A fan asks why Unique items are now called Legendary in D3, and gets some explanation from Bashiok. Beware, the post overruns with WoW references.
Why else would they rename the Unique items to Legendary?
Unique items in Diablo II were only “unique” in that only one of them would drop per-game. Using the term “unique” to describe them implies many things, none of which are likely to be true.
World of Warcraft uses the word a bit more intelligently in that it is indeed unique in that your character can only ever have one of them.
Because they will be using the same “Unique” setup that WoW uses
We have no plans to have such a system.
World of Warcraft uses unique and unique equipped for character balance, so that the designers know what items a character can have equipped at any one time. Balance is important to us, but probably not to the same degree that we would want to restrict use of dual-wielding two of some awesome legendary sword. For instance.
>…I guess I would probably follow that up with the usual, ‘but nothing is set in stone’. I guess if we were to hit a point where dual wielding the most awesome sword in the game completely broke everything, we’d have to do something like unique-equipped.
But even then, you could still find them, pick them up, and trade them off… so I’m not even sure how unique-equipped kills hoarding.
Wouldn’t you just nerf the sword?
I don’t know. Maybe? But maybe we like the sword being as awesome as it is. Maybe nerfing it means we have to make some awesome proc completely stupid and not fun. Or we can go *poof* unique-equipped and it’ll still cause enemies to explode, which have a chance to cause the enemies they exploded on explode themselves, in a chain reaction, and the number of explosions increases movement speed by 5%!? HUH!? Bet you didn’t think about the awesome explosion-run speed proc this sword has, did you?
I’m ambivalent about this change. I mean true, the Unique items in D1 and D2 don’t match the first dictionary definition of “unique,” but there are several definitions for the word, most of which just mean “special.” So yes, D2’s unique items vary widely in stats, you can find them multiple times, etc. But the word is defined by how it’s used in the game. If we’re going to be literal and rule out “unique,” doesn’t that mean that there has to be a well-known tale about every “legendary” item? Seems like a lot of lore work for the writers, there.
Semantics aside, most of us have been trained, like one of Pavlov’s dogs, to love the word unique and the shiny golden text that accompanies it. I doubt it will take long for D3 to reprogram me to salivate and turn in rapid circles at the sight of a purple item name, but still… NEVER BE THE SAME!