2007 Called

…and it said attunements are still a bad idea.

I was not going to write on this subject, given how much of it is ancient history. Indeed, even now I am not going to spend a lot of words detailing how and why everyone is wrong. Only 7 words are really needed:

Attunements were unnecessary in accomplishing their goals.

In other words, every single thing attunements set out to accomplish can be achieved by doing something else. Epic quest lines? Those can still happen. Gating content? That is what the bosses themselves are supposed to do, but you can still go the Sunwell/ICC or gear check route if you like. Encouraging the spirit of cooperation (no seriously, Klep said this)? Since most attunements were for raids, this implies one is already in a raiding guild, presumably to raid, and thus cooperation is already secured. Alternative advancement at endgame? Achievements et tal, or the EQ2 method would be fine.

In the course of pontificating on this subject in the comment sections of three different blogs, the one attunement argument that I actually enjoyed was the “checking to see if you are ready to raid” one. You see, my primary umbrage towards attunements like the Karazhan key quest was how many components required a group. I tanked my way to attunement on my paladin main with the officer core no problem. And then, over the proceeding 37 weeks of raiding Karazhan, I had to make 15 additional Karazhan attunement runs for various people in the guild. People that had no problem being terrible raiders, or otherwise expecting the guild to provide them with endless dungeon runs so that they could guild-hop/get poached three days later. Who was getting attuned here? New DPS recruit #13? They aren’t being challenged by having Karazhan-geared raiders carry them through dungeon runs.

The one sort of attunement that I would consent to return would be personal attunements. The example I gave in a comment reply was:

Hell, if attunements were something that had to be completed solo (or at least could be) I would have zero problem with them. Sure, why not? Have one of the steps be “equip socketed, enchanted gear appropriate to your spec and deal 4000 DPS” and endgame WoW would be in a much better place.

I would 100% be behind that, not out of some kind of desire to demean casuals or new players, but out of an earnest desire to educate them. Where in WoW does it suggest to fill in sockets with gems, or that gear enchants exist? The Ready for Raiding achievement was amusing (less so for how few raiders probably have it), but imagine if it were a required attunement before zoning in to any raid content. Have it be some kind of solo instance tailored to spec/class and filled with fire that needs not be stood in, CC not to be broken, and a final mob that needs to be killed with some minimum level of DPS (that even a tank/healer could achieve). Hell, normalize the gear too.

Bam. I have just created an attunement with an actual, useful purpose related to the thing it is serving as an obstacle for. You know, unlike every other attunement in the history of the game.

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Posted on July 9, 2012, in Commentary and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Just passing by to say I agree with you.
    A good game allows me to:
    – play the part/role I want to play.
    – play with my friends.
    Anything which removes stratification in the player base is good for me.

    All the discussion sounds like a rehash of the good old “we’re too stupid to decide which players are good or not, the game must automatically filter them”…. talk about lazyness….

    PS: it’s “et al.”, not “et tal”. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/et+al.

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  2. Attunement got slowly but surely phased out by more individual responsibility of grinds.

    Attunement is replaced by gearcheck. Gearcheck can be partially circumvented by skill (you need better gear if you are less skilled).

    VP (previously badges) is the “new” mechanic to aid in this gearcheck. It is a grind, in theory completely optional in practice it isn’t depending on how serious you min-max, and you can decide how to complete said grind: daily quests (NEW in 5.0.1), dungeon HC, LFR (NEW in 4.3), N/HC raid.

    Other attunement replacements in 4.0 was faction rep grind (tho not new by itself), in 4.2 was Avengers of Hyjal rep grind, and the one in 4.2 and 4.3 was caster and rogue legendary farming (which is a guild effort).

    In our age of 2012 WoW alts are common. Having to grind rep on each and every alt (doing the Therazane quest line) plain sucks. Same for having to rep grind Avengers of Hyjal on every alt.

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    • Addendum: Ready For Raiding achievement says very, very little. It is barely a DPS check, and the only mechanic it learns is moving out of fire (or ice) and moving clock-wise. The mechanic of that boss is easier than Ruby Sanctum normal mode because the cutter would vanish throughout the fight and RS had additional mechanics like balancing DPS, moving out to get dispelled (actually quite like Hagara but the cutter vanishing requires serious awareness of when and where it’ll be returning as well as excellent positioning (due to boss being dragon, too, with e.g. tailsweep) whereas on Hagara you know exactly when and where it starts, how quick it moves). All Ready For Raiding shows is you’re able to perform a very basic dance move. Nothing more. There was another quest line in Aszhara which was a little bit more involving, but it still does not say much. There was also Ready For Raiding II and Ready For Raiding III but I don’t remember how they worked.

      In PuGs we currently use achievement system to determine if someone can perform. If you show someone you’ve done Yogg+0 pre-nerf I bet you would get into their PuG even if you do not have the achievement for the current content provided they know what that achievement means. On beta I see people demanding PuGs to have 8/8 HC experience to join their PuG, but one can buy such achievement (+ title/mount) and also with 25% nerf it is quite easy. A friend of mine even trade PuGed it saturday. Achievements like Ready For Raiding also got nerfed due to gear.

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    • The VP grind is really not grindy at all. The weekly cap is so low that it’s easily reached in a short time. This time becoming “zero” if you raid…..
      BTW why would you do the Therazane grind on all alts when the shoulder enchants are BoA?

