I’ve been slacking in GW2 -logging in daily just to claim the reward. That’s because I found out what laurels are useful for – buying ascended gear from laurel merchants!
While the entire playerbase knows about this, I only found out recently. What can I say, I don’t follow updates in games as closely as I used to. Back when I only played one MMO at a time (i.e. 2000-2002 and Asheron’s Call; 2005-2007 and Guild Wars) I was a student of the game, reading every patch note and being fairly knowledgeable about everything in the game. Now, these things slip by and I mostly just pay attention to anything that immediately affects my character (build/trait/skill changes) and shift into accumulation mode for everything else, reasoning that I can hang onto stuff and figure out what to do with it later.
I didn’t play GW2 enough to really be interested in all the collecting and farming required for ascended armor and gear – I didn’t think I’d put enough time into the game to get any of it. I just enjoyed exploring, doing hearts (quests), leveling up, etc. I used to enjoy crafting in MMOs, but lately it has turned towards a major time/money sink in every game, with quest rewards outpacing crafted items and so on. I vaguely had the idea that the best gear involved an extensive crafting sequence and didn’t bother looking into it.
When Heart of Thorns released, I didn’t read too much on what it brought – basically I knew it was set in the jungle and involve gliding.
Anyway, I saw a thread on reddit about how to go about increasing your character’s power. There was decent advice on what to farm and craft, but a surprising recommendation was simply “be sure to buy the ascended trinkets with laurels; they are more of a stat boost than ascended armor plus ascended weapons”. Oh really?!
I had collected laurels without spending them, so I had 80 or so at first. I went to find the laurel merchants in Rata Sum and Hoelbrak after checking the wiki for what was available and was thrilled to upgrade my crappy trinkets for some ascended ones.
Since I bought this stuff on Glyneth, my ranger/druid, I wanted to get a balance between offensive oriented gear for PvE, and defensive/healing oriented gear for group events and support. I decided I liked the “across the board” stats for Syzygy, Lunaria, Solaria, Celestial Sigil, Ancient Mursaat Token, and the Karka Shell.
So far I’ve bought Syzygy, Lunaria, Solaria, the Celestial Sigil, and have also upgraded each one with an infusion. Now I only have 6 laurels so it’ll take a few weeks to get the Ancient Mursaat Token and Karka Shell. But I can see steady progress towards obtaining them! After finishing up buying and infusing these 2 items, I’ll look into what it takes to get ascended armor and weapons; perhaps the grind is something I can slowly work on.
I logged in and explored Timberline Falls more, participating in 2 events and having a fun time. In the first event, we had to defend 2 areas from undead, and we’re getting overrun. I switched weapons to the staff and started using druid skills to attack/heal. I’m not sure if this made the difference but it seemed easier after this. At least I stopped getting pummeled to 20% health and was instead bouncing around above 80% health while doing OK damage, and ideally healing others. I need to practice more and a druid and get to know the skills better.
The 2nd event was a straight up fight against a single enemy, the Enhanced Ettin. This event spawns really close to a waypoint so lots of players joined in as the fight wore on. As a result we defeated the ettin really fast.