Developer Diary: Introduction to the Legendary Item System
When Bilbo set out from Bag End, he was but a simple Hobbit with potential. There was no aura of legend surrounding him, yet through his actions and deeds he became a legend of Middle-earth. The Legendary Item system works in much the same way. Each Legendary Item contains the possibility of greatness. While theyâre typically less impressive than comparable items of their initial level, they have the potential to grow into the most powerful items in the game. The power of your Legendary Items will depend greatly on the effort you put into them and the story you build around them.
Legendary Items contain more components than any other type of item in The Lord of the Rings Onlineâ¢: Mines of Moriaâ¢. These components (and the multitude of ways in which they interact) allow the players to find and customize unique items that may never be duplicated. In this developer diary, weâll be going over the various elements that make up a Legendary Item, some of the history behind their development, and the rules that surround them.
Unlike many systems in modern MMOs, there is no common terminology to describe a system like this. To make this diary easier to read weâre going to start off with a list of words used to describe different components in the system.
- Legendary Item â The obvious one: these are the items that are the backbone of the system.
- Item Experience (IXP) â Legendary Items earn IXP through monster kills, much like an avatar would. Quest rewards and other mechanisms may sometimes reward IXP as well
- Legacies â These are class-specific modifiers on Legendary Items that can have their bonuses advanced
- Legend Points â These are earned by leveling up Legendary Items, and can be used to advance Legacies.
- Titles â Titles can be earned through performing certain quests, and are applied to Legendary Items. These change the weaponâs damage types, provide slayer bonuses, and other modifiers.
- Forge-master â An NPC that can help you Identify and Re-forge your Legendary Items.
- Identification â At Forge-master NPCs, you can have your Legendary Items identified. This will reveal the legacies on the item.
- Re-forging â At Forge-master NPCs, you can re-forge a Legendary Item every 10 levels. The re-forging process provides multiple benefits.
- Relic-master â At Relic-master NPCs, you can deconstruct Legendary Items or Combine simple Relics into more advanced Relics.
- Deconstruction â At Relic-master NPCs, you can deconstruct Legendary Items. The deconstruction process generates Relics, Heritage-runes, and Legendary Shards.
- Relics â These are items with set bonuses that can be slotted into Legendary Items. There are three types: Settings, Gems, and Runes.
- Heritage Runes â When you deconstruct a Legendary Item that has been leveled it can produce Heritage Runes which allow you to transfer some of the Itemâs IXP to another Legendary Item.
- Legendary Shards â Legendary Shards can be used by crafters to create new Legendary Items. Like normal Legendary Items, they must be identified at a Forge-master to reveal their Legacies.
Each class will have access to two types of Legendary Items assigned to the Main-hand, Ranged, or Class item slots in inventory. All classes will have access to Main-hand Legendary Weapons. Wardens and Hunters will also have Ranged Legendary Weapons, and all other classes will have Legendary Items that will go into a new Class Item slot. Due to the nature of Legendary Items, they are all class-restricted. Legendary Items have a unique background and border to help them stand out from other items.
Legendary Sword Icons â Slotted Epic, Identified Epic, Unidentified Epic, Incomparable, Rare
The limitations are designed to specifically address issues with the slotting of the Legendary Items. The Main-hand restriction lets us know that players wonât be doubling up the weapons by dual-wielding, and allows us to keep the elements consistent between two-handed and one-handed items. This unfortunately eliminated off-hand items such as shields from the initial pool of Legendary Items, but was a necessary step to keep the system balanced. You will also notice that two-handed Legendary Weapons will have stat modifiers that go above and beyond the legacies. These are also randomly determined at identification and come from the pool that is available to off-hand items. This ensures that those who forgo an off-hand weapon are on equal footing.
