Becoming Legendary: Or how I got my life back

Discussion in 'Useful Guides' started by Diremongoose, Feb 10, 2013.

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    Diremongoose iSpy

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    An in-depth look into the legendary process

    Why did I write this guide? After finishing my legendary rifle, The Predator, I just felt the need to tell my story to other people. Embarking on and completing my legendary was possibly the longest single task I've ever completed in any game to date. It's also been the most coordinated task I've ever accomplished in any game. I had spreadsheets for this project. I started this as a guide to inspire other friends and guild members to start their own journeys towards legendary items, and it turned into something more general. I wanted to give something back to the supportive community, both the ALTTABME.COM community and the people I came across in random groupings for dungeons and fractals. I could never have done this without you all!

    Let me introduce you to the hero of this story:
    [IMG]
    This is Cinder. She likes long runs across the continent and kills ghosts for fun and profit. She has a secret crush on Zommoros, but is unable to express it except though liberal offering of wine and crystals.

    Part 1. Player vs EVERYTHING
    Everyone is going to have a different journey to find their own legendary. Everyone is going to prioritize different parts of the lengthy process. This isn't a guide on exactly what to do or where to get it, but I've learned a lot along the way and maybe some of it can help you. Then again, maybe it won't - in which case there are some pretty screenshots for you instead. But one thing is for sure, unless you have a few thousand gold stored up, it's going to be a long and eventful journey.

    I started off with map completion. Focus on the goals you can do purely on your own skill by playing the game rather than your mastery of the trading post. That will give you a small sense of satisfaction - "I could buy my legendary today if I had a mere 800 gold!" It's not much, but it helped me.
    [IMG]
    A map a day keeps the grind away.

    It's a good place to start. As a single gift acquisition, map completion/Gift of Exploration probably took the longest single block of time. However, it takes you to cool places and makes you appreciate the effort ArenaNet put into the game. I took the time to look at every Vista. Stop and smell the metaphorical roses along the way and this step will go a lot faster. My strategy was to do a map every day. At the time, I wasn't even really going for a legendary except as some far off goal on the horizon. I wanted that shiny icon above my head!

    I was lucky enough to have almost completed WvW exploration in the first week of launch, when WvW matchups were both very brief and very one-sided. At the time I just ran from one side of each map to the other, getting all the skill points. When it was time for map completion, I only had a few points left here and there - all easy. If you need to do WvW, my suggestion would be to wait until your server is in a one-sided matchup against two weaker servers and do all your remaining points in that week. At the time I remember being most unimpressed with the low-level yellow items I received from map completion of Eternal Battlegrounds, but these rewards have been modified for some time now.

    I found Orr one of the hardest parts of Tyria to complete on my own. At the time I had exotic armor and weapons, but green jewelry, accessories, back armor, etc. I had to enlist the mutual assistance of guild members to get everything done. Trust me when I say that doing the map completion with a friend or two, particularly with voice chat, makes the experience so much more fun. It took me a while to get the last points to complete the final maps of Tyria. It turned out I had finished deceptively little of the Straits of Devastation but somehow assumed that I had. It is a LOT bigger than the 'paths' and event chains make it look.

    Tip:
    It was a month or two after I finished, but now you can hover over a map name on the world map to get a summary of its level of completion.
    [IMG]
    Why didn't they implement this before I spent 30s traveling to every map to tick them off?!

    It's a long road to explore Tyria, but it's worth it.
    But that's just the first step of any legendary journey.

    Attached Files:

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    Part 2: Charr can't jump

    It's true, Charr are big, bulky and their quadrupedal gait makes it hard to judge where you'll land on a platform. The solution:

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    This is Viss. He enjoys creating armies of clones, doing vector calculus while showering and eating blueberry pie. He nearly got deleted died of frustration climbing the Mad King's Clocktower.

    An Asuran Mesmer: small size makes for easier jumps in tight quarters, while Mesmers have Portal. Portal gives you a couple of "second chances" at any hard jumping puzzle and makes you friends while navigating the puzzle.

    I found that by far the quickest and easiest way to obtain the Gift of Battle was to do the four WvW jumping puzzles every day (sometimes on multiple characters). If you enjoy WvW every day then you probably have your own way to get the Badges of Honor. While I acknowledge how much fun WvW is, I sometimes prefer the slower cooperative nature of PvE without having to worry about imminent unavoidable death-by-zerg. Here is a link to the entrance locations of the puzzles if you need it.

