Lamenting Low Legendary Luck
October 3, 2016 7 Comments
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.
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