Legendary Items also contain far more data on them than any other item currently in game. In many ways, theyâre like mini-avatars with their own levels, experience, and advancement choices. For this reason, players are limited to having six Legendary Items bound to them at a time, though they can have as many unidentified or identified Legendary Items on them as they have inventory spaces. These six Legendary Items are managed in the new Legendary Item panel, which is where you will spend Legend Points to rank up legacies and slot Relics in your different Legendary Items. Each Item will have its own color-coded tab.
The Legendary Item Panel
Once a Legendary Item is bound to a player, it becomes automatically locked. The only way to remove a bound Legendary Item is by deconstructing it. To deconstruct a bound Legendary Item you must first un-equip it and unlock it to make it available for deconstruction at a Relic-master. Weâve put most of these safeguards in place to eliminate the chance of accidental deletion of these items.
Legendary Items can be traded between players both before and after they have been identified, so long as they have not been bound to a player. Legendary Items can also be placed onto the Auction Hall, which will have new features available to aid in searching for Legendary Items with the exact qualities you want.
Legendary Items are limited to rare, incomparable, and epic quality types. The rarity of the item influences other aspects of the system such as identification, legend points earned, and deconstruction results. For instance, an epic item will generate more Relics when deconstructed than a rare item.
Item experience from monster kills and quest rewards is automatically split between all of your bound Legendary Items. The earned experience is multiplied and then split between all of the items, with the multiplier increasing as the number of items increases. Much like in a fellowship, the total experience earned among all the items combined is greater than if you were just leveling one item at a time, but each individual item advances slightly slower than it would if you were leveling just one item. If you do wish to focus on a specific item, you can disable leveling on items in the Legendary Item panel.
There is an exception to this; in some quests, Legendary Items must be equipped in order to advance. For these items equipping them enables leveling and un-equipping them disables it.
Leveling your Legendary Item earns the item Legend Points that can be used to upgrade the rank of its Legacies. Each rank up increases the power of the bonus associated with that legacy.
Legendary Item Forge
Legendary Weapon 1
Legendary Weapon 2
Legendary Weapon 3
Legendary Weapon 4
Legendary Weapon 5
Minsttrel Dagger Of The Third Age
Warden Spear Toss
When you find a Legendary Item, you will not be able to wield it initially. You must first travel to a Forge-master and have the weapon identified. During that process anywhere from two to four legacies will be revealed on the item.
The Identification Panel
Each legacy has six tiers of quality, with the higher quality tiers costing less legend points to rank up. Each class has roughly thirty legacies that are split between their two Legendary Item types. There is no overlap between the two Legendary Item types, so youâll never see the same legacy on both items.
The Icons for the Different Legacy Tiers
Legacies can be added to a Legendary Item during Identification and during re-forging. When you identify an item, an Identify Results window will appear showing you the legacies that were found on the weapon. You can leave this open and continue with identification if you have multiple items you need to identify. The window will update with the latest itemâs results.
Identification Result Window
Legacies can have a wide range of benefits. They can improve the damage output of skills or classes of skills, reduce the cost to use abilities, increase the duration of buffs and debuffs, and much more. We expect this pool of available legacies to grow and change over the lifetime of The Lord of the Rings Online. The tooltip for Legacies will show the potential ranks you can obtain in that legacy, the cost to purchase each rank, and the bonus that each rank provides. It also lists the tier of the legacy. You can use the tooltips to plan out how youâll spend your legend points to create the most efficient item for your play style.
A Legendary Item must be taken to a Forge-master to be re-forged every ten levels. This process unlocks the next ten levels of advancement. You can only unlock advancement up to the itemâs max level. You will have one last re-forge at the itemâs max level, though it will not unlock additional advancement. You can find the itemâs max level next to its current level in the itemâs tooltip or Legendary Item panel.
Current Level / Max Level
You can perform several different actions when you choose to re-forge a Legendary Item. You can rename the item, refund all of your spent legend points, or unslot the itemâs relics. If you choose to refund legend points, the rank of all of your legacies will be set back to one, and all of your legend points will be refunded. Your legend points will also be refunded on any legacies that have been upgraded as part of re-forging, so be sure to check them out before heading back into the field. Finally, you can safely remove any of the relics in the Legendary Item. These relics will be removed from the item and added back into your relic pool.
