GW2: Gemstore Rising

Yep, still ugly...

It was bound to happen.

An update where I get to take a turn at being fairly uninterested in what has dropped this patch.

tequatlturret

Oh, I went to Tequatl.

I even went in my knight/cleric support gear on my sturdier asura guardian.

I managed to get my hands on a turret, which was amusingly like a super-charged version of what I like to do in teams (support first, damage later.)

Since I read map chat, even though it was my first time, it was quite easy to see the buff stacks on Tequatl when targeted and link them with turret skill 2 and promptly proceed to spam it as demanded by ever more strident yelling over the channel.

To be honest, I don’t think anyone was purposefully NOT spamming skill 2.

I think, for one, between the krait attacking and whatever it is that causes the poison attack to land on the turret, a number of people were no doubt getting overwhelmed off the turrets. I was lucky to have a bodyguard or two and was pretty darned sturdy to boot (the only gear that is sturdier still is if I switched into PVT with cleric jewelry), but still occasionally had to break off for a second to spam heal with shelter before getting back on. Usually skill 2 would still be recharging, so there wasn’t too much interruption.

For another, it occurred to me that we might have been better served -coordinating- the turret launches so that 4-6 stacks are knocked off at once, rather than steadily one at a time while he regens.

Still, no one was on voice, and I didn’t feel up to screaming on map chat, so I just shut up and kept spamming 2.

In between, I experimented with hitting 1 to tickle Tequatl for 2k damage or so, and going crazy with 3-5, which apparently did some happy buff providing and poison removal.

As you might expect, we didn’t even get him down by 5%.

To this, my biggest reaction is mostly to shrug. I’m not a fan of raids in general, and while world bosses are acceptable to me because they’re inclusive not exclusive, I don’t see what else can be done besides wait for everyone to learn the fight and for those who like to organize these things to lead and teach until everyone knows the fight.

I did my job to the best of my ability, as far as I could figure out on my own. If I can’t get on a turret, I’d probably choose to stand as melee guard for someone else operating one. I’m only one person, so that’s that, job done.

There’s nothing more I can do to change the fight even if I am a good player.

(Besides buy six accounts and six computers and wire six keyboards/mice together to operate all turrets in sync, but that is absurd, is it not?)

I also presume that his hp was scaled to make him a worthy challenge for a full zone, which is about 80 players, if I am not mistaken. I was on an overflow, so we may have been short on numbers to begin with.

Time will change this fight. It’s just a matter of waiting. I have no interest in achieving server firsts. It’s just a matter of popping by every now and then to try my luck, that sort of thing.

Other world bosses were also updated. I don’t regularly chase dragons, so I haven’t visited any yet.

Guild feedback seems to be positive on them, some parts appear to be better scaled and more lethal, prompting caution, range and actual use of tactics other than stand in the electrical fire, heal through it and laugh.

My guess is that it’ll actually feel more like the tactics I used to -solo- Golem Mark II on a non-level 80 thief before he was put on all the dragon timers and got popular.

I can’t see this as a bad thing either. There’s usually enough people around to rez others through the learning process.

The downside would be that I don’t know if it’ll ever be possible to solo one of these upgraded bosses again –  whether they have the capacity to scale back down – but with dragon timers being as entrenched as they are, there’s probably never a time where soloing is necessary.

I briefly checked out the Borderlands changes.

newborderlands

It was only my second time back into WvW after a self-imposed two month break, so I don’t have any strong opinions about it.

It’s just there.

More land to fight on, more control points to fight over, more opportunities for fights and with some significant effect to them, so that’s good, I guess.

That’s pretty much the level of care I wish to give an eff about regarding WvW, as I was getting too obsessed half a year back for my own good. (Reading every forum I could get my hands on, feeling obliged to stay logged in for 10+ hours, waking up bright an early to catch server reset and then playing on through the afternoon without lunch, that sorta thing.)

More relaxing to pop in, follow a blue dorito, zerg around and karma train for a bit, engage in some zerg fights, respond to a defence call here and there, emergency build siege, rain arrows down on a teeming red name mass, engage in more zerg fights, pop out when sated.

Really, the biggest thing that caught my eye and attention were the gem store announcement.

MORE MINIS, WTF.

