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).

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