Welcome to a rousing edition of “Back in my day, we walked to school, in the snow, uphill… both ways.”

Also known as comparing old school gameplay with the new world order.

But I wanna do something NOW!

Blizzard has recently announced that the much anticipated Icecrown Citadel raids are not going to be released as one huge content release. Instead, they will be unlocking a certain number of bosses at regular intervals, with spaces of perhaps a few weeks in between each release.

This, it is supposed, will allow guilds to concentrate on the awesomeness of the first group of bosses, and really pay attention so as not to lose out on any of the cool features of the released challenges. Otherwise, if they released everything all at once, why, guilds might give the fights scant attention, due to just trying to ‘rush through’ each fight in their eagerness to see how far they can get in the shortest possible amount of time. 

Or maybe they’d just like everyone to relax and not get so caught up in raiding over the holidays. Who knows? My interpretation of the reason is certainly open to debate.

The point is, there is a new big raid coming soon, but you won’t be able to do it at the pace your guild is capable of, you will be limited to going no faster than the pace they have chosen for you.

And you can be certain that there will be multiple hard modes for encounters.

I wanted to mention it, not because it affects me all that grievously, but because sometimes in the midst of day to day events, it’s easy to lose sight of what brought you to this pass.

Stay awhile, and listen

I recently decided to do something silly.

I decided to get my Kara key on my Paladin.

I always liked Karazhan. Why not go see about getting the key so I can pop in there whenever I want?

And more, how about the Urn as well? The whole 9 yards, the quest chains inside and out, everything.

Thinking about the prospect brought to mind how I felt the first time I approached this on my main, Windshadow.

I’d reached level 70, I’d run some regular instances, I’d run some heroics, but here was the big time. If I wanted to raid with a guild, I’d have to be able to get into Karazhan. I’d have to get the key.

It took effort. It took some planning. There were goals. There was a lot to do.

And there was a lot of anticipation. You knew you were taking on a big challenge to get it all done, but at the end, you would be all set to enter Karazhan whenever you’d like.

You start by going on out to Karazhan itself, where you are directed to complete a few quests, getting some essences and divining the locations of ley line activity.

From there, you travel a great distance, where you introduce yourself for the first time to the Kirin Tor, at the blasted ruins where Dalaran once stood. There, you present the findings of your investigations, and are sent to go forth to Shattrath, to begin following up with the mysteries of Karazhan.

Traveling to Shattrath, you talk directly to legendary Khadgar himself, and you discover that, to enter Karazhan itself, you must recover three fragments of the fabled Key to that legendary edifice. These fragments were hidden in locations that once were quite secure, but now, with the shattering of Outlands, has resulted in them being quite difficult to obtain.

The first key fragment you must acquire was placed deep within the Shadow Labyrinth, in fact it is now in the same chamber within which Murmur now tries to force his way into Auchindoin. Go forth, and recover it!

You travel to Auchindoin, and prepare to go in and get the key fragment.

But wait! The doors to Shadow Labyrinth are locked, and you must first get a key to unlock those doors, before you can proceed (or be a Rogue with lockpicking of 350, etc). The Key to Shadow Labyrinth drops from the last boss of another of the Auchindoin instances. Are you prepared to face Talon King Ikiss of Sethekk Halls?

That’s right, you must triumph against Sethekk Halls, and once that is done, THEN you are free to enter Shadow labyrinth, and get the first key fragment.

You return to Shattrath, and there you learn that the last two key fragments require you to go to two other instances… Steamvaults in Zangarmarsh, and Arcatraz in Netherstorm.

You enter Steamvaults, and find that this key was concealed deep in a pond, which is not too far from the entrance. Well, they can’t ALL be at end boss areas, now can they? These areas were supposed to have once been secure, and what happened to  make them difficult to reach happened afterwards. Mission accomplished! Whew!

Then, you journey across the Outlands to the far off distant Arcatraz.

You rush to enter, but wait! This, too, is locked! You need a Key to the Arcatraz to get in!

Okay, that’s fine. How do we do that?

Well, it involves going to Area 52, and befriending Nether-Stalker Kay’ji, who is having some problems with those darn Zaxxis and Warp-Raider Nesaad. Why don’t you help him out?

