#LOTRO: Why being Legendary isn’t what it used to be…

Turbine should scrap the Legendary Item system they have. Simple as that. It’s shit. Confusing shit at that. They should call it their “Hero System” and put an entirely new Legendary Weapon system in place that actually makes sense.

But to see why I call for the public execution of a system I have only just begun to tinker with it may help you, the dear reader oft mentioned but rarely seen, to understand why I have such a visceral reaction to what is a genuine attempt by the developers at Turbine to give people a new weapon experience in the game. My reasons, laid out in no particular order bar what bubbles to the surface of my rage-boiling brain pan first, are:

  1. It makes no sense! I really mean this, it makes no fucking sense! The system is so complex and poorly explained that I can only imagine it came from a light-starved, old-school role player locked in the Turbine basement along with some illuminating monks & a valve operated computer the size of a VIP hotel suite. Now, back when I were a lad I hated reading the mechanics bits in the (hundreds) of RPG books I bought but at least when I did I expected to understand the mechanics they described – this is not the case with Turbine’s mind-fucking Legendary Item system. No, instead the developers sort of explain the basics and then wave you goodbye happy in the knowledge that almost no one actually understands it. Thanks guys but what you fail to understand is that my brain melted a few years back (about the time I had kids, odd that) and I can no longer handle anything more complex than a microwave instruction book (and even that bastard baffles me – I don’t know if I have a 850 or 900W model but I digress) so if you want me to use your system, you need to explain it very slowly, with worked examples and a bloody good list of DOs & DON’Ts
  2. The weapons aren’t all that special. First off how can so-called legendary weapons be dropping out of the backpack and pocket of every bastard goblin and orc between Angmar & Lothlorien? How can they be they special if they drop as mob trash? Secondly, the equipping & levelling seems to be an almost arbitrary mix of luck & long, laborious grind. Correct me if I’m wrong, but how can an item be called Legendary if the fucker is devoid of anything to make it special bar some slots to add stat boosts to? A level 51 Legendary sword that does a little better than a Level 50 crafted sword is not bloody Legendary! True it may become Legendary and have its name sung about in taverns across the land, but at the point you find it it’s just a bloody sword without a name or any ‘skills’ and in need of a shit load of time & effort from you the sucker its conned in to becoming its owner.
  3. Which brings me onto… how the bithering buggeration can a weapon be called Legendary if its sole purpose is to be levelled up just to be de-constructed for a single relic it contains? At which point did Thorin suggest someone melt down Orcrist so he could make a new sword with a rune that floated to the top of the molten metal in the forges? Fuck’s sake… I really don’t know where to begin with this… Legendary weapons are disposable are they? Really?
  4. Also they don’t feel very Legendary do they? Instead of wielding them with the air of one destined to tear the breath out of life’s lungs, they have you watching their levelling progress and running back to NPCs to have them re-examined again and again and again (why? how the hell could these “experts” not know what the damn thing does? how can killing a few hundred arbitrary bad guys change what they do anyway?). After the initial rush of excitement you realise that they are nothing but another excuse for Turbine to get us to grind and not use up their content so quickly, and I think we all know how I feel about grinding, don’t we? In the end, Legendary Items make you feel less like a god amongst men and much more like a bean-counter with a spreadsheet ticking off the number of kills until you can harvest yet another relic and move to another weapon like a serial cheater moving through an endless supply of desperate housewives in a ceaseless act of lovemaking that long ago lost all sense of joy and warmth and beauty and is now just a dead-eyed response to the limitless silence inside… or so I imagine… erm, anyway…

Turbine should cut their losses and call these Hero Items – let the clever spods in game piss about with them and make good ones to use or sell. Then Turbibe should re-start a Legendary weapon system in which you get a single weapon and class item (or whatever mix suits per class) that stays with you for the rest of your playing life. These become yours forever and you mould them with a mixture of levelling, skills & cosmetics (think skirmish soldier system which, lets be honest, is a doddle to understand). These items, these weapons would grow with you and take you through the fight for Middle Earth and become your respected and beloved friends and you would refer to them by name and come to love them like a brother and never, ever, EVER once dream about de-constructing them just to get a single, lonely fucking relic from their slag-bound remains.