A new legacy will randomly be added to the Legendary Item at levels 10, 30, and 50. As the re-forge level increases so too does the chance that a higher quality legacy will be applied to the item. At levels 20 and 40 an existing legacy on the weapon will have its quality improved. The legacy will be improved by two tiers of quality, making it significantly cheaper to rank up. All of a Legendary Itemâs ranks are refunded (and the legend points made available to spend again) when a legacy is ranked up this way. In the rare event that there are no available legacies to upgrade, a new legacy will be added to the item. It is important to note that the system recognizes the effort it takes to level up a Legendary Item, and that as the level of the re-forge increases, so too does the potential result. For instance, the re-forge always provides a gold legacy at level 50.
Re-forge Result Window
Unlike normal items, Legendary Items donât become vendor trash when a replacement comes along. When the time comes to part ways with one of your Legendary Items, you can deconstruct it to generate relics, heritage runes, and legendary shards. A Relic-master NPC will be able to assist you in recovering what you can. In order to deconstruct a Legendary Item it must be un-equipped and you will need to unlock it.
When you deconstruct a level 1 Legendary Item youâll recover relics from the item. They will most commonly be tier 1 relics, but occasionally up to tier 4. Legendary Items will never generate relics of a tier higher than 4, but there are fused relics you can find in the game that can generate higher tier relics. Typically, however, higher tier relics are obtained through Relic Forging.
Deconstruction Result Window
Heritage Runes can be used to add item experience to Legendary Items in your Legendary Item panel. You can do this by simply dragging the heritage run onto the items icon in the panel, or by using the rune and opening up a menu of valid targets.
Heritage Rune Targeting Window
You can also find Heritage Runes of lesser quality in loot, where they will typically give between one and four thousand experience. The deconstruction of a level 50 Legendary Item can create a heritage rune with over a million experience points in it!
Heritage Rune Tooltip & Legendary Shards Tooltip
Legendary Shards can be generated from any deconstructed weapon, though theyâre more likely to be generated by higher level items and be generated in larger numbers. Legendary Shards can be used by crafters to create new unidentified Legendary Items.
There are currently forty-eight relics that can be acquired and slotted into Legendary Items. Each Legendary Item contains a relic slot for each of the three types of relics: settings, gems, and. There are currently eight tiers of relics, with the bonuses and their power increasing as the tier of the relic increases. Each type of relic contains its own set of bonuses. The relics do not take up inventory space because they are held in a special relic pool in the Legendary Item panel. At the same time, however, your relics are yours alone and cannot be traded to other players. You can view your current pool of relics by clicking on one of the three tabs. Settings go into the first slot, Gems go into the middle slot, and Runes go into the last slot.
Relic Portion of the Legendary Item Panel
Settings are the most common relics showing up at all tiers. Gems make an appearance at tier 2 and Runes show up for the first time at tier 4. Overall, the first four tiers of relics are fairly common and can be obtained through normal play. In order to obtain the higher tiers of relics, youâll need to create them through Relic Forging. This combines lower tier relics into higher tier relics. Like deconstruction, relic forging takes place at the Relic-master NPC. Splitting the actions between two NPCs let us keep the positive actions on the Forge-master and the potentially destructive actions on the Relic-master.
Relic Forging Panel
If youâre curious about which Relics are in the game, you should visit a Relic-master and browse through the different tiers using the arrows at the top of the menu. Any relics you donât currently possess will be grayed out, but you can still mouse over them to see what the relic does. Five tier 1 relics can be combined together for a silver piece. This destroys those relics and then creates at least one random tier 2 relic, and potentially creates other relics. Occasionally youâll have a critical success which can produce relics up to three tiers higher than the tier you combined.
