Tobold's Blog
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Karazhan the only attunement left?

We know that patch 2.4 removes the attunements for Mount Hyjal and the Black Temple. And apparently the access to the new Sunwell Plateau raid dungeon is opened by a world event, not an individual attunement. That would mean that from all the level 70 raid dungeons only Karazhan would still have an attunement. Why?

I could understand a system where access to the first raid dungeon is easy, but an attunement prevents people to move on to further raid dungeons before having finished the first one. "Bring me the head of the prince before you can enter Serpentshrine Cavern", no problem. But why, oh why, would somebody design a system which keeps people out from the start but then lets them go anywhere?

Now somebody is going to say "but you can't just go anywhere, because the Black Temple is tough". But doesn't exactly the same argument hold true for Karazhan? You can't go to Karazhan with a group consisting only of people who just dinged 70 and are dressed in greens, it's too tough. What sense does it make that a guild can drag a noob through Zul'aman or a 25-man dungeon with the help of 24 well equipped people and thus equip him with epics, but they can't take him to Karazhan unless they help him with the attunement dungeons first?
I agree, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense!
Somebody asked this very question in the official forums. The answer given by Blizzard:

That blue answer makes no sense. What does finding a group have to do with attunement?

Getting attuned doesn't guarantee having a group to go to Karazhan... there is simply no connection between the two things.

This is a typical cop-out answer from a blue with no clue.
It sure does make a lot of sense. Removing T5/6 attunements on a large scale does not change a thing. It makes twinking for the hardcores easier, but it does not increase the overall raiding population.

In Blizzards world those attunements are the reason, so few people visit these zones, so they open them. They already have the data for Karazhan wich shows them, that the zone is popular, with or without attunement, so no reason to change it.

Removing attunements is all about the data they collect of how populated their content is. It's easier to remove the key instead of fixing the actual flaws. After all they now can claim that their endgame is fully accessible.

Come on, show some feelings for those hardcore twinks, who had it really hard to key their alts for Black Temple.
I'll try to explain my personal thoughts about it.

Well, let's assume "everyone" wants to raid, including the casual guys, including the ones who rarely been in dungeons and preferred to level up solo.

Imagine a person who's in a guild with friends who are already lvl 70 and levels solo. Sometimes this person is being dragged by highlevel people through instances - well, that's OK, but this person gets no real experience of group play - nothing about aggro management, for example.

I've seen people who reached lvl 70 and didn't know *anything* - for example, warriors not using sunder armor (devastate) while tanking. These people were not stupid, they just played most of their time alone - and you rarely sunder a mob in solo play.

For these people it's extremely important to receive some kind of beating/learning/whatever before entering their first raid dungeon. Of course people could be dragged through Kara like they were dragged through noob instances... but in raid the price of your mistakes is much higher.

To sum it all, the necessity to be attuned gives some guarantee the person has basic skills for raiding and reduces the probability of "omg l2p" drama.

And for more difficult raid dungeones you don't need an attunement. Usually nobody has a crazy dream of farming BT without visiting Kara. So when you visit Kara, you quickly realize your own potential and the strength of your gear - so you know the right moment to advance by your own and you don't need any artificial obstacles like attunement chains.

Ugh. The comment turned out to be a bit long, sorry for that.

-- TH
That blue answer makes no sense. What does finding a group have to do with attunement?
Think long-term. That attunement is worthless if you don't know 9 other people who can raid.

If you know such people, great. Those five instance runs should be trivial. If you don't, you'll get a chance to meet some while you organize the instance runs. That's what Bornakk was referring to.

Karazhan attunement is a you-must-be-this-tall-to-ride sign. If you lack skill, organization, people, gear and/or time to do the attunement, you won't have fun in Karazhan, the starting raid dungeon. Or any of the harder raid instances.
That might have made sense when TBC came out, but what about now, one year later? Attunement just puts stress on the time resources of a guild who have to help new members to get their attunement done. It is sometimes easier to find a spot in a Karazhan group than getting 4 people from your guild to do Black Morass with you.
I think the reason is time.
Blizzard don't wants you to be fast, they are trying to slow you down as much as they can without making you angry.
The attument for Karazhan is time-consuming but can be done by anyone who really wants to do it even with randoms. But if your attunement involves handing over the head of Lady Vashj you need your raid to help you.
The raids I know have a constant movement of members, new arrive, old leave and so on. Imagine a SSC-Run every month when this instance should be long over just because you got *another* new member who needs her dead to become useful..
That might have made sense when TBC came out, but what about now, one year later?
Then we have to go back to your earlier observation of the game mechanics rewarding new players more than veterans. If the guild in question doesn't consider having an another raider available a reward in itself, then I see how it could be hard to get a guild instance group or two going. Experienced raiders probably have enough reputation already, and the nonheroic drops are nothing to write home about.