  1. Haha I read this and laughed…. what’s so confusing about it? Its not hard to read the dps and legacies pick what you want and lvl it up. Its your loss at 75 if you don’t want an extra 2k morale and power from both LI’s with good relics. You should ask a friend if you have any to help you then I’m sure people will help you…

    1. Well! A troll I do believe, but as I can’t be sure I’ll treat you as a normal human and not a cunt, ok?

      What is confusing? Well, I thought my post laid that out, albeit in indirect references, but if you would like some of the exact areas I have found confusing pelt out then here you go (and bear in mind I’ve only just hit 52 so I’m still at the start of my time with LIs):

      1) No one tells you in the intro to LIs that you’ll have to gather and level up so many just to get enough relics to forge a newer model later on. I haven’t done the maths but someone in the kin said he needed 240 relics for his last weapon and at roughly 1 relic per reforged item that is 240 items for collection and levelling (I realise you don’t have to level these all up and there are other ways of gathering relics – I merely use this a horrific sounding baseline).

      2) No one tells you that the LI you get in the Watcher questline should be dumped by the time you hit 53 in favour of a “better” one and therefore the best thing to rank up is just the DPS. That came as a shock to me after I’d spend the few points I’d accrued across the board.

      3) No one tells you that you shouldn’t slot relics, gems & runes into items you are just levelling up as it’s just a waste when you come to de-con them. Or that you might as well not rank up the items you are simply levelling until the point of de-con. Or that carrying 6 equipped & levelling items slows the levelling for them all as the points are shared across them all.

      And these are just the things I’ve hit now. I have no idea when to de-con what I have, whether to level what I have or just de-con stuff as I find them. I have no idea what level to change my LIs or what to go for when I do.

      All in all, the whole thing is just a mystery to me right now, one that seems like a) it shouldn’t be because it’s just a fucking sword after all, and b) it will take more effort than it is worth to understand. Now from your more experienced (at least I’m assuming so, just like I’m cutting you some slack on the whole being a trolling cunt thing, remember?) position in the game you might have got answers to all these and know the system inside out. Good for you, fella & I’ll be sure to buy a cupcake in your honour, but I find it all confusing still. But more than that: as I said in the post, the system is dumb – legendary items should not be shit out by every orc in Carn dum, nor should they be a disposable resource destined to be melted down and farmed for a stat boost. That is not what I think of as Legendary, an interesting weapons crafting system yes, but not how Orcrist came into the world and was handled.

      So I hope I’ve managed to further clarify for you my issues with the LI system. As for you other points:

      a) Did I ever say I didn’t want an extra 2k? No, I’d just rather not grind for months on end to get it.
      b) When I reach 75? Fuck’s sake man (or woman, of course, as women can troll and epeen just as much as male trolling knobends after all) I’ve been playing nearly a year and have only just hit 52 – the only fucking way I’ll ever hit level cap is if Turbine drop the fucker back down to 50.
      c) Although not direct points of yours, I feel they are implied – level cap and end game hold less that no interest for me. I’ll never see a raid this side of 2020 and have no intention in doing so.
      d) If I have any friends? Well yes I do thank you so much for asking and lucky old me that you are not one of them, you elitist shitehawke knobgobbler.

