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Player Created Legendaries - Orbs of Power

A comment by @Ravudh made in another thread got me thinking about the type of tabula rasa world that we will be provided with in Verra once the game launches and our stories begin.

The comment was around Legendary weapons and having an option for these to be player generated, so we can be the ones who create our own stories and become our own legends, rather than always relying on the great deeds of civilisations long dead. 

I thought this was a really good idea and thought it tied in perfectly with Intrepid’s wish for player agency to be the driving force of the story of each realm/server. I still do like the idea of there also being epoch-old legendaries from before the exodus, but to be able to play an active part of the story is even more attractive.

The idea is along these lines: a Master Crafter would have the ability, once they had reached the pinnacle of their own craft, to produce a Legendary item. This would require an additional epic quest line to learn the mystical secrets of imbuing an item with more power than commonly thought possible.

The idea that I thought might be cool was as follows:

The moment the servers are up for release, the world is seeded with magical Orbs. These Orbs are found throughout the world, in far flung, out of the way places and well hidden: at the bottom of a pool deep in a cave, wedged in a crevice at the very top of a mountain, hidden in a hollow log deep in the forest, in the abandoned nest of a seabird clinging precariously to the side of a cliff overhanging the ocean, in an alcove behind a crumbling sarcophagus in an ancient tomb, lying in the weeds between the gnarled roots of an ancient tree, half-buried in the sand-dunes at the top of a beach.

These locations would be scattered throughout the entire world and heavily promote exploration and investigation. These would be very well hidden, not able to be seen by the casual observer.

There would be hundreds of potential places in which these Orbs could be found, but out of say 1000 potential locations, only 50 Orbs are placed within the world upon server start. Then, each subsequent month a random number (low, say 1-6) of new Orbs would be seeded into the world on a random date (eg. Month 1: 1 Orb placed on 4th, Month 2: 3 Orbs placed on the 22nd). These could be placed within any one of the 1000 locations as long as this location had not been seeded within the past three months, and did not currently contain an unfound Orb.

These Orbs would be different colours. Each colour would produce a different legendary effect:

  • Light Blue – adds a lightning attack to the main target, which can jump to a further three targets with a reduced damage profile with each jump
  • Swamp Green – adds a resource leech to each attack, debilitating the target and enhancing the user
  • Beige – provides a damage shield to the user and a lesser shield to each member of their group
  • Vermillion – produces a blinding light, disorienting enemies within a certain radius
  • Black - adds the chance of a flame breath attack with each normal attack

Once a Master Crafter has an Orb in their possession, they can research the effects of the Orb. This research process will take 10 days, at the end of which the Master Crafter will know the effects the Orb will impart to an item. 

It will take a pair of Orbs to be able to imbue an Epic Quality item with the Legendary effect and improve the quality of the item to the final tier. Not sure if the Orbs would just add the additional flavour effect, or whether they would bump up the base stats of the item as well – by something small, say 5% just to elevate the item a little more.

I would envision something like 60 different Orb colours, which would provide a really nice variety of effects for all classes as well as providing a large pool of potential Orb seeds to secure the scarcity of the item. This, coupled with the requirement of a pair of Orbs needed for crafting, would ensure that it would likely be a very long time before one of these items was crafted, and that the rarity would probably be on par with game-generated legendaries.

If there are only two Swamp Green Orbs currently known, I have one, and someone else has the other. Neither one of us is willing to sell ours, so we both wait for another to be found and then starts a massive bidding war for this new Orb so we can complete our pair and create our legendary. But what if the new player doesn’t want to give it up and wants one of ours to complete their pair? As these items would be exceedingly rare, I don’t think anyone likely to give up any Orb they find without a real struggle, or a huge price tag.

As the Orbs would be hidden in out of the way places, in the far-flung reaches of the world and squirrelled away in the most unlikely of places, there is no guarantee that any single Orb will be found. It might take a year for one of the initial Orbs to come to light. Then it must find its way into the hands of a Master Crafter who has completed the final quest line to enable them to craft a Legendary (not a short or easy quest). The Master Crafter must then research the Orb, and then must obtain a second Orb of the same colour.

If anything about the Orbs sounds familiar, you may have read Burning Midnight by Wil McIntosh, from which I have unceremoniously nicked the concept. A pretty enjoyable read and a fun romp, which I would highly recommend. 

