Build your own legendary

I wrote this post some time ago now. I’d been inspired by WoWInsider posting Blog Azeroth shared topics to go and check Blog Azeroth out. I had a brief look at the site and resolved to go back and investigate it further as soon as I could (which I did). Anyway, I looked at the list of old topics and one jumped out at me.

Legendaries are a tricky thing; make them too easy to get and they aren’t legendary anymore, make them too dependant on rng and it’s frustrating as you feel helpless, make it too grindy and that’s not legendary really that’s just dedication. There’s also the sense of entitlement that people feel, that if it’s too dependant on skill, too hard except for the elite, then people feel excluded, like they never had a chance at all.

Raid effort vs Solo effort
As it stands right now the majority of the work for a legendary needs to be done in a raid group. You have to collect fragments, or whatever they’re called, from boss drops and you need a raid to kill the bosses. I ran Firelands every week without fail for several months, after Dragon Soul had come out, because my guild hadn’t got Dragonwrath yet. When we finally got it I was relieved more than anything that I wouldn’t have to run Firelands anymore. I was pleased that our priest had her staff and the pet was nice but it wasn’t worth the effort.

I went each week to help my guild, and help my friend, I did it because I promised. I was annoyed for a long time that so few of the raid group turned up for these Fireland runs, then I realised that I couldn’t actually blame them. As a group, as a guild, we were getting next to nothing out of it. I didn’t mind that much as I like to help people and legendaries are something special, I was pleased that my friend was getting one. However, there was an incident (now a couple of months back) where the recipient of the Fangs of the Father legendary left the guild. The guild still has the achievement but the dps increase from having the legendary bis weapon is gone. As that’s the only tangible reward the guild has it makes you think.

Should legendaries be guild effort or personal effort based?
Right now the main bulk of the effort is the guild’s as it’s impossible to get the legendary without a group.

If the effort is guild based should the legendary by bound to guild?
As it stands now the legendary belongs to a specific person, a specific character. If they can’t make a raid then the guild loses a week of progression towards it.

Is this fair?
Honestly? I don’t think so. I’m not a fan of how legendaries are handled at all. Orange pixels make people crazy and yes it is awesome to get one. I got Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros a while back and it was a great feeling. If I felt like that for what is probably the easiest legendary in the game to get, what would I feel like if they did it properly?

My Legendary
As I’m a paladin it would have to be something like The Ashbringer. That particular weapon would be problematic as it’s wielded by Tirion Fordring in lore. Perhaps instead a less well known weapon like Hammer of the Lightbringer, it’s not currently in game but was Uther the Lightbringer’s weapon. From the rpg books (which aren’t canon I know) it was said that a group of paladins recovered the weapon but no-one wielded it as they didn’t feel worthy. It’s location is unknown but it would be reasonable to surmise that it might have been buried with Uther in his tomb in the Western Plaguelands.

For the legendary that weapon would have to be stolen by whoever the big bad of that raid tier was. Perhaps their motivation for doing so would be to demoralise the forces of light, or perhaps they thought that it was a powerful weapon that they could corrupt for their own purposes, I don’t know. The problem with this being the weapon is that it has a lot more meaning to Alliance rather than Horde. As I am Alliance I’m not going to worry about that right now, as the main point actually isn’t what the weapon is but how it is obtained.

Option One – Personal
I never played in vanilla but I’ve heard a lot about the epic class quests like for Benediction. I also know from talking with friends about the special boss in the Nexus they had to fight for Dragonwrath. One friend of mine spent days on it before giving up as she couldn’t kill it, another one managed relatively easily, another managed it after a concerted effort. It was a fight, I’ve heard, that was tricky for all who attempted but a lot harder for certain classes. Fangs of the Father also had a class quest component and this part of the legendary quest I think was good. I think that legendaries should be class specific as it’ll be easier for the devs to properly tune quests/special bosses. I think that if this option for creating the legendary was taken there should be several quests or special bosses that the person has to solo.