After a while of doing him favors, then his boss, then his bosses’ boss and head high muckety muck Nexus-Prince Haramad, you eventually do more than just gain the Key to the Arcatraz. You actually recover the Ata’mal Crystal, and are sent to return it, as a sign of peace, to A’dal himself in Shattrath.

This is the shit, in case you’re wondering.

NOW you are told that bad things are brewing, and in order to find out more, you must obtain the key to the Arcatraz. This involves killing two entities, that just happen to be the end bosses of… wait for it… Botanica and Mechanar. Once you have killed both of them and obtained their two pieces of the key, you will be able to open the Arcatraz, go all the way inside to the final boss, and get the third fragment to the Key of Karazhan. 

Holy crap, that was awesome, wasn’t it? Damn, I earned that Kara key!

But wait… that sense of accomplishment was good, but you’re not quite there yet.

You’ve got the three key fragments, return them to Khadgar, and wait patiently for the Kara attunement.

Unfortunately, even though you’ve got the pieces, the Key won’t work unless it has Medivh’s blessing on it. Yes, Medivh is dead, but that’s okay. If you travel to the Caverns of Time, you can enter the Black Morass, traveling back in time to speak with Medivh… personally.

While he’s in the very act of opening the Dark Portal.

Holy crap again, right?

Okay, we can do this. Off we go to the Dark Portal. Hummina hummina.

But wait! What’s this? Khadgar may have sent you, but the Bronze Dragonflight are in a sticky situation. They need help in restoring the fragile balance of events, and want you to go take care of something for them in the distant past… and they control the portals. You cannot go into the Black Morass until you first help them rescue… Thrall!

That’s right, you must go back in time to when Thrall, then a young orc ophan, was held captive in Durnholde Keep, being trained as a gladiator, kept enslaved and taught the strategy and tactics of the Alliance races that he would one day turn on the Alliance itself, founding the Horde of today. 

War Chief. Shaman. Thrall himself.

There are those beings known as the Infinite Dragonflight that seek to go back in time to destroy him, and you must see to it that he is rescued, and goes free.

Man, this shit is epic, dawg! Sign my butt right up!

Off you go, complete the Escape from Durnholde Keep, and prove yourself to the Bronze Dragonflight against the forces of the Infinite Dragonflight.

Now that you’ve done that, they send you in to see to it that Medivh survives to open the Dark Portal unhindered by the Infinite Dragonflight… and along the way, you get to show Medivh your key.

He sees it… but decides to keep it to give to Khadgar later, and gives you his very own key to Karazhan in it’s place!

Congratulations, my friend. You have completed an arduous and complicated process that has led you through many instances, many epic storylines, and culminated in granting you access to the fabled halls of Karazhan.

Karazhan!

A place so immense, with it’s basement cellars overrun with beasts and bugs, it’s dining halls and kitchens, it’s secret demonic guests, dragon skeletons and dragon spirits, gaming diversions and mad parents full of “Flame Wreath, don’t move!”

A place so incredible, that running it in all it’s glory, week after week, happily kept players occupied for a year and more!

Is there a point in here, somewhere?

Yes, there is.

I ran down all these epic events that must be followed before Karazhan could be attempted. But I could have done the same thing concerning attunement to fight Onyxia, except that the attunement for Onyxia has been removed. The Karazhan attunement process is still live, and can still be done for those that want to seek it out and enjoy it.

Once upon a time, it was accepted that a part of the process of preparing to raid was to follow a certain amount of preparation. We were fortunate, I think, that the quests and storylines you enjoyed to do this were so epic in scope, so diverse and imaginative.

Sometimes some parts seemed to drag, others were choke points of varying difficulty, and after your third character hit 70 it got old trying to find someone in your raiding guild to go back and bring you through the whole thing again. Appeals for sanity were made.

And change happened.

Attunements were simplified, reduced, and eventually, removed.

I really think that was a mistake.

I love the quests, the stories, the rich world all of this takes part in. Karazhan had a ton of stuff going on, and you played through all of this backstory long before you went in there. And once inside, it took a long time to make your way through, and after the halfway point, it really picked up steam with boss after boss after boss, each rich in history and legend.

