Archive for July, 2012

31
Jul
12

Playing a Rogue in Mists of Pandaria

Now that the expansion release is looming before us, we can expect that the way the class is playing currently in beta will be very close to the way it plays when MoP goes live.  That means its a good time to look at what has changed. For the most part, the rogue will play as it has played in the past.  The main combo-building attacks and finishers are mostly unchanged.

Changes to Talents and Abilities

The largest change is the new talent system.  We still have our assassination, combat, and subtlety specs as always, but the choice of spec impacts the baseline abilities, not the talent tree.  In the shared talent trees, the choices are aimed at utility rather than damage increases.  As a result, there will be very few “mandatory” talents and there should not be a cookie-cutter build that everyone uses.  I anticipate that there will be a number of talent choices that will be changed from one raid boss to the next depending on the specific needs of the fight. All rogues will have the same talent trees to select from.

The things that make each spec unique are no longer from talents (like Mutilate and Blade Flurry were talents previously).  These abilities have been rolled into the base abilities for each spec. Here are the base abilities which are unique for each spec (these are not all the rogue abilities – just the ones that distinguish the specs from each other):

Assassination Combat Hemorrhage
Assassin’s Resolve (passive) Ambidexterity (passive) Hemorrhage
Improved Poisons (passive) Blade Flurry Master of Subtlety (passive)
Mutilate Vitality (passive) Sinister Calling (passive)
Envenom Revealing Strike Find Weakness (passive)
Seal Fate (passive) Combat Potency (passive) Premeditation
Dispatch Adrenaline Rush Backstab
Venomous Wounds (passive) Restless Blades (passive) Honor Among Thieves (passive)
Cut to the Chase (passive) Bandit’s Guile (passive) Sanguinary Vein (passive)
Blindside (passive) Killing Spree Energetic Recovery (passive)
Mastery: Potent Poisons (passive) Mastery: Main Gauche Mastery: Executioner
Vendetta Shadow Dance

There are a few changes and a couple of new abilities (detailed below) but most of these should be familiar from the current game. A lot of people have complained that the talent system is “dumbed down” in MoP.  However, when you look at the lists you can see that the talents that everyone would have selected (Mutilate, Blade Flurry, Premeditation, etc…) have been turned into baseline abilities. With the main attacks and distinguishing moves rolled into baseline abilities, the talent system is pared down to a smaller number of interesting choices rather than a huge list of mandatory clicks.

This is the talent tree that is shared by all three specs.  Note that you only select six talents – one every fifteen levels.

The big brouhaha in the rogue community is over the level 60 talent tier, where we have to choose between Preparation and Shadowstep (or Burst of Speed, but I don’t think that will be popular).  These are both abilities that have been the heart of the subtlety spec for a while, and now they are available to all specs (but only one out of the two!).  Shadowstep is great for leveling, but I think that Preparation will be enticing for raiding or pvp.  You can change your talent choices from one fight to the next at any time using a reagent made by scribes.

I think that we will find that there is no “best” spec.  Your choices will depend on your preferences and playstyle and on the mechanics of the fights.  For example, in the level 90 tier, Anticipation is useful to prevent wasted combo points, which is most likely to happen on single-target fights, while Versatility improves your Redirect, and that will be helpful on target-switching fights.

Also – Prime Glyphs are gone.  Prime glyphs that were “mandatory” have had their effects rolled into the base abilities.  Most Major/Minor glyphs are for utility or personalization.

New Abilities

In the lower levels, assassination rogues have been given Dispatch.  This is an execute-phase attack, much like Backstab became in Cataclysm.  Dispatch hits hard when the target is below 35% health.  However, this attack has another role.  The Blindside ability (gained at level 70) gives assassination rogues the chance to proc a Dispatch at any time in the fight (and it costs no energy!).  Thus, the assassination attack sequence will not be a set rotation, but instead will have to be modified on the fly due to Dispatch procs.

While the other specs have been tweaked and had some abilities shuffled, they haven’t gained anything really new at lower levels.

Of course with the new expansion come new abilities for all specs.  They are:

  • Shroud of Concealment (level 76): Extend a cloak that wraps party and raid members within 20 yards in shadows, concealing them from sight for up to 15 sec.
  • Crimson Tempest (level 83): Finishing move that consumes combo points on any nearby target to slash at the flesh of all enemies within 8 yards, dealing Physical damage based on combo points and causing victims to bleed and suffer an additional 30% of the initial damage over 12 sec.
  • Shadow Blades (level 87): Draw upon the surrounding shadows to empower your weapons, causing your autoattacks to deal pure Shadow damage and your combo-point-generating abilities to generate an additional combo point when used.