In this example one such event could be going back to the Culling of Stratholme. Uther might have refused to help Arthas cull the city but he did nothing to stop it either. The reason behind that inaction could only be speculated at. Here the paladin could be taken back and have to infiltrate the city and help evacuate the citizens. There would be those who are already undead you have to fight against. You’d also have to avoid Arthas as a clash at this point isn’t possible. Nothing happens to Arthas at this point in time, all you can do it save who you can. I’m aware that this scenario is similar to the one in Benediction that I mentioned earlier.

Another possibility could be soloing the Lich King. In the original fight Tirion Fordring is frozen solid for most of it, escaping at the end just in time to claim the glory for his own, a typical failing of lore figures. In this scenario the paladin would have to fight alone, proving his worth against a foe that nearly beat the wielder of the Ashbringer.

I don’t know, my imagination isn’t really up to it I suppose. There would have to be a link to raids. A drop from the last boss of the raid, the big bad themselves, when you’ve got to that point on the quest chain. Basically, the quests would be about the paladin proving they know their class inside out, and the tone of the quests would prove that they epitomise the values that make paladin’s paladins. Only then would they prove themselves worthy of the legendary weapon.

The bosses and quests would have to be difficult to ensure that the legendary stays legendary – at least for the expansion it’s part of. They would have to be tuned quite carefully though so it wouldn’t only be the genius elite that could have them. Others would have a shot providing they put the effort in and they know the class well enough. As it would be locked down to a specific class (and in terms of hybrid paladins a specific spec) if the super amazing top guilds got it quite fast then it wouldn’t necessarily cause a balance issue. After all how many paladin tanks can you have in a raid before the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. They could also have a restriction say that only a small % of the raid could be wielding the legendary.

Option Two – Guild
This I suppose would have to be similar to what happens now. Fragments would drop from bosses and they would be collected. Over a course of a few months, and a number of kills, all the pieces would be assembled and the weapon could be created. Again adding a restriction saying that only a % of the raid can be wielding the weapon could be useful to prevent stacking and therefore balance issues. There could also be a small rng component, and I’m not talking about just the number of fragments that drop, maybe something like the Eye of Sulfuras, which you need to turn the weapon into the legendary. A slightly increased drop rate of course but something along those lines.

However, the caveat of this method is that the weapon would belong to the guild. They can assign a person in the guild to wield it, but should they ever leave the guild the weapon would return to the guild bank. The fragments for the weapon would be collected by the loot master, so if the lucky chosen person wasn’t there it wouldn’t matter. Therefore the legendary that the guild had to work towards, would belong to the guild.

This is the more boring option though. I suppose it’s the easiest to control as the number of pieces required, and the drop rate of them, would limit the numbers of legendaries that could be put together. However, it’s not a very legendary process. There’s no skill involved in gathering it (aside from what you’d do anyway to kill bosses) and so it’s just a grind – not exactly legendary.

Plus it could be a drama keg, not that legendaries aren’t already of course, but the ability to take legendaries away from people could be abused. For example person A wielded the legendary for a few weeks until the said something that annoyed person B who was an officer, person B then gave the legendary to person C. It was a guild legendary so that could happen but if person A hadn’t done anything to warrant it’s removal then it would be unfair. However, if that sort of thing happened in a guild I was in I’d walk, behaviour like that would prove that it wasn’t the right sort of guild. Now, if person A and person C decided to share the legendary, have a little competition to see who could squeeze the most dps out of it or something, that would be fine.

Legendaries are fun, they’re just legendary for a reason. It’s in the collective conscious  that legendaries are special – and who doesn’t want to be special? I don’t like how they are given out right now, I think it’s a little boring and a little unfair to the rest of the guild who has to put in the same sort of effort for next to no reward. Sure helping out other players makes you feel good, but grinding for weeks for something for somebody else, well everyone has their limits. Either make the legendaries bind on guild or make the challenge to get them personal.