In the latest installment of the Last Whiskey Bar, Innuendo and I go toe to toe on whether legendary weapons should be tradeable. Innuendo is firmly in the 'against' camp and Xerin is in the 'for'. Considering one of us has made a small fortune from the lucrative trade of selling on legendary weapons, this should be interesting.
Trading Legendary Weapons - Against
I’ll get right to the punch. 90% of the cost of a legendary comes down to two things. Gold and Time. The reason they are prestigious is because how much Gold and Time they take to acquire. Gold quite frankly is a silly thing to spend on the weapon, but the nature of how precursor acquisition goes right now means it’s the only viable path to a Legendary.
A good majority of the components for a legendary weapon are soulbound. This is how the time factor comes into play. If a legendary weapon exists you know that one player assembled all the parts for it. Karma is non tradeable so you know they accumulated mass amounts of karma. You know they spent hours obtaining the gifts of exploration. All of these things are meant to be badges of personal achievement. That when combined give that player an ultimate reward they can display.
It’s the whole reason they are flashy and cool looking. It’s not because they are better (they aren’t), it’s because they meant to be trophies displayed to others representing the power and dedication of your character. It’s like hoisting the lombardi trophy (US football) or the World Cup (everywhere else football) above your head and saying “Look how much hard work and dedication we put in to achieve this!” It’s exactly the reason those things have value and are sought after.
Giving them a gold value not only is silly and pointless, it completely strips them of their true value. Imagine if the winning team in the sports above could give the trophy to another team. Would anyone care that the other team had the trophy? Not at all. The value isn't in having the end product, it's in completing the process on your own.
The first months of the game, when I saw a Dawn or Dreamer I was amazed. I still remember the first time I saw the footsteps of a warrior with one. It was in Orr, about a 3 weeks after release. He had a small following of people ogling him (and his trophy). We all knew one thing for sure: That player had spent countless hours in the game and had dedicated every action to achieving that goal.
Now when I see one they have lost all real value. Sure they still cost a lot, but anyone with money can get one. And getting money in the game can be done all sorts of ways, not the least of which is converting real money for gold. That isn’t a slight against the gem trading system (that system is amazing). It’s a slight against forgetting your design principles. When the game launched, Legendary weapons were specifically design to be unpurchasable. To acquire them you had to put in the work. You had to do the time. You had to gather all the gifts yourself.
Now though? There is a convenient shortcut right to the finish line. Don’t want to get gifts of exploration or smash your head into the mystic fountain to get clovers? Just do the most profitable thing for three weeks and play the trading post and you can have the legendary you want. That’s not a badge of dedication and work. Of seeing all parts of the game. I could start a new account, spend however much real money on gems, buy the dang thing, transmute it to a level 1 weapon and be carrying a legendary weapon from level 1 without ever having played the game.
If that isn't the definition of a worthless achievement I don’t know what is.
Trading Legendary Weapons – For
You almost convinced me to agree entirely with you, although it would however be contradictory of me to do so, though in some respects I despise the fact that legendary weapons are tradeable. As you point out, handing over gold isn’t an achievement or representative of countless hours spent obtaining the materials. On the flip side it’s hard for me to argue against the trade of legendaries when I’ve sold two, totalling 6,333 gold. First and foremost, that’s an outrageous amount of money. Secondly, it wasn’t all for me. The legendaries were made between me and two friends, with 150% of the profits going to each of us. I think I made around 2,000 gold in total which allowed me to equip all my characters in Tier 3 armour, full exotics, and ascended back pieces, while still saving enough gold to construct a Kudzu.
For anyone constructing a legendary weapon to sell on, the reward for the miserable experience that it is, is a wealth of money that will set you up for life. Having 100 gold is considered wealthy. Having over 2,000 gold is comparable to being the Sultan of Brunei. Fundamentally though and for the hard work it takes to create a legendary, if someone wishes to sell it for a profit (and those profits are considerable) then so be it. If people are stupid enough to buy a Bolt for 3,333 gold (when they only cost 1,100 gold to make) then more fool them. They’ve clearly got too much money. I really make no bones about it – it is stupidity to buy a legendary weapon at their current prices.
This brings me to the wider issue though of why anyone would even hand over 3,333 gold for a Bolt. If you have 3,333 gold and as you mention, 90% of it can instantly be bought. All it then requires is Karma (easily farmed) a few runs of a specific dungeon, some WvW badges and World Completion (which is ridiculously easy, if not boring). None of this justifies the outrageous mark up people are adding to the price, which is why I think the Trading Post prices are tumbling.
Based on that, I think the window of opportunity for profiting from a legendary (and thus trading them) is closing rapidly, so much so that it won’t actually be worth listing them based on time versus investment. I know from my own experience I originally set out to sell the Kudzu I’m making, but at a return of 1,800 gold against a 1,000 gold investment (still staggeringly high) it just isn’t worth it. I’ve come to realise the true value of the legendary weapon when constructing one myself and it’s something hard to explain and something money just can’t buy.
I suppose then that I am for selling them, but only if people are stupid enough to buy them.
We've had our say, and now we'd like to hear your thoughts on the matter, and which of us should be declared the victor for the latest round of The Last Whiskey Bar. Do you believe Xerin makes a better argument for tradeable legendary weapons, or do you side with Innuendo in thinking this addition is bad for the game? Let us know in the comments below!