Previously, for many of us, a Legendary item was an extremely rare, almost mythical object that was far off in the distance and we may never have obtained one. Fast forward to Mists of Pandaria and these items have changed quite a bit from what they once were. So, this begs the question, are the Mists of Pandaria Legendaries, really that Legendary? Find out our thoughts after the break…
Legendaries and the way to obtain them have gone through many different iterations throughout each of the expansions. From the forging of the Sulfuron Hammer combined with the chance drop of Eye of Sulfaras to make Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros, to the extremely rare chance of Illidan to drop his Warglaives in The Burning Crusade. From the drop and short quest combination to make Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings in Wrath of the Lich King to the long quest chain for the Fangs of the Father Daggers. There have been many different ways for players to obtain them.
In Mists of Pandaria, Legendaries have taken a number of other forms. First in the form of a gem granting a 500 to Intellect, then the meta gem for your helm socket that grants a chance for your next spell to cost no mana. And then finally the cape that is item level 600 and grants additional effects upon using a helpful spell. The entire process from first quest to cloak is a long one requiring a lot of time and patience.
LF1M Healer, Must have cloak
Like we said earlier, Legendaries were often extremely rare drops with a few players here and there obtaining them. Somehow, all of a sudden this expansion, the Legendary has become the staple of any serious raider and if you don’t have the Legendary cloak, you’re not good enough. Yes, it does mean that every player has a chance to get a Legendary, unlike previous expansions. But if everyone has one, is it still Legendary? You might say the quest is so long and takes a lot of work and effort. But doesn’t that make the quest Legendary, rather than the item?
Personally, we didn’t find the legendary quest chain all that interesting. A bit of a bore actually.
Blizzard opened up raiding by implementing LFR so that every player would get the chance to see all the content available. However, if you don’t have the Legendary cloak, you won’t be able to see the boss on Timeless Isle as you can only reach him with said cloak. This seems a little contradictory to the “let everyone see all the content’ design.
For healers we feel especially saddened by this iteration as the quests require so much dedication as DPS outside of raiding, such as killing mobs to get The Black Prince rep up. Compare this method to the other healer Legendary, Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings from Ulduar, where we could heal in raid and still progress towards getting the Legendary. Yes, our DPS spec is just one click away, but we love healing and don’t like that we have to change our play style to progress the quest.
Behind the 8-ball
If you’re a player that wasn’t playing from day 1 of Mists of Pandaria or you’re returning from a hiatus, you’re automatically quite far behind in terms of the item level. Have you come back to the game recently and applied to a raiding guild, only to be told “you haven’t got your Legendaries, please come back later.” Unfortunately I’ve heard of a couple of instances of this happening.
“Without that series of bonuses from that legendary chain, you’re just crippled”
Hathorr discusses the fact the legendary quest can be a real barrier, not just to those coming back, but also to players who have alts that may wish to join an additional raid team. You may have time to complete one legendary quest chain but 2 or 3 is such an increase in time required that it’s less likely. Looking back, Hathorr talks about playing alts in Dragon Soul:
“I do miss that about Dragon Soul in that, I was able to really feel effective on so many toons and feel like I earned those Heroic kills whereas now I can’t even get my foot in the door(with alts) working excessive hours.
It feels like without the Legendary, you can’t be as effective as if you do have them. We can’t remember a time when 1-2 items can make such a gap between those with time and those without. It’s like time available = HPS…
So what was the reason around the design choice for obtaining the Legendaries through a super long quest chain? Why make it available to those who have loads of time, rather than those who only have time to raid?
One theory we have is that Blizzard is making us really choose our ‘main’. A main character is a character that you usually play as your go to player. Having a legendary on a character that you’ve spent so much time on to get, is going to have an effect on what you play more often. This could be to deter players from picking the Flavour of the Month class, which is a class that can be stronger one patch compared to the previous. Flavour of the Month causes some players to switch mains, but with legendary gems and a cloak on your first main, it’s going to be harder to switch and leave those behind. It’s a long shot, but it’s a theory.
As a healer in an expansion that started with a large daily quest grind to start gearing up just to get into heroics, this long questline was unwelcome to us.
We also believe this method of Legendary implementation has really dug Blizzard into a hole. For example, were they to revert to an older implementation, such as it being just a drop chance from an end-boss, we believe a lot of the community would be up in arms because not everyone would get one(which should kind of be the point anyway).
So, with everyone getting a Legendary, are they still Legendary? What do you say to returning players who want to raid normals but haven’t got the gems, metas or cloaks? Have the items and cloaks deterred you from gearing up an alt to high level due to the time required? Do you hope it’s the same in Warlord’s of Draenor? Or would you rather it change to a simple chance to drop on a boss? Perhaps a quest to match the Warlock green fire quest would be a good idea?
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!