Weekly Keyfarm

I run a keyfarm character each week to get the key that drops when the first My Story chapter is complete. I make the same character (human ranger), give it the same name (Keyfarm Guy/Gal), play through Chapter 1 to collect the key and then delete the character. Every week. That’s 52 keys a year for spending a bit of time each week leveling a temporary character. For me it’s fun to see how efficient I can be each week, where I can vary things, how fast I can kill stuff.

To help clarify my thinking and improve my efficiency I’m working through this mini guide. I’ve included tips for keeping the keyfarm from being the same grind each week while still having it be fast and efficient.

One of the keys to fast keyfarming is skipping all dialog and killing lots of stuff really fast. Getting the right gear is key. There’s a complete set of purchase/make/acquire lists at the bottom of the post. Getting the equipment purchased and set up is a one-time effort. All the equipment will be account bound on use so you can use the same gear each time you keyfarm.

You’re going to store all this stuff between keyfarm runs so plan for that. You’ll need 11 inventory slots for the level zero gear (chest, gloves, legs, boots, 2 axes, utility buff, food buff, 2 bags, backpack). You’ll need 11 or 12 more slots for the level 10 gear (mask, chest, gloves, legs, boots, 2 axes, shortbow-optional, 2 trinkets, 2 rings). You can do without the level 10 shortbow if you want to save a tiny bit of coin and the space to store it. It really isn’t necessary and I usually don’t use it anyway. The axe strikes do more damage and bounce up to five times. Most things are dead before they can get close enough to touch me.

Buffs are key to a fast keyfarm run. They give an experience increase which speeds the process. Use any half-hour XP buff tokens you have but don’t waste a 2 hour XP buff on what will be less than a 45 minute run. Use a guild XP banner (purchased using Guild Commendations) and a guild XP buff (available from your Guild’s bartender) in addition to the food and utility buffs from your purchases.

With the latest game patch the repair anvil now gives an armor enhancement and vitality boost so don’t hesitate to use the repair anvil in your guild hall before you get heavily into the story line.

When setting up your character, select the human race and the ranger class. The human race has the fastest keyfarm run. The ranger has the best starting utility. You’re going to delete this character so sex and appearance make no difference. The character choices are going to make little to no difference and not knowing what the algorythm picked for all the fussy bits will add interest to your keyfarm run.

Create a new character, choose a sex (if you must), pick ranger and hit “skip to end”. Name your character and you’re done. Skip any dialog you can.

Here is the one snag that can be an issue. You must be able to access your bank before you start your keyfarm run. Access to the guild hall with a scribe station (bank access) is restricted until the first episode of the story is complete. To circumvent this you have a few options. You can purchase a bank golem which lasts two weeks. That may seem like a silly purchase but every time you create a new character it gets access to the golem. Open the email, take the golem, use it for the duration of your run and delete it.

Alternately you can use a temporary or permanent Bank Access Express.

You can also clear out shared inventory slots and put everything your keyfarm character needs in those spots. While tiresome, it’s still a viable option if you have enough shared inventory slots.

If none of those options are available to you slog through the first episode with the provided equipment, then go to your Guild Hall and use the Scribe Station to access your bank.

For the initial grab you need to retrieve the Tomes of Experience, Tomes of Mentorship and/or XP tokens you plan to use, a Guild XP banner (buff lasts 1 hour), invisible bag, 18-20 slot bag, level 0 gear (2 axes, coat, gloves, leggings, boots, backpack), food and utility buffs (food only lasts 15 minutes – you’ll need 4 Grilled Steaks and 2 Rough Sharpening Stones for each keyfarm run).

Equip the bags, coat, gloves, leggings and boots. Equip the axe with the Minor Sigil of Force.

Put the remaining axe and your food in your invisible bag. Put the equipment you just took off (the stuff your character was created with) in your backpack. Plant the Guild XP banner and collect the buff. Use your food and utility buff and start killing stuff.


