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Posts with tag attunement

Why Mount Hyjal and Black Temple attunements still matter

The dust has settled on most of the servers, and the Fury of the Sunwell has been a success across the board. One of the lingering issues however is attunement. It has been noted before that Onyxia is now the hardest attunement in the game. This has occurred with the removal of the Karazhan, Black Temple, and Mount Hyjal attunements. However this creates a false impression that these instances are no longer worthy of attunements, and thus these quests are no longer worthy of the care and time that's necessary to push forward into them.

You want to get your Vashj and Kael vials, you want to complete your Mount Hyjal attunement, and you want to complete your Black Temple attunement. If you're in a guild that isn't running those instances anymore and is focusing squarely on the Tier 6 content, then you still want to go back and get the attunements.


I'm glad you asked.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding

Ready Check: LF24M Sunwell

I'm back! RL got the best of me just after writing my first post here for my favorite WoW site. There is no better time to return than on a new patch that finally releases a new 25-man raid dungeon. It's been just over 10 months since Blizzard released the last 25-man instance, The Black Temple. Like patch 2.1, patch 2.4 promises to be a major content patch that should keep us busy raiding for the foreseeable future, at least hopefully until WotLK.

"But my guild is no where near Sunwell. Who cares about another raid instance that I will never step foot into?" Unlike patch 2.1, which had a complicated attunement process for The Black Temple, this patch removes all attunement requirements for all TBC raid instances. This change, along with many other changes included in patch 2.4 transforms the current raiding landscape giving the raider more paths to take. Whether you're a guild doing SSC/TK or (un)patiently waiting for Sunwell for the past six months, this patch affects you in some way. Find out how these new changes will affect your raiding experience.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Top 5 must-dos in Patch 2.4

Patch 2.4 is finally going live, and with all of the new content, it will be pretty overwhelming when you first log on and attempt to decide what you want to do.

With new loot, new quests, and new areas to explore, there will be plenty to keep you busy!

05. Regarding your User Interface:
The default UI is changing, so along with updating and reconfiguring add-ons, you should learn more about the changes you're going to need to make.

04. For the explorer:
If you like to be prepared, check out our coverage of the maps for Sunwell Isle. If you'd rather dive right in and be surprised, then check out your own map of the Eastern Kingdoms. The little island at the very top is your new destination! Either way, the easiest way to get there is from the Ironforge (Alliance) or Silvermoon City (Horde) Flightmaster.

For the rest of the countdown, hop through the break!

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Quests, Factions, Battlegrounds

Onyxia is the toughest attunement in the game

Here's an interesting observation: after patch 2.4 drops, Onyxia will be the hardest attunement in the game. BT and Hyjal dropped, SSC and TK dropped, and even the Karazhan attunement got removed, so the hardest attunement now left in the game (does the AQ gate opening count as an attunement?) will be the long quest chain to attune to Onyxia's Lair.

And Blizzard is apparently OK with that. They've been back and forth on attunements since the beginning of the game. On the one hand, attuning a character to an instance like Onyxia makes things feel epic (and indeed, some people think the Alliance version, with the Stormwind reveal, is one of the best quests in the game). But putting attunements in the way just to keep players away from content clearly isn't the way to go about things.

It will be interesting, as always, to see how things change in the next expansion -- Blizzard has already said that they'd like alts to be able to benefit from attunements and reputation rewards, so odds are that while there still will be attunements of some kind, they'll be set up in such a way that once you do them one time, you won't have to do them again. And that's a pretty good balance -- players still get to experience epic content, but it never is forced into a grind where you have to jump through hoops just to get someplace the devs don't want you to be yet.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Quests, Expansions, Raiding, Leveling

Tigole talks attunement

Attunement is one of those subjects that divides WoW players. You either think people should have to work to get into high-end dungeons, or you think they should be open to anyone with the guts to try. Of course, you're more likely to fall into the first camp if you yourself had to do that work, hence the recent controversy over the attunements for the Black Temple and Mount Hyjal being removed.

