Lamenting Low Legendary Luck

Legendary items and titanforging. These are the big RNG things behind loot acquisition in Legion, in addition to the normal “when will boss X finally drop that damn trinket” problem. This has some parallels to loot acquisition in Diablo 3 but also causes some issues.

Expectations vs Results

Hunting for that one specific legendary item in Diablo 3 is fine because there are alternate means of getting them (cube recipes & blood shards), and loot acquisition is a factor of how long you spend playing plus how high the difficulty slider is set. In an MMO space endless farming of top end loot isn’t a thing with raids & mythic dungeons on weekly loot lockouts. This creates a fixed ceiling of looting opportunities, but each one also takes a lot longer to complete than just running Greater Rifts in D3.

Every time I complete an emissary cache or finish a mythic dungeon I think “Maybe this time I’ll get one”, getting my hopes up only to feel that disappointment when yet again it doesn’t happen. Random bonuses like War/Titanforging, sockets or tertiary stats actually feel a bit better as it’s a smaller effect so you’re not expecting it, therefore it actually feels rewarding when you get one of these.

Purple Pixels vs Orange Objects: Balancing Blues

From what we can see of the first week of Mythic Raiding (or Mythic+ Dungeons) is that nothing is really balanced for the excess of gear that is available, nor for Legendary items. WarcraftLogs rankings are already being influenced by Legendary items, where people who would otherwise perform poorly get higher ranking than better players who lack similarly overpowered “oranges”.

This means that if you don’t have a legendary yet you feel under-powered relative to other players of your spec who do, which re-enforces those negative feelings about not having one to begin with.

Acquisition & Hotfixes

We already know there was a hotfix pushed out to resolve an issue with people who had subsequent drops in quick succession after getting their first, but we’re still seeing anecdotal examples where there are still people getting their second or third item before others get their first (I think we have 3 in my guild, 2 owned by 1 person).

In previous expansions legendary items were acquired with large quest chains (the only pre-MoP one I completed during current content was Dragonwrath in Firelands) which you could work towards & complete after some hard work. Even the Mists/Warlords “legendary for everyone & complete it over the course of the expansion” model was decent (aside from the stupidly overpowered ring effect). I would much rather prefer having a smaller set of “output related” legendaries as purchasable rewards gated by completing big epic things like the Class Hall quest chain, the Good Sumaritan achievement, etc etc.

This would have allowed balancing around the expectations that people would have at least one Legendary that would influence the players role.

Future Proofing

The other problem I see is what happens in the future when we get gear over the 895 level that Legendaries already have: given the power of some of these effects we’ll likely keep wearing them even with the reduced stats. I expect there will be some form of “Legendary Upgrade” tokens in the future to combat this, probably in a similar method to the Legendary Ring upgrade token in HFC (although I really hope it upgrades to the instance base ilvl +10 so that you can’t get a Mythic level item from running Normals).


  • Not getting a Legendary item from Mythics/Caches feels bad
  • Getting the “wrong” Legendary will also feel bad
  • Legendaries should be projects to work towards
  • When they’re projects they can be balanced around

About binkenstein
I'm a geek, living in Christchurch, New Zealand.

7 Responses to Lamenting Low Legendary Luck

  1. My problem with the whole RNG Oranges thing is Blizzard’s expectation that when the next raid tier comes, everyone should have at least one by now, and that they intend to balance the new content around this assumption. But then you look at statistics and see that the number of people with even one hasn’t even broken single digits, you have to wonder how they intend to pull this off.

    Even the Blues aren’t immune to this, according to their recent posts on this, only about 10 of their 300+ employees have even ONE. When not even ~3% of their workforce has at least one after a month of the expansion being live, this is a clear issue. Even if the next tier takes at least 6 months to be released, at the current rate of acquisition, that’s still only about 18% of the entire playerbase — and that’s being especially generous (laws of probability and averages would ultimately total lower than that). And there’s no details on how their supposed RNG protection system even works, so we don’t even know how much influence it would have on this (if any).

    They would have to either reconsider their current philosophy on legendary items before the next tier comes or implement better RNG protection to ensure that the majority of the playerbase gets one by then. With oranges being as strong as they are at the moment, you can be assured that people WILL throw a huge fit over this if nothing changes. Blizz will either have to have a one time quest that has a 100% chance of an orange for all who haven’t already gotten one (which they might not do because it might devalue their impact), or nerf the crap outta them to make them not mandatory (which they definitely won’t do because lol).

    • This is complete bullshit, in my guild alone there are 20+ legendaries.

  2. Ness says:

    Now that you’re talking about the Trinket that never drops… Any idea of which oneas are the best at the moment?

    • I don’t know whats BiS but I have the Portable Manacracker (ilvl 845) and Infernal Writ (Ilvl 855) and I feel godly.

    • binkenstein says:


  3. Christian H. says:

    Wtt cc ring for earth shock reset…

  4. Did you forget about Mythic+? That´s endlessly spammable and by far the best way to aqquire legendaries.

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