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      • The Cata head enchants are BoA, the Cata shoulder enchants (Therazane) are BoP; not BoA. Go to the vendor and see for yourself. In WotLK they were all BoA, but in Cata the shoulder enchantments in start had the heirloom/BoA _color_ (beige/creme) while they were in fact BoP. Blizzard has corrected this eventually, they look purple now. If you reroll or don’t want to make your alt look like a M&S you’ll have to grind Therazane.

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      • You’re right…. I guess it shows how much I played my alts in Cataclysm.

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  3. Except that raiding isn’t simply about gemming your gear and knowing how to solo. It’s also about understanding class roles and learning how to coordinate play with other people. How is doing group content unrelated to that?

    Also, implying that everyone who might be interested in breaking into raid content must already be in a raiding guild beforehand strikes me as very strange.

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    • In which case… the players are pugging the attunements? Or that everyone for whom the attunements are supposedly designed for are those in leveling guilds that decide raiding is for them this expansion?

      The best way to learn how to raid is to raid. Class roles and coordinated play are useless when a player doesn’t know how to gear or not stand in the fire. How would such a player even transition into a raiding guild? Their application would be screened out and they would continue chain-running LFD, learning nothing. Or, back in TBC, they would continue to be carried by desperate raiders/PvPers whom have been looking for warm bodies in Trade chat for the last hour.

      No, heroics do not teach anything that matters. It can’t; heroics tuned to be 5m raids are only accessible to raiders, and anything less can be completed without teaching anything of real use. Give me 6 players that know stat weights and how to stay out of fire, and the other four will do the rest. I mean, hell, “the rest” is basically different versions of fire anyway (stand in the red beam, don’t stand in the red beam, etc).

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      • “The best way to learn how to raid is to raid.”

        Indeed. That’s why Normal Mode raiding serves as de facto attunement for HM.

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  4. It presents a difficulty problem. That is, back in BC Magtheridon was much harder than Void Reaver or Lurker, so once the attunement was removed Magtheridon suddenly was very lonely. Kael and Vashj were much more difficult than Najentus or Winterchill, so once the attunement was removed… I guess Blizzard could fix this with a smoother difficulty curve, but then half the playerbase is bored for half the expansion, and the other half of the playerbase is stuck for the other half of the expansion. I’m beginning to think that Syncaine is right and gear gating and planned obsolescence just bring these sorts of problems along with them.

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    • The “problem” only exists with the starting premise of “themeparks should be like single-player games.” The last boss of a raid is ALWAYS easier than the first boss of the next raid. Linear raid progression in an MMO is dumb – should the first boss in Naxx been C’thun+1? Of course not. So why did attunements exist, when that is what it replicated?

      Each new batch of raiding content should have something for everyone who raids, both at the very top and the very bottom. Blizzard understood this even back in vanilla and TBC – hence the lack of Ragnaros+1 and C’thun+1 as starter bosses in the next tier – but got stupid with it vis-a-vis attunement gating just the same.

      If you can down the bosses, you should be allowed to down the bosses. What alternative makes more sense?

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      • Hmm well that’s a good one because I’d say:

        Morchok HC is easier than Madness N
        Shannox HC is easier than Rag N (and even easier than Shannox N)
        Halfus HC is easier than Cho’Gall N
        Marrowgar HC is easier than Lich King N
        The infamous Gunship HC was easier than many of the bosses in ICC on N.

        The linear progression of N > HC can be played with by getting 1 person who cleared the content on N (a-la the key attunement). By gaming the system this way you can get good loot which should otherwise not be attainable thereby speeding up your progression.

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      • Well, Razorgore was more difficult than anything in MC, and same for the first boss in Gruul’s compared to Karazahn. It also feels more natural to have a progression of difficulty rather than the spottiness we’ve come to expect. Not necessarily every boss being the last one +1, since breather bosses like gunship or chess are nice to have every now and then, and gear checks like curator or patchwerk having their place as well.

        But to answer the question, it’s because there is more to it, or there should be more to it, than just downing bosses and collecting loot. If what you are saying is right, then why even have bosses in order? If It is wrong to have to beat Kael before you can fight Najentus, why is it ok that you have to beat Najentus before you can fight Supremus? Isn’t this just attunement by another name?

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      • They tried the non-order with especially Firelands (tho also other raids this one stands out with 5 choices). What is your take on how they succeeded there?

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      • @Matt

        Kael is not designed for the same people as Najentus, else Najentus would have been Kael+1.

        As for raid bosses being pseudo-attunements in of themselves, you are correct. I have nothing against the concept of progression. However, attunements screw up that progression path by requiring the harder bosses before the easier – something all of us would consider poor pacing in any other scenario. The progression path for a decent guild should be 5/6 + 3/4 –> 8/9 + 4/5 (or whatever), and NOT burning themselves out on months of Kael and Vashj until 2.4. Who else are the easier bosses in the next tier for?

        Do you not see the inherent elegance of the attunement-less model? Each raid tier, the 1/6, the 3/6, the 5/6, and the 6/6 raiding guilds have something to do. Most guilds may never have downed the last boss, but so what? Each tier, those 5/6 guilds can still aspire to kill the new final boss while the 6/6 guilds still have the prestige of downing content when it was new and shiny. Meanwhile the 3/6 continue honing their raiding skills and the 1/6 are just happy to be there. It is a perfect utilization of raid design resources.

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