Well, it turns out that if WoW lead developer Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan had his way, attunement would be much less of a pain. He dropped the following information in a thread on "Attunement and Alts" in the general forums today:
  • They would like to make it so getting a Karazhan key or a heroic key gave all your other max-level alts access as well.
  • They're looking into guild and raid attunements, but "no promises."
  • They're interested in doing server events to open up content, like the AQ war but, Tigole says, with more fun dailies and fewer boring collection grinds.
Overall, he says the topic of attunement comes up often at Blizz HQ, and they want to do better moving forward and going into Wrath.

Filed under: Instances, Raiding, Alts, Forums

Patch 2.4: Hyjal and Black Temple attunements removed

Blizzard announced the following important four lines in their 2.4 Patch Notes:
  • Players will no longer require an attunement quest to enter Hyjal.
  • Players will no longer require an attunement quest to enter the Black Temple.
  • Players who have completed the attunement quests for Black Temple and Hyjal will be granted the title of "Hand of A'dal".
  • You may now fight Prince Kael'thas and Lady Vashj without first killing all the other bosses in their respective dungeons.
I have to say, despite the difficulty of Vashj and Kael'Thas, I am quite surprised to find that Blizzard has removed the attunement requirements from Patch 2.4. Naxx, Blackwing Lair, and even Molten Core still require people to become attuned. Now seemingly, two of the hardest and most revered raids do not.

While the removal of the attunement is obviously a way to get more people to see their new raid zone, the Sunwell Plateau, all is not golden. Many, many, many raiding guilds and players who have already made the brutal trek through Vashj and Kael will be quite upset. On the other hand players who are not yet able to, but perhaps ready for, the first few bosses of MH and BT, will undoubtedly rejoice.

What are your opinions of this change? How do you think it will affect the raiding landscape?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Quests, Raiding, The Burning Crusade

How to stop Vashj and Kael from destroying your guild

Last week our own Marcie Knox pointed out in her Ready Check column the daunting task that's given to raiders when they face Lady Vashj and Kael'Thas Sunstrider. These two bosses have earned their reputation as a guild killer, and are some of the hardest encounters in the game. While there is a plethora of information out there on how to defeat the technical aspects of the fights, very little is written on the social aspects these fights give us. Examining what can be done to keep a group of raiders together during this difficult time is critical to success.

Lets take a brief look at why these two encounters are so difficult. When it comes down to it, Blizzard is testing our ability to deal with two different skill sets. The first being immediate and unknown change, and that comes with Vashj during phase two and three: which side will the Naga spawn, where will the Tainted Element appear, how many times is your main tank going to get rooted and bat poison dropped on him, which way will the tanks need to drag the Naga around to avoid getting the melee cleaved, etc...

On the flip side to Vashj's unknown factors exists Kael'Thas. Kael is definitely a scripted encounter. We know what order the advisers are going to come up in, we know (sans gaze) where they'll go, we know what Kael will do when he reaches 50%, and we know what order we need to get the weapons down. This fight is all about repetition of a scripted encounter.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Virtual selves, Raiding

Ready Check: Progression

Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Kara or BT, everyone can get in on the action and down them some bosses. Sadly this week, Hong his stuck clearing trash in SSC. It's bad news when the little fishes come back, trust me.

There are a number of things that drive people to raid. Character improvement is one aspect, but for most raiders that I've run across, it's all about seeing content. These are the explorer/achievers who see bosses not as just a challenge, but as a stepping stone to where even more reclusive mobs and areas exist.

