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Crafting, gear progression and condi specs


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I'm a filthy casual who has spent the vast majority of his gold to level crafting skills in order to acquire supposedly "easy to get" gear. So far have 500 in tailoring, weaponsmithing, artificing and huntsman. I've been told that weaponcrafting skills are a better choice and just now discovered exactly why.

My "main" is guardian on which I already got Caladbolg and today decided to make her a scepter due to the frighteningly high amount of dragonite ore/bloodstone taking space in my bank. God, this is expensive! I've seen people say that ascended items are easy to get, but this isn't the case if you are playing since a month or two. Anyway, I can see why ascended stuff are expensive/ hard to get. The item can be swapped to a different alt depending on what you want to pve with, which adds great value. For weapons the investment is totally worth it, while your other alts will be just fine with exotics in open world.

1)However...what about gearcrafting skills? Investing hundreds of gold to get ascended armor seems like a total waste to me. A hellish grind just so you can join a raid and turn this into a part time job. But...you already have the best gear, why do this to yourself? Why raid at all?

2)I've been told crafting skills are the best and most reliable way to get ascended stuff. The weaponcrafting disciplines seem to be worth it, but are armorcrafting skills as well? I wanted to get armormisthing and leatherworking on two new alts, but this seems less and less appealing idea. The costs are too great for what you get in the end?

3)On my dragonhunter I have ascended gs, amulet and rings. Currently farming lws3 for the backpack. Going to craft scepter and torch when gold allows. Once I get the appropriate agony infusions, how high tier fractals can I do if the rest is exotic?

4)Lastly, the thing that has been bothering me for some time. Many of the elite specs focus on condi stats which are hard as well as expensive to get. I feel as if there is an invisible barrier preventing you from trying those playstyles since the required gear is so rare.You can get berserker stuff from the TP and it will give you pretty good idea how it plays, but dire/rabid exotics are significantly weaker versions of viper and sinister. Having these instead of the more appropriate gear makes condi spec feel incomplete, underwhelming to play as a whole. Is it worth crafting viper exotics? Specifically gear. Also do you need the correct max crafting skill to change ascended items in the mystic forge? For example if you are leatherworker, do you need it at the highest level to reforge medium gear, armorsmithing for heavy and tailor for light?

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1) I honestly only really trained my Armour-crafters up to 400 and just let the exotic gear I needed/wanted to make get me 500. I actually believe it's not worth it to craft some types of armour. Due to them all needing an Insignia, I only ever craft ascended Chestplates or Leggings. I rely on drops from Fractals or buying them with Magnetite Shards in Raids to fill the other four slots.

2) The three weapon crafting disciplines are quite worth it, yes. You can make Grandmaster Marks to use at Fractals (or PvP or WvW) to get Ascended Weaponry quite easily. As I said above, I use Raids to get Helmet/Shoulder/Gloves/Boots, but having 500 armour crafting disciplines is still worth it to quickly fill in those last two slots if you're not lucky with RNG drops. However, Raiding in Exotic armour is perfectly fine to do. You just want your Weapons/Trinkets Ascended.

3) Assuming you put +9s in everything, you'll have 9-10 slots in your trinkets (3 ring, 3 ring, 1 asc, 1 asc, 1-2 backpack), so that's 81-90 AR. Weapon can hold two, so that's another +18. Max of 108, Amulet does not contain an Agony Infusion slot. Anguished Tear of Alba, with proper Mastery grants +15; you're up to +123. If you can keep alive with Mistlock Singularity, another +5 for +128. This will guarantee you up to Scale 87, which requires 127. If you can't maintain Singularity, max is Scale 85 at 123. Note that if you weapon swap, you'll need AR in those weapons as well, otherwise you'll lose the AR in your GS, because it is not currently equipped.EDIT: Noticed you did not say you had ascended Accessories. This will be -18 total AR in my calculations, so max 105/110 for Scales 74/77. Some T4s. I totally did not drop a tens digit somewhere the first time. I'm still really bad at math, apparently.

