Before we move on, let's go ahead and clarify a few things that players seem to be confused about regarding Transmutation Stones. Yes, they will be obtained through real-world money. No, we do not know what they will cost. No, they do not affect armor stats whatsoever. The sole purpose of a Transmutation Stone is to change the outward look of your armor. It's purely cosmetic.
Moving on to the rest of the blog post, there is some great new information regarding loot in this post. John started by addressing a concern that has popped up more than once; that of loot distribution. "We're fully committed to the concept of rewarding players individually," he says. Frustration over ninja looting, node-stealing or need vs. greed looks like it will be a thing of the past. In the case of resource nodes, once you loot one -- a copper node was the example given -- it's gone for you but not for other players. Everyone gets a shot at it.
The rest of it is a fairly simple system, and summarized well: "In the case of distributing general monster loot or opening dungeon end-chests, this principle means that each player gets their own roll, so it's alright if you are soloing and someone begins fighting alongside you. This won't cause the loot you would receive to degrade in any way, as long as you actively participate in that combat. Likewise, when you get to the end of that big dungeon with your group, you each get to individually open the chest and receive your own personal reward."
Speaking of dungeon loot, armor fanatics where thrilled to hear what else John had to say: "Presently each of our dungeons has, at a bare minimum, one complete, visually unique reward set that includes a full set of light armor, a full set of medium armor, a full set of heavy armor, as well as one entire set of weaponry that is unique to that dungeon." "Bare minimum," of course, indicates that there will be more in some dungeons.
Finally, John addressed armor upgrades. The crest system has been a subject of much forum discussion, and the overall opinions are pretty positive. It allows for unique and extensive customization as the player prefers. John gives an example using light armor and a Crest of the Legion in the blog post, and explains how the bonuses are cumulative.
This newest post really shows off how much customization will be available to us in both armor stats and appearance, and lays to rest some of our loot concerns. Check out the full entry on the ArenaNet blog.