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    I am the king of the mini-jumping puzzle. I shall crush everything beneath my adorable toes!



    [IMG]
    Always be on the look out for enemy players, but remember that some just want to do the puzzle without trouble. You don't always have to fight them - but keep your distance!

    This bit was tough for me at times. Make no mistake, the jumping itself is not that hard, but the possibility of ambush exists at any time - particularly on Borderlands puzzles that belong to other teams. One very nice community feature was that, on the winning side of one-sided matchups, Mesmers would congregate at the end of the puzzle and "portal" people up to the top. Playing a Mesmer for this part (because I'm bad enough at jumping puzzles), I helped a few people myself.

    Bonus content:
    How to streamline your daily Borderlands jumping puzzle farming:
    This guide assumes you are already familiar with the puzzle and can already get to both chests.
    Guide (open)

    If you're doing these every day then there's a much quicker way to do them.
    Start at the gate (see screenshot below) and open it with a set of keys you got earlier.
    Yes - what I'm saying is you need to do the puzzle conventionally, but then DO NOT OPEN THE VAULT until the next day/until you go to another map. WHAT?!
    [IMG]
    With a little planning and practice, you'll never get wet again on this puzzle!

    WHY? Because this way, you will not have to jump into the water/jump into the waterfall again until you have completed the puzzle entirely! You get your reward first and then open both chests to replace the keys for the next Borderlands run.

    You start at the vault and then go to the first chest from there.
    [IMG]
    Run this puzzle three times a day and no one will be able to catch you on it...

    Then gently walk off the edge at this exact point:
    [IMG]
    It goes without saying: be careful not to roll off the edge here or fall forward too far. I recommend walking backwards. This will take off half your health so don't attempt it as an escape!

    You finish here, half way through the second path.
    [IMG]
    You will land just before the jump to the Oozes. Don't let them immobilize you in mid air. I wish I was kidding.

    From there you get the second half of the key, and you're ready to do the next Borderlands - keys are generic to any of the maps.

    It only took 2-3 weeks of daily jumping puzzles - and you get really good at them by the end. I got a few tokens from WvW itself, but I never found WvW to be that efficient a way to get tokens in comparison. Your mileage may vary.

    So, I got my Gift of Exploration, I ran my daily jumping puzzles until I had 500 tokens to obtain the Gift of Battle (and many, many Blueprints). What next?

    Bloodstone Shard: So by the time I'd finished map completion (and unlocked every profession/racial skill) and farmed my Gift of Battle, I discovered I had 197 skill points left over. Less than an hour spent doing events in Orr and I was done. I had some surplus experience boosters that I made use of too.

    Right, that's the easy bit done.
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    Diremongoose iSpy

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    Part Three: Karma comes in jugs, Farming comes in groups

    It took a long time to get the one million(ish) karma I needed. Actually farming Karma via events is both long and boring, but fortunately, ArenaNet came up with an elegant solution: daily Karma jugs. I'd save up a month of Karma (40 jugs at a time or so) and then pop a Karma booster (you should have a few from Black Lion Chests that you opened from the rewards of completing maps), and combine them with a guild-based boost, a guild banner, and some tasty home made Ice Cream.

    Now, you'll need 250 Obsidian shards for the Gift of Mastery and an average of 233 more to make your Mystic Clovers. I chose to make my Gift of Mastery first, as I had enough Karma in one hit, but not enough Globs of Ectoplasm to make enough Clovers.

    Daily Orr/Southsun Cove farming
    I didn't have all my shards when I started farming materials in Orr, but I figured that I could do the odd event and speed it along. I needed Ancient Wood, Orichalchum and Orrian Truffles. Daily farming meant that I'd soon learn the locations of the resource nodes - but I had help here. I always had a friend willing to come with me, to stop this repetitive behavior getting boring and - if they were feeling generous - give me some or all of their gathering bounty at the end of the run. It's a behavior I fully intend to reciprocate when they decide they want to go for a legendary weapon.

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    Orr: Land of bad weather and zombies.

