So as it turns out, life has kept me a bit busy. I didn’t really spend any time with Super Adventure Box, and I’ve yet to defeat Tequatl. But there is one thing I’ve been working on from the recent patches, and that is ascended crafting.
I haven’t yet crafted any ascended weapons, though several of my guild members have. I simply do not have loads of money or materials to throw at it. I mean, I suppose I could blitz my way through, but I have all of my t6 mats collected prior to the patch with ascended crafting hidden safely away on a low-level alt. I’ve got a legendary in the works, after all, and while I’ve placed that project on hiatus, I’ve no intention to lose any of my progress.
Instead, today I finally broke 450 in Artificer and was able to start crafting the ascended components that will eventually turn into a staff for my guardian. It’s been a bit slow – over two weeks to get from 400 to 450, but I’ve been in no particular rush to get my crafting leveled up. Instead, I’ve been doing it at a steady rate – doing gathering for my dailies in Frostgorge Sound and Malchor’s Leap to collect ancient wood and orichalcum ore and then spending my laurels on the heavy crafting material bags for t6 materials. I refined my way to 425, using the wood and ori gathered each day. Once I hit 425, I started crafting exotic weapons, continuing my daily gathering runs and spending of laurels on t6 materials.
Pushing my way to 425 turned out to take up most of the time, as getting from 425 to 450 took under a week, whereas getting from 400 to 425 took around a week and a half. I could have sped up that process greatly, of course; I was only doing gathering runs on one character, while if I had the time and attention span to do so I could have run all of my level 80s (all eight of them) through Malchor’s and likely had that done in a couple of days.
I could have also probably gotten to 450 much faster without spending any money. I’m an impatient person sometimes, and I wound up dropping about 20g on ancient wood. Ancient wood is a personal annoyance; I had to collect two stacks of planks for Kudzu, which meant six stacks of ancient wood logs. Then, at least, it was cheap. Now, though, it’s in high demand (it takes more raw to refine, and artificer takes way more wood than metal), and ori nodes tend to outnumber ancient wood nodes on the high level maps. Ancient wood is expensive.
Ascended crafting has had another effect, which is to make the mid-tier materials suddenly gain value. You can’t get away with just farming the high level areas if you want to make an ascended weapon; you will need to farm every part of Tyria. I like this, personally. It’s fun to find areas that are good for certain materials, and since you need everything from tier 2 to tier 5, you can literally farm anywhere in the world that you wish. Personally, I like northeast Blazeridge Steppes for seasoned wood (that is where I farmed it for Kudzu), and I’ve been told that Snowden Drifts is a great place for soft wood. Mount Maelstrom is an all-around good place to farm, as you can get hard wood, elder wood, platinum ore, and mithril ore there; I’ve also found that it’s a good map to farm for vanilla beans.
Once you hit 450 in your crafting profession, you are now met by time-gating – the elder spirit residue and mithrillium are limited to one a day. To many people, this is an annoyance. As ascended weapons are account-bound and cannot be sold, I fail to see the logic behind it, myself. However, I find myself not minding it too terribly much – if you’re taking your time at it like I am, this leaves you time to farm up the required t2-t5 wood and metal.
Ascended crafting is something still new, and can seem like it might be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Take your time, and you’ll have a shiny weapon in no time. Not as fast as those who decided they were going to make sure they had one as quickly as possible, but even if you’re limited on play time, or simply don’t have the attention span to farm a lot, it still doesn’t have to be out of your reach!