Remember Burning Crusade? It was WoW’s first expansion. Whole new continent to explore. We were able to challenge Illidan for supremacy of Outland. Heroics were introduced for the first time. Content was difficult and everyone was going through it at a manageable pace. Progression felt like progression because it seemed like stuff would take forever to do and you had to wait for everyone else to catch up.
We’re not talking a simple BRD run to get attuned for Molten Core, either. We’re talking full fledged chains and reputation requirements.
Seriously, the only real “fun” aspect of the system was that you could lord it over other people who couldn’t do it. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I used to be one of those people.
“Oh what’s that? You can’t get into Serpentshrine? Sorry to hear that man, I gotta go raid it right now.”
I wasn’t proud of who I was then. But I was young, I didn’t know better, and it felt like a status thing to me. I could get into this one instance that only a select few people could get into. Tempest Keep was like the prefect’s bathroom of Hogwarts that only the best and hardest working could get into. It was another way to measure and compare your character’s “worth” against others.
Look at this diagram below (Can click to expand).
Look at what a mess the entire Burning Crusade tier was.
You had to get keys and hit revered with certain factions just to hit different raids. The benefit attunements came with is that the players who went through the entire gauntlet were well trained at the end. They put in the hours, the wipes, and were well equipped to handle the raids. The attunement process took them through so many instance runs that they had to inevitably gear up through drops or valor that by the time they finished, their character could survive and contribute to the raid.
Not a bad raiding initiation and training process.
Pre-nerf Shattered Halls.
Pre-nerf Shadow Labyrinth.
I’m hoping challenge modes return or exceed that level of difficulty.
Actually, I will grant that there is one thing I liked about the way everything was laid out. Progression was clearly laid out. There wasn’t a recommended path or anything, but you clearly knew based on the quests received what you had to do in order to get to the end. Cataclysm was a little more open ended at max level. Call it a hunch, but when given too many options or choices, I suspect people might freeze up and not where to go. I believe it’s called Decision paralysis. Does it apply? Maybe. So much selection and not knowing where to go.
I’m hoping Mists will have some signposts that offer some insight on where you should go first.
So bottom lining this, I’m not in a rush to see Attunements return. But I’m not opposed if a minor gating mechanism was in place for select bosses. The way Algalon’s was setup or Sinestra is one way you can place a pseudo-attunement in place. In addition, I was internally debating with myself the idea of either select guild attunements or account based attunements. Not sure what conditions or settings would have to be in order to pull it off, but it’s something in the back of my mind.