Hey, thanks for the nice and informative article. The WM, however, starts with Aidenus (or Yasker) himself - first you get that letter in the mail asking you to see the Great Mage ASAP; he then redirects you to Barbara of Siveria. It's only after talking to him that Barbara will have a quest available for you.
No doubt, dual spec is the main reward here - it's even better than the most OP prize ever, i. e. VoD, since you can switch builds even inside an instance, as opposed to having to go all the way back to your faction's capital. Extra ruby and talent point won't make so much difference at this point - personal allod will just be another reason to spend gpots I'm afraid, much like personalizing your own ship. (Thing about extra ruby btw that people sometimes overlook is all the extra single ones you can get, together. It's one (or two) from GT, one from Gemstones quest, plus one from 3rd Mage Page... and another here: 4 or 5 extra rubies certainly make a lot of difference in any build.)
I initially thought Emblems would be shared with incarnations but since Layer 2 gems were not, it makes sense the emblems rewarded from them are not. That's the funny sad news: spending ~24k gold to turn in the gems, plus some gold to buy the last few ones, plus all the teleport charges... up to 30k, if not more in some cases. All that for 60 emblems. To turn in each of them, now, it costs 100g... 6k gold. 4 to 5 times cheaper. And because you can turn in a maximum of 20 per week, that'll be a 3 weeks', a month's delay. Not really meaningful. Therefore, the "worthwhile reward" for completing the Layer 2 gems quest now feels rather like a rip-off. No sense of achievement whatsoever. Anyone can reach lvl 51 now with the crappiest pieces of gear. Try finishing a L2 allod with Kirah rep and greens from IoR. Hard times - but good times, too. I suppose it was truly the hardest quest ever in this game? except maybe for the GT ones. Finishing 200+ allods is certainly harder than doing some or even a lot of pvp or just the Tka-Rik trials for emblems, not to mention turning in amalgam/realgar. (Just getting a decent astral party at times was hard enough to begin with.) I'd rather have another soldier/veteran icon kind of thing on my avatar saying I completed that quest instead of having spent so much more gold for something that will soon be completely forgotten, if it isn't already. Just something more "worthwhile" - give the players who completed lengthy and difficult quests some really useful reward (CCs, crystals, whatever) or even just a token stating they achieved that, a token that will stay there forever. Don't steal thousands of gold from the most dedicated and committed players, lol. *sigh*
Hildebrand - Tensess