Scrying Pool Feature

Scrying Pool: Guild Hall…Rewards?

Welcome to the Scrying Pool, my Guild Wars 2 column here on Mattsta.Ninja. This article is the next in a series of reviews for everything Heart of Thorns. Last week I talked about Guild Halls and the Scribe and how I think they are poorly implemented, something that ArenaNet at least partially agrees with as they have announced plans to make Scribing much cheaper in the near future. This week I’ll talk about the more personal rewards that can be obtained through the guild hall.

Part of the guild hall is the market district, which as its name suggests is filled with various merchants. For this article, I’ll focus on three of these merchants and their wares: the Armorer, Weaponsmith and Miniature merchant.

The Armorer and Weaponsmith are old merchants that are able to be upgraded in the guild hall. Previously only offering a few pieces—which honestly were not very appealing to any player—they now offer full sets of their wares after being upgraded. While the armorer has just one set for each of the three weight classes available, the weaponsmith allows players to make two different weapon sets that are tied to the two different guild halls.

The Miniature merchant on the other hand is an entirely new addition. This merchant comes in three tiers, offering more miniatures with each tier that the guild unlocks.

What is similar across all three of these merchants and their new wares, is that they are in no way cheap. While players can go and collect only one piece of armor or craft that one weapon, for the sake of this article I will look at what it takes to collect everything.

The first thing players are likely to notice about the prices is the inclusion of Crystalline Ore—a material gained from opening Noxious Pods in Dragon’s Stand—in the cost of everything. I remember after HoT launched seeing people complain about the elite specialization weapon collections requiring 50 of the ores for each weapon. Fifty of these is nothing however when you look at how much the guild hall needs to collect their rewards.

To get all of the guild hall weapon recipes—of which each weapon recipe unlocks both the Shimmering and Tenebrous recipes for that weapon—will run players 640 ore. Getting the armor recipes will cost players a little more at 730 ore, but the winner of the three is Miniatures which total a whopping 1150 crystalline ore!

Crystalline Ore isn’t the only cost to these either. Players will need to spend 160 guild commendation for the weapon recipes, 183 for the armors and again taking the lead is miniatures requiring 575 guild commendations. In addition to this is the monetary cost. Weapons and Armor need to be crafted which will put players back about 100g for the armor and 160g for the weapons from my estimation. Miniatures just flat out require gold to purchase them and will cost players 230g.

The cost of the miniatures is just crazy. I like that they have set things up for players to work toward, with different skins, miniatures and other rewards to gain throughout HoT. While players can pick and choose which to work toward, the only players likely to be interested in these guild miniatures are those who, like myself, want to try and collect all of the miniatures. Between the guild miniatures and a miniature on the Dragon’s Stand merchant being sold for 250 crystalline ore, it almost feels like ArenaNet is punishing miniature collectors. While I think the prices of all of the guild rewards are too high, the miniatures take the cake for being absolutely ridiculous. For the amount it takes to buy these 12 miniatures, I could finish both the 18 armor skins and 32 weapon skins and still not have spent as many guild commendations or crystalline ore.

Weapons are also unforgiving, but not because of the cost of their recipes that you buy off the merchant. Part of the crafting cost of these weapons are the Guild Commendation weapons. To make a Shimmering Sword for example, you need to buy the Guild Spatha sword skin for 3g and 5 guild commendations. To make the Tenebrous Sword you will need another Guild Spatha for another 3g and 5 guild commendations. There are players—myself included—that bought these long ago to collect for the wardrobe. While I might have some laying around on various characters, I imagine most of them I had thrown out or forged long ago.

That’s 89 guild commendations I wasted. Buying them now to make the new guild hall weapons will unlock the guild commendation skins in the wardrobe in the process. Players who already had them unlocked in the wardrobe already, but no longer have the actual weapon, are going to need to rebuy them again. Instead of buying each weapon twice for the two guild hall weapon skins, they are going to end up buying the old guild commendation weapons for a third time.

Even if you had never purchased them before, buying the guild commendation weapons twice over just doesn’t feel good and adds even more cost to making these weapons. With Heart of Thorns we saw the introduction of weapon collections, namely the Machined weapon set where every weapon in the set has its own unique collection. I don’t know why they didn’t apply this same treatment to the guild hall weapons.

With the collection approach everyone would end up on the same cost field. Players like myself who had previously purchased the guild commendation weapons would already have that part of the collection done. Other players would just be catching up to the cost by buying the weapons for their first time as well. It also removes the pretty crap feeling of buying the commendation weapons twice just to be fodder in making a different weapon. With the collection approach I would buy that Guild Spatha once and it would unlock that part of both the Shimmering Sword and Tenebrous Sword collections.

The rest of the collection could then be very similar to the way the Machined weapons are set up. There could be an item from each of the map currencies that much like Machined weapons would cost 250 of each currency but would unlock for both the Shimmering and Tenebrous collection for that weapon.

The recipe would still be something you would need to buy from the merchant in your guild hall and would work in two ways. First, buying the recipe would unlock both the Shimmering and Tenebrous collection for that weapon and allow for the map currency items to become unlocked and available for purchase. Second is that the recipe item would unlock 4 different recipes. When crafting a weapon you need two different components, for example a Sword Blade and a Sword Hilt. It is here that the two collections would be different as the Shimmering Sword collection would require you to make a Shimmering Sword Blade and Hilt while the Tenebrous Sword collection would need a Tenebrous Sword Blade and Hilt. These components would be the same as making the normal version of these components—possibly their oiled counterparts—but would have the additional ingredient in the Shimmering and Tenebrous crystals.

This would create a lot of collections which I think are really awesome, but would easily fill up any collection section. Much like there is a separate category for the specialization collections, there could be a new weapon collections category that would include the Machined, Shimmering and Tenebrous collections for each weapon. Honestly this should have probably existed for just the Machined weapons, as the Basic Collections category was already getting to be too full before they added 16 collections for the machined weapons.

Out of the three reward types coming from guild halls, I think that the guild armors are the closest to being in a really good spot. At 183 guild commendations and 100g, I think the armors sit in a pretty good place. I wouldn’t mind that guild commendations value being a little lower—maybe around 125—but it isn’t overpriced in my opinion. Like I mentioned in an earlier Scrying Pool, I like that there are items and rewards to work toward.

The Crystalline Ore price is the only thing truly terrible about the guild armors’ cost. While crystalline ore is technically more readily available than guild commendations due to the latter’s weekly limit, I think that the crystalline ore for all of these should be closer on par to the guild commendation pricing. Currently you need 4 times the amount of crystalline ore over guild commendations for both the weapon and armor recipes. I think these rewards would be better situated if the ore to commendation ratio sat around 1.25:1. This would bring the armor cost down from 730 to about 225 and the weapons from 640 to 200. These are both more reasonable and much less daunting for players to slowly work toward.

This ratio for the Miniatures would still cost about 725 crystalline ore, but again the pricing on the Guild Hall Miniatures is just all around stupid. #ANetPls

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