I’ve already spent $20 this month on GW2, which is supposed to be my limit.

I was working myself up toward the notion that I might put down another 10 bucks more near the end of the month and get two sets of the super adventure box minis that way.

Now there are TWO more sets of Risen minis that I dearly want. Especially the Abomination.

Even more galling is that I’ve been slowly working towards the Mini Collector title and was at 49/54 minis to go, where the announcement drops that Series 1 is evaporating soon.

As you might expect, my overnight bid for the Mini Snow Leopard at 5g 77s became swiftly run over by sudden increase in demand and I ended up staring at the damn mini in the TP this morning and buying one out for 9 gold because I’m not sure if the price will drop again before the end, and my OCD would die if I was one mini shy of 10 achievement points for a long time (until their next celebratory limited-time return sale anyhow.)

A certain amount of economic logic dictates that the price of blues and greens -might- drop slightly before October 15, because people might be frantically buying up a bunch in the hope of getting yellows and oranges.

Then again, they are forgeable and people might be throwing more into the mystic toilet too.  Plus speculators might be buying up some of the supply to hoard for later. So I dunno how the price would swing.

Anyway, I am now in the same boat as a number of other people, left staring at the five exotic minis and needing/wanting 4 out of those 5.

I can’t even afford half of one, so… yeah. Unless I get lucky with a precursor drop or sale, I don’t think there’s any way out of this one.

I very very briefly entertained the idea of dropping cash to convert into gold, but $35 won’t even buy one of those suckers, and I would be extremely out of my mind to spend $150 a month on a game for cosmetic miniatures.

I next briefly entertained the thought of putting down $35 and gambling for it  by buying some series 1 sets. Of which I would probably pop 18 blues and 9 greens, rather than see a yellow or orange light of day. So that’s probably a fool’s hope too.

The orange minis are likely way out of my league. I should probably just focus on trying to get my hands on 2000 gems for the non-RNG minis.

Since I really don’t want to be spending more cash this month, the alternative is gold conversion to gems.

Except none of the activities I enjoy are real moneymakers, especially since I’ve been salvaging everything for lucks to up magicfind, and hoarding T6 materials for a precursor. *groan*

I have no real idea what I’m going to do. I might run a few more dungeons for a guaranteed 2 gold a day. I might sink precursor hopes further and start selling any T6 stuff I see.

I wonder if trying to farm Black Lion Chest keys are worth it.

GW2: The Fate of Monty Haul Rewards and Resultant Inflation

Ever feel like you’re running in place just trying to keep up?

Ever feel like you don’t like where the train is headed but feeling obliged to stay on or be left behind in the dust?

J3w3l has a post up about Firefall’s Free-to-Play model affecting the feeling of a community once it opened its gates in beta.

Apparently, all it takes is a couple of selfish-minded individuals to grief a generally cooperating community, suddenly creating bad blood and mistrust and a tendency to retreat back to more insular groups.

I can’t help but see a number of parallels between that and what’s currently happening in Guild Wars 2 after the Queen’s Jubilee patch.

Like Bhagpuss, I too, in the spirit of *ahem* enquiry, took a gander at the various “farms” and gold grinding methods that have sprung up in response.

1) Champion Pavilion Legendary/Destroyer/Pirate Farming

The most obvious one is where most of the population gravitated to, especially in the early days.

Ironically, given what the developers have mentioned in their stream, that they were trying to create a challenge for 20-30 people and that the map holds 75 or thereabouts, I can’t help but think they had these vague hopes that the zerg would simultaneously split into two groups to tackle both legendaries at the same time.

Except, of course, Guild Wars 2 players being all so cooperatively zerg-y (and also wusses in terms of daring to tank a Legendary by themselves or in a small group) very quickly developed a communication ritual of picking one Legendary to tackle at a time as a huge mass of 50-60 people.

Even easier if a commander was on the map – “follow the blue dorito” being an ingrained response to almost anyone who has dabbled in WvW or done guild missions.

The reward for cooperating is significant. Everyone gets two champion loot bags, two chests with watchwork and a ticket, and plenty of veteran loot opportunity. In the downtime, people spam 1 on destroyers, hoping for lodestones, or go after pirates for their bags.

I spy with my little eye, something beginning with Z.
I spy with my little eye, something beginning with Z.