In the past, raids experienced pretty linear difficulty levels as they plowed through instances. You could skip ahead some if you stumbled across a particularly nasty boss (/wave C'thun), but you pretty much just worked down the list of baddies since each one got slightly harder. Even in Naxx where you had four different hallways of death to pick from, and the attunement wasn't dependent whatsoever on previous content you've completed, the progressive levels of boss difficulty kept you on the straight and narrow. You didn't have a chance killing the Instructor if you weren't skilled and geared well enough, no matter how much the Argent Dawn loved you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Bosses, Ready Check (Raiding)

Gearchecking the expansion

After reading yesterday that Bornakk confirmed a "gear reset" (which is not actually a reset-- more on that in a sec), reader John had an interesting thought about using current high-level instances (Hyjal and BT) to attune players for future high level instances, so that neither the gear or the content would go unused. Which is kind of happening already-- it's all but confirmed that Naxx will be repurposed in the next expansion. But that just suggested something else to me: what if, rather than worrying about a "gear reset." Blizzard actually made the current endgame mandatory for entry into Northrend? What if you couldn't move on without doing all the current content?

That would ensure that you got the use you needed out of the gear you had now, and it would also make sure that everyone coming through saw everything-- your guild would have to down Archimonde to enter into the next 10 levels.

Now, it's pretty clear that won't happen, because Blizzard is much, much more inclined to make things more open rather than put more requirements on their new content. But you have to admit that it would solve the problem-- either run and experience the content, or don't move on.

Finally, other readers did note one more thing about the "gear reset" and that's that it's not actually a reset at all-- much of the highest level gear won't be replaced for quite a while (I was still wearing my Tier 2 helm when I hit 69, and people wearing full T6 right now likely will keep their gear even through the starting quests in WotLK). But that still doesn't change the fact that Blizzard is basically running two gear paths here-- either fight in the raids for the high-level armor now, or just pick it up later when you enter Northrend.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances

Welcome to "noob season"

I don't know if I quite buy this one, but it's an interesting idea: Jias says that this week begins a period of time in the World of Warcraft known as "noob season": all of the folks who found WoW under their tree, or decided to use their gift cards to try out "the Shatner game" are going to be rolling their first character over the next couple of weeks, and will probably have lots of questions and very little learned etiquette.

Jias sees it as a bad thing (we have to deal with noobs), but I tend to go a little more toward Neth's side of the argument: it's a chance to be veterans of the game, and to help players who haven't seen all this stuff before figure it out. Just last night, I was leveling my Hunter and decided to join a PUG in Blackrock Depths out of the blue-- for some reason, only one of them had ever been in the instance before. But being an old hand, I led them through all the twists and turns down there, and we finished all the quests through the Attunement rock (The Lyceum gave us a little trouble, but it was late, so we called it).

Will there be a few more players asking for gold or not quite clear that all tanks should be carrying a shield? Probably. But we should probably be as welcoming and patient with these folks as possible-- they'll be the same people listening on the LFG channel when you ask "LFM for Utgarde Keep."

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Instances

Breakfast Topic: Is attunement a necessary evil?

TBC Attunement Chart
Seriously. Look at that Burning Crusade attunement chart. Is all the hoop jumping really necessary for players who just want to see content? How much worse is it going to get for Sunwell Plateau? Or Wrath instances?

I think players shouldn't have to navigate a chart more complicated than the U.S. Tax Code to see new places, kill new things and parade around in the new found loot like drunken Wildhammer dwaves discovering a new flight path.

What do you think? Is attunement a way to reward dedicated players or a road block to slow down the general populace that is ravenously consuming content faster than the devs can create it?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Attunement scrolls now granting free flasks

So first there were quests to get into Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep. Then Blizzard created "attunement scrolls," which dropped from the bosses of each and allowed guilds to attune other players or alts who'd missed out on the action so far. And then Blizz removed the attunements entirely. So what happened to the quests and the scrolls?

All we know about the quests so far is that Blizzard has promised to add extra steps onto them to reward the people who actually did them (we don't know what the rewards will be quite yet). But Boubouille at MMO Champion has a good line on what's up with the scrolls-- they still drop, but now instead of granting attunements, they grant flasks, usable in all the higher level raid instances.

The good news, as we heard at BlizzCon, is that Blizzard says they've learned their lesson from this fiasco, and attunements in upcoming patches and expansions will be a little less intensive (which is fine by me-- I'd rather difficulty keep people away from a dungeon rather than a super-long attunement questline). But if you've got any of these scrolls still around, feel free to use them for flasks. As a commenter says, it's a buy and use 25 flasks, get 5 free sale!

