Mawdrey is one of the chase items for the first half of Season 2 in Guild Wars 2. Unlike most of the other chase items, Mawdrey is not random-chance loot. It is quite the opposite. Mawdrey is a large treasure hunt, crafting spree, and tree destroying quest rolled in to one.
In The Dragon’s Reach: Part 1 sequence of story instances, players begin to receive items when each instance is completed. The first one appears in the story instance Uprooting the Iron Marches, which involves defending the charr region from planty mordrem attacks. One of the rewards is a Mysterious Seed with the instructions to “[p]lant in a Ley Line Infused Clay Pot to germinate”. The capitalization of course notes that another item will be needed, and they come uncompleted in the later story instances of the same chapter.
I say “uncompleted” because in The Waypoint Conundrum instance the reward is a Ley Line Infused Stone, which needs to have its matrix disrupted according to the item description. Double-clicking on the Stone points one towards Lion’s Arch where Scarlet’s Breachmaker wreckage still has its drill in a leyline. This represents the first mechanic that repeats nearly a dozen times. The player gets an item, but then needs to head off to some area of Tyria to modify the item, or later on just retrieve the item wholesale.
I really liked this portion of building Mawdrey. Getting 100% map completion was one of my favorite parts of Guild Wars 2, and heading back to out-of-the-way areas is quite fun for me. It took me into part of the Maguuma Jungle in Brisban Wildlands that I had completely forgotten, and it took me back to some of the open world minidungeons, which I enjoy. That part of the Mawdrey quest I quite enjoyed.
The megaserver technology was also working very well. It was only this week that I started finishing up the final stage of Mawdrey, and I needed to get to the Font of Rhand and Forsaken Fortune minidungeons. I figured that since I was weeks late, I would be doing it alone. Nope. In each minidungeon I had about half-dozen fellow players along with me. That was really cool.
Mawdrey is not all fun and games. There is some bit of work included. The funny bit of work is felling high-level trees for a chance at Foxfire Clusters. Heuristically, I’d say there was a 3-5% chance for each chop. All told there are about 100 Foxfire Clusters required for the complete Mawdrey. I spent a lot of time re-logging characters in Malchor’s Leap where 6 pretty trees stood in a row. I was never alone in chopping that wood. However, these are tradable items that were going for upwards of 70-80 silver each. Now as people complete their Mawdreys, the amount is half that. Still 40 gold worth of tree gas is not something to sneeze at, but players have the choice of grinding it out themselves.
I thought on how with Foxfire Clusters alone, ArenaNet was successful in putting a fun, temporary change to the market. It created opportunity for people that just wanted to run around and smash trees. It had a huge effect on the supply of wood, which might be the longest lived effect of this. And, it was all tied to a luxury item. I hope ArenaNet got lots of good data on it. I quite enjoyed the market change. These changes were also felt in the Sunstone Lump market with an increase of 2000%. Some lodestone markets got a 25%+ jump as well.
Again, once players got past the treasure hunt above it was all economics or farming. Even with the new zone, a player could just straight up buy a Clay Pot from the Trading Post rather than do a small bit of farming and crafting. Other patient players could fill orders from rich and impatient players for creating the once/day plant food recipes. I was finding that for those, in the peak, each plant food packet was making me 1-2 gold profit.
Ultimately, the prizes were 3 back item skins, 2 exotic back pieces, an ascended back piece with selectable stats, and finally a plant that eats Bloodstone Dust to digest it into something at least salable. People have reported getting some rare items, but for the most part it will be vendor trash. Still, an option to convert Bloodstone Dust in to something usable is pretty nice. I feel though, economically, the ascended back piece is going to be the main prize.
I always liked taking a keepsake from each update of the Living Story in Guild Wars 2, and I feel Mawdrey is one of the best in terms of entertainment to achieve and worth once gained. I liked its effect on the economy, especially since for the most part it was a luxury item (arguable with the ascended back piece part). Still, with the first half of Season 2 and this item, it really feels like ArenaNet is gaining mastery of their game. I am looking forward to future crafting hunts.