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Thread: The Weekly Marmot - The Value of Attunements

  1. #1

    The Weekly Marmot - The Value of Attunements

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  2. #2
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    The people on the forums complaining about a lack of attunements aren't doing so because of a lack of lore tie-ins. Its purely about throwing up roadblocks for the people they consider 'bads' and increasing their own prestige by a more significant separation. Separating out heroic/normal raiders by gear or completion dates is lower on the prestige continuum than entirely keeping others out of the raid instance entirely. The suggesions about making an easy attunement quest don't address their (real) concerns at all.

    BC attunement pales in comparison to what the old Everquest attunements looked like and it was definitely a sense of accomplishment to zone into Plane of Time for the first time. It was also a really awful sense of despair though to not be able to zone into the elemental planes for months (obviously exacerbated by the lack of instancing). Everquest finally settled on a method that to some extent worked for backflagging (i.e. attuning new people) which was to allow some portion of the raid to zone in without the attunement (1 person could be 'willed in' by 5 people who had the attunement) and then dropping a limited number of backflag items from current content to replace the previous attunement. This served to keep the unwashed masses out of raid zones but allowed high end guilds to replenish their ranks as long as they didn't completely fall apart which is really what the WoW forum nerd rage echo chamber wants.

  3. #3
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    I think one important thing you didn't mention is one of the cons about attunements, that if you have to repeat it on every one of your characters to raid on alts, it would instantly make it repetitive, boring, and the lore could be rejected or ignored because it feels like a chore.

    Maybe if the end result of getting attuned was some sort of achievement (ex "Ready for Raiding XIV" j/k named something related to the raid)... and that achievement is account-wide, it would be best.

    I would even be more open to the idea of requiring a previous raid tier, or needing the help of others in general, if and only if you only have to do it once for all your toons.

  4. #4
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    If people want to know the more they will go find it out, it doesn't need to be forced on everyone. For me I'm under the impression that in dragon soul I have to kill deathwings minions in order to get to him, and if I don't then the world goes boom. If the hour of twilight 5mans had been the attunement to enter dragon soul, I would have breezed right on through skipping any cut scenes and only reading enough of the quest text to finish the quest.This isn't to say that the more shouldn't be easily attained, if the hour of twilight 5mans had more more in the it might be a bit more interesting. To me what little more I've read leaves me with just more questions than answers and finding those answers in a streamlined way seems to be elusive.Personally I'm wondering why attunements are not simply a test to make sure one is ready to enter battle. Much in the same way you have to go through basic training in the military. Yes leveling was supposed to teach you, but it only teaches you how to kill or be killed.If bllizzard really wanted to force the more on people, they could make a long unskippable cut scene at the beginning of the instance. Which imo is what more based attunements are.

  5. #5
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    I think you've got a point, Lore. I was recently working on the Loremaster of Cataclysm achievement (I was close, and I had nothing to do anyway) and I bumped into a little chain at the end I had never done that led up to Grim Batol. I felt much more invested in Grim Batol at that point, and I was sorry that almost no one had probably done that particular line. Grim Batol just became a dungeon full of purple dragons.

    Attunements (and Rep grinds, like Sons of Hodir or Therazane) can be really painful barriers, or they can be helpful for the game, and you've convinced me there's a middle ground.

    Another way to do it, is instead of making them a negative (you have to do x before you can do y), you can make them a positive (when you do x, you get y epic reward). I did the Firelands quest chain on every one of my toons because I wanted the cloak and the rep items from the vendor at the end of the chain that opens the molten front. Every one of them. I did Sons of Hodir on several toons (it was much more painful than the FL questline) as well for the shoulder enchants. No one has a problem completing the ICC 5 man quest chain, or the HoT 5 man quest chain, because those chains give epic rewards. They can be equivalent gear to that instance too and people will still do them on their alts who might need the gear when they first hit the cap. We can have incentives to do these lore-related questlines, but they don't necessarily need to be about locking you out of the instance first (although doing something like the FL quest chain would be fine).

    I would like to see something similar built into the game that makes you find the entrance to these dungeons. With Challenge modes, we're going to have to find them anyway, so why not give us a questline with a little reward at the end that we have to do before getting inside the dungeon? Have it start on the Heroe's Call boards, and have the game chat it up in the login hints, but a great way to make us get out and invested in the world more (a major goal of MoP and one I really hope they achieve) would be a short questline leading up to the entrance.