Filed under: Patches, Items, Blizzard, Raiding, Bosses, Buffs

Gamers on the Street: Attunement changes

Hello all, and welcome to Gamers on the Street! In this column I will be logging into a different server each week to create a character and ask completetly random gamers of both factions their opinions about things that are currently impacting players in World of Warcraft. In this way we hope to reach out to the community and give some everyday gamers a chance to talk about some of the things going on in game.

This week, I picked the Gnomeregan server by asking someone in the <It came from the Blog> guild to name a server for me. It was the first one that was given to me. I rolled my two characters -- a Gnome Rogue and a Troll Rogue, which I dutifully leveled past one so nobody thought I was a gold spammer -- and headed for the major cities nearby to ask my questions. Amusingly, getting anyone to talk to you at level five (Alliance) or three (Horde) was difficult to say the least...

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Interviews, Gamers on the Street

Raiding progress, minus attunements

Players have pretty much /cheered across the board about the removal of attunements from Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep yesterday-- even the Blizzard curmudgeons over at PaladinSucks nodded in approval.

But as Elizabeth asks on the WoW Livejournal, what exactly does this mean? Can your guild change this weekend's Gruul run into a raid on The Eye? Can guilds skip over Karazhan and Heroics now, and just head straight to Serpentshrine? Will we see Void Reaver dropped by most guilds quicker than Isiah Washington from Gray's Anatomy?

Unfortunately, the answer to those questions is probably no. True, the removal of attunements does mean that more guilds can head into SSC and Tempest Keep right away (instead of waiting for 25 of their members to get attuned), but the bosses in both of the big raids aren't real forgiving unless your guild has already seen a few Kara clears, a few successful Gruul raids, and hopefully even a Magtheridon raid or two as well. Just as a reference, Void Reaver, the first boss in The Eye, requires about three or four tanks in the raid, and easily hits for 7k in the space of a few seconds. Likewise, Hydross, the first boss in Serpentshrine, is not nice to raids-- his adds hit for about 5-6k, and he enrages within 10 minutes.

But on the other hand, if you have run Kara, Gruul, and Mag a few times, most guilds are saying you'll have no problem at all with Void Reaver, so guilds who are ready already will definitely benefit from the attunements opening up for all. But if you're still stuck on Curator or Shade of Aran, you likely won't get much out of SSC or TK except a repair bill and a bit of perspective. You'll need to gear up before tackling the bigger stuff.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Guilds, Blizzard, Instances, Quests, Raiding

Attunements removed from SSC and TK

Wow, this is something I never saw coming. Tigole just announced that the Serpentshrine Keep and Tempest Keep: the Eye raids will no longer require any attunement:

After a lot of thought and deliberation, we've decided to remove the attunement requirements to enter Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep: The Eye. While many of our attunements in the Burning Crusade have been good progression checks, a few of the attunements have turned out to cause unnecessary stress on guilds either doing the content or attempting to do the content. With Black Temple and Battle for Mount Hyjal thriving, we want to encourage (rather than prevent) new guilds and raid groups to attempt Serpentshrine and TK. We are going to leave the current attunement quests in the game so that players can still engage in the challenge and the lore of those quests should they choose to. At a later point, we are considering adding a final reward step to those quests as well (that way those who have already completed them would not miss out on a *new* reward).

We're listening to feedback from you guys constantly and your opinions are important to us. We want this game to be the best possible MMO experience for our players.

Enjoy Serpentshrine and Tempest Keep =)

(Please note: This change will go live later today -- it's not yet active)

Presumably the idea is that the effort it takes to get the gear to compete in SSC or TK is enough of a check. Many people have complained about overly involved attunement processes in the Burning Crusade, and this is a big step in the direction of fixing that. In fact, Tobold had cited the attunement barrier to SSC as a major reason why he canceled his WoW account. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some sightseeing to do...

Filed under: Quests, Raiding

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