Not sure if the Legendaries would be able to be named, but I would lean towards no. That might be a step too far for player agency and would no doubt generate a Swordy McSwordface (and Intrepid have said they won’t allow player naming of places either)

What do you guys and gals think? Awesome idea, interesting idea, complete anus? What would you change? 


  • Since legendaries would classify as "highest tier items" we already know they will be craftable.

  • Since legendaries would classify as "highest tier items" we already know they will be craftable.

    I had always interpreted the "tier" part of that as being similar to that of other games that uses tiers to denote the power of the gear sets that are dropping from dungeon in specific content. Legendaries have always been something a little outside that system.

  • I imagine we will see a mix of all mechanics on them. The .0001% drop, the found in X location, the only drops from this boss during a full moon, needs X component from this world boss to activate, and crafted.
  • Nice idea, I honestly do hope that legendary items can be crafted in some cases but only after exhaustive effort both in collecting extremely rare materials and uncovering the lore behind the item to be crafted. 
  • Bajjer said:

    It will take a pair of Orbs to be able to imbue an Epic Quality item with the Legendary effect and improve the quality of the item to the final tier. 

    I was thinking, interesting idea but way too OP, until this bit. Requiring a pair of the same colour is the game changer. Then I did a complete 180. And now I can't stop thinking about how cool this would be.

    I haven't done those personality test things but I would definitely be super high on the Explorer type. Knowing that somewhere out in the world, there are these tiny orbs of power that are super rare and will be worth a ton of money would just make my exploration seem so much more exciting.

    I can just imagine people going out of there way to swim to the very bottom of each pool and look behind each rock and climb every single mountain and tree.Seriously, this system alone would keep me just out in the world exploring incessantly.

    I wouldn't even use them because I will be a full gatherer but to be able to find one for my guild would be amazing. Just imagine the craziness that would happen when you spotted one and finally had it in your hand. It would be like those loot box openers on youtube when they get a Ronaldo card, just the running out of the room screaming like an idiot kind of excitement.

    I even love love love the idea of orbs not being found for years because they are so well hidden. It would probably be a bit stupid but it would be interesting to know for how long something had been there so you could say in year three, wow i just found one of the first ever orbs.

    And you would definitely have people, or more probably guilds, setting themselves up as orb traders. Trying to snap up all the orbs in the market and set prices. 

    My idea for an effect is for the Black Orb to be Soul Devourer. So it would do extra damage when the target was below 20% health because it would be trying to suck the soul from the creature. Then if you dealt the killing blow the enemy would turn black and shrivel out of existence in a really cool animation.

    I think that is what each legendary needs to have, a cool animation as well as cool effects.
  • I like the sound of this. Searching all over, peeking inside of hollow logs, seeing a glimmer in a shadowy location that when you get up right on top of it a prompt to reach into a hole in the rock that was hidden by shadow to pull out whatever was squirreled away by some critter. 

    I only add from a minority in the gaming community.. an Orb that is made to support Summons/Pets in some fashion.
  • I like the idea of player generated legendary items. I like the idea of becoming a legend and creating our own story instead of constantly lauding the achievements of the civilisations of the past. To be brutally honest, I am really of tired of seeing the Legendary items in games and books be thousands of years old, as if the paradigm of the older civilisations being more advanced is the only option. It is a bit of a fantasy trope these days and to have a system where the most powerful items are created by the current generation would be a welcome change. 

    Let’s just say that whatever cataclysm befell the world to create the corruption, also destroyed all those legendary items, or maybe we can just say that civilisation has just advanced and we are better now. I know it is a romantic vision to think about lost knowledge and power from ancient times (I do love that stuff) but something different would be nice too.

    With the system proposed here I would see that these powerful items would probably be even more scarce than the system we previously know of having stuff drop off repeatable raid bosses, or from long quest lines. These have worked ok in the past, but having the players actually search the world for these items and have the entire process be driven by the players is, to my mind, just the breath of fresh air that this genre needs (one of many that Intrepid have already vowed to bring).

    From searching, which is awesome and something truly worthwhile for those curious explorers, to the weight of responsibility in the hands of the crafters, I think having a system like this would create yet another avenue for the players to generate the economy and the conflict that will naturally stem from the scarcity. And it could even be a nice point of lore too.

