Legendaried

As you may or may not have seen on MMO-Champ, there was an interview with J. Allen Brack, Lead Producer of World of Warcraft, in which he dropped a Legendary bomb:

Brack: There’s one more piece which is an announcement that we’re releasing a rogue legendary weapon. Specific for rogues, so it will be a dagger. There will be some sort of quest, traditionally we’ve done these quests that players need to participate in order to create the legendary weapon in this case we’ll be focusing on rogues that will try to make that happen. […]

We haven’t decided on the name and how it’s going to work, we just know that we really want a legendary weapon to come out of this tier and we really want it to be a rogue dagger. That’s really all we know at this point. As time goes on we get a lot more lore, a lot more story, an “in” to the creation of all the legendary weapons. We really did a lot with the legendary axe that you got out of Lich King and then we’ve had other legendaries with the Cataclysm tiers that have had these storylines, we’re hoping this one’s going to be the most exciting, the most epic legendary quest line.

what is this I don’t even

Where do I start?

  • Did no one in the design meeting raise their hand and question how “the most exciting, most epic legendary quest line” can even happen if you don’t have the least-played class in WoW in your raid team? Hey, Brack, you know that cool quest line you did for Shadowmourne? People saw and participated in that because THREE HUGELY POPULAR CLASSES were capable of taking it. Same deal Dragonswrath, same deal with Val’anyr, same deal with every single crafted legendary¹.
  • At what point was it decided that legendary weapon quests were good uses of design time while class quests were not? Is the idea that legendary quests are like class quests that only a handful of classes even have access to?
  • Legendary quest lines never really made any sense to me in an MMO setting to begin with. Is the collection of fragments of an ancient weapon cool? Yes. Is infusing them with the souls of your fallen foes awesome? Yes. Is a quest line that takes dozens of people weeks to accomplish epic? Yes! Er… unless you aren’t the guy getting the legendary. Don’t get me wrong, it feels great being part of something bigger than yourself. Problem is that an item to just one person is NOT something bigger than yourself. Legendaries in WoW, aside from one brief flirt with sanity in TBC, are designed for RPGs, not MMORPGs. If it has “worked” in vanilla and Wrath and Cataclysm thus far, it is working in spite of the terrible design.

I get that it was forewarned (in the tank Q&A of all places) that the 4.3 legendary “will have much more narrow appeal.” But… really? Remember the blue post back in June that speculated about why rogues are the least-played class? I am almost wondering if this legendary dagger is a cynical attempt at rectifying that discrepancy.

¹ Meaning more than one class could use it, not that all of them had 3 popular classes or whatever.

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Posted on September 14, 2011, in Commentary, WoW and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Thing is this won’t get many people to switch. The only players who can switch to a Rogue and get this are people in good standing in a raid guild. You wouldn’t have time to level up a new Rogue, convince a couple of dozen people you’re utterly awesome, put in more time than just about anyone else in time to get this. You have to be there already.

    And if there’s a Rogue in the team and an officer/guild leader stops playing his Mage to play his Rogue alt to take the legendary then your established players will be pissed off and leave.

    You pretty much already have to be a respected and geared Rogue member of a raid team in order to have a chance of getting this. Or a respected player with a Rogue alt in a raid that has no other Rogues and doesn’t mind you switching.

    The number of people in that situation is tiny.

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    • Oh, absolutely. But this does put rogues in the limelight and demonstrate that Blizzard is willing to go to (frankly absurd) lengths to fix the class discrepancy. Rogues get a legendary in 4.3 that you might not be able to acquire while it’s relevant, but just imagine the goodies in the next expansion.

      I mean, the devs cannot even claim they had a epic, preexisting idea for a dagger here. They literally have not wrote the legendary in yet! People want to talk about what makes legendaries legendary, how about “not being fabricated out of thin air to fix transient design flaws.” That is why I very much enjoyed the idea of the Warglaives (Illidan had them forever), and thought Shadowmourne was “okay” (modeled on an actually legendary weapon from the lore).

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  2. At what point was it decided that legendary weapon quests were good uses of design time while class quests were not? Is the idea that legendary quests are like class quests that only a handful of classes even have access to?

    Heh, I replied to the last post, actually talking about class-specific quests, before I read today’s post. I do really wish they’d done more with that model. While a lot of the class specific quests were uninteresting or poorly done (especially the lower level ones, like Warrior Armor, Shaman totems, Druid water form, etc.), the fact that good ones existed too (Hunters and Rhok’de’Lar, Priests and Benediction, Warlocks and Felsteed, etc.), it really was something cool and interesting that they did that became a reason to try another character, or made you think “damn, I wish they did something cool like that for MY class”.

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  3. According to wow census and other datamining sources, rogue isn’t the least played class, the warlock is. Not by far, but still…

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