But that's a big if. I admit that I'm also cautious when people ask me to help, but I will help if that player in question has potential.
The raids I know have a constant movement of members, new arrive, old leave and so on.
Some member churn is natural, but it sounds like you have more churn than you'd like. In any case, negative effects from member churn can be minimized if you have a certain amount of reserves available. To have those, you'll also need a system that provides them incentives to stick around even if they didn't get invited to a particular raid.
Remove Kara attunement!
Replace it with the title:
Casual Raider

In other words, if they removed the Kara attunement, then there would be an uproar about "Welfare Titles"...
The attunement for Kara is still there because it's being used by a lot of players.

They've removed the attunement for higher level dungeons because they weren't being used as much as Blizzard had hoped and frankly it won't be long before people stop raiding completely in anticipation of the next expansion and greens making purples obsolete again.
I had good enough gear for kara long before I had the key for kara. I suspect the same is true for most people.

When I finally got the key it was because I finally convinced 3 other people to quickly run me through arc to the key, we didn't fight any bosses just the 30 min it took to get the fragment. I still don't even have my Arc key, though I've been through kara, gruul and mags (now that I switched guilds).

Having attunement only means you have friends to run you through, nothing else. It doesn't guarantee skill , it doesn't guarantee you know anything at all about grouping.

The only thing that truly measures skill is your reputation and how many people ask you back. No artificial mechanisms of Blizzard's mean anything.
I don't raid Kara, but I am attuned. It was a fun process, and it let me to Caverns of Time. What other reason could I possibly have to enter those instances?

The Keepers of Time storyline is the next step after you complete most of the Burning Crusade story in Outland, and it was designed to bring you up to speed and explain how the baddies were messing with time. Also officially introduces Medivh to those unfamiliar with Warcraft III, as it is old haunt you will be raiding in Karazhan. The Caverns of Time concept also sets the stage for the later Hyjal stuff.

So yeah, I'm not a raider. But from a lore/casual perspective, the Kara attunement chain is one of the most interesting things about the Burning Crusade, and it'd be sad to see it go.
could WOTLK expansion be done with blue/green gear from a 'just-dinged-70-soloer' ?

will WOTLK expansion lv71 green gear outperform kharazan / zulaman drop quality ?

if both true then why even bother to jump into the gear upgrade threadmill now ? isnt this what happen to Naxxramas when blizzard announce TBC ? i saw lot of ppl stop raiding and pvp-ing just to farm honor point back then. and i foresee the same thing will happen before WOTLK come out.

all in all i predict WOTLK wont be as successful as TBC.
I suspect they realize they screwed up by tieing the 5 mans to faction and are afraid people will completely stop running them if they remove karazan attunements.
mercot i feel the opposite.

The Caverns of Time I think are some of the coolest instances in the game. Going back to influence history or just getting to see events from the books or Warcraft I-III is a really great idea. No need for an attunement whatsoever to get people to go.

Now the tempest keep instances... sorry none of the "new lore" or alien spaceship stuff interests me.
While I like the 5-man Caverns of Time instances and I'm looking forward to the Culling of Stratholme.. Hyjal was a bit letdown. There is no Infinite Dragonflight there at all, no big time disrepancy to correct. The Bronze Dragonflight just give you a chance to f**k up one of the most important battles in Azeroth's history.
The infinite dragonflight/Caverns of time are kind of plot devices anyway, it seems that the point was always to just allow players to go back and do these big events themselves, so it actually doesn't make that much sense that the infinite would need to show up anyway.

Oh no, I wasn't saying CoT instances are bad...quite the contrary, I agree that they present some of the funnest and challenging events in WoW history - events which are actually accessible to 100% of the player base. So I'm all for that.

I just meant that the Kara attunement chain was the only thing I could think of which led people back to Tanaris and the Caverns of Time. There are no other quests that introduce people to those instances, so it would be a pity to lose that sequence of quests in an attunement nerf.
The Karazhan attunement as we have it never made sense except to try to keep people farming 5-mans as much and as long as possible.

Karazhan attunement should really have the same fast track as a BRD stealth run was for MC attunement.

Let people decide if they are "ready" or let guilds cope with it. Like now it's a roadblock for the instance that should be most accessible.

But Blizz has been very weird about how and who decides readiness of somebody. So you just decked your tank friend in full fel-steel, but you have to do full Karazhan attunement. What it proves is mostly that you will have to waste X amount of time before your ready tank friend will be in Karazhan with you.

It's basically just bad design and it was a year ago when it all came out.
Btw, the Name/URL posting option doesn't seem to work properly. It just does nothing when pushing the Publish Your Comment button. Anonymous works fine.
For what it's worth, I'm probably the world's most casual raider -- I've never been willing to commit to more than one night a week of "serious" play, and I didn't find the Kara attunement to be a big deal at all. Hell, I don't even remember what it was. Couple of 5-man runs? Three?

I remember the Master of Elixirs quest being more onerous than the Kara attunement.
Good lord, of all the time consuming things to do in this game, Kara attunement is NOT one of them.

I'd rather see the timer removed.
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