    The dilemma of whether to use those orbs to create a specific item would be kind of fun. I did initially think to say that only weapons should be available to keep the numbers one person could wear down, but then that is pretty unfair and a bit skewed. So maybe just have an arbitrary rule that you can only have one legendary equipped at a time, because the powers the orbs imbue into an item conflict if two are worn together, simple enough. 

    This then adds yet another dimension of choice. If you ever manage to get your hands on a matching pair then you need to decide what item you are going to use them on. Do you want a ring, or a helmet or a weapon. I would think most people would choose a weapon anyway, because the idea of legendary shoulders is a bit lacklustre. Just doesn’t really have much of a zing.

    The other thing I thought would be cool was the naming. I liked Diablo’s naming conventions with prefixes and suffixes. So you could have a Bright Breastplate of the Whale. Diablo 3 had a system of randomly generated naming so you could have some pretty interesting things crop up.

    But what I thought would be even cooler would be to have a preset list of words you could choose from and when you created a legendary you could choose from that list and generate your own name. This would mean that you had the opportunity to really create a pretty unique item. 

    Have a couple of hundred words to choose from and booyah, you get Ferocity of the Damned or Legacy of Thunder or Blade of Regret or even use suffixes (like ful or ing) as well and have The Regretful Blade of Regret or The Truthful Ring of Truth (if you wanted to be a little silly, it’s your item after all). 

    This would prevent stupid crap like Penyse Sword of Thrusting, but allow the crafter some real creativity. Or the person who was going to be the eventual owner could choose it and have it totally customised to exactly what they want for their character. A pretty cool RP tool.

    This is really bringing some of that pen and paper creativity and customisation into an MMO that we really have never seen. 

  • @Lazerou That's a really interesting point about what items people would choose for a legendary.

    Weapons are a no brainer. I can see rings for sure, a breastplate, and even a helmet. After that, it seems odd. Even boots or gloves don't really seem to have that legendary pizzazz.

    Though in Diablo 2 you did have the Frostburn Gauntlets that were pretty memorable. Can't think of any boots or legs or anything like that though.

    It does provide a limited number of crafters that would be responsible for creating these legendaries, but that just comes with the territory. I don't think anyone could complain that some crafting professions get more to do than others.

    But I would like to see a little more synergy. Maybe the alchemists could make a catalyst resin or something that would be necessary to coat the item to take the imbue from the orbs. So this would pull in the alchemists, and they would need a special quest or trial or something to learn how to make it.

    Not sure how you would pull in too many other professions though. I can't see a cook having much to do with the process :(

    But I think its an excellent idea. I love more power in the hands of the players (its what attracted me to Ashes in the first place). I think this whole thing could flow so beautifully into the world of Verra and have itemisation tied fundamentally into the story of our return to the homeland.

    We return to Verra. We suffer the trials and tribulations and gain the knowledge and we create our own destinies and legends.

  • I had a thought while reading the new posts after mine.

    What's to stop the crafter from just taking the orbs and making something for themself?

    A Special 2 person crafting station. Person 1 puts in the materials and payment, Person 2 applies their skill to craft the piece. Completed project drops to Person 1, Person 2 gains the payment.
  • @AreeSoothsayer You could just have a special trading window such as that for enchanting in WoW - the person with the orbs puts those in special slots and the crafter puts the item to be imbued into their slot and voila.

    But I do like the idea of both parties, if there are two parties involved, having to go to a crafting station like those in ESO. I have always liked the idea of crafting locations, such as the Dark Iron Forge in WoW, or all the special crafting stations around the world in ESO.

    I do have a feeling that there will be some people who will actually take up a craft to enable them to create their legendary so their name is on the item as well. Might take a while, but some people are very particular. Probably wait until they get their hands on a pair of orbs though.

    @VoodooToo I really like the idea of the resin produced by Alchemists to facilitate the imbuing process. Involving as many people and professions as possible in creating what are the best items in the game is an excellent idea.

    @nabler I agree on animations. A really cool animation goes hand-in-hand with a legendary: like being able to breath fire, and it actually comes from your mouth, or having a cool damage shield envelope the player, different from anything else in the game.

    @Lazerou I know what you mean about the trope of the ancient civilisation and lost knowledge. I get that, but I still don't mind that being used, maybe a mix. We will have been away from Verra for a very long time and nothing much will have happened on the surface in that time. I think mixing player created legendaries to propel the story forward and ancient lengendaries is a really good idea.

