Monday, March 16, 2009

Bring Back Attunements

I'm going to beat a dead horse this morning.

I think we should have attunements for raids, and heroics. Four months into Wrath has convinced me of it.

Blizzard dropped attunements so more people could see raid encounters. I'm going to assert without any supporting evidence that attunements did not serve as effective gate keepers to keep the multitudes from raiding.

I started playing WoW a little after BC was out. I don't know anything about the Classic attunements. I do know what was required for Kara. As for T5 and T6 requirements, those were dropped before I ever considered hitting those raids.

My first Kara toon was a warlock and I was terribad. I didn't know squat about hit rating. Aggro management was a foreign concept. Consumables, yeah right. Yet I still got my Kara key without any real difficulty. In fact I had to do less work to key my lock than I am my Death Knight.

Why? I got carried. I never even had my own Shadow Lab or Arcatraz key. All it really took was a run through of Labs, a few trash pulls in Steam Vaults and Arcatraz, complete Durnholde, and finishing Black Morass. Needless to say since I was carried through that, my lock had to be carried in Kara as well. 350 DPS FTW.

In addition to the above, my Death Knight also has to do/has done full clears of Sethek Halls, Mechenar, and Botanica so I can get into Labs and Arc.

When I decided I wanted to raid on my Bear I started doing research. I wanted to tank and I quickly learned tanks can't be carried. I looked forward to and enjoyed getting my bear keyed for Kara. I willingly ground instances for rep and drops to better my toon so when I was keyed I would be prepared. By the time I hit revered with the factions I knew their dungeons and was ready to handle them as a heroic.

Fast forward to Wrath. Only key you need is Violet Hold. Talk to two people and you're done. Heroics, be level capped. Naxx, nothing. Malygos, so long as you know someone who's downed Saph you're in.

I know all the hardcore raiders say lol naxx, but the fact is people still wipe in there. Hell I still wipe in there. With no attunements you would think more than 30% of the player base would have seen the inside of Naxx by now. Wowjutsu only show 3.7M raiding toons. Of those only 78% have downed Anub'Rekhan.

If the attunement process was actually a roadblock to raiding I would expect many more players/toons would have been to Naxx, but with a lower percentage of boss kills.

So if the attunements aren't a road block what value to they bring to a player who wishes to raid. It sets clear measurable goals that provide feedback that you and your group are making progress towards being able to kill a raid boss. Attunements provide gear checks, and gear that will aid in scoring a kill. Attunements provide practice for movement, situational awareness, and developing and implementing tactics that will allow you to progress.

Attunements assured your fellow raiders you had the basic commitment to not waste their time and gold on needless repair bills.

Back in BC, the requirements to enter T5 and T6 content was simple. To get attuned you cleared the previous content. Even for alts, this gave players and opportunity to gear up and learn how to employ their new toon.

Blizzard missed the boat on Naxx. But it's not too late to put some requirements on Ulduar. Even if its as short as Heroic Loken drops a key it will go a long way towards ensuring players are ready for the content at hand. Or Heroic Halls of Stone and complete the tribunal if the Lore fits. Even better, require a full Naxx clear before you can move on to Ulduar. The hardcore raiders can spend 3 hours for their alts while the casual raiders can learn not to stand in the fire, let the tank get aggro, and have a clue on what gear is good for our toons.

After all raids aren't fun when you wipe on the first boss half a dozen times or more.

9 comments:

  1. It seems Blizzard has not entirely abandoned the idea of attunements, as evinced by the required accomplishments for getting to the final encounters of Ulduar.

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  2. I disagree with you. To me attunements are just a series of quests that prevent you from doing the content you actually want to do. In their current (or past) implementation it doesn't train you to tank/heal/dps, it just gets in your way. Even if your tanking example, you could have easily gone DPS and had someone else tank so you could be carried through the attunement process.

    That said, I'd support attunements if they actually could force people to learn their class. But that would take a major change in design. You'd need some way to say "You tanked the attunement quest so now you're qualified to tank this raid. Here's your tanking license. Don't try to show up and DPS, we'll know". And since hybrid specs are supposed to play multiple roles at once, that idea just won't work.

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  3. The old epic hunter-bow-and-staff quest seems like an excellent design option for "attunements". You had to defeat 4 bosses, each with a particular skill set that you had to master - jump-shotting, wing-clip-kiting, pet management, etc...

    What if each class had to do something similar? It would force you to learn your skills, and you would have a different skillset required for each boss, and you would have to do it alone

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  4. @ Relphie,

    For my druid epic flight a lot of the quests were solo quests that tested your mastery of the entire class.

    However, for raid requirements I like the idea of being required to raid. Your ability to work together has more impact on your success than individual skill. (Please don't give examples to all the exceptions to that statement)

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  5. Definitely raiding takes a team-based skillset to succeed. But, if your attunements are also team-based, then there is no way to prevent a particular player from being "carried" through. Perhaps the solo attuenments could also involve a bunch npcs, with the appropriate gearset and abilities, that would help simulate the raid environment.

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  6. My argument for bringing attunements back was threefold.

    1) do you have the basic gear(gear requirements are much lower if you are being carried)
    2) as a source of gear
    3) a signal that you are willing to demonstrate the basic commitment required for raiding. Even a carried toon still has to show up, type afk, and set themselves to follow at a minimum.

    Whether MMO's or single player games, almost every RPG I've ever played expects you to clear specific content before moving on to harder and potentially more lucrative content.

    Myrlin above may think they are a hassel, and they can be. But I personally believe the game is better with them than without.

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  7. I'm going to agree with you, although it certainly took awhile.

    It took me forever to get into Kara, but once I had I was much better off for it. I had to learn how to chain trap through my atunements and that's what allowed me to handle Moroes.

    What I really liked were the T5 and 6 atunements. Complete the stuff from before, and you can do this stuff. It made perfect sense! It set a standard that was necessary to have fun, really.

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  8. I had a comment emailed to me from Typhoon Andrew.

    "I don't think adding attunements will stop people being carried through content. Nor will it change the attitude of folks who are under geared.

    However I take your overall point to heart. I think the overall problem is that completion of a lower tier should be a pre-req for the later stuff.

    I hate the idea of locking out casuals, because I'm pretty casual - but I really also hate watching folks waste everyone's time. I'm torn. You do need somebody with a key to summon Maly, which is good."

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  9. @ Andrew

    I honestly don't beleive the attunements lock people out.

    To get attuned for MC you had to complete a quest in BWL 5 man.

    To get attuned for Kara you had to complete a quest chain in a number of 5 mans.

    In both cases higher tiers required completing lower tiers.

    If doing the requisite 5 mans locks you out of raiding, you probably don't have the time to raid either.

    I also consider myself casual since I can only raid twice a week. In BC I had no business going to Tier 6 content before the lol patch.

    From a non multi-player game Diablo 2, you had to clear the final boss in each stage before moving on to the next. I see no reason why that should not be the case in multi-player games as well.

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