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Being Legendary: An Intro to Legendary Weapons

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October 22, 2012 - 2:04pm -- Sardu
An Intro to Legendary Weapons

In many ways, legendary weapons in Guild Wars 2 represent the penultimate achievement that players can strive to attain. The journey won’t be an easy one, however, and I absolutely expect that only a small percentage of players will ever equip one. Much like similar systems in other games, such as EverQuest’s original epic weapons, legendary weapons represent a major time commitment that may prove to be a bit too daunting for many.

However, unlike EQ’s epic weapons, players can choose to create any legendary weapon their profession is able to equip rather than being locked into a specific weapon that may not even have any true worth in the grand scheme of things. (I’m looking at you, duck stick!) Still, there are some pretty major hoops you’ll need to jump through to create a single legendary weapon.

GW2 Account Medals

In this series we’ll be taking a look at the various objectives you’ll need to complete as part of the overarching process. It will be wholly based on our own experiences with the process, so your own experience, associated costs, or time commitments may vary.

Later this week we’ll be taking a detailed look at the first of these building blocks, 100% World Completion. First, however, I thought it would be pertinent to compile a list of some of the minimum requirements for making a single legendary weapon. While a lot of the info below can be found across various pages on the official wiki, I decided to go one step further and break each component down into relative terms rather than giving you flat numbers or material counts.

Please Note: I’ve included the current market values of any materials or other items that can be purchased on the trading post below. Since the market is bound to fluctuate over time, the values listed will likely change over the coming months. Still, they can also help provide a relative cost snapshot moving forward that can serve as a point of reference. You could also look at the values as a means of determining whether purchasing items is a solid option, or if you’re better off attempting to gather them yourself while working on other objectives.

Minimum Requirements for Legendary Weapon Creation

As noted on the official wiki, the totals listed below represent the minimum requirements. Additional materials will also factor in based on the specific weapon you’re attempting to create. Still, this gives you a solid baseline you’ll need to aim for, and gives you a relative idea of the time investment involved.

500 Dungeon Tokens

Thanks to the changes to how dungeon tokens are obtained, this is actually one of the easiest things on the list to obtain. On average, you can gain 180 tokens per day assuming you run 3 different paths of your selected dungeon. As such, you can lock in the 500 tokens (based on the specific gift required for the weapon you intend to create) in as little as 3 days, or 9 days if you only run a single explorable path per day.

Precursor Weapon

Each legendary weapon requires a specific precursor (exotic quality) weapon. There is no surefire way to obtain them, but you do have a chance to obtain one from the spawned chests following the Claw of Jormag meta-event or the Temple events in Orr.

Another method involves taking a gamble with the Mystic Forge. For example, if you want to obtain the precursor staff, The Legend, you can place 4 rare or exotic staves of level 75 and above in the forge for a chance to obtain it. Different players have reported varying levels of success using this method. Personally, I have made 20 attempts so far and have not seen the precursor yet.

You can potentially purchase a precursor from the trading post, but be warned: the prices have taken a massive turn for the worse since these can no longer be farmed through exploits. The current trading post prices (where available) can be seen below:

Tooth of Frostfang Axe 250g
Spark Dagger 320g
The Energizer Mace 44g
Chaos Gun Pistol 190
Storm Scepter 80g
Zap Sword 255g
The Bard Focus 29g
The Chosen Shield 229g
Rodgort's Flame Torch 42g
Howl Warhorn 70g
Dawn Greatsword 315g
Dusk Greatsword 370g
The Colossus Hammer 335g
Leaf of Kudzu Longbow 144g
The Hunter Rifle 288g
The Lover Shortbow 335g
The Legend Staff 395g
Maw Spear ?
Carcharias Spear ?
Rage Harpoon Gun 35g
Venom Trident 17g

Given some of the current market prices listed above, and since you are also going to need a large amount of karma anyway, I would suggest focusing on running temple events to start out with. Speaking of karma…

525,000 Karma

One of the items you will need to purchase, Obsidian Shards, can only be bought with karma. The shards can be purchased from Tactician Deathstrider at the Temple of Balthazar in Straits of Devastation while under Pact control for 2,100 karma each.

