Legendary RNG

I have around 40 hours at the WoW endgame and have not gotten a legendary yet.

Yes, I understand how “entitled” that statement is. The problem is that this is the sort of endgame that Blizzard has designed.

Back in the day, Legendaries were extremely rare drops from the end bosses of high raiding tiers. This made them rare and cool, but effectively nonexistent for the majority of the playerbase and drama-laden for raiders besides. Sometimes the mainhand Warglaive never dropped. Sometimes the rogue got both Warglaives and then /gquit. Sometimes the warrior tank spent his accumulated DKP and “wasted” a Warglaive drop to look cool.

Around Wrath, the Legendary paradigm changed to make things a bit more organized. You had to collect 40 pieces of whatever, perhaps kill a specific boss, get a certain achievement, and then you got your Legendary. There was still a certain amount of coordination necessary though, as the Legendary pieces dropped for the whole raid, and thus had to be divvied up. In Mists and Warlords, the system was opened up further to the point where everyone could reasonably be expected to receive their own personal Legendary items. Drama around Legendaries was essentially removed, being solely a function of an individual’s willingness to grind past the gating mechanism.

In Legion, Legendaries are once again random drops. And there are dozens and dozens of them, for specific classes and even specific specs. The system, in effect, is a huge step backwards.

In principle, I actually like what they are doing with Legendaries, insofar as they are items that make you rethink your talent choices, skill rotation, and possibly even spec. Trinkets and Tier Set pieces traditionally function in this role, and their ability to “change the math” is precisely why getting them are exciting. One can stomach stat sticks only so far. In this sense, perhaps having “Legendary” items perform a similar role outside of Tier Sets and trinkets makes the piece of gear indeed “legendary.”

That said, we are now in a new Blizzard paradigm in which not only does Legendary gear drop from any content – including really dumb World Quests – but also one in which we can expect to see multiple pieces. Indeed, the last Class Hall upgrade for every class is the ability to equip two Legendary items at a time. Ergo, we should expect to have 2+ minimum. That said, there are tens of thousands of people right now with multiple Legendary pieces, and even more who have none. Supposedly there exists a “pity timer” which increases the odds of a Legendary drop the more one fails to receive one (such a mechanic exists in Hearthstone already), but nevermind.

Regardless, I really kinda hate this system. Sure, I see what Blizzard is doing: moving WoW towards a more Diablo 3 looting model, which makes completing otherwise dreary “kill 10 X” more exciting. But I actually enjoyed working towards items. Remember the old Badge system? There is a huge difference on an intellectual level between grinding 1000 mobs for 1000 points to buy a piece of gear, versus grinding 1000 mobs for a 1/1000 chance for a gear drop. I mean, I get it: filling some progress meter is a more defined endpoint than random drops. But for me personally, this level of randomness provides no meaningful sense of progression at all.

And by the way, this system seriously sucks for my situation in particular. I have been playing my Druid pretty much exclusively this expansion, with the understanding that I will need to be Balance if I ever wanted to raid later. However, questing as Guardian is so fucking amazing and quick that doing anything else is folly. And if I ever wanted to play some PvP, say, to capitalize on the Arena Skirmish bonus this past week? That’s either Feral or Resto. So, basically, no matter when or where a Legendary does finally drop (if it drops), I am guaranteed to not be able to meaningfully use it.

If I could work towards a specifically Legendary… but alas. GG Blizzard. GG.


Posted on October 4, 2016, in WoW and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Well, could be worse. One guildie got his first legendary last week… it was a follower equip item…
    Sounding like many others in guild had them already but no I think he was the first one to ever get a “legendary” :)


    • That’s rough. Especially if follower legendaries “count” towards the pity timer. Although I have heard conflicted reports as to whether Blizzard actually fixed the bug that increases the rate of the 2nd+ legendary.


  2. I would like an experience bar at cap. All the things that have a chance to drop a legendary contribute to it, and once it maxes out you either get a legendary or it starts over and gains points even faster. That way you’d have some visual indication of the system.


  3. AHEM….. I think that the problem you mention is easily solved by right click on your portrait -> Loot specialization -> Balance. If you do this, then whatever spec you’re in, any personal drop will be for the loot specialization spec you’ve selected.
    It’s not a chance I have it set to “Guardian” instead of “current spec” since the beginning of Legion…..
    But yes, the whole Legendary RNG is shit.


    • Specifying the loot specialization doesn’t actually help me though, as my issue is that ALL my specs have use for the legendaries. If I get a Balance legendary, great, I might do more dungeons/be useful in raids. If Guardian, great, I’ll be able to quest easier. I suppose Feral/Resto matters less, as PvP has legendaries disabled.


      • It’s quite clear that they want you to define a main spec and stick to it, as it’s evident from the way artifact power works.
        Of course they could make “morphing” legendaries, but in this I agree with Blizzard that it’s a bad idea.


  4. Why not just raid as a Guardian?


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