Legen—wait for it—dary
I’ve written previously about what challenging group content might be in Guild Wars 2, and after PAX Prime we finally know: 10–man instanced raiding! My heart leaps with joy at the idea of once again being able to put myself through hell over and over on raid night, dashing our bodies against the metaphorical (or maybe literal?) rocks of boss encounters that we find in each wing.
World of Warcraft is my MMO alma mater, and I (largely) enjoyed raiding in 40–, 25– and 10–man groups, but it was completing operations in Star Wars: The Old Republic three years ago is my most recent experience. Sure, there can be social and logistical issues with getting groups of people together to try and best difficult content, but it’s something that I’ve keenly missed throughout my adventures in Tyria to date. I’m very excited that they’re on their way.
So far we know precious few details. They will be for 10 players at a time. They will be instanced. They will be “the hardest content” that we’ve seen so far. They will be released in wings. They will be linked to the mastery horizontal account progression system (e.g. gliding was given as an example for one boss encounter). They will reward players with the parts required to make precursors to legendary armour.
Wait, what? Oh yes. That’s right. LEGENDARY. ARMOUR. It was even confirmed that this will function as you would expect it to: the stats will match ascended gear, and out of combat you can change it to whichever stats you want. To my mind, this is the perfect end–game gear progression, and I will definitely be making it a long–term goal to collect a full set of light, medium, and heavy legendary armour.
Assuming the the overall cost will be greater, for me the stat changing means that there’s more impetus to go for legendary over ascended. Most people seem to go straight for berserker (power, precision, ferocity) ascended gear because of the high cost of creating it; now that we’re seeing viable—or even optimal in the case of some professions—condition builds, it would be interesting to see whether or not we start to see more sinister (condition damage, power, precision) around.
Legendary armour will also fit very nicely into the design that ArenaNet have for raid content, specially with regards to composition and roles that players must fill. While we still won’t see the so called tank–healer–damage ’holy trinity’ of old, we do have the ‘soft trinity’ of control–support–damage. The idea is that any of the 9 professions should be able to fulfil any of these roles based on their traits/specialisation, skills, and equipment. With most players going into raiding carrying a single set of fixed–stat exotic or ascended gear, there won’t be many chances to switch between roles optimally, but I’m interested to see how it’ll all work out.
Raid moms, prepare to lead!