a hard stat like precision over the condition damage of Tuning Crystals.

    It’s also slightly cheaper and easier to make than Hardened Sharpening Stones, no refinement necessary, although a trip to the crafting merchant will require you to get jugs of water.

    With 1000 toughness and 1000 vitality this equals out to about 80 precision. Not as good as a food but remember they’re not competing, they stack.

    There is a mistake on the wording of the item, it says power where it should say precision.

    If they are a viable alternative in the area you’re going to, you should always consider a slayer potion.

    Best Alternative

    Hardened Sharpening Stones: Gain power equal to 5% of your toughness
    Gain power equal to 3% of your vitality

    Slightly more expensive to make, power could very well be a better fit for your build.

    The master version of the Oil, Crystals and Stones all use tier 6 crafting materials, limiting choice to the second best version of each.

    Easiest To Make

    Quality Tuning Crystal: Gain Condition damage equal to 5% of your toughness
    Gain Condition damage equal to 3% of your vitality

    Most expensive to make, and the easiest, but surprisingly also the cheapest to buy on the auction house, currently a bargain.

    Obviously if you’d like to increase your condition damage rather than other stats this is the potion for you.

Health Regeneration

    Most Efficient

    Mango Pie: Gain health every second, +70 vitality

    88 health a second is a lovely stat to have in a lot of situations. I’d prefer it to foods that reduce condition damage, steal health, or reduce condition duration. In a battle I’ll only have conditions on me part of the time, and stealing health is dependent on whether I’m getting critical hits.

    This food is a steal at it’s current price of 45 copper.

    Best Alternative

    Peach Pie: Gain health every second, +60 Vitality

    At 66 health a second Peach Pie is no slouch.

    Oh you thought Mango Pie was cheap? 3 copper. These suckers are selling for 3 copper a piece.


    Omnomberry Ghost: 66% chance to steal life on critical, +70 precision

    Popular and expensive but perfect for strong critical hit builds. With enough critical hits this would be able to heal people through nearly anything.

    Part of its popularity stems from the ghostly visual effect it gives the player, lasting about 5 minutes.

    Sells for over 6 silver.

    Omnomberry Pie: 66% chance to steal life on critical, +70 precision

    Exact same food as the Ghost but without the visual effect.

    Sells for 1 silver less.

    Same need for high critical hit percentage.


    Most Efficient

    Bowl of Chocolate Chip Ice Cream: Gain healing power equal to 1% of your vitality, +5% karma

    None of the foods that give karma are particularly well supplied on the Auction House, but currently this is the cheapest.

    There are only 7 foods that make karma, all ice creams, consider searching for the best deal.

    Obviously these would most efficiently be used in conjunction with other means of increasing karma gain, such as a booster or 24 hour guild upgrade.

    Easiest To Make

    Bowl of Saffron-Mango Ice Cream: Gain healing power equal to 6% of your vitality, Gain healing power equal to 4% of your toughness, +5% karma

    While not currently the cheapest to buy, easily the most well supplied, cheapest to make and easiest to make.


    Most Efficient

    Plate of Tarragon Stuffed Poultry: Gain Vitality equal to 5% of Toughness, +160 Power when health below 50%

    Depending on your toughness this is the most cost effective way to currently boost your vitality with food. Currently selling at a measly 4 copper.

    Every build should have some toughness, so this should even with low toughness give at least 50 to 70 vitality.

    Best Alternative

    Plates of Lemongrass Poultry: Gain vitality equal to 6% of your toughness, +200 power when health below 50%

    The slightly better version of tarragon stuffed poultry, lemongrass poultry sells for 2 silver more, but is still cheaper than the standard Loaf of omnomberry bread at over 7 silver, or Loaf of raspberry peach at 3s33c.

    With a build in toughness of over 2000 my guildie gets just under 1k health from this food.


    Loaf of Raspberry Peach Bread: +80 vitality, +60 toughness

    There are few straight up vitality foods at affordable prices, this is probably your best choice at just over 3 silver a piece.

    Loaf of Zucchini Bread: +50 vitality, +40 toughness

    While sporting half of the vitality of a Loaf of Omnomberry Bread, the max version, it also costs 10x less. A bargain currently selling below a silver.


    Most Efficient

    Plate of Fire Flank Steak: +100 power, +70 condition damage

    By far the most cost effective power food, selling for well under a silver.

    Also one of the easiest high level foods to craft requiring only a slab of meat and ghost pepper.

    Best Alternative

    Plate of Steak and Asparagus: +80 Power, +60 Precision

    The added precision here is nothing to sneeze at if you’re going for power.

    The price is currently a bargain, under 1 silver.


    Most Efficient

    Bowl of Fancy Potato and Leek Soup: +100 Precision, +70 condition damage

    One of the few cases where a max food sells for a reasonable amount.

