Thursday, June 23, 2011

Luck, Legendaries and Loot

Hey, alliteration! How are you today? Good? Glad to hear it. I'm good too.

Anyways. Now that I did that... Hello and welcome to the sixth or something post. Since people seem to read the WoW post more than the rest, more WoW talk!

Me and my friends have amazing luck with legendaries- back on January 7th, I ran MC for the first time since Cata launched. I made note of it on my pretty much dead WoW blog then. Fast forward a few months and I had been full clearing the place on a weekly basis. March 2nd I got Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros, and wrote a post (with pictures). Finally, five months after running MC weekly, I got my second binding off of Garr. That day I got the rest of the Elementium Ingots I needed and finished up Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker, and posted (again). Another of my friends got the off-hand Warglaive on his first run in BT. On the second run, the main-hand dropped. Finally, a third friend of mine spent some time grinding and got his Thunderfury. He went with us on a recent BT run (fourth run for the guy who had both glaives) and commented that it was sad that someone who had both warglaives didn't even know his way around BT. Anyways, a second Off-hand warglaive dropped. So as you can tell, that is a ton of legendaries. Now to the meat of the text.

So Legendary acquisition has changed since the beginning of time.

In Classic WoW you got items from raiding which you collected- and they had low drop rates. And you also had to have stupid-huge numbers of raw crafting materials.

In the Burning Crusade, they had a low chance to drop. And when they dropped, you had them in your hands.

In Ulduar, you got shards from bosses on 25m and from Hard Modes, when you got enough of them, you turn in a quest and get the legendary.

In ICC and in Cataclysm, you get a quest, do some stuff (usually involving getting something from the raid and/or raid access crafting materials), and get an epic. You do more stuff in the raid and you can potentially get a better epic (Cata) or more quests. They you get a Legendary and you're happy.

The Classic strategy requires the player to wait on drops- Sulfuron Ingots, Bindings, the Eye etc... before they can start putting everything together. When they do get it, they have to go through a several month long process getting the materials needed. The BC strategy is 100% drop reliant, and its a low drop chance. All it really is, is a hopped up epic with a cool proc, name and graphics. With WotLK, you would go in and forge your weapon. It didn't take (much) luck to get the legendaries- the drop chance on the materials was good (25% or higher). Sure, it would take some time, but you would get it if you kept grinding. Skill is what got you the weapon- as you could reliably down heroic bosses. The process also feels more legendary as you have a series of quests and you do special things for the weapon. With Sulfuras, I just used an anvil. Whoo. With the warglaives, you pick them up. Whoo. With Shadowmourne, you hunt down the blood of an old god to combine with the old weapon of the Lich King, infuse the blade with a thousand souls, then with the power of the Lich Kings strongest lieutenants, before finally getting a shard of Frostmourne. WHOOO! And not only did you get a weapon, but you also got a bunch of equally rare vanity items. And thats what is probably going to happen in Cataclysm.

Now, I'm glad that they're opening up legendaries to 10 man raids. From a game design perspective, I think that having to get a large number of a common drop is better than having to get one of a rare drop. With the larger number you can see your stack getting bigger and yourself getting closer to your legendary. It is also important to make the character go to lore relevant locations. Which is something they are doing. Something that I think would be really cool though, is to make a realm-first or world-first Legendary be slightly better than the rest. Just bump the stats up a little bit.

I also feel that the restrictions should be lowered for outdated epics. They should be available in 10 mans, they should be less luck based. It should still require work, and a significant amount, but I would like them to be accessible. But then I don't want them to be accessible- I don't want anyone else to have them. A conundrum.

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