I’ve noticed a lot of discussion recently about attunements in WoW. For the uninitiated who have come to the game since attunements disappeared, these were often lengthy quest chains that had to be undertaken before a person could access certain raids in the game.
Some players mourn their loss, simply because they enjoyed doing the chains, while others are relieved they’ve gone, seeing them as a needless gate to content that often caused guilds a great deal of inconvenience. I can remember when we first started raiding in our guild, in the days of TBC and Karazhan. To us, it was a lot of fun doing the quest chain to get ingress to the raid, simply because the majority of us had never raided before, or undertaken the notoriously hair-tearing attunements (sometimes costly too) that had accompanied some of the Classic raids. However, there did come a point when we had new raiders coming to join our team who had not done the Karazhan attunement. That meant the guild had to take them through the whole chain, which for Karazhan admittedly wasn’t that onerous. For other raids in TBC, namely the larger 25 mans, attunements were far more time-consuming and fiddly. For guilds working on Black Temple or such like having to attune new members all the time was often a headache. Blizzard took note of this, so attunements bit the dust. With Wrath, they were gone.
I’m in two minds about the whole thing. One of the problems we’ve encountered as a guild is that when new tier content is released, certain of our core raiders are eager to get into it immediately, even if the previous tier is incomplete. It’s come down to situations such as, ‘well, if we’re only doing tier 11, then I’m/we’re not coming’, which effectively means a run has to be cancelled, unless the team comply with what that person/people would prefer to do. I believe we went into Firelands before we were really adequately geared for it, and spent needless weeks wiping on just about everything beyond Shannox, when if that time had been spent in T11 getting a few more bits of gear, it would have helped make things slightly easier for us. When you think about it, each member of a team lacking in a couple or more gear slots on their character sort of equals one entire undergeared player. But some of the team didn’t see it that way. This occurred in Wrath too; it felt like we were forced out of Ulduar far too early, because if we didn’t progress on to TotC then some core raiders simply wouldn’t want to join in. But we are a guild of friends who have played together, in some cases, for many years. It’s not just a case of ‘do as the raid leader says or get out’. That would cause more drama than it solves, and most people are happy to go along with things to keep the team on an even keel. I appreciate that some players like a continuing challenge, but others enjoy finishing the meta achievements, claiming titles from certain boss kills or even just having the satisfaction of finishing a raid while it’s current. In Wrath, we found that older content had a door slammed on it until we far overpowered the encounters an expansion later, and could take fewer people to complete it, or people with less experience to plug the gaps. The same will go for the Cata raids in T11 and T12. While the raids themselves are finished, in that we killed the final bosses, some would like to continue in them for the mounts from the metas, random mount drops, or to finish legendaries, and so on. But some guildies just won’t set foot in that content again, and Cata raids still remain challenging enough on heroic (for the meta achievements) that we will need a decent team for them for the time being. So we’ll have to wait until we all hit level 90 in Mists, and old content such as T11 and T12 can be Friday night ‘fun’ activities that the dedicated few can attend.
So to me, some kind of attunement, even if that’s only finish one tier before you can get into the next would be a positive thing for guilds like ours (and I know we’re far from alone). 10 man raid guilds often have a very tight roster, which makes things more difficult. But then, I can also appreciate that if, for example, a guild is on the third tier of an expansion, and a new raider is recruited who’s been on a long break from the game, so has not done all or part of the previous two tiers, it could be a pain and a half taking them through everything so the team can continue at the point they’re at, as it were, and it could invoke drama from the impatient types who can’t wait for anything. But there could be ways round it. Perhaps once a guild has gained the achievement for completing a raid, it becomes ‘ungated’ so the guild can progress to the next tier, even if not all their current raiders had completed the previous tiers. And also completing a tier could be account wide for players rather than per character, which would help if people changed ‘mains’. Possible solutions anyway.