Tuesday, 25 August 2009

BEGINNING OF THE END FOR LEGENDARIES?


The five new Bounty quests available in Esteldin can be repeated daily; between them, they give a total of 465,000 item experience points each and every day. That’s a hell of a lot of of ixp - enough to take a legendary item to l.60 in under a week…

Three of the quests are easily soloable by any competent l.60 player, and the other two represent a mild challenge to any combination of no more than two l.60s; undertaken in any group of three or more, including a Hunter to provide transport, all five can be completed in just over thirty minutes. In other words, you can take two legendary items from zero to sixty within a grand total of six hours playing time.

The bounty quest ixp represents the equivalent of flooding a real-world economy with bad money by printing shoals of banknotes, and results in rampant inflation. All other forms of gaining ixp, including in-combat ixp and the extra quests for the Moria instances have suddenly been rendered utterly irrelevant – at this point, who will care a fig for the measly 180 ixp awarded for killing a l.60 orc?

I admit to being baffled by this development; at a single stroke, the devs have effectively killed off one third of their legendary item strategy. This used to have three prongs: acquiring a LI, levelling it up, and gambling for legacies and settings. The second prong of that strategy has now had its heart ripped out. How much longer before the other two go as well? Is this the beginning of the end for LIs – and would that be a bad thing?

9 comments:

Green Armadillo said...

It sounds like they may have overshot on that one specific area, rather than smoothing out the process in general.

Right now, my 55 Champion has half a dozen LI's that would be clear upgrades over my current weapon if I could just get my relics back from the one they're in now. Given how long it has taken to get items from level 10 to level 20 with a mere 3-4 items slotted (I realize this is less total ixp over the long run, but I'm not prepared to tolerate the pace in the short run when I have gear I actively want to get rid of), I can't imagine commiting to the 20-30 grind for any reason, which means that my "legendary" items will need to be retired at level 20.

Random legacies are alright. Not getting back your relics until your next reforge is alright. The two combined are taking almost all of the fun out of the system for me at the moment.

xhii said...

at this point, who will care a fig for the measly 180 ixp awarded for killing a l.60 orc
Did anyone ever care for the 180 ixp?

I'm happy now the previous primary (and oh-so-tedious!) sources of ixp have regained a more sensible purpose; DV quests for scrolls, crafting instances for materials and Gold Leaves, and the mirrors are a nice extra if you happen to run by one. With B7 and the Lorien repeatables, ixp was already ridiculously easy to come by.

If they only made some smart way to farm relics..

Pneumos said...

Let's assume for a minute that the devs have a plan and that this was a considered change. If so, I think what's happened here is simple.

The devs wanted to accelerate LI advancement, much as they did a few months ago with the character XP curve changes. But which prong of the LI strategy yielded the most complaints from the player base? The third one- gambling for legacies and settings. It's too dependent on luck- some people get great weapons quickly and others process hundreds of items without success. But that is the aspect of the system they were least willing to change- if you can explicitly select or strongly influence what legacies you will get, you reach the "end" of the LI progression much sooner than through any adjustment to the other prongs.

So I think Book 8 Patch 1 is a calculated adjustment to the first two prongs of the strategy. Prong 1, LI acquisition, received a nice boost with the ability to craft 2nd age weapons, as well as a lesser boost from the introduction of additional 1st age drops to the turtle encounter. 3rd age drops, the primary source of setting supplies and LIs for people who haven't hit upon a decent 2nd or 1st age item, remain unchanged. Prong 2 was given a significant adjustment in terms of time and effort required to generate item XP, but that is consistent with their philosophy of more rapid XP advancement seen in the character progression curve. I could easily generate several hundred thousand IXP per running Halls of Crafting. Yes, it took four times as long and required twice the number of people, but having that time freed up to do other things is a welcome change for me.

What other change would have made sense to address the issues players have raised with the LI system? I honestly can't think of a better one.

Kairos said...

What other change would have made sense to address the issues players have raised with the LI system?

Personally, I think the LI system was misconceived from the word go, since in no sense can the current LIs really be considered "legendary" - and therefore I can't really think of good way to improve what was a flawed idea to begin with. What I would prefer to see is the current system remaining in place till the volume III expansion comes out (since any major alteration would, quite rightly, upset all those who have invested a lot of time in it), at which point a proper legendary weapon system come into play alongside the current one.

How could such a system work? One suggestion would be for a single weapon, player's choice, to be awarded as the end reward of a long, hard chain of quests; this could then be improved slowly, partly by something akin to ixp, and partly be specific upgrades in small increments gained as quest and faction rewards.

In other words: keep the current LI system, tinkering with it as necessary, but plan to provide a much better alternative some months down the road.

Jaxom92 said...

I am of the opinion that these quests are a bit "overpowered", and that we'll see a slight reduction in the IXP gained from the legendary runes.

As to the thought that the legendary system is inherently flawed, I stand by with the system being perfect for an MMO game, less than perfect in its namesake within the lore. Ideally we would have seen one weapon carried from level 1 to 60 (and beyond) leveled as we went. Unfortunately, such a system is required from the initial launch (unfair to current players, too complicated to drop in the middle of a leveling curve).

I can definitely see the reasoning behind expediting the leveling part of the legendary system. But, like I said, they might have made it TOO fast.

Yeebo said...

I am firmly of the opinion that the system for acquiring legacies for your weapon should have been separated from the weapons themselves.

A Legendary weapon should have a number of empty slots for abilities when you first acquire it. Via rare drops and quests (or quest chains) you acquire foozles that can go into these slots. Most of the foozles won't be abilities you give a crap about, you break them down for tier I gems and relics. When you get lucky or do a very hard quest chain and get a foozle you like, you slot it and can begin leveling it like your other legacies.

The weapons themselves should level, changing their base DPS. For example, a level 52 first age LI should eventually become a level 60 LI if you stick with it long enough (changing the based DPS and maximium DPS it can attain each time it levels). The only time you should ever want upgrade a legendary weapon should be when you have the option to go from a first to a second age, or second to a third.

In fact, that's pretty much how I assumed it would work before MoM launched.

Bart said...

The legendary lottery was darn annoying from conception. Who loves a lottery when you keep "losing"? Green Armadillo, max out your weapon and when you deconstruct it now you should get your relics back.

Personally, I think the new bounty quest system is amazing and I'm really happy about it.

Sweet Cherrie said...

I am also rather happy about the bounty.
LI system was imho the greatest fail in LotRO and I'm glad to see it minimized. Because after 6 months, I am still far away from having a decent weapon in hands of any of my toons; the bounties will help to speed that up. I hope. Maybe. But prolly not because I hate doing stuff over.

Thallian said...

I too like the bounties and no, it would not be a bad thing for legendaries to just be like normal weapons only slightly more customizable. I don't get a thrill out of grinding personally, and neither does most of the populace.