  • Don’t replace ANY of your equipment. Don’t even look at the stuff that drops. Salvage or sell it. It doesn’t have runes and though tempting, doing anything but salvaging or selling will just waste your time. Do not replace any of your account bound stuff. Leave it equipped until you replace it at level 10.
  • Spam your number 1 axe skill at anything enemy. If you’ve equipped the recommended equipment most targets will go down in one or two hits. Your number 1 axe skill bounces five times and does impressive damage. You’ll do more damage striking a target in a group or when there is another target close enough to be struck by the bounces. The more stuff you kill the faster you’ll level. The faster you level the sooner you’ll be done.
  • As soon as you’re done with the first episode go to your guild hall and get the tavern buff. It’s another 10% XP on top of the buffs you have from food, utility and banner. If you haven’t grabbed the repair anvil buff yet, get that now.
  • Watch your food buff. It’s only good for 15 minutes. When it runs out and isn’t replaced your down 10% XP.
  • Watch your utility buff. It’s good for 30 minutes. When it runs out and isn’t replaced your down 10% XP.
  • When you reach Level 6 equip your off hand axe.
  • Expect the first few times through the keyfarm process to be a learning experience. You’ve got to learn where to go and who to interact with for each story arc. Once you are acquainted with all the story arcs your keyfarm will go really quickly.
  • Use Tomes and XP tokens judiciously. Don’t overshoot Level 10. It’s a waste of Tomes/tokens.
  • If you don’t have or don’t want to use Tomes or tokens your fastest leveling is to keep all your buffs up and complete hearts.

When you reach level 10:

  • Go to the bank and replace all your Level 0 gear with your Level 10 gear
  • If you get the Faren story arc make sure you do the Zamon’s House fork. The other is long, tiresome and not worth the effort.
  • When you get to Level 11 train the Signet of the Hunt and ignore everything else. You’ll be done with the keyfarm before you get to a high enough level to use more than a single talent. Passive Signet of the Hunt is going to give you extra speed. Active it will prevent your target from blocking your strikes. Win win. If you end up in the cell block with Serpetine you can use it to prevent the soldiers from blocking your strikes.

When you’re done:

  • Consume the karma token in your bag.
  • Salvage/sell everything that can be salvaged or sold.
  • Deposit anything that can be deposited
  • Salvage everything that can be salvaged.
  • Sell everything that can be sold.
  • Destroy anything that can’t be salvaged or sold
  • Once your bags are as cleaned out as you can make them, take off everything you’ve equipped. EVERYTHING
  • Deposit your gear in your bank. Try to keep it grouped together so it will be easy to find the next time you keyfarm.
  • Unequip your extra bags and put them in the bank. If you forget to do this and delete your character they are gone and will have to be replaced.
  • Double check that all equipment has been unequipped and stored, anything that can be salvaged has been salvaged, anything that can be sold has been sold
  • Delete your character. That’s it, you’re done!

Enjoy your keyfarm. It shouldn’t be a grind so don’t make it one. Embrace the variety in the various story arcs and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

From the Trading Post purchase:

  • 4 Minor Rune of Speed
  • 4 Minor Rune of Air
  • 1 Minor Rune of Divinity
  • 2 Minor Sigil of Force
  • 2 Minor Sigil of Accuracy
  • Level 0 Mighty Rawhide Vest (add purchased Minor Rune of Air)
  • Level 0 Mighty Rawhide Bracers (add purchased Minor Rune of Air)
  • Level 0 Mighty Rawhide Leggings (add purchased Minor Rune of Speed)
  • Level 0 Mighty Rawhide Boots (add purchased Minor Rune of Speed)
  • 2 Level 0 Mighty Axes (add one Minor Sigil of Power, one Minor Sigil of Accuracy)
  • Level 10 Mighty Rawhide Mask (add purchased Minor Rune of Divinity)
  • Level 10 Mighty Rawhide Vest (add purchased Minor Rune of Air)
  • Level 10 Mighty Rawhide Bracers (add purchased Minor Rune of Air)
  • Level 10 Mighty Rawhide Leggings (add purchased Minor Rune of Speed)
  • Level 10 Mighty Rawhide Boots (add purchased Minor Rune of Speed)
  • 2 Level 10 Mighty Axes (add one Minor Sigil of Power, one Minor Sigil of Accuracy)
  • small stack of Grilled Steak
  • small stack of Rough Sharpening Stones
  • OPTIONAL Level 10 Mighty Shortbow (purchase 1 additiona Minor Sigil of Power and 1 additional Minor Sigil of Accuracy for this weapon)

Make or buy:

  • 12 or 15 slot invisible bag
  • 18 or 20 slot bag
  • 2 Garnet Copper Studs
  • 2 Garnet Copper Rings


  • Level 0 backpack with a garnet pebble inserted in the expansion slot

Not to confuse things any further but there is an additional option you should be aware of. Each character’s birthday produces a level 20 boost token that can only be used to level your keyfarm character. Use it, equip the level 10 gear and work through the story line. It’s a simpler and faster way to go but the supply of the tokens is finite.

