Evolve: Short Impressions

I really can’t be arsed to write reams of text about Evolve, because it would simply take away from actual playing Evolve time.


It’s glorious eye candy.

Both the monster and the hunters feel powerful, especially in a skilled player’s hands.

(Which, sadly, is not me. Suffice to say, every time, I feel there’s always more to learn, and lots more room to improve. It’s only been launched for two days, so yeah, alpha and beta players not withstanding, noobing it up is pretty much the expected performance right now.)

There’s plenty of room for out thinking one’s opponents, knowledge and use of the map to outwit one’s enemies, and loads of maps, hunters/monsters with entirely different skill sets. I believe this is called, “depth,” and I’m definitely only wading in the shallow end of the baby pool right now.

There’s a decent variety of game modes to suit different player types and preferences.

I like that they’ve built in a tutorial for both hunter and monster, and in-game videos that you can watch to get additional tips and info about each, because someone straight up telling you stuff was sorely lacking in the alpha. (And beta, I guess, but I missed playing that.)

Solo mode with bots is something that weird old me rather likes.

Y’see, I actually like playing the monster, but I’m really BAD at playing the monster.

So instead of ruining 4 players’ day with a pushover monster, I sit around and play solo games versus bots, aiming to get a little better and more used to the monster’s skills. Those bots, by the by, are no bloody joke, because their teamwork has a lot less holes in it than human players.

I still haven’t figured out how to get past them when they’re defending a power relay because the whole place is mined to hell, it’s a confined area to fight in, there’s a time limit forcing me to get to the power relay and engage in a fight, and the support bot shields the one I’m attacking like Guild Wars 1’s super-coordinated interrupt mesmer heroes, with split second picture perfect reaction times.

Multiplayer is a lot more varied an experience right now, due to really different skill levels. Some matches the monster sucks, or one or two crucial hunters are really really good. Some matches the monster runs circles around the world’s worst and most incompetent hunters.

Surprisingly, I seem to have stopped obsessing about needing to win and am pretty much enjoying multiplayer for its human variances. Probably because there’s a solo mode where I can indulge my ego and my need to immerse into some kind of story or role.

For an interesting ‘sandbox’ sort of campaign assembled from a bunch of maps and game modes, there is Evacuation – which is a campaign of five maps that will likely take an hour or so to play through.


With each monster or hunter win, the subsequent map gets a sort of rules tweak that gives an advantage to the winning team.

Conversely, if one team keeps winning, the other side gets a little autobalance help in the form of having their damage numbers a little more buffed.

Evacuation mode can be played in a variety of ways – straight up PvP, where it’s all players controlling monster and hunters, solo, where it’s you taking on one role and the rest run by bots, and co-op, where it’s human players as the hunters versus a monster AI.

I can see co-op appealing to a more casual group of players who want to play with friends as a team, but where no one wants to play the monster, or don’t want to deal with the unpredictability of a random human controlling the monster.


I gave it a go, and the monster AI gave our semi-inexperienced group of PUG hunters a fairly good run for our money. We won 4 maps, but it was pretty darned close and touch and go for one or two matches.

With set groups of Steam friends who want to play specific roles, I believe there is a custom mode where one person can play the monster and others can fight him or her. (I think, anyway, I have not personally tried it out yet.)

All in all, it seems pretty solid. A little something for everyone.

I can see myself just playing co-op and solo if multiplayer pvp ever gets too toxic or only filled with super elite veterans or alarmingly suspicious possibly-hacking pros.

For now though, PUGing isn’t too bad, if a little random and high variance.

I can see room for really professional teams to go versus each other too – there’s probably significantly more depth in Evolve than in GW2’s sPvP at present, if you’re the “eSports” sort.

As for the hue and cry over the day 1 DLC stuff and in-game store, I can only roll my eyes.




Here you go. 3 screens worth. Duh, they’re COSMETIC SKINS.

How is this any different from what League of Legends or DOTA2 or other games do for some extra revenue? Appeal to players’ vanity to look all prestigious and speshul for a couple extra bucks?

The people likely to buy the stuff are people who probably think they’ll be playing the game for a significant time to get their money’s worth out of the skin.