Those are pretty interesting.  Crimson Tempest is being hailed as a new era for rogue AoE.  No longer must we just spam FoK or start Blade Flurry and watch our combo points and debuffs drop.  Now that FoK generates combo points, we can FoK and then mix in Crimson Tempest for a true AoE rotation.

Shroud of Concelament will be useful for bypassing trash in dungeons with your whole group – especially useful in the Challenge Modes.

Shadow Blades is a dps cooldown.  The shadow damage will allow your autoattacks to bypass armor, which is nice but not awe-inspiring.  Each spec will manage that differently depending on their procs and other cooldowns.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see this buffed a bit before it goes live.

Weapons and Poisons

One thing that rogues will notice right away in MoP is that their thrown weapon slot is gone.  Now rogues have a Throw attack (replaced by Deadly Throw perhaps or Shuriken Toss at level 90) but no dedicated thrown weapon.  FoK uses the equipped melee weapons (and their poisons).

Also, there are no more fast and slow daggers.  All daggers are now 1.8 speed.  This is to smooth the proc rate on poisons and get rid of the advantages to having a slower main hand and faster off hand.

Most surprisingly, the poison system is overhauled.  No longer do you actually apply poison to weapons.  Now, poisons are a buff to the rogue.  You can have two poisons – one lethal and one non-lethal.  Both poisons can proc from either or both weapons since they are a buff to the rogue and not the specific weapon.  Lethal poisons are Instant, Deadly, and Wound.  Non-lethal poisons are Crippling, Mind-Numbing, and – if you spec for them - Leeching and Paralytic.

Gameplay

From my little time spent in beta, gameplay as a MoP rogue is very similar to gameplay as a Cata rogue.

I will say that having Shadowstep in any spec is a big gamechanger, and adds fun to questing and soloing.  Since I’ve never played subtlety for any length of time, I was like a kid with a new toy, popping around Pandaria.

As an assassination rogue, you’ll still use Mutilate as your main combo point generator, and envenom as your  finisher.  You still keep Rupture going for the energy return from Venomous Wounds.  Your Envenoms still refresh SnD.  The big difference is that Blindside procs let you hit Dispatch in between your other attacks, which adds some variation to your rotation.  Cold Blood is gone, but there are two damage cooldowns – Vendetta and Shadow Blades.  In beta, there are a lot of comments about assassination being energy-starved.  We’ll have to hope that problem clears up by the time you reach the level cap.

Combat rogues will play exactly the same way they play now.  Sinster Strike and SnD/Rupture/Eviscerate are still the finishers.  None of the major abilities or cooldowns have been removed.  Rupture damage has been buffed so it is a higher priority finisher than Eviscerate.  Revealing Strike now has a chance to proc an extra combo point, which makes it more attractive to use.  Bandit’s Guile now follows you when you switch targets, which is convenient.  Still, this will be the same cooldown-based spec that we are all familiar with, using Adrenaline Rush and Killing Spree liberally and now including Shadow Blades.

Subtlety rogues are losing exclusive rights to Shadowstep and Preparation.  Other than that, the general style of play is similar to the way they played in Cataclysm, but the rotation is somewhat streamlined.  Backstab/Hemorrhage are still the main attacks.  The most important change is that the energy gain mechanism from Energetic Recovery has been shifted from Recuperate to SnD.  That means you won’t have to keep Recuperate up anymore.  That’s one less finisher to juggle.  Rupture and SnD will have longer duration, making it easier to maintain their uptime.  Hemorrhage now applies a DoT to the target, but no longer increases bleed damage.  Sanguinary Vein has been buffed, so Rupture uptime is vital.  The other cooldowns remain the same – Premeditation, Shadow Dance, and now Shadow Blades.  Sub rogues will be happy to have FoK/Crimson Tempest as viable AoE in Mists.

Summary

There are no sweeping changes to the rogue class.  Blizzard has long maintained that rogues are well-designed, and they have not made large-scale changes for a long time.  Despite this, the number of rogues declined during Cataclysm.  Will Shadowstep for all rogues help bring some players back to this class?

29
Jul
12

Changes to Rogue Level 75 talent tier

In the new beta build, Deadly Brew was removed from the level 75 talent choices.  Based on the explanation, it seems like its functionality is being built into the PvP gear set bonuses.

Here’s the blue post..

