Lessons in Legendary Crafting: A Companion Guide
Just a few days ago I crafted my third legendary weapon, Kamohoali’i Kotaki the legendary spear, which completes my set of underwater legendary weapons. My first legendary weapon was Frenzy and the second, Kraitkin. Odd choices you might think, but honestly these are the legendaries I see the least of and that’s why I wanted them.
Now I want to share my knowledge of legendary crafting, particularly with casual players who might think that legendary weapons are beyond them. Let’s be honest, they’re a huge grind! They really are. However, they are meant to be a long term goal and the main challenge is to break down the acquisition into a series of manageable steps. Once you get the hang of taking care of each bite-sized chunk, it’s only a matter of time before that legendary is in your hands.
You can use this article as a companion to a legendary crafting guide, such as this one on Guild Wars 2 Wiki. Often the crafting guides will tell you what you need, without going into practical details. It is far easier to craft the Gift of Fortune for example if you know some shortcuts.
Allow me to indulge in an anecdote. When I decided to finish Kamohoali’i Kotaki I had the precursor weapon, a big stockpile of random materials from playing the game for some time, and about 300g. It seemed only a few days had passed that I completed the Dungeon Gift, the Gift of Fortune, the Gift of Mastery and the Legendary Gift, with around 350g remaining, which was more gold than I had started with! I realised that I had gotten very savvy about obtaining materials, converting one material to another, and liquidating hidden wealth in my material storage. This was knowledge that I should share.
Everything I am about to talk about only applies in full to the legendary weapons of the core game. Only some tips and tricks will apply to the Heart of Thorns legendaries, but still, they should make collecting those legendaries a bit easier too. So let’s begin.
The Least Complex Method
First, let’s get this out of the way. The “simplest” method of acquiring core legendaries is to buy them from the Trading Post and skip crafting them entirely. I’m going to assume that like me, you want to know how to make a legendary for yourself.
The Four Parts of a Legendary Weapon
A legendary weapon is crafted in the Mystic Forge. All mystic forge recipes consist of four “offerings” that are given to Zommoros, the genie of the forge in return for an item. The first two offerings are standard to all legendary weapons, and these are the Gift of Fortune and the Gift of Mastery. The second two offerings are a precursor weapon (think of it as a base weapon to imbue with legendary power) and a gift named after the specific legendary weapon, such as Gift of Kamohoali’i Kotaki.
There are a few shorthand terms that you may or may not be familiar with that I should skim over first.
Tier 5 fine materials such as Potent Blood and Intricate Totems. They are all easily identified by the required 325 crafting skill in their description.
Tier 6 fine materials such as Powerful Blood and Elaborate Totems. They are identified by the required 400 crafting skill in their description.
Character Skill Prerequisites
Certain gifts require you to have Master Craftsmen, which means characters with 400 skill or higher in the various crafting disciplines. Ideally you should have every crafting profession mastered across your account to give yourself the greatest flexibility, but depending on the legendary you’re going for it will be okay to be missing some. To make your own ectoplasm (see later), it’s ideal to have a master weaponsmith and artificer to make rare weapons using different balances of metal and wood.
~ Legendary Part 1 : The Gift of Fortune ~
This first gift is made from four offerings given to Zommoros, each of which is extremely expensive. These are the Gift of Might, the Gift of Magic, 250 Globs of Ectoplasm and 77 Mystic Clovers. The main barrier to obtaining the Gift of Fortune is the sheer amount of ectoplasm required, as we’ll be using it for every component.
The Gifts of Might and Magic
These consist of four stacks of t6 fine materials each, which can look pretty intimidating. If you were to buy the materials straight off the Trading Post it would cost a fortune, but I’m here to tell you how to do it at a fraction of that price. First you have to understand that t6 materials can be made in the Mystic Forge out of t5 materials and t6 dust, and secondly that t6 dust can be salvaged out of ectoplasm. Thirdly, the price of the t6 material we’re considering making in the Mystic Forge needs to be looked at on the Trading Post to see if this is going to be worthwhile.
- At time of writing, Powerful Venom Sacs are relatively worthless and you should place a buy order instead of trying to craft them.
- Powerful Blood on the other hand is worth a lot and you’ll need to place buy orders on t5 blood, in order to promote it in the Mystic Forge.
