Legendary items have become the Holy Grail of the MMO player. These highly sought after treasures usually have ridiculously difficult, lengthy, and expensive requirements barring the vast majority of gamers from acquiring them. These prestigious baubles usually offer little more than the ego stroking of the few elite that get to wield them. Thankfully, there is a different kind of legendary item that is much more prominent among players.
Have you ever had an item that you named? Did your guild ever talk about a piece of your equipment as though it was an actual person? Does the story behind how you obtained a weapon mean more to you than its stats? If so, then you already know how awesome these real MMO legendaries are.
The first time I experienced this was during the Burning Crusade expansion of World of Warcraft. At the time, I was playing a night elf hunter and we had recently taken down the phoenix boss in Tempest Keep, Al’ar. I was awarded a Netherbane axe and while it had amazing stats, I was disappointed by how it looked. It’s hard enough protecting your masculinity as a night elf, but it’s even more difficult while walking around with a glowing pink axe!
Well rather than fight the jeers from my guildmates, I embraced my new weapon and named it Scott Baio. Some people thought it was humorous and began talking about it during the next raid. It quickly started to feel like my friends were more excited to see Scott Baio at the raid than they were to see me.
A few weeks later, another Netherbane dropped and when I acquired it, everyone laughed and wondered what I would name this one. My offhand axe was dubbed Pink Lover and I bought myself a pink mageweave shirt to complete the ensemble.
Most people got a big kick out of it and of course there were those that groaned every time Scott Baio and Pink Lover were mentioned. My dad, who was also in my guild, was not a huge fan of the twin fuchsia blades. Eventually, another one of our hunters won a Netherbane and he named his John Stamos. It was a bitter sweet when I finally got an upgrade and had to replace those axes. I hated how they looked, but they will probably be one of the few items I’ll always remember. They are still in my bank many years later and I’ll never sell them because they were my legendaries.
A similar phenomenon happened to one of my guildmates when we were raiding Ulduar in Wrath of the Lich King. Our tanks were having rotten luck upgrading their shields until one evening when we were raiding the 10 person version of the dungeon. Auriaya dropped the Shieldwall of the Breaker and it was claimed by one of our paladin tanks, Beomaire.
We were so excited for him, that is, until he put it on. We stared at the graphic for a few seconds in silence and then all at once started telling him how ugly it was. One person thought it looked like Grizzly Adam’s head was chopped off and slapped on the shield. Another guy said, “Actually, it looks like my mother.” We chuckled a bit and then moved on. But things went downhill fast. The rest of that raid we were plagued with stupid mistakes, wipes on easy bosses, and high repair bills. When we finally ended the raid, we blamed Beomaire’s shield for the bad luck.
The next night we were raiding again in Ulduar and even though we had beaten Ignis before, we kept dying. Then someone said, “You know, we haven’t been able to beat Ignis, since Beomaire got that heinously ugly shield.” In that moment, that homely shield had become legendary. From that point on, every time we were struggling during a raid, we blamed the shield. The best part is it took our paladin over a month to replace the cursed shield. I even asked a GM, while they were working on another issue for me, if they could change the graphic on Beomaire’s shield to change our luck. Years later, I’m still waiting to hear back.
Real MMO legendaries aren’t limited to weapons and shields. In Star Wars: The Old Republic, a friend gave me a powerful robe for leveling up my sith inquisitor. The robe made my character look ridiculous because it had a bright red ruffle around the collar. The Jedi just aren’t going to fear a sith running around in grandma’s hand-me-down muumuu.
My buddies ridiculed me daily for wearing such an atrocious outfit, but the stats were so good that I wound up wearing it for 15 levels! When I finally found a better—and more imposing—robe, I stored the scarlet frock in my cargo hold with mixed emotions.
In Guild Wars 2, many people—myself included—are stockpiling mass quantities of materials and currency, hoping one day to craft a legendary weapon. There are, however, many weapon and armor skins that can make your character stand out without grinding one million karma and thousands of gold. The one benefit to having no preview button on the trading post is the fact that many of the unique skins go undiscovered by the majority of the players.
There are hammers shaped like anchors, shields that become ghostly at night, and frog-topped scepters all waiting to be acquired and become legendary by the stories their owners weave for them. I’m not sure which of my Guild Wars 2 possessions will live long in my memory and become legendary, but a few stand out and will probably never be deleted. My Mad King Slippers, which represent hours of clock tower jumping puzzle attempts, the anvil-shaped Jalis helm that I won from the Ancient Karka, and the first slice of garlic bread I looted from the Ascalonian Catacombs are all possible legendary contenders. Oh wait, I ate the garlic bread. Oops!
Have you ever had an item attain legendary status by its reputation and background story? What items will you always remember long after you stop playing your favorite MMO? Please share your stories with us in the comment section below.