    Honestly, the number of people running around with legendaries will be teeny tiny for the first few years. This is the way it has been in the games of old, before the entire system of itemisation was dumbed down into meaninglessness. Being able to work towards creating your own, even if it takes two years, a lot of hard work, a lot of money and a great deal of luck, is something I really want to see.

    From a lore perspective, I would like to think that when the portals were opened into Verra, a little bit of the void slipped through, and this is what the orbs are: small, concentrated spheres of pure void. As long as the portals are open, little globules seep through and continue to seed the world.
  • I already have mine 

  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited December 2017
    Love the idea.   The only thing I would add is that the spawn points should be manually changed by the devs every so often.   This would keep people from making lists of spawn points to try to camp.
  • Really cool idea. I plan on being a jeweller so the idea of just legendaries being weapons makes me a sad panda, so I would like to see a bunch of different stuff be able to be made.

    I would love this idea to be integrated into the game from the ground up. I can see it adding a huge amount of flavour to everything. But so much more to exploring, like others have said, because even though exploring has been touted as a cool thing and a big draw for Ashes, what with no fast travel and all, I still don’t see much in the way of systems to incentivise exploring. Or incentivise might not be the right word because exploring for the sake of exploring, because that wanderlust and curiosity is just innately in you, is enough incentive, but maybe rewarding.

    Having more rewards for exploring would be awesome and this one sounds like it would be great because it would also tie into the whole economy and crafting.

    Actually the more I think about this as I write the more I love this idea. And it fits so perfectly with what IS want with the players being the driving force of each server.

  • If jewelry and such is added to "legendary" status item... Well this old pet fiend would like to add the idea of Legendary Pet equipment. I'm a minority but I am vocal, just in case one voice makes it happen.
  • @kronykus I know people have a tendency to create external websites to track these kinds of things, especially if it is something valuable like this. 

    The 1,000 figure was just pulled out of nowhere. I could imagine you could find 1,000 little hidey-holes in a single zone. With an entire world, many many thousands would be more likely. Considering the glacially slow rate of seeding, I don’t think any website would be particularly useful in allowing people to check all of these locations. 

    Even taking into account the fact that there will be multiple servers from which to pool the data I don’t see it as a problem, especially when you factor in no fast travel.

    I am sure someone could do the math on the likelihood of an orb appearing in the same location twice. I am sure it would be something astronomical. If you want to change the rate, simply say that an orb cannot be seeded into the same location within a 6 month period, or a 12 month period.

    I even think the job of choosing the spots for the orbs would be fun. Kind of like preparing for an easter egg hunt, looking for all the special spots to hide things in. I would love that job. I take great pleasure in always ensuring there are a number of eggs not found at the end of each hunt, much to the children’s chagrin :)

  • After watching the latest livestream I couldn’t help thinking about this the whole time. Looking at little nooks and crannies for hiding the orbs.

    I thought one idea would be really cool would be to have one in a kind of underground cave area where you could see the orb through a crack in the rock wall, just glimpse it through a thin crack that would be too small to get through. So then you have to madly scramble to find out how to get on the other side of this rock wall before someone else sees it or discovers the other entrance. And the entrance to the other area would not be in the same cave system, but would be in a small shaft hidden behind some bushes in a rocky outcropping nowhere near the main entrance, but it would go on a deep, diagonal shaft for a long way.

    I would love to see things like that in the game, secret places that you really have to work hard to find, or stumble on by complete accident. And to have something powerful or exciting hidden at the end would be awesome.

  • @VoodooToo I know what you mean. I keep coming back to this in the game I am playing now. It has surely resonated that is for sure.
  • Yep, I am thinking about this exploration even while I walk through my local parks. :)

    How do you go about bringing something to the attention of the devs? Do you have to be on discord? I hear a lot of stuff happens on discord? 

    I just really love this idea.  :D
  • Hopefully they do an underwater world with the land world. Dive to the deepest depths. A light and air, searching in limited visibility for the tiny chance a gleaming orb rests in some nook or cranny and you don't just swim by it without ever even seeing it.
  • @VoodooToo The devs do tend to spend a lot more time on discord but they do have accounts here. You can do an @GMSteven

    I think they all have @GM
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