Today Blizzard announced that in patch 4.2 you will no longer have a keyring next to your bags. This is the final nail in the coffin of previously beloved and hated feature known as attunements. Blizzard also hints that something awesome will take it’s place in the interface.
From the horse’s mouth (Source):
World of Warcraft has evolved quite a bit since the day the Keyring bag slot was added in patch 1.11. When implemented, this Keyring provided players with a convenient way of storing dungeon, quest, and other keys automatically. Back when the largest bag was a mind bottling 18 slots – rumoured to be bottomless – the Keyring helped save precious bag space. But as things tend to do, time went on, bags got bigger, and designs for gating content (literally and figuratively) evolved through the years.
In today’s Azeroth, keys don’t really serve much of a purpose except to take up physical storage space from the game (which could be used for other awesome stuff), and visual interface space on yours. Because of this, we’ve decided to get rid of the Keyring in order to free up some user interface space for exciting new features. This change could also potentially allow us to play around with the amount of default storage space you’re allotted down the road. So, what does this mean for you and the keys you might not have looked at in the last couple expansions or so?
We’re currently working on the implementation of a system in patch 4.2 which will handle the removal of the Keyring, while causing you as little hassle with keys as possible. Some keys which no longer serve a purpose in the game will automatically be removed from your inventory. In return, you’ll be compensated for them with their respective vendor sell prices in gold. You might also have random leftover quest keys from outdated quests, or quests which were removed in Cataclysm. Keys that fall into this category have no use and no sell price, as they are labelled as quest items, and will be automatically removed from your inventory. Any remaining keys that might still potentially serve some use in the game will be transferred into your regular inventory. If there is not enough space in your inventory to hold any leftover keys once patch 4.2 hits live realms, the keys will be placed in a backlogged storage system. Once space is made for a backlogged key, the key will take that space after you log out or switch to a new zone (i.e. changing continents, entering a dungeon or Battleground, etc.).
We are continuing to work on new ways of allowing you to better manage the storage of various items in the game, and it is our goal to make sure the removal of the Keyring causes as little inconvenience to you as possible.
I saw this coming when 4.0.3 had been released since Blizzard had started to remove keys that they didn’t feel belong to the game anymore and even took away the awesomely fantastic Keymaster achievement (and for whatever reason decided not to make it into a feat of strength).
Personally I am saddened to see the that keys, epic quest chains or long rep grinds to get attuned to dungeons are things of the past. Sure, the (mostly) very cumbersome ways for you to get attuned scared off a lot of new players and therefor many have just never done them. Or these attunements would be an annoyance for you when trying to get into a dungeon on your alt. “Sethekk Halls heroic? No I can’t help you kill that boss, I don’t have the rep or the key to enter there…”, etc.
But I liked it, damn it. In fact, I loved it! And guess what, I’m not a hardcore “vanilla” player. I started playing in Wrath of the Lich King when pretty much all the keys you found were just for old content and therefor should just have been a deterrent for me to go to that old content. But it didn’t act as a deterrent for me, instead the idea of having to do something arduous to increase my character’s access to the world seemed really appealing to me.
I mean, it makes sense that you wouldn’t be let into certain places immediately without proving yourself first. Okay, maybe the Searing Gorge key is a bit odd. But the Scholomance key, Karazhan key or Algalon key quests for example, they are long winded and fantastic! I mean, come on. Do you really think it makes sense to just gain access to Algalon’s room of space and mystery without having to prove yourself a little bit? I mean, if you fail, the whole world ends. I don’t think that key should be handed out too hastily…
I also like the more absurd rep grinds and attunements… “You’ve defeated a million boars? Well gosh darn it, you deserve the key to my outhouse young lad! Also, have this tabard!” – More of that please. :)
Maybe I’m just getting to be one of these grumpy old “get off my lawn!”-dudes. Well, it’s a nice shiny lawn and you’re ruining it!