Things are certainly more accessible now. Ding 80, throw some stuffs on and in you go, whereever it may be.

Now, if it’s your third max level character, sure. You’ve been there, you’ve done that, it’s all good.

But what about your first?

Does Ulduar seem as epic if you haven’t done any quests at all? Does Heroic Trial of the Crusader?

What about a middle ground? You have the attunement, the Key, the incredible storyline and quests that take you in and out of the world of warcraft content, meeting and interacting with key figures in the story…

But once you’ve done it, the attunement or key is Bind to Account?

One other thing.

Part of the old school of raiding had been bragging rights on which bosses you had completed. How far into the progression you were.

With the inclusion of hard mode variations that are achievement based and optional, it’s become much harder to feel where any particular guild may be, or to feel that you are part of a competition with other guilds, because one guild may skip hard modes to clear first, and others may stay on one hard mode entirely before moving on, or skip some hard modes in favor of others, etc.

Why not change things up a little, so that hard modes themselves cannot be attempted until every member of the run has completed the regular version, in it’s entirety?

That’s right. An attunement you obtain by competing the normal mode, from start to finish, that allow you to enter the hard mode.

And make the entire raid be the hard mode. An entire step up, instead of bits and pieces.

Again, with the Bind on Account attunement, this would mean a guild would only have to get their team through once per player in normal to be attuned. Does that truly seem unreasonable, that new players would have to see the content on normal first before moving on to the advanced mode?

It would certainly return competition at one level… once again, a guild would be able to show where they were in progression, by naming one boss they were at. “We’ve cleared Iron Council Hard”.

I don’t concern myself with advancement or progression, but I do admire competition, and I miss some of the epic feel of the preliminaries to raiding. I miss that feeling that, stepping into a new raid, I had to climb a long way to get there, anticipating how cool it would be the whole time.

Did you hate some attunements? I don’t think that knowing there were bad, pointless or endlessly grinding attunements means that an argument is made that all attunements are bad and should be removed.

Instead, I think that it shows that, when an attunement is done right, it adds to the entire experience, it brings a sense of depth and meaning to what you are doing that really adds to the immersion of the entire experience.

It’s there in Wrath of the Lich King… there are insanely awesome quest chains in Icecrown, in the mountains around Ulduar, in the heart of Dragonblight…

But they are not tied into, or unified together with instances and events to bring you, ultimately, into having to do them once before entering the massive end game raid that they eventually lead into, driving the story to a meaningful conclusion.

And that, my friends, is a shame.

29 Responses to “Attunements – your mileage may vary”
  1. Adlib says:

    Agreed! The Bear speaks the truth! I miss it too.

  2. Sparky says:

    I think removing the attunement and simplifying things (even with the hard mode) has seriously hurt that sense of achievement. In particular the ‘oh yeah’ feeling

    It sounds geeky and awful, but I remember getting attuned to Black Temple, fighting, grinding, sweating and swearing… and then we killed Illidan.

    Oh yeah. We did. Vent partied, we shouted screamed and celebratedlike we’d won the freaking lottery. It was literally a high.

    Part of it, i think, is the epic story. Keal’thas, Illidan, Vashj, Archimonde – we KNEW them. We’d played Warcraft 3 and now here was ILLIDAN! It added to the epic encounter. But the quest lines contributed to that.

    Killing Yogg Soron? Or Anub Arak? No oh yeah. Not even heroic modes. I mean yeah we were happy – but it didn’t even come close to the ZOMG WE KILLED ILLIDAN moment.

    I can’t disagree with making it easier, though I want to. It’s simply silly for Blizzard to make content that 80-90% of people playing will NEVER see (like Naxxramas in Vanilla) so I can bite that bullet. And we have hard modes for those that need their big shiny epeens (though not as good). But the lack of attunement (and making it BoA would be a great idea) and storyline and attempt to make it epic is also taking it away.

    We’ve killed Yogg Soron. The old god of death. We went through portals to see major events in Lore. Why why WHY didn’t Blizzard through in a quest chain, and attunement, SOMETHING to work with that?! There was so much fodder for epicness there (and that’s aside from “hey we’re not kiloling the old god of death any more, it’s much more profitable to play party games with the Argent Crusade who should stop playing silly buggers) and it was wasted. Yogg – the source of 90% of the ills of the world – was just another boss. The characters shown – the old king, the dragon aspects, Garona – and half of us didn’t even notice them!

