Monday, July 15, 2013

All Back To Mine: GW2

Never mind the soul-searching. Bugger Achievements. There was only one reason I spent the entire weekend ticking those sixteen boxes and it wasn't so I could call myself a Bazaar Ambassador (not that a title wouldn't have been nice). It was all to get a really, truly, honest-to-betsy mineable node for my Personal Instance. 

Ah yes, my Personal Instance. You remember those? All we Tyrians have one. Back in the Dreamtime, before the dawning of the First Beta Weekend, we imagined it might be something like a home, the sort of thing they have in other worlds, a place where you can hang a few pictures, throw down a rug, have a few friends round for a quick game of Belcher's Bluff.

Didn't turn out that way, more's the pity. There are so many Charr milling around in the Hero's Canton in Black Citadel my Ranger has to sleep under a blanket of stars out in Plains of Ashford just to get some peace and quiet. Personal? Hardly!

No, Personal Instances in GW2 turned out quite the disappointment. While every other sandpark MMO was running up curtains and laying out paint charts Anet stared fixedly in the other direction, pretending not to notice. After they squashed the possibility of a proper expansion that seemed like the end of any hope for housing, until out of a clear blue sky (literally) came the good skyship Zephyr Sanctum and with it the unthinkable promise of something you might actually be able to place in your house Personal Instance.

Rigging was climbed, cliffs were scaled, races were run, baskets were gathered. Many, many silver coins ended up in the coffers of whichever shady crew runs the Waypoint scam service. Finally I had it: my very own Gift of Quartz.

Odd phrasing, that. "Delivered to your home instance". I'd imagined placing it myself, somewhere where the light would show it off to its best advantage, a place of honor worthy of the very first permanent, placeable addition to my home. But no, wishful thinking again. Placeability remains but a cub's dream. It was going to be delivered and, sadly, not by a Charr in workman's overalls but by magic. Blink and you missed it.

No choice where it went, either. Couldn't even find it until I checked the map and saw it had grown a mining node.It sure is pretty. But what's it for, apart from making the place look just that tiniest bit more lived-in?

Well, you can mine it once per day per account. It appears in the Personal Instances of all your characters but as soon as any one of them mines it out for the day, that's it. Standard pull, three crystals. I'm guessing, like any node, you can get bonus pulls, the chances for which will increase if your server is grinding the faces of the weak into the dust  in World vs World but still, don't count on getting many more than 25-30 crystals a week.

What are they for, these crystals? Luckily I found quite a few recipes as I was grinding  adventuring these last few days, so I can answer that. They make Celestial armor and jewellery, which has "all stats". Dulfy has the full info, as always. Having heard some less than enthusiastic comments in Lion's Arch map chat I took the trouble to test the temperature of opinion on this new armor by visiting the official forums. Lukewarm.

Which is a shame, because this stuff is going to take some making. Each piece doesn't just require the usual batch of Ectos, Gossamer and so on; it also needs five Charged Quartz Crystals and each of those eats up 25 of the ordinary kind; 125 in total.

How do you charge a crystal? You might well ask. Dozens of people were asking the same in labyrinthine Cliffs yesterday. You go to a Place of Power, that's how, and yes, a lot of people were asking about that, too. A Place of Power is one of those spots where you can Commune. Unsophisticated folk like adventurers call them Skill Points. Go to one of those, use it the way you normally would and even if it's one you've already sucked the energy out of before you get an option to charge your crystals.

Now at the moment, naturally, the uncharged crystals are plentiful in the extreme and 125 on the TP would run you a rather trivial 60 silver. In a couple of weeks, though, when the Bazaar closes, the supply will dry up. 25-30 per account per week, remember. It'll take over a month just to collect enough for one piece. Anyone interested in a full set probably should be putting in heavy "buy" orders right now.

Or maybe not. Look at Candy Corn. Not been able to get that since last October yet there's still in excess of a quarter of a million corns on the TP. Okay, let's trust the market. Let's assume no shortages or price-gouging. There's still another little obstacle we haven't considered. You can only charge one Charged Quartz Crystal per day per account. And unlike the regular crystals they're account-bound not tradeable.

Someone certainly doesn't want this stuff flooding the market, although given the general lack of enthusiasm there probably wasn't much chance of that happening anyway. Not being a min-maxer, I rather like the look of the stats on the Celestial so I'll probably be chipping away at a set. It'll give me something to do over the long winter months, not to mention making a dent in my Ecto mountain.

Whether I'll feel like visiting my Personal Instance every day just to mine three crystals I rather doubt. It's hardly what a home is for. Still, I suppose it's a start...


  1. I guess I should check the romantically named home instance out, now that it's finally here...but meh. I don't think I could even do what you did this weekend. I don't craft in GW2, so that mine has little appeal. guess am just gonna stick to your recommendation of looking at it as a new zone free of all the new loot and achievements. the one thing am still willing to try at this point.

    1. It's always been there, it's just that hardly anyone noticed. Even Mrs Bhagpuss forgot it existed and got it confused with the Hall of Monuments (another wasted opportunity).

  2. Have you ever considered converting your ecto mountain into an ecto pool and swimming in it, i.e. Scrooge McDuck?

    I WILL spend gems on it if I can buy that for my home instance.


  3. Today I just noted the Aetherblades Sky Pirates are attacking the top of cliffs for try steal the crystals. A lot of waves of aetherbaldes, veteran aetherblades and champions aetherlbades. Not sure if the Dynamic Event started today or if I just saw it today.

    1. My best guess is that they're a linked event to the "Deliver Supplies From Trader Owens to the top" dynamic event.

      That was not being completed very much at the start, but in TC anyway, there seems to be a good 10-15+ people working on keeping all the dynamic events going at an organized clip lately. Pretty nice for Heavy Booty Bag farming as I found out today.

      I'm just... so distracted by Don't Starve right now.

    2. Yeah, it happens if that event succeeds. When the patch first hit, the scaling made it almost impossible to succeed- presumably it assumed everyone in the marked "event area" would be helping, even though that's two-thirds of the zone. They toned it down since then.


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