New Level 75 Talent
The perception was that Deadly Brew was essentially a mandatory PvP talent, which runs against our overall goal of creating choices, while at the same time being highly situational in endgame PvE. 

When the new build hits the servers, take a look at the new set bonuses on the Mists PvP sets. We’ve added new bonuses alongside the existing ones in most cases, and for Rogues, that’s where Deadly Brew has gone.

Oh okay that makes sense, but that still begs the question why remove that from PvE rogues? That entire tier has literally no options for me. The talent it self is extremely situational, however I can see its uses on boss adds that need to be burned. If you don’t want to make mandatory talents why is prep still an option? Any word on how sap, blind, and gouge benefit from this talent?
A couple of points here: First off, regarding the functionality of Prey on the Weak, the primary benefit is going to come on Cheap Shot and Kidney Shot. Blind, Sap, and Gouge are included as a minor ancillary benefit — there may be situations where you use an Incapacitate to pool energy and prepare a burst, and a bit of increased damage on your opening attack (or a teammate’s Chaos Bolt…) would be helpful.

Second, regarding the usefulness of the tier as a whole in PvE, what you really are questioning is its usefulness in raiding. Any of the talents in that row are going to be quite impactful in scenarios, dungeons (and if you scoff at the idea of using any sort of crowd control in dungeons, check out our Challenge Modes), outdoor solo gameplay, etc. So let’s be clear about that. But the criticism regarding raiding is a fair one.

The majority of our raid bosses do not involve enemies that can be stunned or incapacitated, and I’m not going to try to argue to the contrary. And ideally, a talent tier like the Rogue level 75 would be universally appealing, and present compelling choices, to all types of players who do all types of content. Here are three possible approaches to solving that problem:

  • Add a clearly raid-useful talent to the tier in place of Deadly Brew; something that increases your DPS, or gives you more movement or survivability. The problem? Every raiding rogue will take that talent, and ignore the other two.
  • Redesign the whole tier, moving away from a control theme entirely. The problem here is that we’d essentially be abandoning the design space of ever having talents that improve or rely upon crowd control effects.
  • Attempt to incorporate more opportunities for crowd-control effects and short-duration effects like Stuns and Incapacitates to shine in our raid encounters. In general, the most interesting raid encounters are the ones that involve movement, control, coordination, and aren’t just a matter of making your DPS number as big as possible. We’re not there yet, but I think we’d like to be.
15
Jul
12

Ghostcrawler posts about rogues

There have been a couple of recent posts by Ghostcrawler on the official forums about rogues.  Here is the first, an overview of class design thoughts.

Rogue Class Design
Rogues are in a pretty good place in Cataclysm in both PvE and PvP. We don’t see a lot of huge glaring problems that need to be fixed. I realize there are several players out there asking for change just because they’re getting bored of the same class or at the very least wanting to spice it up, and that is a totally valid way to feel. But you also have to consider the risk we’d take for all of the rogues out there who are totally happy with the way their class is playing now, thank you very much.

As an example, we changed paladins in Cataclysm because we thought they needed a resource mechanic to make their gameplay more interesting. Overall we’re happy with the way that has played out, and it’s even better in Mists, but it’s also very easy to find “please remove Holy Power” posts regularly. While we disagree with those players, the fact remains that we made the class worse for them. 

To use a second example, we are changing warlocks pretty extensively for Mists because we thought they had several fundamental problems. Is every warlock going to like those changes? Of course not. Are there going to lots of players who beg us to revert the changes? Absolutely. 

(And this is all ignoring the risk that even changing a mechanic from an acknowledged bad design to a good design still risks frustrating or annoying many players just because they have to relearn something.)

We are trying to fix some of the annoying things rogues have had to deal with and we are trying to offer some options in talents and glyphs that can help spice up the gameplay for someone who has been loyally Sinister Striking for these eight years. But we also don’t want to fix what isn’t broken. We try really hard not to change classes for the sake of change. It’s hard. But we try. 

