For the last couple of weeks, I've been playing Guild Wars 2 almost exclusively, working on finishing up the requirements to get a Skyscale mount. It's a long grind, but I've really enjoyed the process.
I will comment on the various collection pieces I've done since the last blog update, but really in reverse order.
I just finished purchasing the Skyscale Saddle, which required getting components from various vendors. In addition to about 35 gold and some volatile magic, it also required 250 of the currencies from each of the Living World 4 / Path of Fire zones and 500 Trade Contracts.
250 Kralkatite Ore - Domain of Istan
250 Kifluorite Crystals - Sandswept Isles
250 Inscribed Shards - Domain of Kourna
250 Lump of Mistonium - Jahai Bluffs
250 Branded Mass - Thunderhead Peaks
250 Mistborn Motes - Dragonfall
When I started the process, I had almost none of the zone currencies but had about 280 or so Trade Contracts, so almost halfway there.
You would think that grinding out all of those currencies a bit of a time would take forever, but after a considerable amount of research, I discovered that there is an Achievement in each of these zones that awards - wait for it - 250 of each currency. The achievement is called "Return to [Zone Name]" for each zone and generally requires you to do, or have done somewhere between 6-9 things in each zone. The easy part is that in each zone, three of those things are harvesting, gathering lumber, and mining - generally 15, 30, and 30. When you mine something and get 3 ore from a particular node, that counts as 3 for purposes of this achievement, so it doesn't take too long in each zone.
For about half the zones, having done the story quests and then these three gathering pieces was enough to get the achievement. In a couple of zones, I also had to do a race of some sort - just complete it - not win. In Thunderhead Peaks, I also had to open 3 Dwarven Chests, which are pretty much all over the place, and there were a couple of zones where I had to kill the end boss for one of the metas - which was easy enough with a group.
I also found a shortcut for getting the Trade Contracts. Getting 100% map completion in any of the Crystal Desert zones awards 50 Trade Contracts. So you'd think I'd need to finish at least four of them, but as it turns out, I managed to pick up enough by opening chests or as rewards for other things that I was doing as part of the map completion, that I only ended up having to do the map completion for two zones to go from 280 to 500.
This collection happens right before the saddle and involves finding your Skyscale at the end of 21 different jumping puzzles around the world. There is a shortcut available where you can purchase Extra-Pungent Skyscale Treats that will bring the Skyscale that you're hunting to you as long as you're in the general area of the jumping puzzle. I could easily complete about half of the jumping puzzles, so I only purchased 9 of the Treats to circumvent the rest (you get one for free at the beginning of the series). There are two that involve a Jackal mount, which I don't have, two that include defeating World Bosses, and one that consists of a meta event that doesn't seem to get a lot of attention, so there were only 5 puzzles that I couldn't get through.
This is the one that comes right after the searching for eggs phase that I mentioned the last time. It basically involves running all over the world and doing various things with your Skyscale egg. There are a lot of guides out there with decent descriptions of the most efficient order to do this in (I used the one on Metabattle, which seemed okay). The only piece that was complicated was that you had to have unlocked a bunch of doors in Derelict Delves to get a few of the pieces for this one. I highly recommend watching a video to get through that if you haven't already unlocked all the Runestone Doors in Derelict Delve. The other two pieces that are a bit complicated on this one are that getting into Joko's palace in the Desolation can be a bit challenging (use the spiral stairs way off on the right), and you have to complete the Path of Ascension event in Elon Riverlands for another portion. A bunch of people were doing this one, so it wasn't bad once it started.
After all that (and all the stuff in Dragonfall that I described in my last blog post), I only have one set of collections left - sealing 21 different rift tears with a loaner skyscale - again, probably scattered all over the place.
While I haven't been playing much, there is an update on FFXIV. I finished getting my Black Mage to max level and have started working on the Paladin, which is currently at level 56.