GW2′s Karma: The most useless currency ever?

CGtu7Guild Wars 2 is already stricken with Toomanycurrenciesitis, a condition that is seen across the genre.  But what puzzles and sometimes really frustrates me is just how useless one of its most common currencies is: Karma.

So here’s the strange thing.  There are plenty of things to spend karma on in the game — it’s just that pretty much all of them are pointless to me.  I can buy regular armor (but… why?), exotic armor (except I just use gold on the trading post for that), crafting mats (except I don’t craft), transformation potions (yay?), and sickles/picks/axes for gathering (that I can just buy everywhere else with regular gold).  I don’t need it for mats for a legendary, because Syp don’t do legendaries.  And there’s are roundabout ways of turning karma into gold, but they feel like a waste to me.

This makes me a little crazy because so much of the game’s reward system uses karma.  I mean, what’s the appeal of doing events, then?  I don’t get any sort of material reward — say a chest or a random item — from most of them; I just get money, XP, and karma.  I can get money and XP from plenty of other places.  The karma seems like it’s there to be an incentive to doing these, but there’s so little in the karma katalogue that is appealing that it makes the currency as useful as toilet paper to me.

I mean, let’s look at laurels.  There’s another currency in the game, but this one has a pretty solid shopping list: dyes, boosters, pets, and so on.  That makes acquiring a laurel a positive event.  I care about it.  I cannot say the same about karma.

I’m sitting on a pile of karma that I have no use for.  I wish I did.  I wish I could buy pets, or skins, or perhaps even just dump a load of it for that ascended gear that everyone salivates over.  Maybe I’m just not playing the game the way everyone else is, I dunno.  I just hate useless currency that I’ve worked hard to attain, and this feels like the king of the mountain.

Am I really off-base on this?  Are there awesome uses for karma that I’m overlooking?  Let me know!

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12 thoughts on “GW2′s Karma: The most useless currency ever?

  1. Well it can get you power/toughness/vitality armor and jewellery that you can’t really craft (prices are insane due to the orbs being available through a temporary living story release) and must get through certain dungeons. You need it for ascended crafting (recipes, obsidian shards.) If you ever want to make a legendary you will need loads. Perhaps ANet figured most people would slowly, eventually work on a legendary. Orrian jewelery boxes were made to drain some karma away, though you used to could get most of it back through the karma they dropped + all boosters. Now that you can’t boost consumables, that’s done for.

    There’s been quite the karma nerf though, so people like you won’t have to worry about this “useless” currency. Though it’s really affecting people who would like a Legendary and newcomers to the game.

  2. I think GW2 suffers from a whole lot of “notplayingitrightitis.” There’s so much about the game I think is cool, but it just doesn’t have the stickiness of games I am actually playing.

  3. Ever since they all but removed the ability to get consumables from the daily I’ve wondered why ANet wouldn’t let players use exorbitant amounts of karma to buy small things from the store.

    Imagine like, 100k for a lvl 80 transmutation crystal or a handful of repair canisters/boosters/whatever. Stuff that people either never pay real money for or do so with anger and resentment burned into their souls. Seems like a bloody good idea to me. The extreme lack of give and take in their cash shop has always been its biggest flaw.

  4. So, it’s useless, but converting it to a useful currency is a waste?

    I think maybe the problem here is that you are overvaluing the currency because you expect it to have the same purchasing power as other currencies. Think of it as the Peso or something.

  5. @rowan

    My server, Tarnished Coast, it is pretty full. While some players do’nt like GW2, a lot more players appear like it. So, “notplayingitrightitis” is not a disease that GW2 have.

  6. @João Carlos: What I meant by that was that a lot of complaints I see about the game have more to do with the personal preferences of the player than actual flaws in the game.

    On the other hand, far more gamers are not playing GW2 regularly than are playing, regardless of how full any given server is or any particular quality of the game itself.

  7. I think you’re pretty much right in your assessment of Karma. I leveled my Mesmer after they introduced the daily rewards, so every day I did those rewards and got a jug of liquid karma. By the time I was level 80 I had several hundred thousand karma and figured I was set to buy all sorts of cool stuff! I ran from store to store . . . to store . . to store . . . to a website and start searching . . . I ended up dropping most of the Karma on Asuran cultural weapons. Not because the weapons were good, but because I could paste the skin onto a bland exotic bought with gold. The purple special effects on the Asuran cultural weapons seemed like a good fit for a Mesmer. So essentially, I blew all that karma on cosmetic gear . . . and was happy to even have that :P

  8. I have well in excess of 3 million karma on each of my two accounts so I have some sympathy with your point of view. On the other hand, your complaint could be summed up as “there are rather a lot of major aspects of this MMO I’m playing that don’t interest me so I’m not doing them”. If you don’t do the things that are on offer you can’t reasonably complain about not having a use for something that was put into the game to make it possible to do those things, can you?

  9. I’ve bought a complete set of ‘Temple armour’ from a mix of different temples. In the end playing as sporadically as I have I’ve ended up with 260,000 karma but never more than 10 gold. I’ve never done dungeons heavily or farmed champions or whatever so karma was easy to get but gold not so much – so for me the best armour I can get and probably will ever get is the temple gear.

  10. From reports, 1 million karma spent on Orrian boxes seems to yield about 5g from unidentified objects (if you don’t drink the karma consumables returned and spend again. I’m not sure if there are accurate tests post-patch of just how much is returned without the karma buff yet. Maybe Syp can do the experiment…for Science!)

    So technically, they’re worth 100 gems by the current exchange rate. :)

    Buying temple armor and jewelry with karma can be a cheap way of getting equipped in exotics without having to spend gold.

    And with Ascended inscription recipes, that’s a good 17k per stat type. Which takes a bunch out if you want to be completionist about recipes, or just a decent chunk to get the stats relevant to your characters.

    If you don’t want to touch Ascended, then yeah, not as much use for it. Donate it to Science! *hem*

  11. Karma does have a place in the game. The currency is for those players who are not proficient at earning gold a way to purchase gear. It is an optional currency, but I do wish it could be used on the gem store for consumables or in place of gold with guild item vendors.

  12. Waypoints should be fueled by karma. Yarrrr.
    Besides that karma to me is:
    Exotics for alts. So saves gold.
    Some cases of aesthetics, Gather tools again saves gold.
    Legendairy, mats are usefull {Whats cookin Cooky}, basically I collect allot.
    But as some pointed out if you do not do the content that it is used for… well then it has no use for you.

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