Patch 4.0.6: Of Dungeon Locations, Attunements and Gaming the System

One seemingly small change coming soon in Patch 4.0.6 has been stirring up a lot of debate.

The removal of the requirement that a player must discover a dungeon’s entrance before they may queue for it from the dungeon finder has a lot of people flustered.

And I can see why. Back in May when WoW developers announced that this requirement would be coming in Cataclysm, most players seemed pleased. There were a lot of positives to consider.

The requirement would encourage exploration of new zones and therefore the questing and lore that encompass the areas around them; players would be more likely to know the way from the spirit healer back to the dungeon entrance, in the case of an untimely wipe; and the dungeon finder would potentially have fewer players joining randoms for dungeons that they had never before encountered.

But along with those positives also came scheming for how the new system could be used to a player’s benefit.

All around the WoW community, as the news spread, one other potential benefit of the system became obvious — players could use the system to opt out of the dungeons that weren’t as quick or easy as they would like; that didn’t have the rewards they were looking for; or that, for whatever reason, they didn’t want to encounter. By simply not discovering those locations, a player would never have to worry about entering a less than ideal dungeon again. They could eliminate the potential of an Oculus 2.0. — or, in this case, The Stonecore.

Sure, why not? Why not optimize fun levels while playing? I’ll tell you why.

Because when enough people start taking advantage of the system for their own benefit, it results in a downside for those players who are not. Even though most players who took advantage of this option did not do it with malicious intent, it still had the potential to give them an advantage over other players.

Some players complained that the queue times for less popular dungeons increased; others started noticing that they weren’t as likely to get the gear they wanted because they weren’t only queuing for the places with the best drops for them; and some players who wanted to experience the full breadth of new dungeons that Catacylsm had to offer were frustrated that their queues continued to put them in the same dungeon again and again — likely because the pool of players who shared that mindset was smaller than those who were only attuned for the dungeons that they had chosen.

I have no proof that this is what led to the change in WoW‘s stance on finding the dungeon location. There’s plenty of other potential downsides that also have been pointed out and encouraged developers to rethink their idea. These possibilities range from guilds having a more difficult time putting together group runs when some members hadn’t yet discovered a dungeon to the fact that some players found the process of finding dungeons on each and every toon too cumbersome.

And as for players using the requirement as an impetus to learn more about the lore of the area, well that’s also questionable. Savvy players could still find their way around that aspect by simply looking up the entrance and flying over it once, never to return. And some did, as evidenced by the continuing popularity of our very own dungeon location guide.

I still like the idea of finding a dungeon as a kind of attunement; but it needs some work. Instead of removing the requirement altogether, I would suggest making it a requirement to queue for a specific dungeon. But when it comes to queuing for a random dungeon, simply leave it to chance so that everyone is in the same pool of candidates.

As for the time being, though, expect the requirement to be removed altogether as soon as the next patch drops.


  1. If they don’t want to go and get the dungeon location – that’s their bad.
    If they get tired of playing the same small pool of dungeons AGAIN because they’re too lazy to find the dungeon locations of others – that’s still their bad.

    At the point right now, I agree with Random should by any – and specific should be attuned.

  2. There is a surefire way to stop all this messing around…

    A lovely little re-design of the dungeons that people don’t want to do.
    It makes sense to change something that isn’t getting used as much as it should, and I don’t just mean a trash/boss nerf here or there, Nobody likes Stonecore, nobody does Stonecore, so change Stonecore. End of the problem…

    For the record, I enjoy Stonecore but HATE Grime Butthole with a passion.
    Sorry, that should have been ‘Grim Batol’…


  3. Pure fact of the matter is this wasn’t a good idea off the bat. Why?

    1. The whole purpose of discovering a dungeon was so that people would know where the entrance was. Except they now stuck all the GY’s at The front of the entrance.

    2. Most of the zones needed a Special requirment for you to discover the entrance easily (i.e. vash where you needed to do a quest line for a mount. Sure you could just stop at sea legs if you like a looooong swim) which made it a PITA. Especially if it’s in an In obvious spot.

    Like oh say, the bottom of a giant deadly looking vortex. Or Miles above the clouds out of view on your map. Or in the path of an entrance that looks like the entrance to an Old dungeon.

    3. The Storyline lore of these dungeons take place After you beat the zone. Making it feel like jumping into these thing’s is just like buying a book and skipping to the last chapter.

    And that whole Exploration thing doesn’t really matter unless you have alt’s really. Once you find a dungeon that’s it, you can’t unfind it.

    That aside the only dungeon issue you can Really note is the fact that this is the only real attunement for heroics. Ya know what should have been an attunement?

    Doing the freaking Regular’s First!

    P.S. Yes, Stonecore does suck, but luckily you can just choose specific and jump away from any dungeon you don’t like.

  4. I believe that all of this could’ve been avoided, insofar as attunements go, by placing an NPC outside of the instance at the end or somwhere during a questline, to turn in a quest to gain access to the instance.

    There ARE cases like that (in fact, i’m not sure there ISN’T a case that’s not like that) but by placing the NPCS inside the instance , you’re only encouraging that kind of behavior.

    When all is said and done, I think newer players will still ‘attune’ themselves the way they should and experienced players re-rolling for the umpteenth time will be more likely to take advantage of this system.

  5. @Highwayman

    That’s what they do, but the fact is you get into these instances Before that fact becomes relevant. In Hyjal, you get a free ride to Blackrock near the start. But in Vash, u have to do the Whooole zone to get to the end. Assuming you did it all, you’d probably be 83 and the instance becomes pointless anyway.