The one thing that is not a skin is the Hunting Season Pass, which was advertised and bundled into the preorder for cheaper if one so desired to get it. The game was built to expand gameplay via more and different hunters and monsters. I see no problem with choosing to buy more gameplay options as long as the balance point is that the base hunters and monsters are equally good and competitive.

If the price ain’t right now, then wait. Steam is notorious for 50% and 75% off DLCs eventually.


Anyway, that’s enough talk from me.

Convince yourself one way or the other, I don’t really care.

-I’m- enjoying myself.

And it’s time to hunt.

*cue monster roar in the distance*

GW2: Picking Apart a Pick – Your Help Needed Evaluating the Fairness of a Cash Shop Item

And here, we have shining examples of "haves" and "have-nots..."

I need a variety of outside perspectives on this one.

I fear I’m a little too close to the issue and conflicted to know what’s right and what’s wrong.

There are three items in the GW2 gem shop that I’m eyeing this month.

My cash budget would very much prefer that I only spend RL money on two of them, and either forgo the last, wait till next month or when it comes around on sale again, or convert in-game currency into gems to pick it up.


Two of the items leave me with absolutely no moral conundrums or philosophical issues about whether one should support further development and production of more similar items with real life money talking.

The first is the musical harp. It’s a toy. It’s a luxury vanity item that happens to be a musical instrument. There is absolutely no gameplay advantage that a “have” has over a “have-not.” There is merely a cosmetic and “trivial fun” advantage, skewed very much to the personal, as the person paying the most attention as to whether one has this item is oneself.

Much like vanity costumes, colors/dyes and looks, this has been accepted as a perfectly reasonable use of a cash shop across many games. If you like the look, and want to pay RL money to support the developers in making more such options, everyone is generally happy with this state of affairs and accepts it as fair and reasonable that “haves” may get to look a bit more fancy than “have-nots.”

I love music. I love music in MMOs. I’m a big fan of more MMOs introducing such toys and musical instruments in the vein of LOTRO, in the hopes that more Weatherstocks will one day appear. The harp is a no-brainer must-buy, just like how I grabbed every other musical item that turned up.

Now, one could always be paranoid and point to a slippery slope scenario where the developers decide they need tons more money and release five musical instruments onto the cash shop in one month – and while one would definitely not be pleased, choosing to buy only one or two favorites, wait and get others later, or not buy at all are all valid alternatives.

The second is the quaggan finisher. It, too, is a luxury cosmetic item. It changes the animation and look of what your character does when performing a finishing move on a downed foe. Whether or not you enjoy the visual effect and choose to buy it, the finisher is still functionally the same and takes the same amount of time gameplay-wise.

One might argue that perhaps the emotional effect on an enemy player is different, whether he or she is trolled to death by cuteness or executed by a sinister assassin or merely impaled on a generic stick. There are, however, free alternatives that could produce similar effects – such as a bunny finisher that everyone has access to.

Anyway, finishers very much fall under the same category as other cosmetic designs. Fancy art assets take paid manpower hours to develop. Want more? Support with dollars, then. Game-wise, a player that goes without is not at all disadvantaged when compared to a player that has one.


It’s the third item that gives me a headache.

Infinite harvesting tools have been sold in the gem shop since the beginning of the Living Story updates. They are functionally equivalent to in-game-available items except that they have unlimited charges.

A few people did the calculations a while back and basically, you would have to mine a ton of nodes over several years to make back the gold equivalent of the gems put into the harvesting tool over just buying many many many sets of orichalcum tools at 4 silver a piece.

Your RL money then, essentially, paid for two things.

Looks: Each infinite harvesting tool has its own unique animation and generally looks fancier than the plain-jane generic harvesting animation. This, we have established, lies in acceptable cash shop territory, selling cosmetic advantages.

Convenience: Time is saved by never having to stop to look for a vendor when your charges run out. Less inventory slots are sacrificed to the necessity of keeping a bunch of tools in one’s bags and thus potentially one has more bag space for valuable loot, or at least cuts down on the need to keep stopping and selling stuff to free up bag space.