    And we know they can do it. We’ve seen the cut scene in Dragonblight with Arthas and High Lord Bolivar. There’s epic! There’s rock solid, pure gold EPIC. Yogg wasn’t worth that? C’mon. Anub Rekhan, the emperor of the Nerubians? He wasn’t worth that? A huge fallen empire massacred by the Scourge and they’re not EVEN a footnote! Even Malygos – MALYGOS – didn’t get half the attention he deserved. We’re farming a damn DRAGON ASPECT and there’s no epicness

    I look to the coming of Arthas… and beyond that, Deathwing. I don’t want these epic characters to be footnotes, loot carriers. I want the OH YEAH feeling. I want it to be epic

    And now I have managed to sound both extremely geeky, lore obsessed AND that crazy old man who sits in a corner and says “raidin’ you young un’s don’t know what raidin’ is!”

  3. Sparky says:

    And to add to the failing to tye in: the epic cut scene of epicness? I did it on my alt. Because I’d levelled my main, missed that quest and killed MALYGOS before I even realised that quest chain was there

  4. Jardal says:

    I think there’s still a lot of room for these epic quest chains, they just don’t have to end in attunement.

    Think along the lines of the epic sword quest for Onyxia. Only BoA so you can pass that bad boy on.

  5. Tesaki says:

    As a lvl 70 in TBC, I did both the Kara attunement, AND the Onyxia attunement, only because I could! It made everything so much worth it, all the work before you can FINALLY enter that raid instance and see what it is you prepared yourself for.

    I got sad when the removed the Onyxia attunement. I thought it was great fun, even at lvl 70 to do it. To get that necklace so I could get into Onyxia’s Lair and see her sleeping in her cave.

    I haven’t started raiding yet, but I’ve done alot of quests in Stormpikes and Icecrown, and I love the story! I was shocked when I thought I’d been helping Thorim and still I just lured him into another trap…

    Raids needs attunements, people need to focus more on storyline and such, not going heroics till their stats are high enough.

  6. Rakhman says:

    Damn right! I absolutely loved the kara key chain, I did it on two toons, the second after it was no longer needed. Fantastic lore and a real reason to be there beyond “phat epics” and that sort of rubbish. I was really disappointed there was no chain for naxx, and I did all of storm peaks to get as much lore in before hitting Ulduar. Sadly totc was poor but I have hope the new 5 mans in Icecrown will introduce Icecrown Citadel nicely.

    I even did the Horde Ony chain just in case they removed it in 3.2.2 and I will always be slightly regretful I never did the Alliance chain, which looked far more epic. Bring them back I say, with the BoA suggestions you make.
    .-= Rakhman´s last blog ..DPS chain questionnaire =-.

  7. Elegantdeath says:

    Nowadays you’d get a dragon or something for doing all that.

  8. Kattrinsaa says:

    Ditto, two toons kara keyed, Katt and my hunter. Even got the urn with katt. Was mad when they made the urn vendor trash.. I urned it dammit..
    Pretty sure it’s still in my bank.. lol

    Bind on account attunement is an awesome suggestion tho. But, one slight caveat kiddies, the attunements for kara acted as something of a gear check to make sure you weren’t as ill prepared for kara as many were when they hit 70 and were immediately brought in.

    For what its worth, unlocking all the areas of icecrown is something of an attunement, I would suggest that at least that be a requirement before entering the citadel instances. If for no other reason that they are a great chain of quests.
    .-= Kattrinsaa´s last blog ..Home at last =-.

  9. Neil says:

    I nearly shed a tear when I saw the flavor text on the now-gray Blackened Urn: “”Though the urn now appears to be empty, it might still be worth something to a vendor.”

    I dislike the idea of attunements. I dislike the tremendous barrier they impose on new characters, or new players, or people who might have a chance to take a poke at a raid just for fun, just once, but can’t because they didn’t invest 20 hours getting attuned for it.

