About a month ago a massive new equipment release happened on Guild Wars 2, a new higher tier of craftable weapons – ascended weapons. These weapons are account bound, unsellable, and require a lot of hard work and expense to achieve.
The New Look:
So, these new weapons have better stats and a new look. I’ll go into the look first, and above you can see an ascended greatsword. This is probably one of the most popular skins, I personally know 2 people who are working towards one or have one and have seen plenty about in game.
The most interesting thing about ascended weapons is that they have a different colour based on the stat you choose for it, which is a fantastic way of showing individuality in weapons. Power builds will have a red weapon, whilst toughness will be green, etc. I’ll include a picture below that illustrates the different colours, with the purple one at the end giving a boost to all stats. I do like this aspect.
Those skins are the musket, the staff and the greatsword. They’re nice looking weapons, although if you click to enlarge them you’ll see that when on fairly low quality graphics (which I have to have to have manageable lag on big events and world v world) they loose quite a bit of the magic of their look, which is a shame.
The trouble with these skins is that all the characters that I could use these on I already have to level 80 and kitted out just how I like them. For instance, my guardian has a greatsword and staff that I like so much I could never replace them with ascended ones. Unfortunately, with how late ascended weapons have been introduced to the game after release I’m already at the stage with my characters that I don’t want a major change in their look, and I suspect that might be the case for many other players as well.
So, with these weapons out of the equation I was left with the ascended revolver, which is probably my favourite skin of all. However, that would make most sense on my Charr Engi, which I’m still leveling up at the moment. I’ll include a screenshot of why I have had to discount the revolver:
You can see from the orange line, both of which are exactly the same size, the stupidly small version of the pistol that a Charr gets when it is sheathed. It looks terrible, and a deal breaker for me, and is unfortunately symptomatic of Charr Problems – a topic I’ll cover some time soon.
So the looks are good, they’re just too late to the party for me. Unfortunately as well, it seems that like many armour and weapon skins, they have been designed primarily for humanoids, with the other races having to deal with silly sheathed versions and even clipping issues in some cases.
First of all, ascended weapons have higher stats than exotics, as you would hope for something that will cost so much to make. Lets have a look how much:
- Exotic Level Destroyer Greatswords have 995-1100 attack strength. Then you have +179, +128, +128 in various skills depending on your choice on Carrion, Beserker, etc.
- Ascended Greatswords have 1045-1155 attack strength with +188, +134, +134.
- Legendaries have 1045-1155 attack strength with +188, +134, +134.
Spot the surprise? Legendaries and Ascended weapons have exactly the same stats. Now, ascended weapons are not easy to get by any means, with account bound ascended materials needing farming and leveling crafting from 400 up to 500 costing hundreds of gold if you’re in a rush. That said, the cost of an ascended pales in comparison to the price of making a legendary, which in nearly every case exceeds 1,000 gold.
The real kick in the teeth for anybody with a legendary is the spare slots on an ascended weapon. Like the legendary, ascended weapons have space for an upgrade slot where you put in your Superior Sigil of Bloodlust, etc. However, ascended weapons have 2 extra added ‘infusion’ slots for fractals orientated bonus upgrades. With these two you could add, on top of your sigil, an infusion that could boost your power by +5 points twice or your vitality by +5 twice.
So, when it comes to the real in depth stats Ascended is the way to go. You’ll have your ascended weapon far sooner than a legendary and it’ll have ever so slightly better stats with its extra upgrade slots.
The thing with crafting an ascended weapon is that it needs items which you can’t just buy off the trading post. A legendary can be bought in its finished form from the trading post, or you could buy every single ingredient (minus the dungeon tokens and world completion award scroll) and make it then and there. An ascended weapon cannot be bought, and that’s a good move for something with such strong stats.
Your finished product will require four elements, 2 raw weapon components (for example a Deldrimor Steel Greatsword Blade and Hilt) as well as an Inscription and a Vision Crystal.
You can buy the parts to go into the raw weapon components, which are crafted from a composite of almost all lower level crafting materials. For example, a Deldrimor Steel Greatsword Blade will require 60 Darksteel Ingots, 60 Iron Ingots, 30 Steel Ingots, 150 Mithril Ingots, 300 Mithril Ore and 3 Globs of Ectoplasm; as well as 5 Piles of Tier 6 Dust. All of that, if bought outright would cost you around 13 gold.
That said, I’ve always found it quite enjoyable to take a character round an area and farm the materials. For instance, I have one lower leveled warrior alt who I like taking around Dredgehaunt Cliffs where you can get tonnes of tier 3/4 crafting materials which are both useful and sell incredibly well.
The inscription you can also buy outright on the trading post or make yourself with a combination of tier 6 crafting materials, glob of ectoplasms. All in all, this will cost about 7 gold’s worth of materials.
The vision crystal will require 20 skill points, 30 obsidian shards (worth about 63,000 karma) and 500 of each ascended material (bloodstone dust, dragonite ore, empyreal fragment). None of these bits can be bought off the trading post, and require a player to play through a variety of game parts. You’ll have to do events for the karma, level up or skill point hunt for the skill points, kill champions, do world events, take some camps and castles in world v world, do some jumping puzzles and do some dungeons. You don’t have to do all, but the more you do the quicker and easier getting the 500 of each ascended material will be. I love the way that this requires such a variety of gameplay to get these bits, a good move on ascended weapon crafting.
Crafting an ascended weapon is not easy, but is very plain sailing compared to the slog up to a legendary. Considering that both have essentially the same stats, and you can buy an ascended weapon’s components for around 30 gold plus other currencies and materials that you’re likely to have if you have at least one level 80, which sounds most attractive? Ascended weapons are much easier than legendaries, but they’re not easy. They’re difficult, but obtainable – rewards for what is essentially just enjoying the game over a long period of time, something I wished had been balanced well with legendaries, which for a fairly casual player like myself are just not achievable.
Overall, I’d seriously recommend an Ascended weapon as a goal in Guild Wars 2. They’re good looking weapons, with a nice level of customisation to them. They’re relatively easy to obtain as well, as a nice reward for dedicated play but without the humongous grind of a legendary. I won’t be going for one because I’ve already got the look of all my characters pretty much nailed down, but I recommend it for everyone if they can find a skin they like. Take a look at all the ascended weapon looks at – http://dulfy.net/2013/09/03/gw2-ascended-weapon-skins-gallery
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