Convenience has always been a bit of a grey area where cash shops and the doom-ridden phrase “P2W” are concerned.

Too much convenience for paying customers, and rest assured those that do not partake in the cash shop will keenly feel the difference and begin to evaluate if it’s worth paying up or just quitting.

For some games, this does not disturb them. Non-paying customers are basically freeloaders anyway and do not really need to be catered for. The ‘free’ portion of the game merely serves as an extended free trial and once you cross a certain boundary, you’d better have paid up a minimum amount or look out, you’ll bash headfirst into a paywall.

By choice, I do not like paying for or supporting those games and that payment model. It reeks of exclusion, and my more regular readers are well aware of my eccentricities regarding games that promote rampant exclusion and elitism via their design. I generally do not like to play or pay for a game where it is culturally “understood” that one has to pay such-and-such amount to be among the hardcore hoi polloi and that the free players are merely content and fodder. I believe this model eventually shoots itself in the foot when they run out of free players that are willing to convert, and certainly, snooty attitudes from the paying elite would not at all help this conversion rate.

By choice, I prefer games which keep the playing field level between payers and non-payers, and leaves it up to the players to exercise their option to spend $0 – $100+ in the cash shop as and when they feel like they can afford to pay. Naturally, I understand that this produces a game where developers WILL dangle very tempting and very nice-looking options in the cash shop every month to appeal to player vanity and desire for convenience, while possibly preying on a player’s lack of self-control and leads to potential tragic stories about addiction (to game-playing or gambling).

To others, this is an ethical slippery slope that they can’t condone. I fully understand and respect their decisions to not even come near this sort of payment model.

For myself, I watch carefully for extremes, absurdity and slippage. How much is a player expected to spend every month? I think it is reasonable for such games to operate on a $0-$20 a month basis, equivalent to most subscription games, with more extreme hardcore players paying $30-$50 (similar to say, 2-3 subscription accounts) and the really crazy whales spending lots more (which the onus is then on them to determine if they can afford it or no.)

As for convenience via cash shop items, a little advantage seems to have proven acceptable enough to most.

Boosters tend to give accelerated rates of some kind of in-game currency gain. To me, the key here seems to be that the same thing can be still earned by non-paying customers, but at a slower rate.

The degree of slowness and “time grind” involved ends up determining the acceptability factor. Too absurd, and the non-paying customers give up before they even begin. Have it at a reasonable pace, and then ramp it up and/or double it for people willing to pay for and rent a temporary boost, and it seems to be relatively acceptable to many.

In GW2’s specific case regarding the infinite harvesting tools, the established precedent seems to have been that the infinite tools are an acceptable convenience item, providing mostly peace of mind to folks that choose to buy ’em for their mains, while those that choose to go without do not lose anything by merely relying on the in-game vendor tools.

In fact, they save money, and lose some time.

Which seems to be a bit of a refrain with the better-balanced microtransaction games. Money gets traded for time, and vice versa. The use of player exchanges ends up regulating this via the economics of supply and demand, and players get the option to choose on which side of the scale they lie. Do they value their time or their money more?

Throwing a massive clockwork spanner into the works, is the release of the Watchwork Pick, which suddenly ups and CHANGES the established precedent.

(We previously had a change of precedent when the infinite harvesting tools rose in price from 800 gems to 1000 gems, but this was due to them becoming account bound as per player requests. Previously, they were soulbound, which made switching them between characters impossible. Turning them account bound was a big bonus for players who might have wanted to switch mains or just play a lot of alts and were willing to spend time via bank slot juggling. There was some grumbling at the increase in price, but by and large, it makes acceptable sense to charge a little more for account bound convenience.)


Despite the in-game tool tip looking exactly the same as all previous infinite harvesting tools, it was advertised on the website that this new pick had a chance of producing a Watchwork Sprocket item when mining. Exact details have not yet been revealed by ArenaNet, but player experiments have suggested it appears to be a 25% chance of getting one per node strike.