The problem of a farm being too popular, though, is that everyone goes there. Framerates plummet as a result. Tagging can be a challenge with so many people racing to get hits in. Supply is plentiful and prices also take a downward hike. (T5 and T6 claws are a prime casualty of this, and even destroyer lodestones have taken a noticeable plunge.)

To make matters even more interesting, some individuals have jumped onto this ride hoping for free levels as a lowbie. Except non-80s, while they do upscale, simply don’t do as much damage or have as much survivability as 80s. So there’s plenty more people keeling over, the Legendaries are taking longer to go down, slowing down the farm considerably.

I had a good time at the start with running around the Champion Pavilion zerging, to the point I managed to hit DR on my magic find geared character and had to swap out and let him rest for two days or so. (I’m not sure if spending time logged on doing nothing would have helped, but I got so depressed at seeing only white loot pop off mobs, even in normal maps and hitting different mob types, that I had to put him aside and run around with another less afflicted character instead.)

By the time I came back though, some of the initial loot pinata enthusiasm had worn off, the surge in popularity of the Pavilion over the weekend was leaving me at a consistent 9-10 FPS, which was annoying me severely, and I had picked up a new standard of comparison…

2) The Frostgorge or Orr Champions Loop

… Facing the onset of DR in the Pavilion, it was time to go elsewhere and one had already heard the rumblings and talk about an even more lucrative loop than the Champion Pavilion, which had suffered a nerf or two.

It took slightly longer to find, but the presence of blue doritoes was a dead giveaway and random chatter on map chat also helped in the learning process. The first loop or two, I resigned myself to chasing after the zerg, always slightly behind and missing champions here and there. Once one figures out the pattern and locations that the group is using, then one is able to get in on the fray more effectively.

I had another decent time following a commander who only used one waypoint in his Frostgorge loop, for several hours, but there were always these rumblings of noncooperation threatening to arise.

Visitors from other servers would come by to criticize the particular loop that was chosen. Some frustration would be expressed at folks who dared to take down a champion out of sequence. Another blue dorito with their own ideas on the specific chain to be used could spring up and pull their own followers, causing two groups who might work out of sync with each other.

Even more zerging.
Even more zerging.

Out of curiosity, I went visiting Yak’s Bend and Sanctum of Rall, to discover that different servers had somehow evolved their own distinct preferences on the exact order to kill champions in.

More frustrating to me personally were loops which used too many waypoints. Loading times are annoying. I understand I can delete my Local.dat file, which might help, but I haven’t been ready to face the erasure of my customised settings just yet. Trailing behind causes missed champion tags and decreased farm profitability.

Besides, while zerging was fun in a mindless kind of way, it was getting more than a little boring and getting on my antisocial nerves.

(And don’t get me started on farms that are built around intentionally failing or failing to complete events. I don’t participate in those.

I find those completely antithetical to the spirit of the game, with the eventual result that some poor well-meaning but ignorant soul who comes along will get yelled at for not instinctively knowing what to do, or promote “griefers” who really just have to play the game as intended but get the extra satisfaction of pissing off a whole bunch of cooperating “exploiters.”

It’s just a war waiting to happen. I simply don’t want to be there and the sooner developers address those, the better, in my opinion.)

3) Deadeye Gambit Farming

The supposed high risk high reward option for solo players, with the caveat that one needed the right builds, gear and profession.

And, as I found out, also a decent computer with FPS above 10.

I own a berserker guardian. You would think I’d be able to do this without a hitch. He doesn’t have scholar runes or ascended trinkets though, which does drop his damage by a smidgen.

I went for four gambits instead of five, choosing not to risk a giant quaggan getting in the way or losing damage, and after a few false starts of trying to figure out the best rotation (wait for him to teleport over? teleport over with flashing blade to speed things up?) and getting killed shotted for daring to experiment, I was generally managing to take him down 3 or 4 times out of 5.

What was getting me killed consistently was not having enough time to react between his disappearance and me hitting a teleport before he began kill shot. If he failed to get blinded in time, bam, went 12k damage on me, and I only have 12.9k or so health.

