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What Makes WoW's Legendary Weapons so Orange?

Updated Mon, Aug 15, 2011 by Saia

The colour of your weapons and gear in World of Warcraft. There’s something special about purples, blues and even your first green item but nothing compares to orange, the colour of the weapons of legend.

Legendary weapons have been in the game since Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros. They are not only amazing weapons but often also come with a low drop rate, an epic endgame boss encounter and a lengthy/costly questline. They’re also super rare and make the elite from the uber, with perhaps one or two legendaries, if you're lucky, per expansion.

Last week Siiz of Premonition became the first person to get Cataclysm’s first legendary, the caster staff Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest. Unlike other weapons though, this latest legendary also came with a bit of a surprise. Not only did the staff allow you to assume the form of Tarecgosa herself, it also gifts the staffholder’s guildies with a tiny version of the blue dragon as a non combat pet. Aww.

It’s these little touches which send a legendary staff into the stratosphere. Everyone loves mounts and pets but getting a legendary weapon - while only one person can wield it - is usually a guild effort so it’s nice to see that Blizzard has recognized that it takes more than one person and rewarded the group as a whole.

The last staff to have a cool perk was Altiesh, Medivh’s Greatstaff from TBC. Aside from being a totally awesome staff which came in individual flavours for each class who could use it, Altiesh also had an important place in WoW’s lore and the ability to teleport the owner and their group to the then-new dungeon of Karazhan in Deadwind Pass.

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This is the latest in a long line of legendaries that everyone wants.

Legendary weapons don’t just have that status because of their stats. Most of the weapons have a place in lore too; Illidan’s Twin Blades of Azzinoth and the infamous (Corrupted) Ashbringer being two of the best examples. Everyone wanted them, both the roleplayers and the hardcore raiders. Frostmourne, for example, was supposed to be one of Wrath’s legendaries but, well, that sword sucks out your soul. Blizzard recanted on its promise that, yes, we would be able to wield the Lich King’s runeblade because the devs couldn’t find a lore way around the problem. As a result, we got it’s inferior cousin Shadowmourne instead.

But, of course, it’s not just the end item, it’s also the experience that counts and Blizzard continues to put more work into the questlines surrounding such items. Sulfuras saw us descending deep into Molton Core while the Warglaives of Azzinoth had us ending the life of the Betrayer himself. It’s only fitting that a weapon like Dragonwrath also has an epic storyline.

The Blue Dragonflight storyline began in Wrath with Malygos’ end but it’s taken till now, half way into Cataclysm, for the loose ends to be tied. To get the whole experience, you really need to do the questline and read Christie Golden’s latest book, Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects, which focuses a good portion of its narrative on the quest to find a new Aspect of Magic.

Yet it’s only through the questline that you can truly grasp the scope of this latest legendary weapon. From the Nexus and the Caverns of Time to the Firelands, from the death of Malgyos to the demise of the Firelord himself, the quest to elect a new Aspect of Magic, the rising star Kalecgos, is truly epic. After all, how often do you see dragons made Aspects? Not since the Titans invested their power in the original four millennia previously. As you do the quest though, there’s a sense of attachment to Tarecgosa and her eventual sacrifice is particularly emotive. To gain her resting place in the form of such a powerful magical object seems right and proper when it comes to both lore and narrative.

Personally, I love the way Blizzard is starting to make this awesome items more than just weapons. Adding a non-combat pet and a mount spell is a great start and, doubtless, will fan the flames and encourage more guilds to spend the time, money and mats on obtaining Cataclysm’s first legendary item. Yet we’re not even denting Deathwing’s thrall over Azeroth and it’s hard not to focus on what we might find in the Caverns of Time when we return to the War of the Ancients or, indeed, what might be on the Aspect of Death’s loot table.


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