    Of the gatherable T6 materials I needed, Ancient Wood took the longest to acquire by far, because Ancient/Orrian Sappling need 3 logs to one plank (compared to 2 ore chunks to an ingot) AND there seems to be less nodes of Ancient Wood than Orichalchum. While I was there, I always grabbed every Omnomberry I could see - there's good money in them. Once I had my Truffles (or upon occasion when I didn't have someone to run with), I would often go to Southsun Cove to farm the Wood/Orichalchum there. I'd also harvest all of the Passiflora in the hope of getting a Passion Flower (worth 50 silver last time I looked). Unfortunately the rich Orichalchum vein in the Karka hive has now been downgraded to a normal vein, making it markedly less useful.

    [IMG]
    Southsun Cove: Less rain but you WILL get crabs.

    In between farming runs, I would do the occasional dungeon run. For me, this would either be Cruiciable of Eternity (where I needed 500 tokens to obtain the Gift of Knowledge), or Ascalon Catecombs (which is my main source of gold. More on this in Part 4). I don't have any real particular insight into dungeons. I learned to watch enemy attacks and dodge by dying to Subject Alpha and Lt. Kholer a lot, I found mostly good groups at http://gw2lfg.com/. The most important thing is to have Omnomberry bars to boost the sliver gained from each boss.

    So eventually I got the Ancient Wood I needed... I then needed the previous three tiers of wood to make a full gift. I already had the Elder Wood from all those Cypress Saplings in Orr, and the others were so cheap I just bought them outright. No big deal.

    So what was left? The precursor, the lodestones, the fine T6 materials and the ectos. Yeah. Easy.
    Things went really slow from here...
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    Diremongoose iSpy

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    Part Four: Playing Eve Online the Trading Post minigame

    The fact of the matter is that you need money and time to make more money. The more money you have, the more investments you can sit on, letting them all slowly grow in price. Honestly, that's the biggest tip I can give. If you can't wait, skip to the "Investment" section below otherwise, let's recap on my legendary progress and see where I went from there...

    I had plenty of shards, about 1/4 of the fine T6 materials needed for the Gifts of Might and Magic, but scant few Globs of Ectoplasm. The Gift of Fortune was a LONG way away. Meanwhile, the Gift of the Predator was 'fairly' close.


    [IMG]
    Relax, smell the roses, take a break from GW2 for a while. This is going to take some time. Don't burn yourself out by trying to do too much every day!


    Lodestones were over 2g each, Cores had gone from 70s each to 1g when I started to think about acquiring them. I had no choice but to start the farming runs. I needed Onyx Lodestones, so that meant Twilight Arbor explorable or Earth Elementals. There are farming videos out there for the Earth Elementals, but I can't recommend it for efficient Lodestone gathering. It's much better to do dungeons to acquire Lodestones/money for Cores. I had a couple of friends and my fiancée with me in Twilight Arbor almost every time I ran it, ready to give me any Cores/Lodestones they found. Even with their not inconsiderable help, I was only up to about 25 Lodestones before Christmas 2012.

    While people were doing their own things over the Christmas break, I was doing fractals every day. First daily L10, then after a day of avoiding in-law family interactions, I made it to L20. I'd get from 3-7 rares for higher level fractals runs with a magic-find food consumable (I like Spicy Pumpkin Cookies).

    [IMG]
    Fractals, a rich source of Ectoplasm.

    So I was getting the occasional Lodestone/Core, several yellows -> Globs of Ectoplasm, and the very occasional exotic per run. I like fractals because even as you work towards your legendary, you're getting yourself cool stuff in the process. I kitted out both my main characters (Engineer and Mesmer) with the ideal (infused) Ascended Rings AND an Ascended Fractal Capacitor each. That's 3700 relics by my count...wow (and since then I have a complete set of rarity-sorting 20 slot bags for both characters too!). Plus every fractal run typically nets you some amount of T6 materials, be it Blood from Harpies, Scales from Krait, or everything from Dredge/Cultist Bags. So yes, fractals for the win. Indeed.

    But even running fractals Ectoplasm acquisition is not fast...just quicker than lodestones!

    This is where my legendary progress sat for over a month, with seemingly no progress. I was just doing a L30 fractals run every day and enjoying it.

    [IMG]
    War is hell, but I have found the Urban Fractal to have one of the highest drop rate for rare and exotic items.