Tier 2 Critical Success Relic Forging Result
I would stress that it is important to remember that if you slot a relic into a slot which already has a relic in it, the currently slotted relic will be destroyed. The only time you may safely remove a relic from an item is when you re-forge the item.
One of the questions we are commonly asked by people being introduced to the system is this: how can I change my damage type? The answer is with Item Titles. During the introduction to Legendary Items youâll be able to choose your first title and apply a new damage type to your weapon. Past that, youâll need to complete one of the Legendary Item instance quests to earn additional titles for your items. Although this may make them sound hard, the majority of the quests are both very soloable and repeatable. While adventuring in Moria youâll come across three different infused gems which are used to start the different instance quests.
Infused Gem Items used to start Legendary Item Quests
These quests give out a good chunk of IXP for completing them, which makes the fact that theyâre repeatable all the more attractive.
Weapon with Title Applied and the Title Itemâs Tooltip
When you use a title item, a menu similar to the one used for Heritage Runes will allow you to pick the item to which you want to apply the title. You can also drag it onto the itemâs icon in the Legendary Item panel to apply it. When you apply a title to a Legendary Item it appears underneath the itemâs name. In this case the âDefender of the Forgotten Westâ title changes the weaponâs damage type to Beleriand. Titles can change damage types, add skill damage, add Slayer mods, increase defensive properties, and potentially much more. All of the titles except damage type have three tiers, with the higher tiers providing larger bonuses. If an item already has a title when you apply a new one , the old title will be lost.
There are restrictions upon which items can receive certain titles, as some only apply to class items, and others only to weapons.
There are many ways to acquire Legendary Items, and that list will surely continue to grow over time. Moria monsters, and some outside of Moria, will drop a whole range of Legendary Items. Sentient monsters will typically drop the unidentified items themselves, but will also drop items you can use to barter for rare Legendary Items. Non-sentient monsters will drop barter items and heritage runes. While all monsters will drop Legendary Item loot, sentient monsters drop it somewhat more often.
You can also receive barter tokens as quest rewards or by turning in Marks of Valor. When youâre running instances with a fellowship or raid, you can also obtain Legendary Items as loot from boss monsters and elites. Though they will be very rare, there are some fused relics that can drop off of boss monsters that will provide higher tiered relics. If youâre looking to gather Legendary
Items, any activity in Moria from questing, to raiding, to just fighting monsters in the landscape will provide you with rewards.
If youâre looking for something special you may want to head down to the Auction Hall. The Auction Hall is sporting new functionality that will allow you to search for items with specific types of properties. You can search for +Might items, items that add to your bleed pulse count, or items that increase healing. When searching for Legendary Items, you can specify the number of legacies on the item from unidentified up to four, and you can select the minimum tier quality for those legacies. You should be able to zero in on the item youâre looking for with these features.
The Legendary Item system brings a wealth of potential to the table, and to create that potential we need to dine with our good friend Lady Luck. The randomness in the Legendary Item system means that the days of being able to plan out which quest you have to complete or boss monster you have to kill to get your ultimate weapon are gone. In fact, the ultimate weapon as you define it could be found just about anywhere in Moria. While this opens up a plethora of options, it also means that there will be many items you find that donât fit the bill. Some of the beta feedback has revolved around the fact that you can go through a number of items before you find one you really like. The important element in it all, though, is that it is yours. It may have taken time to find it, but when you define your goal, you make it your own.
While some might prefer a system that lets them pick exactly what they want, that system also sacrifices uniqueness as every item quickly becomes the hot build of the week. Time will tell if adjustments need to be made to add more control to the system, but we felt as a team that preserving the ability to create something unique, even if it meant that there might be a large component of luck in doing so, was very important to the long term health of the system.
We hope you enjoy the Legendary Item system in Moria and that you continue to enjoy it as it evolves over the coming Books and expansions!