This is extremely disturbing to me, in more ways than one:

I was previously minding my own business and cheered up immensely by the thought of being able to buy another nice-looking infinite pick for another one of my alts who dearly needs one for the convenience factor. Except now I have to stop and evaluate all over again whether I should be supporting this chain of affairs with a wallet vote or no. Pragmatically, I want it, but I’m a person of fairly strong philosophical values and would like to conduct myself consistently according to them.

It truly annoys me that the in-game tool tip does not mention the new gimmick this pick has. Someone less fanatical about keeping track of websites and Reddit might have simply bought it via prior precedent, and has now accidentally skewed whatever statistics their marketing department has about whether this gimmick is useful in increasing sales. Meanwhile, I am stuck agonizing over whether I should or should not contribute to those statistics.

That someone may also now have a potential advantage over the have-nots.

Some prior purchasers of the other tools are outcrying over the perceived +1 ramp up and vertical progression of the infinite tools. What they now own is no longer “best in slot.” Instead, this new pick is. Surely, they say, is that not “forcing” us to buy this tool?

This argument doesn’t completely apply to me. For one, I didn’t buy it for a “best in slot” aspect. I’m just not motivated by such things, but I can see that for some other players, this perception would indeed lead to a very insistent pressure to buy it in order to feel like they’re staying ahead.

What I AM concerned about is the have / have-not disparity. Is this a level playing field?

There is no functional equivalent of a limited charge pick that has a 25% chance to produce sprockets, available for in-game currency. The playing field has tilted, ever so slightly.

This is very distressing to me because what it implies is that someone is carefully testing the waters of what players will accept. How do you boil a frog? Increasing the temperature very very slowly and hoping it doesn’t notice.

It’s a precedent. I don’t know if I’ll call it a dangerous precedent yet, but it’s definitely striding into murky grey territory here.

We’re left with the very difficult task of trying to evaluate something that isn’t trivial, and isn’t absurdly extreme.

Some players will tell you that this IS trivial and that other players are making a big to-do about nothing. The watchwork sprocket is a crafting material commodity that has previously been released into the game in large quantities via prior Living Story updates. The TP price for the sprocket as the pick released was around 34 copper. It’s a pittance.

Oh yay, you get an extra 34 copper per node strike 25% of the time. Doing a quick dungeon gets you 1 gold (plus extras.) That’s 294 sprockets you could buy. How many nodes do you have to mine to get that equivalent via the pick?

Of course, what they seem to be overlooking is that TP prices are not constant over time. They fluctuate according to supply and demand.

Enter the guessing game. The fear of the more paranoid is that watchwork sprocket sources might eventually dry up as the Living Story updates progress. They drop rarely from the Twisted Watchwork faction, dropped like candy during the Queen’s Jubilee update, and at a more moderate amount during this season’s Origin of Madness / Marionette boss. Folks who complete this season’s meta-achievement get a mining node that produces sprockets with any tool (including in-game ones) but only at a rate of 6-8 a day. Someone owning the infinite Watchwork Pick can definitely exceed that daily cap via hitting the many ubiquitous ore nodes out there.

Just how valuable might these watchwork sprockets get?

A prior example commodity are the pristine toxic spores, used in a fairly popular consumable recipe. It’s much harder to obtain these now that the Tower of Nightmares update is over and the bulk of the crowds have left Kessex Hills. They’ve gone up to 3 silver 74 copper as of today, which is admittedly quite extreme.

How many sprockets can a watchwork pick harvest? Since I don’t own one as yet, I have to resort to theoretical math based on possibly incorrect reporting. Assuming 0.25 chance of mining a sprocket on a node strike, and that each node gives three strikes, each node visited yields a 57.8% (1 – 0.75 x 0.75 x 0.75) chance of yielding at least one sprocket. The gathering daily requires 20 node strikes, let’s just waffle and say a player has to hit 7 nodes to complete their daily. That’s possibly 4 sprockets from completing their daily.

If a player had a gathering pattern that resembles mine a lot more, which visits quite a bunch more nodes in a day, I feel safe enough doubling or tripling that number.