      Much love and all that jazz xox

      p.s. Feel free to ignore point d) if you are not a troll or elitist shitehawke knobgobbler, but then maybe think a little more about how you phrase things when you comment, eh? I’m not a fucking journo or dev that has to be nice to cretins.

      p.p.s. If d) does apply then also get to fuck, ok? Cheers 🙂

      1. Lol took you a year to get to 50 some? I work full time and got a toon to 42 in a week O.o :p to help you with the LI system its best to decon them at 31. Why you ask 31 idk its what I’ve been told that’s the best to do so. Yes it gets worse from then on having to drag all those pointless burg packs out of your inventory… its sucks but by the time you hit the lvl cap you will have some good relics to put on your LI so no need to worry about that. And its good to get new LI’s every 7 or 8 lvls cuz it is a waste to put relics on them. Hope I helped. No need to be harsh to me I just thought it was funny for you bashing the system before you even got to 55.

        1. Thank you (seriously) for the advice, I always appreciate it when people take the time to help like that. As for being harsh, well as I said your comment reads like that of a troll, especially the part about having any friends (which comes across as a very silly thing to say) and your latest comparison of my time to reach 50 and your time to 42. Such an empty comparison doesn’t help your case any because in what reality should I care about how *you* play the game?

          But, as I say, thanks for the LI advice – I’ll look into the 31 thing as I’d read 30 but like you, have no idea why.

        2. lvl 31 you get to drag a legacy off it – useful to store up for the weapon you want to pimp

          good advice for blowing up – lvl 31 to get your legacies, lvl 2 to get relics (lvl 1 you get one relic, level 2 you tend to get 3-5)


            1. ok. firstly, I would decide what lvl weapon you want to put the effort into (lvl 55 might be a good level to work to?) you want to look out for legacies that you want on this weapon and save them up (so level and blow up at 31) and blow other stuff up at lvl 2 for relics.

              I would then auto-combine (its random whether you choose or auto-combine) the relics up to around the level of 55 so um that’s tier 4? Then you will need a setting, a gem and a rune (the 4th being a crafted only slot). you can either put a bog standard relic on or you can look at the relic melding tab and look at the level 55 Unique relics and the tab will tell you what you need to make (probably shards and relics)

              anyway then your final weapon, level up to 30 to see what legacies you get. Switch out so you have the relics you want (bear in mind that any legacies you take off weapons will go to tier 2). Make sure you have the legacies you want on by lvl 40 as at lvl 40, 50 and 60 the legacies can be upgraded…

              the thing to remember is that as you’ve noticed these things are pretty abundant – so if you make a mistake, its not too dire.

              hope that helps and i’ve made some sense 🙂

              ps you can probably make the crafted relic – its the guild recipe you trade in – sealed minor symbol of something. not sure of the earliest lvl you can use it though sorry. the two higher ones are lvl 61 and lvl 65, so the minor symbol might be well be about the right level.

  2. Actually, I have to say that I found the LI system really confusing and irritating, too. I’ve had it explained to me, multiple times, by friends in-game, but you know, I really shouldn’t have to.

    Mind you, I’m a bit of a game moron.

    And the thing that most bothers me is the thing that bothers you, too.

    When you first realise that your “legendary” item is actually just a cheap bit of glitz you carry around with you so you can melt it down later…. well…. what a let-down.

    It’s like you spend a million dollars to buy Orcrist from an on-line shop that sells authentic medieval weapons, and when it arrives it looks lovely, but it’s still made from shitty plastic.

  3. yep around lvl 50 or so, legendary items made my head hurt. stupidly complicated and not very legendary and when I did finally manage to get my lvl 75 second age bow – it had the shittiest legacies you could imagine – which was a pretty big kick in the teeth. or even better using a greater scroll of empowerment ON THE WRONG FUCKING WEAPON GAAAAH. nightmare system anyways.

    i’d been thinking about writing up some tips about legendaries, perhaps I’ll write it now. not an expert by any means though!