I’d go as far to say that most of the class team would probably agree (and I didn’t poll them, so I may be sticking my neck out) that the rogue is the best designed class. And much of that design was in place before virtually any of us started working on classes, so we can’t even really take credit for it. The rogue has the best resource system (energy), a strong kit, a good toolbox, and a clear role in PvP and PvE, yet it still has disadvantages to go along with the advantages and can’t just do everything flawlessly all the time. It’s a good design, again in our humble opinions, which is why you see so few changes to the class overall. But please don’t over-read that as my stating that we won’t fix bugs, add polish, balance numbers, undo bone-headed design flaws when the need arises, or yes, add a little bit of newness once in awhile just to keep things shiny.

and then Ghostcrawler’s response to player feedback

Rogue Class Design

What annoying things have we had to deal with that you’re fixing?
I’ll just use one example because in our opinion it’s the biggest. Layered ramping mechanics were the single biggest weakness rogues have in Cataclysm (and have had for some time). Some ramping is desirable, but too much can really hurt target switching, prohibit fast burst damage, etc. (Don’t take this to extremes — we don’t need posts from every class pointing out situations in which they can’t go from 0 to 60 when target switching and therefore arguing how they need to be redesigned.)

In Mists, we want combo points to be the ramping mechanic. Deadly Poison doesn’t need to be a ramping mechanic. Bandit’s Guile doesn’t need to be a ramping mechanic. We changed the way both of those work.

You may not have thought it was a problem, but we did, and we heard about it a lot from rogue players, so we fixed it. 

I sincerely want to know by what measure and according to what data you conclude rogues are “fine” in PvP right now.
What I meant was that we didn’t see any crippling design flaws in rogues that needed overhauling in Mists. Sub rogues probably are too good in Cataclysm PvP, or at least 3v3 Arenas, which many players use as synonymous with PvP. It’s hard to tell if Assassination and Combat are really weak, or if Sub is so strong that any sensible rogue just plays Sub. It’s also entirely possible that it isn’t even Sub that is too powerful but just Prep and Shadowstep. In any case, my comment was addressed towards the group of players that believe rogues have this giant list of issues that must be addressed, and at another (perhaps overlapping) group of players that just want us to change things up for the rogue because they’re getting bored. Sorry for any confusion.

The combo points issue is a symbolic one, though. This is something a large number of rogues have wanted for a very long time, and the issue gets consistently ignored. I often feel as if there’s no point in giving feedback at all when the devs can’t even see eye-to-eye with players on how our resources should work.
The feedback doesn’t get ignored. We just disagree, which we have to be allowed to do if we’re actually going to design the game rather than just letting players vote on how every mechanic should work. We like the way combo points work (meaning on the target). I also suspect you’re being a bit presumptuous assuming that all rogues want combo points on the rogue. Yes, rogues would be easier to play if you didn’t have to worry about which target your combo points were on. Do rogues need to be easier to play? If so, are combo points the right change? We could eliminate combo points and just give Eviscerate a cooldown. Would that be easier? Would it be more fun? I’m not trying to be dismissive — I think those questions are legitimately hard to answer. 

A lot of people say killing spree is poorly designed because it doesn’t work on those fights, but I firmly believe those situations are a failure of encounter design, not class design. Killing spree and backstab are fine; Blizz needs to learn to take them into account when they design bosses.
We do. But it is not our design intent that every spec can perform the exact same rotation on every fight. I’m certain that if we solved the backstab issue then the next complaint to come up (from some class) would be that every boss fight needs to have 3 targets, because multi-dotting works the best with 3 targets and their DPS will be lower when there is only one target. What do you think the DPS difference is among the 3 rogue specs on Ultraxion? (You can’t just look at posted logs to answer that question, because mostly what those logs tell you are that most rogues (and presumably many of the best ones) go Combat for that fight.) What is an acceptable difference? 5%? 1%? 0%?

Obviously I don’t have the numbers Blizzard does, but we do know that at least before the legendary daggers rogue was one of the least active classes. No matter if that remains true or not I think it says something when one of the, if not the best designed classes is also one of the least popular. It says that maybe it works great from a design standpoint, but how is that translating to the players? 
We look at those numbers of course, but it’s really hard to determine cause and effect there. Paladins are nearly always the most played class, but there are just as many paladin players demanding change as there are rogue players (actually, given the population sizes, probably more). So why are some classes more popular than others? It’s probably a mix of need, power, kit, flexibility, visuals and a host of other objective and subjective criteria. The hybrid vs. pure issue plays into that a little bit, but it’s not the whole answer by a long shot. I definitely don’t think it’s as simple as if we make a bunch of changes to rogue rotations, now more players will play rogues (consider for starters that we’d almost certainly lose some rogues as well). 

I agree that this is how the design should be, but this raises the question of whether or not our finishers are powerful enough to warrant this design decision. Compared to the power we lost by having the crit bonuses of our primary abilities taken away, they just don’t feel like they’re as strong as they should be right now. There are fewer combo points flowing in due to generating talents being taken away, so the gaps between finishers feel unrewarding because the finishers themselves feel unrewarding.
I think it’s safe to say that if we find we need to buff rogue damage for any of the specs that we’d look to finishers as a place to increase damage.

