Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dev Diary: Legendary Item Revisions

GeneralChangesYesterday, we saw the release of a combined Dev Diary by Ken “Graalx2” Burd and Brian “Zombie Columbus” Aloisio concerning the Legendary Item Revisions.  Love them or hate them, Legendary Items (LI’s) are a pretty elaborate system that needed some love.  For those who may be unfamiliar with the system, let me see if I can sum it up for you briefly.

Legendary Items are a special kind of weapon or class item that is accessed by completing the first book of Volume 2.  These items will level up as you kill mobs and/or complete quests that grant Legendary Item Experience.  Each item also comes with a set of bonuses called Legacies that are granted when they are initially identified and then three times during their leveling process (at levels 10, 20, and 30).  Legacies usually enhance a class skill or increase stats and are advanced through the use of special scrolls and by using points that are granted each time the LI levels.  LI’s also have three additional slots apart from Legacies where you can place “Runes” which grant additional stat bonuses.  Runes are granted initially by the introduction quest to Legendary Items, but are then gained by deconstructing Legendary Items and then combining (5) runes to create higher level ones; the higher the level the rune the better the bonuses.  All-in-all it was (and still is, really) a complicated system that required a lot of grinding, a lot of random legacies, and a lot of (justified) complaining.


LI-IDNow with this update we are seeing some fairly big changes to the system.  First comes the changes to Legacies.  The biggest complaints centered around which Legacies you item is imbued with is basically a lottery.  Once you identified a Legendary Item it could get between 2 – 4 random Legacies on it that could be Pool A (renamed to Major) or Pool B (renamed to Minor).  What’s wrong with this?  Well, there’s nothing worse than investing a ton of time and/or gold into a second or first age Legendary Item and getting 2 Legacies that you consider horrible.  It was very disheartening to a lot of players.

So in Update 2, Turbine will be introducing “Legacy Replacement Scrolls” which will allow you to take a Legacy from one item and put it on another; allowing you to build your “ideal” Legendary Item.  However, there are restrictions:

  • The Legendary Item to be deconstructed must be at least Level 30 before a player is given the option of extracting a Legacy.
  • The Legacy to be replaced must be from the same class as the extracted Legacy. No moving Hunter legacies onto Guardian Legendary Items.
  • The Legacy to be replaced must be on the same type of Legendary Item from which the Legacy was extracted. No moving legacies from weapons to class items.
  • Lastly, the replaced Legacy must be of the same category as the extracted Legacy. Legacies are now categorized as "Major" and "Minor" legacies. These categories are the same as the previous Pool A and Pool B categories. [Note, that Minor Legacies are now able to overwrite Major Legacies, but not vice versa.]

Other changes include Legendary Items always having 3 Major Legacies upon their first identification.  Although some may be disappointed that they will no longer having a chance at getting 4, I am sure there will be no complaints about not getting 2 anymore.  Also, after the patch Item XP runes will no longer be gated by the level of the Legendary Item; this will not apply to existing runes, though.  Also, to some people’s chagrin and others happiness Graalx2 states, “We have also expanded the LOTRO store to include all existing Legendary Item scrolls, as well as giving a player the option to purchase two additional Legendary Item slots.”  Players will also be able to unlock up to two additional Legendary Item slots, giving them the ability to level two more items at the same time, through the Store as well.


Now, moving onto the changes to Runes, we see that the number of tiers of Runes have been decreased from 9 to 6 and the number of relics per tier has increased to 10.  Although,there will also be an additional 9 “Unique” relics that are available for level 55, 60, and 65 versions that are new to the game.  As far as relic bonuses go, Zombie Columbus (ZC) states,

Instead of each tier being a new set of stats, the same 10 stat distributions will be available in all tiers at increasing potency. Most stat combinations achievable with the old relics will be available, as well as some new stats that weren’t available before

RefiningIn addition to a reduction in tiers, “critical combinations” have been removed (and have been replaced with a chance to gain a new currency called “Shards”) as well as a reduction in the amount of runes it takes to combine for higher tiers.  Shards are a new LI currency that are created either by refining relics (which can be done via a new tab offered by Relic Masters) or through the before mentioned critical combinations.  Shards can then be used instead of gold for Legendary Item services or they can be used for a new process called Melding.  The reason being, because the gold prices for all services has been dramatically increased.

Melding, which is a new system performed via a new “Transmutation” tab on Relic Masters, allows for players to browse different recipes to combine Shards and/or Relics of different tiers into different Legendary Item products.  These products range from all the tiers of different relics, to Legendary Item Scrolls, to the Unique Relics that are new with this release.

TransmutationEvery relic of every tier can be created by simply melding a relic of the same tier and some Shards. No longer will you have to constantly combine relics in the hope of getting the one you wanted! Special “Unique” relics with different stats than then normal tier 1-6 relics can also be made, which will allow you to pick and choose the combination of stats you want from the Legendary item.

Various Scrolls that enhance your Legendary Items can also be made, and Melding can even create unidentified Legendary Items! All such items will be bound to your character. Our plan is to extend the recipes available in the Melding tab in future Updates as players decide what they like and don’t like about these changes

Because of these changes, all relics will be removed into your LI Panel upon the release of Update 2.  Note that any runes currently above tier 6 will be considered tier 6 and that what slot they may go into may have changed.


From what I have heard, a lot of people are happy with the changes to the system as far as Legacy Scrolls go.  However, most are unhappy with the fact that you can no longer un-slot relics when reforging a weapon.  My only thought is that Turbine feels that there needs to be some kind of loss and if the relic system flows as well as ZC intends for it to, then it shouldn’t be much of an issue.  I will see though.  Admittedly I am not the most aggressive person when it comes to Legendary Item leveling (personally I find it difficult to get LI’s for my respective class that are my level outside of Eregion), but I only have one level 7 rune and the rest are 6 and lower.

But I remain fairly optimistic that these changes will encourage me to pursue LI leveling without feeling that it is a lost cause.  I should also mention that when they mention that the gold sink has increased; it really has increased quite a bit.  Some services run over 500 silver and I’ve heard tales of someone spending almost 100 gold to build their “ideal” weapon on Bullroarer.  To me that sounds extreme, but if it does turn out to be too high I am sure that Turbine will made adjustments accordingly.  Also, remember that this is the first of two planned upgrades to Legendary Items that we can see this year.  I can’t imagine where they will go from here, but I look forward to seeing what they do.  

1 comment:

  1. I'm really looking forward to this update. If I read this correctly, I'll be able to construct a weapon for my burglar with both Gambler and Quiet Knife cooldown legacies (Lucky Strike, Improved Feint Attack). Having that cooldown legacy is key to the skills being available every 15s instead of every 60s, and I'd like both to let me switch builds/playstyle without the agony of grinding 2 weapons. I can't wait!