What will be the Legendary in Warlords of Draenor?

I’m curious what will be the Legendary in Warlords of Draenor. Not if there will be one, but what item. I’ve already seen rumours that there might be two items up for grabs, and much discussion – perhaps one which will be like the People’s Cloak of Everybody is LeetSauce, and another as a much harder to get item, or an item which requires dedicated effort in Heroic or better raids.

Lets just push the us vs them, casuals vs hardcore, its not fair, and waste of dev hours discussions to the side for this post and enjoy some speculation. I’ve bloged some snarks about the Legendary before, but I’m holding that as an aside now. This is about what will work going forward.

The opinions of the Mists of Pandaria legendary quest chain has mostly been positive, and those who liked it tended to really like it. With that in mind I think the designers will again seek to tell a lore heavy story as the background to a Legendary item and achievement. I’m all in favour of that. It worked for me as a roleplayer and as a gamer.

Please make it link to both the history of the realm and the current story which is unfolding. Add some hooks which are quasi-role specific, like altering the challenges for the roles the characters might take (dos vs tank vs heals doing different things). And despite the fact I hated it the link into repeat raids and grinding drops is something that I think needs to stay too.

Konachan.com---100777-blue_eyes-blue_hair-elf-green_hair-long_hair-short_hair-weapon-world_of_warcraft-yao_renIn terms of gear slot the Necklaces, Rings, and Trinkets look to me to be an obvious next step, but any slot really could be used given that there were many versions of the final legendary in MoP to suit every spec. I think a trinket could be something really special. The lore aspects of many other games in having an uber-powerful-widget that enhances the characters matches a trinket very well. Say the a Ever-burning-vial-of-demon-blood which was going to be the thing which corrupted the Orcs, but instead is re-purposed into a trinket for our hero to use against the Warlords.

I saw a suggestion for a Helm but matching a helm to look right to all the other armour styles will be a bitch, and I cannot see that happening.

Another suggestion was for a Shield and as it would be useless for all the non-shield users I think that gets shot down quickly. Likewise I don’t think we will see another range weapon as it is too class specific. I’d love to see a weapon again, but I agree with many folks who have said that we have had many weapons before.

Happy hunting, and may all your legendary grinds be quick and uneventful.

(A few previous posts on mine on the Legendary items)

cropped-watcher-on-ice.jpg

The Legendary catch-up in p5.4

A note from a little while ago indicates that there will be a Legendary catch-up coming in Patch 5.4. This is good and bad, and the divide in opinion seems very polar.

Good for those who are interested in getting the item, and who struggled to keep up. Great for new 90s, or for players with Alts. Incredible for them. I know many players personally who will frigg’n love the fact that they won’t be returning to old content just for the quest drops.

Legendary-Quest-Part2Complete

Bad for players who wished this Legendary to be as unique as the others. They want it to be hard. As a direct comment in the post says:

So basically what this means is, those of us that keep up with the chain as parts are introduced are wasting time that could be used to do other things, because all we have to do is wait a patch or 2 and we can make up months of  grinding in a cpl weeks… Cut the shit!!! IT’S A LEGENDARY, not every hockey helmet that pays $15/mo is entitled to it just because they pay for game time… This is something thats supposed to be exclusive, treat it as such and keep it harder to aquire then getting a new heartstone…

Overall if it were my choice I’d have said no to the concept, but the actual mechanic in this case still requires significant grinding, and will not make that much of a difference in terms of time investment. Sure, it took me 3+ months of hard work to get here, but that is ok when the hard work is still needed. This is less of a nurf to effort than when the Valor points were dropped.

So I think Blizzard have done a good job of allowing players to raid (what will be) the current content, but also slowly gain ground on the quest chain. The drop rate seems to be the same, the kill rate, etc all should leave the player doing the same activity, just in a harder and current raid. Once the Legendary was presented as an Orange-Toy-for-Everyone this type of grand fest was really the only course of action.

Happy killing.

DK-T14-Chest-is-a-Dress

The Cloak of Virtue claimed

After a lucky run this week which saw three of the Titan runes drop, I’ve acquired a Cloak of Virtue quest reward for patch 5.3 – The Tiger Claw Cape.

To say it is an upgrade from the ilevel 530 dps cloak I was using is a shattering understatement. 530 vs 608 is a wonderful difference when you are on this side of the quest reward.