- You can do the maths on the other t6 materials if you like. Prices are always fluctuating so it doesn’t hurt to check.
The basic promotion formula is 50 t5 mats, 1 t6 mat, 5 Philosopher’s Stones and 5 t6 dust. So, you’re basically sacrificing t6 dust and t5 mats in bulk to create your t6 mats.
For all materials that you buy, check the price fluctuations on gw2spidy.com and put your buy order in at a good price. Only use the “buy now” option if the difference is negligible.
You should never buy t6 dust. Instead, salvage it from ectoplasm using a Mystic Salvage Kit or equivalent. You can buy ectoplasm if you must but check the price fluctuations on gw2spidy and put your buy order in at a good price. Either way, the Mystic Salvage Kit is a workhorse. You can expect to burn through several kits during the course of legendary weapon manufacture, performing many hundreds of salvages in the process.
Globs of Ectoplasm
Ectoplasm usually comes from salvaging L68+ rares and exotics, most of which I expect to be coming from salvaging L80 rares with a Mystic Salvage Kit or equivalent. You’ll get a lot of rares from playing content, particularly Heart of Thorns content such as Verdant Brink and Auric Basin. Along with rare loot, you’ll also be getting a lot of junk blues and green that you should be salvaging for their base materials, and there are ways to convert some of this stuff into even more ectoplasm.
Making your own Globs of Ectoplasm
Chances are that you will need so much ectoplasm that you won’t be able to make it all yourself, but make it yourself you can. As always, whether this route is worth taking depends on the price of the base materials at the time and what you have in your storage. The basic idea is to craft rare weapons out of mithril, elder wood and t5 mats and to salvage them in bulk with a Mystic Salvage Kit or equivalent. We’re talking dozens and dozens of rares, so find out what’s most economical at the time.
For example, t5 Poison Sacs are pretty much worthless at time of writing, costing less than 40 copper each. These will make rare krait weapons that can be salvaged for ectoplasm. Mithril itself is also pretty cheap, and elder wood is normally too. However, should one of these spike (as elder wood is doing at time of writing) then it’s possible to make weapons that lean on the cheaper material instead.
The target weapons to look at are:
- Mithril as main component : daggers and shields (made by weaponsmiths).
- Balanced : torches, warhorns (made by huntsmen) and tridents (made by artificers).
- Elder Wood as main component : wands and foci (made by artificers).
In each case you will also need to make a Mithril Imbued Inscription that will consume mithril and elder wood and 15 of some t5 fine material.
Obtaining Mithril and Elder Wood
Personally I don’t often harvest elder wood nor do I often mine mithril, but these are the most obvious sources. Where I get most of these materials is from the avalanche of blue and green junk salvage items I get from playing content in Heart of Thorns, or from WvW, Fractals and such. Over time this stuff adds up and the basic mantra is: salvage everything.
So, in summary you will get a certain amount of ectoplasm, mithril and elder wood naturally from salvaging all the loot that you get from playing content. The same goes for t5 and t6 fine materials. You can use crafting methods and the mystic forge to convert surplus materials from one form to another, and you can use gold when prudent to fill in any gaps.
These things are usually made in the Mystic Forge by using a gambling recipe, but there are various sources that include the monthly loyalty chest and certain PvP and WvW reward tracks. The most expedient way to get a hold of your clovers is to use the standard Mystic Forge route, which is expensive. The mystic forge recipe calls for either Philosopher’s Stones or Mystic Crystals (both of which are purchased with Spirit Shards), Globs of Ectoplasm (covered earlier), Mystic Coins and Obsidian Shards.
Mystic Coins used to be very cheap, but now they are a lot rarer and the demand a lot higher. You can acquire them yourself through the daily login chest and by completing Daily Mystic Forger whenever it comes up, but you won’t get many coins that way. Unless you’ve inadvertently stockpiled them you’ll have to place buy orders and wait for them to be filled.
Obsidian Shards used to be bought with karma at the Temple of Balthazar in Orr. While they still can be, there are other sources that yield a few shards here and there, but the best place to get a hold of them is The Silverwastes. Shards are frequently found in locked bandit chests that are unearthed with shovels and opened with bandit keys bought in the main Pact camp. Anyone who has played The Silverwastes for any length of time is likely to be drowning in obsidian shards (as well as bloodstone dust, dragonite ore and empyreal fragments for that matter). Plus as a bonus, you will likely get plenty of Spirit Shards that you’re going to need for the Gift of Mastery on top of promoting t5 materials and making mystic clovers.
