Wednesday, September 4, 2013

DebateCraft: The People's Legendary

Pat Krane has dubbed Wrathion's cloak The People's Legendary. I liked that term so much that I decided to take write about it. Me and Ashley plan to write a DebateCraft article every week... but I have zero idea what to do it on next....

The People’s Legendary comes under fire as Ashley and Summer go head to head on the accessibility of World of Warcraft’s legendary cloak.

In World of WarcraftWrathion has sent players on an expansion-long journey that will ultimately lead to what has been dubbed thePeople’s Legendary. It is an orange-quality back accessory with stats so high Garrosh Hellscream will bow to the strength of any raid team equipping them. Past legendary items were reserved for a single member of a team and their entire guild would help them obtain it. What makes this legendary cloak unique is that anyone who has successfully completed the trials set forth by the spawn of Deathwing can have it.
That leads to the question, just how legendary is an item that anyone can seemingly get? In this week’s Debatecraft, Ashley andSummer discuss the pros can cons of the People’s Legendary.

Only The Best  

There was a time when players actually had to work for their legendary. Even when it was a chance drop, only a select few would ever see it. My first attempt at a legendary was Shadowmourne in Wrath of the Lich King. Parts of that quest chain required players to complete the objective in 25-man Icecrown Citadel – this was before 10 and 25 man shared a lockout. As a raider from a 10-man raiding guild, it was amazing that I made it as far as I did. Reaching the point that I did in the chain—even though I never saw my legendary—I still felt like I accomplished something special. 
In Mists of Pandaria, the legendary quest chain can be completed in any mode, including LFR. Anyone can now get this legendary with very little effort put forth. Knowing that my legendary cloak will be shared with players that don’t deserve it—I don’t even think I deserve it—feels off to me. 
Well, if you don’t feel like you deserve it, then by all means skip collecting the coins on the Timeless Isle and stick with the cloak you’ve got. As for me, I did the quests, I collected the materials (hell yeah I used Looking For Raid!), I aided Wrathion at the Thunderforge, and I defeated him in a duel moderated by a freakin’ August Celestial. To be honest, I think anyone who got through that last fight while rocking LFR gear deserves some respect. I had a few pieces of Thunderforged gear and it still took me 20 tries. Having the current version of the cloak equipped shows you are skilled enough to obtain it.
How many people were just like you and never actually completed the process for their own Legendary at the level where it would have been useful? Past legendary items were not reserved for the very best players; they were reserved for the teammates who won the coin toss.

Special is as Special Does

Yes, previous legendaries were drops from bosses, but these bosses were only ever seen by some of the best players. A casual would have never laid eyes on Illidan. That legendary would have still gone to the players who deserved it.  
I remember standing around in Ironforge—with a friend—as we ogled a player with the Twin Blades of Azzinoth equipped. We were in awe of this person. What’s going to happen in patch 5.4?  ”Look, that group of players over there has the same cloaks as we do.” If everyone is special, no one is special.     

There are plenty of ways to be unique these days. Rare hunter pets, mounts and transmogrification can all make your character stand out and be ogled by passersby.
Today’s World of Warcraft player is a different person from Burning Crusade days. I wonder if that same player you were so impressed by still has time to play? Perhaps a job and kids keep them from joining a progression-based raid team. Does that change how skilled they are?
The People’s Legendary provides a way for everyone to experience dynamic story-driven content that would otherwise only be witnessed by perhaps one person in every guild. It is also challenging enough so only those who play at a certain level can obtain it.
At one point in time, Legendaries were considered a big deal. A much bigger deal than a rare pet, mount, and transmog. If the legendary quest drops had been restricted to both regular and heroic difficulties, it could have still be considered a “big deal.”  However, being able to complete this legendary by strictly doing LFR just doesn’t sit right with me.  
Yes, the Burning Crusade days are no longer. Sure, that player I was impressed with may not even have the time to play anymore.  Even so, if that player has no time to play then the legendary isn’t meant for him, skill or not.  
There are so many other ways for players to enjoy the story, aside from a quest chain. The vast majority of players don’t even read the quest text. I enjoyed how Blizzard released the Cataclysm rogue legendary cut scenes so everyone could watch and see what’s going on. That could have been done again. 
world of warcraft mmorpg mmorpg     Debatecraft: The People’s LegendaryWatching the video simply isn’t the same as playing through the content itself. The scenarios involved in the People’s Legendary quest line offers single-player challenges that don’t exist elsewhere. Sure we can watch videos of lucky people as they attempt legendary challenges, but it will always leave us with the feeling of “I bet I could do that.” Now, we can say, “You bet your ass I did that!”

What side of the debate do you fall on? Do you wish legendary items were still reserved for the ultra-exclusive few? Do you enjoy having access to the content—and the stats—that the People’s Legendary provides? Or are you not bothered because you couldn’t be asked to go through that crap anyway? Let us know!


  1. I feel like the legendary cloak for me wasn't as big a deal as the quest chain. The quest chain was way more fun and enjoyable than receiving the legendary. The reward could have been a tabard and it wouldn't have changed my experience.

    The problem I find is raid teams now use a persons progression on the quest chain as part of their requirement for recruitment. We all remember what it was like when item level first came out along with needing to link achievements. There was nothing more irritating than needing to link an achievement to get into a group that was going to kill the boss you get the achievement from, talk about a catch 22.

    I think this quest chain didn't need to be about a legendary, it could have just been a series of neat items. They could have kept the legendary as a random drop. If you are going to commit that much time and resources to creating a quest chain I do believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience it, just don't make it about a legendary. It lowers the value and excitement of a legendary. A great example of this is Green Fire. Anyone can make a warlock and do that quest chain, there aren't any raid requirements to do it. Blizzard admitted that they had a choice between doing another zone like Kun Lai Summit, or doing another quest like Green Fire. That's just how much work went into it.

    Gating content by saying only these classes or this person will experience this legendary quest was always a bad idea to me(and I have a legendary staff). The random drops of glaives off Illidan were always so epic and amazing to see. There was that extra thrill of everyone seeing it drop versus one person going off and completing it on their own. Only to return once it's all done to show it off.

    Just my view of it, keep the legendary something that feels legendary and receives legendary response when people see it drop.


    1. Hey Spencer! I know you posted this ages ago.. I read it and never responded.

      I was totally jealous of the legendary questlines in Cata that all those people got to see and I never would. I SUPER LOVE the Wrathion questline. Do you think they should have kept the questline and made the cloak some kind of super epic instead of an orange?

  2. I really dislike the way this legendary item was handled. yes, the questline was great. But a great questline is what we should expect through the game. Every other legendary takes hard work, commitment, grinding, and an insane dedication. This legendary just takes time, and it shows in terms of how it is used. ie. No other Legendary could have been expected to be held by player. This is the first time that we expect all players to be doing the quests, and that is totally disappointing.
    This ease factor is not serving of the title Legendary.Epic sure, not legendary.
    And yes, I have the Hand of Rag and Thunderfury, both took ages. I am amid Shadowmourne quest chains to get that too.

    1. Hey there! Good to hear from you! I keep up with all your blog posts via email, which might be cheating, haha.

      You've worked and grinded for those legendaries... but let me ask you: Were you able to actually use the weapons for the content they were designed for? Do you think that takes away from the Legendary status?