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Posts with tag Onyxia-Attunement

WoW Archivist: Upper Blackrock Spire

Whelps and eggs in the Rookery
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

You may have taken Upper Blackrock Spire, Warlord Zaela, but the classic version lives in our hearts, where your orc friends can't get to it. In 2005, UBRS was the dungeon everyone desperately aspired to run. They begged to run it. They paid to run it. They sat in capital cities for hours just hoping, dreaming, that someone, somehow, would put together a UBRS group.

The dungeon was the pinnacle of content for classic WoW's "nonraiders" and the gateway to raiding for raiders. Quests here attuned you for Onyxia's Lair and Blackwing Lair. (And who doesn't love a good lair?) Another quest allowed your Molten Core raid to summon Majordomo Executus. No endgame PvE'er could avoid UBRS, even if they wanted to. We didn't avoid it, though, because the original "Ubers" (OO bers), as players affectionately called it, was awesome.

What made it so special? Why was it so revered, and why are some players sad that it has been removed from WoW forever? Let's turn back the Empowered Hourglass to 2005 to find out.


UBRS, like many of WoW's classic endgame dungeons, required a key to enter. It was not nearly as simple as grinding out some reputation -- click the link for the full rundown of just how painful getting this key was. Even the quest giver knew trying to get a key would be awful. He told you, "Understand this, mortal: the chance that one of the three generals of the lower citadel would carry a gemstone at any given time is rare. You must be vigilant in your quest. Remain determined!"

In early 2005, when many players were finally hitting the endgame, very few had a Seal of Ascension to grant UBRS access. To put this in perspective, by the end of classic, my guild of more than 200 people only had about five or six keys. If you had a key, you had two choices. You could hide in your guild and only do guild runs. Or you could advertise that you had one to your realm, find yourself on everyone's friend list, and get requests day and night, every time you logged in, to run UBRS. Even if you tried to keep it a secret, someone in your guild may have outed you. Once that cat was out of the bag, your WoW experience changed dramatically. You were now a realm celebrity.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: The most painful attunement of all

Onyxia breathes deeply
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Attunement has been a hot topic across the WoW blogosphere of late, and WoW Insider has been no exception. Some believe that attunement is an archaic concept that only serves as a pointless, artificial gate to content. They appreciate the fact that Blizzard has almost entirely done away with attunements. Others see attunements as opportunities for extra content and a way of filtering lazy players out of raid groups where they don't belong. They want attunements to return.

Attunements used to be a big deal in WoW. As the first steps toward endgame raiding, completed attunements were a hallmark of a serious player.

Lest we forget what we're debating, I thought it might be the perfect time to revisit the single most grueling and aggravating attunement process in WoW's history: Horde-side Onyxia.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Attunements and why they must never return

I loathe attunements. When you mention how fun old attunement chains were, I hiss and flee into the night like a werewolf from a cross. That is werewolves, right? No? It's vampires? Oh. Well, whichever. The point is, no. No, they were not fun. No. My lord, how much nostalgia must you be inhaling to argue that the Onyxia chain was fun? The Alliance version had a cool payoff, yes, but my word that thing was a slog -- and the Horde one? Pure, concentrated boring slop. I included the Wowcrendor video above because it's not an exaggeration. I did that quest chain. Twice. At the end, I hated all that lived, and you are all very fortunate that I don't have a death ray because just thinking about that quest makes me want to wipe out whole cities.

All of Draztal's points about attunements are valid. I salute you, brave EU CM, for your willingness to say what so many people seem to have forgotten about them. They're content barriers. That's all that they are. The people remembering them so fondly are, so far as I can tell, drunk out of their minds on the sweet and heady wine of nostalgia or just really invested in creating artificial ways to keep other players from seeing the content. I don't understand the mindset that demands extra hoops outside of the content and its actual difficulty be added to arrest progress.

I like a challenge. I do hard content in my raids. That's fun for me. What I don't like or want is a barrier to entry that has nothing to do with skill, just time and the ability to get other people to help me get through a series of stages that serve no other purpose but to delay me, especially when we're already delayed by other aspects of the game anyway.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

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