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    You spent a lot of time in TWM saying that people should be made to understand the lore behind bosses/raids before they can enter said raid. I don't understand why you think that making players do something they may not want to do is a good thing? It also seemed that the sole value attuments had to you was as a extra vehicle for the game's lore. Attuments are an extra barrier to content. Now, I, personally, wouldn't mind doing some quests that tell me more about the lore behind a certain instance or boss. But I'm sure there are many, many players who would.

    You posit that you should only be able to enter a raid instance if you have been (force) fed a set amount of information about that particular instance. But, does making players undertake a series of quests in any way ensure that they will know more about the the raid they're attuning themselves to? Those players who don't want to learn about the lore are just going to scroll down to the bottom of the quest page to where it says "Kill such-and-such-an-NPC" and move on. Just because you're making them do a quest doesn't meant they're going to soak up the lore you're throwing at them.

    Why not simply have a series of optional quests outside each raid instance which allow those players who want to learn more about the lore to do so. I don't see the point of tying those quests into your eligibility to enter a raid instance.

  7. #7
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    Helfarch
    You spent a lot of time in TWM saying that people should be made to understand the lore behind bosses/raids before they can enter said raid. I don't understand why you think that making players do something they may not want to do is a good thing? It also seemed that the sole value attuments had to you was as a extra vehicle for the game's lore. Attuments are an extra barrier to content. Now, I, personally, wouldn't mind doing some quests that tell me more about the lore behind a certain instance or boss. But I'm sure there are many, many players who would.

    You posit that you should only be able to enter a raid instance if you have been (force) fed a set amount of information about that particular instance. But, does making players undertake a series of quests in any way ensure that they will know more about the the raid they're attuning themselves to? Those players who don't want to learn about the lore are just going to scroll down to the bottom of the quest page to where it says "Kill such-and-such-an-NPC" and move on. Just because you're making them do a quest doesn't meant they're going to soak up the lore you're throwing at them.

    Why not simply have a series of optional quests outside each raid instance which allow those players who want to learn more about the lore to do so. I don't see the point of tying those quests into your eligibility to enter a raid instance.
    Like Lore said, you're already forced to do a bunch of things in the game. You're forced to be ilvl 372 to do Raid Finder. You're forced to do a quest chain before doing the HoT heroics. No one finds those particularly onerous. Even if you just scroll to the bottom, you at least saw some stuff. At least you'll be saying "I remember you, in the mountains..."

  8. #8
    I see 2 main problems with attunements, even ones as potentially simple as the Thrall quest chain:

    First, as futar mentioned it becomes a chore when you need to do it on every single one of your toons.

    Second, is that it ultimately becomes just a hard-handed lore exposition. I mean you were using chains and things that already exist in the game and saying that they should have been attunements, so what would the point of it be? They're already there, so that means that there's nothing for Blizzard to actually add to the game, you're just asking them to come out and say "YOU MUST DO THESE THINGS OR ELSE YOU CANNOT RAID!!!" And that just seems stupid to force players to have to take an extra step for no other reason than to make them take an extra step.

    Both of these problems are only magnified when you get into old and/or trivial content. Can you imagine how much of a pain it would be if sometime in the middle of MoP someone decides to put together a Firelands pug just for getting old achievements or xmog gear or maybe just for the fun of it, and then you get there and low and behold someone never did the Thrall chain because that toon didn't even exist before MoP and now either they have to be kicked or everyone has to wait while they do the attunement for an old-content raid (even a 10 minute attunement process is too long when you were expecting to walk into the raid 1 minute before you started).

    I'm all for the presentation of the lore for why you're killing a boss or why you're in that instance, but I see no valid reason for making that a mandatory requirement to be allowed to raid. Put the lore out there in the game, and let the players decide whether they want to look at it or not. Those that care about the lore and want to know why they're killing the dragon will go and experience it. Those that don't care about the lore can skip it and just focus on the other aspects of raiding which they care about. And to those that choose to not go and do that optional raiding lore stuff and then complain that they don't know what's going on or think something in a raid is stupid (because they don't know what's going on), the only thing I have to say is "QQ, QQ, QQ, it was there, you choose not to do it, that's your own fault." Because again it seems just plain dumb to make it mandatory since the only people that would make happy are the ones who don't want to do it and complain that they didn't, and those people are idiots.