I chose the Tank challenge as I’d been told is was a little easier and I was short on time. Overall it was very straight forward, with the only trick being where the tank must stand in front of the incoming blasts from four directions. Cute mechanic for a mini-boss style encounter, but I’d be annoyed to see that in a raid fight.

It also means that I’m actually caught up on “current” for the legendary questline for the first time since starting it. Luck has a great deal to do with that.

I cannot wait to use it. Happy Killing.

Slowly is the only way to go

Thanks to a guildie (hello Tarc) I have completed the Nalak phase of the Legendary quest and am now killing bosses again in Throne of Thunder LFR for the x12 bling-things part. Twelve, that is better than Twenty; right?

Well yes and no. There is no indication that the drop rate is better or worse, unless you suspect that the change to an auto-drop from Lei-Shen might indicate that these little tokens were even more rare that the 20x odd of the previous type. I got the first one last night from Lei-Shen and I guess I’m ok with it taking 12 weeks to get the others. I like Legendaries to be hard and painful. Patch 5.4 will likely be out in production before I reach 12x drops, so I’ll hopefully be able to use the cloak in p5.4 content.

From a lore perspective I do not understand how it makes sense that Wrathion would ask for this many too. I mean there are 12 bosses, and these are rare things, and they drop from bosses only…and somehow we got 20x of them. No wonder Wrathion has us doing this, it is not logical in the setting. I bet he is amazed! Not a new theme though if I remember the Hand of Sulfuras correctly either.

Happy killing, TyphoonAndrew

Rumour – Final stage Legendary, might not be a weapon…

The final stage reward for the legendary quest might not be a weapon, as hinted by Bashiok in this little thread. Yep, I know that is a rumour, but it raises that question of expectation on rewards for effort. Let the conjecture begin…

It could be that we have a choice of trinket, or any other gear-slot. Given how the rewards through the quests have allowed a choice on reward it makes sense that WoW could reward players with an option.

Would that suck? Kind of, but mostly not. It might fit well.

Kind of sucky as I think getting to THE LEGENDARY is the goal. By tradition in previous expansions these have been weapons, and Pandaria has gone the Gem, Gem Slot, enhancement, and now Cloak route. It is easily conceivable to not be a final weapon.

Take the lore into consideration for a sec too and ponder why Wrathion would give another person a great weapon in the first place. He’s a Black Dragon and they are an evil selfish kind of lot. I wouldn’t trust him to not give us a cursed weapon, and then giggle about it while he attempts to subvert things to his own agenda.

But what if the item was something which is not a fixed mechanical advantage at all?

  • Imagine the final reward is a ilevel “high” widget, which always continues to scale to the level to your other highest gear +5. You’d want it, and you’d always want it. Legendary. It could take a trinket slot, add gob-smacking a mounts of two stats, and be done with it. eg. Haste & Mastery +nnnn, with a proc on cast or melee to look swirls and wonderful. I’d want that.
  • A reward that allows the wearer to assume a constructed illusory appearance. Like your own little transmog illusion over the top of whatever you wear. No more transmog costs, just this widget in your bags. I’d want that too, especially if I could turn it on and off.

And so on with all sorts of blisteringly cool features which will cause every player to want this item on all their characters. And despite my previous rants about legendary being a little washed out, or the process being odd – that is what they are: something that all toons should desire.

Just a thought, TyphoonAndrew.

Quick PvP Round 3

PvP round three was much better. How you ask? Well I seemed to get into more teams that knew what they were doing, and were better able to bolster my silly ass through the experience. I did participate as well as I understood.

(Warning – Achievement screenshot spam).

For Temple of Kotmogu – 4x killing blows, 3x deaths, 48 Honorable kills and 4x Orb possessions, which also grants 403 of the 1600 points were mine. Another DK teamed with me for the match pulling in a very nice 498 points.

For Mines – less impressive and far more like the noob I am in PvP. 1x killing blow, 1x death, 26 honorable kills, and 2x carts controlled. If not for the frustration I think PvP could be enjoyable.

Legendary-Quest-Part2Complete

Best of all, this means I’m back onto the PvE based grind for the Wrathion quest chain. Happy killing, TyphoonAndrew

Wrathion’s PvP Battleground Quests

wrathionGo to hell whoever thought it would be wacky fun times to include a few pvp fights in a PvE quest chain.

I tried to be open minded.