    Condition damage works for some precision builds but not others, choose accordingly.

    Best Alternative

    Bowl of Potato and Leek Soup: +80 Precision, +60 Condition Damage

    An absolute bargain, currently selling for less than 10c.


    Bowl of Butternut Squash Soup: +80 precision, +8% critical damage

    If you could use crit damage, this is a definite option, selling for 4 silver less than the max version, Bowl of Curry Butternut Squash Soup.


    Most Efficient

    Bowl of Poultry Tarragon Pasta: +80 toughness, +60 precision

    Selling at just under a silver this is the most cost efficient food for toughness.

    Best Alternative

    Bowl of Truffle Ravioli: +100 Toughness, +70 Precision

    The cheapest max version of the toughness foods.

    There aren’t many options with toughness foods, due to expense and lack of variety.

    Currently selling above 2 silver.

Condition Damage

    Most Efficient

    Fancy Veggie Pizza: +28% condition duration, +60 condition damage

    I chose Fancy over Rare Veggie Pizza because while it has only 12% less duration and 10 less condition damage it costs less than a silver while Rare costs over 4 silver.

    This is an easy fix for conditions that aren’t lasting long enough for your build.

    Most of the pizza foods are an absolute pain to make.

    Best Alternative

    Bowl of Snow Truffle Soup: +80 condition damage, +60 vitality

    At half the cost of the max version, Bowl of Orrian Truffle Soup, it makes for a pretty good deal.

    Placing a custom order is unuaully cheap for this item.


    Bowl of Fancy Creamy Mushroom Soup: +60 condition damage, +50 vitality

    Bargain pricing.

In conclusion, where is the bacon? I really feel like Arenanet messed up on this one. The expansion had better have bacon. Or else.

Halloween So Far

October 24, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Posted in Crafting, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 10 Comments
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I’ve been having a lot of fun with Halloween. Guild Wars had a pretty solid history with its Halloween festival, slowly growing the number of activities until after a few years it felt like an extensive and hard to beat festival. Guild Wars 2 has started out on the right foot.

To start with there are a number of really clever ideas. The Costume Brawl is just genius. You can fight virtually anywhere, no special arena required. And there are all sorts of ways to join in. Already existing tonics have had skills introduced, you can interact with cauldrons to grab a costume, do the jumping puzzle in Lion’s Arch to be transformed into something, or buy a costume from the gem store.

As a result the costumes are quite varied and the amount of fighting going on is impressive. I don’t imagine it will quiet the PvP types who moan about dueling but hopefully it will quench their thirst. There is even a community achievement for becoming King. This requires getting off 25 hits on opponents without losing all of your hearts. I have to admit I had to resort to sniping with a ranged skeleton to manage to get past the first tier and won’t be going further.

Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any real rewards which disappointed me. It’s fun, which is the important thing, but the only reason to do it is the achievement and that isn’t enough to motivate me.

Another problem with the Costume Brawl is that people who buy a costume seem to have a clear advantage over those who don’t. Not only are the costumes amazing to look at and have some amazing effects (you ride around on a broom as a witch and can melt, as the mad king you can let loose a litany of audible jokes) but you usually have better skills than those simply using tonics, cauldrons, etc.

One of the things I really love about the festival are the doors found in various zones. They appear somewhat randomly out in the countryside of Kryta. Approaching one will allow you to interact, receive a Trick or Treat bag and then it spawns a mob. Much fun was had the first night when many of these doors started to infinitely spawn monsters. Immediately people camped these sites and farmed up dozens if not hundreds of trick or treat bags. They’re fixed now unfortunately.

Another way to get trick or treat bags is simply by going out into PvE anywhere in the world and mining raw candy corn nodes. Use your mini-map to mouse over mining nodes to see if you’re near one. You’ll get mostly candy corn but there is an achievement, the monthly, for eating 150 pieces.

Probably the most fun was the scavenger hunt. There is an NPC near the portals in Lion’s Arch that will give you a scanner that allows you to talk to ghost. After talking to the ghost by the NPC you’ll get a memoir of the mad king with clues to the other locations. It’s not particularly difficult but I enjoyed the clues and the locations I had to go to. It hints that there is more to come so I’m looking forward to just running around with a group finishing this up.

Although the short and sweet jumping puzzle in Lion’s Arch is a bit of fun, the newly added puzzles in Dredgehaunt, Timerline, and Mount Maelstrom were far more interesting to me, and I’ll add them to my guide within the next couple days.

I think the one thing that makes me wonder about Arenanet are the unique skins. Arenanet often gets so much exactly right and then makes such obvious mistakes.

There are unique skins available in the black lion chests. You have to gamble to get them, buy the keys from the store to get a random chance at something valuable. I heard a few people complaining that they had opened 10, 20, 50 chests and received nothing. Don’t get me wrong, you can get the skins off the auction house, but at what cost?

