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December 2014

Show me the way to Ama-Kudzu...

A poor pun to start so you know exactly the tone...so lets get straight into the backstory - I bought Guild Wars 2 in early september 2014 to play at a LAN session (back in October 2014.) Our instructions prior to that were that we could play as many characters as we wanted to find out which one we liked, but only to 15th level. At that LAN session we went from 15th to 45th level. After that, we all were 'allowed' to play our main characters until around 62nd ready for the next LAN session that will happen in a few months (likely in Feb next year).

With all that in place, this meant I ended up leveling 4 alts that were roughly mid 20-30th level. Why is this important? Well I stupidly had set my eyes on a longbow skin (this game is all about the looks, it doesn't have the nickname 'Fashion Wars 2' for nothing), one that looks really smart and something that I wanted from seeing the skin in the first few days of playing the game without actually realising what was required.

The longbow skin in question was actually the Longbow Legendary, Kudzu.

So here is the start of my tales, and the following is the summary of my playtime during the month of December 2014.

Taking in the long long list of the requirements needed for Kudzu, I thought I would have a go at making Mystic Clovers, one of the steps that is recommended you do early on.

So back to the alts. They gave me quite a few skill points on tap to use, and use I did - my alts went from skill point to skill point, gaining skills to function not develop, and hitting the important 20, 26, 32 and 38th levels to gain the +8 skill points to use to buy lots of Philosphers stones for my account.

So we finally get to the point of all of this - I will say straight off that this is by no means a definitive guide to getting a Kudzu. I will make mistakes along the way and I have no doubt that in some cases I will spend hours doing nothing at all related to the task I am writing about. It is however a warts and all account - you can then hopefully see where I went wrong and then learn from it - which I guess will be the majority of what is written as I doubt I will be efficant enough to run multiple Dungeons daily to get the gold I need to buy everything.

Along with the time gated currencies and skill points, you need gold, and lots of it. Each batch of 10 attempts costs roughly 4g in Ectoplasm, so you can see how quickly the costs escalate. I am not adverse to buying gems to get round this, but as I don't have a bottomless amount of laurels or coins, I would rather earn the gold (at least to start with!) and so starting the month with around 12g meant I would not get many done.

Mystic Clovers have around a 30% chance of being obtained through the Mystic Forge, hence there is a projected requirement of 230 attempts for the required 77 Clovers needed. For my first real attempt, I picked up the following:

70 Philosophers Stones (7 Skill points worth, bought from an Alt)
12 Obsidian Shards (12 Laurels)

And used the Mystic forge 11 times. My results?

Bolts of Gossamer (x2)
Obsidian Shards (x2)
3 x Clover
Cured Hardened Leather Square (x3)
Crystaline Dust (x4)
Ancient Wood Plank (x1)
2 x Elaborate Totem (x3ea)
Hidden Treasure (x1)

.....just 74 to go.......

Looking a little ahead of myself, I see that I also need 400 in Huntsman and Leathermaking - Huntsman was fine and I had already made a start on that, but my main is also a Chef and with that at 200 skill already, I did not want to buyout or pay the 800 gems to learn a third profession so my secondary Ranger (now +6 levels higher than my main) took up Leathermaking as a profession - I did double check to ensure that the pieces are Account bound beforehand!

The massive amount of gathered materials I had from just running around in the last month meant that I got to 160+ in Leathermaking before running out, and with another 1g of materials from the trading post this took me close to 200 before I could increase further through other accumulated materials etc - I think I finished at around 250.

More Mystic Clovers batches follow - another two batches (a batch for me is 10 attempts) for me over the last few days, and I am still using single Clover reciepes, not the 10 version.

My second batch resulted in 3 clovers (so I have 6 in total) and various tier 6 crafting materials that I then foolishly sold all of before I realised that I needed most of them - it pays to read the list of required materials before you sell of things you need apparently. They sold for just under 8 gold, which on the plus side meant the first two batches of clovers had paid for themselves (Ectoplasm costs).