    But I loved those epic quest chains! My main had a blast getting attuned for Karazhan, and then becoming a Champion of the Naaru, and then picking up the Vials of Eternity to go to Mount Hyjal and become a Hand of A’dal … but not because of the unlocking of content. It was because of the interconnectedness created by those epic quest chains.

    What I propose is to bring back those epic quest chains. But, instead of using access to content as a reward, they should award epics, like the Malygos quests do. They should reward huge boatloads of Northrend faction reputation, or tokens redeemable for such. They should reward titles like Champion of the Naaru or Hand of A’dal. They should reward vanity pets or tabards. They should reward reputation with raid-specific factions that could be put toward that-instance-only consumables, or an item to teleport to that instance, or even more epics tied in to that reputation.

    Point being: there are ways to have epic, sweeping questlines without excluding new players from content.

  10. Wavemancali says:

    It’s not just attunements that I miss. I miss the need to use crowd control in 5 mans. I play an elemental shammy and after long last we were given a viable crowd control spell in hex. I never use it in 5 mans, the one place where I find it still mildly useful is in TOC 10 or 25 man on the PVP fight.

    It’s now just get into everything right away, pull it all and muscle it down.
    .-= Wavemancali´s last blog ..Book Review =-.

  11. Millea says:

    I didn’t hit 70 until after Wrath came out. The closest I came to getting attuned for anything was getting the hammer for ZF. When they took away the need for the hammer to bang the gong and summon the giant serpent thingy (I can’t remember the name off the top of my head) I was very sad.

    Doing that chain at 40ish was amazing. I am sad I missed out on all of the other ones. I do agree though that they should reward you with something else instead of a raid attunement though.
    .-= Millea´s last blog ..Screenshot Friday =-.

  12. bigbearbutt says:

    I like your ideas of the epic long quest chainsthat tie directly into, and eventually send you to the raids, giving valuable rewards other than attunement.

    Titles, epics, something special that keeps giving you a reason to do it.

    The problem is, one of the benefits to making something a gate to progress, is that everyone who does it shares that common connection of having done it.

    Millea, your point is a stellar one. With the changes that have happened, Onyxia attunement is just something you’re not going to share with other players. The horror stories about 4 hour at level BRD marshall Windsor fails mean nothing… and you can’t go back and do it.

    I wonder how much of my longing also stems from knowing I play the same game as a bunch of people that really have no interest in doing anything in the game at all except hitting max level as fast as possible, raiding, and then bitching that there is no more content for him to raid, omigod this game sux. wanting them against their will to have to experience some of the actual content might be small-souled of me, and bitter… but that’s okay. I never claimed to be a saint.

  13. Nyctef says:

    Nice post! I beg to differ on the last point, though. There are a lot of questlines that are unified neatly with instances in the same zone. How can you forget Keristraza?. Grizzly Hill has the Drakuru quests into Drak’Tharon, and once you deal with him in Zul’Drak the troll gods’ quests send you into Gun’Drak. In Storm Peaks you follow Brann into Halls of Stone in a pretty epic questline before he delivers you into the Halls of Lightning. (Not to mention Chekhov’s mechagnomes :D )

    While they’re maybe not on the same grand scale as the Kara questline, I think they feel a lot more natural and they tell a better story. Interestingly though, apparently there will be some form of attunement with the Icecrown 5mans, since you’ll have to do them in order and follow the quests through. Looking forward to it myself :)

    On another note, perhaps my biggest gripe with the Wrath questlines was the end of Wrathgate. Once it’s over, you’re suddenly back to being a peon in Grizzly Hills, and the whole thing is forgotten for about five or six levels until you hit Icecrown. Suddenly, everyone’s panicking again at the defeat they’ve ‘just’ faced.

  14. lissanna says:

    I’d love to have attunement quests for raids again. I wouldn’t mind “bind on account” keys, so that people with 10 characters don’t have to do it 10 times… However, I really did like having to do them.
    .-= lissanna´s last blog ..Save the turkeykin! =-.

  15. Silinix says:

    We no longer feel as much a part of the world as we did in vanilla and in BC. We now feel that the world is there for us to level in, and then we run raid content that is fairly disconnected from it (as far as we know, since there are no long story arcs (the epic attunement quest lines) that tie the raids in with the rest of the game world and the people in it).

