I am currently in the process of crafting my third legendary; I am right now working on the Minstrel for my mesmer. I decided that it was finally time for me to make one for my main, the character I play the most. And for having really only starting a week ago, I’ve done incredibly well on progress. I finished up my second map completion, I bought the precursor and icy runestones, I’ve got the Gift of Energy finished and Gift of Music nearly finished, and I’m slowly starting to put in buy orders for my t6 materials. Clovers were already finished when I started.
The part that is annoying me the most, though, are the obsidian shards. I’m at about 150 there, of the 250 I need for Gift of Mastery. Getting that remaining 100 shards is proving to be a pain, though; spending all of my fractal relics every time I do a run on a couple shards, turning in Found Belongings for a shard at a time, heading to the Temple of Balthazar every time it’s open to spend the karma I’ve scraped up on a handful of shards.
Karma is a currency that it seems like they’ve never really known what to do with. When the game came out, saving up large amounts of karma took time, and it was character-bound, not account-bound, but it was possible without too much hassle. It was certainly a bit of a grind to get the several hundred thousand karma you’d need for a full set of karma armor, or for a legendary, but it was doable.
Suddenly, karma was added as a reward to everything. Karma was added back to hearts (having been taken out during beta), karma consumables were added as rewards for dailies, monthlies, dungeons, and a dozen other things, and it was good. It was, in fact, to the point where karma was insanely easy to get…other than the fact that it was still character-locked. This lead to people hoarding all of their consumables so that they could blow through them all on one character, so as to not waste a single bit of it.
Then karma was made account-bound when the account wallet was added…and life became even better.
Karma gain was hit with the nerf bat last year, though, and it was hit hard. Karma boosts no longer would apply to consumables, but in return, consumables were being increased by 50%. However. This was also followed by karma consumables being removed from many things in the game, or the amount drastically reduced. Jugs of Liquid Karma, giving 4500 karma each, used to be the reward for dailies, with 10 being granted for completing the monthly achievement. You could get a Drop of Liquid Karma (600 karma) from Bags of Wondrous Goods in dungeons.
Not anymore. Karma was removed from Bags entirely. Daily reward was replaced with a Drop. Monthly gets you a single Flask, which is worth 6000 karma.
Let me do some math for you. With the old numbers, if you did your daily every day (assuming 30 days in a month) as well as completing your monthly, you would earn 180,000 karma, with no boosts on. Now, doing the same, you get 24,000 karma. This is nearly an eighth of what it would be worth before.
At the same time, ascended crafting was added. What does this have to do with karma? Well, a lot. If you play at all regularly, you’re going to wind up with more Bloodstone Dust, Empyreal Fragments, and Dragonite Ore than you can hold in your collectible tab. So, you want to refine them to take up less space.
Have fun spending the karma on obby to do so! Now, to be fair, a lot of people are doing ascended crafting, and some don’t care about this stuff in their inventory. But it’s rather aggravating that you need two obsidian shards for each thing you refine, on top of karma being so much harder to be gained now. And if you don’t have any use for these ascended materials, it becomes even more irritating.
It’s to the point where I just destroy the stuff as I fill a stack in my bank. I stopped refining it ages ago because I’ll never use it. If we were given something other than ascended crafting to use these mats for (hint: let us trade/salvage them for obsidian or karma!), I’d be a lot happier with that tab.
I really don’t understand why karma was nerfed in the first place, especially as more uses for it were being added. In the update notes for when it was changed, it says that the reason for doing so was because of the additions of Essences of Luck. Honestly, though, I don’t think the exchange is a fair one at all. Essences and magic find are nice and all, but they aren’t a replacement for karma. Magic find doesn’t increase how much karma you get, after all; the two things are completely unconnected. But as it stands now, the only real way to build up a large amount of karma is to farm events, farm champions, and do Fractals below your personal reward level. And as I hate when things are geared towards farmers rather than regular players…yeah, this bothers me a lot.
Please, figure out what you’re doing with this currency, ANet, and make it easier to earn, especially if you’re going to put in more uses for it.