Lord of the Rings Online’s revamped legendary item system is a hot mess


Lord of the Rings Online’s long-awaited and much-needed overhaul to its legendary item system arrived earlier this week. But instead of succeeding in its goal to streamline and simplify what was a complex system, SSG appears to have implemented a half-baked solution that lacks thorough explanation and consideration.

Players on the forums have been critical in their response to this rollout, particularly losing out on upgrade points, a lack of retroactive rewards for completed quests that now assign much-needed upgrades, the ignoring of tester feedback on the system, clunky UI design – it boils down to general bewilderment over how this all works.

One issue that allowed players to spend cash on upgrading traceries past a level they could actually equip will be changed soon and refunded.

“SSG you kind of dropped the ball on the implementation here,” one player posted. “I was surprised that there is no prompt or explanation anywhere in game on how to use the new LI system. Chat is filled with people confused about how to even begin, where to go, why they can’t deconstruct their old weapon, why they can’t equip the new, how the heck to even open the LI panel. Why was none of this explained anywhere in game?”

MMO blogger Roger of Contains Moderate Peril said in a scathing essay that this version of legendary items is just as broken as the old one was, only in new ways: “There is no easily accessible in-game resource that either provides directly, or points towards a guide for the new LI system,” he notes. He commented that the new system leans heavily on the cash shop, puts the best upgrades inside of lockboxes, fails to give players adequate resources to make new LIs to replace older ones, and is confusing to upgrade.

(Roger did link to a useful player-written guide on the new legendary item system that we will also share with you here. Here’s another guide as well.)

The good news here is that the new legendary items are, when upgraded properly, more powerful and beneficial than the old ones.

In response to the growing backlash over Update 30.3 and the legendary item system in particular, LOTRO’s producer wrote that “the update seems to have gone pretty well overall” but that “continued progress” should be expected with the next patch.

Another developer spoke to the future of the legendary item system’s development, particularly with next month’s expansion. “Moving into Gundabad of course, there will be a new range of levels and equipment available, and your legendary items will be able to reforge to follow those advancements,” Vastin said. He noted that some of the changes coming include corrected tracery drop tables for Rune-keepers and a change that traceries are bound to accounts instead of characters.

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