    The weird thing is that these story tie-ins do still exist. They’re just not required. The Storm Peaks quest lines are almost as long as some of the old attunement quests, and introduce you to many of the characters of Ulduar and their backstories. But they aren’t required, which somehow makes them less important. I believe they feel less important because they no longer feel connected to the raid instance itself. Sure, Thorim seems cool, and it’s sad what happens, but that’s not really connected to the raid, is it? B/c I ran the raid a few times before I even did the quest line where I saw him get corrupted and sucked inside.

    Ulduar also made an attempt to tie two of the 5-man instances in with the raid. They’re there. But you don’t need to run them to get into Ulduar. And they’re harder than many of the others, so people don’t farm them that often. Indeed, it’s easy to run Ulduar and never know that Loken was the one in charge…you’re supposed to have already killed him in the Halls of Lightning, and you’re just cleaning up his mess in the raid itself. But that gets lost.

    The question is whether (1) these epic story lines tying the content in with the game world and making the players feel like they are important parts of the game world are important for Blizzard in terms of sales, and (2) whether the right way to go about it is to have required attunement quests.

    I’m actually in favor of a new method in Cataclysm, since we’ll have some sort of guild leveling system. I think that there should be guild attunements. This gives you the epic feel and tie in, and also gives you the pre-built party of people to go through the quest line with (your guild). But it means you don’t need to run all of your alts through it, which can be quite a time drain.

    What about PUGs? Here, I think that they can get access if either (1) the raid leader is part of an attuned guild or (2) at least 3 members of a 10 man or 7 of a 25 man are from the same attuned guild. There’s no reason to keep people out. But requiring some sort of attunement, even if it will be easily met, reminds people that someone had to do something out in the game world in order to solve problems and become friends with certain factions and, ultimately, gain access to the raid in order to finish up. It makes the raid seem a part of the game world, instead of outside of it, and thus it makes the players seem more like a part of the game world too.

    I think that’s been missing in Wrath, and it’s a shame.

  16. Nyctef says:

    Personally I don’t think much value is lost in making these quests optional. In terms of lore, say, people who don’t care for it wouldn’t gain much by being forced to do attunement quests, and if you’re interested then it’s more fun (for me at least) to find out the lore without having it handed to you in a single quest chain. For example, the full story on the Curse of the Flesh is explored in both the Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord, so it’s unlikely that you’d get it on one character. I welcome the added replay value when levelling alts :)

  17. Rohan says:

    I think one thing that gets missed whenever attunements are brought up is that there are different types of attunements:

    1. Only one person in group needs key.
    2. Each person needs to complete non-raid questline/dungeons.
    3. Reputation grind to unlock dungeon.
    4. Each person needs to complete a specific raid instances.

    Each of these types have positives and negatives. I suspect that most people like Type 2 attunements. It combines quests and lore, and can be done on your own time. Karazhan and Onyxia fall into these category.

    Type 1 is okay if the key is common, but terrible if the key is rare (UBRS was big offender here). Type 3 is annoying because you have to rep grind on every character, including alts. Type 4 doesn’t work well because it’s not enough to attune your current raid, you need to attune your current raiding force, and those two things are not identical.

    Posts I wrote about Attunements (in 2007, so the examples are dated): Attunements, More on Attunements

    Personally, I think Wrath has been just fine without attunements. Maybe an attunement questline for Naxx would have been nice, or one for Ulduar that involved Heroic Halls of Stone and Halls of Lightning. But on the whole, I think attunements were more hassle than benefit.
    .-= Rohan´s last blog ..Dragon Age: First Impressions =-.

  18. Aleanathem says:

    I have two druids, one hunter, and a DK attuned to Kara. It’s fun and I miss attunement lines such as that. I understood the reasoning in TBC when SSC and TK were opened to all and when later BT and Hyjal the same. But I never supported the change. I have always felt all content was accessible. It was a person’s choice whether or not they put the time into getting attuned. Yes, Naxx40 was arguably the worst attunement in-game only to Ony40. Good idea in concept, but the rep grind was quite long.
    Thanks for the fond memories of my first runs through Black Morass and following those kids around CoT forever! =D
    @Rohan,
    Frankly, I’d love to see a return to your #4. Maybe not as in-depth as the Ony attunement, but Kara attunement in the end was never that hard. Plus with the rep you gain from running dungeons now with tabards on you could make quite a bit out of it. But Blizzard has said they want content to be “accessible”. As stated I’d argue it always has been, but I digress.
    .-= Aleanathem´s last blog ..Winter Hibernation =-.

