[Thought of the Day] On attunements and queues in group finders

Just in case anyone doesn’t know the term, an attunement is an archaic MMO term associated with a (possibly complex) quest that a player had to complete in order to be able to enter a specific raid or instance. ie. as well as finding a raid to take them. In these days of accessibility and raid finders, they’re largely obsolete.

Attunements have also been A TOPIC in the blogosphere lately.

There are three things that made MMO attunements so incredibly frustrating in the past:

  1. Lack of LFG. (Part of the hassle of getting attunements like Onyxia and BT done in WoW was down to getting instance groups.)
  2. Pointlessly random elements. (Remember the UBRS key in vanilla WoW? Based on rare random drops.)
  3. Confusion as to whether it was the players’ responsibility or the guild’s responsibility to get people attuned.

I  think if vanilla/ TBC WoW had a group finder, people would have been way less stressed about the group stages of attunements.

The reason attunements will not return is that the random group finder demands to be fed a constant stream of willing players, as many as possible. That means you never want to restrict the number of people queueing unless you absolutely have no choice. WoW doesn’t even want to make people locate the dungeon instance before they are able to queue for it because some players found that sufficient of a barrier to harm the queueing times. So remember this when you hear anyone suggest tweaks to the group finder that would result in fewer people queueing (like more stringent gear/ spec checks, or attunement checks); they won’t happen.

This is one of the ways in which group finders have changed the game. I would say for the worse because the experience of completing an attunement and gaining access to cool new content was quite an interesting and MMO specific playstyle.

9 thoughts on “[Thought of the Day] On attunements and queues in group finders

  1. Most people would still get stressed by Blizzard enforcing the downing of harder raid bosses (the end bosses) than easier ones (the first half of the next raiding tier).

  2. I’m not sure I agree that LFD systems preclude attunements on population grounds. They work fine in comparitively low pop games like EQ2 and Rift. Or you can make them work better by increasing the size of the cross server catchment area.

    I do think that attunements that relied on group quests like the ones in Shadowmoon Valley to unlock Black Temple should never come back but that’s to do with how fast content becomes obsolete. Shadowmoon Valley became obsolete once people hit level cap but by contrast UBRS stayed relevant all through Vanilla.

  3. I am almost willing to put money on there being a correlation between people who were in progression guilds and being in favour of attunments.

    I am also willing to put money on people being stuck in the shadowy hell of MC/Kara farm team guilds being markedly less fond of them.

  4. I’m curious: why do you draw the line at the presence of a dungeon finder in the game in question?

    Surely the fact that the dungeon finder has EVER existed (let’s not get started on LFR) eliminates the possibility of any modern themepark bringing back an attunement? Besides that, the layout and nature of dungeons and their loot means that it’ll never be what it was.

    Which is a pity.

    I’m still waiting for someone to make a ye not that olde but still relatively olde now themepark so that I can take of the rose coloured glasses and bask in the rose coloured sunlight instead. Mayhaps a F2P Vanguard will provide that.

  5. Attunements, as long as they are able to be completed by everyone eventually, will not affect LFD population in the long run. Early on it may be reduced slightly, but early on is when there are the most people anyway. It may even be useful to string out the population infusion slightly, so that the population has a lower peak, but also doesn’t fall off as quickly.

    @SImon: Both of those raids had attunements.

  6. Other than a time sync, was there a point to attunements? Did Blizzard just consider it “content”? How are ilvl restrictions different? I have to grind(ish) a few regular instances to do heroics, then heroics to do raid finder, and without RF gear I’m going to have a tough time with the regular raid.

    Isn’t that attunement without being called attunement? It will restrict players’ access early in an expansion a la attunement. Only the dedicated will progress quickly. And later in the expansion the attunement is naturally easier for new players.

    I think a new expansion with both dungeon and raid finders from the get go will be a much more interesting progression for everybody throughout the expansion. And the ubers will still get there first, and lord over with their amazing gear or challenge mog gear.

    I also think the next expansion is likely to produce more players who understand how to raid. And just maybe some LFR raid leaders that actually lead instead of rage when not every player knows the strats. New content tends to make us all a bit more humble and forgiving.

    Off topic but would love to see an anonymous button pushable at any time in LFR: “please briefly review strats”. I don’t care how long DS has been out, there will always be new players, or those who haven’t done the fight in 3 months. How many times do you have to rage after a wipe on spine because of rolls or DPSing too quickly, before you spam a simple strat macro for that fight? Who’s the real idiot, the new guy or you for not planning ahead to prevent your very predictable rage?

    • @Bristal I’m going to go with “you’re the real idiot” for not presuming there’s a newbie in EVERY instance of LFR, and for choosing to rage when you elected to not brief for the fight prior to initiating it.

      You being “the person who brings the rage down on their own head by not slowing down two shakes”, not you, specifically – unless you’re a member of that other group.

      “If you don’t make time to do something right, you’ll certainly find time to do it over.”

    • Bristal – ilvl restrictions and attunements are both a way of gating content, but they aren’t the same. Attunement requires a player to jump through some specific hoops in terms of playing content. A gear check can be beaten by any way you see fit of getting the gear – you can get gear by crafting, PvP, paying real money for a guild to carry you through a raid, whatever gets your stats high enough.

      An attunement signifies that you have played through specific content and beaten specific boss fights. If it’s properly used by designers, attunement could be a way of training players for the content ahead of them as well as immersing them in the lore of the game world. Done badly, it just makes a headbangingly frustrating time sink before you’re allowed to do the fun stuff. In the case of the UBRS key and pretty much all the Burning Crusade attunements, I’d have to vote for headbangingly frustrating.

  7. I deliberately did not find the Stonecore and Grim Batol dungeon entrances on my second 85, just so I’d be sure not to get that instance as a random. I’m sure other people thought of the same scam.

    Blizzard just wanted to avoid another Oculus effect.

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