I crafted, gem’ed, enchanted, etc a pvp set. Because I didn’t want to be carried too much.

I’ve joined fights and basically just got my arse handed to me.

Or the team are more interested in kill farming than actually winning.

Or teams that seem to get excited by the notion of the Perfect Loss.

I have no use for honor except buying more pvp gear, which I do not want once I have this lousy waste of bandwidth done.

If this is the only way that the PvP content will get seen by a majority of the playerbase, then your pvp content is *ahem* bland. This experience just tells me that pvp has not changed or improved fundamentally in 6 years. If I want to kill people I’ll play a 3d shooter, not WoW.

So go straight to hell, this part of the Legendary chain is plain crappy. I know it is supposed to be “hard“, but it is not supposed to be a shitty waste of my time.

Is Wrathion an evil mongrel?

That funny son-of-a-black-dragon named Wrathion has a new quest in a future patch, to continue the bump and grind of assembling a Legendary item. The quest is called “Test of Valor” and requires the collection of 6000 valor points. So it’s not important if he’s evil in a good vs evil way, more in terms of if he’s the sadistic expression of “Love that Valor” grind which Mists has brought us.

It is not clear if the counter for 6000 starts when the quest is accepted, or is retroactive. I’d suggest that making it retroactive is poor for three reasons:

  1. getting a Legendary should be hard. 6 weeks work is nothing compared to the years of work to get early Legendary items like Sulfuron and Thunderfury. Yes it should be as hard as it was.
  2. getting 6000 valor will count in the next expansion as well as this one. Meaning that from start it does not matter what you do to earn them, its just a questline for a particularly challenging set of content.
  3. if it is retroactive then I have 6000 valor from ages ago when valor points were first introduced, considering some isolated mechanic which counts from one day, but ignores others makes the coding harder.

So make it count from the time the quest is accepted, and make it reset if the quest is dropped. The idea that this might upset people upsets me. I’ll say something rude and elitist which is hopefully out of character for me: play another game if six weeks work is too hard for a legendary item.

There is a thread on the official forms saying farewell to WoW due to the Valor grind. While I think the grind itself around gearing with Valor is poor in Pandaria, I’m all for the Legendary being brutally punishing, the harder they are the better.

Thoughts? Too harsh?

In a friendly guild, who should get the Legendary?

Update: Apparently the tokens/widgets for the legendary quest will drop randomly and all members of the raid will get them (heard it from a guildie who is a voracious reader). This makes the drama and selection totally moot. Legendary for all. Mains, Alts, everyone gets a shiny orange item.

The Legendary item in Mists will be something that every class can get, and every player will want it on at least one character. It appears that the quest / story line will be at least worthy of significant effort, and that guilds will need to prioritize which characters are up for the rare drops first.

Once again a choice must be made. The degree of severity and scale of that choice unknown at the moment, and I’m assuming that the drops will be rare enough that selection to receive them will be something worth considering, much like the random Fragments in Ulduar. I doubt the tokens will be as rare as the Eye from Rag or the Bindings from Molten Core. If so we have a really rare adventure ahead. Instead I suspect that these will drop with a low-ish percentage, so that guilds will get enough of them to progress as they kill through a raid.

The following has a very large amount of my personal opinion and bias build in. After writing it I came around to one question which is perhaps the best question to ask:

If it cannot be yourself, who else would you wish it to go to first?

Continue reading

Acquiring Legendary Drama

Somehow previously the announcement of “a legendary for everybody” was proclaimed and I missed writing on it. GrumpyElf has a great post about the impact that this might have on the player community, and the way we view rewards.

We’ve seen some additional information mined from the Beta fro Mists of Pandaria (via wowhead) where a special item is “upgraded” to legendary via applying an item called the Breath of the Black Prince – in MoP the quest chain gives you an upgrade to ilevel 513 for an item you likely already have. That means a powerful weapon after a set of kills, drops, and gathering quests, which is a good way to start it off.

This looks like a big step for Blizzard and it’s going to leave a lot of people divided. On one hand, the idea of a legendary based on merit rather than class sounds fantastic; on the other, guilds will have a lot of trouble deciding who gets the first one of these.

But is it hard enough? Does a Legendary like that actually feel powerful, or more feel like a reward and not a tribute to your effort?

It got me thinking about what a legendary should be and how they are acquired.

Giving everybody a real true Legendary is bloody stupid.

