Tuesday, December 4, 2012

[GW2] Crafting Cost

Crafting Costs: Even Scarier Behemoths
EDIT:  Update 1/2 - instead of using GW2wiz, take a look at ErrantQuest for crafting guides.  Much cheaper.  For cooking, Xanthic has a dynamic cooking guide (always chooses the cheapest route).

One of my favorite features in GW2 is the ability to level a new alt entirely via crafting.  Since each crafting discipline gives around 10 levels of experience, it is possible to level a character to 80 by advancing through each crafting profession. Leveling a new alt takes hours, not days.

In the early days of the game, this was fairly inexpensive. Alternating between crafting, story quests, and hunting down skill points, I was able to level 4 alts to level 80 for about a gold per crafting discipline. Recently, I've become interested in leveling another character via crafting, but wondered how crafting costs have changed since the early weeks.

To track the cost of crafting, I used crafting shopping lists from GW2 wiz and price data from GW2 spidy.

Here is the cost of each crafting discipline over the past few weeks:
Armorsmith, leatherworking, and tailoring have all dramatically increased in price over the past few weeks (and are much more expensive than I'd remembered!).  Breaking down each craft by materials cost, the culprit appears to be the fine (blue-quality) crafting materials:
While gatherable components (metal, leather, cloth) have held steady in cost, fine materials (scales, totems, blood,...) have risen at an alarming rate.

The rise in crafting costs is distributed fairly evenly across all tiers of materials, though Tier 5 goods have increased in price more rapidly than Tiers 1-4.
For the curious, over the past week, here are the average prices of leveling each crafting discipline:

armorsmith   artificer    huntsman     jeweler 
       7.80        8.69        9.30        7.59 
    leather      tailor weaponsmith 
       7.23        8.65       10.06 

This leaves cooking as the cheapest craft to level (estimated at 1g!), followed by leatherworking, jewelry  and armorsmithing.

Personally, it looks like I'll be leveling any new alts the old-fashioned way!

Monday, December 3, 2012

[GW2] Precursor Cost

I've hit "a Legendary wall".

Like many other players, I've hit the point where I'm interested in obtaining a legendary. Even my alts have exotic gear and ideal runes. What is left for the Tyrian with everything? A pistol that shoots fireworks.

Problem is, the cost of obtaining a legendary is rising faster than most players can obtain gold.

I tracked the cost of 6 legendary weapons over the past month, using price data from gw2spidy:
While I've been watching the price, the cost of obtaining a legendary has nearly doubled. Quip has risen from 300 gold (Nov 1) to over 600 gold (Dec 2). The legendary greatswords (Twilight and Sunrise) have risen in cost by over 400 gold over the same time period.* On average, the price of crafting a legendary has increased by 9 gold every day.

Even worse... with the Lost Shores patch, many of the items necessary to craft a legendary are also used to make Ascended gear (to gain agony resist in Fractals of the Mist). This has further increased the demand for those items... and therefore the price of a legendary. For example, the cost of obtaining Twilight has risen 19 gold per day since the Lost Shores patch, compared to 6.5 gold/day pre patch.

          before  after 
 bifrost  4.38    13.94 
 bolt     3.30    16.08 
 quip     8.35    10.17
 rogdort  9.89     9.58 
 sunrise  3.08    18.51
 twilight 6.48    18.99 

 In other words, with ascended gear driving up the demand for crafting materials, I need to make even more per day just to not lose progress.

What to do?

Purchasing items (instead of saving gold) is one way to reduce the problem of rampant inflation. (Its the gaming equivalent of hoarding goods.) But how much do I need to spend each day to make progress toward a legendary (instead of falling relatively behind)?

To check this, I simulated the results of perfectly predicting future prices and planning spending accordingly.

At 2 gold / day, I was an average of 272 days from each kind of legendary at the start of the month. At the end of a month of farming, I was 295 days from a legendary. At 3 gold / day, I only made 6 days of progress toward a legendary over the whole month.

Due to price inflation, players need to earn and spend at least 5 gold per day to make a month of progress after a month of farming.

Sad times indeed

The irony of this is that ascended gear was meant to "bridge the gap" between exotics and legendary items, providing intermediate-term progression goals for players dedicated to GW2.  Instead, its setting those players further back on long-term goals.

ArenaNet has promised changes to the process of making a legendary. Hopefully, they do more than just change the way precursors are obtained, and overhaul the entire system.

*And this rise is despite the drop in precursor cost around Nov 18 from the Lost Shores final event (with its chance to give a precursor from the final chest).