Hear no evil - the gorilla doesn't listen, by Julie
Jul 18, 2007 01:37:12

It appears that the Blizzard Gorilla is not listening too well after all. And so it is time for a retraction. Why? It was a comment by Tigole, a Blizzard "Blue" whose previous announcement caused me to write the first article. Here is what Tigole had to say:

"I know this question is going to come up so I'll answer it now -- Yes, you can totally skip Karazhan if you're an amazingly elite guild who doesn't have time to key up for KZ yet can face the challenges of ZA [Zul'Aman] without gearing up in KZ. Have fun storming the castle." - Tigole

When I reached the words "Have fun storming the castle" it made me wonder if this was the same person who not too long ago made this comment:
"While many of our attunements in the Burning Crusade have been good progression checks, a few of the attunements have turned out to cause unnecessary stress on guilds either doing the content or attempting to do the content." - Tigole

So at this point you may ask yourself what prompts me to wonder if Tigole is played by more than one person in this little drama. When the Blizzard released information about their latest end game instance called "Zul'Aman" it was much awaited. Many people seemed to think that it bring back some of the good old days when you could grab some guildies and go womp on some trolls in Zul'Gurub. It sure looked like it to me and this was an impressions shared by more than a few WoW players I have met.

For those of you who are unaware of it, Zul'Aman is to be an instance just off the Blood Elf starting lands. Packed with ruined temples, jungles and forest trolls it looked like loads of fun, and to some extent still does. Like Serpantshrine Cavern, and Tempest Keep: The Eye, from which Blizzard recently removed the attunement process, this instance as well will not require a key to get in the door.

So far so good, right? That's what I thought until Tigole made his "clarification" (available here.)

The Blizzard Blues have disillusioned me and let me know that all those people who said "You can't skip Kharazan" were right. And this is sad news indeed. It does little good to get rid of an attunement process but then make sure that in order to progress to those, now "keyless" , instances you have to run the instance that was the whole problem in the first place - Kharazan.

But let's be fair here. Blizzard has no control over the reaction of their players to their structure in endgame. The responsibility for the difficulty in many players "getting keyed" for kharazan lies squarely in the lap of the players themselves.


By telling the players this great new instance will not require attunement, BUT you will have to run Kharazan first is like telling everyone all of the rides in an amusement park are free - and then locking the gates to the amusement park so no one can get in.

See you online,

-Julie Whitefeather

Submitted by Brent on Jul 18, 2007 01:37:12 CST (comments: 6)


'You Can't Please Everyone ' by Kasil
Submitted on 2007-07-18 12:37:32 CST
Sorry but I don't see the problem here. If I understand Tigole's posts they have more or less said that Zul'Aman will start off from a difficulty perspective somewhere around where Karazhan ended, but it will have no attunement and a 3 day lockout (maybe they did not say 3 days but I believe it's implied).

Anyway this addresses the major problem with Karazhan which is that it's very difficult to get a replacement if someone is not able to make your raid on a given night because out of the pool of people which might be available they must be attuned and not locked into the instance with another raid. So obviously the attunement is not an issue because there is none and a 3 day lockout is pretty reasonable. (For a long time I ran a ZG raid and with the 3 day lockout it was pretty easy to fill a spot here or there when needed from other raids that would not be affected by the current lockout period.)

So the fact that Zul'Aman is more difficult then Karazhan and from a gear perspective it would be suggested that your raid complete Karazhan before attempting Zul'Aman seems reasonable. If you feel that either the attunement for Karazhan or just completing Karazhan is bridge that can't be crossed by casual players and thus your blocking them from both instances (Karazhan and Zul'Aman) all I can say is that getting attuned for Karazhan is pretty easy from both a skill/gear/time perspective and basically if you can't get attuned then all your going to do in Karazhan is wrack up a serious repair bill because its vastly more difficult then the attunement process.

Ok so all that being said once Zul'Amam comes out and you have your 10 man raid but your mage does not show, now you can spam LFG70 or use a guildies alt because you don't have to ensure they are attuned or locked out, etc and 9 of the 10 people have Karazhan gear and you have one mage in greens/blues who will be getting amazing upgrades, but you still get to raid and thus it has become more accessible to both the person filling your empty spot and the other 9 people who would have had their raid cancelled.

I am not saying that its perfect, or that it brings to the table what ZG did in the pre-BC game but they are attempting to both progress the game content and keep it accessible to casual players which I think they are doing a pretty good job of, so to say they are not listening is a bit off the mark.

'Not difficulty of instance itself...' by bildo84
Submitted on 2007-07-18 13:35:09 CST
That was causing the problems. I didn't think that was the case. it was all the attunement crap. How to even enter them you needed to complete other mindless task 1st.

It's not "accessible" like the rest of the game was, and Blizzard was right to get rid of it.

Zul'Aman comes along, and it makes sense that as the next step in the 10-man progression it be a bit harder than Kharazan.

Of course, I'm also of the mind that Kharazan was difficult enough in terms of keeping people doing their roles, so all that Zul'Aman needed was to be new encounters.

I'm not sure which side of me wins this argument. I'm glad there is no attunement, but I'm a bit put off that it'll be harder that Kharazan.

'I don't see the issue either' by Eli
Submitted on 2007-07-18 19:28:00 CST
Difficulty is good. The problem with World of Warcraft in my opinion is the sheer amount of time you have to waste just to participate in these amazingly fun and difficult high end encounters.

'What's this got to do with MMO?' by scytale2
Submitted on 2007-07-19 07:14:53 CST
This seems rather specialist to go on a generalist web-site, n'est-ce pas?

Most of us gave up WoW a while ago and these "attunement" issues seem rather "niche", that's all...

'Never getting it right...' by bildo84
Submitted on 2007-07-19 10:43:41 CST
In my opinion WoW's only failing was/is in its end-game. It doesn't live up to the flavor and flare of its leveling game. But then, what game has ever gotten it right?

'These games continue to be flawed' by Scott
Submitted on 2007-07-19 16:30:04 CST
They will never get it right when the end-game continues to be centered around instanced theme park experiences that must make their players participate in grinding of rep or raid runs to draw out their subscriptions because they can't keep pace with player advancement that chews through what little quest content they can put in place.

There will always be room for games like this and players that are willing to put up with them, but what we need is more open ended player driven games that aren't limited to developer created content. Player driven games with their own conflicts, intrigue, drama, and events are timeless. MMO's like WoW do not age gracefully.

I'm calling for a vote of No Confidence on WoW, their Dev's just seem to be floundering. The few improvements they announced at E3 this year are too little, too late. A guild bank over a year past the games peak? Plus they still don't have a timeline for its implementation. For their sake I hope they have a huge announcement for the end of the year at Blizzcon.

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From the desk of Julie Whitefeather


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