    (ooh crap I think your new resolution about swearing is having the same effect on me as the rare occasions when we drop the littlun off somewhere, we usually spend the first 5 minutes swearing our heads off :P)

    1. Turbine have go to know this sucks, right? Right? Please tell me they know and are trying to fix it… I wonder what GW2’s weapons will be like (gazes dreamily into the eyes of another game…)

    2. i’ve written up the notes and published – in case you find them useful. By the way, I’d been thinking about publishing these for a while, so thanks for galvanising me into actually posting 🙂 I did think I must have been the only one who was horrendously confused and had to take millions of nerdy notes to understand it!

      1. Hi matey – sorry for the lack of reply(ies) but the new little ‘un is taking up swathes of my spare time leaving me a shattered husk too tired to write in those moments she is asleep 😀

        Thanks for your help here, as a direct response to this info I have deconned 3 items, upgraded some relic tiers and am going to be combining what I have left to get some more T3s from my T1s & 2s 😀

        1. oh no worries, really glad it was helpful – sorry i’ve been spamming your comments!

          many congrats on your little one – hope you (all) get some sleep soon 🙂

  4. LOTRO was my first MMO so I have no basis for comparison. The legendary weapons system intrigued and terrified me. It is horrifically complicated, intimidating, and the legacies are named incredibly confusingly – you spend far too much time wondering what the f**k some of the rather important ones are and what they do. And with so many variables it is really difficult to figure out what tweaks have what effects. Especially in combination with all the other variables on your armor, jewelry, etc.
    That said, now at level 75 I am making my bad-ass weapons. I think they start them in the 50s so you can get a feel for how it all works – it finally is making sense to me (mostly) after getting to this point and doing a lot of work with them. But I do enjoy the crafting aspects, as well as the fun of slaying numerous no-goodniks in search of the rare weapon that I can use with decent legacies. The rest get ground down into relics to make my toys even better. For me this involves some purchases from the Turbine store for things like relic removal scrolls and delving scrolls which are insanely priced in the AH. You can also get a lot of these things using skirmish marks. I have more time than money so grinding and skirmishing are how I get stuff – but again I don’t hate that either. If you hate the grinding and want to drop the gold/cash you can buy everything from the identified weapons (so you have and idea what quality the legacies are) to the crafted relics in the AH.
    Just my 2c. I think it could use a lot of improvement, but I do love being able to craft an individual weapon that works with my playstyle.

  5. I’m slowly getting to grips with it, although I expect many mistakes between now and 75 (scheduled for sometime around 2015 I believe). I can see myself using the AH a little, the skirmish vendors a little more and a touch of the store now and then, but what I am really looking forward to is getting into Moria so I can level up my crafting with the mats in there, then I can start to craft better gear including LI stuff.

    Still think it’s a daft system to call Legendary… Heroic, yes but not Legendary ;-D

    p.s. Ranhold has nearly done Shadows of Angmar now (on Vol 1, Book 9, Chapter 9 after a big push of late to actually complete the damn thing) so I should be hitting Moria in a week or so. At frigging last 😀

  6. I was like you regarding the name. It took me ten levels to just let it go and think of it in terms of another form of crafting.

    So, my tips, if you like:

    What to equip:
    -Which skills do you use most or help the most how you play? Aim for those legacies. At your level range, there are more opportunities to find LI, and the higher rank the legacy, the cheaper to upgrade.
    -In Moria there are repeatables that give you the Kazdul tablets which you can trade for LI. Use them!
    -I don’t know about now, but it used to be that any legacies pulled off <lvl60 weapons could not be used on 60 and above. This is a training-wheels version of legendary weapons.
    Legacies pulled off an item can only be used with items of the same type. (ranged on range, melee on melee, class item on class item)
    -I have tested it, and it is true: decon at 31,41,51 gives you a Significantly better return than at 30,40,50
    -A deconstructed level 51 weapon gives you a huge return of item xp, teir 1,2,3, and 4 relics, and usually a few shards. After autocombining all the low-level relics, a level 51 item can easily give you several tier five or even a tier 6 relic.
    -In my opinion (YMMV, etc etc), it is worth it to buy the relic removal scrolls and pull the two sets of relics as you upgrade your items.
    -Relics/Settings/gems etc: There is a primary line that you progress through, combining relics at tier 1 to become a tier 2, 3, etc. Then at each level there is a branched category made using particular combinations of slotables to get a relic with particular special traits. These special ones, however, are no longer part of that primary upgrade path. At your level it is all well and good to play with, but don't worry about these until you have hit level cap and sitting with a bunch of top-tier legacies in you inventory getting bored and lonely.

