I hate the existence legendary weapons.
Don't get me wrong, I would love to have a Legendary staff on my moonkin, or the daggers on my rogue, but even if I had either of those I would still hate the concept of legendary weapons or at least the ways that Blizzard has chosen to implement them over the past 7 years. The problems are already well documented, but let me go over them again.
- Group Effort/Individual Reward: Every legendary implemented so far has required a group effort to acquire it. Even the random drops of TBC required a group to clear the instance. There are literally thousands of tales of players getting their legendary and then quitting the game a month later or leaving to join another guild. So, the guild works for something over an extended period of time but loses it because the individual has to make an individual decision rightly or wrongly.
- Lopsided Results: When I first joined my current guild we were working on Yor'shaj and I was whispered by another player that I was doing significantly less then the WoL ranked logs. My response back was that I didn't have top 200 gear. There were other issues with my DPS strategy at the time, but a significant part of the difference is that I don't have a legendary staff. Legendarys are such a performance boost that players without them are penalized because they can't get one. How many recruiting posts have you seen where it says "1 ranged DPS (with Legendary)?"
The fact of the matter is that Legendary weapons create lopsided results that are based more on the gear a player has then the skill of the individual. Given Blizzards mantra of "Bring the Player, Not the Class," this doesn't really seem to fair.
- Unfair Distribution: Every time Blizzard announces a new legendary, there is always some argument of "why does class X get the legendary instead of class Z". But to be honest, much of the time the complainers have a point. Blizzard has implemented nine legendarys in WoW's seven year history. So far, five of the nine have been melee focused, three are caster focused, and one was a ranged weapon. There has been a melee legendary in every stage/expansion of this game and four of them have been usable by Warriors. I would also point out that there has been only one healing legendary, one of the caster legendarys was only available for a few months before the content was obsolete, and that feral druids after seven years still haven't gotten a legendary.
I don't think there is some Blizzard conspiracy that loves melee and more specifically warriors, but hates ferals. However, it's clear that their decision making process is more dominated by lore which favors pointy metal sticks than fair distribution.
For example, why is there a rogue specific Legendary in Dragon Soul? Yes, it's a very cool quest line that allows rogues to use infrequently used abilities like pick pocket and distract, but if you're going to make a class specific legendary why not make it feral the spec that has yet to have a legendary? I'm sure the creative people over at blizzard could have made a similar story centered around a feral druid instead, where they use abilities like Soothe, Hibernate, and Seacow form.
- Individual Effort is Irrelevant: Finally, I have never taken a break from this game in 5 years. I ran Firelands almost every week from when 4.2 was released until 4.3 was released. I have the gold to buy the expensive vendor mats needed to create the Legendary. Yet, I do not have a legendary because I was in four different guilds during the Firelands progression cycle. I have done everything I can to get a legendary, but it's extremely hard to find nine other people that want to go to FL now that it's old news even though it would take me just 9 weeks to get the legendary and other people could get mounts.
The proposed solutions to the legendary issues are just as numerous as the issues themselves. If you look around the official forums and blogosphere you will find a lot of suggestions. Let me take a look at a few of the most common and suggest a couple of my own.
- Bind On Guild Legendarys: This is probably the most common proposed solution, and it fixes the "guild effort, individual reward" problem I've described above. A player can't leave the guild with a legendary because it's the guilds legendary. However, this solution raises other questions and creates some additional issues. For example, is there only one legendary per guild or is it something everyone could buy from the guild rep vendor? If a guild has only one, many guilds will feel forced to trade it around so that every one gets a turn which seems a little silly and confusing. If everyone can get one, then it would be to common which Blizzard clearly sees as an issue. Finally, what happens to the player that need to transfer guilds for legitimate reasons who has a legendary? It's hard to expect the person with a legendary to have back up weapon, because the guild is likely to give those to players with out a legendary, yet you also can't expect them to be tied to one guild forever. Many guilds die or become unworkable for many legitimate reasons. Ultimately, I think this solution crates more problems then it fixes.
- Reward Individual Effort: Another idea, is to make the legendary process a completely individual process, that players can complete at the same time as other players. For example, if the FL legendary had all the same steps but allowed players to do them a the same time, you would see a lot less complaining about losing a legendary, because any caster who raided FL for three months would likely have one. However, this would make them extremely common, which I said above was not something Blizzard would like and it also would seem silly to give every caster the last weapon they would use in the expansion half way through.
- Get Rid of Legendarys: There's two things that make Legendarys great. First, most of the time they have come with a cool story. If you look at the last three, they were a major part of defeating the Lich King, naming a new aspect of magic, and helping the last pure black dragon. The second thing is someone gets an extremely powerful item that will likely last them the rest of the expansion. Both are very cool, but I Blizzard has proven that you don't need a legendary to tell a good story, and Blizzard has argued before that it's not always a good thing to have a player get an item they will not replace.
So, why not get rid of legendarys. Yes, Blizzard would be getting rid of a cool element of the game, but it could easily be argued that this "cool" element has caused more problems and anguish then the reverse. I doubt a whole lot of people would miss them if they were discontinued because in reality, very few people have a realistic chance of getting them anyway.
The general design principle for legendarys is create a normal weapon, but add special proc that is powerful and somewhat unique. Currently, those proc have only helped the individual with the legendary, but what if the benefits were raid wide?
I think a legendary could be designed in such a way that, it is slight benefit for the individual to use a legendary, but a big benefit to the raid if someone in the raid has a legendary.For example, the proc on Dragonwrath is "When you deal damage, you have a chance to gain the Wrath of Tarecgosa, duplicating the harmful spell." That same buff could be applied to all the casters in the raid if someone in the raid has the staff. If done correctly this could fix most of the problems people complain about today, without big balancing issues.
- Individual players wouldn't be penalized severely for not having a legendary since the primary benefit to a legendary (the proc) would be raid wide.
- After multiple people get a legendary in a tier, losing one of them to real life or a guild transfer is less significant because the buff is covered by multiple players.
- Guilds aren't encouraged to recruit legendary users if they already have one in the guild.
- Also, the proc doesn't have to benefit just one type of player in the raid. It could be truly raid wide where a caster weapon could buff melee or a tank legendary could buff DPS.