My playstyle (concurrently leveling multiple characters, frequently re-doing content with friends, and generally hopping about from interest to interest) and play time (there's not as much as I'd like, ever) don't make me optimistic of getting a legendary any time soon. Maybe you've got significantly more willpower (extraordinarily likely) and time than I do. Let's take a look at acquiring a legendary of your very own.
Break it down
To begin with, let's talk about legendaries. These are weapons that are extra special because of their looks, not because of their stats. Legendary weapons have the same stats as exotic counterparts, which means you don't ever have to get one to be competetive. They're purely a vanity accomplishment.
Right now, there is one legendary weapon for each weapon type with the exception of greatswords and spears, which have multiple skins. Legendary weapons are super shiny: Aside from being an extremely prestigious skin, most legendaries have their own particle effects and trails and can change aspects of the appearance of a character. For example, the Juggernaut hammer covers players with liquid metal when its drawn and splashes quicksilver when swung.
The actual recipe for creating a legendary weapon is deceptively simple. Each legendary is crafted in the Mystic Forge using four items. Four is not a large number, so legendaries can't be all that hard to acquire, right?
Every legendary requires a Gift of Fortune and a Gift of Mastery. In addition, you'll need to include a third Gift, which is specific to your desired weapon, and a specific exotic weapon. These weapons are becoming increasingly well-known as "precursors," and that's precisely what they are.
Gift of Fortune
Gifts of Fortune area all about proving that you're a rich enough bastard to deserve the ability to flaunt a legendary. Crafted in the Mystic Forge, Gifts of Fortune require 77 mystic clovers, 250 globs of ectoplasm, and a Gift of Magic and a Gift of Might.
Between the two of them, the Gifts of Magic and Might require an entire set of tier 6 (crafting level 400) fine crafting materials. That means 250 each of ancient bones, vicious claws, vicious fangs, and armored scales for the Gift of Might and 250 each of vials of powerful blood, powerful venom sacs, elaborate totems, and piles of crystalline dust. Pitch those sets into the Forge and you'll get your respective Gifts.
Globs of ectoplasm are fairly straightforward: You have a chance to receive ectoplasm when salvaging rare and exotic items above a certain level requirement (which is 68 or above, at the time of this writing). Rare weapons will yield as few as zero and as many as three globs, while exotics will yield as few as zero and as many as five globs. I hope you like gambling because the stakes just get higher from here on out.
Mystic clovers are, unsurprisingly, also children of the Mystic Forge. There are two separate recipes, for 1 and 10 clovers, respectively. However, those recipes don't guarantee a clover. There's about a 2/3 chance they'll produce as few as two and as many as five tier 6 crafting materials instead. The single recipe requires one obsidian shard, one mystic coin, one glob of ectoplasm, and six philosopher's stones. The 10 clover recipe requires 10 apiece of obsidian shards, mystic coins, globs of ectoplasm, and crystals.
Like the Gift of Fortune, this Gift requires two sub-gifts, the Gift of Exploration and Gift of Battle. In addition, Mastery requires 250 obsidian shards and one bloodstone shard.
Gifts of Battle are relatively simple. Just head into World vs. World, talk to a Weaponsmith NPC, and give that NPC 500 Badges of Honor. Of course, you'll need to earn those 500 Badges first, which can be done by killing foes, opening chests, and completing maps in WvW.
You receive two Gifts of Exploration upon successfully exploring all possible maps in the game. That means all the cities, all explorable zone, all WvW maps, and the Chantry of Secrets. You only need one of them per legendary, and that creates an effective limit of two legenaries per character.
Obsidian shards are purchased for 2,100 karma apiece from Tactician Deathstrider at the Cathedral of Glorious Victory (also known as the Temple of Balthazar). That's a total of 525,000 karma just for the shards.
Bloodstone shards are bought from Miyani, the friendly Elonan hanging out near the Mystic Forge, for 200 skill points. Aren't you glad you just need one?
You might notice a trend here: Each weapon-specific Gift is made by throwing four items into the Mystic Forge, and two of those four items are, themselves, Gifts.
The four items vary based on which Gift is being made. For example, the Gift of the Flameseeker Prophecies, which is required for making the legendary shield, requires a Gift of Metal, a Gift of History, 100 icy runestones, and one superior sigil of battle, while the Gift of Bolt, used for the legendary sword, requires a Gift of Metal, a Gift of Lightning, 100 charged lodestones, and one superior sigil of air.
Recipes for the sub-gifts can be acquired from Miyani for 10g apiece. Each of the Gifts requires you to be a Master (level 400) crafter in a specific discipline. Happily, the Gifts are account-bound, which means that you don't have to panic and re-roll if you decided that your Warrior should be a Cook/Jeweler and you really want the legendary shield.
Because there haven't been enough Gifts up in this business, there's another layer (it's like inception, but with Gifts instead of dreams). One of each of the sub-gifts will be crafted with normal crafting materials, but the other sub-gift will require its own sub-gift. For example, if you're crafting the Dreamer legendary shortbow, you'll need to craft the Gift of the Dreamer. To craft the Gift of the Dreamer, you'll need to craft a Gift of Wood and a Unicorn Statue. The Gift of Wood is no big deal at 250 each of ancient, elder, hard, and seasoned wood planks. The Unicorn Statue, however, requires three items and a Gift of Thorns. That Gift of Thorns is acquired from the Twilight Arbor armor merchant in Lion's Arch for 500 of the TA dungeon tokens.
You've got your three Gifts, you've got a heart full of hope, and you're almost there! All you need now is a precursor weapon. Each legendary weapon has a specific precursor. Precursors can be dropped (at an extraordinarily low rate) from chests after you defeat the Claw of Jormag or retake temples in Orr.
If you're more the gambling type (which is, at this point, kind of a moot question), you can put four rare or exotic weapons of level 75 or more in the Mystic Forge. When all four weapons are the same type, the output will also be that weapon type -- otherwise, you're putting the weapon type in the hands of fate. The level and rarity of the items directly affect your chance of getting a precursor. If you like watching grown men cry, you can check out xKonohaFlash's experiments of putting 28 exotic and 44 rare greatswords in the Forge.
For bonus points, guess how his experiments end before watching the videos.
Of course, you can also buy the precursors, but that'll cost you a fair amount of gold all on its own. Last time I checked, Dusk (the precursor for the Twilight greatsword) was selling for about 250g.
It's worth noting that if you're intimidated by this to-do list, the legendary precursors tend to be pretty cool all on their own. That's Dawn, the precursor for Sunrise, over there to the left. I wouldn't exactly be ashamed of wielding that, you know? It's not an embarrassment.
So there you have it
Now you know the basic requirements of getting a legendary weapon! You've got to explore every map, store up at least 200 skill points and about one million karma (you'll likely spend more, but this is a good guestimate), get an entire set of tier 6 fine crafting materials, earn 500 Badges of Honor, store up roughly 120 gold, get a legendary precursor, and get up to level 400 in two crafting professions to make the weapon-specific Gifts.
What are you waiting for?
And other stuff
Pink Day in LA is almost upon us! This fantastic in-game celebration and fundraiser is coming up on October 20th, and you should be a part of it! There are prizes and fun times to be had.
The shadow of the Mad King is looming over Tyria as Halloween creeps ever nearer. ArenaNet has announced a big content update, with new gem shop stuff, paid tournaments in sPvP, festivities, and open-world goodness.
Elisabeth Cardy is a longtime Guild Wars player, a personal friend of Rytlock Brimstone, and the writer of Flameseeker Chronicles here at Massively. The column updates on Tuesdays and keeps a close eye on Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, and anything bridging the two. Email Elisabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org.