    Fractals and Dungeons for fun and money: These became my new daily activities. Most days I'd do an Ascalonian Catecombs explorable 'all-paths' run for the cash (always killing Kholer for 14 silver). Occasionally I'd get sellable exotic weapon and make a bit of cash. Occasionally I'd buy 4 L76+ exotic rifles and toss them in the Forge in the hope of getting a precursor. Never happened. I had three main investments sitting in my stash and lots more minor investments, slowly growing in value, waiting for 'the promised day' when my spreadsheet would tell me I had enough money to finish my rifle.


    Investments

    So this is how you make the most money with the minimum amount of effort...but you really have to have the starting capital first.

    I highly recommend all limited-availability items as investments. Buy them on the last days of the event when they're at their cheapest. There are only so many seasonal crafting materials about. If you can wait several months you can make over 100% profit on certain items. I bought Snowflake jewellery for 80s a piece. It's worth over two gold now (but admittedly hard to sell quickly). I bought 80 Superior Sigils of Generosity for about 70 silver each...now worth over two gold too.

    Over Halloween I was lucky enough to get a Ghastly Grinning Shield - but at the end of the holiday they were selling for a mere 20 gold. It is currently on its way to selling for 180 gold! Mystic Forge Conduits are a very limited resource as no more can be produced. The Mystic Forge Conduit was 30 gold when I first bought it, now up to 84 gold. The Unbreakable Choir bell...hasn't actually changed much in price since I bought it. I'd say it'll slowly gain in value like the Mystic Forge Conduit. Anyway, you get the idea.

    Once you have the money, you can bid on items like these, and then resell them at the 'buy now' price for quick money, or you can wait for them to go up in price. I don't like this practice as it artificially inflates the price of things - but it works so people do it.

    There are lot of ways to make small amounts of money via buying, crafting, selling, transmuting etc. Ask yourself - for the time spent does this make you more money than a Dungeon, a Fractals run? For me, the answer was no. I like to play the action part of the game much more than I like micromanaging/manipulating inventory items. You allowed to enjoy those things though, especially if they're making you money, but only investments make you money while you aren't even logged in.

    For additional trading tips, or to contribute your own, check out this link.


    [IMG]
    Underground Fractal. Inexperienced PUGs will be a liability in this fractal. Seasoned groups will just find it long and boring. Expect reasonable loot and a lot of junk from the Dredge hordes.


    Back to the legendary then. At this stage, I wasn't even worried about finishing the weapon. I was just having fun playing the game and building my investments. You can call what I was doing farming, but the point is, I LIKE doing dungeons. I enjoy the teamwork and the challenge (from high-level fractals at least). Arenanet did their job well in making grouped acquisition of in-game wealth fun.

    At this stage you may well go mad if you obsess over your legendary weapon too much. Continue working towards it as an abstract goal and then, when something suddenly changes in the economy, YOU CAN SEE IT!
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    Diremongoose iSpy

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    Part Five: It Ends

    The Economy briefly shifted on 28th January "Flame and Frost" patch. With the introduction of Orrian Jewelry Boxes and fractals being more accessible than ever, the price of Onyx Cores dropped by a full 25%. I didn't think I could afford the Precursor as well as the Lodestones, but this was my best chance. I spent several hours putting in bids for Cores, constantly making sure I was the highest bidder in case the market changed again, and got the 160-odd Cores I needed to make into Lodestones.

    From there, I just had to spend 30 minutes fiddling with Crystals, Dust and Wine, and I had my 100 Lodestones! Moments later I had the Gift of Stealth... seconds after that... I ran to Frostgorge sound for my Icy Runestones. I still had just over 100 gold in cash after my Lodestones were complete. Did you know you have to confirm the purchase of every single one of those 100 Icy Runestones? 205 clicks later, and I made my Gift of the Predator then and there.

    Do you think Zommoros is freaked out by expressions of love towards Mystic Forge Conduits?
    [IMG]
    <3 My preciousssss...<3

    Another critical market change was that suddenly everyone was briefly farming in Orr again. The price of several T6 materials suddenly became very volatile. With some help of a friend (and his 60 gold!) I was able to complete the Gift of Might and Magic, and then immediately make the Gift of Fortune!

    So I just needed The Hunter. When I first was interested in buying it, it was a mere 160 gold. I wish I'd dropped everything and bought it then. When I looked in the Trading Post it was 400 gold... oh KITTENS.