I eventually got around this by hitting renewed focus around the time he disappeared then judge’s intervention’ing in, leaving me 3 seconds of invulnerability to soak that kill shot whatever the range, but that meant waiting for the cooldown each gambit attempt, which does, of course, delay farming rather significantly as compared to say, some berserker thief with signet of malice and a pull, or a warrior who smashed him before he could even teleport.

Timing was still an issue. If I hit renewed focus too early, he’d kill shot me just as the damn thing wore off. If I hit it too late, he snuck it in before my animation even started. Timing, of course, being very unpredictable when you’re hovering at 300ms latency from your geographic location and 10 FPS from the zerg doing farm number 1.

There were a couple of odd bugs that got in the way now and then. Deadeye disappeared from my arena a couple of times, leaving me perplexed for a minute or two before he decided to return with a kill shot.

Er, anybody home?
Er, anybody home?

One also ran into the problem of wait times. As the Deadeye farm got more popular, more people start wanting to do it, and once you’re in queue with 3-4 other people, even if all of you manage to kill Deadeye without a hitch, everyone’s collective profit per hour falls off. This naturally leads to some distinctively selfish behaviors showing up in some individuals, like refusing to rez or snatching turns in queue.

Even if you run into nice chaps all around, you can’t help but think you’d all be better off if you could each find an arena to yourselves, so time is also spent running around and trying to guest to hopefully lower population servers – which still aren’t that empty when everyone is funneled into one zone and people with the same idea as you have also guested over.

And while I was fortunate enough not to run into anyone who openly laughed at me trying to kill Deadeye and failing, I couldn’t help but feel just a little embarrassed if I made a timing misstep or annoyed if stuff happened that was out of my control (My finger is over the button in anticipation, Deadeye disappears, I whack teleport, bam, dead at his feet. I’ve no human way of reacting any faster than that, alas. Packets take time to get to my computer and back again, apparently.)

Feeling too much at the mercy of my 2.13GHz processor and mightily sick of the feeling of wading through mud in the Crown Pavilion, I slunk away with my tail between my legs, wondering what else I could do.

At this point, an outsider might be wondering…”Why this crazy obsession about gold and grinding for it?”

Has the bulk of the GW2 population been caught up in some kind of mass hysteria? Why is everyone scrambling to keep up with the Joneses?

Well, besides the natural urge of some people to desire spending on luxuries like working on a Legendary or a shiny new weapon or armor skin or some gem store item once they own a surfeit of cash, TP prices -are- creeping upward steadily as the bulk of the population gets a little wealthier.

Joining a zerg is something most players can do, after all.

This leads to anyone with an interest in not losing too much purchasing power to try their darnest not to fall behind in earning power.

But it may also result in players feeling forced to play a certain way, else feel like they will be facing an unlevel playing field soon.

Granted, there are some gold sinks in place in the Jubilee. Wanting to collect all the rune recipes will set you back 3.75 x 6 gold, plus 275 x 6 watchwork sprockets. We will not mention how much everyone has probably spent trying to get past Liadri. It’s unlikely that inflation will get too runaway.

I’m also anticipating that the coming days of Black Lion Sales will also serve to sink a considerable amount of gold via Gold to Gem conversion, driving up the price in the meantime. This is bad news for anyone looking to “get free stuff” with gold, but moderately good news for anyone prepared to spend money on the Gem Store and maybe even convert Gem to Gold the other way around.

I have a hunch that with the one-year anniversary coming along, this is exactly what ArenaNet is aiming toward, pushing up the currency exchange price a little higher, creating more temptation to just directly lay down cash for Gems instead, or convert it to in-game gold.

Being someone who is prepared to go either way on this currency exchange, I’m relatively unmoved as long as I don’t have to pay more than a month’s MMO subscription to simply keep afloat.

Also, after some thinking on the various ways one might be able to earn gold in-game, I realized that there were less obvious means to generate gold that have been downplayed over the mass zerg farms taking center stage. The new dungeon update, for example, does yield a gold per day for each different dungeon path run. There -are- champion loot bags in the dungeon too.

TP flipping has always been alive and well, through hell or high water.

And there is always some profit in taking the road less traveled and supplying things obtained where the bulk of the population is not, but still want anyway. That’s where I currently am.

It might not pay as much, but it lets me share in some of the wealth being generated, and gives me far far better framerates.