  19. Shintar says:

    Heh, I just finished the Karazhan key quest on my pally alt the other day as well!

    And all this gating in Icecrown reminded me of attunements as well – really, for an average player having this forced gating or having an attunement comes down to the same: you can’t go in and kill everything immediately. The difference is that having an attunement gave you something to do, while this gating stuff just leaves you to sit around and wait. :|
    .-= Shintar´s last blog ..Instance Review: The Blood Furnace =-.

  20. Erispere says:

    I agree with a lot of your points, BBB. I really liked the idea of attunements. The big problem I had was that I was slightly behind the curve while leveling, so by the time I dinged 70, the raiding crowd in my guild was already running Kara. It was very hard to find people willing to go back and run the 5-mans and the other things needed to do the attunement. I started the chain right around the time that they changed it so that only one person needed the key to open the door. After that, there was especially no incentive for people to go and do the quest chain unless they were a completionist.

    This could have been because of the kind of people that were in my guild, and that we were on a very low pop server at the time. I also tried the Ony quest chain, right before 3.0 dropped, and part of it was bugged, so I couldn’t finish it (Alliance side). I eventually did finish the Kara key attunement at 80, when I went in an soloed everything in bear form to get the fragments. I really enjoyed it, but it served no other purpose other than completionism.

    I really like the idea of BoA in general. Repeating rep grinds and such on characters is such a bore (to me at least). I am definitely NOT an altoholic, and redoing a lot of stuff I’ve already done doesn’t usually ring my bell.

    I agree that attunements were cool, but I also see the side of the argument that it’s tough to have gated content that so many people won’t see – it’s not good business sense. Tough to strike a balance, but I think they may have come down a little to hard on the side of accessibility…

  21. argbot says:

    I’d like to add to what Nyctef said, that the Shadow Vault quest chain is something of an attunement to the Ebon Blade. And it’s awesome.

  22. Rob says:

    I just finished the kara key attunement. Usually nowadays we cheat and grab someone who has the arca key before, because sure as heck I dont want to do a major quest chain *and* run bot *and* run mech, just to get a key, so can go in to arca, get another key, then do two more instances, and then get the final key, so i can open the damn door in to kara. Yeah, i agree, first time, great. Second, third time, not so much. Although my friend mage and I (bear druid ftw) had a great time doing all the old 5 mans by ourselves (80s in epic gear). Blizz I dont think ever really figured out a way to have you only do the thing exactly once. BOA isn’t BOA, its BO this specific facation and this specific server. Sure for $50 you can move faction and server, but that’s not the same thing is it. So we’re stuck with a game that slowly loses its epicness and a whole lot of content people will never touch because it doesn’t drop phat loot.

  23. Aleanathem says:

    My only thought, BBB, is noticing how many people say others “won’t/weren’t” able to see content. Is that truly Blizzard’s fault? In the end, no. It’s the fault of the gamer for not taking the time to get attuned or run the instance. I mean I did not see any topics like this over the Final Fantasy Series, Super Mario, or any other type of game. As much as people “deserve” and feel they are entitled to see content I believe we are entitled to challenging content that isn’t simply “bust down the door and receive your loot”. This entitlement is a rollover from society as a whole. It’s ruined many governments and countries. I wish Blizzard wouldn’t let it do so much to their content, but again it’s all about money. And if the money is coming in on a redone instance then Blizzard will continue to make instances as such. Just some thoughts after last night’s post was quite late.
    .-= Aleanathem´s last blog ..Winter Hibernation =-.

  24. Ohhh Lordy, I agree till my head is bouncing on the floor from too much nodding.

    Being casual that Attunement process was weeks of toil, working out how to solo fragments and so much more.

    But what an achievement and not the “Gnomeaggedon and drunk one too many Lattes” type of achievement. It was one that made me get up from the computer desk, walk outside and pump my arms in the air!

