Monday, September 10, 2012

Starter 80 Gearing in GW2

At last, I hit 80 in GW2!

Of course, my gear was utterly terrible. My last ring upgrade was in the mid 50s (and I'm a jeweler!) and my weapons were from the early 70s (and I'm a huntsman!). I had several lvl 60 blues on.

After getting roflstomped by a few dungeons, I realized that this simply wouldn't do.

Gear Basics:
Armor comes in five different rarities: Fine (blue), Masterwork (green), Rare (yellow), Exotic (orange), and Legendary (purple). While exotics and legendaries have the same stats, each of the other tiers gives a stat boost.

But how big of an improvement? I used gw2db to build a set of medium armor with toughness, vitality, and power*:
Moving from fine to exotic gear is a 35% increase in stats on gear.

But characters come with 916 base stat points. This makes moving from fine to exotic gear only a 11% increase in total stats not accounting for traits. Accounting for traits (another 300 of a chosen stat) drops that to about a 9% increase.

In Guild Wars, gear matters, but not for much.

So where to get starter 80 gear?
Trading Post:  I've had a fair bit of luck getting a full set of Mastercraft (green) gear from the Trading Post for mere coppers above its vendor price. I grabbed a full set of gear with power/toughness/vitality for about 40 silver. [EDIT: if shopping for rares, the difference between lvl 79 and lvl 80 gear is only a couple defense, which is another way to save a bit at the TP.]

Crafters: I'm guessing crafters are the source of all that trading post gear. Once I got my huntsman to 400, I found out that I can craft green gear pretty cheaply. And rare/yellow gear isn't much more expensive to craft. I've been equipping guildmates with some pretty excellent weaponry since then.

I only just realized how important runes are on gear! For example, getting a set of six Superior Runes of the Undead is worth about 165 condition damage and 50 toughness. Tailors, leatherworkers, and armorsmiths can craft runes with other desired stats.

Where not to get starter gear
Prestige Gear: Early on, prestige gear was pretty cheap (bug!), so there are a some lingering threads on the internet about them. Nowadays, the cultural and prestige gear are comically expensive. Like over 1g per piece.

Karma/Dungeon Vendors: These are great pieces of gear to work towards, but it takes plenty of time for one upgrade. Karma gear runs 42k karma apiece. It'll take 4-5 exploreable runs for a single piece of dungeon armor. Getting a starter set first made that grind much easier.

*Some pieces with these 3 stats didn't exist, so I extrapolated their values based on comparable gear for ease of explanation. Adding that complexity doesn't alter the basic point that going from blue to exotic gear doesn't add much in the way of stats.

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