When I dinged 90 in Mists of Pandaria, I received my summons to visit Wrathion and begin the expansion’s legendary questline. It took me a while to jump into LFR, and as such, I’m still a bit behind on earning all of my raid drops (sigils, secrets, runestones, etc.). I just earned my meta-gem and equipped it despite Anduin’s (probably accurate) protests. I’ve now collected four of the required twelve Titan Runestones. I’ve impressed myself that I’ve made it this far into the process, and the fact that I might actually manage to complete this before the next expansion worries me slightly.
I was too low level during the brief time I spent in vanilla to worry about Legendaries. The amount of time required to grind out parts and materials for weapons like Sulfuras or Thunderfury always seemed significant, plus it often required the support of a raid team. Even as recently as Cataclysm, there are stories of the drama that was caused by guilds deciding who should receive Dragonwrath. For this reason, the Legendaries in Mists of Pandaria are very much an individual experience. Rather than farming certain raids for low-drop-rate materials to craft an item, the Legendaries in Mists have been an expansion-encompassing experience. Each patch has added a few new quests (as well as furthered the story) to bring us closer to acquiring our cloak. Now that patch 5.4 has been out for a while, many characters can be found wandering the Timeless Isle with the luminescent tendrils floating off their backs.
The closest I had come previously to a Legendary was running Black Temple at level 85 with about ten other people and watching one of the Warglaives of Azzinoth drop. As a predominantly solo player, I never felt that I could earn a Legendary. Thus far, I’ve been making progress, though remaining about two patches behind. This has benefited me in several ways:
– I was in the middle of the quest to earn 6000 valor points when patch 5.3 lowered the amount to 3000. That cut out a significant amount of grinding for me.
– I didn’t have to kill High Marshal Twinbraid until patch 5.3, when he was nerfed so that he could be soloed. Instead of having to assemble a group for the battle, I was able to slip into his fortress, interrupt his shots, and kill him fairly quickly.
– Most recently, I was able to work around forming a raid group to assault Nalak using my hunter abilities. When tasked with spearing the dragon with the Lightning Lance, I was able to hurl it at him and then Feign Death to get him to ignore me. The electric beast that spawns from the lance still chased me, but Nalak ignored me, and I successfully charged up the lance.
The fact that I’ve made it this far, and that I’ve done it without the support of a guild, makes me feel like I am cheating the system. I know what Legendaries are, and I know they are supposed to be tough to earn – that they are for better players than me. I’m not tough; I’m one of the few players for whom LFR is endgame content (and not just something to endure early in a patch cycle for extra gear). I’m not hardcore enough to rock orange items.
What I’m missing, though, is that Blizzard changed the definition of hardcore this expansion. Prior Legendaries required coordinating with several other players and farming specific bosses repeatedly. Now, legendaries just require commitment over time. Dragonwrath and the Fangs of the Father were all available in the same patch that their questlines were introduced; the time it took to earn them was entirely based on how quickly you could farm those raid bosses. Instead of a high level of focus over a brief window, Mists of Pandaria is asking characters to stick with it for the duration. I’m not hardcore because I can blitz The Madness of Deathwing raid repeatedly; I’m hardcore because I’ve been slowly working towards this goal. This style of Legendary is more akin to achievements like “Loremaster” or “What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been”, because as long as a player dedicates themselves to the task, for the duration of about a year, they will be rewarded. It’s a paradigm shift, and it can take some getting used to.
At this point, I’ll continue working towards my Legendary cloak. With any luck, I should be able to earn it this expansion. I may never be comfortable knowing that I deserved to earn a Legendary, but at least I’ll look awesome when I do.
The Blizzcon schedule has been announced! I can’t wait for The Dark Below panel! http://us.battle.net/blizzcon/en/blog/11218303/BlizzCon%C2%AE_2013_Map_and_Schedule-10_17_2013
New Connected Realms have been announced for NA and EU servers! I can’t wait till the Dunemaul/Bloodscalp/Maiev/Boulderfist realm absorbs everyone like a warcraft katamari. http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/8427764143#1 http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/10311881332
Halloween Costumes are now available in the Blizzard store! I am… not a fan. http://us.blizzard.com/store/browse.xml?f=c:2,c:16,f:1
The Blizzard Halloween Pumpkin Carving contest is well under way! Carving your weapons out of a pumpkin is one way to turn them into oranges! http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/community/contests/pumpkin2013/
And speaking of which, Hallow’s End is in full swing! Go eat treats until you vomit! http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/7305445/Hallows_End_is_Here-10_18_2013