    Can they improve the means by which they present the lore about new raids (and other content)? Sure, but making it mandatory would be a step in the wrong direction. One thing that jumps to mind is during the pre-cata event they had the special dungeon queues where you (and other pugs) teamed up with Baine or Garrosh (don't know who the allies teamed up with) to fight Gaz'rilla or Therazane's daughter. They were nice little lore packages that explained a bit about the Twilight's Hammer trying to team up with various elemental allies, that you could do if you wanted or you could completely skip (since the gear that dropped wasn't that great). They could expand on that idea and make things like that for the raids that are maybe a little longer, put some more events/voice-acting and focus more on the lore instead of just hammering through just to get a drop for your alt (maybe no loot, just basically make it an interactive event), and then the lore is there and easily accessible to whoever wants to do it, or can be skipped for those that don't. And for those that change their minds or didn't pay attention they can go back and do it again later.

  9. #9
    There's a crazy fact about game design that most gamers don't understand: Sometimes, you have to force players to do things that they'll enjoy.

    It sounds stupid, but it's how we act. If you didn't have to kill bosses to collect loot, most people probably wouldn't -- even those who would actually enjoy killing the bosses. Most raiders will not participate in side content unless it's necessary for raiding, even if it will enrich their overall raiding experience having done it.

    Players enjoy story, if it's presented properly. Usually when someone says "I don't care about the lore" what they really mean is "I just want to play the game". If the lore is presented to them as part of playing the game, they tend to enjoy that experience more than they would have if there was no story involved. You like killing things more if you have a reason to kill them. World of Warcraft has just historically been absolutely terrible about involving story in a way that isn't obnoxious.

    I believe quite strongly that, if we had any sense of who the hell Yor'sahj, Zon'ozz, Morchok, Hagara, and Blackhorn are other than "bosses I have to kill before I can kill Deathwing", those fights individually would feel much cooler.
    Last edited by Lore; 07-06-2012 at 06:06 PM.
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  10. #10
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    First, as futar mentioned it becomes a chore when you need to do it on every single one of your toons.
    So make it account wide. You only have to do it once. Problem solved.

    Both of these problems are only magnified when you get into old and/or trivial content.
    Lift the attunement after the content is no longer current. Problem solved.

    Put the lore out there in the game, and let the players decide whether they want to look at it or not.
    That's what we have now, and it doesn't work. People just don't do stuff in the game that doesn't provide a tangible reward, for better or worse. Like dungeon finder - theoretically, it would be better if we all built friends lists and didn't pug dungeons like we used to pre-dungeon finder. That would improve the server community. But we don't, because dungeon finder is easier.

    Its sort of like eating your vegetables. At first, it might seem a little annoying (although if you make it quick and painless, and make it account wide, AND remove it when the next tier comes out, that should help), but in the long run, you'll have a better idea of why you are in there. You might think "screw that, give me my purpz now" but it really will go a long way to increasing your enjoyment of the instance. It really would.

    Lore - one other thing that could work besides attunements would be title and achievement rewards. Maybe, after the content is no longer current, make the attunement optional but provide an additional title and an achievement for it like they did for t4 and t5.

  11. #11
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    Sorry about your A/C.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Lore View Post
    Usually when someone says "I don't care about the lore" what they really mean is "I just want to play the game". If the lore is presented to them as part of playing the game, they tend to enjoy that experience more than they would have if there was no story involved.
    I don't disagree with this, I just don't see there being any value in literally forcing players to do it. The problem is the presentation, but making it mandatory does NOT fix the presentation.

    Some people really just don't care about the lore, and telling them that they have to do it anyways will not increase their enjoyment of the content, it'll just give them something else to complain about. Now I am not one of those people, making this stuff mandatory wouldn't hinder me personally in the slightest (I believe I have 2 flamebreakers, and I think I'd have a 3rd if I hadn't given up finding the alliance only guy to wave to again), but I know that there are such people out there.

    Improve the presentation, put it somewhere obvious and make it accessible enough so that people will be encouraged to do it. But if someone really doesn't want to they shouldn't have to.


