Legacies Before And After
|Allarond's rune is now fully customized with maximum bonuses to Ardour stance for soloing.|
Since the LI system revamp in the Mirkwood expansion, your new item would start with 2-3 "major" legacies - upgradeable stats that generally improve DPS. As you gained item exp, the item would get 3 additional legacies, which would typically be "minor" legacies that do more quality of life improvements (e.g. decreased cooldown on a Champion's sprint). There was a chance that you would instead get an additional major legacy, but this didn't matter that much because the odds of having four random major legacies actually be useful weren't that great.
With the changes, items will always start with 3 major legacies, and continue to have a random chance of obtaining an additional major legacy in place of a minor during the early levels. Now, however, you can salvage the legacy of your choice from an item that has reached at least level 30 (relatively quick) and use it to replace a legacy of the same class (major replaces major, minor replaces minor) on a different item.
You now definitely want an item that has a fourth major legacy, and you're slightly better off if the item comes with at least some of the legacies you want, since replacement legacies start at a low quality tier that will limit your ability to upgrade your weapon (until you grind more tqo upgrade the legacy quality). That said, everyone can now have items with four major and two minor legacies of their choice given a relatively finite amount of grind time.
Relics, Currencies, and Scrolls
The other big change to the system is a revamp of the relics used to fill the slots on your items. You still obtain these relics by destroying priceless "legendary" items you have leveled, but there are now more stat choices available spread across fewer tiers, and there is a currency associated with the system that can be used to counteract the random number generator.
Before the change, obtaining a specific tier 6 relic meant combining an exponentially increasing number of lower tier relics until you got lucky. Now, you get a "shard" currency for breaking stuff (legendary items down into relics, and relics down into just shards) which can be used to pay to exchange your relic for the one you want. The same system can be used to obtain most of the hard-to-get item scrolls (which have also been added into the cash shop, gogo free to play), and even new legendary items to level.
(Speaking of the shop, the ability to unlock a seventh and eighth slot for additional items is cash store exclusive. The formula for dividing item exp amongst your items awards more total exp for having more items equipped, so these additional slots ultimately mean faster acquisition of relics and shards.)
A change in perspective
There was always an odd contrast between the ideals behind LOTRO Legendaries - in Middle Earth, a sword that glows and does +1 damage to orcs is a heirloom to be named and handed down for generations - and the disposable nature of gear in an MMO. Much like Moria's other major new mechanic, the hated Radiance system, the implementation fell far short of Turbine's aspirations. When Narsil was broken, they saved the broken pieces for hundreds of years until there was a worthy heir of Elendil who deserved the reforged blade. You don't replace that sort of thing with the first random quest drop you see.
Under the circumstances, changing the system from a mostly random time sink to a mostly time-based time sink is an improvement. While this does mean that weapons can now have cookie cutter builds, which would have been highly improbable under the old system, I don't quite know of anything exactly like this in other games.
That said, I can't help but look back and what might have been and feel that what we got here may not have been a fair trade for what we once were promised.