4) It's not so quite the gear is rare, it's the recipes are not instantly available. At least for Exotics, purchasing them from the TP is just another small cost if you want those. If you intend to make Ascended variant, you must simply buy the Inscription/Insignia recipe, which is readily available at Lumps of Aurillium vendors. Then you craft a cheaper variant that you already have a recipe for, and stat-swap it in the Mystic Forge. For your question about that: No. You do not require any level in anything to stat swap, aside from needing to craft an Inscription/Insignia if they're Account-bound on acquire (E.G. Vipers).

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You're confusing easy with cheap.

When people say crafting ascended gear is easy what they mean is it doesn't require playing any difficult content and it doesn't rely on getting lucky with random drops. If you don't craft it your only options are to get a few pieces from collections (which are at least as expensive as crafting, or require completing lots of other achievements), or you're relying on rare random drops from WvW, PvP, raids, Fractals, Tequatl and the Triple Trouble Wurm. Crafting is something anyone can do and although it takes a lot of gold/materials and time (or more gold to get around the time-gated materials) it's 100% guaranteed to get you the pieces you want at the end of it, and you can find out exactly what's required before going in.

(Caladbolg is an exception - it's unusually cheap and easy to get for an ascended weapon, especially your first one.)

But I'd also ask yourself why you want ascended gear, especially if you've only been playing for a couple of months. You seem to be trying to play GW2 like WoW or some other MMOs where there is a fairly linear path of levelling up, getting better gear and then raiding (so you can get better gear to do the next raid). That isn't really how things work in this game. Raids are completely optional - they don't award anything you need to progress and if you don't play them literally the only thing you miss out on is the raids themselves. And everything except raids and high level Fractals is designed to be played in exotic equipment. Ascended can make it a little bit easier, but it's not required at all.

So if you don't want to raid you also don't need to make ascended gear. You can stick with exotics and focus on playing whatever you enjoy. If you want to you can use the gold and materials you'll get from playing to gradually make ascended gear. But you could also forget about it (for now at least) and simply enjoy the game.

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Hi. For raids you dont need ascended Armor. Most training guilds require ascended trinkets and weapons, food, runes and sigils and exotic Armor.

Then in raids you can buy Armor for magnetic shards.

Also, you dont need ascended armor but why not craft it when you can. Just enjoy the game and after a while you will have eniugh to craft it. You need ascended for t4 fractals but there you cen get ascended drops for alts

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@"Danikat.8537" said:You're confusing easy with cheap.

When people say crafting ascended gear is easy what they mean is it doesn't require playing any difficult content and it doesn't rely on getting lucky with random drops. If you don't craft it your only options are to get a few pieces from collections (which are at least as expensive as crafting, or require completing lots of other achievements), or you're relying on rare random drops from WvW, PvP, raids, Fractals, Tequatl and the Triple Trouble Wurm. Crafting is something anyone can do and although it takes a lot of gold/materials and time (or more gold to get around the time-gated materials) it's 100% guaranteed to get you the pieces you want at the end of it, and you can find out exactly what's required before going in.

(Caladbolg is an exception - it's unusually cheap and easy to get for an ascended weapon, especially your first one.)

But I'd also ask yourself why you want ascended gear, especially if you've only been playing for a couple of months. You seem to be trying to play GW2 like WoW or some other MMOs where there is a fairly linear path of levelling up, getting better gear and then raiding (so you can get better gear to do the next raid). That isn't really how things work in this game. Raids are completely optional - they don't award anything you need to progress and if you don't play them literally the only thing you miss out on is the raids themselves. And everything except raids and high level Fractals is designed to be played in exotic equipment. Ascended can make it a little bit easier, but it's not required at all.

So if you don't want to raid you also don't need to make ascended gear. You can stick with exotics and focus on playing whatever you enjoy. If you want to you can use the gold and materials you'll get from playing to gradually make ascended gear. But you could also forget about it (for now at least) and simply enjoy the game.