The easiest strategy for forging clovers is to use the 10 clover recipe to get close to 77 and then use the 1 clover recipe to get the exact number. Whenever you “fail” to get clovers, you will get some other material that might be useful towards another Gift or you can either sell it or store it.
~ Legendary Part 2 : The Gift of Mastery ~
I can remember putting my first Gift of Mastery together as a joke well before I even considered making my first legendary weapon. It’s an odd gift that comes effortlessly through normal play, but requires intense effort if you were to start it from scratch. The gift consists of four offerings to Zommoros, which are the Gift of Exploration, the Gift of Battle, a Bloodstone Shard and a stack of 250 Obsidian Shards.
The best acquisition method for Obsidian Shards was just mentioned in the Mystic Clovers discussion: play The Silverwastes. If you have a lot of karma to burn you can also consider going to the Temple of Balthazar in Orr and buying shards there, plus there are various other places you can pick up a bunch of shards that you might notice, such as in your guild hall (if you have one) and through various inventory items like the Ley-Energy Matter Converter.
The Bloodstone Shard
The Bloodstone Shard costs 200 spirit shards at a mystic forge attendant, and these you will get from all sorts of regular play. Chances are, you won’t need to go out of your way to get spirit shards.
The Gift of Battle
This gift requires you to play WvW in some form, even if it’s only Edge of the Mists. There is a trivial minimum world rank to meet before the vendor selling this gift will deal with you, after which the price is 500 Badges of Honor. In addition to playing WvW and doing WvW dailies, you can also get badges from achievement chests. Typically, 500 badges is fairly trivial and playing WvW also gives you an opportunity to gather spirit shards, karma and other materials.
The Gift of Exploration
This final gift for the Gift of Mastery requires you to have world completion for every map in Core Tyria. That means every point of interest, vista, heart quest, hero point and waypoint in every map. If you are missing one final pesky point of interest, it’s probably the Chantry of Secrets in Bloodtide Coast. It doesn’t appear on the world map and so it’s easy to forget.
~ Legendary Part 3 : The Precursor Weapon ~
Precursor weapons used to be infamously difficult to get hold of, but now with legendary collections it’s so much more fun and easy. Effortless however, it is not, but the process is broken down into a series of steps that are each quite manageable.
The simplest acquisition method is again to purchase the precursor straight from the Trading Post, often at some extortionate price. However if you find the price acceptable then you could consider buying instead of doing the precursor quest, or you could just do the precursor quest anyway. I bought my first two precursors at reasonable prices, but this was when there were no precursor quests. I did do the precursor quest for my third and it was a fun experience.
I’d actually recommend doing the precursor quests if you want a more flavourful experience of making your legendary. Making the three gifts is more of a chore than a flavourful experience so get what you can, if you want. To do the quests you’ll need to own the expansion and train the Legendary Crafting mastery to rank 3. You only need rank 1 to get started though.
Precursor quests all start in Lion’s Arch by talking to Grandmaster Craftsman Hobbs in the crafting district. He is marked on the minimap.
Notes on the Precursor Quest:
- Fractals : You will need to play Fractals of the Mists for certain collection items. I used to hate fractals quite a lot for being an unfriendly, time consuming hassle. The user experience was terrible. Today? It’s fun. A lot of fun (mostly). Credit to ArenaNet for reshaping it over and over and getting it to what it is.
- The current format lets you play a single fractal of your choice and it makes fractals accessible, newbie friendly and fast.
- Fractals are broken down into 4 skill tiers of 25 fractals each, separating the total newbies from experienced casuals, more serious adepts and the no-life elitists (disclaimer: I’m only joking). Newbies are often afraid of elitism and this system usually keeps them apart from the raging ego-monsters of their nightmares.
- The “Looking For Group Tool” is extremely helpful for finding a group of an appropriate skill level (mostly) and you get some nice rewards.
- There are daily fractals now in the achievements tab. Whenever the fractal you need to do for your collection comes up, finding a group should be easy and the rewards are enhanced.