My big problem right now is that I feel very similar to feral druids and Windwalker monks, without the added benefit of being able to radically change my gameplay on a spec switch. I don’t need that radical change, I suppose, being a pure DPS. In PvP it’s not a problem as I feel very much like a rogue there, but it’s hard to translate into PvE and I end up feeling like a warrior in leather that attacks a bit faster.
I hope Windwalkers feel different. Cat druids were designed from the outset to play like rogues, the same way Bears were designed to play just like warriors. We’ve eroded that a bit over time, but the bones of it remain.

As far as the pure vs. hybrid thing goes, that is a really tricky problem to solve. We could turn all classes into hybrids of course, though I’m also not sure every player would rejoice at such a change. It has been very challenging to make pure specs play fundamentally differently. If the Mists warlocks work out well, then they may feel pretty different (of course they also run the risk I mentioned before of feeling like 3 separate classes and not like warlocks). Some players in this thread mentioned that mages play totally differently, but I think to be fair they feel more different than they really play because fire vs. frost vs. arcane is such a strong theme. It’s harder for “I’m an assassination” to have a completely different feel from “I’m a swasbuckler” or “I’m a sneaky guy.” We’ve had the same challenge with hunters. Presumably Marksman hunters are great at using ranged weapons. Okay, what does that mean for Survival? They use traps? Melee? Poison?

Also, a lot of our skills are kind of boring and could use just an aesthetic change. Edit: Oh, the actual question is: Is updating rogue animations and making them more unique especially across specs on the table?
I think that’s a totally fair criticism, especially of rogues and to a lesser extent warriors. Melee classes just have fewer opportunities for very showy visuals. We could add them anyway, but then the classes feel like they’re casting spells and aren’t doing melee attacks with weapons. That said, we have tried to give rogues a few great-looking visual effects in Mists. Longer term (meaning it’s unlikely for Mists) we’d like to do more with character animation so that all rogue attacks aren’t using the same one-handed stab motion (Mutilate at least has its own animation). Historically, player animations have taken us a very long time, and that time only gets worse as we add races. However, for Mists we have some new techniques that let the animators apply the animation from one model more easily to another. It still takes a great amount of time — just less than it did before. It is most easy to see the benefits of this advance in all of the new animations for the monk class. It’s too early to call that technique a success, but assuming it is, we could do the same thing for rogues and warriors and have a lot more variety in the attack animations. (Animation in this sense has a very specific jargony term, which is the movement of the model itself. All of the spell effects are a different system generally handled by a different team of artists.)

Then why did you make changes to rogue rotations? This is what people are complaining about. Go play Assassination on live and then go play it on beta at 85, then come back and tell us that Assassination is more fun without Puncturing Wounds and Ruthlessness.
Puncturing Wounds is just crit. We can add more crit if we need too (like we recently did for warriors), but it also risks making crit unattractive at high gear levels. “Why did those stupid designers put crit on rogue gear? Don’t they know we don’t value it?”

Puncturing Wounds (through Seal Fate) and Ruthlessness can deliver more CPs, but also contribute a lot to getting stuck at 4 CPs, which is something rogues have complained to us about, because it means you need to do a weak finisher or risk overflowing CPs on your next Mutilate. In Mists, Assassination does fewer finishers, but at the same time we introduced the Blindside proc to help the rotation from feeling too static. 

To use one of my soon to be patented bad analogies; I feel like every expansion is kind of like Winterveil (to not alienate anyone) and all the classes are opening their gifts to see what this expansion is going to bring them. Some are getting entire new mechanics, some are getting new flashy spells and skills, but rogues are getting Auntie Maven’s sweater for the 5th time. Sure it’s gonna keep you warm and get you by, but you kinda knew you were going to get it and it’s certainly not flashy or exciting. 
I honestly believe this is one of those grass is greener deals though. As someone who receives class feedback from both barrels (not that I’m complaining), nearly every class argues that they got a lump of coal and the other guy got something awesome. You’ll see a few players saying some new ability or talent is awesome, though they’ll do so quietly for fear that we think they are content. In fact, I would challenge you to name those classes and specs (not counting monk) that you think got a really good deal in Mists. They’ll be here in a second defending their argument that a new spell might appear flashy or sexy but it has Serious Issues or the Real Issues Have Not Been Addressed.