This goes a bit off-topic, but whatever. The core idea in every RPG even MMORPG is to improve your character which is usually done through leveling, getting new skills and of course - gear.

I don't want ascended gear because it's "teh best and has pink letters", but because it can be reforged and used on multiple alts which i intend to make so I don't get bored. My goal is to have every profession at 80 each with their own ascended weapons. Obviously ascended gear will be too expensive to make so the alts will have to do with exotics. I think I'll just do as TarkaTarquol.4856 suggested and go armorsmithing and leatherworking to 400 and just craft viper exotics for the alts that need them.

And I don't think I will raid, ever. Don't need a job in a video game. Fractals will be my end game, but they will also require some ascended for the agony infusions. In order to reach the hier tier ones I need to focus on getting higher quality equipment.

I made a mess on my first post, so I'll repeat myself a bit here: Ascended stuff has another benefit -The stat spread. For power builds you can get exotic items which barely make any difference compared to ascended ones. For some specific builds however, you need items with stat spreads which cannot be found on exotics sold in the TP - viper, sinister, trailblazer, minstrel. As I said, I have no intention to raid, but items with those stats can be used in high end fractals.

Gear/weapons like dire/ rabid and so on, are simply a poor substitute to what HoT item with the newer stat distributions offer and the only way to get them is through lucky drop or crafting. For me, this locks half the elite specs behind a barrier. Want to try power dragonhunter? Go buy berserker exotics from TP. Easy. Want to try condi firebrand? Well, you can buy rabid or dire, but they aren't nearly as good as viper, for example. If items with HoT stats were more easily available on exotics, I'd probably not bother to level gearcrafting skills at all. Sadly, I feel many gameplay options are locked behind a barrier which requires certain gear to play as it is intended to be.

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@EpicName.4523 said:This goes a bit off-topic, but whatever. The core idea in every RPG even MMORPG is to improve your character which is usually done through leveling, getting new skills and of course - gear.

Ah, yeah I tend to forget some people approach games that way. To me the core idea of an RPG is to experience the story and the world and levels and gear are simply a way of gating it. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing - done well gating content can be a good way of giving players the sense of exploring and figuring out what to do next whilst making sure they follow the intended order so the story makes sense. But it does mean leveling up and getting better gear is (ideally) something that just happens as you're playing and not a goal in it's own right, or something to get out of the way so I can focus on playing.

However I still think it would be a mistake to try and focus on making ascended gear for all your characters ASAP. It's not needed, even for the stat-change option, and it is expensive so it will hold you up and make it more likely you'll get frustrated and burned out on the game. I have 11 characters - 1 of each profession and an extra ele and engi - and none of them are in full ascended gear, but other than high level Fractals I've never found anything I can't complete with them.

One option I forgot to mention last night is getting ascended trinkets - rings, accessories and amulet, and maybe weapons and using exotic armour. Trinkets can be purchased from the laurel vendor relatively cheaply and easily and actually make more of a difference to your stats than armour. You can also put agony resistance infusions into them so you can do Fractals as a way of getting the armour.

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I'll mention this one thing regarding Ascended stat-swapping. It's not quite something to be done arbitrarily, for one simple reason: Armour Runes. Unless you pay Gems for Upgrade Extractors, you will lose the Rune attached to that armour when you stat-swap it. Some of the runes are not cheap, either. For Healer-types, Monk Runes would probably be the least hurtful to lose, since they're just from a dungeon vendor, but that would require doing this kinda dead content to get more Monk Runes. For the standard Power DPS, it's Scholar runes, which are currently 1.6g buy price on the BLTP. And for Condi, it's a bit up in the air sometimes, but generally Renegade runes work well, which are 1.9g buy price.

The stat-swapping ability was added as a way for those who got RNG drops in open world to change an Ascended Item into a stat set they would use. Say, for example, you got a Beigarth's Armor Chest as a random drops. Knight stats are not really useful, so they allowed us to use Exotic Insignia to stat-swap to a stat set that we would use, and let that really rare drop actually mean something good, instead of a disappointment you got a stat set you'll never use.

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