Now let’s say watchwork sprockets do follow the pattern of pristine toxic spores and rise to 2-3 silver a piece, I personally wouldn’t turn down an extra 8 to 36 silver a day. For some, this may still seem like a pittance, if they’re earning a ton more from the TP or from multiple dungeons. Certainly, it’s still not going to make back the price of the pick in a hurry, considering the rather astronomical exchange rate of gold to gems these days.

The problem is, it’s really quite impossible to speculate on how watchwork sprocket prices will go. We simply don’t know. If a future update introduces a zone with permanent spawns of Twisted Clockwork faction, one might arguably say that sprockets may still be available from an in-game source that won’t be daily capped. On the other hand, they may not, and it may become a rare resource.

Sprockets at the moment are used in a number of recipes, but nothing as popular as the toxic sharpening stones that utilize pristine toxic spores – but that’s going to be hard to predict once again when the critical damage nerf hits. Sprockets are used in Zealot’s and Keeper’s recipes, which produce Power Precision and Healing stats. Those favoring the current meta presently laugh at these stats. Healing, yeesh, right?

On the other hand, my City of Heroes background argues, damage/support hybrids have a lot of team potential and may become much more favorable if critical damage becomes less important and mobs get tougher to survive as pure zerker, especially if ArenaNet decides to tweak healing coefficients once again in a balance pass somewhere.

But there’s simply no predicting whether we’ll get a new meta or not. Celestial stats certainly haven’t turned out very popular. Considering how many people love to DPS and see big numbers, even nerfed zerker may still be considered better than everything else.

Finally, with the utmost irony, I also have to note that people seeking to P2W may end up canceling themselves out via the TP and supply and demand. If many people buy the pick and produce lots of sprockets, supply goes up, and prices will fall.

However, it does seem safe to say that sprocket prices will probably remain within the 30 copper to 3 silver range, and that someone earning 12 sprockets a day from the pick will get the bonus of a green (3.6 silver) to a rare (36 silver) daily. Escalate up and down depending on your estimation on how node crazy someone is willing to be per day.

Is this acceptable or no?

And if I do buy the pick, am I going to regret my contribution to the slippery slope later down the road – either seeing the gem shop spiral out of control into something resembling LOTRO’s present nightmare and ending up quitting the game when it gets too absurd, or becoming one of the elite “haves” that the “have-nots” are going to jealously look upon and abhor, with the eventual result that I run out of people to play with?

(Both scenarios being something that I would never wish upon my dear and beloved game…)

What Passes For a Short Vacation from GW2

So ugly, so dismal, so much waiting...

The problem with playing two games is that one runs out of time for blogging about either.

Not that there’s much to blog about on the GW2 front.

The novelty of Terraria Time has eaten into the decidedly un-novel achievement checklist of the Tower of Nightmares – which was thankfully set at a more sane level for casuals, so I felt more comfortable stretching that out over the first week, instead of racing desperately to finish it.

There’s nothing new I can say about visiting Toxic Offshoot dynamic events and either siege goleming, mortaring or keg bombing them into extinction, and then harvesting pristine toxic spores. If you play the game, you’ve done it, same as everyone. I can’t exactly tell an entertaining story around that.

My graphics level has also been set at permanently ugly, ever since crashing out of Kessex Hills after the zergs came visiting, so there’s nothing to show off on that front either. Not that toxic corruption is very photogenic either way. Everything is a depressing dull green reminiscent of the soulsucking paint that is said to decorate the walls of ancient hospitals or asylums.

The only thing I can grumble about is the seeming impossibility of grinding out 250 spores for a recipe from Marjory. (I got to around 178 by the time I finished the achievements.)

I find myself having little patience for visiting an endless amount of DEs (though no doubt, they may be a pretty good source of xp for those looking to level a character.)

The best way to obtain gold seems to be dungeons. Which admittedly is an interesting concept, if it’s most profitable to run group content for $$$, you’ve suddenly made participating in group content pretty attractive and also made it harder for gold sellers to bot (rumors of bots able to run CM not withstanding.)

Which is all very well for those with a static group able to run 8 dungeons in 2 hours, but I neither have that kind of group nor to be frank, do I have the mentality to be able to log in like clockwork every day at a certain hour to run with that kind of group before developing an intense loathing for that activity.

