Legendary System not Swords

Monday, May 4, 2009

I fully believe that the legendary weapons system is probably the best mechanic in LOTRO. It has complexity, a virtually unapproachable finish line (the perfect first-age weapon), and massive variety of stats and levels. It's the quintessential perfect MMO system. What it isn't is what it was advertised as... or rather, what the players thought they were getting. That is, a system to give them a truely legendary weapon in the sense of Glamdring and Sting. Actually, perhaps my halberd is one of those: I got an orc slayer modifier so my weapon glows blue when orcs are close. It would have a name if I had realized how to name the weapon before it reached max level.

And yet it really isn't legendary like Frodo's sword. Why? Because Frodo recieved his weapon fully leveled, with max stats. It was legendary from the moment he found it - and it was unique. With the legendary weapon system - everybody has one. Certainly each one is nearly always unique from another, but the fact that they're so abundant considerably lessesn the percieved value. In this case that is the intangible "legendary" quality. What the players expected wasn't possible - giving only a select few people a lengendary weapon isn't smart game design, even if that gives a better feel of "legendary". Basically, we expected the impossible from this system. What we got was a very good MMO system, disguising the new type of grind well.

At this moment in time, having gotten a full set of instance gear from the AH before it was BoA, and a full set of critted jewelry, the only gear goal I have is in my legendary system, and as alluded to before, it is virtually impossible to get the perfect weapon. Not having access to the figures I cannot calculate the probability. I would venture to guess that even if the system had been in the game from the beginning the probability would be so high as to be mathmatically impossible given the length of time players have had with the system. Given the system has only been in the game for five months, it's even less likely the perfect weapon has been found.

My perfect weapon would be a level 60 First Age Halberd with all Tier 8's and the following legacies: Tier 6 Devestating Blow Critical, Tier 6 Pressing Attack Critical, Tier 6 Relentless Attack Critical Modifier, Tier 6 Melee Power Cost Reduction. Will I ever find/buy a level 60 First Age weapon with those exact stats all at tier 6? Very, very doubtful - and that's what makes this system so perfect for an MMO - there isn't an end. There's always room for improvement. Add in the fact that we'll see a level cap increase (and presumably one for the legendary items as well) before the end of the year, and we'll always be running for an unreachable goal.

I have trouble lamenting the fact that we didn't get a true legendary item when I realize just how robust and fitting this system is for the game. It incorporates the lore wonderfully but is still stretched over the MMO core that LOTRO is. And we have to remember, we're not the fellowship. We're not Gandalf, Frodo, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, whoever. We're not even the true heroes of our own epic storyline (ever notice how the NPCs are the ones that almost always do the serious, climactic confrontation?). Legendary weapons in the sense of Sting and Glamdring don't belong to us.

1 Responses:

Westnovote Says:

I think you've summed that up perfectly. Nothing really to add but /agree.