    Here was my technique:
    Once I hit LI, I rotated out my weapons at 60, 65, 70, and 75. anything in between, unless it had legacies I want all the way across. Then, I focused on just playing, and making sure to reforge as needed. As you go along, there are more and more opportunities to earn LI XP, that you will stop thinking about it, and look up regularly and a 51+ item thinking "Ah, sweet, it's time to de-con"

    At this point in the game, I have a spear and Javelin I love, and am working towards having more relics, so I can have two LI sets – one for tanking and one for DPS

    1. Thank you sir! What a stack of useful and down to earth advice – once I can log back in today (LOTRO is down for a patch of some sort as I type this) I intend to follow both your & Suzita’s words of wisdom 🙂

  7. Bah, missed an important point: Once I was happy with a weapon, I focused my other slots on farming legacies and relics to use on my next weapon, regularly using the AH and the LI traders to shop for the next weapon to use as a base. Also, when I am ready to swap out, I pull the relics off my current one first so I don’t accidentally decon a fully slotted weapon.

    Also, to help distinguish between them: I name LI I am farming after what I am farming them for and I don’t spend any item XP on them. Then I give my equipped LI right proper names (My Javelin is regularly named “The Last Hello” and my spear I usually name “Her Red Right Hand”)

    1. I guess my only questions on this are based on what to slot into the LI panel and level up…

      > Should I slot a cheap L51 LI that I intend to decon in there just to get it to Level 2?
      > Is there any benefit from adding rank points to any of its legacies?

      Oh, and when it comes to shards, should I use T1s to generate some or just let the auto-combine feature do that?


      1. Make sure you keep all 6 slots on the LI panel full in order to maximize your leveling. There’s no penalty for leveling multiple items at once, you will get the same xp on all of them. Level each one to at least 11 before deconning it to get the best returns. If you want to move a legacy from one LI to your main LI, level it to 31, then decon to get the legacy. If you pick up any LIs for another class, you can decon them immediately to get one relic.

        I usually auto combine all relics into higher relics until I get to the max tier for my main LI. I don’t refine them into shards unless I’m only a couple shards short. The most efficient way to get shards is to craft extra crafted relics and refine those. You need guild recipes to make those.

        You only need to assign rank points on the LIs you actually have equipped. The points have no effect otherwise.

  8. Hello my hero. I thoroughly agree with you in every single point. I just searched the web to find anyone speaking my mind on the most stupidly complicated levelling system I’ve ever had the misfortune to come across 😦

    1. Hi Anne, welcome to my blog and I’m glad you liked my rant 😀 The Legendary system was and still is broken but I doubt it will ever change as it makes Turbine money 😦

      I’ve given up on LOTRO now, and MMOs too. To much grind for me, I’m afraid.

      1. I can relate to that. I’ve given up on wanting to be at the top with any mmorpgs. All I do is play the quests, enjoy the story, and tag along just underneath the required top end. Anything else makes me mad. (Legendary halfters for war steeds are exponentielly worse to level than the lege weapons. Figures huh!) “Grinding” has to be the bane of all games really. That’s why I like the old Tomb Raiders, no levelling, just puzzling. Wish there were more games like that, really.

        1. To be honest, ever since I’ve found decent games for my tablet I’ve never been happier – I’m not tied to the PC any more and I can play with my kids, especially my son, in Minecraft Pocket Edition & SurvialCraft. It’s been great fun over the last year, eclipsing even Guild Wars 2 for me 😀

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