    Solution? BURN EVERYTHING (in your bank vault). I sold everything I owned. All my spare non-Onyx Lodestones/Cores, my investments (not my Mystic Forge Conduit though, if I could save anything at all it was going to be that), all the exotic mystic-forged rifles I'd made trying to get the Hunter. I even converted all my useless Ascalonian Tears into cheap off-hand exotics and thrown them into the Forge for sellable loot. I put in bids for the Hunter and waited, but to no avail...

    If, like me, you've been playing for a while, nearly every day, you'll have a lot of random junk in your bank vault that you never really thought about. All that medium tier fine crafting material that barely seemed worth selling. Turns out that with a bit of refinement, that stuff is worth a lot!

    [IMG]
    Oi, Gnashblade! Do you have any idea how much gold I made you? I deserve a job, or at least a commission!

    With my bid on The Hunter unfulfilled, I had nothing to do but wait, the hours ticked by. Every time I checked the Trading Post there was something new to pick up. Was it my Hunter rifle? No! It was about 8 silver from crafting materials! Time and time again... it was excruciating.

    To be this close, but unable to do anything was horrific. I couldn't stop checking the Trading Post. I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep if didn't get it done TONIGHT. It was almost 11pm and I had work in the morning...

    Guildies to the rescue! I was offered a 175 gold loan, which I'd been trying to avoid accepting, but when it was offered once more, I caved in. I bought the Hunter for 400g (with 70 gold spare after the loan). I checked my investments and paid back the loan the next morning.



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    This screenshot pretty much says it all...

    The Predator

    And then I ran around Lions Arch like a mad thing, dancing and jumping and making Pew! Pew! noises! Of course, before I went to sleep now I had to show it off! I headed North to take some screenshots...

    [IMG]
    It makes you glow! Oh yeah!

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    She looks pretty pleased with it, don't you think?

    So, with the generous help of the guild, but with no small amount of effort, the legendary weapon is forged. I'm a little relieved to be honest, now I can work on my social life backlog of other games...

    So that was my journey.
    [IMG]

    From all of us at alttabme.com, thanks for reading and good night. Now if you'll excuse us, Cinder needs some alone time with the mystic forge...
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    Ultra CHEZ It's better with cheddar!

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    As an Engineer main, I think I can honestly say that I'm a Dire fanboy. Seriously, you keep the profession classy and the class professional. I cannot wait for the rest of the guide.
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    Curtech You were indicted

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    I bet I know what's coming on Tuesday: The worst part of getting a legendary.

    Forget the hundreds of gold. Nope, what I believe is on Tuesday is truly the most painful experience ever.
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    Diremongoose iSpy

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    Hah, nope! Part 2 solves the problem implied in the title. Parts 4 & 5 were truly the most painful part.
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    Drac

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    Been waiting all week, fantastic start Dire!
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    Keleynal Jesus Freak

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    I"m more than a little excited about this
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    Diremongoose iSpy

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    Part 2 is up!
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    Curtech You were indicted

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    Hey I did all those jumping puzzles just fine on Charr characters.
    But wow, I didn't even think of doing the open-the-gate-first thing to save time...that would have been something. Take it from someone who did the whole shebang every day on 6 characters: YOU WANT TO TRY THAT.
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    Drac

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    So, the next time that its just me and you kicking around online, I may make you show me the WvW JPs, I've avoided them thus far :p
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    Keleynal Jesus Freak

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    I did a WvW jumping puzzle the first time I went in. It involved climbing a really tall tower towards the middle of the map.
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    tr1age [Community Leader] Butterflies!

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    The Indiana Jones one is really fun! The TRAPS! They should make it instanced for guilds to run lol
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    Keleynal Jesus Freak

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    A trappy one would be great for a guild event. No healing allowed! Stack the bodies high!
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    Diremongoose iSpy

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    Part 3 is up.
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    Diremongoose iSpy

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    Time to hit the Trading Post...part 4 is up!
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    Diremongoose iSpy

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    Part 5 is up. Hope you enjoyed reading this series.
  20. Freakystupi

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    i would like to say nice guide and part three was all FREAKY all my stuff for weeks off collection it was fun though runing round so id advise you take dires advice hook up with someone whos not going for those things and do daily runs with them

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