Precursor crafting is probably one of the most anticipated and desired features for GW2. It was promised to us back in 2013…and there was nothing. Absolute silence on the subject. It wasn’t mentioned at all again until last year, when it was confirmed to not be a part of the feature packs. Finally, when Heart of Thorns was announced, precursor crafting was announced to be on the horizon – as a part of the expansion, along with new legendaries. A few other bits of info came about quickly – namely, that it’d be done through collections and that each precursor would be obtainable once per account.
Some more information was released today on how this process will work. It seems that each precursor will require completing three collections, which will allow you to craft your precursor in varying stages – you start off with a “nontradable exotic weapon with a distressed version of the existing precursor skin”, as it says, and the second and third collections will be about upgrading that into the actual precursor itself.
A few things of note: It’s noted that completing a collection will not actually give you the weapon itself, but rather a recipe to craft it. If you’re working on the Legend, for example, you won’t actually get it at the end. You’ll get “Recipe: The Legend” or however they’ll be named. What the recipes will consist of is not specified or even hinted at. I admit to both being curious and worried about this. Are crafting the actual weapons going to be as much of a pain as crafting ascended is? Or will it be more along the lines of “Congrats, you did all this work to get the recipe” and doesn’t actually require much to create? I’m hoping for some sort of middle ground, personally. Precursors are only exotics, so they likely will not use ascended materials for the weapon itself (though I’m certain that they’d be used for the collections themselves). Most of the crafted recipes for exotics are pretty simple – the really expensive ones are Mystic Forge recipes. But on the flip side there’s nothing that prevents them from creating a crafting recipe that requires expensive mats in large quantities, since the current gifts for legendaries are like that. So we definitely need more information on that.
Also I want to know if I should get my Huntsman up to 500 or not.
One of the other things noted is a change in skins for precursors, and personally I’m pretty pleased with this. More unique skins are always good. I know that when I was trying to get the Legend for my Bifrost, I had a lot of moments of “oh my god-DAMNIT!” while throwing stuff in the Forge – so many times it spit back out Imryldyeen. Precursors having unique skins will hopefully mean they have unique icons and hence will cut down on that sort of nonsense.
The new precursor skins will hold a similarity to the legendary it’s for, just simpler. As the article says, “We like to think of these new precursor skins as the legendary weapon before it is embodied by its soul.” This is also neat for people who kinda like a specific legendary but think it’s just a bit too ostentatious. For example, I don’t like Sunrise/Twilight/Eternity because they are way too damn flashy for my tastes. If Dusk and Dawn have similar appearances but toned down, then I think I might actually like them. The article also notes that if you do get a precursor not through the collection system, it’ll unlock the previous two skins, so you won’t miss out on those if you decide to go the “throw money at it” route. Or if you get really lucky.
What the article doesn’t say is if you already have a legendary, will you also unlock the new precursor skin as well as its other two forms? I certainly hope this to be the case; when the wardrobe was added in, if you had a legendary you automatically unlocked the skin for the precursor. So I’m betting that will continue to be the case here. Some confirmation either way would be nice, though.
One thing I am surprised at is the fact that crafted precursors (for the pre-existing legendaries, anyway) will be tradeable. It will be interesting to see what kind of effect this will have on the precursor market and if it balances prices out any. That all will likely depend on how difficult the collections are to complete and how neat and popular the new precursor skins are. It is noted that neither the precursors nor the legendaries themselves for the new legendaries being added will be tradeable. This will add more prestige to the new legendaries – someone who has it you know didn’t just throw money at the trading post, but they built that thing up from scratch. On the flip side that means you can’t gift someone with a new precursor or anything like that.
It also says that the new legendaries will be created slightly differently than the current group – it’ll be similar, but, as it states, “refined…into more of a journey, similar to precursor crafting.” How similar it’ll be is the big question. Will it still use the base stuff like Gift of Mastery, Clovers, Gift of Fortune, etc? Or will those common components be replaced entirely? Personally I am hoping they’ll still be used, but that’s primarily for selfish reasons (aka I have a Gift of Mastery and set of Clovers sitting in my bank). The recent removal of World vs. World from map completion as well as the fact that the Silverwastes all but rains obsidian shards at least, in my opinion, points at those still being of use.
The last thing that’s announced in the post is Map Bonuses. This I really like. Different maps will have different rotations that’ll reward you with bonus items for playing – such as completing events, jumping puzzles, and mini-dungeons. An example is given as Giant Eyes being a possible reward during a rotation in Cursed Shore.
LET ME TELL YOU WHY I LIKE THIS.
First of all, this will help breathe more life into maps that normally aren’t used. The new daily system helps, but if certain currently-hard-to-obtain materials can be gotten by playing in certain maps, people will go there. Another is that certain materials are ludicrously difficult to get. Giant eyes are one of them. They are an incredibly rare drop from heavy moldy bags – back when we were tracking HMBs, we got 15 giant eyes out of 12,121 bags. 15 eyes out of nearly 50 stacks of bags. The chances of getting them are tiny. Silver doubloons are another material that I’d like to see added to bonus rotations – right now the only vaguely reliable way to farm them is to park a level 26-ish character at the end of a jump puzzle and open the chest daily. I can also see this being useful for a number of more common crafting materials that are still overly pricey – cloth, for example, as well as cores and lodestones and t6 fine mats.
It’ll also have an effect on the economy, but frankly, most of those mats are frustratingly expensive because of how hard they are to obtain. Bringing them down to reasonable prices and making them easier to get is definitely a positive.
We’ve gotten a fair bit of info today, and while it doesn’t tell us everything and raises more questions, it’s certainly nice to see info coming out again. Next, let’s get some info on specializations, perhaps? I’d like to see that. Just saying.