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Posts with tag attunement

WoW Archivist: Warlords of Draenor hates The Burning Crusade

Draining a naaru
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?

In many ways, The Burning Crusade was the birth of modern WoW. Most of TBC's innovations are still going strong in WoW today and have been ever since their introduction. Looking back, it's striking how many key features of WoW were absent in classic, only unveiled during the game's first expansion.

Even more striking, however, is how many of these innovations Warlords of Draenor seems poised to undo. Just as Garrosh will undo the transformation of Draenor into Outland, Warlords seeks to unravel most of what Blizzard innovated during TBC. The next expansion will take us through a portal into a very different WoW.

Archivist has now covered all the major patches of The Burning Crusade: patch 2.0.1, patch 2.0.3, patch 2.1, patch 2.2, patch 2.3, and patch 2.4. Now it's time to review the expansion as a whole -- and explore how Warlords will make most of TBC's innovations disappear into the nether.

Dawn of the quest hub

The idea seems so obvious it's hard to imagine that classic WoW actually didn't have quest hubs, at least not in the strict sense. WoW was the first MMO to promote the idea of leveling mainly through quests rather than grinding mobs. So Blizzard had no model to look at when they were designing the original quests.

In classic WoW, quests were put into the game wherever the developers thought they made sense, mostly from a lore perspective. Quests didn't necessarily guide you through a zone area by area. Quests were scattered, and their objectives were, too. They weren't breadcrumbs -- they were meant to be discovered. They didn't hold your hand -- they sent you on an adventure, like it or not.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: The keys to content

Karazhan entrance
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?

Keys in WoW have come in many forms. Some hang around our neck. Some hide in belts. Others open aircraft hangars or other, very special places. Some let us pretend to be rogues. Some never made it to the live game. Some we eat or play with. Some help us get the mail or reach new heights. We find some in unexpected places. A few are just trash.

This column is not about those keys. This is about the keys that used to be a Big Deal. The keys that people went to extraordinary lengths to obtain. The keys that put you on everyone's friends list. The keys to content.

Literal gates

Today, content is rarely locked. Players take it for granted that when a new dungeon or raid goes live, they will have immediate access. For the first half of WoW's history, however, this was not the case at all.

Vanilla WoW locked away virtually all of its end-game content. Raids required attunement, which means that every single person in your raid had to complete a certain quest line.

Keys worked differently. Content that required a key wasn't gated according to some arbitrary release schedule, such as the Heart of Fear -- but by actual gates.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

A brief history of reputation in WoW

A brief history of reputation and WoW
In the early days of vanilla WoW, I had a friend who spent hours upon hours killing ghosts near and around Karazhan. This was odd, to say the least, considering there was absolutely nothing to do in that area at that point and time in the game. I asked him what exactly he was doing, and he said he was collecting Scourgestones. Apparently, the ghosts in the area inexplicably gave reputation for the Argent Dawn. Bewildered, I asked him why he was doing so. The Argent Dawn didn't offer any real rewards at that point.

"Because it's there," he replied. "I like seeing the bars go green. I want to make them all green."

For him, I suppose, it was enough. I understand his fascination more these days, as I make it a point to max out every reputation I have at exalted because I can't stand to see a bar that isn't fully green. Call it vaguely OCD if you will, but if I'm going to go exalted, I'll make sure it's 999/999.

These days, WoW offers a heck of a lot more options for filling up that little green bar -- but where did it all begin?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Thankfully I can now wear pants when I tank

Breakfast Topic Thankfully I can now wear pants when I tank
I have never forgotten how annoying it was to tank content I outgeared back in The Burning Crusade.

For everyone else, going back to older content was a delightful romp, a chance to flex one's digital muscles and unleash the power gained through gearing up. For a tank, it was often an excuse in taking off pieces of armor in order to lower your chances of dodging or otherwise avoiding damage so that you could generate enough rage (or take enough damage that you could get healed in the case of prot paladins), because if you went in your full raid gear, you could forget about generating any kind of threat whatsoever.

I remember the day we were getting two people through the lengthy Karazhan attunement quests, which meant I had to tank Steam Vault, Shadow Labyrinth and the Arcatraz. This meant I was going pantsless the whole time.