    Quote Originally Posted by Knighterrant81 View Post
    That's what we have now, and it doesn't work. People just don't do stuff in the game that doesn't provide a tangible reward, for better or worse. Like dungeon finder - theoretically, it would be better if we all built friends lists and didn't pug dungeons like we used to pre-dungeon finder. That would improve the server community. But we don't, because dungeon finder is easier.
    It doesn't work because it's done poorly. As I said they can definitely improve the presentation a lot. But just making it mandatory does not improve it. Taking what we have now, which doesn't work to get people interested, and making it mandatory will NOT make it magically get people interested. The goal of game design should NEVER be "well people aren't doing this, because they don't want to, so let's make it mandatory", the goal should be "well people aren't doing this, because they don't want to, so let's make it better so that they will want to".

    Honestly, what would be better an attunement process that people only do because they are forced to in order to be allowed to raid, or an optional attunement process that people do because they want to do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knighterrant81 View Post
    Its sort of like eating your vegetables. At first, it might seem a little annoying (although if you make it quick and painless, and make it account wide, AND remove it when the next tier comes out, that should help), but in the long run, you'll have a better idea of why you are in there. You might think "screw that, give me my purpz now" but it really will go a long way to increasing your enjoyment of the instance. It really would.
    That first sentence sums it up nicely. This sort of attunement process is the equivalent to treating everyone like children. And guess what? People don't like being treated like children. You can get people to do things without making them mandatory, it IS possible.

    And as I mentioned I am not one of the people who would resent being forced to do an attunement process, I enjoy the lore, I enjoy the questing, I would be doing it regardless. So this isn't me just saying "screw that, give me my purpz now". This is me arguing for the sake of the people who like different things than me. You're taking something and saying "hey I would enjoy this and I bet a lot of other people would to, so let's force everyone to do it!" without considering that there are those that will resent this.

  13. #13
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    I firmly believe in atunement. I was greatly disapointed when many of my atunement items became junk. Atunement in BC was a bit of a pain and prevented me from seeing some of the content, it was also a gear check to ensure people had the gear to enter said zone. I miss stuff like making sure somebody had the urn to do Kara and crazy crap like that. Like Lore said, so you make attunement a quest chain that takes 2-3 hours to complete. You put in enough time on your toons by the time they are max level that a 2-3 hour quest chain is not gunna stop you from doing something. I believe attunements should be brought back as I always enjoyed them, even if I never got to raid it that tier.

  14. #14
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    I thoroughly enjoyed the Kara attunement. I remember working to get it so i could run Kara with friends, which even though it wasn't the best tier, it was extremely fun to do.

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  15. #15
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    Well, we do have to clear the raid in normal to enable the heroic mode, so not like they make us work to be able to raid don't they?

    Maybe they COULD do BC like atunements, but only one person in the raid would have to have done it to be able to zone it, same principle as you need one person to have killed the end boss in normal to turn it in hard mode.

    To be honest, the side quests we could do would also eliminate some of the RP we get that is just irritating after a while... the spine cut scene.. the Saurfang speech?

    But seriously. doing quest like the Dragonwrath quests and Fangs of the Father quest would be awesome.. they put a lot of work into those for a very limited about of people. You had your very own instanced zone and you couldn't group, and it WAS epic. They could totally do that.

  16. #16
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    I completely agree that attunements would greatly help the game, if done correctly.

    I will say a couple things in reaction to nay-sayers. The argument that its lame to have attunements to old stuff... yes and no. I picked up WOW during Wrath, and from my first days in the game I was after achievements. A lot of those from BC involved attuning to different dungeons and raids (or begging runs from attuned folks) (and lot is relative, cause there aren't that many BC achievements). Needing to attune was amazing, and helped me explore BC so much. It gave me a lot of old, free content. Sure it was annoying that I needed keys for heroics, but it also gave me something concrete to do. As someone who was late to the game of WOW, it made me feel like there was a whole world out there that I could catch up on. Sure most people experienced it when heroics were actually hard, but at least I could experience them and understand the trials of warriors past. It is also noteworthy that Blizzard has previously used rules for old content that let people skip attunements if someone in the raid had done them, and again, this is a really good solution. It might even be a good solution for current content. In my guild we have 3 raiders who are REALLY into lore, and all 3 of us would do any attunement. The others probably wouldn't unless required, but even then, at least the group has some sense of whats going on. One attuned could be a middle ground that works, especially for old content.