Giving us the potential to access a Legendary so that every class has something that they might get reward from is OK, but making them easy to acquire is super-crazy. A Legendary is supposed to be just that – a Legend. Something that you proudly display, and something that only a small percentage of the community is capable of. Essentially I am in agreement with the moderate hardcore players who wish to see legendary items stay super tough to get.

Making them easier to access reminds me of the line from the film The Incredibles – When everyone has a legendary item, nobody does. These are items where their particular value is that they are exceeding and exceptionally rare.

I agree that everyone should have the plausible potential to get one, but not the expectation that they deserve one.

When every toon is grinding for the item, then competition for the drops and rewards skyrockets.

More people trying to get the drops means drama. It means that it will still take ages to get which is good, but it also means that every idiot with a BattleNetID will think they are entitled. I’d hate to see that, especially if it invites guild drama.

Something positive about a Legendary that only a few classes can use is that we have less chatter about who is worthy and willing. I didn’t have to stress about the caster staff or Rogue daggers, as a Death Knight was not eligible. It was almost a relief. Sharing that love around lets those people feel special and supported by others, and sometimes helping others is an excellent feeling and reason unto itself. I enjoyed seeing others get their Legendary items, and have helped many folks in the effort.

The behavior in LFR and LFDs is already often puerile and selfish, and the new loot rules only reflect that community cannot behave itself. Essentially the Internet F**kwad Theory applies (go look it up). So I hope the legendary is not progressed by a competitive activity in LFR. Perhaps your own “kill 300x bosses” count can be helped along by that, but not the “get 10x drops” bit.

To be entitled to a Legendary at the moment you need to be patient and work at it, and be a tad lucky. That might mean getting 24 mates together 50 times so that you can repeat farm some drops, and do kills in a special order. It might mean grinding a lowbie instance every week for 4 years so that you try to get three items – each with a 1% drop rate.

How to make a Legendary usable by all?

I’m not sure there is a question more prevalent that how on earth is one legendary going to satisfy the range of players.

  • A boosted item, where the base item is picked from a range of choices; as per above? Sure, OK. That feels like it will have less lore attached to it. By example Sulfurus felt epic because it was the hammer which Ragnaros was using to wipe the raid each week. It had a weight and presence in the game, and was won by blood and effort.
  • A legendary mount which can fly at 350% speed?
  • An Neck or Ring with gobsmackingly high amounts of universal stats like Mastery. Perhaps an item with 3-4 base stats like Agi, Str, Int, Stam in high amounts with Mastery to boot will be useful. The re-forge might make that worthy even for folks who need it for other things.

What are useful guides for how to create the quests and goals?

  • Require a huge amount of time. I’m normally an advocate for casuals who are time poor, but not in the case. No time, then no legendary. Tough luck kid.
  • Maybe require a reputation grind. And make it a bastard of a grind, perhaps first requiring all normal reps at exalted and no handy dandy tabard or booster. Difficult is the key. Perhaps the grind is something that is progressive so that as the character grinds the items needed their rep grows accordingly. The final stage might require Exalted status, but the entry might be Friendly.
  • Give moderate and slowly increasing rewards along the way. An item which slowly upgrades is a great idea and we’ve seen the caster staff and rogue daggers demonstrate how good that can be. Sure they will not always be Best in Slot, but they will be a motivator that continues to haunt the player (Shadowmourne still calls to me when I close my eyes).
  • Require drops and progress from each tier of the raiding content in the expansion. Thus it should start in the beginning of the expac as an optional quest line, and then end with the completion of special sub-quests at the end. Killing end-stage bosses is typically involved and that is a good theme to keep.
  • Require solo effort which is workable to do solo, without a significant advantage if you group it.

Why have the Legendary reward if all Blizzard want is a happy community?

I remember getting the Battered Hilt and quest series in Wrath and the joy of completing that quest-line. It felt awesome and rewarded a special item. For classes with a variety of needs they got to pick one. Job well done Blizzard devs; it was incredible. The item was a epic item with a historic look and feel.

I honestly think that this is what should be done instead of giving an Orange item away. Make it purple at best, and add a special effect/ feature / widget which makes it always cool. It was the special story which made Quel’Delar so good. Doing that gives far more appeal to the wide audience than an orange colour.

A power in-built in the gear like adding 25% character size and a golden hue on use? Or some other stylistic feature which appeals to a wide audience. That way its always awesome.