On Titles

Blizzard have a plan, a plan so cunning it makes Baldrick's plan, a plan that was so cunning that a Fox, who was Professor of Cunning at Cunning University could not have been more cunning, look like a rather unsophisticated plan by a grade A moron. They plan to introduce more titles.

So What is this cunning plan, a plan so cunning...:
At current we have access to the following titles:

Old PvP Titles - Not accessible
Scarab Lord - 1 per server, Not accessible on a server with open AQ40
Champion of the Naaru - T5 attunement
Hand of A'dal - T6 attunement
Of the Shattered Sun - Rep and Gold Title.

Attunement titles:
The two attunement titles I feel are a good addition to the game, and should be maintained into tiers 8 and 9, they mark out people that have gone through the in game process and achieved the opening of the tiers. These ones tie in well to the slackening of tier entrance requirements and graduated badge gear by offering a reason to still complete the older quests, and to become attuned.

These titles should remain and be expanded, let people take pride in their achievements and let them show it off, if you conquered the T4 instances and approach T5 then your fame in game is shown, the title is bestowed by the NPCs for a reason onto you. It just fits with the whole RPG part of the game, you are famous to the NPCs of the game, no longer just an adventurer but a named character, there is no red shirt for you.

Reputation Titles:
The "Of the Shattered Sun" title seems rather misplaced, while the others are all achievement based this is simply part of the natural repping process (and a small wad of gold), I would rather have seen a long chain gathering quest and a slaying quest for this one, but put it at a level below raiding such that it was open to more people, the Shattered Sun Offensive after all is not just about the brave few who will confront Kil'Jaden, but rather everyone that took part in reclaiming the island and making it open to our forces.

I would like to see these implemented properly, give people titles for taking part in the opening of gates, and the stages of tiered content, let people really take part in long quests, achieve great victories and supply the front with endless materials. These titles should show dedication and perseverance, more of a casual title than the tiered raiding ones, but one you can be proud to wear because it means that you are honoured (not in the WoW rep sense) with that faction for your deeds.

PvP Titles:
The old PvP titles I miss, while the route to gaining them is gone, and thankfully because it was silly, I always wanted to be a "Knight Lieutenant", instead I am a mere Corporal (I discovered PvP, then they took my titles away). I would love to see a route to these returned through Honour or something similar, give us PvP based titles that sound interesting.

PvP can, like the rep titles, be classed as part of the on-going war effort, however in a more general sense. While the reputation titles show "Of the Shatterd Hand", "Of the Silver Crescent" (and should likely give a replacement for the rep you would have gained, perhaps more gold or suchlike?) the PvP titles represent Military Ranks, they decay over time (like pets) meaning you need to keep playing in the war to keep your rank. Your access to special items (not game breaking or specifics, but little items, tabards, or effects like the Footsteps of Illidan) should be based off of these.

Arena Titles should be fluid, at the end of each season Gladiator, Challenger and suchlike titles are awarded, and you hold it for a season, they are worth while and serve as a way towards Legendary items (which you get to use while you hold the title) for Arena, again like the PvP ones, nothing game breaking, but something interesting and unique.

One Per Server:
The Scarab Lord is so far the only 1 per server Title, and it is interesting, but very limited, new players have no way to achieve it, and the mount is also similarly unattainable. This was related to the opening event of AQ40, however I would like to see something like the Zul'aman timers implemented for Old World Instances, "Clear in 3:00:00 - (level-60*0.1)hrs" or similar, so that you can go back, and with a good group clear it and achieve the honours. Making it harder on higher levels to achieve the timers so that the title means something.

Fundamentally these are ok, but in reality its a bad plan, they reward self harming behaviours and do not allow new players even a chance to achieve them, much better would be to set strict limits on them, so the levelling ones are based off of levelling time, or the First Human based off of Lifetime kills or something similar.

Blizzard plans to alter this, to include a lot more server first / one per server titles.

Limited titles and race based titles are a bad idea, they are given out once and don't allow players who are slower, not in game at the time, on Military service etc to compete. Titles based on time (Arena), kills and progress (rep and PvP) are all good because they reward your times spent and the quality of that time. giving out arbitrary titles for sheer speed (and not necessarily the fastest, simply the least real time played, a concept which doesn't actually exist in game since your pets loyalty, buffs etc do not decay in game at real time speeds).

Blizzard are right, titles are an interesting addition to the game, and one that should be thought on, given benefits and reward good and long term players, but their current plan rewards boom and bust techniques like the original PvP titles, we moved past them due to the problems it caused, lets not return to the past.


Vera said...

This was a nice post. I didn't even know about the Scarab Lord title. Wonder who has that on Lightbringer. :)

Shattered Sun title is so pretty, but it's kinda silly it's so easily achievable. I agree rather have quests for it than gold. Ofcourse it does require an exalted rep which you can acquire in your chosen way and show "dedication", but 1000 gold on top of that is just very bleh. I might consider getting it on my favourite toon though just cos it is such a beautiful title. But it should rather give the idea of "cool, she went through all those quest chains" than "silly, she spent 1k gold on it".

A title should be restricted in some ways and be an award, and it's good only one can be seen over the character's head. It should not be bought or too common, but also not restricted to only one person on server either and lost to others forever.

Then again I don't think everything needs to be available for new players, at least not an exact same thing. Gives some variety to have titles and things that some have, some won't. There will always be a lot of new things for everyone to acquire.

LarĂ­sa said...

The sad thing about titles is that many people don't know what they say. Those old PvP titles is just something I've heard about. I've got a game friend who is Commander, and I'd never knewn it was something special about that if she hadn't repetedly told me.

I just cant believe they're doing this unhealthy play-24-hours-aday titles now for the expansion. It's a shame really, as several bloggers have pointed out.

Chris said...

Yeah, thing is that most Paladins would love to get the crusader title, imagine

Crusader Elyria of the Silver Hand

Blizzard could make you jump through hoops to get both a Rank title and an association title, giving us:

Rank title
Association title
Solo title
Rank + Association titles

Exalted with every faction in the game lets you use both a rank and an association title.

PvP and World Events offer rank titles, factions offer association titles, and attunements offer solo titles, something for everyone, and you can work really hard to get the set of titles you want.

I would love to see something for the fastest levellers, but not something that is so generic, I think many druids would love the title Arch Druid, or Arch Mage for our mage friends.

Vera said...

Funny observation: Zul'jin is carrying none other than a "bladed tonfa" in that art picture. <3

He doesn't have it ingame though does he?

Dims said...

The Scarab Lord title is special, you did the scepter quest chain and helped gather war materials, and then were the first scepter holder to bang the gong once the armies were in place. The fact is I thought the Shattered Sun Offensive was another great implementation. However it lacked something that the AQ opening did. The coordination between the horde and the alliance. When people realized the sheer amount of materials they needed to gather they turned to the forums and asked for help from their rivals in return they would help them. This was the brilliance of the AQ gates. Anyone who has the Scarab Lord title worked very hard for it along with their guilds to help them get that title. But titles are not the only part of the game. I for one enjoy the content I've seen. AQ, MC, BWL, and now KZ, Gruuls, Mags, SSC, TK, and BT, but I don't need titles to let others know I've been there. I'd rather have you look at my gear and ask where I got something. In fact I turned off the titles under my display options because they mean nothing to me. But, I guess I've never been a sucker for titles, unique mounts or any of that waste of time, because that's what it does, it takes time you spent doing runs in ZA for the bear away from the time you could have spent getting the twin blades of azzinoth for a guild member.