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.

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2 thoughts on “Acquiring Legendary Drama

  1. I don’t mind everyone having access to a legendary (kind of like you mention Battered Hilt working), but I do agree that there shouldn’t be anything simple about acquiring it. I also dislike the fact that you need a pretty good raid guild to get it, although the player himself doesn’t have to be any good at all. I remember the old epic quests for Rok’Delar/Lok’Delar or Anathema/Benediction. They required some serious dedication from the player to get your hands on, and I would like to see legendary quests move more towards that.

  2. Agree totally Zinn, and thanks for bringing up Anathema/Benediction – they are perfect examples of epic gear which meant a lot, but did not need to be orange in colour. I was racing toward getting Anathema/Benediction just before it was removed and did not get to the complete quest chain in time. I still keep the Eye of Shadow in my Priest’s bank to remind me.

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