In my my most recent post regarding 10man vs 25man formats, one of the common arguments used by commenters is that it would be unfair for 10man raiders not to have access to legendary weapons. Though I don't really see that as a problem, I do have an easy solution. Remove legendary items from 25man raids as well. In my opinion legendary items are one of the most poorly implemented features of WoW, and in the end cause more drama then they are worth.
Reason 1: They're Overrated.
Don't get me wrong. Legendary's are great weapons for their ilevel and even beyond their ilevel. If there was a caster DPS Legendary I would love to have it I'm sure, but the legend of the Legendary items is bigger then the reality. Lets look at a couple of examples.
[Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings] vs [Heartcrusher]
If you do a quick comparison of the stats you will notice that Val'anyr has 17 more stamina and 14 more crit rating. Heartcrusher on the other hand has 1 more int, 5 more haste rating, and a red socket that is likely to result at least 17 more spell power. If you are comparing pure stats Heartcrusher is the clear winner. Obviously the proc makes Val'anyr the better weapon, but it's important to note that the proc is really the only difference.
[Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings] vs [Royal Scepter of Terenas II]
I realize that the Royal Scepter is not an easy to obtain item, but if you are in a guild that allows you to get Val'anyr in a reasonable amount of time, then you are likely in a guild that has a reasonable shot at the Heroic Lich King at some point.
If you are able to pick up the Royal Scepter over Val'anyr you gain 24 int, 26 stamina, 5 crit rating, 22 haste rating, a red socket, and 272 spell power.
I tried looking for some theorycrafting on the Val'anyr proc but didn't find anything conclusive. I don't know what the value of the proc is but one thing is clear to me. If you upgrade to the Royal Scepter you gain a lot of stats, and at the very least all those additional stats erode the value of the Val'anyr proc, and the legendary mace will be replaced sooner then most people think.
Acting Like Idoits: Lodur's Experiences
While writing this post I remembered a post made by Lodur on World of Matticus. In it he talks about the Val'anyr curse and his experiences healing random heroics with the mace. In his post he talks about two experiences he had using the mace in a pug. The first was when a tank saw the mace an thought it meant he could pull several trash packs and a boss. The second involved a druid that insisted the only way a shaman could heal the ICC 5man heroics was if they had the mace.
In my opinion, if someone has Val'anyr it shows that they are very likely to be a very good healer. For a guild to go to all of that work of obtaining a mace they are definitely going to give it to when of their top raid members. So, the fact that Lodur was able to handle both of the situations is not a surprise, but the fact that his groups attributed his success to the mace is laughable. Both groups treated the Val'anyr as a heroic I.W.I.N. button when in reality it was the healer behind the mace that saved their butts.
Reason 2: Poor Distribution
Obviously, for a legendary to truly be legendary it has to be rare. If everyone is walking around with a [Shadowmourne] the it lose some of the mystique that makes it special. Blizzard has primarily used two methods (or a combination of the two) to make these items rare.
Random Drop: This method was used to its fullest extent in The Burning Crusade expansion since both the [Warglaives of Azzinoth] and [Thori'dal, the Stars' Fury] were random drops off of the end bosses in Black Temple and Sunwell respectively. However, random drops have been a part of every legendary in the game to some extent.
The problem with the purely random drop was made famous by Nihilum in TBC. They were the first guild to clear the Black Temple and proceeded to run Black Temple multiple times a week for almost a year without a single Warglaive drop. Other guilds were able to complete several sets with only 2 or 3 months of clears on the instance. It is clear that with a low drop rate these legendarys were not a reward for effort, but were just regular loot.
Guild Effort for Single Drop: The part that probably bugs me the most about legendary items is that it is a guild effort to reward a single member. The best example of this is [Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker]. Not only did the entire guild of 40 people have to farm an instance for months to get the mats to craft a quest item, once that was complete the entire guild had to kill a special raid boss to get the weapon to drop.
To make matters worse, since then all the quest items needed to form legendary weapons are Bind on Pickup. So, you have to choose who will receive the time months before one will actually be created. This can create a huge problem for a guild and cause their efforts to be wasted. For example, my guild never crafted a Val'anyr mace despite clearing Ulduar so many times that I cannot count. The first person who was to receive the mace was a very dedicated raider, but got burned out a bit and took a break when she had 28 [Fragments of Val'anyr]. At this point ToC wasn't far off, and we didn't have as much time in Ulduar as we did before, but we had another healer got 28 fragments as well. Unfortunately due to a variety of issues she was demoted and eventually left the guild. And this doesn't include 5 or 6 fragments that we gave to other people do to the first two being absent when when the fragments dropped. We had more then enough to make two maces, but the guilds efforts were wasted because of the actions of a few.
I realize that some of my issues could be fixed by creating a new Bind on Guild item type, but even after the item is created it would suck if the person who was given the legendary changed guilds. I would hate to be the person to just complete a Legendary item for the guild and then realize this wasn't the guild for me anymore. To some extent I think I would feel obligated to continue to participate in the unhappy situation or continue playing a game I no longer enjoyed. I would think having a Legendary would be a lot more pressure then I would want to handle.
In the end I just don't think Legendary's are worth the trouble. First off, it's clear they are not required for success in this game since any boss can be killed without one. Second the drama potential on these items is huge. Not only do you have to deal with picking someone to get the item, but you have to deal with what happens if they leave or have to reduce their schedule.
While legendarys are cool and I would love to have one personal, the relatively minor benefit we receive is not that significant when compared to the effort exerted by the guild that created it and the potential drama it can cause. Blizzard should just remove legendary's from the game.