That probably sounds cynical, and I’m honestly not a cynical guy, but it’s also what we’ve come to expect.

14
Jul
12

Thanks a Million

Screenshot from the Stats page for my WordPress account management:

Last night it recorded my millionth page view.  (these are only direct page views, and not through feedreaders).

Thanks for tuning in!

P.S. – my wife thinks I’m stupid for not putting advertising on the site.

10
Jul
12

The Attunement Debate

There are two big debates going on right now in all of the WoW-related forums.  One is about the merit of attunement quests, and the other is about the pattern of gradually nerfing raids.  Today I’ll give my take on attunements, and my next post will be about raid nerfs.

As someone who has played since vanilla, I’ve lived through the ups and downs of attunements.  I didn’t raid in vanilla, but I did go through the attunement for Molten Core.  In Burning Crusade, I did the attunement quest chain for Karazhan since we actively raided there.  Later, I did the attunment chain for Tempest Keep and Serpentshrine Cavern, but I did them primarily to get the Champion of the Naaru title, not to do the raids.  (In fact, as I remember it I completed the attunements the last week before they removed the ability to get the title pre-WotLK)

Karazhan-style attunements

To get attuned for Karazhan was relatively painless, but time consuming.  It involved running nine instances after you had hit the level cap.  This had good and bad implications.

  • The good: you learned the story behind the raid.  The quest chain told you through the backstory of Karazhan, which made the raid itself more interesting.
  • The bad: it slowed everyone down.  If you leveled a toon, then once you hit the level cap you had to get guildies (pug groups were hard to put together back then) to do nine instance runs with you before you were able to do the first raid tier of the expansion.  It took a week, if you were lucky and put a burden on everyone in the guild to run content that had no reward for them.

I think that the LFG system in place today would make this method much more palatable, however, in the current setup it is someone useless.  Blizzard doesn’t need to force players to run instances.  In Cataclysm, with the LFG system in full force and gear level requirements, everyone will run heroics for JP or VP gear before they start raiding.  There is no need to put an attunement quest chain in place because people are going to run the instances anyway!

TK/SSC/MH/BT-style attunements

This is where the real debate is happening.  To get attuned for Tempest Keep and Serpentshrine Caverns (tier 5), you had to run the raids from the previous tier (Gruul, Magtheridon, and Karazhan).  Then to get attuned for Mount Hyjal and Black Temple (tier 6) you had to run SSC and TK.

That means that a player who just hits the level cap HAD to run all of the tiers (Kara, Gruul, Magtheridon, SSC, and TK) to get to the highest raid tier.  There is no skipping a tier.

One side of this debate says, “That is good!  It gets the players raiding experience before they get to the harder tiers!”  However, its more complicated than that.  Think of your recent guild raids.  While you were running Dragon Soul, how often would your guild go back and run Blackwing Descent?  How about Baradin Hold?  Throne of the Four Winds?  Probably never.  Would you want to?

In reality, here is what happened in Burning Crusade.  Guilds became farm systems.  I know because my guild was on the low-end of the system, and I remember it well.

The high-end guilds would advance to the most current level of raid content.  If you wanted to join one of those guilds, they insisted that you should already be attuned because they didn’t want to run old content.  That meant that you had to join a guild that was still running old content.

Players would join my guild while we were running the Gruul/Magtheridon tier.  Once we were able to clear those raids, some players would leave our guild to jump to a guild that was in the SSC/TK tier.  Once the players had cleared those, they would try to jump to a top guild in BT/MH.

At this point, some would ask, “But why didn’t your guild just keep progressing past that tier so you could get to the higher tiers?”  Its hard to do that when you keep losing players.  And every time we lost players, in order to replace them we had to go back and run old content to attune them.  It was a terrible cycle and actually prohibited progression for all but the top guilds.

And that is why that attunement style cannot be brought back.  It created a nearly unbreakable caste system in the game.  (of course, the elitists want exactly that, which is why they argue so strongly for attunements)

Solution?

There is probably a middle ground to this, but with the LFG making heroics and JP/VP gear so accessible and all but required prior to raiding, I think its not needed.  The devs should be able to wrap the backstory up in the heroic instances and it would accomplish most of what an attunement chain could do.  I’d suggest to add maybe one or two solo pre-quests before the heroics as a story hook, because once you’re in the heroics the go-go-go crowd can make it hard to stop and read quest text.




Armory

Dinaer - 92 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Derence - 90 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 91 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 91 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 92 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
July 2012
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