    The other objection is about people who raid on multiple toons. I think attunements are needed for them the most. In the past year I have seen many players who start raiding, like it, gear up an alt to raid, gear up another etc... after a month only their main is making progress cause its hard to get alts into progression minded groups, all their alts get to the same iLVL (depending on the ease of content it has been at ~346, ~359, ~378, ~384 and then finally at ~397) and then they get super bored. Working the actual progression is unsatisfying because focusing on nailing down one class becomes boring. They become bad raiders whose DPS falls, then after perhaps another couple of weeks they cancel their subscription. While there are some folks who raid successfully on multiple toons (and I know a few), the most sure sign I have ever seen of someone who will raid only briefly is someone who raids lots of toons. I honestly believe that most of these people would be much happier if they had real attunements as barriers between them and raiding. If every tier they had to re-attune 10-15 characters, they would raid less on each one, and not burn out so hard. It falls under the category of things where the game designers have to force you to go slower on content for your own good.

    Attunements are good. Sign me up.

  17. #17
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    I don't disagree with this, I just don't see there being any value in literally forcing players to do it. The problem is the presentation, but making it mandatory does NOT fix the presentation.

    Some people really just don't care about the lore, and telling them that they have to do it anyways will not increase their enjoyment of the content, it'll just give them something else to complain about. Now I am not one of those people, making this stuff mandatory wouldn't hinder me personally in the slightest (I believe I have 2 flamebreakers, and I think I'd have a 3rd if I hadn't given up finding the alliance only guy to wave to again), but I know that there are such people out there.

    Improve the presentation, put it somewhere obvious and make it accessible enough so that people will be encouraged to do it. But if someone really doesn't want to they shouldn't have to.
    It just doesn't work. If people don't have to do it, they won't do it, even if it would be good for them. It might seem a bit top down, but forcing everyone to experience the story *just a little* and solo would be a good step of the game.

    Think about the goal Blizzard has of getting us out of capital cities more. In practical reality, what that requires is actually removing conveniences and *forcing* players to do things like go out in the world to buy conquest and valor point gear or do dailies or pet battles or whatever. They could just put a portal or a queue to stuff like challenge modes, and that would be more convenient for the player - but ultimately, forcing us to go outside *just a little* is good for the game. Just like forcing us to experience lore *just a little* (in a way that is engaging) would be good for the game.

    Sweeten the deal with epic rewards and everyone will do it even on their alts.

  18. #18
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    In my opinion attunements are necessary to PvE even if you have to force it. That's because PvE should be focusing on the lore of World of Warcraft.
    As the player who fights against the environment you need to feel connected to the story, you need to feel like you are part of those heroic and historic moments of WoW's lore.
    When I play the game I like feeling like my character is actually important to the story progress. Therefore attunements like Lore suggested is a great idea because it makes you understand what you're doing and why you're doing it and also makes you feel like you actually part of it.

    In addition I would like to point out that World of Warcraft is MMORPG game. In RPG game those "attunements" are necessary to your progress in the game. Its just in pure RPG game its not called attunements its just the steps to the endgame.

  19. #19
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    I really like the idea that the attunements introduce you to the story behind the bosses, but when you get the attunement achievement (or whatever form it might be) on one character it should be optional if you want to do it on your alts.

  20. #20
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    I started playing WoW about a year into Wrath of the Lich King, and I went through the leveling process before I joined a raiding guild, so I wasn't under the gun to reach the cap and start killing bosses. As a result I gleaned much more lore and game history from questing throughout Northrend, and by the time I first entered ICC, it felt like an important event. Even clearing trash felt like it mattered. Granted, there was no attunement, but being able to take my time with questing really enhanced my enjoyment of all aspects of the game, especially raiding.

    I don't get the same sense of "occasion" when I go into Dragon Soul (or any Cataclysm raid for that matter), and I suspect most of it has to do with the drive to reach the cap and start raiding; I raced through the leveling process without taking the time to soak up much lore along the way. The Thrall quest chain was a very brief, but welcome bit of story telling which I quite enjoyed. To suggest that an attunement in the form of something as brief as the Thrall quest chain is some sort of barrier is odd.

    If attunements were brought back into the game, and if they took the form of a brief quest chain, I'd go so far as to suggest that every instance should have an attunement quest chain. Some players would grumble, but I'm sure it would enhance and enrich the experience of entering an instance, and might even help restore the feeling of exploration, which is a big part of the fun of playing any game, especially a game with a world as big as WoW.

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