The Scrying Pool: Amping up Jewelcrafting

This week the Scrying Pool looks at how 500 Jewelcrafting could exist in Guild Wars 2.


The Scrying Pool is a Guild Wars 2 column where I simply ask what if? Nothing is off the table as I dive into possible features and future content, looking at what currently exists in Guild Wars 2 before I answer my own what if question with how I think the feature and content could be implemented.

Ascended crafting has long existed for both weapons and armor. In order to craft this ascended gear, players first need to level up the crafting of the specific discipline to 500 as all ascended gear is account bound on acquire. For example, to craft any piece of ascended heavy armor you must first level up Armorsmithing to 500. When crafting was expanded to include ascended weapons and armor, it raised the max level of the weapon and armor crafting disciplines from 400 to 500.

What has yet to see an expansion are Cooking and Jewelcrafting, leaving both of these crafting disciplines stuck at the initial 400 level max. In a future article I may discuss where I see 500 Cooking going, but for today I am only going to talk about 500 Jewelcrafting.

The best starting place is to look at the current 500 disciplines and how Jewelcrafting could mimic those. The whole point of getting the weapon and armor disciplines to 500 is for ascended crafting, which just wouldn’t work for Jewelcrafting. Currently players can get ascended rings from fractals, in both random and guaranteed methods; accessories are available through participating in guild missions, again in both random and guaranteed methods; and laurels allow the purchase of all ascended jewelry. Having these guaranteed methods of getting jewelry creates a problem in introducing another guaranteed method through crafting.

There are a couple of issues that exist here. The first is that many players already have ascended jewelry for their characters. While the potential to get additional jewelry to swap out different stats exists, for the most part this would mean the addition of ascended Jewelcrafting would not benefit most veteran players.

The second problem exists with the path of least resistance. If it is easier to just run fractals and guild missions or cheaper to buy them from the laurel vendor than it is to go through the effort crafting ascended jewelry, then ascended Jewelcrafting would be worthless and unused. Potentially even worse would be that ascended Jewelcrafting is easier, making content such as guild missions and fractals entirely skippable or less rewarding.

Before the Heart of Thorns announcement when ArenaNet announced that they would never be raising the level cap for Guild Wars 2, I had thought the best way to get 500 Jewelcrafting would be to wait until the level cap was raised. With the level cap raised, everything would be reset. There wouldn’t be the issue of veteran players already having all ascended jewelry as they would need to reacquire it at the new cap. Content such as guild missions, fractals, and laurels would still be worthwhile as they could offer ascended components for the crafting of ascended gear at the new level cap instead of directly offering the finished ascended gear. Ascended jewelry at the new cap could then be fixed to offer an upgrade slot for gems, giving the additional benefit of ascended embellishments to slot into jewelry.

Alas, no level cap raise will come to fix all the woes of jewelry. It is still possible that ascended jewelry will be fixed to provide an upgrade slot for gems. This change would be similar to the agony infusion slot change, where the stats would be reduced on all jewelry back to default levels and an appropriate gem put in the new gem slot. I have long suspected that ascended jewelry didn’t have the gem stats built into them out of desire, but out of necessity with the game unable to allow for more than one upgrade slot on any piece of gear back when ascended jewelry was introduced close to the launch of the game.

On the topic of gems is the idea of giving 500 Jewelcrafting the ability to craft gems that give unique visual stylings to the character. During Season 2, many different items that gave special effects were introduced. During Halloween it was the refractors, gems in jewelry that would cause players to appear completely black, green or orange depending on which gem was equipped. Wintersday brought about the Rime-Rimmed Mariner’s Rebreathers that gave off a snowy, frosty aura around the character while they wore it underwater. Then lastly with the addition of the Vinewrath boss was the Queen Bee, another gem that caused a cosmetic effect that gave the appearance of bees constantly buzzing around the player while the gem was equipped.

The idea that 500 Jewelcrafting would allow players to craft these is horrible. A large part in why these are awesome is their rarity. Both of the gem types are very rare drops, limiting the amount of players that can obtain them. The rebreather is also rare as it was time-limited to a PvP reward track or again as an insanely rare drop. In addition to the rarity in acquisition is the limitations on their use. Gems cannot be slotted into the best gear, as ascended jewelry and backpieces don’t have upgrade slots, and there isn’t many places to hang out underwater to show off the rebreather. Take away these rarities by giving guaranteed crafting methods to gems like these and suddenly everyone has bee, butterfly, and quaggan particles going crazy around them all the time.

Amping it Up -->

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