I also got caught in a very weird weather phenomenon. A winter storm with purple lightning flashing all around that gave me chills up my spine regarding chaos magic and potential Thaumanova revelations.
And oh, I also got caught in a very weird weather phenomenon. A winter storm with purple lightning flashing all around that gave me chills up my spine regarding chaos magic and future potential Thaumanova revelations. It was probably always there before, but who knows?

GW2: All Aboard the Dragon (Bash) Wagon

I didn’t bother writing much about the rest of the Canach event. It was uneventful and there wasn’t much to comment about. And now the Dragon Bash is upon us.

If there’s two things I’ve had a revelation about, it’s these.

1) I really like ArenaNet’s art, especially for seasonal events.

2) It all ultimately revolves around gold in the end.

hologram

Lion’s Arch is in fine form. The fountain has been replaced with a holographic projector featuring a Shattered Dragon hologram flying around terrorizing the nearby ship towers. (That poor lion fountain, I wonder where they keep it in between festivals and how many dolyaks or golems it takes to haul it away each time?)

dragonforge

The Mystic Forge is, to quote the words of a guildie, “looking badass even as it eats my items.”

streetart1

I’m extremely impressed with the small immersive touches, especially the dragon themed street art. It looks chalked in, like a denizen of Lion’s Arch actually sat down to draw it. There’s a bridge in the center of LA that has an entire dragon head to tail graffiti’ed on and looks great in-game, even if the entire thing doesn’t fit in a screenshot.

dragonbridge

The varied pinatas look great (if you could study them properly before they disappear in a fit of everyone racing each other for their achievements, what’s with the lack of node sharing with those, a bug?)

The decorative dragon billboards all look like they’re made of wood and painted. It basically all seems “real” rather than just magically plunked into place. (I suppose “it’s magic” is a good excuse for Wintersday and Halloween.)

As for the gold thing, well, I seem to have reached a stage of resignation cum acceptance regarding it.

It’s in-game currency. I earn 1-3 gold just playing and doing the stuff I like to do each day. Yes, while it has a real-life money equivalency, it cannot be converted back (through any legal means anyway.)

So gold is for spending.

It is just a matter of what I want to prioritize it on. Other people may really value working towards their shiny Legendary, and so throw all their gold there. Some may really be into their costumes, or dyes, or minis, or what-have-you. Still others are content to sink it into the great WvW goldnommer of siege and upgrades, or spend it playing with RNG and gambling.

Conversely, some may be better at earning gold, through activities like playing the TP, doing lots of dungeons or making Legendaries and selling them. As a result, they may have more gold to play and spend with. (And let us not forget the big spenders, who think nothing of throwing $50-100 real life bucks each month into the cash shop and converting it into in-game currency in whatever way best suits their efficient fancy)

It does not matter. It’s like real life, some people are always going to have more than others. And still others will be worse off than you. What’s there to get worked up about?

What matters is that one spends within their means. Fortunately, there is no going into debt in-game. You can only become temporarily broke or bankrupt if you are spendthrift or make a foolish financial decision. At most, you may regret prioritizing buying one thing first over another.

There’s also the great equalizer – the TP and the currency exchange, which are great economic tools for at least sharing -some- of the wealth if you can find a niche in the economy to contribute to.

In my case, that’s solo farming. It’s probably not as profitable as social farming, where a bunch of people find an event and farm the increased mob spawns together, but it’s okay, I accept that it’s good for an MMO to have bonus encouragement for people to get together every now and then.

The Dragon Coffer drop rate has been especially kind to my particular favorite playstyle too, in that they’ve made it a pretty frequent drop from pretty much anything and everything that can be attacked and falls over dead giving xp. It reminds me of GW1 seasonal events, with a much nicer drop rate. I’ve been having fun just putting on some music, and genociding everything in my path, with stumbling across holograms as an additional bonus.

Apparently it’s not most efficient way to get coffers. Some have found chain waypointing to holograms better – supposedly the profit from selling the coffers offsets the cost of waypointing. Some brag about getting 60 or so coffers in one event. I have no clue whether this is exaggeration or just being very good at finding dense spots of mobs. Whatever floats your boat, I figure.

