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.
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