As a bare minimum, you will need to purchase 250 Obsidian Shards to create a Gift of Mastery, one of the items used to create your legendary. That brings you to your miminum total of 525k karma, which is a pretty major time investment once you consider that each individual dynamic event completed at the gold level at level 80 will only net you 378 karma upon completion. To put that into perspective here is what that breaks down to:

525k karma needed at 378 karma per event = 1,389 total dynamic events.

Yes, that's a LOT of dynamic events which will hopefully help explain why karma farming is so rampant in the endgame maps. A few things that can help expedite the process without having to mindlessly farm events (and potentially block other events from triggering for other players):

  • World versus World can net you more karma per hour than most other activities, provided your home world is regularly flipping or defending objectives.
  • Guild banners can provide a slight boost to karma gain
  • There are also +50% karma boosts that are well worth the gems spent given the significant time reduction they'll provide for this part of your legendary progress

500 Badges of Honor

Badges of Honor can only be obtained in World versus World, and at a pretty abysmal rate. To put it into proper perspective, I've recently hit the 1,000 enemy defeats mark, have full map completion on all 4 maps, and countless objective captures under my belt currently. Yet my total Badges of Honor is 189. Ouch.

If you ever notice players building and squatting on siege weapons at every opportunity, this is part of the reason why. The drop rate on badges is horrid at best, an issue only compounded by the shoddy supply bag system. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say I've lost more bags than I've looted due to the nature of WvW combat, and the fact that unless you're standing perfectly still when they drop you can easily miss them.

Hopefully ArenaNet will alter things so that at least 1 player kill will give you a set number of badges (preferably added directly to your inventory). The current randomness is a pretty major source of frustration, though I do know plenty of more hardcore WvW participants that have locked in the 500 badges long ago. Casual players be warned though; this is going to be a major time investment in a part of the game you might not otherwise have any desire to participate in.

Crafting Materials

Along with the above items, you will also need to gather large numbers of crafting materials. I've listed these below, along with the total number needed and the current trading post value for each.

Material Current Average Cost Per
250 Ancient Bones 18c
250 Armored Scales 3s 27c
250 Elaborate Totems 3s 2c
250 Piles of Crystalline Dust 1s
250 Powerful Venom Sacs 40c
250 Vials of Powerful Blood 5s 50c
250 Vicious Claws 31c
250 Vicious Fangs 29c

As noted above, the listed prices are bound to change over time, but it will at least give you a relative idea of rarity and the current perceived value for each. In some cases, purchasing a full stack of 250 can be relatively cheap, and can save you a good chunk of time. That said, there is also a sizable gold investment associated with legendary weapon creation, so you'll need to save coin whenever possible.

250 Globs of Ectoplasm

Even though ectos are technically a crafting material, I separated them out from the list above since they can't be gathered directly as creature drops. While they can be purchased from the trading post for anywhere between 15 and 20 silver depending on the market value on a given day, you're better off salvaging them from high level rare quality items. You can often get lucky and salvage 3 ectos from a single item, but even then you'll need to salvage quite a bit to hit the 250 mark.

500 Stacks of Patience

The items above represent some of the bare minimums you will need to create even a single legendary weapon, but it is ultimately a much more involved process. It will take a lot of time, coin, and most of all patience if you ever hope to create and equip one of these items.

Moving forward we'll begin drilling down into some of the more specific requirements, and how they factor into the big picture of legendary weapon creation, starting with 100% World Completion later this week. We'll also provide as many tips and insights as possible for those of you embarking on the legendary journey now or in the future.

In the meantime, good luck, and when it comes to creating legendary weapons remember the old saying: Rome wasn't built in a day.


Spider Jerusalem's picture
Submitted by Spider Jerusalem (not verified) on

This was horrible