I decided to take a break from grinding for skyscale to unlock the new skimmer mastery. Skimmer is hardly my most-used mount in Guild Wars 2, but unlocking the new skimmer mastery is a more achievable goal than finishing skyscale. And it doesn’t cost any gold, either!
Finding Nemo, I Mean Sibaha
The hardest part of unlocking the new GW2 skimmer mastery is finding all the NPCs. Even following the guide in the wiki, I spent a lot of time searching the area for the person I was supposed to talk to.
NOTE: I highly recommend turning on nameplates. It makes this quest, and the rest of your life, so much easier. Nameplates are the green and yellow names above NPCs, interactable items, and neutral mobs. To turn them on, click Options > General and tick the boxes for Show all NPC names and Show all usable object names.
Most of the collection is a cycle of:
- Talk to the NPC
- Wait for the NPC’s event. (These seem to start every 5-10 minutes, so you won’t have to wait long.)
- Finish the NPC’s event
- Talk to the NPC
Repeat as needed until you get to the end, when you have to do a skimmer obstacle course in under 1 minute 40 seconds. Getting Silver on this Adventure was by far the hardest part of the collection. It took me four tries, and I was cursing under my breath the entire time.
Yo Dawg I Heard You Like XP
Now I “just” had to earn 2 million XP in the Path of Fire maps. Yikes.
To start, I loaded up on XP buffs:
- Food buff (+10% XP)
- Utility buff (+10% XP)
- Guild tavern XP buff (+10% XP)
- Celebration Booster (+100% XP)
These stack, so I was running around earning a total of +130% XP, which definitely helps.
One of my friends was also marooned at this stage of skimmer acquisition, so we partied up on a Saturday night and started browsing LFG.
We started by doing the post-reset series of events that happens near the main waypoint in Crystal Desert. Gathering Casino Coins is a “twofer” if you will, since you get XP from the event, plus XP from consuming the Casino Coins themselves. And if you kill at least a few Troublemakers, you get XP for those events, as well.
After the Casino Coins event finished, we hustled back to the waypoint for the Choya Pinata. You have to hustle, because the Pinata dies very quickly. (I remember when Path of Fire was new, and Choya Pinata was a difficult event which often failed. Memories!)
SIDE NOTE: Festive Confetti Infusion is the ultra-rare item that drops from this event. I recently saw a player wearing this infusion and it looked… fine. I mean, it would go great with my thief who runs Quip/Quip and The Dreamer. But it didn’t seem exciting enough to be worth all the hype.
After Choya Pinata, someone tagged up to start a bounty train in Crystal Desert, so we followed along. This proved to be a pretty good way to earn XP, right up until our squad had done all the bounties, and had to stand around waiting for them to respawn. I was getting itchy seeing all my buffs slowly expiring, so we moved on.
Dragonfall Anti-Meta Train
Although Dragonfall was introduced in Living World Season 4, it’s technically part of Crystal Desert, and therefore counts for Path of Fire XP. Dragonfall’s constant ongoing meta and series of events means you can farm XP very easily here.
We joined a squad that was running around doing events in what seemed like a weird order. Eventually my friend and I realized that this commander was doing events such that the meta would never progress.
I’ve done the Dragonfall meta less than a dozen times, so maybe I’m not in the loop. I suppose the idea was to keep grinding events to earn XP and Karma, and it did do that, but it felt frustrating. (Also, isn’t that what Edge of the Mists is for?)
In the end, we got our fancy skimmer underwater abilities. And promptly forgot all about it. Presumably the next expansion pack will have a significant underwater component, in which case I’ll be glad I unlocked this mastery. (Which reminds me, I need to get back to working on my underwater legendary weapons!)