(It’s the feeling of letting people down if I’m not able to make it on a certain day that I dislike. I try to make Teq runs like clockwork on days I can make it, but for example, if I skip three days in a row like I just did recently, I know I’m not going to be missed because there’s always someone else that would be keen to get into that overflow and make up the spot.)

So it is a lot more realistic for me using the LFG tool to aim for 2-4 dungeons a day at best.

I recently expanded my comfort zone back to including Ascalonian Catacombs – path 1 and 3 at least, no one seems to like running the ‘improved’ Ghost Eater these days so I haven’t an inkling just how intensely that fight has been ‘improved.’

TTS has been running dungeon nights every week and I managed to make two of those and got my feet wet with the last two Crucible of Eternity paths I was still missing. Surprisingly not that bad, though there are some bits that do require a bit of coordination, and I still harbor an intense loathing for those lasers – I’m convinced latency is an issue as one would have a time delay between seeing when the laser is off, starting the jump and landing, and taking off again before the server says, “nope, the laser is really -here- and you’re dead.”

Bright side, apparently only two need to make it across. And I did manage -one- attempt after having stripped down to a loincloth and dying some five times or more, in a group where three other people were having even more trouble than me.

Then with one Honor of the Waves path 2 left, I just kept an eye out for any PUG running it and hopped in.

There was also a brief story mode side trek. That art still looking good.
There was also an opportunistic story mode side trek to unlock the dungeon for my warrior. That cinematic/concept art, still looking good.

Hooray, one more title that means absolutely nothing. I feel more like a Dungeon Tourist rather than a Dungeon Master, since a good half of the contributing dungeons were only visited once ever. It’s certainly not something I feel comfy displaying, but it’s nice to have that box shaded in and future gold runs now count toward the endlessly looping repeatable.

Anyhow, my dungeon earning intake is more on the modest scale of 2-5 gold a day, depending on how many I decide to run, mostly prompted by whim and feeling very carefully for the boredom/sick of it point.

Reddit was suggesting the Frostgorge Champion loop earns up to 7 gold an hour, which seems a little improbable, but I suspect they’re offloading everything and including TP profits.

Which I usually don’t, I prefer to pull direct from the source of where the virtual currency is being generated, wherever possible.

Harnessing the TP is merely transfer of money from player to player, which is good when you’re poor and others are rich, and evens out the disparity that way, but one almost always loses out something in the exchange, via taxes or flippers. I like it as a supplementary source of income, a decent alternative when doing the primary activity bores you to tears.

Anyhow, I can only stand a champion train in short doses. Half an hour before I get antsy. So it’s less a source of income for me and more a source of blues and greens for luck conversion and an amusing lottery ticket excursion to open some bags and see what pops out.

Seeing as I don’t have the patience right now to exchange time for in-game money on any large scale, yet still dearly want the new recipes to complete my collection and soothe my OCD, the last alternative is pretty clear. Joining the ranks of those helping to push the gold to gem exchange rate in the other direction, downward.

100 gems exchanges for about 4.9 gold, which is also roughly the price of a stack of pristine toxic spores on buy order. That’s a dollar twenty five per recipe, and I only need six of them to unlock crafting access.

Those spores trade at pretty phenomenal rates. While hanging out at Teq for two hours and making use of the two tabs, I’ve bought myself  five stacks. I suppose the other can wait till I run a few more dungeons.

I can only presume that this implies a thriving market with both buyers and sellers.

There must be enough impatient hardcore minded people willing to drop real money to take a few shortcuts, plus a good base of either casuals or gold-selling bots spending time to gather up the resources for them and trading it off in exchange for in-game gold.

Will I regret it later?

I doubt it.

There’s talk that the whole Tower of Nightmares / krait affair will likely last longer than these two weeks as there’s probably still a couple of Scarlet-related updates to go. It -may- still be possible to keep earning those pristine toxic spores then, at -possibly- increased rates. After all, the recipes also use the spores as ingredients. Maybe. Assuming Marjory is still selling them and hasn’t decided to move off elsewhere in the next update.

The price may very well crash in the next month, making the recipes more affordable.

But that’s… a lot of ifs.

