Earning your laurels

So this week, we got a pretty big update in Guild Wars 2. The biggest part of the update was guesting being added in, but there were a lot of other changes – dungeons being changed a bit (no more graveyard rushing!), fractals were updated to prevent disconnects ending a run and so you can do levels higher than you are, and daily achievements were reworked.

Guesting is awesome. I’ve been able to do PvE stuff, other than dungeons, with guild members that are not on Jade Quarry. I like the changes to fractals – being able to reconnect if you disconnect is nice, and the fact that I can do fractals at level 10 means that my group can still get their daily rewards and I can progress, and everyone wins! That allowed me to finally reach level 10 myself, which made me happy. The dungeon change was…interesting. I’m not sure it makes things more difficult…but it does certainly keep you more on your toes. I still have some quibbles with it – some of the encounters that were supposedly reworked feel no different (such as Detha’s chain in Ascalon Catacombs), and I think that if you die in a place you cannot be ressed you should be able to waypoint out…but it’s a change that happened.

And then of course there was the changes to daily (and monthly) achievements. Now, I do my dailies nearly every day. I use it as a way to help level up alts, and I definitely enjoy the bonus karma you get from them. And I actually liked how before it was always the same thing – it made it very easy for me to get them done if I was short on time, because I knew that simply running from Snowblind Waypoint to Icegate Waypoint in Gendarran Fields and then back again would complete them for me.

On the other hand, for how easy it was to complete, it could be very mindless at times. I do, however, very much like the new system, and I especially love the new reward system.

I get the feeling from some of the dailies we’ve had so far since the change, that ANet is subtly saying “Hey, you’re supposed to do these things to play the game well”. Things like ressing dead players and dodging attacks. The crafting one is super-easy for anyone that’s a crafter already…and a way to introduce crafting to people who haven’t tried it yet. And then there was the one that was to simply talk to the laurel vendor.

Laurels, by the way, are a new currency that you earn for doing dailies (and monthlies). Each day you finish your dailies, you earn one laurel; you get 10 for completing your monthlies. They are an account-bound currency that functions like karma; it’s not an actual physical item and is non-tradeable. And I have to say, I really like the addition of laurels.

Some of the items you can buy with laurels.

Some of the items you can buy with laurels.

There’s a pretty big variety of things you can buy with laurels, and the prices are actually surprisingly reasonable! Five laurels, for example, gets you 10 Unidentified Dyes. Three will get you three Obsidian Shards. You can buy bags with three fine crafting mats for a single laurel (there’s a bag for each tier). You can buy WvW siege plans. There are two whole panes of ascended items – all of the ascended rings that can be obtained in fractals can be purchased here as well, for 35 laurels. And then there’s the ascended amulets, which thus far are only obtainable here, and are 30 laurels each.

Everyone who doesn’t like fractals but wants ascended gear: your wishes have been answered. Frankly, this is something that should have been in once ascended stuff was introduced. There always should have been another way of getting them. Not everyone likes fractals, but wants the extra stat boosts. You can also get a variety of infusions with laurels, ranging from the standard stat bonus ones, to magic find and gold find boosts. These infusions do not add agony resistance, but for those who don’t care about or don’t enjoy high level fractals…it’s a much, much easier way to get infused ascended items without being forced to grind out fractals.

I really, really like this. I’m not a huge fan of fractals. I do them fairly regularly, and I was very happy with the update as it meant I could do stuff with my primary play group again, but it’s not my favorite content. I still prefer regular dungeons to fractals any day. As I’ve only just reached level 10, I’m already at a disadvantage as I have no agony resistance, I have no ascended items. I’m not counting on anything to drop for me, and I’ll probably be saving pristine relics to buy a ring. However, this gives me another option for getting these items. All of us will be getting an ascended amulet at the same time. I won’t feel left out or underpowered there.

Oh, and that everlasting cat tonic? Yeah. Just saying. Soon as I have my Bud of the Pale Tree…I’m saving for that.

Also, don’t forget – you still have time to enter in our signed CE giveaway!