The chain sword skin is going for 6 gold. The shield for 30 gold, the rifle for 3 gold, the greatsaw for 39 gold, well it goes on like that. The ghastly shoulderpads are more affordable, clocking in around 1 to 2 gold depending on the skin.

These are supposed to be festival items are they not? Themed skins for halloween? Are they supposed to cost a fortune and only be available to some elite few?

I was also checking out the skins available from the NPCs in Lion’s Arch. You can rent them for 6 silver or 150 candy corn. For 4 hours. I remember in Guild Wars the candy cane sword or mint shields were quest rewards weren’t they? Why the change in attitude from freely available holiday themed skins to unreasonably difficult to get skins that cost a fortune to buy or craft.

The crafting part is such a joke. The recipe alone for Arachnophobia costs 11 gold. If you add up the further costs of crafting one of these skins it gets ludicrous. It doesn’t cost anything close to what a legendary costs but it certainly prices everyone but the most dedicated players out of seriously considering getting one of these skins. Unless you want one for 4 whole hours. How generous.

Rewards have definitely been the weakest point in Guild Wars 2 overall and that continues with this festival. There’s plenty of time left with more stages to the event so I’m hoping things improve, but so far all I have to show for my efforts are some foods, crafting materials, candy corn and a low level backpack I might transmute.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m having fun, and visually everything is a treat, but the only permanent things I’m walking away from this festival with are the free devil horns and a book. And few ways to show off my Halloween spirit aside from temporary tonics and costumes.

Try backstabbing me now thief!

Crafting Junk

September 7, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Posted in Crafting, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 15 Comments
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I’ve been noticing something about crafted goods in Guild Wars 2. They’re worthless to other people. They don’t sell on the auction house, there is a big supply/low demand, you can play and do well with gear well below your level and people level past items really quickly. There is no profit to be made.

Despite it all, everyone is still crafting.

Tobold seems to dislike all this. To paraphrase him, “what’s wrong with getting rich off crafting?” Well no, there isn’t anything wrong with that, but I’d ask what’s wrong with not getting rich off crafting? Tobold finishes by exclaiming “There simply doesn’t appear to be a point to crafting in Guild Wars 2.”

Yeah, no point at all.

The experience gain off gathering is decent even if you’re just going for the daily achievement. The insignia/inscription items are common enough to make crafting plausible to even the most lazy, and yet those items are also quite profitable on the auction house. Crafting itself provides levels worth of experience. You can quickly catch up to your own level to supply yourself with gear. You can increase your storage space. You can easily make things for friends at little cost to yourself. You can craft items with specific stats for your unique build. You can craft skins that so far I’ve only seen come from crafting. Finally I’d go so far as to say it’s kind of fun, or at least nowhere near as tedious and useless as crafting in some other games.

But there are drawbacks, yes.

You can’t profit from crafting. At least not right now. The economy is just flooded with “cheap mass-produced junk.” Junk that is better than the merchant can provide, can have a variety of helpful stats, can sometimes look damn good, and is better than my old gear.

I expect when people start reaching 80, or when people begin to tire of crafting, those that actually max their crafting level may be able to make a profit on rare items. Guild Wars was the type of game where you didn’t really begin playing until you reached max level. I’m hoping that holds at least partially true in Guild Wars 2 crafting, but I’m not going to be gutted if it’s not.

Choosing A Crafting Profession

June 8, 2012 at 11:51 am | Posted in Crafting, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 8 Comments
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For the most part picking a crafting profession in Guild Wars 2 will be pretty easy. You want to use pistols, go with Huntsman, you want to be a scholar go with Tailor. Straight-forward. You don’t have to think too hard if all you want to do is have useful crafting professions for personal use.

However there are a few things to consider for the more discerning player.

I think most people, at least at first, won’t want the complication of leveling two crafting professions at once. The Guild Wars 2 crafting professions don’t appear particularly complicated (at least at low levels) but managing the needs of two disciplines at launch might be too much of a bother. With that in mind you’re left with a simple question.

What is more important for you? What do you want most out of crafting? Armour, weapons, profit, or bagspace?

Generally speaking you have 6 pieces of armour, and at most you’ll be switching between 4 weapons. By virtue of numbers an armour crafting profession would appear to be the most convenient. You’ll be able to make more things for yourself while leveling.

But that isn’t the only advantage of going with an armour profession. Tailor, armoursmith, and leatherworker can create bags. Increasing your inventory space will be a priority for some people.

The only drawback for armour smiths will be that most materials will drop from mobs instead of being gathered from nodes. Depending on a persons playstyle this may affect their choice.

Of course the above reasoning doesn’t take into consideration other motivations. What if your intent is purely profit?