It may be that I just end up able to enjoy them sooner, and have more peace of mind now, rather than later. Still worth the premium price tag for me in my current situation.

The uncertainty is just not something I want to deal with right now. I already have one long term earning/buying project – the Bloody Prince mini – in the works and that’s likely to take up the remaining Halloween time and then some. I might miss that, but it’s only a mini if I do.

I suppose it is akin to buying new PC games. If you want to play it -now- just as the launch craze happens and everyone is talking about it and enjoying it, you pay the premium of 60 bucks and get to enjoy it sooner. If you’re willing to wait and risk the possibility that no one will be bothered with the game six months to a year later, you can get it for half price or even cheaper if you wait longer. (Except in the case of collectible editions that may no longer be in print and force you to buy ’em at a mind-blowing price from eBay later if you suddenly develop a craving for something ridiculously rare.)


WvW time has been shoved aside for the past two weeks to make room.  I’m about halfway to three quarters done, so I figured there would still be a bit of time to pick it up again later.

Mostly I’ve just been having quite a bit more fun in Terraria, which I shall get to in the next upcoming post.

GW2: Pyro-Vanity

Okay, I’ve made fun of people that bought a $25 vanity mount before.

A $10 mount for low level convenience I’m more inclined to understand, though I’ve never felt the urge for a show-offy type of mount when a cheap one goes just as fast, doesn’t run out and still gets you there in the end.

On the other hand, a $10 mining pick sounds more than a little ludicrous on the surface.

To boot, it’s for one character only.

But I keep thinking of all the mining nodes I tend to skip over because I can’t bear the thought of juggling between mithril and orichalcum picks, managing multiple picks in my inventory, having them run out and having to stop to buy more, and there is a strong buy once and ferget about it temptation.

Then there’s the visual theme.

God, I love fire.

I first realized I was a bit of a closet pyromaniac when I made a fire/fire dominator in City of Heroes and just -gelled- with throwing fire EVERYWHERE.

I went down the Hall of Monuments hardcore to reach the Fiery Dragon Sword before relaxing on the remaining points because OMG, it’s Rurik’s sword, on fire. It must be mine.

First main in GW2 had to be a class that could wield that damn sword.

And I was probably a sword/focus guardian long before it was cool (or at least recognized to function decently, there was more greatsword love earlier on,) all because I refused to give up that sword. IT IS ON FIRE. That is all I care about.

It also helps that a guardian is capable of throwing fire (it’s blue though, sad panda) around, and Blood Legion charr get to wear red armor thematically.

So now ArenaNet dangles a mining pick ON FIRE (ok, ok, it’s really molten) that throws lava around.



I am now $10 poorer, but I sit around having a pyromaniac orgasm every time I mine. Hell, I make a point of running to the nodes now just so that I can spurt lava.

Why not spend it in gold like a bunch of people are doing (judging by the rocketing currency exchange rate?)

Alas, I don’t run dungeons on a daily basis, and even the thought of repeatedly farming them makes me vomit. Nor do I have auction house mastery, so I am poor.

I’m just glad that the TP exists, because I end up converting rares and unidentified dyes (and a few other random stuff I farm) to gold, and I’m sure I’m a recipient of some of the dungeon farming cashflow that way. I make enough to get by and maintain a bank of 50 gold thereabouts, nothing earth-shattering in terms of riches.

So it’s easier to just pay up $10 for the 800 gems than destroy half my gold savings.

If you’re counting, that’s $20 this month, slightly more than a sub’s worth of money. I did manage to avoid Wintersday spending though, so it’s all good, I guess.

I’m a little less keen on the one-character only thing, but I can understand why Anet did that.

Anyhow, I figure I probably PvE roam and farm with only one main (who has the magic find gear.) Map exploration on alts is already a daunting enough task. Karma bought orichalcum tools do function just fine, and I have karma out the wazoo from too much WvW, even before the jugs of liquid karma from dailies.

It’s the multiple inventory slot space taken up that I can’t really stand.

Good not to have to worry about it on one character at least.

WTB: $10 infinite axe and $10 infinite sickle.

Just preferably not this month please.