    And newer player’s could give an fing Damn about where the start of an instance is, or doing the regs before heroics. How do I know? I was a new player once.

    There’s things to enforce for purpose, and thing’s that define not having one. (see comment 1 above)

  6. @nextgener

    You’ve defined nothing though. The whole concept behind ‘attunements’ was to familarize the player with where instances were (cutting down on corpse run times), why you were doing them (lore), and as I’ve found throughout my questing on various toons, mechanics you find inside the actual instance (building an awareness and skill set).

    It’s important for newbs (that’s the TRUE newer player) to familiarize themselves this way so they’re somewhat prepared for a harsher environment that is instancing. More experienced players will and do use LFD extensively esp on alts and that’s cool.

    Personally, you’re PART of the problem if you think you should just step into a heroic in quest greens and blues and faceroll content. I refer you to your quote here “And newer player’s could give an fing Damn about where the start of an instance is, or doing the regs before heroics. How do I know? I was a new player once.”

    I was also a new player and I’ve been around quite a while. I enjoyed the progression of grinding for gear (back when you HAD to def cap for heroics in TBC), the rep grind is fun and it’ shows TRUE progression when you finally can take those first steps into a more difficult challange. If you don’t care about anything BUT instancing with little to no challange/grind, I’d kindly suggest going to DDO. It’s ALL instanced with the exceptions of towns.

  7. “You’ve defined nothing though”

    In case you didn’t read, the “Definition” of the “Purpose” of them doing these things are as you stated:

    “to familiarize the player with where instances were (cutting down on corpse run times), why you were doing them (lore)”

    Which both became Moot by (me repeating myself at this point):

    (cutting down on corpse run times) Except they now stuck all the GY’s at The front of the entrance.

    The Storyline lore of these dungeons take place After you beat the zone. Making it feel like jumping into these thing’s is just like buying a book and skipping to the last chapter. (lore)

    The True new player, I.E. what I was when I started this game without LFG, will be curious about what dungeons are feel the need to do them regardless of what goes on around. But will I have quested entirely in the zone for a few quest lines just to get into it? No, that’s a “Chances Are” scenario. It’s a Choice given by the new leveling setup by blizzard, and a good one at that.

    Fact is weather you like it or not, people at First the new player and yes in fact even You, felt the need to jump into content at first regardless of anything because it was There, and you can’ really understand it. Am I encouraging that fact? No. But people Will do it. That’s a harsh reality that needs to be accepted.

    and FYI, I started back in BC too. I was a noob back then and you wanna know something? I facerolled heroics with crap gear and only half an idea what to do? Ya wanna know how?

    CC. It dragged bad’s so easily back then it was fing ridiculous. IF you saw me back then, you’d see the real so called “Challenge” there was to tanking. In heroics, And Raids.

    Weather you accept it or not, there’s always gonna be “The New” at any given level. If you just clump then all together as what your definition of “Bad’s” then your view is more shortsighted than 70% of the wow forum’s.

    IF you like grind so much, go try everquest. No one can take that game seriously anymore anyway.

  8. Firstly Nextgener, if you were a tank in TBC as I was, you def capped first. Period. CC or not, you didn’t face roll SQUAT. I can remember bosses I was more than adequately geared for and others that would squish me in seconds. It was a defined progression.

    I too used CC. It was a nescessity. It still didn’t mean you didn’t get stomped as a tank if you weren’t def capped which REQUIRED rep/crafted gear.

    And frankly, if you’re saying and if i’m reading you right, you’re what’s DEFINED as bad.

    quote: “And newer player’s could give an fing Damn about where the start of an instance is, or doing the regs before heroics. How do I know? I was a new player once.” So essentially you’re saying, I’m gonna go in an instance/heroic/raid before I’m geared/skilled/prepared and expect others to make up for my share of the work? Why brag about that? That, in and of itself, DEFINES not only bad, but selfish and childish.

    As true ‘newbs, we all are curious about instances and the gear that comes from them. However, the media hype surrounding such changes as instance difficulty in Cataclysm make things irrelevant. People KNEW this was going to be an upscale in difficulty and yet, they continued to go into heroics before farming the proper gear then crying on the forums. They are BAD players. Period.

  9. and NO, there will NEVER be ‘new’ at any given level. I hate to say it, but if by say…level 80, you haven’t learned the most basic intricacies of your class, you need to stop queuing and start reading/researching or at the VERY least, turn on the ‘tips’ tooltip.

    The excuse of ‘I’m new’ is bogus by at LEAST lvl 65 if not earlier.

  10. lvl 65? hell id say it stops once you hit 40. by that time you should have some sort of understanding the abilities and limits of your said class. if not, than you should deffinitly reroll or just /camp,/unsub,/uninstall. and find an easier game to play, like hello kitty world or something.

  11. *sigh*, it doesn’t seem as if I can break your blind sighted views of how the game community really starts.

    Whatever. And no, I wasn’t D capped in BC and had no clue what it was until very later on. Fact.

    I went trough every heroic with little to no issues. Fact.

    Live with it.

  12. No, you didn’t. Period. Fact. The way I know this as fact is all groups back in TBC were either guild runs or most likely, you pugged from trade. I can guarentee that ANYONE who were running heroics back then would’ve looked at your health pool, your gear and kicked you immediately. Fact.

    If you were being carried by your guild, gratz on being a drain on resources.

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