I think one of the most profitable crafted items will be bags, in the early days at least. That makes armour crafting even more desirable, and with their ability to make runes (though I haven’t seen how yet) it should make those professions very popular.

So popular it has the potential to make those professions less profitable. A glut of users all making the same things could potentially flood the market. This is where weapon crafting, cooking and jewelcrafting could be profitable in the long term.

Jewelcrafting in particular caught my eye as being potentially profitable. Jewelry didn’t appear to drop much in my time playing. Perhaps it was an aspect of low level play or my own bad luck, but I had to make do with the occasional personal story reward to fill out my jewelry slots. Karma vendors had some available as well but you didn’t really get to pick the stats that came with them, unless you want to hunt around from vendor to vendor. Both options are rather unimpressive in any case.

On the other hand it’s hard to say how useful cooking will be. Cooking seems to have a class of nodes all to itself, so it doesn’t lend itself to a second crafting profession very well. I’m also told by friends that it requires a great number of ingredients per recipe. There are also numerous consumables available from merchants, so a cook would have to compete (though I haven’t had a chance to compare) with those items. Aside from that it’s difficult to gauge how popular foods will be. They aren’t a requirement like, weapons, armour, or even jewelry.

Cooking also has a seeming drawback in that harvesting sickles only have 50 uses. I haven’t investigated the consequences of this, but offhand if cooking requires more resources, and you get less uses from gathering tools, it could mean a number of things. Higher costs might mean fewer cooks, higher prices, and possibly higher profits if supply is low. I’ll have to look closer at it eventually.

And that is essentially what I’ve been considering as far as choosing a crafting profession in Guild Wars 2. Eventually I’m sure I’ll have a character that has mastered each. In the beginning however I’m definitely leaning towards a leatherworker, since I’ve decided on my first 3 characters being medium armoured adventurers and I want a ton of bag space. Although that probably means I’ll have the same armour designs on 3 characters quite a bit.

World Of Craftcraft

June 7, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Posted in Crafting, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 15 Comments
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I like Guild Wars 2 crafting. There are problems with it but on the whole it is well put together. It treads a thin line between simplicity and complexity. It’s also far less of a grind than any other crafting system I’ve ever tried, not that I’ve tried many.

Collecting materials isn’t particularly hard. You’ll need to gather resources like ore and wood, and kill mobs for trophy materials like tiny claws or tiny venom sacs. For the most part I didn’t have any problems coming up with enough of these and certainly the auction house had plenty to offer.

You’ll need to refine that ore into ingots, make planks out of your wood, and combine planks with your trophies to get inscriptions. Weapons (and I’ll assume armour) are made of two components, plus the inscription. For instance, a dagger hilt, a dagger blade, and inscription. Most weapons will require one component to be made of ingots, the other to be made of wood, or some combination. Resources are usually very evenly split with a few exceptions.

I thought it could have been more even in some cases, such as the dagger. It doesn’t require wood or leather for either piece requiring 2 ingots for the hilt and 3 for the blade. An easy way to even out its resource sink would be to add a leather/wood component to the hilt. Swords typically had something of that sort for grip.

Most of my experience was with weaponsmithing and huntsman. I found that I had to make a maximum of 6 to 8 weapons (I think) to be able to reach the next level bracket. So a couple of level 10 pistols, a level 10 rifle, and a few other items before I could make level 15 weapons.

Obviously I could only use some of the weapons I made, which meant I either would end up salvaging my own recently made weapons, or throwing them on the auction house. Some games would have you make dozens of useless unwanted items to level your crafting, but I can see them being bought in this game. They are superior and useful better than what you’ll find from drops or merchants.

Refining your materials, making the components, creating the inscription, forging the item, everything adds to your crafting level and your experience bar. It’s one of the things I like most about crafting here. It’s time well spent in numerous ways, with items you can use, no lengthy process or progress bars, and a significant amount of experience to level from.

One of two negative things I have to say about crafting is that the user interface is quite irritating. I can only imagine how frustrating it might be to reach max level in crafting and have to sort through the many varying levels and names of items. The categories are sorted by type (rifle, warhorn, dagger, sword) but within those menus I can see the lists getting quite long and confusing.

I’m only going by memory here, but as I recall, you could make 3 different types of pistols per bracket. For instance a resilient, vital, or mighty pistol. Denoting toughness, vitality, or power bonuses (the potential complexity in the context of builds is awe inspiring) on the weapon. You’re going to have quite a few different types of pistols on your way to max level and the menu isn’t equipped to handle it smoothly.

Not to mention how irritating it is to close the pistol portion of the menu only to have it re-open each time you pull up the UI.

Overall I find the crafting system in Guild Wars 2 to be exemplary. It feels quick, natural, and intuitive. Easy to get in and out of. I played Rift, SWTOR, and LOTRO all without feeling tempted to try out crafting but in Tyria it was like I was being dumb not to get into crafting.

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