For myself, one of my goals is to level up a warrior. (Two, actually, but one will do first.) I found it rather fun to use up a killstreak booster (all that stuff that drops from free black lion chests and keys that I end up hoarding in the bank and never really using) and chomp a 30min food and a consumable in a minigame of keep the streak going as long as possible. The on-kill, gain a buff for 30 secs food works in perfect tandem with this. Then I rampage around in a whirlwind frenzy of axe chopping from boar to moa to skelk and anything else. It’s more than a little hectic and tense, especially when some other guy swipes the mob you were aiming for and your lowbie can’t do enough damage to get kill credit. Luckily, it seems no one but me kills yellow mobs. And the game-within-a-game steers me towards more deserted, quiet surroundings, which I enjoy.

Less hectic and with more breathing room for stopping to sell to a merchant (you haven’t lived until you are trying to kill a yellow mob next to a karma merchant with your inventory up blocking your entire view trying to sell as quickly as possible and get to the next mob within 60 seconds or so) is the simple experience booster which lasts an hour.

It’s win-win. I use up boosters I never thought I’d get around to using. I’m gaining xp in a less boring way than going from heart to heart (subjective opinion, yes.) I get the bonus of being thrilled every so often seeing a Dragon Coffer drop and selling the proceeds nets some extra silver and gold. Sure, it’s not as instantaneous as power leveling to 80 with crafting, but it’s a lot less expensive – every level I gain now is one less I’d have to craft up later when I get bored and impatient, and I might be able to divert and garner more xp from a dungeon or WvW when more developed later on.

I’ve been netting around 16-18 coffers per half hour on the lowbie warrior and about 1.5 levels per hour. On a whim, I ran around with my level 80 guardian with 160% odd magic find and gained around 22-27 coffers per half hour, though I don’t know if this depends on the area I visited or if magic find has an effect too. (Downside, the warrior gains no levels if I spend time on the 80.) It’s probably not much compared to the really dedicated who will find the best farming locations, but it’s good enough for me – I tend to burn out when obliged to play -too- efficiently.

I watched the ectoplasm rush pass me by too. I was online when the patch news hit, and watched with bemusement as the ectos took off from 19 silver all the way up to 27 silver or so – all the while wondering if I should buy (at first) or sell (remembering my stock market lessons on selling when everyone else wants to buy.)

I suppose the savvy managed to make a tidy profit per ecto, and I wasn’t among them, but on the other hand, I’m not among those that bought ectos for more than the price they’re selling for post-patch (last I looked, still 20 silver or so) either.

Boring status quo for me. I earn gold like a slow and steady turtle. I’ll spend it on stuff I enjoy and want, even if not bought at the cheapest price.

I gave in and picked up the miniature Firestorm I’ve been lusting after. Removed the 55 gold buy order, added a 15 gold top up (which had naturally accrued again after days of normal playing) and you may all laugh at me now for buying a miniature worth 71 gold or the equivalent of $23.67. But it really is pretty.

The gift of free miniatures made my decision to feed in $10 to the cash shop this month easy. I was already considering supporting the straight buy of miniatures, but was hesitant about the mystic forge deal to get another mini. Buying two sets just to throw one into the mystic forge just seems dumb. In this case, I just needed to buy one set and could throw in the other without qualms. I bought a Risen Knight for around 2 gold for this purpose. Waiting would have been cheaper, as they’re now hovering around 50 silver and are likely to plunge further, but really, 1.5 gold is not a big deal in the larger scheme of things, it’s an hour’s worth of in-game earnings perhaps.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there can be a limit to searching for the absolute optimal, and that time is also a tradeoff in the equation somewhere, and that regret is a wasted emotion as long as you’re sure about what you want to begin with.

I also used a buy-order for the holographic flappy wings, which netted me a set at 24 gold. I am positive this will get cheaper as the days pass by. So others may prefer to wait. On the other hand, I knew I did want them for my asura because he has a ‘hologram’ theme going on with the super adventure staff, and it just seems to fit. (Whereas it looked downright weird previewing on the charr.) Now I have a certain peace of mind, and can spend the rest of the weeks farming to sell off coffers to earn profit and will be in time to run around this weekend all dragon-themed.

