Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Look In The Envelope

Guild Wars 2's Lunar New Year festival ends today, although at time of writing it's still running. The boom will come down whenever ArenaNet release the weekly Tuesday update, something that happens any time from three in the afternoon to eight in the evening, where I live.

As I wrote, back on January 11, I was a little late to the party this year, what with not actually playing the game on the regular any more, but once I'd been made aware it was happening, I was diligent in not missing a single day. Not that I did much while I was there, nor intended to. 

Other than running a few races for the fun of it, if they happened to be up when I arrived, all of my efforts were concentrated on buying every Lucky Envelope I was allowed on each of three accounts, then transferring all of them onto my main account to open. Just doing that took me fifteen or twenty minutes a day, easily.

For once, I didn't cash out as I went along but kept everything in my bags 'til the end. That means for the first time ever I'm actually able to see exactly what I got and how much money I made - or lost.

I opened all the envelopes in the Silverwastes, a map with a permanent 30% bonus to magic find. Lucky Envelopes are one of the very, very few openables to benefit from that generally useless stat so it's theoretically worth making some effort to raise it when opening them. 

For the first week and a half or so, I really didn't try all that hard. I ran a booster or two and had some MF food up but my magic find was somewhere around 450. It's generally reckoned it has to go over 500 to make much of a perceivable difference. About halfway through the run I grabbed some banners and boosts from various sources and by the last day I was running more than a hundred points higher. 

I finally topped out at 569 although it would have been twenty points  more if I'd taken the right accessory out of the bank. I was wearing the wrong one the whole time. It's not a large enough sample to be statistically significant, I'm sure, but subjectively it definitely did seem that my luck improved once my MF passed 500.

In the three weeks I was doing the event I received a ton of festival food and fireworks, the total amount of which I haven't bothered to tally. Nor have I worked out the value on the Trading Post should I choose to sell. I could do that. It's almost all tradeable. Most of it goes for coppers but some of the food is quite valuable so the total would run into a few gold, I'm sure.

I also acquired enough sparks of luck to add three percentage points onto my permanent magic find. MF is a fairly arduous stat to raise after about two hundred or so, so that's a not-insignificant jump. I also got three small lucky envelopes every day for a daily achievement whenever I opened the big ones. Those all gave minor rewards too but I didn't keep a track of what I got. Nothing significant, that's for sure.

In the twenty-one days I kept up with the event I bought five hundred and four Lucky Envelopes at a cost of one gold piece each. Here's what I got back, not counting the food, fireworks and luck:

Cash Items

  • 13 Ornamental Gold Trophies - (8g 88s 88c) - Total Value 115g 55s 44c
  • 519 Golden Rabbit Figurines - (88s 88c) - Total Value 461g 28s 72c

Total Value 576g 84s 72c

Useable Items

  • 8 Lucky Rabbit Lanterns
  • 4 Minis of Festival Lantern
  • 3 Superior Runes of Fireworks
  • 2 New Year's Weapon Chests

The rabbit lanterns, a back item with stats, can be upgraded into Golden Rabbit Statues but you only need one lantern per statue. I'll be making some of those at some point because the appearance is actually quite nice, for once. As for the rest, they don't sell for much now but as the years pass they tend to go up in value so I usually hang on to them. (And then never sell them but that's a different issue altogether...)

The minis are nice but absolutely worthless. There are tens of thousands for sale at 3 copper a time. The runes are decent and sell for over a gold each but I already have quite a few. They'll go in the bank.

The pick of the bunch is definitely the two weapon chests, if only because neither the box nor the weapons it contains is tradeable. If you want the skins, this is the only way you're going to get them. And, as it happens, the skins aren't bad. 

I chose the staff, called First Night's Spark, which is a cluster of red firecrackers on a stick. It goes
rather well with my Elementalist's current outfit and fits her style as a fire mage. I'm saving the other chest for now. You get to choose one weapon per chest and there are two skins left I don't have. I haven't decided which I want first yet.

All in all I'm pretty satisfied. I came out just over 70g ahead on the deal after the full three weeks. I could have made considerably more by just selling the envelopes on the Trading Post but then I wouldn't have got the two weapon skins or had the fun and excitement of opening the envelopes. Seems like a fair trade-off to me.

One thing I have come to believe as a direct result of the event and my rection to it: at this stage of my mmorpg career I almost prefer login rewards and free gifts to actually playing the games, at least when it conmes to games I know well already. I was incentivized to return to GW2 only by the prospect of opening these envelopes and every evening I found myself actively excited to do it. 

As numerous posts here over the past two or three years can attest, I can often find more to say about these kinds of giveaways than I can about the gameplay. I've often claimed to be able to see the positive side to lockboxes and as time goes on it's becoming harder and harder to deny that in many ways it's the boxes I like best about the games I play. I wouldn't ever pay a cent to open one but if they come free I'd rather open boxes than kill monster, most days.

Luckily for me, there seems to be no shortage of free boxes to open and no sign of the flow drying up any time soon. I've done opening envelopes in GW2 for now so imagine I won't be logging in there again for a while but I'm sure another game will pick up the slack soon enough.

If not, it's only a day until the next Amazon Prime giveaway. There'll be a post about that, too, I'm sure.

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