WoW Attunements Arguments Abound – What’s Your Take?

by on July 9, 2012

Matthew Rossi’s recent editorial fiercely opposing the return of attunements on WoW Insider appears to have sparked a storm of debate!

From fiercely-pro to fiercely-anti – and all flavours in between – the blogosphere has been alight with one question over this weekend – should attunements ever return? And if so, in what form?

  • Azuriel at In An Age feels that attunements were unnecessary, but that the real problem with them was their group content“And then, over the proceeding 37 weeks of raiding Karazhan, I had to make 15 additional Karazhan attunement runs for various people in the guild. People that had no problem being terrible raiders, or otherwise expecting the guild to provide them with endless dungeon runs so that they could guild-hop/get poached three days later”
  • Matticus is thoughtful about attunements, which he feels were a grind, but not without their positive points“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. “
  • Rohan at Blessing of Kings separates attunements into various kinds, before analysing the advantages and disadvantages of each“By and large, I thought Class B attunements worked. They made the game between leveling and raiding more interesting, gave it more purpose rather than simply gearing up. “
  • Stormy at Scribblings on The Asylum Wall feels that attunements provided something that Cataclysm is sorely lacking – an in-character, in-plot reason to actually care about raids“In Cataclysm, on the other hand, I had the opposite experience: when I zoned into Bastion of Twilight there was a giant dragon…in a hallway. Who was the dragon? Why was he just hanging out in a hallway, waiting to be killed?”
  • And Doone at T.R.Redskies writes a massive, thoughtful piece on attunements, looking at the way that player perceptions of content change over time“The tedium that followed is related to the way we, as players evolve toward symbolic thinking which colors our impressions of gameplay mechanics. Once the questline was revealed, then it came only to symbolize the Onyxia encounter itself. Adventure ceases to exist, the quest becomes strictly a means to an end.”

It doesn’t look like the discussion’s finished yet – I’ll be interested to hear the next stages in the debate!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

TwiceStruck July 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Attunement chains do not have to be bad, but trusting in Blizzard to make them fun and interesting is like leaving a baby unsupervised in a shark filled swimming pool.

Does anyone remember not being able to get certain necessary items because they didn’t roll right, or having players ditch them mid quest so they’d have to summon a new team or short hand a dungeon. Or even worse… Having to run new recruits through some horrible places so they could join you in raids? Attunement was never cool.

Blizzard can be out of touch at times, Cataclysm and the recent post about forcing players into world PVP by taking away forms of travel and by other artificial means. Blizzards whole argument is the opposite of what good game design is.

Hopefully they can pull this off, but after playing Cataclysm, all I can say is Fireland’s Rep Grind is living proof that there is some very lazy game design going on in the offices of Blizzard. You can turn a blind eye to it, but I know a lot of people who left WOW because of gameplay issues within the game.


Zellviren July 11, 2012 at 12:29 am

There’s a lot of jumped-off puffery regarding attunements, and I’ve written about the topic a few times in the past. I’m for them, by the way. But truthfully, nobody has yet come up with a compelling argument against attunements.


The anti-group, such as Rossi, spew arguments that would have been relevant in the WoW of 2007; but that’s not where we are. We need an attunement discussion revolving around the game in 2012, and nobody has yet managed to provide one.


quori July 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm

The reality is this, call it what you will: gated content, rep grind, attunement, gear checks – its all the same mechanic by Blizzard to slow down progression. As a game developer you do not want to see your content cleared and completed in 2 weeks and then a portion of your player base (arguably the most vocal portion) sitting there screaming and crying for more content that you have not yet completely developed!

What Blizzard has done a good job of is mixing these techniques up so that we are not always slave to one each and every tier.

We WILL see something that holds us back. Will it be one of the above, probably. Honestly it doesn’t matter IMO which it is in the end because they all have pain points and they all have advantages.



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