In this week's article of The Scrying Pool, I look at what the crafting level cap raise could bring.
In each article of The Scrying Pool, I look at what is and what could be. After taking a look at what is present in Guild Wars 2 now, be that lore or game mechanics, I then ask What If? What if this happened in the lore or this feature was added in a future patch.
In a blog post released about a month ago on the official GW2 site, Colin Johanson talked about features coming to GW2 in the second half of the year. We have already seen some of the features mentioned, with the inclusion of Champion and Dungeon rewards being added in the latest Living World content patch. While there were a lot of interesting features I am looking forward to, what has me most intrigued is the expansion to crafting.
Sometime in the coming months, the max level of all crafting disciplines will be increased to 500 (from the current level cap of 400). Along with this expansion will be the ability to craft ascended armor and weapons once reaching the new max level. This will be the first time ascended rarity armor and weapons will be available in the game, but with the crafting release ascended armor and weapons will also be attainable elsewhere in the game as rare loot drops.
Along with the new crafting level increase will be a new tier of materials. This new tier (T7) of materials will be created by players at level 500 by combining lower tier materials. This most likely will include T6 materials and dust in a similar fashion to the way the Jeweler discipline can upgrade gemstones. What makes T7 most interesting, however, is that their creation is time gated.
Everyday players will be able to create only one of each T7 material similar, to the way quartz crystals added in the July content can only be charged once per day on an account. Unlike the charged quartz crystals the new T7 materials will not be bound to a player's account and can be traded. So while a player can only create one of each material themselves, the new ascended gear could still be acquired quickly for players willing to pay the high cost of them.
The new T7 materials will not be the only materials added into the game. While T7 materials are crafted by upgrading lower tier materials, these additional materials are not crafted but are rewards from participating in other activities in the game. These new materials, which I will call exotic tier six (E6), will be rewarded for completing activities around the game. Things like jumping puzzles, dungeons, world bosses and WvW towers will award E6 materials once daily. The biggest difference between E6 and T7 is that E6 will be account bound on acquisition, so any of these materials must be collected by the player if they wish to craft anything that requires them.
While I am calling these new materials exotic tier six, there is already an exotic material considered to be tier six with Globs of Ectoplasm. Something I could see happening is ectos being included as an E6 material that is rewarded daily from content. Currently the only way to acquire ectos in game is a work around. Players must use higher grade salvage kits that have a chance to give rarer materials. In lower level gear this means salvaging T3 ore from a piece of equipment that normally would give T2 ore. With high level gear, however, this means a chance at salvaging ectos. With this being the only source of ectos, there isn't a straight method of getting this rarer tier of which ectos are included.
I like the idea of having the E6 give ectos, as it will give a reason for players to still be excited for E6 after they no longer need them. With E6 being account bound, they are valuable only to a player that has a use for them. With the inclusion of ectos, however, there is the chance that players can get this valuable material that can be traded. If they are done with E6, the player can still hope to get the ectos while doing their daily content in order to trade to other players.
It was not revealed what E6 materials would be used for other than as a component for ascended gear and precursors at level 500 crafting, but I don't think that E6 will be solely for level 500 like T7 are. All we know is what can be crafted at 500, which is the next rarity above what is already crafted at level 400. What will players be making between 400 and 500 in order to level crafting?