Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Attunement cut down.

So... Blizzard decided to remove a major chunk of the attunement process from the raiding game. For those who don't know there were major attunement quest series:

Karazhan: First do two quests outside Karazhan, followed by some fed-ex quests. Then you do Shadow Labs, followed by Steam Vault and the Arcatraz for three key shards. Once the key shards are combined you go do the Black Morass and talk to Medivh after you complete it and that will pretty much get you keyed for Karazhan.

Gruul's Lair & Magtheridon's Lair: No keying needed. Just mentioning it to be complete.

Serpentshrine Cavern: First get Revered with Cenarion Expedition. Next do about half of Heroic Slave Pens to find a slave shortly after the first boss. Talk to him and he'll give the attunement quest. Now, go kill Nightbane in Karazhan and Gruul in Gruul's Lair. They will drop items for you. Go back to the guy in Heroic Slave Pens (still after the first boss), and you can get in.

The Eye (Tempest Keep): First, do this entire questline: which is one of the longest in the game... something like 10-12 steps. It's bad, but worth it if you're not raiding already (some nice rewards at the end). Once you complete that questline, then go to Shattrath, to recieve three quests... now go get revered with Honor Hold/Thrallmar, Lower City, and Sha'tar (should already be revered with CE for SSC) and do Heroic Steam Vault, Shadow Labs, Arcatraz, and Shattered Halls. After that, now go kill Magtheridon.

Battle of Mount Hyjal: Talk to Soridormi in Caverns of Time. Now go kill Vashj and Kael'thas for their Vial Remnant (water from the Well of Eternity). While it's easy in writing you still need to be able to beat both of the two previous raids. But you should be doing that before you go into Hyjal anyway.

Black Temple: First a questline from either the Aldor or the Scryer base in ShadowMoon Valley, that has you investigate the Ashtongue Deathsworn. This ends with you meeting Akama, and going to the Arcatraz to find a corpse there. From there you do a few more quests in SMV. It seems to end there, but it picks up in SSC where you meet Seer Olum after beating Fathom-Lord Karathress, who starts a long questline that has you kill Al'ar (first boss in The Eye) in a Broken costume, followed by beating Rage Winterchill (first boss in Mt. Hyjal). A few more quests and you're in (there are also a few quests after you enter).

Now, they've removed the SSC and TK portions, which I think was a very smart move. While yes, a lot of the rest of the attunements have you doing tons of stuff, those two attunements are the only ones that require doing Heroics, which is where I think Blizzard went wrong. The problem is that that heroic keys require being revered with the matching faction. This means to progress into SSC you need be revered with CE, and beyond that, you need to be revered with HH/Thrallmar, Lower City, and Sha'tar as well. It's just insane. I have no problem doing long questlines or going back and doing a run or two through a 5-man, but forcing the entire raid group to repeatedly do 5-mans for rep just so you can do another even harder 5-man (heroic) is way overboard. I wouldn't mind if they had just changed the SSC and TK attunement questlines to remove the Heroic parts, but this works as well. And they've left the questlines in for those who want to do them.

Addendum to this post: I'm very happy with this change. I had been having nightmares about the portion of attunement that was removed. As I said in a post below, my guildies hate doing PUGs, and to be honest, I know of at least 3 people who are not, and would not without a lot of guild runs (thus a long wait), become revered with the factions needed for SSC and TK raids. Doing a quest chain, even a long one? Fine! Having to go back and do an old 5-man? Fine! Needing to get certain people through Karazhan again for some item? Fine! But requiring people to be revered with all those factions, esp. 35+ people (the minimum you really need to be able to raid a 25 man instance without having people being gone cripple the raid) would have been a logistical nightmare.


Sean said...

I'm glad they removed the Tempest Keep attunement, but I never thought the Serpentshrine one was too bad. The only faction I wasn't revered in with my warrior by the time I had my tanking gear was Lower City, and that just took another run and a half of SL (ick). Heroic Slave Pens was comparatively not all that hard... Plus if you're going into SSC, you should be able to clear Kara and Gruul.

Tempest Keep, on the other hand, required runs through pretty much the hardest heroics (minus Steamvaults... I heard that one was easy).

Honestly, I think they just should have had more easier options from the beginning... kinda like we had UBRS, what, ages ago. Even ZG was PuG-able after they toned it down. Instead, now, when you hit 70 you raid in Kara. Period. No UBRS, no ZG, no AQ20. And it's somewhat of a shock.

Michael said...

My big problem with heavy attunement requirements is that it fragments guilds.

With the old attunements, if you join a guild thats only running SSC and you're not attuned, you need to convince 9 people to cancel the SSC run, and help run you through Kara, and 24 people to help you kill Gruul. The 'left behind' problem is pretty huge on that one.

I love adding interesting bits of lore to the game, the Onyxia attunement quest-line is pretty cool story-wise, and since you can do it with some solo-questing and 5-man non-heroic fairly-easy instance, its something that guilds can easily help newbies with. Onyxia is the upper limit of 'acceptable' attunements in my mind.

For attunement, gimme a HARD-but-possible solo quest, or a bunch of quests that I can start while still leveling, or ONE run through a short 5-man. Don't make me need to get 4 other people to jump through flaming hoops just so I can progress through the end-game content. If you're afraid that I'm going to finish all the content too early and quit the game, you're wrong. Make the game FUN, and I'll re-roll a horde toon and do it all over again.

Kaziel said...

...but I never thought the Serpentshrine one was too bad. The only faction I wasn't revered in with my warrior by the time I had my tanking gear was Lower City, and that just took another run and a half of SL (ick).

While I will agree that Heroic Slave Pens (esp. since you don't need to beat the entire thing to do it) isn't that hard, my issue was, again, forcing people to run repeated instances for reputation when the loot they get from it might not be what they want. Let's take Shadow Labs for example: For my tanking gear list there was nothing I wanted from there. After the one run I needed for Karazhan attunement plus the various quests inside, the only reason I kept going there was for the rep. That's just not fun. Requiring people to do the same thing over and over with the potential for no reward is just not fun. It's fine for you and I, because getting rep is a goal in and of itself and that makes it worth it, but for others, having to PUG is not fun, and not worth it. need to convince 9 people to cancel the SSC run, and help run you through Kara, and 24 people to help you kill Gruul.

Gruul or Magtheridon aren't quite that bad since they are (compared to other bosses) much easier to get to. But, for example, Nightbane is a fair bit of the way into Karazhan. Same for Vael and Vashj who are both final bosses in SSC and TK.

And in a related note, if the person just joined up and is not attuned to a later raid, then probably it wouldn't hurt to do a previous raid. With some of the longer raids such as Karazhan, at least a few upgrades should drop for the new person which will help them.

Though it seems like they are making future attunement chains not require you to complete an entire raid to move on, as shown by the Black Temple attunement chain. It involved killing just as many raid bosses as the Mt. Hyjal attunement questline, but instead involved killing the first boss from The Eye and the first boss from Mt. Hyjal. How they could have incorporated this earlier into the game, if it is in fact a more long term decision, would be instead of having to kill Nightbane for the attunement item, having to kill Moroes.