I’m not going to bother with the jade skins. Yeah, they look rather nice. I like the jade stone effect especially. But I don’t own any Canthan-themed characters that’ll make me kill for a bunch of those, fortunately. And while the jade sword complements the Blood Legion Charr rather nicely, I already own a perfectly passable crystalline blade that also looks good, and a fiery dragon sword, so I neither “need” or want them. Which is great, because the drop rate apparently sucks. I’ll be content to make some steady profit off the sale of hopefuls that are searching for a ticket and the RNG kick of opening a bunch of lockboxes. I may open a few for the fun of it, and if I get lucky on that or a kill drop, wonderful, but I won’t be expecting anything.

Which, imo, is how to treat lotteries and lockboxes in MMOs. Like buying a real lottery ticket. It’s essentially throwing a small sum of money away for a worthless piece of paper and a certain hopeful thrill that maybe this time you’ll get lucky. Don’t hope for anything more than that, throw away money within your means, and that’s that.

Some people will think it stupid and illogical, some people will think it acceptable, some people will get carried away to the point of insanity or bankruptcy. That’s life.

I bought 5 Rich Dragon Coffers with the leftover gems from my $10 input for the minis. I made up the difference with gold converted to gems. Got absolutely nothing out of it but some candies and the food consumables. $5 down the drain? Or a little extra speed boost for the Zhaitaffy achievement. Wasn’t expecting anything, so not surprised or regretful. Just a little extra support for ArenaNet – take it as a show of my appreciation for the art, perhaps. Not getting carried away either, it’s just about self-discipline stopping where you want to stop. In my case, $5, for others, they’re ok at $20, $30, $50 or more.

If you don’t have that self-discipline, then well, best learn the lesson about gambling addiction in a video game, I guess, and I pray the consequences won’t be that catastrophic. (Bright side, I hear Anet limits purchases per month to $300. That’s a lot less than some people can lose in a month in a real world casino.)

Moa racing is a funny application of this with in-game currency. I suspect it’s rapidly goldsinking quite a bit of gold out of the general economy. Assuming it’s set up for 20% even odds per bird, people playing hoping to earn money will probably lose a small trickle of gold on average, with some people getting lucky and profiting and others being unlucky and losing more. Some will play enough to get the achievement and write off the loss as the cost of the achievement. And the temptation of getting the moa mini may appeal to others to stay on longer and feed gold into it. I believe a rough back of the envelope calculation is that the mini will cost an average of 28.4 gold or so, with large fluctuations depending on luck – or $9.50 a mini. (If one converts gems to gold though, the exchange rate is poorer, say 100 gems for 2 gold, and the mini will cost $14.20 if your luck is average.)

I’m still trying to decide myself whether I want to just cash out the tokens I have and take the small loss for the achievements, or continue throwing gold in to get the mini. It’s a cute enough mini that I won’t mind owning it. But it’s not something I want immediately on looking at it. I could leave it, no problem. ‘Cept there’s nothing else more pressing to spend gold on either and there’s the rest of the month to play with the moa races. So I may just do a slow trickle of gold into it and essentially pay up a bunch of gold for a mini. Will it prove to be cheaper or more expensive than buying it off the TP? We won’t know, it’ll be just a matter of luck and RNG.

Like most everything else in this game. Take it or leave it. The choice is up to you.

I haven’t tried Dragon Ball yet. Too busy farming. Yes, I like mob grinding that much that I made a beeline straight for mass genocide when given the least excuse to. (Yes, I’m serious.)

I leave you with two other things that I got a big kick out of. (God, I love Lion’s Arch on Tarnished Coast.)

Was seen racing with the other moas.
Was seen racing with the other moas before placing bets.

The above was probably power-leveled, as the Master Crafter title might suggest.

I’ll have you know that the below has existed for quite a while, certainly during the Molten Facility (proof in the convo pics) and was first made around Wintersday (his pic is there, if not his name.)

Nor was I aware there was an NPC named Shodd, having never played the asura personal story until after making the character. (We certainly sounded like a legal firm together during that though. Shudd & Shodd, your go-to associates for world domination.)

Only bookahs are confused by asura names. There are subtle pronunciation differences between Shud, Shudd and Shodd that only big ears can differentiate.
Only bookahs are confused by asura names. There are subtle pronunciation differences between Shud, Shudd and Shodd that only big ears can discern.