Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Relative Power of Legendaries

At level 60, two legendary melee weapons were the absolute best items available for one-hand and two-hand melee weapons for paladins, rogues, and warriors. One was [Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker] and the other [Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros]. Arguably they were replaced by some Naxxramas epics, but I digress. Each weapon involved a bit of luck with drop-rates in Molten Core, and then a metric ton of materials to craft them. The payoff, however, was a very unique-looking, glowy, powerful weapon that only a handful of people per server could claim to have. On my original server, I was one of at most 5 Alliance players to ever craft Sulfuras. It truly was an epic moment when I gathered the last bit of material, bounded down to Blackrock Depths to the Black Anvil and finally forged my mace.

However, not long after stepping through The Dark Portal, these weapons lost a bit of their luster. Thunderfury's proc received a nerf from the developers to encourage warriors to invest in new weapons, and Sulfuras's damage was quickly outpaced by blue-quality weapons. Thunderfury and Sulfuras were the weapons wielded by raid-level bosses from the Elemental Plane - Prince Thunderaan and Ragnaros the Fire Lord, respectively. It strikes me as very, very odd that a random hammer that you can find at your local Auction House, [The Oathkeeper], brings more damage to the table than the weapon used by the commander of all fire elementals worldwide. Is this not a disparity?

Now, I'm not trying to say that Sulfuras and Thunderfury should be the be-all and end-all of melee weapons. That would discourage people from seeking out new weapons in the new content. But I held out hope that Blizzard would implement some way to make these legendary items relevent. [Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian] retained some value going into the expansion, as its "use" effect created a portal to Karazhan, the first raid instance of the Burning Crusade. Atiesh was unattainable to all but the bleeding edge of raiders though, since it required several full Naxxramas runs and the defeat of C'thun and Kel'thuzad, the two hardest raid bosses in the base version of World of Warcraft. Very few guilds saw much of Naxx, and C'thun was widely regarded as the most difficult encounter Blizzard had designed. Sulfuras and Thunderfury were a bit more available because the content they were attained from was easier than AQ40 and Naxx, but other than the Thunderfury proc creating a fair bit of multi-target aggro, they are largely useless in Outland. Sulfuras has been reduced to a vanity item, where as Thunderfury is a novelty with limited situational use.

What do you think? Do pre-expansion legendary items have any place in the post-expansion world?

1 comment:

Alex - aka Firelight said...

I never got close to either of these legendary weapons, so I wouldnt know what its like to wield one (aside from the axe that kael lets you use in the fight in TK)

That aside i have 1 comment to make. Sulfuras was too small! By miles!! I mean c'mon! Raggy's mace was chuffin' huge! and yet in the hards of some human/nelf warrior it was tiny!!

I think they only have a place post TBC as a nostalgic look to the past.