    Now I was not just attuned to Kara, but connected. Kara owed me something for the trouble I went through. In reality it would have taken 12 months to actually clear the place, but it was worth it.

    Now if that Attunement was BoA, like that penguin egg or Ony hatchling… That would change my world.
    .-= Gnomeaggedon (Squidly’s Mate)´s last blog ..Gotcha =-.

  25. Pazi says:

    My most epic moment was freeing marshall windsor and the following “walk” through stormwind. Seriously, my inner geek cried. And it was on my paladin, the class I consider the most lore-driven class.
    I’v done the kara-quest-chain up to the urn 4 times (even on my deathknight who got nothing out of kara but reputation with a faction nobody needs anymore). I did the MH-attunement once. I did the attunement for upper black rock spire three times (twice after they made it optional). I’m still working on the naru-quest-chain (even tho you can’t get the title anymore) because I’m a completionist.

    Players these days don’t even take the time to complete 1 quest to unlock the repair-npc close to naxx. WoW is treated like fast-food. I’m certainly not an elitist (only 12/14 in ulduar – no hardmodes – and we try ToGC 10/25 for the first time this week) but I wish players would be forced to learn their class before they could enter naxx/ulduar/toc.

  26. LightHearted says:

    I loved the chains.
    I am also into achievements.
    I was amazed, and disappointed, that you could be “The Keymaster” WITHOUT The Master’s Key. I mean, seriously, WTF?
    All my druids complete the epic flight form quest. and I’m hoping it won’t be removed before my worgen druid gets that chance.
    My paladin did her epic mount quest. And was into the Quel Seras weapon chain when they removed it…and the quest item from my bags.
    I mourned when only one person needed the key for the party to enter Kara…but only a little because I was on my 4th 70, and “chain heroics” meant a lot more work in BC.

  27. Sarabian says:

    Oh how I miss the challenge of having to complete long series of quests that require you to have friends to help just to gain entrance into a place. Not even to run the place, just to get in the door. The fact that you no longer need to work for this stuff is indeed sad.

    I agree with the BoA idea and the idea of getting attuned on everyone in a raid before being allowed to do hard modes. It would be easy for a character to get a quest reward of (soulbound) [A Key Box] that would make a key to a raid instance, but the keys are all account bound. You can send them to your own guys, but that’s all.

    Making it so that in order to enter into hard mode you must have a raid that everyone has cleared the place is also not even remotely unfair. That would even be better if you had to, say, clear Naxxramas entirely before being allowed to enter into Ulduar. Simply clearing a raid instance “attunes” you to the next one. If that were in place, Naxxramas would still be overflowing with people daily and no one would miss out on all of the wondrous goodness to be had in it’s depths.

    Our keyboards to Blizzgames’ ears.

  28. Grumpyhorn says:

    I loved the Kara attunement! The quest line was great to follow and it also made sure that people that got into Karazhan were probably geared enough to get through the first encounter or 2. The game itself has lost some of it’s appeal with Quest Helper and Carbonite. We follow epic quest chains but don’t even read the quests. We simply accept and follow the arrow to kill the mobs marked. The idea of account attunement is good, because after the first or second toon that goes through it, anything simply starts losing it’s appeal. the BoA head enchants is great in that I don’t have to get every toon exalted with different factions to get a required enchant.

    Your idea of hard mode attunement is good as well. It would require people to actually finish content before moving on. Magister’s Terrace heroic is a perfect example of this working.

    Thanks for the great post, sorry I’m a couple days late to the party.

  29. Zuzu says:

    I agree, attunement definitely added to the thrill of raiding. The rich lore built up the excitement and suspense. Making it BoA is a great solution. I would like to add another point to this is, it helped prepare people for the raid. I did the Kara attunement with guildies we were soo psyched! These groups fought their way through all of those heroics together, as a team learning how to work together, how to use our toons to the best of their best abilities. I think all of that paid off when we did finally get to set foot in Kara. We had come far and learned a lot in the process. Our groups were well oiled machines. Nowadays people rush to 80, they either skip dungeons or get run thru’s. They get some gear and enter their first raid encounter with nooo raid experience whatsoever. It gets frustrating for the rest of us who learned how to raid the hard way in the good ole days when it took skill, and teamwork.

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