Besides masteries, the other giant gameplay piece is the markets. They are moving and shaking! The current drivers are precursor crafting, guild halls, scribe crafting, and collections. Plus, ArenaNet really brought the stock up on a lot of items.
With precursor crafting, the big ticket is getting to and getting through the second tier. I have been working on Dawn, a greatsword precursor, and I really enjoyed getting through Tier 1. It was a collection where I basically had to save the free peoples of the realm. Very thematic. I did it, got my flash new recipe for creating the first step and hit a gorram wall. This crappy, mangled weapon required 10 Elonian leather and 30 Deldrimor ingots! Leather raised in stock quite a bit from that step alone, which is there in some fashion, I believe, for every precursor’s precursor.
The collection at Tier 2 basically requires another dwarfload of Deldrimor ingots, and it is known as the gold sink tier. This is not a bad thing because as many smarter people than I have noted, the system was made not to bring cheap precursors. The precursor crafting system was made to bring people incremental progression towards a precursor. I’ve heard Tier 3 goes back to flavor town.
Guild halls are also moving the market pretty strongly, especially in regards to flax. It’s amazing to think of the buying power behind even a 5-person guild. Yes, I could buy a stack of this or that, and it would hurt. Or, 10 of us could each buy 25 of the thing. The market demands 250 either way, and I would guess the velocity of money is moving all the more quickly when I can choose to help my guild in small bites.
I really love the time and love they put in to the guild hall progression system. I really don’t have any opinion on the cost. It appears high, but I feel pretty removed from what is actually happening to the guild hall (a later post for that). However, I do like logging in to the guild hall and seeing what is needed. Each item that can be used for an imminent upgrade has a slot. If the slot is full, fine. However, I can glance at the remainders like a secret santa and pick and choose, especially if I want to farm or pull from my personal stock rather than just buying from the market.
The new scribe crafting profession backs off a bit from the buying power of a guild, but then adds in the oompf of each individual guild member being able to go for it. I’ve heard tales about people using 400-600 gold just leveling up scribe to 75! That’s crazy, and in large part it’s because ArenaNet tailored the profession to bolster smaller markets… like starting wood. Woe to the would-be artificers of the world who need tier 1 wood right now. They also need sand, which comes from playing around in Dry Top and Silverwastes (the Maguuma wastes region). I am easily adding a gold or more per hour of play just by selling the sand off. Take it off my hands, early adopters!
Collections are probably the lowest market mover at the moment, but it does help. Most of them seem geared towards playing power rather than paying power. Still chase items, ascended gearing, etc. all have an effect. The weird market also seems to exist around Fractals, where I keep hearing it became a gold sink (and has horrible XP gain compared to dungeons). I’ve done a few, and really enjoyed the lower levels so far. However, I don’t really understand what is going on, not to mention agony resistance to begin with. I will try and get there though.
In-house economist, John Smith, a bit ago that gold would be important. If gold has no buying power, or became super inflated, he said he wasn’t doing his job. This, I feel, is super necessary for a game that intends to not increase the level cap. I am really enjoying watching the market fluctuations even when I lose out on gold.
I just bought 20 stacks of Tier 5 dust the other night after learning about how apparently the Heart of Thorns legendaries will require 2250 orbs (Tier 6 crystals), doubloons, or crests. Those markets all shot up before I even had a chance to log on, but I did note to myself, “self, I have stacks of Tier 5 crystals which can be combined with Tier 5 dust to become orbs!” The market didn’t seem that high so I bought those 20 stacks, and then the market giggled up a small tad, then crashed. I am hopeful it turns itself around when we can actually create those legendaries. I wonder what other impact they might have on the market?