Honestly, one of the joys of being a bitter, cynical, grumpy ol' guy is that I remember every single annoyance I endured during The Burning Crusade. Not only am I not wearing rose-colored glasses, the second they start to form on my brow, I whip them off, stomping up and down and them while screaming no pants no pants never any pants no pants and then I alternate between demented laughter and hideous shrieking wails of agony. Well, or I just smirk. One of those.

How about you? What mechanical change have you enjoyed the most in recent expansions?

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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

Breakfast Topic: Should WoW bring back attunements?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Early raiding in World of Warcraft required wide variety of attunements, from "Hey! Go touch that rock!" to "Hey! Go do every almost raid and dungeon in the expansion!" Over time, many of these attunements were eased or lifted as the playerbase grew and more people were interested in experiencing the current endgame. In Wrath of the Lich King, we had just one fairly minor attunement, and that raid was in the initial tier of raiding for the expansion. The only real attunement since The Burning Crusade has been to reach the level cap and learn to perform well enough to not get kicked from the group.

As we look to the future of raiding, maybe we should look to the past as well. While attunements could often be time-consuming, many of them were completed by just playing the game normally, with some added direction beyond "kill mobs to collect phat lewts." Several attunements added much of the epicness that long-time players say that the game has lost over the past two years or so. Attunement quest chains also introduced us to a host of interesting characters and often fleshed out the lore behind the raid we were trying to gain access to at the time.

Given the current state of the game, could attunements return to the World of Warcraft? Better yet, should attunements return?

Should WoW bring back attunements?
Yes5293 (38.2%)
No3608 (26.0%)
Yes, but only for raiding content4954 (35.8%)

Frozen Halls 5-man dungeon attunement walkthrough

The new 5-man dungeon complex in patch 3.3, The Frozen Halls, has three instances:
  • The Forge of Souls
  • Pit of Saron
  • Halls of Reflection
The Pit of Saron and the Halls of Reflection require attunement. In this walkthrough we'll guide you along each quest you need to do in order to be attuned properly.

Please note that this information is based off the PTR version of patch 3.3. Things may have changed slightly since its live release. We'll update the post as necessary.

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Filed under: Patches, Walkthroughs, Instances

The Queue: Item level, attunements, and more

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Good morning/afternoon/generic time of day, everyone! I don't have anything funny or interesting to say here, so let's skip that part and pretend that I did it! Yay! Now imagine there's a silly poll for you to vote in! Exclamation points! More exclamation points! Not enough exclamation points yet! We need more!

Okay, that's enough of them.

Erogroth asked...

"How exactly does item level work? From what I gather its almost like talent points for an item. So any item that is the same level should be about equal in how good it is. However often items of the same item level are no where near equal. So what's the deal?"

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

The Queue: Yes, this is what we call it now

Yep. Ask a Beta Tester is officially The Queue. It's kind of a joke, you get it? Get it? You know, queue, like you wait in line for an answer? An A to your Q? Q? Queue? Hahah! Get it? Get it!? Hahahah! Ugh. Queue queue.

Anyway, The Queue is now our daily Q&A column, where the WoW Insider staff answers your questions about the game to the best of our ability. Previously limited to Wrath content, we'll now happily answer most anything about the game if we're able. Today is obviously no exception, so we're going to start with a question from Andostre...

TBC saw a rise in the necessity of Hit Rating. Is Hit as important in Wrath? I ask because Hit isn't nearly as fun as Attack/Spell Power or Crit rating.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

Onyxia attunement to be lifted

Valnoth announced today that with the return of King Wrynn in Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard will be removing the attunement necessary for Onyxia. In vanilla WoW, Ony was an achievement and many peoples first introduction to raiding in Warcraft. In Burning Crusade it was often ran as a quick way to make a buck or get a nice helmet for an alt.

Ony was one of the last, great old school attunements required in the game. With it gone, only Black Wing Lair and Molten Core remain as attunement required raids. This is a sad day for those of us that enjoyed the quest chain. A friend of mine and I were going to run this through on his Shaman and my up-and-coming Mage. Apparently we'll have to actually kick ourselves into gear and do it soon.

