Getting hold of a precursor weapon is considered to the most time consuming/costly element of the entire Legendary process. Either you get exceedingly lu3cky, and the specific one you're looking for drops in one of the *counts* 3 (?) level 80 explorable areas, or you get equally lucky from a drop from a chest, or you get lucky by throwing 4 rare weapons into the Mystic Forge, or you stump up the several hundred gold to buy it from the Trading Post. It's not an ideal process.
It sure keeps them rare! But it doesn't feel very... legendary!
This is why the scavenger hunt has been suggested, if it can include legendary-status feats of prowess, then hopefully the path to a precursor can be made to feel like a worthy way. But, you can't make it too easy, otherwise it just devalues the whole process, and makes the ultimate product - the Legendary Weapon - feel all that less legendary.
So, my suggestions are as follows, I'm not sure if they will be considered legendary by others, but I think they're sufficiently non-grindy, skill and exploration based to warrant the receipt of a precursor weapon at the end.
My system would require the implementation of a character-by-character Achievement tracking system; simply by adding another bar under each achievement progress bar. The top bar would remain orange and would show the progress with the achievement for the entire account, below it would be a green bar tracking this specific character's progress with the achievement. You'll see why this would be necessary below (plus I think it would be kinda cool anyway).
In my system the ultimate aim to obtain four tokens - the idea being that each token is rewarded once you have proved that you present each of the character traits that it represents. The four tokens are:
- Token of Agility
- Token of Strength
- Token of Bravery
- Token of Wisdom
Token of Agility - complete 40 Jumping Puzzles.
I've not set this to "complete all the jumping puzzles" because it's likely ANet will add more as time progresses. But this is one fewer than all the jumping puzzles, and it means that people don't have to rely on their server being good at WvW enough to allow them access to the EB puzzle. It also forces the player to go out and explore the world, see the most fantastic sights and to prove that they are worthy of the token.
Token of Strength - complete all the explorable paths on the all existing dungeons
This is no mean feat, each of the paths usually takes around an hour to complete and there are currently eight dungeons and at least three (five for Arah) paths for each one. So, even if you are able to do each path first time - that's over twenty-four hours worth of work. Again, I'm keen to avoid asking for people to repeat content over and over, but asking them to complete all the content is different.
Token of Bravery - obtain 25 of the "Bosses" Achievements
In general, I think this achievement line needs to be expanded. Currently it contains eight achievements, but you could add so much more - add in achievements for certain things done with Fractals bosses, dungeon bosses, and new meta-event bosses across the world. Not just "kill this dude" but interesting challenges like jumping into the bosses mouth, or throwing a rock at his ballsack or something. This would prove that they have the gall to stand up to the mightiest of foes.
Token of Wisdom - navigate your way to the center of the Temple of Ineffable Wisdom
I thought for a long-while about how to approach this final test. I wanted some way to trial the players knowledge of lore, Tyrian history and the world at large. The Temple (the name is just a reference to the Crab of Ineffable Wisdom - I couldn't think up a good name on the spot), would be a multi-level solo dungeon, accessible only once you've completed your personal story, and have gathered the other three tokens.
Within the temple you will be required to navigate past a number of gateways, puzzles and devious opponents. There will be a res-shrine at the start, but if you fail at any point throughout, you must start again.
The puzzles will be logic-based, requiring you to move blocks, carry objects and flick switches in order to complete the puzzle.
The opponents will require agility, timing and skill to kill. Not just hitting them with your sword, but using specific pick-up objects around the room, interacting with static objects or dodging at the right time.
The gateways will require you to answer questions about Tyrian history, current game events and lore. The questions will obviously be multiple choice, but they will have a strict time limit (so that you can't just minimise the client and google the answer). They will also be randomised, so you can't just memorise the sequence of answers beforehand.
At the end of the dungeon, the player will receive a Token of Wisdom (along with a dungeon chest, probably). Once you've received your token, you won't be able to reenter the temple again until you've earned another set of Tokens of Agility, Strength and Bravery (this is to stop people simply running the dungeon over and over for the end chest).
Then you take your four tokens and drop them in the Mystic Forge. And out drops a Token of Legend - which can be exchanged at a vendor for your precursor of choice.