- At the very worst, you can hold your nose and just do it… but you might be pleasantly surprised how much fun some of them are in their new form (even Cliffside).
- PvP : Precursor quests involve PvP tokens that you can just buy from the Trading Post, often for a trivial cost. You don’t have to PvP if you don’t want to, but it’s an option.
- WvW : You will need similar WvW tokens, which you can also buy from the Trading Post. However you must earn a Gift of Battle to make the Gift of Mastery, which you could combine with a WvW reward track to help you with the Dungeon Gift (see later). So, playing some form of WvW is going to be helpful on multiple fronts. You will have to play WvW in some form, even if it’s just Edge of the Mists.
Once you own the precursor, be aware that it will soulbind on equip. If you do this, you must complete the mystic forging of the legendary weapon using the character who possesses the soulbound precursor weapon. The legendary that you make will not be account bound until you equip it regardless of what you did with the precursor.
~ Legendary Part 4 : The Legendary Gift ~
Legendary gifts are unique to each legendary weapon, but they contain some components that are common. Each legendary gift follows the same format of four offerings that consist of two Crafting Gifts (one of which will contain a Dungeon Gift), Icy Runestones, and a Sigil. The whole thing will take two crafting disciplines at Master level (400) to assemble, but which disciplines vary from gift to gift.
The Dungeon Gift
Dungeon gifts are associated with a particular dungeon in core Guild Wars 2 and each one costs 500 dungeon tokens to purchase. You can either run the dungeon in explorable mode to earn the tokens or you can consider earning the tokens through PvP or WvW reward tracks. For my first two legendaries I ran the dungeons, but for my third I earned all the tokens by playing WvW. Do whatever you enjoy the most.
The Crafting Gifts
Each crafting gift will require a character at Master Crafter (400 skill) of the appropriate craft to put together, and the combination of crafts vary with the legendary. The recipes themselves are bought at the Mystic Forge for 10g each, and the required craft is specified on the recipe. Each gift must be assembled at the appropriate crafting station by the relevant crafter, not at a mystic forge. One gift will contain the Dungeon Gift just covered, and the remaining components are typically a big pile of materials.
There are various strategies for tackling the big piles of materials.
- If the materials can be gathered, you can consider gathering strategies employing multiple characters harvesting the most lucrative areas.
- This is a good test of your world knowledge. Were you paying attention while earning the Gift of Exploration?
- Re-explore areas for their resources. Take note of rich ore nodes if you need metals, or simply harvest them for profit and buy what you need.
- Whenever you sell gathered materials, check the prices of worked-up materials to see if they’re more profitable. Ingots may get you more profit than raw ore, for example.
- Consider promoting cheap and plentiful materials in the Mystic Forge to get what you need.
- For example cores to lodestones, or t5 mats into t6 mats. Make sure this is economical before doing it.
- Check the wiki for other possible acquisition methods.
- If you need charged or onyx lodestones, there is a “dust mite farm” in Dry Top during the sandstorm. An engineer with a flamethrower and turrets is the best farmer.
- The most important thing is not to burn out. Do sessions in your downtime to relax, and stop when you are fed up.
- If you like research, hone your strategies whenever you can and keep an eye out for opportunities.
These cost a flat 100g.
- This is a straight test of your ability to make gold in Guild Wars 2 and I normally tackle it through gathering and crafting, selling lucrative products and materials on the Trading Post and playing whatever content I find fun and lucrative at the time.
- Tools such as gw2spidy.com and gw2efficiency.com can help you target lucrative markets and identify materials in your storage that are worth a lot of money.
Legendary sigils are typically worth a trivial amount of money and you should buy it straight off the Trading Post. It might cost you 4 or 5 silver pieces.
When You Are Done
Once you have all four components of your legendary weapon it is customary to ping your items in map chat, receive adulation, and then you’re supposed to craft the final legendary in the Mystic Forge. Chances are you won’t make a legendary weapon every day, so milk the moment and pat yourself on the back.
You own a legendary.
I hope there’s some useful information there, especially for tackling the material mountains. The main thing is to keep chipping away and to take advantage of any favourable market fluctuations to either make money to spend elsewhere or to snap up useful materials on the cheap. If you find the companion guide useful, please feel free to comment down below, share this guide or follow me on Google+.
Until next time,