There is no indication if this change will come with WotLK or with patch 3.0.2. However the King returns in 3.0.2, so I would have to assume the attunement will be lifted then. It should be noted however, that Valnoth did say they would attempt to return the chain some day in the future. But we all know how that can go...

Thanks to Jarred for the tip!

Filed under: News items, Quests, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

The strange task of entering Dalaran

Here's a somewhat annoying little problem with the Beta. As of the latest build, you can't just walk into Dalaran, or rather, you can't just use the teleportation crystal go up. Instead, you have to complete a quest to align yourself to Dalaran. But this quest is only available at level 74.

In the Outlands, it's not uncommon for a fresh 58 to head through the Dark Portal and right to Shattrath City. Binding in one of the Inns there essentially puts all of the Outlands before you, with flights connecting you easily to where you wish to go.

It seems strange that Blizzard has put up this strange quest attunement roadblock to those who wish to alight from the boat to Northrend and head straight to the capital. Perhaps it's a similar decision that caused them to restrict flying mounts to level 77 and above -- they don't want people skimping on exploration and seeing content, so they make you hang around the newbie zones for a while before you can just stick with Dalaran.

Luckily, not all is completely lost. Much like with Shattrath before level 58, You can still get teleported or summoned up by a Mage or Warlock before level 74. Still, it's a strange little extra hoop Blizzard's having us leap through to get the to top.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Leveling, Factions, Wrath of the Lich King

How to fly through the cold winds of Northrend

Blizzard has stated that they'll be disallowing the use of flying mounts in Northrend for the first few levels in order for players to appreciate the geography and not miss anything in the latest expansion. Given the amount of work they've put in so far, and looking through the fantastic scenery, it seems like a fair charge. It's recently come to light that the 'attunement' process, which was under much speculation, will not be an attunement at all or cost any money.

In fact, the ability or key to fly in Northrend, called Cold Weather Flying, is a reward from a quest chain obtained in Sholazar Basin at Level 77. The so-called attunement process for flying will actually even reward money, rather than cost anything. MMO Champion has screenshots of, and Wowhead has information on the ability and quest chain. It seems like the mad rush won't necessarily be to Level 80, but a first stop at the all-important Level 77.

Filed under: News items, Expansions, Mounts, Wrath of the Lich King

Buying your way through raid content

There's a new game in town, and Artirius of the Aerie Peak server has noticed it, and admittedly, so have I. With attunements gone, it is now possible for any level 70 to go in and see tier 5 and 6 content whenever they want. Of course, they don't generally have a prayer of actually downing bosses unless they have 20-24 well geared people to help them out.

That's where gold comes in. With a few thousand gold, you can buy your way into a tier 6 group that doesn't need the tier 6 armor and go along for the ride. A few hours later, you come out on the other end with Illidan dead and a few shiny new drops, even if you've never set foot in Karazhan.

It's not just people trying to buy these slots in the trade channel either. As Artirius observes, many raid groups are actively soliciting for buyers for their raid slots. On my own server, one Horde group is trading tier 6 runs for large quantities of certain herbs, promising that all but a few select drops will go to the people who buy their slots with stacks of Netherbloom and Ghost Mushrooms.

So what's causing this?

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Filed under: Herbalism, Mining, Alchemy, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Making money

15 Minutes of Fame: Tamzin on being a girl gamer, movies, music

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about at 15minutesoffame (at) wowinsider (dot) com.

Last week, 15 Minutes of Fame introduced Tamzin, maker of the madly popular strat videos that have helped catapult so many guilds past some of the most intimidating battles in the game: Lady Vashj, Kael'thas Sunstrider and Illidan Stormrage. Our week-long correspondence with Tamzin meandered far beyond the actual videos – so this week, we bring you Tamzin's musings on her professional work in games and movies, being a girl gamer and her thoughts on the future of raiding.

Catch the first installment of our conversation with Tamzin, and then join us after the break for the second part of our exclusive interview. Be sure to click the screenshot here to visit her most recent video, Tamzin's guide to downing Illidan.

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Filed under: Machinima, Features, Bosses, Guides, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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