Who do you play and why?

Owena Gaia, sylvari engineer

I don’t play my engineer enough. She is truly awesome . . . now. Whether she will stay that way is up to the whims of ANet’s planners and programmers. Before EoD she was okay but not stellar. Now that she’s running a mech build using a mace and pistol in full Svaard/Marauder, she’s awesome. Do you pick names for your characters that gives their existence meaning? “Owena” means “yew” according to 20000names.com. How perfect is that for a sylvari?

Even back when her build wasn’t awesome she wasn’t ignored. I have a policy of using my entire string of characters,  playing a different one each day. When I get to the end of the rank of characters I go back to the start. EVERYbody get played, nobody is unused, nobody sits because their build marinally sucks. There’s no such thing as a “main” in my stable of guys and gals. Whoever I’m playing that day is my favorite/main. With only eight characters, playing them all in rotation is not a hard chore. Plus I love all my characters. Those that I didn’t love got deleted. I had a mes sylvari I literally could not stand. HATED him. I got him to 80, played him a while and happily deleted his sorry butt, replacing him with an asura I like a lot.

I’ve only missed one of the now deleted band because I was new, stupid and played her (an ele) as a glass cannon. By the time I got done killing Balthazar she was totally divoid of clothing, battling away in her underwear. By the end of PoF I hated her because I couldn’t keep her alive. New players should NEVER be encouraged to play glass cannon. New players should be advised to start characters that are easier to keep alive. Trust me on this, it’s for the best. Rangers. Let all new players play rangers. With twin axes and a short bow. Yeah, that’ll work.

What my glass cannon ele experience taught me is I do really poor DPS when I’m downed or dead. I can afford to do a little less than spectacular DPS and stay alive because I come out with better DPS at the end of the fight for not having lost DPS opportunity while trying to revive myself/laying there lifeless/teleporting out to run back. This is just common sense.

I’ve got some characters I temporarily don’t like very much. It’s not so much the characters themselves as it is what ANet has done to the build in their latest patch. I’m not much enchanted with my mes right now. Of all the mes’s I’ve built and deleted (not really fond of the class in general), I’ve had him the longest and will probably keep him long term. It doesn’t hurt that he’s really cute (Gorrik minus glasses and the total cluelessness). He stays alive okay but doesn’t do enough damage to make me happy. I’m a “slam-bam, die right now” kinda girl and when the build gets messed and I don’t get my kill fill, I’m just not that happy. I’ll continue to fiddle with his build as he comes up for play until I have something I can live with.

Unlike the ele I started with, I love my current asura ele running a weaver build. She kills most things open world with three or four blows and handles mobs relatively easily. She’s in full Pahua/Trailblazer running a scepter and dagger so she’s not a glass cannon. She can toe-to-toe most stuff but could stand to have a little more alacrity. As a result, that lack may push me to a catalyst built . . . eventually . . . maybe.

So, who do you play and why do you love them?

Time changes playstyle

Have you ever thought back to what your play style was like when you first started? I’m not so far away from my beginning gamer days that I’ve forgotten. I stood as far back as I could and lobbed shots at the target while almost everyone else was crowded in at the boss’s feet hammering away. And I died a lot. A LOT.

There are reasons for why new players don’t get close and die a lot. For me it’s a combination of can’t see what’s going on and can’t process the volume of action on the screen quickly enough to do anything productive. As time passed my eye developed. I was more easily able to process what was happening and my automatic reactions became progressively more fine tuned. But of course that’s not where I started. That’s not where any of us started. Remember that when you’re inclined to make fun of a new player who is as clueless as we all were in the beginning.