For my third batch, I thought I would try and recycle items to get Ectoplasms - I bought some staffs (to get wood as well) and then realised I had spent 4g on level 54 weapons....which broke down to get 50 silver of materials - I wasted 3.5g like a boss. I then bought some level 80 weapons and broke even ectoplasm to cost ratio wise with a few wood mats thrown in. I now have a little crappy spreadsheet to chart my progress, which shows +8g in my costs to reflect my mistake with the other staffs. The third batch resulted in another 3 Clovers.

Batch four and five resulted in a disappointing 2 Clovers each, so I was now at 13 for 50 attempts. I continued to farm skill points from my alts, and stockpiled Philosophers Stones. With the amount of dailies I had done recently, which was roughly every day since the LAN session, I had amassed around 90 laurels, and so spent them all to get Obsidian Shards.

For batch six I used my alt Ranger (can it still be an alt when she is higher level?) and had now started to record the order of the creation, just in case that helped. I got 4 Clovers that time. My Ectoplasm buying was funded by the stack of presents from the Wintersday events - I basically sold everything I accululated.

For stack seven, the funding again came from Wintersday events. I completed the month event, and took the 100 parcel reward and sold that for 7.5gold. Robin Hood's Mum was now 66th, and as I got such good results last time, I followed the same order (basically alphabetical by ingredient) and got another 4 Clovers.

Stack eight was done almost immediately afterwards. Fresh from getting 4 Clovers I used up the last of the Wintersday gold for more Ectoplasm and quickly ran back to the forge......to create yet another 4 Clovers.

Running total now is 80 attempts, 25 Clover. I have enough P.Stones for another 4 batches, but not enough Gold or Laurels, so will need to wait for another few weeks. I am on about day 11 of my daily rewards (not missed one yet) so getting closer to the 28th day reward which apparently contains clovers...

I had finished off the Monthly before this change as well, and towards the end of the month (which I didnt realise at the time!) I was also doing the Festive dailies that gave a laurel as well. What the Festive celebrations did do however, was bring Christmas gifts that could be sold, and sold they were. I opened only what was necessary to continue the dailies and sold everything else, and must have made 20+g in the process (8g alone from the Monthly reward, then add presents at 4s each, plus a few nice rares that sold for 50s+ each which all added up over the month.)

At one point I even bell rung for a solid hour.....and earned 4g from present selling in the process and funded some experimentation for Ectoplasm salvaging. This seemed to be far too easy, but you needed the stamina to suffer through it all - I bet there are some doing 8 hours a day....

For Clover batch 9 a few days later, I ectoplasm salvaged and spent around 11g on 80th level chest pieces to break down - this worked well and I probably got 6g of 'free' ectoplasm in the process - 10g net spend as I got 1g back from gathered runes and got just under 40 ecto's which would have cost around 16g from TP in the process.

Robin Hoods Mum also spent a little time on 100%-ing, at 40% world completion now, and around 30% with Truluee Scrumptious (my LAN main) with just over a week left of the month.

My account is left with around 15g and I have 29 Ecto, 21 Mystic Coins and 228 Philosophers stones in the bank along with the all important Clovers numbering 28. As for Obsidian Shards or Laurels? Bugger all - they are all gone.

As December finished, I had also started on Omniberries, as I found that they are a non-tradable food, which are only farmed in 80th level areas and also few and far between......and I needed 250 of them.

Looking at other requirements I checked my progress - for the Gift of Wood I had Huntsman ~200 skill (you need 400), with roughly 100 planks (you need 250 of each) of each of the four woods banked.

For Gift of Nature - My Leatherworking was at 400 (what you need), with 20 Omniberries (250 needed) and 20 Cured Squares (250 needed).

I now have roughly 80 skill points on each of Robin Hoods Mum and Trulee Scrumpotious, and 48% World Completion (on RHM). I dabbled a little in WvW as well to get the tokens needed (I already had 400 of the 500 needed from somewhere - storyline?) and also for the world completion %.

I did not trade gems for gold during the whole of December and I am sitting on all of about 8g at the moment. I have not missed a day logging on for log in rewards, but have not done all my dailies. As for how long have I played during this month? Probably 80+ hours over the month of December, and around 70% of that time as Robin Hoods Mum for Map Completion.